Break your days at Disney World into Touring Blocks
When planning Disney World trips, I have always found it useful to divide the days into morning, afternoon, and evening plans. In multiple plans for trips spanning anywhere from 2 to 8 days, the foundation for each plan has been that basic division, a concept that I have often thought of as â€śTouring Blocks.â€ť
Planning a full day at Disney World can be stressful and confusing, but breaking it down into Touring Blocks can help take the pressure off. To quote Henry Ford, â€śNothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.â€ť Lately, this strategy has come to be more valuable than everâ€”Disney is stepping up its game with new attractions, shows, restaurants & lounges, and technology for its guests, with more to come. In turn, we can step up our game with Touring Block strategies.
Using Touring Blocks to Enhance Your Planning
Days at Disney World can be thought of as involving three fluid blocks of time, or â€śTouring Blocks,â€ť with overlap between the times for these blocks based on the plan for each day. My morning block generally spans from park opening (â€śrope dropâ€ť) up to 2 PM, the afternoon block from 12 PM to 5 PM, and the evening block from 3 PM to park close. Meals can fit within or around these blocks. Again, as you can see here, Touring Block times can overlap, and the timing for each day will depend on specific plans.
Once you have a â€śbig pictureâ€ť plan with at least one park or other main activity each day, you can start breaking your days into blocks, adding in blocks for other fun such as visiting one of Disney World’s water parks or Disney Springs.
Welcome to TouringPlans’ preview for Walt Disney World for July 2016 – everything you need to know if you’re traveling to the Happiest Place on Earth next month. Who’s ready for July?
Orlando Average WeatherÂ for July
July Weather for Orlando
July in Orlando is HOT, but at least it’s a wet heat. Pack your light colored clothing, swimsuits, and lots of sunscreen. Plan to visit the parks early in the morning or late in the day to avoid the heat as much as you can and spend your afternoons napping or at the pool. Summer’s extended hours mean there is plenty park time available after dark, so take advantage of it, especially if you’re eligible for Extra Magic Hours.
Upcoming Live Chats for July
Want to chatÂ live about your trip? Join us on Facebook throughout the month as our experts take your questions in a fun and lively discussion.
July 1 — Overnight at the Air and Space Museum. Brian will be spending the night in Washington, D.C.’s Air and Space museum (not sleeping…hopefully) as part of the building’s 40th birthday. They will likely be short notice depending on timing and crowds, but there will be at least one live tour of some of the museum’s exhibits.
Times for all live chats are posted in advance on our Facebook page and on Twitter.
After a whole year of planning and preparation, my parents and I took our week-long trip to Orlando at the beginning of June! It was hot, it was muggy, and we endured a heavy dose of Tropical Storm Colin, but we had a great time!
But don’t take my word for it; I’ll let my parents speak for themselves!
Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 before you read on! A big thanks to Jan from MEI and MouseFan Travel for setting up our resort and dining reservations and tickets!
Overall, how did this trip to Orlando go compared to previous trips you took in 1988, 1995, and 2000? Dad: We certainly did more and had a better idea about what we were doing in advance, which made the whole trip successful. Mom: I think I enjoyed this trip a bit more than all the others because it was based solely on whatÂ we wanted to do and we didn’t have to accommodate any small children. I always loved seeing the attractions through the eyes of my children, but this time I got to be the kid!
What was your favorite part of the whole week? Dad: I enjoyed the unexpected diamonds in the rough – Captain Jack’s Pirate Tutorial, The Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, the Dapper Dans – things I wasn’t expecting to enjoy so much. Mom: This was tough! My sentimental favorite attraction is it’s a small world because I was at the 1964 World’s Fair when the ride debuted.
What was your least favorite part of the whole week?Â Dad: Waiting so long for Fantasmic, only to have it canceled 30 minutes before showtime.Â (That was the night that Tropical Storm Colin came through.) Mom: My exhaustion in the heat. I wish I could someday visit Florida in any other season thanÂ summer. I also thought Stitch’s Great Escape was a waste of time.Â (Author’s note: I did warn them!)
The results are in, and we want to thank you, readers, for helping us and your fellow Disney and Universal fans plan great vacations. We are so happy to bring you our Best Travel Agent recommendations for 2016.
The Methodology for Finding the Best Travel Agents
First of all, it’s important to know how we got this list. These recommendations come from you, not us. TouringPlans and the Unofficial Guide survey readers about their vacations and one (of the VERY MANY – really, thank you to everyone who takes the time to do this) sections of the survey concerns how the trip was booked. We ask if you’d consider the agent “an expert” on the destination you booked and if you’d recommend him or her to a friend. To make our list the agent has to have a statistically significant number of responses and 100% positive answers on one question and more than 90% on the other. That’s all there is to it. We don’t swing the votes. And this isn’t a “Top 15” list. If 50 agents had qualified, 50 would be listed. That only 16 out of 1900 agents listed in theÂ surveys received qualified tells you a lot about the quality of work these people do.
We’ve published this list in the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World for years, but wanted to add it to our web site this year.Â Some of these agents we know, several we have personally worked with, and some are brand new to us. We hope this helps you find a travel agent if you’re looking for one. (You’ll notice that some agents and agencies have a relationship with TouringPlans in the form of complimentary subscriptions for qualifying travel packages. This has no bearing on the survey results.)
Finally, without further ado, we give you the Best Travel Agents for 2016, listed alphabetically by first name.
I’ve literallyÂ sweated to get this blog post to you.
As the husband of a teacher, my family’s Disney vacations typically come during the summer months. The heat and crowds of June, July and August keep some away, but we’ve learned to love our summer trips.
While the summer crowds were once substantially heavier than other times of the year, Disney has managed, through events and promotions, to even those crowds out. So long wait times shouldn’t necessarily deter you from a summer trip. Wise use of FastPass+, crowd calendars and a good touring plan can greatly reduce the time you spend in lines. We find that by getting to the parks early, we can knock out a lot of attractions before the sun is straight overhead.
We’ve learned that summer has its advantages, too, such as longer park hours and fewer attractions down for refurbishment.Â Along the way, we’ve figured outÂ a few tips and tricksÂ that should help you if you’re currently preparing for your summer trek to Walt Disney World.
The pool at Port Orleans French Quarter.
If you think you’re going to be able to do the parks from rope drop to closing, think again. A key part of enduring a summer tripÂ is planning for daily rest and relaxation at your resort when the parks are at their most crowded and hottest. If you’re trying to decide whether you’re going to stay on or off property, you’ll want to factor in the travel time of returning to your resort midday. Thanks to summer park hours being the longest of the year, you’ll still be able to accomplish plenty, even with spending a few hours at your resort.
Ideally, you’ll be able to hit a park at rope drop, head back to your resort after lunch, grab a quickÂ napÂ or perhaps go for a swim. Then head back to a park refreshed and ready to enjoy more attractions and evening entertainment. This kind of touring is ideal for park hopping, where you can hit one park in the morning and another in the evening. You might even consider saving your FastPass+ reservations for your evening park on select days. The new Frozen attractions in Epcot’s Norway and the evening Kilimanjaro Safaris will be tough to get FastPasses for if you’re trying to add them the same day after you’ve used your three initial FastPasses. If you’ve never done Seven Dwarfs Mine Train during dusk or evening, it’s the best way to experience that final scene.
After about ten minutes baking in the infernally hot summer sun (just like Daily Poutine â€“ no shade around here), I received the most adorable cardboard tray of food ever. It was, admittedly, a little slow in service, but everything looked and smelled fantastic, so I wasnâ€™t really upset by the wait. I opted to pass by the standing tables (like you see at Food & Wine) set up just across from B.B. Wolfâ€™s and made a bee-line for the nearby shaded planters for some seating and a makeshift table; I later discovered this was a smoking area â€“ it didnâ€™t bother me, but something to keep in mind.
Unlike my cup of poutine, this wasnâ€™t really eat-while-you-walk cuisine â€“ the flimsy cardboard trays/plates make it difficult to transport this stuff very far, but after a few bites, I didnâ€™t care about the transportability of my meal.Â The Three Little Pigs ($10.39) is a kind of sampler platter, with three smaller pork sausages wrapped in cut-down hot dog buns, each topped with a different set of accompaniments (though I found out from a Cast Member later in the day that you are welcome to request all three to be the same â€śflavorâ€ť, if you so choose). All three variations start with the same base sausage and bun, then differ only in the toppings. The sausage itself was mild in flavor, pork-based, not too fatty, and had a snappy casing – a perfect vehicle for nearly any savory accompaniment you could think of. The bun had been grilled to slightly crisp, and was decadently buttery and fluffy â€“ definitely better than any standard Disney hot dog bun Iâ€™ve encountered.