Trip Planning

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!


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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


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


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!


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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Walt Disney World Healthy Eating: Sticking to Your Resolutions

by on January 2, 2017

Soooo, the new year is upon us, with the new year comes New Year’s resolutions, and one of the most common resolutions is to lose weight or eat healthier. The problem, however, is that you have a trip planned to food-and-beverage-Mecca Walt Disney World, where around every corner you’ll be tempted with decadent treats.  

How do you enjoy your trip without completely derailing your weight loss efforts?  I’m happy to report that I’ve managed to drop a significant amount of weight over the last several months, and I’ve done it while continuing to visit both Walt Disney World and Disneyland on the regular. Read on to find out how you can have a great time, eat well, and still lose weight (or at least minimize the damage) on your trip!

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