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Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto Preview and New Polynesian Lobby Photos

by on March 25, 2015 10 Comments

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trader sam's grog grotto preview

Free postcards were available during the Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto preview event at WDW’s Polynesian Village Resort. (Photos by Seth Kubersky

 

Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel is one of our favorite places in the entire Disneyland Resort, so it’s an understatement to say we’re excited about the opening of its East Coast outpost. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is about to debut at Walt Disney World’s newly retro-christened Polynesian Village Resort, and on Monday, March 23 the hotel held a cast member-only preview of their new watering hole.

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Why I’m Going to Tokyo Disneyland Next Year Instead

by on March 25, 2015 8 Comments

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Tokyo DisneySea- PIcture from Guy Selga

Tokyo DisneySea- Picture from Guy Selga

Traveling is an obsession. The more you travel the stronger this obsession becomes. And there is only one way to keep this “passion” in control and that is by (obviously) traveling. For me, staying put in one place gets harder and harder. This is why traveling is so important to me. Since living and traveling to a dozen different countries in the past several years, my obsession for traveling has grown and has become a part of me. It is something that I think about all the time, which is why every few months I go back home (Southern California) to visit family, friends, and to just get away. But discovering new and desirable places is my main goal. And if these places happen to have an amazing theme park—especially Disney—then that is icing on the cake.

Going to Disney World for the first time—back in 2012—was awesome. I had a great time with friends and exploring one of the best Disney theme park resorts on Earth. After my first trip, I decided to make Disney World a bi-yearly adventure. Unfortunately for me, a couple of things happened: Disney theme park prices went up and learning more about Tokyo Disneyland. I made the choice to forgo my Disney World voyages and invest that money—and time–on a trip would be more thrilling and exciting. Even if that means I will have to pinch my pennies as hard as possible.

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Be Our Guest Breakfast: First Look Review

by on March 25, 2015 24 Comments

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Be our guest breakfast

Join us for our first Be Our Guest breakfast, as the Magic Kingdom’s most popular restaurant expands its hours and offerings. (Photos by Seth Kubersky).

The Magic Kingdom‘s Be Our Guest restaurant is one of Walt Disney World’s most popular places for lunch and dinner, and for a limited time you have a third mealtime to try to get a sought-after table inside the Beast’s enchanted domain. from now through June 18, you can enjoy an early morning meal in a castle other than Cinderella’s, thanks to the brand-new Be Our Guest breakfast service that began on March 20.

I made my reservation through My Disney Experience at Be Our Guest breakfast on the first day they became available for booking, securing a table for Two at 8:25 a.m. on Monday morning, 35 minutes before the Magic Kingdom’s official opening. This would my first pre-rope-drop entry into the park in many years, and even the early weather and wet weather didn’t dampen my spirits. Read the rest of this entry »

Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report – March 15 to 21, 2015

by on March 25, 2015

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Last Tuesday the Disneyland Crowd Calendar predicted a level ‘9’ at the resort but wait times in the parks translated to a level ‘7’. Other than that, our predictions did very well last week at both parks, hitting the mark or missing by only one level every day.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the TouringPlans.com Disneyland Resort Crowd Report:

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Disney World Crowd Calendar Report – March 15 to 21, 2015

by on March 25, 2015

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The Crowd Calendar predictions did very well last week with the resort-wide crowd level missing by no more than one index level each day. The weekdays were slightly more crowded than expected and the weekends slightly less. Spring Break-ers and their families are keeping wait times near the highest levels we see all year outside of holidays.

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

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Universal Crowd Calendar Report – March 15 to 21, 2015

by on March 25, 2015

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Aside from Saturday when crowds dipped lower than expected by two index points, the Crowd Calendar predictions did very well at Universal Orlando Resort last week. The parks remained crowded most of the week thanks to Spring Break-ers and their families.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the TouringPlans.com Universal Orlando Resort Crowd Report:

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Easter Happenings at Walt Disney World for 2015

by on March 24, 2015 2 Comments

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Easter

©Disney

Can you believe it? Easter is just a week and a half away! Wow has time flown.

With Easter upon us, I wanted to share a few things that those of you traveling down during the next couple of weeks may want to take advantage of!

First, for those visiting the Magic Kingdom, you’ll be able to meet Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny! The duo have hopped over to the Main Street U.S.A.’s Town Square Courtyard at the Bunny Lane Garden, located next to City Hall. They can be found meeting guests from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. and guests will receive a pre-autographed card before they exit. Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny will be at the Magic Kingdom through April 5.

As I’ve previously mentioned, at Epcot, they will be holding the popular Disney Egg-stravaganza Easter Egg Hunt. Guests will be able to explore World Showcase with a specially-themed map in hand, searching for decorative eggs themed to Disney Characters. They should then place the corresponding egg sticker on the map to represent that location. Maps and stickers may be purchased for $4.95 (plus tax) and when guests are finished, they may return the map to claim a surprise gift. The fun kicks off on March 27 and lasts through April 5. Read the rest of this entry »

Disney Cruise Line Wonder Summer 2016 Itineraries

by on March 24, 2015 1 Comment

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TouringPlans logoCastaway Club Gold and Platinum members can book via phone starting tomorrow, March 25. The general public can book online and by phone on the 26th.

Continuing from today’s Disney Cruise Line announcements about the Disney Magic, we have more information about the Wonder’s itineraries for next summer.

The Wonder will reposition through the Panama Canal from Miami on a cruise that starts May 1, 2016.

14-night Westbound Panama Canal

Ports: Miami; Cozumel; Cartagena, Colombia; Panama Canal; Puerto Vallarta; Cabo San Lucas; San Diego; 8 days at sea.

 

The Wonder will then sail the California Coast out of San Diego. Read the rest of this entry »

Disney World Planning Challenges: Managing Your Disney Evening

by on March 24, 2015 3 Comments

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So you’ve had a great day at Disney World! What should you do next? Follow up that great day with a fantastic evening, of course.TouringPlans logo

Whether you have a full-fledged touring plan in mind or decide to focus on more subdued activities during your evening, Disney World offers plenty of choices. This article highlights specific tips and looks at TouringPlans.com tools and information that can help make your evening a success.

An Evening in the Parks

Making a smooth transition from a day to an evening in Disney World will keep your vacation fun on track. Maybe you are just starting your vacation and planning some park time on the night of your arrival day. Or you have taken a resort break and plan to return to the parks later. Maybe you have taken the day off from the theme parks with plans to go into a park at night. Or you are extending a day already in the parks into the evening.

Great Movie Ride night by Sarah Graffam

The Great Movie Ride glows at night

In all of these cases, when planning for some park time at night, it’s important to consider factors such as what time to depart for the parks, how to get to there, whether to plan activities in advance, and—finally—when you may want to plan on heading back to your hotel. A bit of strategic planning can help you get to the fun as soon as possible.

Getting Off to a Good Start. One of the best ways to avoid feeling rushed when starting off your evening is to avoid the temptation to plan for only the most optimistic conditions in terms of timing. Instead, if it’s your arrival day, be sure to build in some extra time for getting to the World from the airport and checking into your hotel. My family generally expects to get from the airport to a park in 2.5 to 3 hours when stopping at our resort first.

If you have already started your vacation, be sure to leave time for the kids to have a last minute snack or take a final dip in the pool during an afternoon break. Read the rest of this entry »

Disney Cruise Line Announces Summer 2016 Itineraries

by on March 24, 2015 1 Comment

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Mickey Atrium Statue on the Magic

Helmsman Mickey returns to Europe Summer 2016. Photo by Laurel Stewart

Castaway Club Gold and Platinum members can book via phone starting tomorrow, March 25. The general public can book online and by phone on the 26th.

Disney Cruise Line announced Summer 2016 itineraries this morning. There are very few surprises, though the Eastbound trans-Atlantic cruise and British Isles cruises are new itineraries for Disney.

Disney Magic

Most of the news today concerns the Disney Magic, which will be doing Northern European and Mediterranean cruise summer of 2016. The 12-night British Isles cruise is a new itinerary for Disney Cruise Line.

The  14 night Eastbound repositioning cruise leaves Port Canaveral May 15, 2016 with the following ports and 9 nights at sea: Boston; Sydney (Nova Scotia), Canada; Dublin; Liverpool; Dover. Other than Dover, each of these is a brand new port for DCL.