Walt Disney World (FL)

Taste of Hollywood To Go Packages Returning for Holiday Season at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on December 9, 2014

0518AW_0161DR_2609-742x577

©Disney

The busy holiday season is rapidly approaching, and over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios there is a great option for guests to have the chance to grab a quick meal, as well as a reserved seating for Fantasmic!

The Taste of Hollywood To Go Winter Fantasmic! Package Meals are pre-packaged offerings that are available from December 24 through 31. There will be five different picnic-style choices that guests can choose from. They are:

  • Golden fried chicken with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, sweet corn and carrots and warm apple crisp
  • Veggie sandwich made with ginger-marinated tomatoes and cucumbers, with quinoa salad, and chocolate cake
  • California and tuna sushi roll with avocado, orange and tomato salad, ginger-marinated tomatoes and cucumbers and a spicy pecan chocolate cluster
  • shrimp salad with fresh pita, ginger-marinated tomato and cucumbers, and mandarin orange cheesecake
  • cold-cut roast beef with creamy horseradish, potato salad, grilled asparagus and chocolate cake

In addition, there will be two kids options:

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Guests Can Now Purchase Tickets Through My Disney Experience App

by on December 9, 2014

Disney has now made it even easier to purchase tickets. Through an app update, guests can choose to purchase them through the My Disney Experience app.

And trust me when I say it is so easy to do! Simply tap on the giant circle with the + sign. Pictorial options will pop up, allowing you to easily make FastPass+ reservations, make dining reservations or add any extras. Of course, the final option allows guests to purchase tickets.

image

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Disney World Crowd Report – November 30 to December 6, 2014

by on December 9, 2014

After a busy week of Thanksgiving crowds the week before, last week saw a return to a mix of low and moderate crowds across Walt Disney World Resort, as expected. Some parks, some times of the day still saw relatively high wait times but they were the exception, not the overall trend. Overall, last week was a good week to visit the resort. On December 5th, the crowd calendar was updated to reflect recent trends.

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

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

25 Drinks of Christmas Countdown – Day 8: Old Fashioned at Belle Vue Lounge

by on December 8, 2014

The Christmas season is my absolute favorite time of the year. Growing up, one of the little things I loved most was getting an Advent calendar and counting down the days until Santa would be coming down the chimney. As I grew older, I had to leave Advent calendars in the rear view mirror,* but I still miss that daily countdown building anticipation to the big day. So, we’re going to start a virtual Advent calendar here at TouringPlans. For 2014, we are going to countdown our favorite drinks at Walt Disney World and the Universal Orlando Resort.

Criteria: Drinks can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Drinks can come from any venue on property as well as the Disney Cruise Line. Bonus points awarded for atmosphere where drink is served. Any drink with glow cubes is immediately disqualified. Ready? Let’s go!

DAY EIGHT: Old Fashioned at Belle Vue Lounge (Disney’s BoardWalk Inn)

25DrinksOfXmas_OldFashioned_BelleVue

An Old Fashioned at the Belle Vue Lounge in Disney’s BoardWalk Inn. (photo by Brandon Glover)

 

Sometimes you just find the perfect drink in the perfect setting, and today we have that with an Old Fashioned at the Belle Vue Lounge. The overall theme of Disney’s BoardWalk Inn is a trip back through time, with guests being completely immersed within the aesthetic of an Atlantic seaside resort from the 1930s. Nowhere is that more evident than within the Belle Vue Lounge, which is like no other bar on WDW property and is a true hidden gem. Belle Vue will transport you back to a different era, when people took a break and sat down to enjoy conversation with friends, instead of just searching for an outlet to charge their smart phones. What we enjoy about having an Old Fashioned at the Belle Vue is that the drink is served very strong, a possible nod to the prohibition era the lounge’s theme takes place in.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Menu Monday: When It’s Hot, Save Some Dosh at Walt Disney World (Pt 2)

by on December 8, 2014

Well, like Toy Story 4 or Frozen 2 I am back, with a sequel to my previous article on free water at Walt Disney World. I would kindly ask that you read that article first (if you haven’t already) as this will help you understand how my harsh judging system works. It will also enlighten you to the best places go get free water in the Magic Kingdom. In this follow-up, which I hope does not go straight to DVD like Simba’s Pride, I am going to review the free water options in the other three main Disney theme parks. Wish me luck.

As you all know, Christmas is getting nearer so really there is no better time to do a saving money article. Who couldn’t do with saving up to $40 a day on your Disney holiday (vacation)? (Price based on a family of four each drinking four bottles of water each a day at $2.50 a time). Water is a necessity when touring any Disney theme park, but why pay out every day when Disney offers free water?

So without further ado, I will start with Epcot and everyone’s favourite; yes it’s Club Cool. If you have yet to experience this then you really need to. Coca-Cola have (Ed. – note British English uses plural possessives to refer to companies) set up a number of sample stations for their drink products around the world. OK, so it is not technically “water” but it’s free and it is a drink, albeit in mini cups, but they are limitless. I would definitely recommend Italy’s famous Beverly, but if you have already tried this, maybe taste all the different flavoured Fantas. Just remember that there is no limit to how many you can have.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Menu Monday: Beaches & Cream Soda Shop

by on December 8, 2014

Beaches & Cream Soda Shop

©Disney

Recently my boys and I returned from another fun-filled adventure in Disney World. As with all great Disney vacations, one of the things we strive to include beyond the attractions are some delicious sweets. At home we don’t eat many extravagant desserts, so when we are on vacation the sky is the limit when it comes to tasty treats. One of our favorite stops is Beaches & Cream Soda Shop. When we first tried this restaurant several years ago, we were enticed by stories of mountains of ice cream and the legend of a famous sundae. Now we keep returning, not only for these enchantingly sweet concoctions, but for the ambiance and other delectable dishes that Beaches & Cream continues to offer.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

25 Drinks of Christmas Countdown – Day 6: Avocado Margarita at La Cava del Tequila

by on December 6, 2014

The Christmas season is my absolute favorite time of the year. Growing up, one of the little things I loved most was getting an Advent calendar and counting down the days until Santa would be coming down the chimney. As I grew older, I had to leave Advent calendars in the rear view mirror,* but I still miss that daily countdown building anticipation to the big day. So, we’re going to start a virtual Advent calendar here at TouringPlans. For 2014, we are going to countdown our favorite drinks at Walt Disney World and the Universal Orlando Resort.

Criteria: Drinks can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Drinks can come from any venue on property as well as the Disney Cruise Line. Bonus points awarded for atmosphere where drink is served. Any drink with glow cubes is immediately disqualified. Ready? Let’s go!

DAY SIX: Avocado Margarita at La Cava del Tequila (Epcot)

LaCavaStacydrinks

Jalapeño margarita (left) and Avocado margarita (right) at La Cava del Tequila. (photo by Stacey Lantz)

 

Epcot’s La Cava del Tequila is hands down one of our favorite places on Disney property to get a drink. Located inside the Mexico pavilion’s incredible pyramid, La Cava’s dark, intimate, cave-like atmosphere is off the charts. There isn’t much food at La Cava (although of the limited menu, we do highly recommend the chips and guacamole,) but that doesn’t matter because you’re here for the widest selection of margaritas and tequila shots in the theme park universe, not to mention, the best. For Day 6 of the countdown we are spotlighting the Avocado Margarita, a drink so popular it seems to have formed its own cult following within the Disney community. While technically a frozen margarita, the actual drink is more akin to a smoothie, with a smooth taste that is almost impossible to describe. However, we promise you’ll be back for more. The servers at La Cava are also some of the most knowledgable at WDW, so be sure to ask them recommendations based on your personal preferences.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

SATURDAY SIX: In Memoriam – Six Things We Lost From the Theme Park World in 2014

by on December 6, 2014

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Things We Lost From the Theme Park World in 2014. As theme park fans, we’ve had a lot to be thankful for this year. Unfortunately for us, the theme park business itself seems to be turning into a zero-sum game, where we only get new things if we lose something else. So while it’s fantastic that we’re getting a Frozen attraction, James Cameron’s World of Avatar, and restaurants such as Cowfish, it comes with a sense of sadness as it also means we’re probably saying goodbye to something in the parks and resorts that we have been enjoying. Today we pay our respects to some of those that we lost in the past year, starting with….

 

# 6 – Camp Minnie-Mickey/ Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade (Animal Kingdom)

Regular readers of the SATURDAY SIX know how much we love Animal Kingdom, so it was tough to see two things leave this year: Camp Minnie-Mickey, and Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade. While Camp Minnie-Mickey had no major attractions outside of a stage show and character meet-and-greets, the entire area was wonderfully designed and was delightful to take in while appreciating all the whimsical details. The area of Camp Minnie-Mickey is scheduled to be part of the upcoming Pandora expansion to the park.

campminniemickey_glover

Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Daisy Duck taking a Jr. Woodchuck stroll through Camp Minnie Mickey. (photo by Brandon Glover)

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Intermission Food Court Has Reopened at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort

by on December 5, 2014

Intermission Food CourtFor the past few months, the Intermission Food Court at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort has been under a large scale refurbishment. The area was originally supposed to open on December 21, but surprise, it reopened a few weeks early!

The resort’s counter service location’s refurbishment is similar to what happened at the End Zone Food Court at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort, with lots of clean lines, wood decor, tons of lighting, and very meticulous theming which can be found hidden throughout the eatery, including murals featuring Mickey, Minnie, and the gang. (Which are based off the new Mickey Mouse shorts currently airing on the Disney Channel. Which also means no more creepy musician murals…so that’s a major win!) Overall, it’s a nice upgrade from what was there before, aesthetically.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Walt Disney World Crowd Level Changes December 2014 to December 2015

by on December 5, 2014

 

Average posted wait times (in minutes) between October 1 and December 4, 2014

Wait times are up at Magic Kingdom this Fall and we are refreshing the Crowd Calendar to reflect the new trend for the rest of 2014. In fact, Fall wait times are up across all parks compared to last year. Also, we’ve completed a complete review of school schedules and holidays, park schedules and travel trends for 2015 so you will see some updates throughout future dates as well. Despite the increases this Fall our crowd level numbers have gone down for much of 2015. This is because our predictions tend to be conservative the further into the future you go. Now that 2014 is coming to an end, we can be a little more definite about our crowd projections next year.

Crowd trends are dynamic at Disney World as they are in travel generally so these new projections may (and likely will) change. Use the calendar numbers as a guideline to plan your trip and if you have a travel date in mind, click Track This Day to get notified of changes.

Below is a list of the major changes by month.

 

Crowd Calendar Updates By Month
Dates Here’s What’s New
Dec 4-20 Magic Kingdom waits are up, so goes the crowd level for December. We especially noticed an increase to crowd levels on Saturdays when the park hosts extra magic hour evenings in between days with operating hours shortened by Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties. Lots of new ’5′s and ’6′s at Magic Kingdom, up from ’2′s and ’3′s. Pre-Christmas estimates at Epcot have gone up as well, look for Dec 20-21 going up by three levels to ’7′ and ’9′.
Dec 21-31 No major changes
Jan 1-14 A mix of changes to Hollywood Studios in response to some day-to-day variations we’ve noticed. Some ’9′s and ’10′s have become ’7′s and ’8′s while some other have gone up a point or two. If there is an exception to the uptrend Animal Kingdom is it. We have a streak of lowering by two or more levels between Jan 1-13 at that park.
Jan 15-31 Our post-Martin Luther King Jr Day predictions were high last year so this Jan 21-22 sees some lowering by 4 levels at Magic Kingdom, and by 3 at The Studios and Animal Kingdom. Epcot remains stable with a few minor bumps.
Feb 1-14 No major increases. Several days at The Studios and Animal Kingdom were lowered, in line with similar levels we saw last year.
Feb 15-28 Stable numbers for Presidents Week and Mardi Gras, still ’8′s and above although the good news is that post holiday numbers have dropped, likely due to the synchronization of the two holidays.
Mar 1-14 Some early March predictions have dropped at The Studios and Animal Kingdom, while Epcot and Magic Kingdom remain as is.
Mar 15-30 No major changes
Apr 1-14 Again, we’re seeing some lowering of crowd levels post-holiday. Easter week remains high at all parks but the week after is lower than before, especially at Magic Kingdom and The Studios. This follows from our collection of school holiday schedules – 98% of schools are back in session starting April 13.
Apr 15-30 Almost no changes to Magic Kingdom during this period, elsewhere some small adjustments.
May – December Other large changes to the calendar include some July days at Epcot increasing by 2 or 3 levels; lower numbers in late August and early September; and higher numbers for Thanksgiving and Christmas 2015.

 

If you are planning to visit a park whose crowd level has changed we encourage you to review your touring plan if you have not already done so. Also, make sure to re-optimize your plan every so often to ensure it uses the latest estimates of wait times.

For more information of what to do if the crowd level changes for your travel dates click here.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print