Walt Disney World (FL)

Tiana’s Riverboat Party Coming to the Magic Kingdom

by on November 23, 2016

©Disney

©Disney

If you or your child is a fan of Princess Tiana, I have a new offering that will soon be available to experience. Tiana’s Riverboat Party will take Guests aboard the Liberty Square Riverboat in Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom to enjoy an ice cream social and unique parade viewing spot for the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade. Following the party, Guests will take a scenic cruise on the Rivers of America and be able to meet Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen.

Menu items include a variety of desserts, hand dipped ice cream, ice cream novelties, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages.

Guests who wish to ride the Liberty Square Riverboat during the day will continue to be able to do so, however, the Riverboat will not operate two hours prior to the parade and will start running again approximately one hour after the parade has stepped off.

The cost of the dessert party will be $49 for adults and $29 for children (ages 3-9). To make reservations, call (407) WDW-DINE. This event will begin on November 29.

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TBT: Six Reasons for Theme Park Fans to Give Thanks in 2015

by on November 23, 2016

Greetings! TouringPlans.com Blog Manager Brian here to welcome you to the continuation of TBT: Throwback Thanksgiving week here on the blog. All this week we will be revisiting a few wonderful Thanksgiving-related posts from the past. This wonderful entry from 2015 highlighting the six things that Derek Burgan gave thanks for during that year.

Make sure you come back Thursday at 9:00am for this years items to give thanks for!

 

This week’s SATURDAY SIX  is our annual Thanksgiving Special and takes a look at Six Reasons for Theme Park Fans to Give Thanks. 2015 was another great year to be a theme park fan, and for this Thanksgiving we are going to take a quick break from all the turkey, football games, and Black Friday planning to count our blessings and thank the parks and resorts we love so much. So, for one day only, we ask that all Disney and Universal fans put aside their differences and spend a moment appreciating all the wonderful things that we can share together, starting with…

# 6 – Selfie Stick Ban at Walt Disney World

SelfieStick_Partners

no_more_selfie_sticks_pamphlet_sethIf you noticed any #Millenials or narcissists wearing black armbands this summer, it was because after banning selfie sticks on Disney attractions earlier in the spring, Walt Disney World completely banned the use of selfie sticks at the parks. Seemingly out of nowhere, the edict came down right after another high profile news story of Disney California Adventure’s California Screamin’ roller coaster being stopped mid ride because of a guest using a selfie stick. On June 26th, WDW guests were given a pamphlet at the parking plaza explaining the selfie stick ban, signage was displayed on the walkways to the parks along with bag check explaining the new policy.

The selfie stick ban was definitely a controversial move to be sure. Universal had earlier become more strict on preventing selfie sticks on rides, but Disney outright stopped people from even entering the park with them. Now we joked earlier about only kids and narcissists using them, the truth is that selfie sticks have become increasingly popular across almost all demographics. While people using selfie sticks inside the parks can be a nuisance, they were starting to become a serious safety factor on attractions. You may have seen what is called an Envelope of Protection as Imagineers test out the attractions. This device makes sure that all the attractions are safe for every rider, basically simulating the possible reach of every guest in the ride vehicle. This is why while it may seem like your may lose your arms in Space Mountain if you hold them up during the ride, but in actuality you are nowhere close to hitting anything. What the Envelope of Protection doesn’t take into account though, is guests holding on to anything that extends their reach.

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TouringPlansTV: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2016 + Video

by on November 22, 2016

© Disney

Ho-ho-hope you’re having a great day!

You may be thinking, “What’s with the holiday pun? It’s not even December yet!”

You see, I’m already in the Christmas spirit as I’ve just been to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Walt Disney World!

Allow me to share my tips and tricks below!

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Epcot International Festival of The Arts Coming to Walt Disney World

by on November 21, 2016

©Disney

©Disney

Today, Disney has announced that they will be adding a brand new festival to their already stellar Epcot festival line up. The Epcot International Festival of the Arts will take place from January 13 through February 20 and its goal is to combine visual, culinary and performing arts from around the world.

The Epcot International Festival of the Arts will take place Fridays through Mondays, with each weekend featuring new art including pieces from both historical Disney artists like Mary Blair and Herb Ryman to current Disney artists, like Joe Kaminski and Costa Alavezos. Guests will not only get to see some gorgeous works of art in person, but they’ll also be able to watch the creative process live.

But that’s not all! During the Epcot International Festival of the Arts, through a collaboration with Disney Theatrical, favorite music and Broadway talent will perform at the America Gardens Theatre singing the award-winning music of Disney on Broadway, including ‪The Lion King‪, Newsies, and Aladdin.

Of course, we can’t forget the food. The festival will include Food Studios that will showcase culinary creations. These dishes will almost be able to be mistaken as works of art themselves.

There will also be hands-on experiences for the whole family to enjoy, seminars, and favorite Disney characters channeling their favorite artists.

This whole thing kind of reminds me of the Festival of the Masters that once occurred at Downtown Disney. I am curious to see how it will be similar and how it will differ.

Stay tuned to the blog as further information gets released about this all new and exciting festival.

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Cabanas Introduced at the Magic Kingdom

by on November 21, 2016

Are you looking for a relaxing experience at the Magic Kingdom? Soon, Guests will be able to experience an enjoyable day by renting cabanas in Tomorrowland, located near Space Mountain. These cabanas can accommodate up to eight Guests and are available for a rental price of $649 per day.  This is a set price, no matter how many Guests take advantage of the Cabanas, so for the best value, it’s better to have eight total Guests in one Cabana.

 

©tjo19

©tjo19

 

Amenities in the Cabanas will include private, shaded seating (including a couch), snacks, a fruit basket, cold beverages, and reserved viewing for parades and fireworks. Cabanas also include a lockable storage trunk, charging stations, personalized Mickey ears, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, and insect repellent, a small refrigerator, delivery of ice cream novelties (once), and food delivery service (for a price).

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TBT: Six Reasons for Theme Park Fans to Give Thanks in 2014

by on November 21, 2016

Greetings! TouringPlans.com Blog Manager Brian here to welcome you to TBT: Throwback Thanksgiving week here on the blog. All this week we will be revisiting a few wonderful Thanksgiving-related posts from the past. Starting us off is this gem from 2014 highlighting the six things that Derek Burgan gave thanks for during that year.

Make sure you come back Thursday at 9:00am for this years items to give thanks for!

 

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Reasons for Theme Park Fans to Give Thanks. 2014 was a great year to be a theme park fan, and for this Thanksgiving we are going to take a quick break from all the turkey, football games, and Black Friday planning, to count our blessings and thank the parks and resorts we love so much. So, for one day only, I ask that Disney and Universal fans put aside their differences and spend a moment appreciating all the wonderful things that we can share together, starting with…

# 6 – Disney and Universal Merchandise is Better than Ever

It wasn’t long ago, that the only merchandise people were buying at Universal were Thing 1 and Thing 2 shirts. Over at Disney, almost every single store, whether in the parks, hotels, or Downtown Disney, was selling the same generic”Disney Parks”stuff. A seismic shift started to occur in 2010, when the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened, and blew the doors off everyone’s projections in the area of merchandise and Butterbeer. Guests were now walking out of Universal with house robes, wands and chocolate frogs in hand. This success was then repeated throughout both of their theme parks, with unique and exclusive items found everywhere you looked, from the EVAC action figure at Transformers gift shop, to the faux girl scout cookies in Despicable Me’s Super Silly Store, to my personal favorite – The Film Vault –  a whole new store focusing on retro merchandise.

MarketplaceCoop_Glover

Jungle Cruise merchandise found at the Marketplace Co-op in Downtown Disney. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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New Concept Art Revealed for Star Wars Land

by on November 19, 2016

Star Wars Land is going to be an amazing land, once it officially opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland.

Today, at Destination D, Disney shared a peek at how beautiful the land will appear when it is lit up at night at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. As you can see, this is clearly going to be an incredibly immersive land.

©Disney

©Disney

 

In addition, it was also announced that Star Tours – The Adventures Continue will see a new mission added that ties into Star Wars: Episode 8. Walt Disney Imagineering and LucasFilm are currently working on the production of this new scene. The new scene will debut next year.

I can’t wait to share more Star Wars related news with you, as it gets released! Stay tuned to the blog for more!

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Pandora – The World of Avatar to Open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Summer 2017

by on November 19, 2016

Who is ready to travel to Pandora? it was announced today that the lush world from the movie Avatar will open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in the Summer of 2017.

Guests will enter Pandora through a bridge found near the new table service restaurant, Tiffins. According to the backstory of the land, “the bridge was built during a time when a destructive company called the RDA came to Pandora. Now that they’re long gone, nature is breaking down evidence of their presence.”

Guests will enter Pandora into the Alpha Centauri Expeditions base camp. Alpha Centauri Expeditions, for those who don’t know, is the eco-tour group that is preparing Pandora for further exploration.

Pandora will feature two attractions. One is a boat ride that will take Guests into a visually stunning world where they will travel into a bioluminescent rainforest through a sacred river. The journey will end with an encounter with a Na’vi Shaman. The family friendly attraction will be called Na’vi River Journey.

Pandora Boat Ride

©Disney

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SATURDAY SIX: Six Reasons We LOVE the Walt Disney World SWAN and DOLPHIN

by on November 19, 2016

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Reasons We LOVE the Walt Disney World SWAN and DOLPHIN. Disney has three classifications for their resorts: Value (including Pop Century and Art of Animation), Moderate (Caribbean Beach and Coronado Springs), and Deluxe (The Poly and The Contemporary). Three of the Deluxe resorts are not run by Disney, these include Shades of Green (owned and operated by the US Armed Forces) and the Swan and Dolphin. For over 25 years the Swan and Dolphin has been a part of the Starwood chain of resorts. While Starwood was bought by Marriott in September of this year, the hotels continue to be run under their respective brands (Swan being part of Westin, while the Dolphin part of Sheraton.)

swan_logo

Walt Disney World Swan.

Both the Swan and Dolphin are considered Disney Deluxe Resorts. While neither hotel offers the Disney Magical Express to and from the airport, or participates in the Disney Dining Plan, guests do get the normal WDW on-site ammenities including Extra Magic Hours, Disney transportation, and early access to Fast Pass+. How do the Swan and Dolphin stack up compared to the other on-site resorts?  Well, today we are going to check out our favorite parts of these two incredible hotels, and let’s begin our list with…

# 6 –  Todd English’s bluezoo

One of the most underrated restaurants on Disney property is Todd English’s bluezoo located on the ground floor of the Dolphin. The bar area is visually stunning, and sets up the unique food and drink menu perfectly. Recently we did a tongue in cheek look at a Disney Value Resort Bar Crawl, but one thing that stood out at those bars – along with many others on Disney property – is a reliance on the standard Disney bar menu. Todd English’s bluezoo is the complete opposite of that. Whether you get a Burnt Orange that arrives on fire or a Swedish Fish with its infused foam, the drinks served at bluezoo are served with creativity and flair.

The dining room of bluezoo is deceptively large. While the menu is filled with some great items (especially if you’re a seafood fan,) what shocked us was the crispy Asian pork ribs. I didn’t think anyone would come close to touching the quality of Morimoto Asia’s Hoisin sticky spare ribs, but bluezoo’s are somehow better. While many probably wouldn’t think of bluezoo as the first choice to bring your kids, there is actually a part of the menu for kid’s appetizers, entrees, and desserts. The whimsicly named “desserted island” is among the most fun at WDW.

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Smoking Red Sangria. (photo by Brandon Glover)

bluezoo_burtorange_glover

Burnt Orange – “herradura blanco infused with brûléed orange and muddled with agave nectar, grand marnier, and orange juice. topped with a flaming orange.” (photo by Brandon Glover)

swan_bluezoo_ribs

Crispy Asian pork ribs. (photo by  Brandon Glover)

swan_bluezoo_dessertedisland

Desserted Island. (photo by Brandon Glover)

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D-Living Home Decor Store to Open at Disney Springs

by on November 18, 2016

©Disney

©Disney

If you’re anything like me, you’re always looking for great Disney home decor to buy and utilize around the house. Well, now, both me and you will have a new shop to make sure we visit when we head to  in Disney Springs.

D-Living will open on November 23 and it will feature a wide assortment of Disney-themed products that change throughout the seasons. In every room at this new store, Guests will discover a charming selection of Disney-inspired housewares, decor, and furnishings.

D-Living will be found adjacent to UNOde50 in Town Center.

All I can say is here’s another shop where I can say goodbye to all of my money!

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