Archive for July, 2015

In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of July 31, 2015

by on July 31, 2015

ICYMITonight is the premiere of “The Descendants” on the Disney Channel. Are you or is your family having a party tonight to celebrate the premiere? What plans do you have?  (I’ve watched some of the movie already, thanks to my Apple TV and it’s certainly cute. I’m curious to finish it up and see how it pans out.)

This week, we have some heat being put on Disneyland Paris (and not the summer heat that’s everywhere here), a new attraction for Universal Orlando Resort is rumored, and more! There’s a lot of good stuff, make sure you read on for all of it.

In Case You Missed It – Disney and Universal Orlando News and Rumors

 

Bob Iger was on Squawk Box this week. Catch this snippet of his thoughts of Star Wars and Shanghai Disneyland. He also discusses his take on if ESPN could be sold directly to consumers one day.

Two Disney VPs switch roles at Walt Disney World. Interesting….

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The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! July 2015 Photo Report of the Disney Outlet Store

by on July 31, 2015

Welcome to the latest edition of The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! the longest running monthly look at the Disney Outlet Stores in Orlando. How long? Today marks the two year anniversary! What started out as a simple $1 bet between Len Testa and Laurel Stewart to see if they could take a simple Florida blogger and turn him into a two time runDisney medal winner/PizzaMania champion, has blossomed into into a wondrous creation which has been around to see the debut of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Diagon Alley, and the Cabana Bay Beach Resort. The best rags-to-riches story this side of Cinderella, our monthly treks into Orlando’s Disney Outlet Stores have provided highs and lows (and then even more lows) in order to deliver you, Dear Reader, a glimpse into a world which very few have lived long enough to tell about. A sincere thank you to each and every one of you for taking the time to read this little article, and stay tuned at the end for YOUR CHANCE to vote on the future direction of The Magic, the Memories, and Merch!

Enough jibber jabber! Who is ready to hit the Outlets? Remember that clicking on any picture will open a full size version of it (don’t say we didn’t warn you).

The first surprise was seeing new Frozen and Big Hero 6 Tsum Tsums. It’s surprising because when I went to Disney Springs to see Avengers: Age of Ultron in May, these very same Tsum Tsums had just arrived to Once Upon a Toy. Word on the retail street is when new batches of Tsum Tsums arrive at Disney Springs, the old stuff has to go, so we could be seeing lots of Tsum Tsums in the near future.

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Hans, Anna, Sven, and Kristoff Tsum Tsums.

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Hiro, Fred, Go Go Tomago, and Wasabi Tsum Tsums.

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Walt Disney World Annual Pass: Not Just For Locals

by on July 31, 2015

Annual Passholder Box

This box could be yours! – © John Kivus

If you’re going to Walt Disney World for a once in a lifetime trip, or even a once-a-year trip, it has probably never occurred to you to get an Annual Pass.  Honestly, why would you? Those things are expensive and are only appropriate for locals that go regularly, right? Well, sometimes you have to spend money to save money, and believe it or not, a Walt Disney World Annual Pass can pay for itself and then some even if you only intend to go once in your entire life! How? Find out after the jump!

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Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report – July 19 to 25, 2015

by on July 31, 2015

How Did The Crowd Calendar Do?

How Did The Crowd Calendar Do?

Last week, wait times were up at Disneyland Resort. Both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure saw crowds a step or two higher than usual. Tuesday and Wednesday the resort hit back-to-back level ’10’s on our scale, a feat usually reserved for holiday seasons like Christmas or Easter.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the TouringPlans.com Disneyland Resort Crowd Report:

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Disney World Crowd Calendar Report – July 19 to 25, 2015

by on July 31, 2015

How Did The Crowd Calendar Do?

How Did The Crowd Calendar Do?

Predicting crowd levels at Disney World is tough, even for seasoned veterans like us, so our goal for the Disney World Crowd Calendar is to get within one index level 90% of the time. Based on that, last week was a win each day overall. We saw the overall crowd level reach ‘8’ or ‘9’ every day last week except for Sunday when it hit a level ‘7’ (as predicted). This is all despite Epcot crowd levels being down a little last week with six out of seven days hitting a crowd level lower than what the Disney World Crowd Calendar expected.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the Touringplans.com Disney World Crowd Report:

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Universal Crowd Calendar Report – July 19 to 25, 2015

by on July 31, 2015

How Did the Crowd Calendar Do?

How Did the Crowd Calendar Do?

For the first time in a long time the crowds at Universal Orlando Resort matched the crowd levels we saw at Disney World. Last week, Universal saw ‘8’s and ‘9’s each day except for Sunday and Saturday which hit a level ‘7’.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the TouringPlans.com Universal Orlando Resort Crowd Report:

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History of Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle

by on July 30, 2015

Photo - James Rosemergy

Sleeping Beauty Castle for Disneyland’s 60th anniversary (photo by James Rosemergy)

For characters like Cinderella and Rapunzel, living in a royal castle was just an unattainable dream. Gazing out the window, they would sit for hours imagining what life would be like within the walls of such a majestic place.

If you’ve ever been to a Disney park, those dreams and wishes may pop into your head when you first set eyes on the magnificent castle; the symbol and iconic center of the park. Today, I will be sharing a brief history of the very first Disney palace: Sleeping Beauty Castle in California’s Disneyland.

This is the time to turn on “Once Upon a Dream” or “When You Wish Upon A Star.”

I’ll wait for you to pull up the song….

*Twiddles thumbs, looks out the window, checks phone*

Okay ready? Let’s continue!

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Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever July 30, 2015: Drizzling Disney Springs

by on July 30, 2015

Best Week Ever Disney Springs

Take a drizzly tour of Disney Springs in this Best Week Ever (photos by Seth Kubersky)

The end of July 2015 has certainly earned a spot on my Best Week Ever list, because just days ago my brand new book, The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando, emerged from the printer on actual dead trees, and will be available for purchase early next month. What better way to celebrate such a milestone than with a wet walk around the worksite known as Disney Springs?

 

Unlike Derek Burgan, I’ve been avoiding the area formerly known as Downtown Disney like the plague since construction began on its massive re-imagining. This week, I picked a blustery afternoon to make my return to Walt Disney World’s shopping and entertainment complex in the hopes of experiencing some of its newest additions.

 

The changes began long before I landed at Disney Springs, as electronic traffic signs detoured me away from my usual direct route to the parking lot behind Cirque du Soleil.

 

Instead, I found myself on a “scenic route” behind Old Key West and Saratoga Springs, in a land where golf carts roam,…

Tokyo Disney Resort Trip Planning Guide

by on July 29, 2015

18741086704_6694d4a43f_zYou want to go on another Disney vacation, but where do you go? You’ve been to Walt Disney World more times than you can count and you can recall every small detail of Disneyland because you’ve covered every square inch so many times that it makes your head spin. Next you think “Maybe a Disney Cruise?” Not happening, your brother-in-law wants you to wait until little Sally (your niece’s second cousin, twice removed) graduates from sixth grade so you can all go as a family. Disneyland Paris? No way, they’re in the middle of more refurbishments than there are blades of grass on Earth. Then it comes to you, Tokyo Disneyland. You remember your curiosity being piqued from seeing pictures of DisneySea online. “Doesn’t that place have a volcano?” Hell yes it has a volcano, and I’m here to tell you that it’s awesome. You’ve found your next Disney destination, and hopefully with this Tokyo Disney Resort trip planning guide I will help you plan it.

Step 1: When to visit Tokyo Disney Resort

Tokyo Disney Resort, or TDR, is always going to have huge crowds and high wait times, especially on the weekends. I’ve spent thousands of hours in the American Disney parks but have never seen anything like the crowds during a weekend in Tokyo Disneyland. With that being said there are a few times out of the year where crowds are smaller than they usually are, but this luxury may come at the cost of poor weather or multiple attraction closures due to refurbishments.

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Magic Kingdom’s Storybook Circus: Don’t Miss Its Old-Time Charm

by on July 29, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

The extremely well-themed Storybook Circus area of Fantasyland in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom can be easy to miss. Hidden behind the newest mountain and one of the hottest FastPass+ attractions in the park (hint: a certain number of dwarfs call this mountain home), Storybook Circus isn’t generally a top priority for guests. However, those looking to indulge in more of the old-time charm that is one of the best features of Main Street, U.S.A. and other lands like Frontierland and Liberty Square shouldn’t overlook Storybook Circus.

So let’s head to the back of the park and take a look at some of the highlights of Storybook Circus, where abundant details bring to life old-fashioned fun at the circus fairgrounds.

Dumbo

No attraction shows off the energy of Storybook Circus better than Dumbo the Flying Elephant. From its fast-flying elephants, to its brightly painted accents and Big Top queue, to its spinning lights, down to its sparkling fountains, Dumbo says “look at me.”

Dumbo night_Tom Bricker

©Tom Bricker DisneyTouristBlog.com

Before the new Fantasyland expansion, when Dumbo was relocated to Storybook Circus and reconstructed in duplicate with much-enhanced details, it was the target of a headlong rush by many guests as their first attraction of the day. Confession time: because of that opening time rush and sustained lines throughout the day, I never actually rode Dumbo in its previous spot. But now that Dumbo has moved to Storybook Circus, my attitude is entirely different.

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