Your subscriptions support new blog articles and research. Please consider

subscribing.

today.


Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: February 26, 2015

by on February 26, 2015 8 Comments

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World. This week we’re spending evenings in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom, having dinner at The Hollywood Brown Derby, and visiting Animal Kingdom for some bright blue skies. Three parks in one week! This is going to be a blast, let’s get going! :)

First, check out this view from the entrance of the Disney’s Hollywood Studios! You can almost see what this will look like once the hat is completely removed. While it was sad to watch it come apart, in the end I’m glad it’s gone. I can’t wait to see the last pieces removed and this view restored. What do you think now that it’s coming together? Do you still miss the hat?

301

Want to see more fun from all around Disney World this week? Click to read more.  Read the rest of this entry »

Why This Disney World Regular Wants to Visit Disneyland

by on February 26, 2015 17 Comments

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print
Sleeping Beauty Castle

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Disney World is my favorite place on earth and I love to visit as much as I can. There’s plenty to do with four theme parks, two water parks, a shopping district, and a number of incredibly themed resorts; but this Disney World Regular has her eye set on another Disney Park for her next trip. Where? The Disneyland Resort! But why? After all, the Disneyland Resort is much smaller, as is its castle, and many of the rides found at Disney World are also at both Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure. There’s also no water parks or as nearly many resorts. But wait! I have some good reasons, many of which Disneyland fans are sure to back me up on. In fact, many of my fellow Disney fans argue that the Disneyland Resort is better than Disney World on a number of points. So keep reading to find out why this Disney World Regular wants to visit Disneyland.

To Be A Park Newbie: My first trip to Disney World took place when I was nine months old. You see, both of my parents were Disney fanatics and couldn’t wait to introduce me to the Disney magic. Throughout my childhood, we took as many trips as we could. In fact, one of my earliest childhood memories is lying on my bed and studying the Disney World park maps from our most recent trip. I know that I was incredibly fortunate to have visited Disney World throughout my childhood, a tradition I’ve continued to this day; but I must admit that just once, I would like to see my favorite place on earth with new eyes, like a first-time guest who has no idea what’s around the next corner. But seeing how I can’t do that, I can go to the Disneyland Resort! I’ve always wanted to go. It’s Walt’s original vision and is the reason why there’s a Disney World in the first place. Not only would a visit be fulfilling as a Disney Fan, but I would love the chance to be a park newbie, to actually need those free parks at the entrance, and to sport one of those first-time visit buttons! Read the rest of this entry »

2015 Dates Released for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

by on February 25, 2015 13 Comments

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

MNSSHP and MVMCPMickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party are two of the most fun events that the Magic Kingdom holds each year! They both have fun parades, special fireworks, great “free” treats, lots of meet and greets, and much more!

For Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, the event will be held on select nights from September until November; the first party starts later than it did last year; the kick-off date is September 15 and parties will take place up until November 1. Overall, there will be 25 parties total to celebrate the spooky season. Dates for the 2015 season are:

  • September: 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 27
  • October: 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31
  • November: 1

Read the rest of this entry »

Theme Park Confessions: My First Mistake

by on February 25, 2015 9 Comments

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Dear readers,

I have a confession to make. I have not always been the perfect theme park traveler. I know it may seem that way but unfortunately I am not. Out of the many different mistakes I have made going to theme parks, the first was thinking I could handle more than I should. It was my first time at Knott’s Berry Farm–maybe when I was around 10 or so–and one of their main attractions was metal roller coaster called Boomerang (which is still there today). It is a short, fast, metal coaster that sends you barreling forwards and backwards at 47 mphs with two quick loops. I remember hearing about this attraction on commercials, and I was hyped to experience it. Even when I was in line, I believed I could handle it. Well, I was wrong.

Right after the ride ended, I was the first one to run off, crying, and not ever wanting to experience any roller coaster again. As a matter of fact, I was not able to go on any other roller coaster again for a few years. When I look back at this incident, I wish there was something that would have given me the ability to know what it was like to encounter this attraction beforehand. Even while standing in line, I did not truly understand what it would feel like to sit in one of those coast seats. This is why my advice to everyone–first timers or not–is to take advantage of ride through videos. It is the only way to truly know what you are going to get yourself into before stepping one foot into any theme park.

Read the rest of this entry »

A Non-Park Disney Vacation

by on February 25, 2015 22 Comments

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

As a non-Florida resident, my trips to Walt Disney World are not as frequent as I’d like. And when I get the opportunity to get to my favorite place on earth, I plan every moment of every day and pack in as much pixie dust as possible. It’s not uncommon for me to only get 4-5 hours of sleep a night as I open and close parks and fill the days with finely-tuned Touring Plans and FastPass+ reservations. These trips usually end with me in a Disney-induced coma on a plane heading back to the southwest, but completely content. I imagine it’s what marathon runners must feel like. Yeah, it can be painful, and sometimes you wonder if you’re insane for committing to this, but afterword it’s such a triumph and you can’t help but feel proud for all you’ve accomplished.

Photo - Michael Dahlgren

It’s vision that brings us all joy.
Photo by Michael Dahlgren

When I was presented with the opportunity to be in Orlando for a work conference, my heart simultaneously leapt and crashed all at once. What a great excuse for an impromptu Disney trip (especially with a flight and 2 hotel nights paid for)! But then I looked at my budget, there’s a reason I didn’t have a Disney trip in the works already – I was already over-extended and committed to other trips this year. But how could I be in Orlando – so close to the House of the Mouse and NOT go?! The mere idea violates my very nature as a Disneyphile. I confided my disappointment in friend who kindly suggested, why don’t I just pick one park to go to for a day? That suggestion is almost more unnatural. One park? How can I choose one park? That’s like choosing a favorite child! I love them all! Choose the classic innocence and magic of Magic Kingdom over the food and culture of Epcot?  Or the details and natural beauty of Animal Kingdom over the stomach churning thrill rides of Hollywood Studios? No, no – there’s no way to pick just one park! The thought then occurred to me, I could do the four-parks-in-one-day challenge. But with only one day to dedicate to parks, I couldn’t be cheated that way. And I know that there’s no way I could only do one or two attractions in each park and pass by everything else without knowing I’d be right back to really do the park justice. And the time spent traveling between parks would take up too much precious time. So, that ruled out four park hopping.

Read the rest of this entry »

Disney It Yourself: The Great Piggy Bank Adventure App Review

by on February 24, 2015 9 Comments

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Photo - Angela DahlgrenImagine yourself sitting in front of the television on a Sunday evening. There you are minding your own business when suddenly, a Disney Parks commercial comes on.

BAM! The nostalgia hits you like a ton of bricks. You get that yearning feeling in the pit of your stomach while your heart aches for the most magical place on earth. Your next trip isn’t for several months. What can you do?!

In this series, I’m on a quest to scratch that Disney itch from the comfort of my own home. I’ll be reviewing Disney apps, trying out Disney crafts and exploring different options for satisfying that Disney craving.

First on the agenda: The Great Piggy Bank Adventure App.

The Great Piggy Bank Adventure App was first introduced in the Apple App Store on June 24, 2013. An update followed on March 14, 2014. It is based off the attraction of the same name, found at Innoventions West in Epcot. It is published by Disney and is presented by T. Rowe Price.

Read the rest of this entry »

Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report – February 15 to 21, 2015

by on February 24, 2015

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Except for Presidents Day Monday, crowds at Disneyland Resort edged one level higher than the Crowd Calendar predicted each day last week. The flow of crowds from day-to-day was exactly matched by the calendar’s predictions however.

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Universal Crowd Calendar Report – February 15 to 21, 2015

by on February 24, 2015

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Last week, a rainy Tuesday kept Universal Orlando crowd levels at bay until Wednesday and Thursday when wait times spiked a couple levels higher than expected. This happens often when guests lose a vacation day to bad weather. The Crowd Calendar did correctly predict the flow of crowds throughout the week however, including the near-maximum crowds levels on Sunday and Monday as guests took advantage of the Presidents Day and Mardi Gras holidays.

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Disney World Crowd Calendar Report – February 15 to 20, 2015

by on February 24, 2015 1 Comment

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Presidents Day, Mardi Gras and the Princess Half Marathon all in the same week meant for some interesting crowds last week. A rainy Tuesday kept crowds lighter than expected but then as the clouds broke away Wednesday the crowds returned. Other than that, our calendar correctly predicted the flow of crowds throughout the week.

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Best Themed Restaurants at Disney World

by on February 23, 2015 13 Comments

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

CrystalPalace

The level of detail that Disney Imagineers put into the theming of the parks is astonishing. If I can be perfectly content just sitting in an area and soaking in all the details, then that to me is a wonderfully themed area of a Disney park. The same goes for Disney dining. Obviously, food quality comes first but with the premium that you’re going to pay at Disney, I always try to eat at restaurants that are immersive and give me that feeling that I’ve actually entered the setting that the Imagineers were trying to convey. If you have that same desire to be transported away during your next Disney dining experience then you’re in the right place. Below, you’ll find a list of my personal five best themed restaurants at Disney World. Each of these restaurants has excellent theming that will surely enhance your meal. Luckily, the food happens to be great at each of them as well.

 

5. Flame Tree Barbecue

Might have to talk to your kids about the birds and the...snakes?

Might have to talk to your kids about the birds and the…snakes?

Starting off our list is the only quick service entry and the only outdoor entry on our list. Located in Animal Kingdom, Flame Tree Barbecue is my favorite place to eat a meal outdoors in the parks. Animal Kingdom is already a beautiful park so it’s no surprise that Flame Tree lives up to its park’s reputation. There are both covered seating areas and more sunny areas that are overlooking the water with Everest in the distance. There’s also a beautiful pond/pool towards the back of the seating area as well. Along with the great views, the covered areas I mentioned before are cool looking and come complete with a surprisingly “real” Circle of Life theme. Each patio features a predator eating its prey, which shows that Disney can take the kid gloves off every once in a while without going over the top. When it comes down to it, Flame Tree has arguably the best counter service food and best outdoor seating areas in the parks, which make it my fifth most atmospheric restaurant at Disney World. Note: Flame Tree is currently closed during Rivers of Light construction at Animal Kingdom, though some of its seating is open and you can find your smoked meats other places in the park. Read the rest of this entry »