Trip Planning

TouringPlansTV: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort – Part One + Video

by on October 19, 2016

Animal Kingdom Lodge LobbyToday’s episode of TouringPlansTV features Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort! This is located in the Animal Kingdom park area of Walt Disney World.

In Part One, I’ll be discussing the resort’s theme, rooms, room views and transportation.

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Disney Maladies (and How To Treat Them)

by on October 18, 2016

TouringPlans logoWalt Disney World has a deserved reputation as one of the most fun places you can visit, but what is lesser known is the litany of ailments such a trip can cause. Did you know, for example, that more children come down with a case of Gigantusmusophobia at Walt Disney World than any other location? Disney maladies are an under-recognized threat to your vacation experience.  

You need not, however, waste your entire vacation in the infirmary. Read on to learn how to quickly identify and treat common Disney ailments!  

Overplanning Paralysis

 

This level of detail might be overkill...

This level of detail might be overkill…

I often tell people that there are few places on planet Earth that reward a little bit of advance planning like Walt Disney World. It can, however, most definitely be overdone. What’s worse, you can find yourself so wracked with indecision that you can’t do anything and you’ve sucked all of the fun out of the trip before it’s even begun.

The prescription for this ailment, simply stated, is to relax. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: the overwhelming majority of people that go to Walt Disney World do so with little or no planning and they still have a great time, so the fact that you’re aware of the benefit of planning ahead puts you in a better position that all of those people. Embrace this truism now: there is no single planning decision that you make that will make having fun impossible, nor can a single decision guarantee you The Best Trip Ever. Armed with that knowledge, there is no need to needlessly fret over whether you’ve reserved the right restaurant for lunch, or whether you’ve picked the right attraction for your FastPass+ reservations. You’ve probably done just fine.  

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The Best Disney World Ticket and Hotel Prices – and the Stories Behind Them

by on October 17, 2016

beach-old-13This past July I paid $253 per night – with tax – for a standard room at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. That’s more than 50% less than the $533 rack rate Disney was asking for similar rooms. It was less than Disney was charging for the same room in 2001 – 15 years ago.  And I didn’t have to listen to a timeshare presentation or be a close, personal friend of Disney CEO Bob Iger to do it.  All I had to do was believe what I read on the internet.

In this case, I’d seen a lot of talk in our Lines Chat forum about a company called Magical Vacations Travel (MVT), whose Disney World room offers were far below the prices we were seeing everywhere else.  And that was unusual, because we have relationships with some very large travel companies, who you’d expect would be able to match any offer a smaller company could come up with. But the big travel companies weren’t matching MVT’s offers. I wanted to find out why.

I also thought it would be a good time to look at a new Disney World ticket vendor called Parksavers.com. We first noticed them in 2014, when Lines Chat folks started mentioning the fantastic deals they were getting on multi-day Disney World tickets – prices far, far below what even the biggest Disney World ticket wholesalers were offering. Disney World ticket scams are legendary, so, as with Magical Vacations Travel, I wanted to make sure Parksavers was a reputable business for the TouringPlans community.

Here’s what I found: Both Magical Vacations Travel and Parksavers.com are legitimate businesses that sell exactly the products they advertise. But the way they can make these great offers to you – the business models behind these companies – are fascinating stories in their own rights. This is how they work.

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TouringPlansTV: Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort Part 2 + Video

by on October 11, 2016

Photo - TouringPlans.comWelcome back to TouringPlansTV!

Today is Part 2 of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort. I’ll be discussing Dining, Transportation and Amenities.

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Hurricane Matthew: October 8 Update

by on October 8, 2016

Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew

We will keep this short and sweet because it’s Saturday and you really just want your Saturday 6 from Derek. We hope this will be our final Hurricane Matthew post.

Theme Parks – Open

Universal, Walt Disney World, SeaWorld –  all back to normal or close to normal hours today. Animal Kingdom even started the day with Extra Magic Hours. If you are in the parks today, take some photos and tweet them to #HeyTouringPlans – we’d love to see them. The wait times in our app will self-adjust after the parks open. We have not adjusted the Crowd Calendars.

Walt Disney World

If your Halloween Party was cancelled, you can call 407-939-7818 beginning 9AM Eastern Monday morning for refunds or rescheduling (this is from Disney’s web site – so it does seem you will need to explicitly request a refund).

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TouringPlansTV: Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort + Video

by on October 4, 2016

Photo - T.J. Van Fechtmann

Wilderness Lodge Resort

This week’s episode of TouringPlansTV is all about Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort. This is located in the Magic Kingdom area of Walt Disney World.

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TouringPlansTV: Kilimanjaro Safaris Ride-Through at Disney’s Animal Kingdom + Video

by on September 27, 2016

AK - Kilimanjaro Safari (13)Today is Double Video Day!

Not only will I be giving you deets on Kilimanjaro Safaris (found at Disney’s Animal Kingdom), but I will be providing you with both a short and long video featuring the attraction.

This is where we need your help: Which version do you like better? Shorter glimpses of the attraction or longer ride-throughs? Does Angela blab too much? Let me know!

We at TouringPlans.com strive to provide viewers with the information and footage YOU want to see. Let us know your thoughts in the comments, or “like” your favorite video on our YouTube page.

Enjoy!

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Attractions to Ride During Magic Kingdom Fireworks

by on September 27, 2016

Disney World’s Wishes Nighttime Spectacular at Magic Kingdom is a show that I can watch over and over again. I’ve had a perfect view at the end of Main Street, U.S.A. just behind the Hub. I’ve had great views from other various spots along Main Street, U.S.A. and from the upper balcony of the Walt Disney Railroad Main Street U.S.A. Station. I’ve watched it from Fantasyland near Prince Charming Regal Carrousel and at assorted spots on the path leading to Beast’s Castle with the fireworks exploding in all directions.

I’ve watched the fireworks bursting above me near Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid and have seen them from the Tomorrowland bridge. I’ve also watched from parts of the park that afford only glimpses of the action but where the fireworks still give me that feeling of magic.

© Sarah Graffam

Wishes near Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid

 

To be sure, there are many spots with a view of Wishes in Magic Kingdom. But there is another memorable way to watch the show from inside the park that doesn’t involve finding one great spot. Rather, how about experiencing Wishes from a different perspective by riding an attraction with a view.

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Updated: What to Expect from 2016 Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland

by on September 26, 2016

DSC07067Mickey’s Halloween Party is a special extra-ticket event held select nights at at Disneyland during the Halloween season. The party includes a special fireworks show featuring a fly-by of Zero (instead of Tinker Bell), an exclusive Halloween parade with an appearance by a horseback riding headless horseman,  trick-or-treating, and more. In this post we’ll talk about what to expect from 2016 Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland.

Mickey’s Halloween Party takes place in Disneyland on select nights in the fall, typically running from late-September until Halloween. In 2016, the party dates are September 23, 26, 28, 30, October 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 26, 29 and 31.

Tickets for Mickey’s Halloween Party are now on sale.

What time is the Party?

Officially the Party runs from 6 pm on some nights and 7 pm on others. The party runs until 11 pm or 12 am, depending on the night. Guests with valid Halloween party tickets may enter the park up to three hours prior to the event’s start time.

Will I need a special ticket to get into the Party?

Yes. Admission requires buying a separate ticket just for this event. It’s not included in any regular theme park tickets or annual passports.

How much do the Party tickets cost?

There’s a range of pricing, including discounts for buying in advance. The official Disney website lists the following prices:

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Walt Disney World October 2016 Preview

by on September 26, 2016

Welcome to TouringPlans’ Walt Disney World October 2016 preview – fall is here and we’ve been celebrating Halloween for the last month. Who’s with us and ready for October?

Average Weather for Walt Disney World in October

 

October weather for Orlando - High 85, Low 68, 75% Humidity, 9 days with rain

October Weather for Orlando

 

 

 

 

Things finally start to cool off in October. The heat is more bearable and we’re reaching the end of hurricane season. NOAA’s National Hurricane Center is an excellent resource for forecasts that may affect your October trip.

Evening temperatures drop below 70 this month, so pack layers if you have any day into night plans.

Zika Concerns

Zika, the mosquito-born virus, remains a concern for residents and visitors to South Florida (we realize Walt Disney World is not in South Florida). While Dade County has said aerial spraying has been very effective in killing affected mosquitos and larvae in the neighborhoods Zika was first found in, Walt Disney World is still providing mosquito repellent in its hotel rooms and at park entrances for guests. It also filled in the standing water at the long-shuttered River Country in Fort Wilderness. The CDC is your best source for news about Zika.

 

Upcoming Live Chats for October

Every Thursday Brian hosts a Live Facebook Q&A, usually at noon or 1pm Eastern. Check Facebook each week for the exact time.

Times for all live chats are posted in advance on our Facebook page and on Twitter.

 

Walt Disney World October 2016 Park Crowds

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