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Some Disney Springs Shop Tenants Revealed

by on January 26, 2015 7 Comments

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©Disney

©Disney

According to The Orlando Sentinel, we have an official listing of some of the new stores that will take up residence of The Landing section of Disney Springs. They include:

  • APEX by Sunglass Hut - Sells high end sunglasses with a focus on sports. These are the perfect sunglasses to wear when getting out there, being active.
  • Art of Shaving – A high-end shaving products store, including aromatherapy-based grooming products and elegant shaving instruments. This brand is concerned with getting you that “perfect shave.”
  • Chapel Hats – Offers hats and headwear that are perfect for a night on the town or maybe even that special event. They don’t offer your traditional baseball cap, instead they sell headwear like fedoras, Panama hats, pork pies, and even top hats. They also offer a selection of beautiful hats for women, such as derby hats, floppy hats, and more.

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Non-Disney Pizza delivered to your Resort

by on January 26, 2015 12 Comments

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Early last year as we rested in our Disney resort room one evening, I became quite startled as something came flying under our door into the room. This told me two things: 1) I would spend the rest of the vacation wondering what else was going to come under the door. 2) There were unauthorized solicitors of some sort on the floor of my building.

Classic Chicago Style © Uno

Classic Chicago Style © Uno

We quickly rose and looked out the window to see who the culprit was, but they were long gone. I suspect they were moving fast so Disney security would not detect them on property. We then investigated what had been thrust into the room. It turned out to be a flyer for pizza delivery; somewhat crude and lackluster. We decided to hang onto it for future, longer trips when we needed a break from Disney food (don’t judge).

Later that year when we were planning for our return trip, we scheduled an evening for pizza delivery from our mystery solicitors. Then I stumbled upon a thread on one of the many Facebook groups I follow, about where to get “good” pizza when in Orlando. Many people warned about the scams of ordering from these door stuffers. It was even suggested that they are not real businesses, only people looking to get your credit card number. Well, we weren’t up for taking that chance! We threw the flyer away and did more research on where we could get reputable pizza offsite that delivered to the resorts.

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Menu Monday: Rainforest Cafe at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

by on January 26, 2015 5 Comments

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Rainforest Cafe at Disney's Animal KingdomMy family and I love the Rainforest Café. As we travel around the country, we always take every opportunity that we get to stop and enjoy a meal at this restaurant. Over the years, we’ve dined at the Rainforest Café in Disneyland, Dallas, Galveston, Denver (now sadly closed), Las Vegas, Downtown Disney and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The location in Animal Kingdom is by far one of our favorites with its spaciousness, enthusiastic wait staff and high quality cuisine. Please read on to learn more about this delicious destination and our exciting morning in Animal Kingdom. Your adventure is about to begin!

Art of Animation

The Day Begins

On this day of our Disney vacation, my boys and I woke up early and had a quick breakfast at Landscape of Flavors at our home base for this trip – Art of Animation. If you haven’t had the chance to check out this Disney resort yet, I would recommend just stopping by to take a look around. It has a huge gift shop, a fun arcade for the kids and lots of great photo opportunities without all of the crowds. After our tasty breakfast of pastries and fruit smoothies, we headed out to the bus stop for our ride to Animal Kingdom. Read the rest of this entry »

Music Made More Popular by Disney Parks

by on January 25, 2015 20 Comments

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icon5Much of the wonderful music that we hear at Walt Disney World and Disneyland are music taken from Disney television or movies. If you’ve followed the AtMousePhere blog posts, we’ve taken a look at how some Disney songs fit perfectly into an area, and other songs are rearranged.

In other areas of the Parks, however, Disney Imagineers incorporated music from outside the Disney universe. Especially in an area like Epcot, using pieces of music from that country or land makes that area in the Park more “authentic.”

Ever since I took an interest in Disney Parks music back in 2009, I did a lot of research to find songs that I heard on MouseWorld Radio and in YouTube videos of the Parks. I learned the names and artists, found out how I could purchase the song, and then did so. Sometimes I found the song on iTunes, sometimes on Amazon, and other times I actually had to order a CD because it wasn’t available in mp3.

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SATURDAY SIX: The Six Best Attractions at the Universal Orlando Resort According to Our All-Star Panel

by on January 24, 2015 5 Comments

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This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at the Six Best Attractions at the Universal Orlando Resort. We invited distinguished theme park experts from all over the world to come together and decide – once and for all – what the six best attractions are at the Universal Orlando Resort. Unfortunately, they were all busy. So instead we would like to introduce to you an all star, blue ribbon panel, made up of Universal experts. These include members of some of the greatest Universal websites (including Orlando United and Orlando Informer), the best Universal podcasts (including Parkscope and the Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast), the most amazing Uni photogs (including Mike Sperduto and Brandon Glover), high ranking officials of the Theme Park Illuminati (such as Len Testa and Jim Hill), fan favorite park icons (including Scarlett Litton and Mark Diba), and the man who literally wrote the book on Universal, Seth Kubersky. We used a total of 25 individuals, in honor of Universal’s upcoming 25th Anniversary.

SaturdaySix_Computer

SATURDAY SIX staff crunching numbers.

The Criteria: Each of the 25 experts voted on what they consider to be the six best attractions at the Universal Orlando Resort. These attractions could be any ride or show currently in Islands of Adventure or Universal Studios Florida. Special event shows – such as Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure or the Blues Brothers Christmas Show – were not eligible. Each attraction listed would be awarded ONE point, except for the attraction that the voter ranked in his #1 spot – that received TWO points. The votes were then sent to a top secret location in Florida and counted no less than 22 times (we’ve had some problems in the past. Sorry, Mr. Gore). The results are in, and we now proudly present….

The DEFINITIVE GUIDE to the SIX BEST ATTRACTIONS at the UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT.

# 6 – MEN IN BLACK: Alien Attack (14 Points)

BEST_MIB_Sperduto

MEN IN BLACK: Alien Attack. (photo by Mike Sperduto)

Jim Hill, JimHillMedia.com – Steven Spielberg was supposedly the guy who came up with Universal Studios Florida’s original catch phrase (“Ride the Movies”). But MEN IN BLACK: Alien Attack was the first theme park attraction that really did allow guests to ride a movie. To immerse theme park visitors in this hyper-detailed environment that then tried to replicate the specific look & feel of a particular motion picture. So much of what Universal Creative has since been celebrated for when it comes to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, it first did with the April 2000 opening of this 70,000 square foot attraction. From the exterior to this enormous show building (which replicates the observation towers of the New York State Pavilion that played such an important part in the finale of the original Men in Black movie) to the insane level of detail found in this attraction’s queue (e.g., being able to listen in on the “worm guys” as they take their coffee break) to how interactive the actual “Alien Attack” ride is all by itself… The sheer ambition of MIB:AA is still kind of mind-blowing. And then when you factor in that upwards of 2200 Guests are able to experience this USF attraction every hour … Well, is it any wonder that the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) decided to give Universal Creative an Outstanding Achievement award in 2001 for all the great work that it did on this interactive, genuinely immersive attraction?

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Universal Orlando Early Park Admission Now at Islands of Adventure Only

by on January 23, 2015 9 Comments

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Universal Orlando Early Park Admission IOA

Universal Orlando Early Park Admission policies have changed once again. (photo by Seth Kubersky)

Welcome back to the never-ending saga of Universal Orlando Early Park Admission procedures. As of January 20, 2015, Universal has yet again adjusted the popular perk offered to their on-site hotel guests. Early Park Admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which allows eligible guests into the resort’s most popular area one hour before the general public, is now restricted to only Hogsmeade at Islands of Adventure.

A quick recap: IOA offered early entry hours from the time the first Harry Potter land opened in 2010 until last year. Once Diagon Alley opened last summer, both parks opened for early park admission until the summer season ended, at which point only Universal Studios Florida was opened. This made sense, as most guests are primarily interested in the new Diagon Alley, and early park admission was the best time by far to experience Escape from Gringotts without a lengthy wait.

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In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of January 23, 2015

by on January 23, 2015 2 Comments

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In Case You Missed It!

In Case You Missed It!

I promise that this week’s “In Case You Missed It” has not be deflated in any way, shape, or form; it is perfectly intact. No DeflateGate here!

This week’s article features a plethora of fun including a cool relic from 1955 Tomorrowland, an article about what could be behind Frozen’s popularity, and more!

 

In Case You Missed It – Disney and Universal Orlando News and Rumors

 

Congrats to the all new Four Seasons resort! It was named as one of AAA’s Five Diamond Award recipients, making it the only Five Diamond resort in Orlando.

Reports were released of the injuries associated with rides at the major theme parks in Orlando; here are this quarter’s results.

Oh my god, I’m in love! Have you seen the new Starbucks/Disney mugs? I’m not one who usually has to collect coffee mugs, despite my massive love for coffee, but these I think are gonna be must-haves. (I’m also gonna need that plastic tumbler too.) Read the rest of this entry »

Historic Cocoa Village: Unique Shopping and Dining near Port Canaveral

by on January 23, 2015 3 Comments

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Here at TouringPlans, we always recommend that cruisers arrive a day early for their Disney Cruise if possible. Things can happen, and the ship will leave without you if you’re running late. So what do you do for entertainment in the 24 hours before you leave? Sure, you could spend a day at Walt Disney World or even stay there and take a Disney transfer to Port Canaveral, but that’s a lot of money in park admission, plus the additional cost of the bus ride ($70 round trip, per person). Or you could stay closer to the port and explore the area.

Just a short drive from Port Canaveral, a historic downtown district offers riverfront views, eclectic dining, unique and local shopping, and an atmosphere that promises fun for all ages. It’s called Historic Cocoa Village, and it’s the perfect addition to your Cocoa Beach or Port Canaveral stay.

Cocoa Riverfront Park - Natalie Reinert

Riverfront Park, just east of Cocoa Village, offers a boardwalk along the Indian River.

Stretching over a handful of city blocks alongside the Indian River and State Route 520 (King Street), Cocoa Village is a thriving example of downtown revitalization, with a distinctively Floridian feel. Umbrella trees shade cafes tucked away in quiet courtyards, palm trees line the streets, and shops dedicated to flip flops and resort-wear stand alongside restaurants featuring house-made ice cream and Southern cooking.

On the eastern side, a playground shaded by live oaks gives way to an outdoor amphitheater and a boardwalk stretching along the Indian River, offering panoramic views of the boat-dotted river and the faraway shoreline of Merritt Island. Read the rest of this entry »

Relocating to Florida: Part Three: The Florida Difference and Disney as a local

by on January 23, 2015 11 Comments

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TouringPlans logoWe’ve made it to the final installment in my relocation series! Below are links to Part One and Part Two.

Part One: Weather and Finances

Part Two: New Surroundings and the Disney Distance

We’re back with fellow Touringplans bloggers Julia Mascardo and Natalie Reinert as we discuss the Florida difference and traveling to Walt Disney World as a local.

How often did you think you’d be visiting the parks?

Julia: I thought that we’d probably be at the parks once or twice a week.

Natalie: As long as we are living nearby, we’ll be at the parks a few times a week.

How often do you actually visit the parks?

Julia: Like we thought, once or twice is what we do in a typical week. We often do end up at a resort once a week as well, just to grab breakfast or dinner.
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Using an Electric Scooter (ECV) at Walt Disney World

by on January 22, 2015 45 Comments

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Renting a scooter can help your senior keep up.

Your chariot awaits!

My mom, Terri, has two autoimmune diseases: Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Rhematoid Arthritis (RA). Because of this, walking for long periods of time (especially in the hot sun) causes her pain, dizziness and exhaustion. We have visited Walt Disney World many times and each time, she did her best to explore the parks on foot. However, as her diseases progressed, walking became more and more difficult for her. She tried to walk slower and take more breaks, but we could still see the pain in her eyes. My mom is a selfless and caring person, so she felt guilty. She felt she was holding us back and letting us down. She saw us changing plans to accommodate her and so she started making excuses to stay behind in the room to prevent any inconveniences.

Time for a Change

I noticed her attitude change, and explained that she was neither an inconvenience nor letting us down. I don’t see her as a woman with two diseases. I see her as my loving mother. My family and I love spending time with her and were so sad to see her missing out on the fun. I spoke with my Dad and we approached the subject of an electric scooter, or electric conveyance vehicle (ECV). At first, she declined. She was embarrassed because she thought she would be the only one using one. She thought getting around would be difficult and using Disney transportation would be a hassle.

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