Hello, lovebugs! I hope you’ve had an amazing last few weeks! This week we’re visiting Disneyland and then going all the way to Tokyo Disneyland. I hope you’re ready for a trip around the (Disney) world!
If I had to pick a favorite Disney movie then it would either be The Hunchback of Notre Dame or The Nightmare Before Christmas. (What’s your favorite? I’d love to hear in the comments!) Because of my wacky taste in films, the Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland holds a special place in my heart. Back in May I started to make my plans to go see the attraction overlay. If you aren’t familiar, this is when Jack and all his friends take over The Haunted Mansion, and he’s looking great this year!
Just added this year is Sally looking on in adoration at her Pumpkin King! She’s always been one of my favorite characters so I was over the moon to see her added. The photos just don’t do it justice, but Guy added a great video here if you’d like take a spin on the attraction.
The gingerbread house this year was even themed in Sally’s honor. Those panels are supposed to look like the panels on her dress with a creepy arm stretched out stitching it all together. It’s so cool that they update the house every year! 😀
Don’t leave now! You haven’t seen any of my Tokyo Disney trip yet. Click below to read more.
This past year I’ve learned a lot about fear. Facing your fear doesn’t necessarily mean that your fear goes away. Instead, it means you acknowledge it, accept it, and do the thing that scares you despite the fear. Last year I went to Halloween Horror Nights for the first time. It is nearly impossible to believe that I would do so once, let alone a second time. And yet, I did. And it turned out to be one of my best evenings ever.
Attending Halloween Horror Nights last year for the first time was eyeopening. Here are my tips on enjoying the event even when you’re scared of pretty much everything. This time around I attended the event almost from beginning to end, and experienced a lot more than my first visit. Here’s how I not only faced my fear, but quite possibly became a fan of this frightfully fun event.
Go early and take advantage of daylight
I attended Halloween Horror Nights with two complete opposite ends of the spectrum: a friend who has been to HHN more times than I can count and a friend who had never been before and feared it more than me. Wait wait wait… I can’t believe this, I, the person who never believed she’d ever go to Halloween Horror Nights is now showing a first timer the ropes!
A common question we get asked is if you can make FastPass+ reservations during a Not-So-Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. The technical answer is: no. Once a party starts at 7:00 pm, all attractions will only have their stand-by queues open. With a limited number of guest attending the party and special party activities, the lines generally don’t get too long.
You can, however, make FastPass+ reservations before a party starts and still take advantage of them with your party ticket. With that ticket, you are allowed to enter the Magi Kingdom anytime after 4:00 pm, but the park doesn’t close to day guests until 7:00 pm. You could easily get two or more FastPass+ selections in that 3-hour window. The last FastPass+ reservation you can make is 6:30 pm; if, for some reason, the Disney website lets you book a later FastPass+ reservation it is likely it will be canceled, so don’t fall for that.
Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – (c) Disney
But don’t you need a park ticket to make FastPass+ selections you ask? Yes and no. While you do need park admission, your Halloween or Christmas party ticket will also allow you access to My Disney Experience to make FastPass+ selections. To further sweeten this pot, if you are going to use another park admission before 4:00 pm, you can use that ticket to make another set of FastPass+ reservations. But there is a catch, My Disney Experience will not recognize that you are going to use two tickets on one day and does not know you are eligible to two sets of FastPass+ reservations.
This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at 6 Times THE SIMPSONS Totally Nailed Being A Theme Park Fan. We here at SATURDAY SIX HQ have never hid the fact of how much we love The Simpsons television show. Despite it being a cartoon, for us it is right up there with the all-time great comedies including Seinfeld, Parks and Rec, and Cheers. When Universal Studios Florida expanded the area surrounding The Simpsons Ride into a small version of Springfield, it was a dream come true. As a fan of The Simpsons dating back to when they were just short skits on The Tracey Ullman Show, seeing Duff Beer brought to life was just as a magical moment for me as it is for Potterheads walking into Diagon Alley and getting a Butterbeer.
One of the reasons The Simpsons actually being represented at the Universal Orlando Resort is so great is because the show has spent the better part of 25 years making fun of theme parks! Other shows have gone to theme parks and made some jokes (such as Boy Meets World, Family Matters, and – of course – Full House), but for the most part those shows were just promotional vehicles for Disney. The Simpsons didn’t hold back. Their jokes had some real truths to them, truths that readers of this blog would understand. Today we are going to look back at the history of The Simpsons and theme parks, and at some of our favorite moments over the years. Many of these scenes can actually be seen in the queue for The Simpsons Ride along with exclusive new scenes made just for Universal. So sit back, put on a pair of beer googles, and let’s begin our countdown starting with…
# 6 – “Bart’s New Friend” (Season 26, Episode 11)
We’ll start off with an episode written by Judd Apatow, a man who knows a thing or two about comedy, with a resume that includes Freaks and Geeks, Knocked Up, and The 40 Year Old Virgin. The episode centers around Homer Simpson being hypnotized into thinking he is a 10 year child. Bart Simpson then begins to take advantage of the situation, using Homer as a way to thwart bullies at school and be the “brother” he never had. Before Homer can be de-hypnotized, Bart takes him to Itchy & Scratchy Land and we get to see them ride Soarin’ Over Springfield. This was a five star parody of one of Disney’s most popular rides.
Soarin’ Over Springfield.
Just like the real version, in Soarin’ Over Springfield you get to see guests’ legs dangling in front of you. Note the reference to Mystery Science Theater 3000.
With a swelling score, Soarin’ Over Springfield flies by all the major landmarks in town, including the long running tire fire.
Burning tire smell blown into the faces of guests, just as the scent of oranges was sprayed in the original Soarin’ and fresh cut flowers in the new Soarin’ Around the World.
On July 4, Universal Studios Hollywood opened its new, year-round Walking Dead Attraction (because nothing screams patriotism like a horde of zombies, yes?). The experience is, on one hand, a fairly standard walk-through attraction–which isn’t surprising, given the fact that it replaces the House of Horrors (a maze starring Universal’s classic monsters instead of walkers) and the presence of The Walking Dead at the past four Halloween Horror Nights events on both the West and East Coasts.
On the other hand, however, this new attraction has garnered much more money, time, and resources from Universal Creative than either of its predecessors, befitting its mammoth stature in the pop-cultural consciousness and its nature as a permanent, around-the-clock fixture in the park. The sheer amount of detail poured into every nook and cranny of every scene is one of The Walking Dead’s biggest selling points; it has been routinely reported in the themed press that, despite its horror veneer, guests will want to linger in every room to try and soak up every last hidden detail and Easter egg to the television series it’s based on.
Back in March, I let you all know the dates for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party for 2016, with the note that tickets were not yet on sale, but I would let you know when they did go on sale. Well, today is the day! Tickets are now on sale for the popular Halloween event that is held annual at the Magic Kingdom in the months of September and October.
And, as was expected, tickets has jumped considerably, with the most expensive ticket costing $105 for Halloween night.
Party dates and pricing for this year is as follows:
Here I am once again to review the information from last year and give you an even better projection for the least crowded Micky’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2016. Make sure you check out our dedicated page for a complete list of dates as well as a thorough description of what the Christmas party is. In short, if you’re looking for the best Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2016, we recommend Tuesday, November 15, 2015. The equivalent date was the party last year with the lowest wait times and has been very low in the past. It’s a Tuesday, early in November, yet far enough away from the first party for the rush to subside.
Since I’m sure you’re wondering how we did with our recommendations last year, the answer is…pretty darn good. There were several predictions that we nailed, but we had a few that were a little off that we have fixed for this year’s recommendations. Here are the top 5 from last year’s recommendations:
In short, if you’re looking for the best 2016 Halloween Party to attend, we recommend Tuesday, September 13, 2016. Each of the past three years we recommended the equivalent party, September 17, 2013, September 16, 2014, and September 15, 2015. In 2013 it turned out to be the party with the lowest wait times by our calculation, while last year’s came in fourth. Last year’s didn’t do so great (as you can see in the chart below). The reason we still recommend that day is because the calendar of parties this year is much more like the ones in previous years. 2015 saw fewer parties and they began on September 15–later than in any other year that we’ve tracked. More on this below.
The entire list of parties and how we rank them can be found below, but here are some general rules:
September is less busy than October. There are exceptions, of course, but you are more likely to see crowds at the October parties.
Tuesdays are generally less busy than other days. Sundays and Fridays are busier than other days.
Welcome to the latest edition of The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! the longest running monthly look at the Disney Outlet Stores in Orlando. February during a leap year, is there a better month on the calendar? We think not! Yes, Disney did introduce tiered pricing of tickets, but Your Humble Author did provide Tiered Payment Options. Thanks to the Disneyland 60 special (which surprisingly didn’t have much to do with Disneyland), we finally got some details on Star Wars Land. Speaking of Disneyland, it was rumored that DL guru Guy Selga immediately ripped up his annual pass after stepping through Hogsmeade Village during the Wizarding World’s soft open. We in Florida got news that the Dream Along With Mickey stage show, which ran for an amazingly long 68 years at the Magic Kingdom, is going to be replaced by Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire this summer. Just a whole bunch of win, and thanks to Leap Year we get an extra day to bask in it!
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).
First up, the newest Tsum Tsums to hit the store were from the Lilo and Stitch line, including this one featuring Lilo herself.
Lilo Tsum Tsum.
A little backstory on this next one. Two years ago this very month, I was finally brave enough to do my first “live tweeting” from the main TouringPlans twitter account. Everything went well until I went to a gift shop in Tomorrowland and commented on a Pink Stitch plush. Apparently I’m the only human being on Earth who didn’t know that was Stitch’s girlfriend Angel. That may actually be the last day I live tweeted from the TouringPlans account as well. Anyway, here is the Pink Stitch Angel Tsum Tsum.
Pink Stitch Tsum Tsum.
I teased it last month, but now it is finally time for the grand debut of my first ever…