Trip Planning

TouringPlans Room Finder + Video

by on August 15, 2017

Staying at a Walt Disney World resort hotel? Wondering what your room view will look like?

Hand-pick your perfect room using our TouringPlans Room Finder!

Enjoy!

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School Schedules and Crowd Levels

by on August 14, 2017

Ed. Note: We frequently get questions to TouringPlans asking how we make crowd predictions. This article provides insight into one of the metrics used when formulating predictions about park attendance.

It comes as no surprise that many families with school-age children take Disney vacations, and most prefer to take their children on vacations when school isn’t in session. To account for these attendance patterns, we track over 100 public school districts. This includes the 100 largest school districts in the country, the largest school districts in each state, and school districts that are close to Walt Disney World and Disneyland. This covers 12 million students. That is more than 20% of all students enrolled in public education. TouringPlans spends a lot of time collecting the school schedules each fall and summer. We put in the effort because school schedules are one of the best indicators for predicting crowd levels. Collecting more school schedules has diminishing returns, however. We would have to collect 100 more school districts’ calendars to cover 5% more of the public school students.

National Center for Education Statistics
CCD public school district data 2014-2015, 2015-2016 school years
http://nces.ed.gov/ccd

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Disneyland Preview – Week of August 12

by on August 11, 2017

Hey everyone, and welcome to Friday! Yet another good-looking summer week at Disneyland is upon us. Read on for more details in this week’s Disneyland preview.

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Universal Orlando Resort Preview – Week of August 12

by on August 10, 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.

It’s the middle of August, which means summer is slowly starting to wind down! If you are planning one last hurrah in the Universal Orlando parks, here’s what to expect.

Weekly Crowd Level

Oh so slowly, the kids are going back to school and summer is fading, as will the crowds by the end of the week.

Weekly Weather Report

Summer weather still changes rapidly and often, so check out the latest forecast here before your visit.

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Walt Disney World Preview – Week of August 12

by on August 10, 2017

This week brings attraction closures, Mission: Space opening, and dinner discounts galore. Keep reading below to find out more! (That rhyme was accidental, but I’m still proud of myself. It’s the little things.) 

Special Events

  • What a time to be a Floridian! Now until September 30th, Florida residents will be offered a FREE appetizer AND valet parking with each adult dinner entrée. This is featured at the following restaurants:
    • Jiko
    • Flying Fish
    • Citricos
    • Artist Point
  • La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil is offering discounted tickets for performances Tuesday through Saturday nights. Book now through December 16, 2017 to save!
  • Are you a Tables in Wonderland member? Now through September 30th, you can receive a 30% discount at the following restaurants:
    • Note: Discount is only available before 6:30pm or after 8:30pm

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How to Pick the Best Park for Each Day of Your Walt Disney World Trip

by on August 7, 2017

Families often ask us to help pick the best park to visit for each day of their Walt Disney World vacation. In fact, it’s one of the reasons why we created our Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar.

When we answer those questions, the first thing we try to figure out is what “best” means for this family, on this trip. To do that, we ask questions about when the family is going, how long they’re staying, how many times they want to visit each park, and so on.  Once we know that, we can narrow down the list of choices and start talking about the pros and cons of each possibility.

Below is the process we use to pick the best theme park to visit on any day of a trip to Walt Disney World. It’s easy to extend this process to include days off, visits to water parks, or other theme parks. Let us know in the comments below if your family considers other things when visiting a park, or if you’d like to see another example with water parks and more.

When Are You Going?

The first step is to look at the Crowd Calendar for the entirety of your trip. For an example, let’s assume I have an upcoming trip for October 1-7, 2017.

October 1-7, 2017, Crowd Calendar

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Disneyland Preview — Week of August 5

by on August 4, 2017

Happy Friday!  Yet another good-looking summer week at Disneyland is upon us!  Read on for more details in this week’s Disneyland preview!

Special Events and Notes

Disneyland Monorail

Photo: Disney

As the summer winds down, Disney is ratcheting back its special events, so there’s not that much to report for the upcoming week.  With that said, for those of you that are staying at Disney hotels, Disney is running a special promotion where Disney’s California Adventure will stay open one hour later to give you more time to ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout.  Think of it as an attraction-specific evening Extra Magic Hour, which happens on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Is this going to save you a ton of time? Not really, primarily because there will be plenty of people in line by the time of regular park closing hours to ensure a healthy wait for this very popular attraction. With that said, particularly if you’re showing up to experience the attraction towards the end of the extra time, you can expect to have fewer people to compete against, and therefore a relatively shorter wait.

Also, the Summer of Heroes continues at Disney’s California Adventure. As always, you should read Derek Burgan’s write-up on the event if you’ve not been before to get the most out of it.

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Universal Orlando Resort Preview — Week of August 5

by on August 3, 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.

Hello again! Time to check out what you need to know if you are visiting Universal Orlando Resort this week!

Weekly Crowd Level

Crowds are not dropping just yet…but Sunday sure does look like the best day to visit this week! If a crowd level of 9 intimidates you, create a customized Touring Plan for a stress-free day!

Weekly Weather Report

Weather in Central Florida in the summer changes rapidly – don’t forget to check out the latest forecast before you head out!

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Walt Disney World Preview – Week of August 5

by on August 3, 2017

What’s going on this week at Walt Disney World? Keep reading to find out!

Special Events

  • La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil is offering discounted tickets for performances Tuesday through Saturday nights. Book now through December 16, 2017 to save!
  • Are you a Tables in Wonderland member? Now through September 30th, you can receive a 30% discount at the following restaurants:
  • Note: Discount is only available before 6:30pm or after 8:30pm.

For other Walt Disney World Newsworthy notes, check out Rikki’s article here.

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Disneyland Preview — Week of July 29

by on July 28, 2017

Hey everyone, lots of classic attractions coming back in this week’s Disneyland Preview!  Let’s see what’s on tap this week at the Happiest Place on Earth!

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