Disneyland (CA)

Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report – June 12 to 18, 2016

by on July 4, 2016

June 12 to 18, 2016

Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report

Between June 12 and June 18 Disneyland crowds continued to be slightly larger than we have seen in years past although the Disneyland Crowd Calendar resort wide crowds were within one index point of what we observed five out of the seven days. As crowded as Disneyland was, we only saw a crowd level ’10’ once, on Tuesday at Disneyland Park.

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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Pete’s Dragon Sneak Peek to Occur at Disney Parks

by on June 24, 2016

©Disney

©Disney

Are you excited about the upcoming re-imagined version of Pete’s Dragon? Well, beginning on July 1, Guests at both Disney California Adventure and Disney’s Hollywood Studios will get the opportunity to catch a sneak peek of this film.

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Guests can make a stop at One Man’s Dream’s theater while while Guests at Disney California Adventure will get to see this advance look in 3D with in-theater effects at the Sunset Showcase Theater (formerly Crown Jewel Theater) in Hollywood Land. The sneak peek will last about 10 minutes.

Pete’s Dragon is the tale of an orphaned boy, named Pete and his best friend Elliot. Oh and did I mention that Elliot happens to be a dragon?

Pete’s Dragon opens in theaters on August 12.

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Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report – May 15 to 21, 2016

by on June 7, 2016

Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report

How Crowded Was Disneyland Resort Last Week?

Disney’s latest quarterly report revealed an increase in attendance at Disneyland Resort which seems to be reflected in the wait times we saw last week. It may be that the popularity of Value Season pricing and short staffing is also causing some longer wait times since the relative increase in wait times is larger than the increase in attendance. Crowds dipped during the weekdays however which is a nice change to what we have seen in the weeks past. Guests using an optimal touring plan on a weekday likely didn’t notice the spike in wait times last week.

Note that the equivalent week last year preceded Memorial Day weekend which drives larger crowds while this year Memorial Day occurred a week later on May 30, 2016.

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

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Unofficial Guide Reader’s Survey – Best Travel Agents 2016

by on June 1, 2016

TouringPlans logoThe results are in, and we want to thank you, readers, for helping us and your fellow Disney and Universal fans plan great vacations. We are so happy to bring you our Best Travel Agent recommendations for 2016.

The Methodology for Finding the Best Travel Agents

First of all, it’s important to know how we got this list. These recommendations come from you, not us. TouringPlans and the Unofficial Guide survey readers about their vacations and one (of the VERY MANY – really, thank you to everyone who takes the time to do this) sections of the survey concerns how the trip was booked. We ask if you’d consider the agent “an expert” on the destination you booked and if you’d recommend him or her to a friend. To make our list the agent has to have a statistically significant number of responses and 100% positive answers on one question and more than 90% on the other. That’s all there is to it. We don’t swing the votes. And this isn’t a “Top 15” list. If 50 agents had qualified, 50 would be listed. That only 16 out of 1900 agents listed in the surveys received qualified tells you a lot about the quality of work these people do.

We’ve published this list in the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World for years, but wanted to add it to our web site this year. Some of these agents we know, several we have personally worked with, and some are brand new to us. We hope this helps you find a travel agent if you’re looking for one. (You’ll notice that some agents and agencies have a relationship with TouringPlans in the form of complimentary subscriptions for qualifying travel packages. This has no bearing on the survey results.)

Finally, without further ado, we give you the Best Travel Agents for 2016, listed alphabetically by first name.

 

Best Travel Agents 2016

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Video: Full Performance of the New Frozen Musical at Disney California Adventure

by on May 27, 2016

We uploaded video of a full performance of the new “Frozen – Live at the Hyperion” musical at Disney California Adventure. The video was recorded from the mezzanine level of the theater so you get the best view of the show’s impressive video projection effects. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube page for more videos from Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and much much more.

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Review of the New Frozen Musical at Disney California Adventure

by on May 27, 2016

Untitled

Image © Disney

This is a review of the new Frozen Musical at Disney California Adventure, which I think is officially called “Frozen – Live at the Hyperion,” but I’ve also seen it referred to as “Frozen Live” in other news stories and on signs/billboards. The show replaces the Aladdin musical which ran in the same theater for a whopping 13 years, as well as spawned a Disney cruise ship show and Broadway production. Aladdin was a fan favorite and huge crowd pleaser, so many were curious to see the Frozen show would be a worthy replacement. The new show is directed by Liesl Tommy, whose previous production on Broadway was “Eclipsed.” I’m a dumb and uncultured Disney blogger, so I have no idea what that show is, but a Google search tells me it’s very popular with critics and audiences.

A huge change from Aladdin is Frozen’s use of projection effects, there’s a ton of them. There are projections everywhere, including on the walls of the stage, the curtains that surround half the theater, the floor, and even sometimes the actors themselves. Thankfully the use of all that technology never gets in the way, it complements the story. Some of the show’s most impressive moments are when projections show movement from one area to another. There’s one instance which starts off near the castle in Arendelle, but then flies up to a snow-covered mountain. I got a similar sensation as when riding Soarin’ Over California; it looks that good. The downside to the use of all the projections is the lack of physical props and sets. With the exception of Elsa’s ice stairs, a few doors, and some other smaller objects, almost everything else projected on to screens or shown on a huge LCD screen that is used as the backdrop of the stage.

Image © Disney

All those earworm songs you know and love from the multi-platinum movie soundtrack are in the new Frozen musical. Of course all of the songs sound great thanks to the incredibly talented cast. Even if you’ve sick to death of “Let it Go,” you’ll appreciate the show-stopping way it’s presented in the show. A huge frosty staircase appears from the back of the stage and then rotates and swings over the audience as Elsa is climbing up it and singing. While that is happening, swirling snow and wind effects fill the entire theater. It’s all very impressive.

Frozen – Live at the Hyperion clocks in at just over 55 minutes, which means you need to be ready to dedicate a good chunk of your day to see it. Currently there are only three showings per a day. FASTPASS tickets are distributed first come, first served, and we expect them to sell out quickly every morning for at least the rest of the year (they lasted about 1 hour today).  There is a stand-by line available, but you are not guaranteed entry if you wait in this line. I heard that only 3000 people daily (all day, not each show) will be admitted from it. FastPass ticket holders are allowed to line up 1 hour before the show they obtained a ticket for.

Overall Frozen is a very enjoyable show that looks great visually and is a worthy successor to the previous Aladdin show. Even if you’ve watched the movie DVD 1000 times, I consider the musical a must-see thanks to its dazzling effects and wonderful cast. Have you seen Frozen – Live at the Hyperion? What did you think of the show? Do you recommend it to other people? Let me know in the comments below.

DSC00024 - Copy

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Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report – May 8 to 14, 2016

by on May 26, 2016

How Crowded Was Disneyland Resort Last Week?

How Crowded Was Disneyland Resort Last Week?

Midweek crowdedness is the new norm for Disneyland Resort. For three of the last four weeks we have seen midweek crowds as busy as weekends which is something that has not happened in years past. Value pricing for single day tickets during the week as well as the lack of annual passholder blockouts may be combining to bring an abnormal number of guests to the park during the week. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues through the summer months.

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

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Guests Can Participate in “Speak Like a Whale Day” at Disney Parks This June

by on May 25, 2016

 

©Disney

©Disney

I am not ashamed to admit it. I am really looking forward to Finding Dory. Finding Nemo was always a favorite of mine, so I’m excited to head back into the Big Blue World with Dory, Marlin, Nemo, Crush, Squirt, alongside brand new characters.

To celebrate the upcoming film, Guests will be able to participate in “Speak Like a Whale Day” on June 11 at both Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Resorts. Here’s how:

    • Guests at Disneyland Resort and the Walt Disney World Resort will receive a complimentary button to celebrate the day.
    • At the Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort and Disney Springs at Walt Disney World, families can take part in unique themed activities, jam out to a live DJ, and participate in games and giveaways. Young guests can also attend “Whale Speak University” and give speaking the language that Dory seemed to master a try.
    • At The Seas with Nemo & Friends in Epcot, guests can learn about the real-life versions of the characters from the film and see them in their aquarium home. In addition, experts from Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment Team will be on hand throughout the day to help guests find Dory and her friends, as well as give them a closer look at their world.

In addition, for those who didn’t know, you can now find Dory and some of her new friends from the upcoming film at the Turtle Talk with Crush attraction in Epcot’s The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion and at Disney California Adventure park.

Finding Dory swims into theaters on June 17, 2016.

 

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TouringPlansTV – Disney’s Grand Californian Resort and Spa + VIDEO

by on May 24, 2016

 

Grand Californian HotelWelcome to TouringPlans TV!

You may have noticed the name change. The way we see it, why limit ourselves to just one day a week when we can talk about Disney EVERY. SINGLE. DAY!

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Take a Last Flight on Soarin’ Before it Becomes Soarin’ Around the World

by on May 20, 2016

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

On June 17, Soarin will officially see its new film debut with Soarin’ Around the World, but for those who want to take their farewell flights and experience the original film one last time, you will now be able to do so!

The classic Soarin’ film will be available for Guests to experience at The Land Pavilion in Epcot for a limited time starting on May 27 through June 16. Guests may book FastPass+ reservations to experience the classic film one last time beginning May 21.

In addition, at Disney California Adventure, Soarin’ Over California will be showing now through June 15.

For those unaware, when Soarin’ Around the World official debuts will take Guests to unique locations across the globe including the Great Wall of China, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Sydney Opera House in Australia, and more.

Ok, let’s review, that is seat, seatbelt, carry-on items, safety strap, fear of heights, keep your hands and arms inside at all times…anything else? Oh yeah…have a nice flight on classic Soarin’ one last time!

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