Disneyland (CA)

Star Wars Land to Open in 2019 at Walt Disney World and Disneyland

by on February 7, 2017

Star Wars Land

©Disney

We are two years out from the official opening year of the Star Wars-themed lands for both Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It was announced today that both will open at some point in the year 2019.

Star Wars Land on both coasts will be the largest ever, single-themed land expansions on each coast. The land will  have Guests transported to a never-before-seen planet that is going to be a remote trading port and one of the last stops before wild space.

Here’s what we know about the lands so far:

  • There will be two attractions, one centered around the Millennium Falcon where you will actually be able to pilot it; banking left, right and firing the laser cannons. You’ll be in complete control. The second one will find you in a battle between the resistance and the first order in a race against time.
  • In this new world, you’ll enter authentic locations and be able to meet droids and aliens.
  • You’ll be able to enter an other-worldly street market and taste local delicacies.
  • You can enjoy at meal at the best Star Wars themed-dinner club or you can choose to stop in at the local cantina.

You are most certainly going to want to stay tuned to the blog for more details about Star Wars Land as they get released!

SATURDAY SIX: Six Reasons We Love Main Street Electrical Parade’s Return to Disneyland

by on January 28, 2017

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Reasons We Love the Main Street Electrical Parade’s Return to Disneyland! Beginning its original run in Anaheim all the way back in 1972, the Main Street Electrical Parade (MSEP) has entertained generations of guests on both coasts. Much like it’s a small world and the Electrical Water Pageant, the beloved MSEP has a nostalgic charm – along with a catchy soundtrack – that makes it special no matter how much technology has improved over the years. There have been variations of MSEP at Disney parks around the world, but Disneyland’s run ended in 1996. In the ensuing twenty years, that particular version of the show bounced around between Disney California Adventure and Walt Disney World. On October 9th, 2016, the MSEP turned off its last light in Orlando and began a cross country trip back home to Disneyland.

The Main Street Electrical Parade comes home. (photo by @hintofspy)

This past week the MSEP had its triumphant return in Disneyland and began a limited time engagement that is scheduled to end on June 18th. Now, we’re just glad the MSEP is back, but Disney also delivered a whole bunch of surprises that truly made our day. Today we’re going to take a look at some of our favorite parts of the MSEP’s return, and let’s kickoff the countdown with…

# 6 – The SNACKS!

Readers of this fine blog series know we like our snacks. No, we really like our snacks. So imagine our surprise when the MSEP’s return to Disneyland brought with it a whole slew of tasty treats! With designs based on some of the iconic MSEP floats, these snacks are some of the cutest we have ever seen. Ladybug macaroons, turtle creampuffs, cheshire cat cookies and more!

Where was this when the MSEP was in Walt Disney World?! BE FAIR TO FLORIDA!! (photo by Brian Pinsky)

Cute caterpillar snack. (photo by Brian Pinsky)

Cheshire cat tails. (photo by Brian Pinsky)

Electric Cotton Candy. We’re 90% sure this is safe to eat. (photo by Brian Pinsky)

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Sneak Peek of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Live Action Film at Disney Parks

by on January 27, 2017

Beauty and the Beast

©Disney

As a child of the 90s, I have to say, I am super excited about the upcoming live action version of Beauty and the Beast. While Ariel got me into the Disney princess phenomenon, it was really Belle who was most like me, as I too always had my nose in a book.

If you, like me are anxiously awaiting this film, I am happy to tell you that if you’ll be visiting either the Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resorts, you’ll soon be able to catch a sneak peek.

At Walt Disney World, beginning February 10 through March 26, at One Man’s Dream in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Guests will be able to catch a preview scene from the film. In addition, two iconic props will be available for Guests to view – the yellow ballroom dress and the magical rose.

In addition, at Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage, a performer will invite a father and daughter from the audience onstage where they will be able to participate in a magical moment prior to the show in which the performer will sing to them a new song from the film.

Over on the West Coast, at Disney California Adventure, beginning February 10, the preview of Beauty and the Beast will be presented in 3D with special in-theater effects at the Sunset Showcase Theater in Hollywood Land. There will also be special props from the film available for Guests to view.

The film preview will last approximately eight minutes.

Beauty and the Beast will be released in theaters on March 17.

Lunar New Year Celebration Starts Today at Disney California Adventure

by on January 20, 2017

Disney California Adventure‘s annual Lunar New Year celebration is here once again. The event features Disney characters in special Lunar New Year outfits, special food, exclusive merchandise, arts and crafts, and local community groups and performers in several different shows. For 2017 the celebration has been extended from 3 days to 17 days. You can experience Lunar Near Year at DCA , 2017. Lets take a look at how Disney is celebrating the year of the rooster:

Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession

The Lunar New Year Procession features Mulan and Mushu, and dozens of performers, including drummers, acrobats, and more. The show lasts about 10 minutes and takes place outside of Paradise Gardens, in front of Goofy’s Sky School.

Note: This picture is from last year’s show. All performances were rained out on opening day and I’m about to go on vacation for a week. The Lunar New Year Procession is the exact same as last year, with the exception of Mulan performs in her new dress.

Character Meet and Greet

Here you can meet Mulan and & Mushu, or Mickey & Minnie (in Lunar New Year outfits). The characters rotate every 30 minutes. The character meet and greet spot is located in the gazebo next door to Paradise Garden Grill. Note that this year Chip & Dale are not meeting at this location.

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9 Things You Must Do at Disneyland When You Only Have 1 Day

by on January 10, 2017

There are over 50 rides, shows, parades, and other attractions in Disneyland. But there’s also a lot to do outside of the park in the rest of Southern California. We often hear from readers that only have one day to spend inside Disneyland, and they ask what they must see during their single day in the park. That’s not enough time to do everything, but in this post I’ll show you the 9 things you must do at Disneyland when you only have 1 day. Before you start planning your day at Disneyland, you should use our Disneyland crowd calendar to decide which day of your trip will have the lowest crowds. Then use one of our pre-made touring plans, or our personalized touring plan software, which is basically a cheat sheet on how to beat the crowds in the park and wait less in line.

  1. Ride Indiana Jones Adventure

A must ride and one of Disney’s crown jewels. After walking through the elaborately decorated queue you load on to a troop-transport that takes you on a frantic ride through a cursed temple. Along the way you’ll encounter snakes, spiders, lava, rats, darts, a finally a giant rolling boulder.

Our book, The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland says it best:

The Indiana Jones ride is a Disney masterpiece—nonstop action from beginning to end with brilliant visual effects. Elaborate even by Disney standards, the attraction provides a level of detail and variety of action that make use of the entire Imagineering arsenal of high-tech gimmickry.

Indiana Jones Adventure is a very popular attraction. See it as early in the day as possible. Fastpasses will run out in the early afternoon on busy days.

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Gifts for a Theme Park Vacationer

by on December 19, 2016

Christmas Minnie Ears

If you’re searching for a last-minute holiday gift or a little something special to add to your own holiday wish list, TouringPlans is here to help! I compiled a list of what I think are some of the best gifts for those planning to visit the parks soon. And while holidays present the perfect gifting opportunity, most of these will work year-round for other celebrations like birthdays or anniversaries too.

Accessories for a Minion fan

Wearable Gifts – For a truly impressive gift, put your knowledge of their favorite character, attraction, or movie to good use. From custom t-shirts and mouse ears to lanyards and pins, there is an endless supply of fun things they can wear to the parks. Even better, there is an endless supply of online or local stores that sell these too, so finding something perfect while staying on budget shouldn’t be too hard.

Disney themed day-bags

Gear – There are certain items that almost every theme park vacationer likes to pack: poncho, day bag for the park, refillable water bottle, portable phone charger, hand sanitizer, and so on. Other items, like a toiletries bag, suitcase, or travel friendly snacks, are great ideas for travelers in general. Depending on the budget, you could pick just one item or put them together into a gift basket that will please any theme park vacationer.

Photo Package – Both Disney and Universal offer photo packages to capture those special vacation memories. Plenty of vacationers on tight budgets question whether the package is worth it, but receiving it as a gift can alleviate those worries. The price is discounted when purchased in advance, and they receive photo memories to cherish for years to come. It’s a definite win-win.

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Everything You Need To Know About Disneyland’s New Security Procedures

by on December 15, 2016

Today Disneyland Resort rolled out their first major update to their security screening procedures since the bag check tents were first added in 2001. Additional security has been added around the resort that will change the way you start your day at the parks. Read on to see everything you need to know about Disneyland’s new security procedures.

Mickey & Friends Parking Structure

The biggest change is that guests will be screened by security after they have parked their car at Mickey & Friends. Previously, guests would park their cars, hop on one of the Disney trams, ride to Downtown Disney, and then go through a security checkpoint before entering the esplanade between Disneyland and DCA.

Bird’s eye view of the new security area at Mickey & Friends.

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Free 2017 Disney Planning DVDs Now Available

by on December 6, 2016

Free Disney 2017 planning DVDs are available now.

Free Disney 2017 planning DVDs are available now.

This is a sponsored post. TouringPlans receives a commission on each free DVD requested through the ad in this article. The revenue goes to travel and research for our blog and site.

The Walt Disney Travel Company has released its 2017 planning DVD. The DVD is free to anyone who requests it. And even if you don’t have a DVD player (because it’s 2016, and who does?), signing up will get you a link to stream the content online.

The free DVD is a fun way to get excited for your upcoming vacation or even help you get your Disney fix if you don’t have a trip planned.

Check out this page for more information. And, hey, thanks for supporting the blog.

SATURDAY SIX: Six Disneyland Snacks You Gotta Try

by on December 3, 2016

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Disneyland Snacks You Gotta Try! Longtime readers of the SATURDAY SIX know that we have a big case of the munchies going on 24/7. In fact, because of the articles on The 10 Gallon Challenge at Whispering Canyon and the E-Ticket milkshakes at Universal’s Toothsome Chocolate Emporium, this fine blog series is now the third leading cause of adult onset diabetes in America (and look out soda, we’re coming for you!) This week however we are gonna head across the country over to Guy Selga’s neck of the woods and check out the tasty treats at the Happiest Place on Earth, Disneyland. Despite having only two parks compared to our four here in Florida, the Disneyland resort is chock full of incredibly unique and delicious items that you can only get out in California. This week we are going to look at six of our absolute favorite snacks, so sit back, loosen your belt a couple notches, and let’s begin our list with…

# 6 Matterhorn Macaroon

mattherhornmacaroon_glover

The Matterhorn Macaroon in front of the fabled Matterhorn itself. (photo by Brandon Glover)

If you go to Disneyland and don’t stop by the Jolly Holiday Bakery to get a Matterhorn Macaroon, you’re doing it wrong. A coconut macaroon shaped like the iconic Disney mountain, topped with white chocolate, and sprinkled with powdered sugar on top for an awesome snow-like appearance, the Matterhorn Macaroon is ultimate in synergy between theme park attractions and snacks. Oh, and it just so happens to taste GREAT.

# 5 – Mickey Beignets

beignet1_meg

Mickey Beignet. (photo by Megan Stump)

Eventually we’ll be doing a blog on our favorite Mickey shaped food items, but one of our favorites is the sugary concoction found at the Mint Julep Bar or Cafe Orleans in New Orleans Square (the latter of which serves them with dipping sauces.) We often find ourselves stopping by Port Orleans French Quarter just to grab some beignets here in Florida, so seeing them in the classic Mickey shape in Anaheim brings two of our favorite things together in one. Now that’s synergy we can get behind. Even better, Disneyland also offers flavored beignets such as pumpkin spice during Halloween and peppermint for the Christmas season.

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Holiday Characters at Disneyland

by on December 1, 2016

Disneyland Holiday Character - MickeyRecently I wrote about the holiday characters found at Walt Disney World. Now it’s time to look at the holiday characters at the Disneyland Resort. While some holiday characters at Walt Disney World require extra cost for a hard ticket party, all of Disneyland’s holiday characters are available with regular park admission.

Disneyland

Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, Chip and Dale all meet in their holiday sweater outfits in Town Square. Sometimes you may find them at the entrance to the park, but they mostly are all around the Town Square area. If you are looking for a specific character, I recommend asking a character attendant what time they will be out. In my experience, the Disneyland app character times have been completely wrong for the Town Square area, especially during my November trip.

Santa meets in Critter Country, where the Winnie the Pooh characters usually meet during the rest of the year.

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