They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is especially true if you are planning on spending a full 24 hours inside a theme park. TouringPlans is here to help! Join us in the seating area of Rancho del Zocalo on May 23 as we help you prepare for the day. The meet will take place bright and early at 8 AM and we will provide snacks like bagels, danishes, muffins, and fruit. Look for Guy in his cranberry-colored TouringPlans shirt.
One thing I’ve learned over time is a Disney cruise can be very intimidating for even the most seasoned of Disney veterans. It’s a whole different vacation! Well, Disneyland isn’t a “whole different” vacation than Walt Disney World, but there are enough differences it can confuse Walt Disney World vets. I know I was confused the first time! So here’s some info which may help you out.
1. Staying Offsite – I’ve said before staying offsite at Disneyland is totally different than staying offsite at Disney World. At Disney World, I don’t like staying offsite. It alters the homing signal and that’s not good. DINOSAUR reference, anyone? Too obscure? Okay, moving on… Offsite at Disney World is too far removed from the magic for me. While I prefer onsite at Disneyland as well, I don’t mind staying offsite when I have to. Some of the offsite hotels are a closer walk to the main park entrance than some of the onsite hotels. Disneyland knows this and is trying to make staying onsite more enticing with the addition of an Extra Magic Hour at Disney California Adventure only for onsite guests. The good news is offsite guests can still get into Disneyland early on select days by purchasing a ticket or three days or more..
2. FASTPASSes Are Still Old School – No FastPass+ yet at Disneyland! FASTPASSes are still old school, rush-around-the-park-to-acquire-them adventures. Ending times are now enforced, but other than that, it’s the FASTPASS of old we all knew and loved. Disneyland also “disconnects” some of their machines from the central system from time to time enabling you to hold more than one FASTPASS at once. If, say, California Screamin’ is disconnected you can get a FASTPASS for it and then get another FASTPASS immediately afterwards. It’s worth a try when you visit! Radiator Springs Racers is always disconnected by the way.
A scene from Escape from Tomorrow, now available on DVD and Bluray
When Escape From Tomorrow — the creepy monochromatic movie director Randy Moore surreptitiously shot inside Disney resorts –debuted at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, it was widely speculated that Mickey’s lawyers would never allow the unauthorized flick to be widely released. As it turned out, the movie was released online last year through online services like iTunes, and (as a counter on their official website attests) the creators have not yet been sued. In fact, the cult film is now set to reach an even wider audience, as Escape From Tomorrow DVDs and Blurays are now available from retailers, and for rental through Netflix’s mail service (sadly, it is not yet offered through Netflix Streaming).
Take a look at the Disneyland side of that unavailable attractions list. That’s a lot of rides down for refurbishment. It’s not like the list is made up of second tier attractions, there are some major rides closed. More importantly some huge people eaters are down, like Pirates of the Caribbean and “It’s a Small World.” Because of these closures, Disneyland has seen some higher than usual wait times thanks to several rides being closed that would normally soak up thousands of people per hour.
In other news the churro carts around Disneyland Resort have raised their price to $4.00 per a churro.
A little while ago we announced that Touring Plans would be spending a weekend this October at every Disney-operated destination. Well, I managed to draw the California-shaped straw, which my family and I could not possibly be more excited about. To hopefully help any of you who are, or would like to be, planning a Disneyland Resort trip, I will be writing a few posts over the next few months explaining our planning strategy.
Since I’m sure many of you are wondering how we at Touring Plans decided who would be going where, I’m going to let you in on a secret: I don’t know. I honestly have no idea how it was determined, and frankly, I don’t care because I’m going to Disneyland! (Ed. – it was based on sending people places they’d never been before plus trying to keep transportation and lodging prices down. That’s why all the FL based people are cruising or going to Vero Beach.)
I have been visiting Walt Disney World in Florida since 1984, but have never once been to Walt’s first park on the west coast. In fact, despite much travel, I have only been to California one time and that was a long weekend for a wedding. My wife and children (girl who will be almost 6 and boy who will be 3) have also never been to Disneyland, making this a very special experience for us.
As a frequent traveler to Disney parks and the Disney Cruise Line, I’m a huge fan of Disney gift cards. They reduce my need for cash on hand, allow me to sock away money for trips, and make great gifts for people who will be in the parks. As this type of card becomes more and more ubiquitous, you may think you know all there is to know about Disney gift cards. But maybe not. Read on.
Watch these videos and see World of Color in a whole new way. (images by Seth Kubersky)
Just as Walt famously said that the Disney empire “all started with a mouse,” the magic of Touring Plans all started with a book — namely, the Unofficial Guide. As co-author (with Bob Sehlinger and Len Testa) of The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland, I’m proud to announce that preliminary work is complete on the 2015 edition of our Anaheim guidebook, which will make its way to store shelves in plenty of time for the resort’s upcoming 60th anniversary. Naturally, we’ll continue to refine the text right up until the time it is sent to the printers later this year, and we’ll be bringing you details on the changes made to the tome as its publication approaches in the fall. But for now, I wanted to share a tiny taste of a couple of the changes coming to the Unofficial Guide, via a few fun Disney California Adventure videos — featuring the Mariachi Divas and World of Color — that I recorded during my most recent visit to the Happiest Place on Earth.
The Mariachi Divas are one of my favorite under-the-radar entertainment diversions found at Disney California Adventure, but until now they’ve be unjustly under-represented in the Unofficial Guide to Disneyland. We’ve rectified that with an an expanded entry on this fabulously festive singing group.
Do you have a Million Dollar Arm? That’s what Disney is looking for in this new contest. If you can throw a 100-mph fastball, you could potentially win $1 million.
How? Well, to promote Disney’s upcoming movie, Million Dollar Arm, on April 25-26 Walt Disney Studios is holding a competition where contestants will have three chances to throw the fastest strike they can.
Participants can attempt the feat at one of three locations. Guests can test their arms at Downtown Disney at Disneyland (California) and at ESPN Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World (Florida) from 7:00 a.m-6:00 p.m. local time. In New York, the competition will take place at the Tribeca Family Festival on April 26, from 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. All who participate in the contest get complimentary tickets for themselves and a guest to attend an advance screening of Million Dollar Arm at a nearby AMC Theatre.
Bunnies have invaded Disneyland’s Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree. Now through April 20 guests can experience the Springtime Roundup by meeting several Disney bunnies and taking part in some arts and crafts. The characters currently meeting are Mickey & Minnie (in spring outfits), Pluto in bunny ears, Thumper, White Rabbit, Brer Rabbit, and the Easter Bunny. Springtime Roundup is open 10:30 AM to 5:30 PM Sunday through Friday, and 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM on Saturdays.