TouringPlans Everywhere

Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: October 16, 2014 at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort

by on October 16, 2014

1Hi everyone! Welcome to the best week ever! While you’ll normally find me covering all the latest news at  Walt Disney World, this week I had the amazing opportunity to visit Disney’s Vero Beach Resort as part of TouringPlans #Everywhere. This resort was one of a very few Disney locations I hadn’t visited and I was excited to check it out.

Vero Beach is a very easy drive from the Orlando International Airport. We clocked it at just shy of two hours. We could have been there a little sooner but noticed that Disney routes you around some of the less desirable parts of Vero Beach. In any case we were checked through the guard gates in just a matter of minutes and ready to start our fabulous beach weekend. Want to see more? Please click to keep reading! :)

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TouringPlans #Everywhere: I’m Going on my First Disney Cruise Aboard the Disney Wonder!

by on October 7, 2014

Over the past few weeks and months you’ve probably read several articles on the upcoming big October event - TouringPlans #Everywhere. If not, here’s the skinny: during Columbus Day weekend, TouringPlans is sending its staff across the world to Disney destinations in order to collect content, meet our subscribers, and if we can squeeze it in, have some fun, too. Brian McNichols, my cohost of the Pardon the Pixie Dust podcast, is going to Disneyland. Gerelyn Reaves is going to the Aulani resort in Hawaii. Guy Selga is going to Tokyo Disneyland. And I’ll be going to the Disney Outlet Stores in Orlando. Just kidding, I’ll actually be taking my first ever trip on the Disney Cruise Line aboard the Disney Wonder.

DisneyCruiseLine_Dream

Spoiler Alert: This is NOT the Disney Wonder, this is the Disney Dream.

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TouringPlans #Everywhere – Meet Schedules

by on September 30, 2014

t_logo_fbHave you ever wanted a chance to hang with TouringPlans staff in locations throughout the globe? Sunday, October 12, is your opportunity. This is the day of TouringPlans #Everywhere. We will have our people posted at every Disney location in the world on the same day, blogging and tweeting for your reading pleasure. And we’d love to see you while we’re at it.

Here is where everyone will be available. All times are local. DCL meet ups may change due to what’s happening on the ship that day – watch Twitter for updates.

If possible, please RSVP via email to the person who’ll be there so we’ll have an idea what to expect:

Meet Up Locations

Europe
Disneyland Paris – meet Brad Huber (developer and Saints fan) at 3:00 pm at the Market House Deli on Main Street in Disneyland Park. Email brad@touringplans.com.

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TouringPlans #Everywhere: I’m Going to Hong Kong!

by on September 30, 2014

When it comes to planning a Disney vacation, I have a somewhat odd perspective – I’m American, but spend most of the year in Tokyo for my husband’s job. Good News: Tokyo Disney visits! Also Good News: for my TouringPlans Everywhere trip, I’m headed to Hong Kong Disneyland!

disney-in-the-stars-fireworks-hk-disneyland-2

…and I know nothing about Hong Kong. Go go planning skills!

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TouringPlans #Everywhere: I’m going to Disneyland… Paris!

by on September 30, 2014

dlpBack in April, we announced a full day of Disney park coverage around the globe. I was lucky enough to get assigned to Disneyland Paris, aka “that place you go for a day when you need a break from Paris.” The park formerly known as Euro Disney gets a bad rap for its re-themed off-the-shelf carnival rides and boring cuisine (in a country known for inventing fine dining). But it also receives a ton of praise for having more exciting versions of other Disney Park roller coasters, like Space Mountain. I’ve also heard great things about the new Ratatouille ride. It seems like it has really been improving since Disney took a renewed interest in how this non-Disney owned park was being run back in 2012, and since our own Unofficial Guide to Paris was last published in 2010, it will be interesting to see exactly what’s improved in the last 4 years.

Planning

First and foremost, you need a passport. I have one, but it expires in November, and several people told me that even though my passport would technically be valid, some places won’t allow you to travel with a passport expiring within a few months. So if you are like me and took your first international trip 9 years and 9 months ago, renew your passport as soon as possible. It usually takes 4-8 weeks to arrive.

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TouringPlans #Everywhere: My Disney Cruise Line Info Booklet

by on September 23, 2014

Disney Cruise Line Info Booklet

Halloween on the High Seas has taken over the Disney Cruise Line info booklet. (Photos by Seth Kubersky.)

My first-ever DCL cruise on the Disney Magic is only weeks away, and I recently received the Disney Cruise Info Booklet that indicates your trip is just around the corner. The booklet arrived not long after I made my shore excusion reservations — and adventure in itself I’ll detail below — and seeing our selections in print only increased my anticipation.

If you’ve never been on a Disney Cruise, you may be interested in seeing what their welcome mailer looks like, since it’s the customer service touches like this that separate DCL from its competitors. And if you’ve sailed with the Mouse a million times, you’ll notice a change to the packet, just in time for the spooky season.

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How I’ll Get to Port Canaveral – TouringPlans #Everywhere

by on September 19, 2014

Photo by Nick Mitchell

Photo by Nick Mitchell

I’m heading to Port Canaveral to get on the Disney Dream on Sunday, October 12, and – once I’m on the ship – things seem pretty easy since there is plenty to do: I’ll eat, swim, play shuffleboard, etc. As I wrote in April, the challenge for me is getting to Port Canaveral. Over the past three months, I’ve made a few decisions, and I want to walk you through my calculations. The Internet is a place where people freely mock others’ ideas and decisions, so I welcome your thoughts.

Decision 1: When to Arrive and Leave?

I am going to arrive in Central Florida on the day before my cruise. Everyone recommends this, and since it’s a requirement of my job to get on the Disney Dream on time, I’ll minimize my chances of literally missing the boat, even though it will cost an extra $100-200 for a hotel room and food on Saturday.

After my cruise, I’d love to extend the magic by visiting Walt Disney World for a few days. Even though I have a Tables in Wonderland card that expires on October 31 that I’m tempted to exploit for more “value,” after running the numbers I couldn’t pull this off at a price I’m willing to stomach. If I stayed at Disney World for 4 days/3 nights after my cruise, it would run me roughly:

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TouringPlans #Everywhere – I’m Going to Vero Beach Resort!

by on August 22, 2014

©Disney

©Disney

Many, many months ago an article was posted announcing the coolest project ever. A group of Touring Plans bloggers was going to take the Disney universe by storm, dropping one of us in every location around the world for a first of its kind blogging event. It’s called TouringPlans #Everywhere, and much like all of you I was looking forward to reading about it. Imagine my shock and absolute delight when I was invited to join the event by heading to Vero BeachI’m still pinching myself, and the best part is I get to take you all with me!

So what have I done to plan? Well, I suppose writing this article is a start. To be fair, I’m planning a vacation to Tokyo Disneyland first that has been taking up most of my time. Also, since Vero Beach is just a couple hours away, it doesn’t feel like a vacation that needs a ton of planning. It feels more like a beach weekend where you don’t pack more than your bathing suit. I don’t want that to make it sound like I’m not excited, though. If you can believe it, when I’m heading to Vero Beach it will be the only Disney location aside from Hong Kong I haven’t visited! So let’s take a look at what’s there:

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TouringPlans Everywhere: Budgeting for A Tokyo Disneyland Trip

by on August 12, 2014

cinderella-castle-rear-tokyo-disneyland-guests-posing-640x514A couple of weeks ago I posted an introduction to my upcoming trip to Tokyo Disneyland as part of TouringPlans Everywhere. In this post I will talk about how much each component of the trip costs and share a time line of my different planning stages.

The earliest stage of planning for my trip to Tokyo began back January of this year. The idea of every TouringPlans employee taking a trip to a different Disney destination was thrown around, and we were asked to get a rough estimate on how much a trip would cost. When I was assigned Tokyo, I knew I would want to stay beyond the 4 days the company was paying for. My wife and I discussed how many days we could actually afford to go, and we ended up settling on 8 nights. Anyway, like I said , my first step was to get an estimate, so I started searching for hotel rooms and airfare to get a basic idea. After quickly going through a few travel websites (I was just getting an estimate so I didn’t shop around too much), I figured the total cost would be around $5825. Breaking it down, my estimates were $2500 for airfare, $2000 for hotel rooms, $1000 for food, $325 for park tickets, and $600 for transportation in Japan. That total price is too high for my wife and I to afford, so I knew we would have to adjust the plans or get lucky and find some deals to save us some cash.

Time line

1/14/14 – Very early on in my trip planning I was shopping around for hotels in the Tokyo Disney Resort area. Like any major city or theme park, Tokyo Disney Resort has many hotels with a wide variety of price ranges to choose from. I started to see some good deals for just a little over $100 a night. This would save us some money, but if we stayed at them we would have to take some form of transportation in to the resort. As I mentioned in my last post, there are several hotels on Tokyo Disney Resort property that are also located near a Disney monorail station. After comparing prices at the six non-Disney-branded hotels, the lowest price ended up being the Hilton Tokyo Bay. Hilton.com listed rooms at $171 a night, so we whipped out the credit card and locked in our dates. However, we knew we wanted to splurge a bit and stay in a Disney-branded hotel for at least one night, so we only booked three nights at the Hilton.

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TouringPlans #Everwhere: Dining in Disneyland…HELP!

by on August 6, 2014

Photo Courtesy Guy Selga, Jr

Photo Courtesy Guy Selga, Jr

This is the fourth in my series of printed histrionics about my first ever trip to Disneyland as part of TouringPlans.com’s desire to take over the world visit every Disney-run location in the world. I previously wrote about my general excitement, how I budgeted for the trip to California, and the random things I expect to find as a first time visitor to Disneyland. This post is all about choosing my dining in Disneyland, specifically for any meals where I may need a reservation.

I am about 2 months away from my Disneyland trip (I know because my kids have been counting down for over a month already). If I were traveling to Walt Disney World, at this point I would have all of my Advance Dining Reservations, FastPass+ attraction reservations, morning alarms set with precise wake-up times, and my pacemaker linked with Disney’s new heart rate excitement inducement program. Things are a bit different out west; there are no FastPass+ reservations (at least not yet), and dining reservations can only be made 60 days in advance.

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