Walt Disney World (FL)

Top Ten Places to Find Coffee at Walt Disney World

by on July 24, 2014

The Walt Disney World Resort is 47 square miles, which is about the same size of San Francisco. A resort this size is pretty certain to have whatever you might be looking for. For those as addicted to caffeine as I am, my first question in the morning is, “Where’s the coffee?” With this mind, here is my quick and dirty “top ten” guide on where to find coffee at Disney World. Now, this list isn’t all-inclusive, and it isn’t even ranked (who can really say one Starbucks is better than another), but I will give you a list of ten options for you to keep in mind when you’re on your “Where’s Waldo?” search for a tasty cup of Joe.

Starbucks at the West Side of Downtown Disney is easy to spot, next to the Characters in Flight attraction

Starbucks at the West Side of Downtown Disney is easy to spot, next to the Characters in Flight attraction

Starbucks – West Side Downtown Disney: Nestled next to the Characters in Flight balloon launch in Downtown Disney’s West Side, this coffee mecca is pretty easy to find. And the curse/blessing of any chain restaurant is that you know exactly what you’re getting when you order your favorite beverage here. Starbucks regulars can even use their Starbucks gift cards here. What makes this location unique from any other location is the impeccable coffee theming. True to Disney form, you are immersed in coffee culture, so take some time to peruse the walls and learn a bit about this addictive little bean we all love so much. Once you’ve grabbed your beverage, snag a window seat to watch shoppers stroll along or the Characters in Flight balloon lift-off. Or sip while you doodle on the interactive screen.

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Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: July 24, 2014

by on July 24, 2014

Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World! This week we’ll be visiting the Magic Kingdom to check out progress on all the renovations there then heading over to Downtown Disney to see what’s new. We’ve got a lot to cover so let’s get started with a sunny Saturday morning at Cinderella’s Castle. It looks like it isn’t that crowded from the photo but when I arrived at the gates at 8:45am they’d already started letting people in the park. I knew there was no way I’d get to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train without a long wait so I took my time wandering into the park. 

1

It’s been a while since we’ve been shopping so I stopped into the Emporium. This early in the morning you can see how empty it is in there. You can also hear a bird that flew into the shop and was hanging out!

I also encountered a few of my favorite things on Main Street….

CLICK TO READ MORE

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Enhancing Fireworks Displays at Disney Parks

by on July 23, 2014

FireworksSummer is here, and by now hopefully everyone has had a chance to enjoy a fireworks display. I got a chance to enjoy the fireworks in a small Colorado town on the 4th of July. My friends’ house had a great view of the town’s fireworks display from their back deck, so all we had to do was sit down and enjoy!

I did notice that something was missing. While the display was an impressive sight and had a variety of fireworks, there wasn’t really any plan to the show. One shot went up. BOOM! Another shot went up. BOOM! Oh – here’s a change of pace - two going off at the same time! BOOM BOOM! The only time the show really ratcheted it up was at the end, when the sky was smothered with all of the fireworks they had left.

Was your viewing of fireworks the same as mine? Did you feel like it was missing…well…a little Disney magic?

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Disney World Summer Tips: Keeping Cool in the Kingdom

by on July 23, 2014

BoardWalk sunrise Disney World

As the sun rises over Walt Disney World, prepare yourself to beat the heat

Though it’s no secret that Florida summers can be hotter than the surface of the sun, it’s also one of Walt Disney World’s busiest seasons. There’s no way to avoid the high temperatures, but there are some things you can do to plan for hot fun in the summertime. As a follow up to TouringPlan’s previous Disney World summer tips, here are some additional ideas to keep you cool in the kingdom!

 

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Disney World Crowd Report – July 13 to 19, 2014

by on July 22, 2014

Summer-like crowds have arrived. We saw above average crowds most of last week including some higher wait times at The Studios than we have seen at that park in a while. Elsewhere, our predictions did very well, missing only once or twice.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the Disney World Crowd Report:

Walt Disney World Resort Crowd Levels – Daily Breakdown

Sunday, July 13, 2014

  WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
5
5

Sunday’s crowds were surprisingly low at The Studios but as expected at the other three parks. Toy Story Mania’s averaged stayed below 70 minutes while Tower of Terror was only a 34 minute average posted wait. Guests at Star Tours experienced even lower waits, an average of 14 minutes.

Epcot
4
3
Hollywood Studios
6
3
Animal Kingdom
5
5

Monday, July 14, 2014

  WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
8
7

Conversely, Monday’s crowd at the Studios was higher than expected, the first time we have observed that since the spring. Toy Story Mania average posted time reached 83 minutes and Tower of Terror reached 59 minutes. Elsewhere, our predictions all did well with perhaps the exception of Space Mountain where the average posted time was 67 minutes (predicted 58).

Epcot
6
6
Hollywood Studios
5
8
Animal Kingdom
7
7

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

  WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
8
8

No problems with any predictions on Tuesday, we swept the board with only a slight miss at Animal Kingdom. Crowds grew significantly between Sunday and Tuesday.

Epcot
8
8
Hollywood Studios
7
7
Animal Kingdom
8
9

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

  WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
8
6

Predictions did well again on Wednesday although Magic Kingdom wasn’t quite as crowded as expected thanks to lower than expected averages at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (39 minutes, predicted 67), Jungle Cruise (25 minutes, predicted 40) and Splash Mountain (48 minutes, predicted 62).

Epcot
7
7
Hollywood Studios
8
7
Animal Kingdom
8
8

Thursday, July 17, 2014

  WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
9
8

The Studios stood out again on Thursday with that park’s highest wait times since Easter. Toy Story Mania hit 82 minutes (predicted 62) and Great Movie Ride reached 24 minutes (predicted 19).

Epcot
6
6
Hollywood Studios
6
9
Animal Kingdom
8
7

Friday, July 18, 2014

  WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
7
6

Crowds settled on Friday with no park hitting a level higher than ‘6’ on our scale. Predictions did well across all four parks.

Epcot
6
6
Hollywood Studios
6
6
Animal Kingdom
5
5

Saturday, July 19, 2014

  WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
6
5

Only Animal Kingdom missed by more than one index level on Saturday. There we saw average posted times of 27 minutes for Expedition Everest (predicted 37) and 38 minutes for Kali River rapids (predicted 63).

Epcot
4
4
Hollywood Studios
6
6
Animal Kingdom
6
3
What to Expect This Week
July 20 to 26, 2014
How Crowded is Disney World

How Crowded is Disney World?

Now that crowds have reached typical summer levels we expect to see crowds above average until mid-August.

To see Walt Disney World Crowd predictions for the days of your vacation, check the Crowd Calendar.

To get details about our predictions of future crowds or details about crowds in the past check out the Crowd Calendar and select “Jump to Date” on the left margin.

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Disney Discounts with Bounce Back Offers

by on July 22, 2014

t_logo_fbWhat is a Bounce Back Offer?

Are you looking to save money on your trip to Walt Disney World? Of course you are. You already know about the time and money you can save by using this very site, but with the rising cost of a Disney vacation, finding discounts wherever you can is more important than ever.

To keep guests returning for more and more visits, Disney frequently offers incentives that are referred to as Bounce Back specials. These are discounts offered to people while they are still on, and hopefully enjoying, their vacation. The intent of the discount is to entice guests to come back between specific dates and stay on property, not to mention locking people into another Disney vacation.

For quite a while Bounce Back Offers have been a good deal for anyone looking to come back within a year for another Walt Disney World resort stay. The offer flyer (and it’s only found on flyers, not as emails, ads, or smoke signals) can be found in your hotel room, usually placed on the table with other bits of resort-related ephemera.

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When the Magic is Too Much – Preparing Kids for Disney

by on July 22, 2014

Planning a family Disney vacation is full of anticipation and excitement. You save money and plan meticulously for months to have that perfect, magical experience. However, it’s often underestimated how quickly things can go from exciting to scary for the youngest Disney guests. Navigating four theme parks with a little one can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you don’t anticipate what may trigger a reaction. Here we look at ways of preparing kids for Disney vacations.

I’ve seen kiddos get freaked out by 3 main things:

  1. Mickey and characters (they’re bigger than you think!),
  2. Fireworks (sure they’re pretty, but man are they loud!), and
  3. Attractions

There are a few things that you can do in advance to prepare your youngster for the magical world of excitement that awaits!

Buzz and Woody are big, even for adults!

Buzz and Woody are big, even for adults!

Meeting Disney Friends:

Kids see Mickey, Minnie, and all of their favorite characters in movies and on TV, but it really doesn’t prepare them for how large they are in real life. One way to help prepare young kids to these large friends is to expose them to some local “life size” characters like at Chuck E. Cheese or mascots at any local sporting event. This is a great test run to see how a youngster can handle these larger than life characters. It’s also a way to help them sort through any anxiety they might have, so when they meet Mickey it won’t be so overwhelming. If they already love Chuck E. Cheese, then you can cross this concern off your list!

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Disney Offers U.S. Military Special Tickets and Resort Rates

by on July 22, 2014

©Disney

©Disney

In honor of our troops, both the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort will not only be offering U.S. Military special discounted room reservation rates, but they are also offering them promotional military ticket options.

The brave men and women who serve our country can purchase specially priced tickets from August 25, 2014, through September 30, 2015 for both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort. (Disneyland tickets can actually be purchased through October 1, 2015.) These special tickets may be purchased by active and retired U.S. military personnel (which includes active and retired members of the U.S. Coast Guard, National Guard and Reservists). Active and retired U.S. military personnel can purchase the Disney Military Promotional Tickets for not only themselves, but also up to five additional family members or friends. Keep in mind that there is an expiration date for these tickets; they must be used by October 3, 2015, and they are non-transferable. Valid military identification will be required for purchase and use.

At Walt Disney World, there are three different Military Promotional Ticket options, which include:

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Pros and Cons of Disney World Without Kids

by on July 22, 2014

Disney vacations are marketed as the quintessential family trip. The commercials, the planning DVDs, the website, the mailings, and oodles of other Disney vacation propaganda all showcase the glowing, smiling faces of cherub-cheeked tots in addition to the satisfied radiance of their perfectly coifed parents. No doubt about it – if you have a family, Disney is on your radar.

This sight is exciting for adults and kids alike!

This sight is exciting for adults and kids alike!

But what about a Disney World trip, without the kids? Disney World is a popular destination for honeymooners, to get engaged, and even for a couple to get married, right in the parks. Millions of couples choose to vacation in the House of Mouse without their progeny for many, many reasons. It could be celebrating a special anniversary, only in town briefly for a conference or work trip, or perhaps, they just it’s time to rekindle that romantic spark sans diaper bags and sippy cups. Whatever the reason for your adult-inspired journey into America’s Neverland, let’s explore the pros and cons of traveling to Walt Disney World without kids.

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Best Sweet Treats at Disney World

by on July 21, 2014

DSC_4581

There’s more where these came from

Sugar. Sweet treats are made of this. There are times when it seems to me the whole of Walt Disney World itself was made of it. A word of caution; however inviting the great wall of honey at The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh may appear, please don’t lick it. Sure, it may seem like a good idea, but there are plenty of better options available, and besides, it’s not really all that sweet. If anything, the flavor hints faintly of grime and germs. If that’s your idea of a treat, who am I to disagree?

Finding something sweet to eat at Walt Disney World is not a difficult task, but it can be daunting if you’re intent on finding that perfect treat. I’ve traveled Disney World and the Seven Seas Lagoon and the sheer volume of goodies on offer is overwhelming, to be sure. In my explorations, I’ve found that pretty much everybody is searching for something sweet.They’ve certainly come to the right place. One need not take more than a few steps in any park without spying some tantalizing confection in the quivering hand of a giddy park guest, or from a myriad of cleverly-disguised gingerbread houses beckoning you to come inside. Fortunately, whether you discover that special goody, or wicked witch, your sweet tooth can take comfort in knowing that even the least-inspiring treat still packs enough sweet to satisfy it. Treats are something Disney does well, even those times when they don’t especially.

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