In the Parks

Here’s How Hot Walt Disney World Really Gets in Summer

by on August 23, 2017

I spent the evening in Pandora a few days ago to see how it’s all aged over the summer. (Short answer: reasonably well.) But the big thing I noticed was how hot it was. At 7 p.m. the temperature read 89℉, but fam, it felt much hotter than that. I wanted to know why.

Now, I’m an expert on a lot of things. You know that. I know that. But temperature is not one of them. So I did some research.

Air Temperature Is A Lie (Sort of)

The first thing I learned is that temperatures are measured in the shade, not in the sun. So when your iPhone weather app says it’s going to be 95℉ in Orlando tomorrow, it’ll be 95 in the shade. It’s worth pointing out that most of Walt Disney World isn’t, you know, cool shaded pathways. It’s worth asking how much hotter it’ll be in the sun.

To answer that question we enlisted the help of TouringPlans’ own Brandon Glover, to serve as our ceremonial rotisserie chicken. We equipped Brandon with two digital thermometers – one white and one black – to measure the temperature you’d feel standing in direct sunlight and wearing light or dark clothes. And we sent Brandon to the Magic Kingdom.

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Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 2017 + Video

by on August 22, 2017

We’re finally approaching my favorite time of the year: FALL!

I love it all: the cooler weather, colorful leaves (here in MN at least) and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!

To see what ghoulish festivities this year’s party has in store for you, click on the video below!

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A Guide to Souvenir Mugs at Disney

by on February 15, 2017

In recent years it has become an unwritten rule that whenever a new restaurant opens at Walt Disney World a souvenir mug must be created for purchase. This also seems to go for new shows and attractions. The amount of souvenirs all throughout Walt Disney World is staggering. Disney souvenir mugs are a great way to have a practical souvenir that you’re sure to use once you are back home.

Let’s take a look at all the different souvenir mugs available through Walt Disney World. You can decide which ones you must have and plan room in your budget for these little treasures, and make sure to fit obtaining them into your schedule.

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2017 Pro Bowl Week Schedule

by on January 22, 2017

The Pro Bowl Week is a week-long celebration that unites and inspires the entire football community – players, coaches, families, and fans for a full week of activities, challenges, and true football spirit.

During Pro Bowl Week, everyone has the opportunity to participate in or watch a variety of events, including youth football clinics, the NFL Flag Championships, Pro Bowl player practices, skill challenges, sessions for coaches, the Women’s World Football Championships, and a host of other festivities with the best players of the past, present and future.

Many events are taking place at Walt Disney World, and are free to attend. Practices are free and open to the public but fans can register for priority access here. Some events require a Fan Mobile Pass (FMP). 


NFL Pro Bowl Practices


Pro Bowl Practices at ESPN Wide World of Sports are not only a chance to see NFC and AFC teams in action, but also the epicenter of a three-day football festival. Practice combined with various fan competitions and activities will be open to the public beginning Wednesday, January 25 and concludes on Saturday, January 28.

AFC Team Practice Schedule

  • Wednesday, January 25: 11:45 AM – 12:45 PM
  • Thursday, January 26: 9:45 AM – 10:45 AM
  • Friday, January 27: 11:20 AM – 12:20 PM
  • Saturday, January 28: 9:45 AM – 10:45 AM


NFC Team Practice Schedule

  • Wednesday, January 25: 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
  • Thursday, January 26: 11:20 AM – 12:20 PM
  • Friday, January 27: 9:45 AM – 10:45 AM
  • Saturday, January 28: 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

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Disney In-Park Videos and Streaming

by on January 13, 2017

It isn’t difficult to stay connected to the Disney Parks even when you can’t be at the Disney Parks. Between YouTube videos, photographs, and all those souvenirs, one could almost create a Disney vacation from the comfort of his or her own home!

But what about those fun events that are just begging to be viewed as they happen? What if your fingers weren’t nimble enough to be one of the few who could join that exclusive meet-up? What if your family just can’t stay up for the late-night events, meaning the trip can’t take place over that special time (like New Year’s Eve)?

The solution has come through in-park videos and live streaming. Through apps like Periscope, Twitter, Facebook Live, Meerkat, and more, people can view live events that take place at Disney Parks from the comfort of their couch!

If you’re looking to stream from Disney yourself, you can take a look at this great tutorial of Periscope by Touring Plan’s own Julia Mascardo. But if you’re like me – someone who understands only the basics of technology – you just want to find park videos and streaming that’s easiest to access.

Here are a few websites and users to consider:

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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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TBT: Do-It-Yourself Thanksgiving Feast in the Magic Kingdom

by on November 22, 2016

Greetings! 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 amazing story is from Statistician Steve Bloom, whose family decided in 2014 to REALLY do Thanksgiving in the Magic Kingdom.


There are many choices for Thanksgiving dinner at Walt Disney World. Most every resort restaurant has some option, and within the parks many of the sit down restaurants offer a Thanksgiving meal. We decided to do something a little bit different. We brought our own Thanksgiving dinner into the Magic Kingdom.

WDW Pilgrims

WDW Pilgrims

When my parents invited us down to Orlando for Thanksgiving this year, the first thing I thought about was pulling off this stunt. For ten years Len Testa has been saying that Disney allows people to bring food into the parks. To make his point he’s said that guests could even bring in a full Thanksgiving meal. So we did.

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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.


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An Animal Kingdom Convert: Winning a Skeptical Spouse Over to the DAK Side

by on November 9, 2016

I have got to admit that Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the park we typically skip on our trips to Disney World. It’s a bit hard to pinpoint exactly why this happens. Maybe because our plan quickly fills in with at least two days or partial days at Magic Kingdom and Epcot, our must-do parks. Maybe because we also like to spend a day at one of the water parks and time visiting the deluxe resorts. Maybe because we love the thrill rides at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and have been enjoying the increasing number of Star Wars related offerings. Maybe because on the days we have visited Animal Kingdom, it has felt like one giant sauna by mid-morning.

© Sarah Graffam

Expedition Everest at dusk

In early 2016, however, there were hints that something was starting to happen at Animal Kingdom. There was talk of an incredible projection show coming to the Tree of Life, nighttime hours to experience Kilimanjaro Safaris plus Expedition Everest and Kali River Rapids, a new lounge and signature level restaurant, new dancers and musicians, and a brand new nighttime water show with amazing effects.

© Sarah Graffam

Tree of Life Awakenings

In late spring 2016, many of these new experiences became available. Okay, so there were some overall delays, and the much-hyped Rivers of Light show was replaced with a decidedly less impressive show during the spring and summer. (Rivers of Light has yet to come on line, though there are some indications—and lots of hope on the part of park visitors—that it could do so soon.) Even so, I was certain that the new experiences that had already come to the park were worth giving Animal Kingdom another shot.

My husband, though—not so much. So, on our most recent trip, I was determined to get him over to Animal Kingdom. If you also have a reluctant tourist on your hands when it comes to Animal Kingdom (or are even one yourself), read on to see how one convert was convinced.

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Daisy’s Best Week Ever November 3, 2016: Everything But Animal Kingdom!

by on November 3, 2016

Hello, Lovebugs! You know when I say everything, I mean EVERYHING! To start this week we even drove out to Port Canaveral to watch the cruise ships sail away. Of course, I mean one cruise ship in particular! The Disney Fantasy looked amazing and I loved hearing the horn even if I wasn’t sailing. This front row spot was in Jetty Park. To visit is a $15 fee, but very worth it to watch the ships sail away. I’d do this again in a heartbeat! Of course, I’m hoping to actually sail sooner rather than later. More on that in a future post! 😉 (I wouldn’t go without sharing with you!)


All right, getting back to beautiful Orlando I tried a “new to me” restaurant that I wanted to tell you about. If you can believe it, I’d never been to The Wave at Disney’s Contemporary Resort before! After trying it I’m kicking myself for waiting so long! I booked a very early reservation as an excuse to get to the Magic Kingdom. As you can see from the photo below, it wasn’t a very popular idea. We had the place to ourselves and the service was impeccable.


The buffet at The Wave was massive! I couldn’t justify the $24 price tag, but if you’re on the dining plan this would be an excellent value for you. They had a huge spread of hot and cold items. After my breakfast came to the table I wished I had just gone for the buffet instead.


So here’s my plate. I ordered the Florida Rock Shrimp Omelet for $15. It wasn’t something I would order again, but maybe I’m just saying that because I had buffet envy! The potatoes were very good and the biscuit came with three different butter options. Overall, it was a pricey breakfast but that is to be expected at Disney. I’d hit the buffet or plan to skip this one.

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