Trip Planning

Disney Park, Resort Employees See Hours Cut Starting Tomorrow

by on July 22, 2017

We’ve heard that Disney is making a small reduction to some Castmember shifts at its domestic parks and resorts beginning with tomorrow’s work week. We hear the cutbacks will run from July 23 through September 30, 2017, the last day of Disney’s fiscal year.

The scope of these cutbacks appears to be smaller than we’d heard proposed earlier this month, which is good news.

Theme Park and Crowd Calendar Impacts

Cutting back staff hours at the theme parks may increase wait times at the rides. We believe that earlier cutbacks contributed to higher wait times starting in 2016. Our crowd calendar is based on wait times at popular rides. If these cutbacks increase wait times, you may see higher crowd levels than predicted.

We estimate that we’ll need to collect 14 days of data with the new staff levels before our crowd models can reflect their impacts. That means a new crowd calendar update would be available the week of August 7. We post the previous day’s crowd levels on the calendar, so you can follow this along from home.

Resort Impacts

We’re told that resort staff cutbacks are relatively minor. Most guests may not see a change in service levels.

Disneyland Preview — Week of July 22

by on July 21, 2017

Hey folks, it’s once again time for this week’s Disneyland Preview, so you’ll know what you’re in store for when you head to the parks! Without further ado, let’s jump right in!

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Walt Disney World Preview – Week of July 22nd

by on July 20, 2017

 

It’s almost Friday! Let’s get into that weekend mindset a day early with your weekly Walt Disney World preview!

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Universal Orlando Resort Preview – Week of July 22

by on July 20, 2017

The Universal Orlando Preview is brought to you by Storybook DestinationsStorybook Destinations specializes in Disney and Universal travel, is consistently highly rated by our readers, and is owned by our own blogger extraordinaire, Tammy Whiting. Storybook also offers free subscriptions to TouringPlans to clients with qualified bookings.

Hi again! I’m back with your weekly Universal Orlando update. It’s the dog days of summer, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting out and having fun at the parks.

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Last Minute Disney Trip Checklist

by on July 18, 2017

last minute Disney trip checklist

So you have decided to go to Walt Disney World…and it’s totally last minute! Perhaps it’s a holiday, a long weekend, a business trip, or maybe you just need a Disney World fix. Maybe you’re trying to catch Ellen’s Energy Adventure or the Great Movie Ride one last time before they close for good. Even though many folks spend months planning a trip, you can plan yours in as little time as you have, as long as you’re organized. This article will take you through the planning and decision-making process step by step for a truly magical last-minute Disney trip.

Questions you need to be able to answer up front before you start your planning:

  • Who? (Who is going? Who is organizing?)
  • What? (What’s my budget? What am I hoping to accomplish?)
  • When? (When would I like to go, and when do I have to go home?)
  • Where? (Where am I staying? Where am I getting my transportation?)
  • Why? (Is there something special I am making this trip for that I need to factor in?)
  • How? (All those pesky logistics that we’ll be brainstorming here.)

Ready to get planning? Let’s get started!

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Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside: Pools, Dining and Recreation

by on July 18, 2017

Photo - Angela DahlgrenWelcome back to Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside!

Back in Part One, we talked theme, rooms and room views. Today, I’m covering the pools, dining and recreation.

PS. There’s no singing in this episode. I thought you all deserved the break.

Enjoy!

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Universal Orlando Resort Preview – Week of July 15th

by on July 13, 2017

The Universal Orlando Preview is brought to you by Storybook Destinations. Storybook Destinations specializes in Disney and Universal travel, is consistently highly rated by our readers, and is owned by our own blogger extraordinaire, Tammy Whiting. Storybook also offers free subscriptions to TouringPlans to clients with qualified bookings.

So you want to go to Universal Orlando, you say?

This week, you say?

Well you’re in the right place!! Each week, I’ll have the most important things you need to know, all in one place, to help you make the most of your time and have the most epic day ever!

Weekly Crowd Level

Overall, crowds will be pretty consistently summer-dense throughout the week. Do I hear a Sunday Funday calling??

Weekly Weather Report

It’s summertime in central Florida! You know the routine….scattered thunderstorms, they come and they go! *Disclaimer: though my name rhymes with weather, I am not in fact a meteorologist. So arm your smartphone with your favorite weather app (Dark Sky is my personal favorite) and check the forecast before you go!

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Walt Disney World Resort Preview – Week of July 15th

by on July 13, 2017

I’m starting a new column ya’ll!

Every week, I’ll be giving you the 411 on all the happenings going on at Walt Disney World!

Park hours? Check. Crowd Levels? Check. Special events? Check!

All you need to do is meet me here every Thursday for your weekly preview. Now let’s get started!

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Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside: Overview and Rooms

by on July 11, 2017

Hello wonderful readers!

It’s been a couple of weeks (computer issues…ba humbug), but I’m back with a new video.

Join me down the bayou as I take you through Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, a moderate resort in Walt Disney World.

Disclaimer: I filmed this at night after a very long day…there was a lot of singing. I apologize.

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Should You Rent a Car at Disney? Comparing the Costs of Getting Around Walt Disney World

by on July 7, 2017

TouringPlans logoOne question we at TouringPlans frequently get has to do with getting to and around Walt Disney World, and how to do it as inexpensively as possible — should you rent a car, use ridesharing services, use cabs, something else?  If you’re staying off site, you must budget the not-insignificant cost of transportation into your trip. Moreover, even though you can take advantage of Disney’s Magical Express and Disney Transportation if you’re staying at a Disney hotel, such that there isn’t a need to have a car at all, many on-site guests find that Disney buses can be unpredictable and slow at times and/or some guests simply prefer the freedom associated with having a car or making their own transportation arrangements. Accordingly, it makes sense to take a deeper dive into other transportation options that give you more control and that can be faster to see if it’s worth that extra premium.

With that in mind, here’s a breakdown of what it costs to rent a car, versus using ridesharing services like Uber or Lyft. Want to know which comes out on top? Read on after the jump!

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