Attractions

Attraction Overview: Spaceship Earth – Epcot

by on February 21, 2017

Photo - Angela DahlgrenHappy Tuesday everyone!

Today’s video is an attraction overview of Spaceship Earth. This is located in Epcot’s Future World at Walt Disney World!

Spaceship Earth Overview

Enjoy!

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What You Need to Know Before You See Rivers of Light

by on February 21, 2017

It’s finally here. After months of delays and a long hype campaign, Rivers of Light has made its debut at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Once upon a time, having Animal Kingdom open at night, let alone its own night time show, was just a dream. The fact that it is finally a reality is enough to make me happy. Personally, I found the show to fit the spirit of Animal Kingdom very well and think it is a nice addition to this Walt Disney World theme park that always seems to be fighting an uphill battle.

 

On your next visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom you should definitely make time to see this new night time show. Rivers of Light is worth seeing at least once, and here’s what you need to know before you go.

FastPass+ entrance – Rivers of Light

There will be lines

(regardless of if you have a FastPass+ or not)

Even if you book a FastPass+ for Rivers of Light or if you book a dining package, there will be lines to get into the ampitheater. There are two main entrances into the theater, one in Asia, near Expedition Everest, and the other in DinoLand U.S.A. The Asia entrance is FastPass+ and dining package only. The DinoLand entrance is standby, and dining package seating, though it seems to a lesser extent than the Asia side.

If you have either a FastPass+ or dining package you are guaranteed a seat up until about 5-10 minutes before show time.  The advantage of both of these options is to not have to get to the theater 45 minutes before showtime just to get a seat of any kind. Both methods save you time.

Asia side of theater nearly full 30 minutes before Rivers of Light show time

 

In my opinion it was worth having the FastPass+ when I viewed Rivers of Light. It reduces the stress and worry of wondering if you’re even going to get into the theater, plus the standby line is quite long. So while FastPass+ and dining package guests are seated in the theater, hundreds of standby guests wait standing in a long, winding line.

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Price comparison of Orlando’s water parks

by on February 17, 2017

Summer is coming and this year will be unlike any previous year in Orlando because Universal Orlando’s Volcano Bay erupts onto the scene. It’s hard not to call Volcano Bay a water park, because well, that’s what it is, but it is indeed so much more. It is said to have technology and features unlike anything we’ve seen before, especially in Orlando. Still, chances are as you think about planning your Orlando vacation, you’re thinking about Volcano Bay as if it is a water park. Most likely you are trying to decide how to spend the time you’ve allocated for a water park and debating between Volcano Bay, Disney’s water parks, Aquatica, or even Discovery Cove.

Price comparison of Orlando’s water parks

Without diving too deep into the strenuous detail between all of Orlando’s water parks, let’s take a look at this price comparison.

Prices below do not include tax, prices are as of 2/17/2017

Ticket type Volcano Bay Disney Water Parks
 Single day Single day tickets are not officially available as of yet, but can be purchased only as part of a vacation package through select travel booking services. Several sources indicate $124 as the price per person.

 $62.00 adult

$56.00 child

Multi day regular theme parks plus water parks

(park to park / park hopper)

3 days

  $314.99 adult

($105 per day)

$304.99 child

($102 per day)

 $364 adult

($121.33 per day)

$346 child

($115.33 per day)

Multi day regular theme parks plus water park

(park to park / park hopper)

4 days

$324.99 adult

($81.24 per day)

$314.99 child

($78.75 per day)

 $440 adult

($110 per day)

$420 child

($105 per day)

Multi day regular theme parks plus water parks

(one park per day)

3 days

 $259.99 adult

($86.66 per day)

$249.99 child

($83.33 per day)

 water parks are not available without Park Hopper option

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Wait, Who’s That? – Princess Elena of Avalor + Video

by on February 7, 2017

©Disney

Hooray for another new series!

Appropriately named, “Wait…who’s that?“, this series gives an overview of Disney characters who are either new or not as well-known.

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Groundhog Day: Attractions Worth Repeating … Forever

by on February 2, 2017

When we talk about “Groundhog Day” experiences at Walt Disney World, we’re not necessarily talking about a large rodent emerging from his burrow. We know that Mickey Mouse remains safely in the Magic Kingdom’s Town Square Theater. And despite his comedic talent, he has little weather forecasting ability.

©Columbia Pictures

No, we’re talking about the 1993 movie where Bill Murray plays arrogant weatherman Phil Connors, who is reluctantly covering the Groundhog Day festivities in Punxsutawney, Pa. After a blizzard traps him in town for the night, Murray’s character wakes up to the same song and chatter on the radio and the same events unfolding through the town. Soon, he finds that he’s trapped in an endless time loop. He’s stuck reliving Groundhog Day over and over, while everyone surrounding him is unaware of his predicament.

Much like Phil Connors, if you’re a frequent visitor to Walt Disney World, you might find yourself in your own Groundhog Day. Riding the same attractions over and over. Taking the same route through the parks. Ordering the same lunch. I had my own Groundhog Day moment when my boat got stuck in the final scene of It’s A Small World. Endlessly cheery, well-intentioned but ultimately annoying, it’s kind of the Ned Ryerson of Disney attractions.

Luckily, Walt Disney World has a number of attractions that will break you out of that time loop. So on this Groundhog Day, let’s take a tour of the park attractions that offer a different experience each time you visit.

A unique experience, now doubled

Our first attraction, Animal Kingdom’s Kilimanjaro Safaris remains a must-do every visit, for the simple fact that the experience changes every time. These aren’t animatronics you’re seeing, they’re real animals, doing real animal things. Occasionally they’ll even block the path of your ride vehicle.

Sometimes the wildlife is this close. But don’t worry, dangerous animals are separated by barriers.

Imagineers rig these rocks with cooling devices to keep the lions on view.

It’s Disney’s largest attraction by a wide margin, with the tour winding through the 110-acre Harambe Wildlife Reserve. You can view up to 34 species of African wildlife in the various habitats. I say “up to” because you can’t always see all the animals. They have minds of their own, so they could be hidden away on one tour and in full display the next. Part of the appeal of Kilimanjaro Safaris is that you never know what you’re going to get.

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TPTV: Pirates of the Caribbean at Magic Kingdom – Overview and Highlights + Video

by on January 24, 2017

Arrrrrggghhh me hearties! Welcome back to another TouringPlansTV episode.

Today, I will give ye an overview of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction.

The footage featured in this video was recorded at Magic Kingdom park in Walt Disney World.

Enjoy Matey’s!

Video

What attraction should I cover next? Let me know in the comments!

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Visiting Universal Orlando during the busiest weeks of the year

by on December 20, 2016

There’s no place like home for the holidays, but it’s difficult to beat Orlando during this festive time of the year. Perhaps you’ve decided to visit Orlando during the final two weeks of the year. Being in the theme parks at Christmas time is magical, but takes some planning.  You’ll need to be prepared. In this post I’ll share some planning tips for visiting Universal Orlando during these last two weeks of the year, which are some of the busiest days in Orlando’s theme parks.

The Basics

With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays it is easy to forget the basics of theme park survival. So here’s a little refresher.

  • Dress comfortably, especially with regard to your footwear
  • Plan for changes in the weather, this means pack a mix of both warm and cold weather clothing, because here in Florida we experience both warm and cold weather in Winter, often from one day to the next
  • Stay hydrated with water (as opposed to soda, adult beverages, etc)
  • Use sunscreen, after all we are actually closer to the sun during Winter
  • Take breaks and rest throughout the day

The great news is Universal Orlando’s longest operating hours of the year are taking place right now through New Year’s Eve.

Coming up with a plan

Plans are what we’re all about here at Touring Plans, and this time of the year is one of the most important to have a good solid plan. The most effective way to do so is creating a custom touring plan through our site. All you have to do when creating your customized Touring Plan is to select which parks you’re visiting, your arrival time to the park, and plug in the rides and shows you want to make sure you experience. Then the service will calculate the best touring plan including exactly which order to visit the attractions and when in order to maximize your time (and sanity). This plan is based on a huge collection of data that will ensure you spend the least amount of time as possible in the standby wait lines.

Creating a custom Touring Plan on TouringPlans.com

If you’d prefer to create a plan yourself, make sure you’ve really determined what rides and shows you absolutely must do. Without the advantage of the Touring Plans data you’ll need to review the park maps and strategize your plan based on the location of the attractions you want to experience. You may want to also consider visiting some of the lesser known attractions at Universal, which typically will have somewhat reasonable wait times on busy days.

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TBT: Six Reasons for Theme Park Fans to Give Thanks in 2015

by on November 23, 2016

Greetings! TouringPlans.com Blog Manager Brian here to welcome you to the continuation of TBT: Throwback Thanksgiving week here on the blog. All this week we will be revisiting a few wonderful Thanksgiving-related posts from the past. This wonderful entry from 2015 highlighting the six things that Derek Burgan gave thanks for during that year.

Make sure you come back Thursday at 9:00am for this years items to give thanks for!

 

This week’s SATURDAY SIX  is our annual Thanksgiving Special and takes a look at Six Reasons for Theme Park Fans to Give Thanks. 2015 was another great year to be a theme park fan, and for this Thanksgiving we are going to take a quick break from all the turkey, football games, and Black Friday planning to count our blessings and thank the parks and resorts we love so much. So, for one day only, we ask that all Disney and Universal fans put aside their differences and spend a moment appreciating all the wonderful things that we can share together, starting with…

# 6 – Selfie Stick Ban at Walt Disney World

SelfieStick_Partners

no_more_selfie_sticks_pamphlet_sethIf you noticed any #Millenials or narcissists wearing black armbands this summer, it was because after banning selfie sticks on Disney attractions earlier in the spring, Walt Disney World completely banned the use of selfie sticks at the parks. Seemingly out of nowhere, the edict came down right after another high profile news story of Disney California Adventure’s California Screamin’ roller coaster being stopped mid ride because of a guest using a selfie stick. On June 26th, WDW guests were given a pamphlet at the parking plaza explaining the selfie stick ban, signage was displayed on the walkways to the parks along with bag check explaining the new policy.

The selfie stick ban was definitely a controversial move to be sure. Universal had earlier become more strict on preventing selfie sticks on rides, but Disney outright stopped people from even entering the park with them. Now we joked earlier about only kids and narcissists using them, the truth is that selfie sticks have become increasingly popular across almost all demographics. While people using selfie sticks inside the parks can be a nuisance, they were starting to become a serious safety factor on attractions. You may have seen what is called an Envelope of Protection as Imagineers test out the attractions. This device makes sure that all the attractions are safe for every rider, basically simulating the possible reach of every guest in the ride vehicle. This is why while it may seem like your may lose your arms in Space Mountain if you hold them up during the ride, but in actuality you are nowhere close to hitting anything. What the Envelope of Protection doesn’t take into account though, is guests holding on to anything that extends their reach.

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TouringPlansTV: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2016 + Video

by on November 22, 2016

© Disney

Ho-ho-hope you’re having a great day!

You may be thinking, “What’s with the holiday pun? It’s not even December yet!”

You see, I’m already in the Christmas spirit as I’ve just been to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Walt Disney World!

Allow me to share my tips and tricks below!

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A Frozen Holiday Wish – Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2016 + Video

by on November 15, 2016

Photo - Matt Stroshane

Photo – Matt Stroshane

For today’s TouringPlansTV, I’m bringing you with me to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party!

Watch Elsa freeze Cinderella Castle in A Frozen Holiday Wish.

Enjoy!

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