Trip Planning

Washington DC – The Wildly Popular Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors

by on February 28, 2017

One of the additional displays with a long line in the background

In case you missed the announcement, TouringPlans.com now covers Washington, D.C. as a destination. The city’s various attractions and touring style really lends itself to proper planning and that was no more evident than on my visit this past weekend to the Hirshhorn Museum to see the new exhibit Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors.

Yayoi Kusama is an 87 year old Japanese artist who has been displaying her work in the United States (and globally) for 60 years. She tends to like polka dots and soft sculptures in her sometimes eccentric art, but Infinity Mirrors is an exhibit that even the artistically-challenged (which I sometimes can be) can love.

Let’s ask some important questions:

So What Is It?

Okay, here we go.

The basic premise of the exhibit is simple: There are 5 small rooms within the gallery that are completely lined with mirrors. Within the room are various objects that help give you the impression that you are in a vast landscape–what that landscape’s effect is varies with the room.

In addition to the rooms themselves, there were side displays, smaller infinity boxes, and room-filling atmospheric installations. It’s easier to show than to tell:

Infinity Room #1 — Phalli’s Field

This room contained thousands of the phallic soft sculptures that Kusama loves to use. It is probably the least photogenic, but one of my favorites to stand in. The effect of the sea of soft sculptures was actually very pleasant and I’m not going to go into a psychological examination about standing in a phallus field.

Infinity Room #2 — The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away

My favorite concept, although I didn’t love the execution as much. The hanging lights were a beautiful effect (although I did hit my face off of them more than once), but they flashed an pulsed almost continuously. I would have preferred a more gradual change than a strobe effect, but I am also not exactly artistic so what do I know?

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Flying Frontier Airlines to Walt Disney World

by on February 23, 2017

Flying Frontier to Walt Disney World

As I live a considerable distance from Walt Disney World, flying is my preferred method of travel in order to maximize my vacation time. But as many of you fellow travelers may know, flying can be almost as expensive as your actual vacation!

A few years ago, I looked into economy airlines in order to work more flexibility into my Disney World Vacation budget; and after my first roundtrip flight to Orlando International Airport with Frontier Airlines, I’ve flown with them pretty much ever since. Here’s what to expect when flying with Frontier Airlines and why I fly with them to Walt Disney World!

Schedule

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2017 Tokyo Disneyland Trip Planning Guide

by on February 22, 2017

Tokyo Disneyland Trip Planning

You want to go on another Disney vacation, but where do you go? You’ve been to Walt Disney World and Disneyland more times than you can count. Next you think “Maybe a Disney Cruise?” Not happening, your brother-in-law wants you to wait until little Sally (your niece’s second cousin, twice removed) graduates from sixth grade so you can all go as a family. Then it comes to you, Tokyo Disneyland. You remember your curiosity being piqued from seeing pictures of DisneySea online. “Doesn’t that place have a volcano?” Hell yes it has a volcano, and I’m here to tell you that it’s awesome. You’ve found your next Disney destination, and hopefully with this 2017 Tokyo Disneyland trip planning guide I will help you plan it.

Note: This is an updated version of the TDR trip planning guide I posted last year.

Step 1: When to visit Tokyo Disney Resort

Tokyo Disney Resort, or TDR, is always going to have huge crowds and high wait times, especially on the weekends. I’ve spent thousands of hours in the American Disney parks but have never seen anything like the crowds during a weekend in Tokyo Disneyland. With that being said there are a few times out of the year where crowds are smaller than they usually are, but this luxury may come at the cost of poor weather or multiple attraction closures due to refurbishments.

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What You Need to Know Before You See Rivers of Light

by on February 21, 2017

It’s finally here. After months of delays and a long hype campaign, Rivers of Light has made its debut at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Once upon a time, having Animal Kingdom open at night, let alone its own night time show, was just a dream. The fact that it is finally a reality is enough to make me happy. Personally, I found the show to fit the spirit of Animal Kingdom very well and think it is a nice addition to this Walt Disney World theme park that always seems to be fighting an uphill battle.

 

On your next visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom you should definitely make time to see this new night time show. Rivers of Light is worth seeing at least once, and here’s what you need to know before you go.

FastPass+ entrance – Rivers of Light

There will be lines

(regardless of if you have a FastPass+ or not)

Even if you book a FastPass+ for Rivers of Light or if you book a dining package, there will be lines to get into the ampitheater. There are two main entrances into the theater, one in Asia, near Expedition Everest, and the other in DinoLand U.S.A. The Asia entrance is FastPass+ and dining package only. The DinoLand entrance is standby, and dining package seating, though it seems to a lesser extent than the Asia side.

If you have either a FastPass+ or dining package you are guaranteed a seat up until about 5-10 minutes before show time.  The advantage of both of these options is to not have to get to the theater 45 minutes before showtime just to get a seat of any kind. Both methods save you time.

Asia side of theater nearly full 30 minutes before Rivers of Light show time

 

In my opinion it was worth having the FastPass+ when I viewed Rivers of Light. It reduces the stress and worry of wondering if you’re even going to get into the theater, plus the standby line is quite long. So while FastPass+ and dining package guests are seated in the theater, hundreds of standby guests wait standing in a long, winding line.

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Back to the Basics: Park Tickets at Walt Disney World

by on February 17, 2017

©Disney

You Guys, this is my 100th post with TouringPlans!

What better way to celebrate than another Back to the Basics episode?

To learn about park tickets at Walt Disney World, click below.

Park Ticket Video

Enjoy!

If I missed anything, leave a comment and I’ll do a FAQ video!

TouringPlans Now Offers Full, Detailed Coverage of Washington, D.C.

by on February 13, 2017

Today is the day! We have been teasing full coverage of Washington, D.C. for a while now, and it is finally here. What we are offering you, our beloved reader, is complete coverage of every major museum in America’s capital city, as well as minor museums, monument, and diversions. As you probably expect if you’re familiar with TouringPlans, the detail we’ve amassed on everything — especially major attractions like the Air and Space Museum — is incredible. We even have full details about the relatively new National Museum of African American History and Culture.

It’s not just attractions, however, as we also walk you through riding the Metro (subway system) and give you our top recommendations on where to stay, where to eat, and the best spots for nightlife. We are still working on full Washington, D.C. Touring Plans, but you may find our 2017 Washington Crowd Calendar helpful as you plan your trip to this wonderful city.

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10 Tips for Visiting Disney World with a Large Group

by on January 23, 2017

I was recently lucky enough to visit Walt Disney World with two different sides of my family on the same trip. It was my first Disney vacation with a large group in quite a few years, and I learned some valuable lessons. First, few experiences can top sharing in the magic of Disney with the ones you love. We laughed. We cried. We had a wonderful time. But the next most important thing I learned was that planning a trip for a large group of family and friends can be a logistical nightmare. So I am here to present you with some tips to keep your mind, wallet, and relationships intact as you plan and experience your next Walt Disney World vacation.

#1 Communicate beforehand

First and foremost before any official planning takes place, groups should discuss their expectations for the vacation. While you don’t all need to be on the same page as far as likes, dislikes, goals, and budget, you should use this to guide the planning. Will it be a quick weekend trip or a two-week long extravaganza? An expensive retreat or budget friendly vacation? What are the must do’s, and what are the deal breakers? Remember that it’s okay if you’re not all on the same page as long as you can find some common ground. For example, if everyone can agree on a weekend, but a few people want to stay for a full week, then those people can just tack on extra days before or after the rest of the trip.

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Back to the Basics: Advance Dining Reservations at Walt Disney World + Video

by on January 17, 2017

I may have a cold, but that does NOT deter me from telling you all about Advance Dining Reservations at Walt Disney World!

To check out this TouringPlansTV video, click here.

For other Back to the Basics episodes, check out our YouTube page.

Back to the Basics: Extra Magic Hours – Walt Disney World + Video

by on January 12, 2017

© Sarah GraffamIt’s Back to the Basics time!

Todays episode is about Extra Magic Hours at Walt Disney World!

Enjoy!

Click here for video.

Like this video if you noticed my cold and don’t forget to subscribe to YouTube page!

Walt Disney World Planning: Order of Operations

by on January 11, 2017

Walt Disney World Trip Planning

I’ve been helping my middle school-age son with his math homework lately. And one of the things that has been a bit of a challenge is something called “order of operations.” Basically, when you have a complex, multi-step problem, you have to do your calculations in order. Take care of what’s inside of any parentheses first, then calculate any exponents. Next, do your multiplication and division calculations. Finish with any remaining addition and subtraction.

Well, the same principle applies to planning a Walt Disney World vacation, which is its own complex, multi-step problem. So consider this a step-by-step road map that will keep you on course and allow you to reach the correct solution: a successful Disney vacation. If you’re new to planning, I highly recommend using the services of a travel agent that specializes in Disney destinations. They can help guide you and answer any questions you might have along the way.

Parentheses (first things first)

Let’s assume you’ve already decided on a Walt Disney World vacation. Consider this step the parentheses of our equation: the one part you simplify and solve before anything else. The first crucial decisions in your planning are when and where you’re going to stay.

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