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Dining Review: New Epcot Breakfast Options

by on June 29, 2016 1 Comment

With all of the frenzy surrounding the opening of Frozen Ever After in the Norway pavilion of World Showcase in Epcot, it was easy to miss the recent news that there are a few new breakfast options in World Showcase now, too. Aside from the already-available options at Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie in the France pavilion and Sunshine Seasons at The Land, guests can now drop in to La Cantina de San Angel in the Mexico pavilion or Kringla Bakeri og Kafe in the Norway pavilion to satisfy their breakfast cravings. A few days ago, I tried many of the new items to see if they are worth a stop (spoiler alert: they definitely are!).

Chilaquiles con huevos

Chilaquiles con huevos

Mexico’s new options all come from La Cantina de San Angel, the quick service location just across from the main pyramid of the pavilion. The new breakfast menu features three new full-sized entrees unique to this restaurant and a kid’s scrambled-eggs-with-potatoes option, all of which are offered until 11:00 AM daily in addition to a few of the standard menu items (including soft drinks and the restaurant’s popular churros dessert – yes, you can have churros for breakfast, because why not, it’s vacation?). Once you order and receive your food, just like during the early hours of lunch service here, you can take a seat in the covered area on World Showcase Lagoon, or if the sign near the back of the building indicates, make use of the additional (air-conditioned!) seating in the back of La Hacienda’s main dining room (a welcome option in 100% humidity).

Pambazo de chorizo con huevo

Pambazo de chorizo con huevo

My first taste of the new breakfast options came from the pambazo de chorizo con huevo, a breakfast sandwich-type meal with scrambled eggs, chorizo, jack cheese, red onions, lettuce, and guacamole ($9.95). The pambazo is served dipped-sandwich style, covered in a mild red chili salsa – traditionally filled with potatoes and chorizo, but here we see eggs instead. The scrambled eggs within the bread roll are real eggs (no weird powdered eggs here, a definite positive), cooked with the chorizo to give them a smoky, savory bite offset by the creamy guacamole and crunchy lettuce. My bread roll was a bit stale, but nothing that couldn’t have been fixed by a few drips of the green tomatillo or spicy red chili sauces available on the restaurant’s condiment bar. This is a fairly traditional Mexican take on a popular on-the-go style breakfast, full of flavor and pretty filling, considering the roll and the scrambled eggs. Overall, I was a fan, and think this will probably be a winner for many, though I did prefer the next two menu items I tried a bit more. Read the rest of this entry »

Walt Disney World July 2016 Preview

by on June 29, 2016 5 Comments

Welcome to TouringPlans’ preview for Walt Disney World for July 2016 – everything you need to know if you’re traveling to the Happiest Place on Earth next month. Who’s ready for July?

Orlando Average Weather for July

 

Hi 98.1, Low 75.5, 76.3% Humidity, 17 days with rain

July Weather for Orlando

 

 

 

 

 

July in Orlando is HOT, but at least it’s a wet heat. Pack your light colored clothing, swimsuits, and lots of sunscreen. Plan to visit the parks early in the morning or late in the day to avoid the heat as much as you can and spend your afternoons napping or at the pool. Summer’s extended hours mean there is plenty park time available after dark, so take advantage of it, especially if you’re eligible for Extra Magic Hours.

Upcoming Live Chats for July

Want to chat live about your trip? Join us on Facebook throughout the month as our experts take your questions in a fun and lively discussion.

July 1 — Overnight at the Air and Space Museum. Brian will be spending the night in Washington, D.C.’s Air and Space museum (not sleeping…hopefully) as part of the building’s 40th birthday. They will likely be short notice depending on timing and crowds, but there will be at least one live tour of some of the museum’s exhibits.

Times for all live chats are posted in advance on our Facebook page and on Twitter.

Walt Disney World Park Crowds for July

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Taking Your Parents to Walt Disney World: The Interview

by on June 29, 2016 7 Comments

Copyright Claire Nat 2016After a whole year of planning and preparation, my parents and I took our week-long trip to Orlando at the beginning of June! It was hot, it was muggy, and we endured a heavy dose of Tropical Storm Colin, but we had a great time!

But don’t take my word for it; I’ll let my parents speak for themselves!

Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 before you read on! A big thanks to Jan from MEI and MouseFan Travel for setting up our resort and dining reservations and tickets!

 

Overall, how did this trip to Orlando go compared to previous trips you took in 1988, 1995, and 2000?
Dad: We certainly did more and had a better idea about what we were doing in advance, which made the whole trip successful.
Mom: I think I enjoyed this trip a bit more than all the others because it was based solely on what we wanted to do and we didn’t have to accommodate any small children. I always loved seeing the attractions through the eyes of my children, but this time I got to be the kid!

Copyright Claire Nat 2016What was your favorite part of the whole week?
Dad: I enjoyed the unexpected diamonds in the rough – Captain Jack’s Pirate Tutorial, The Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, the Dapper Dans – things I wasn’t expecting to enjoy so much.
Mom: This was tough! My sentimental favorite attraction is it’s a small world because I was at the 1964 World’s Fair when the ride debuted.

What was your least favorite part of the whole week? 
Dad: Waiting so long for Fantasmic, only to have it canceled 30 minutes before showtime. (That was the night that Tropical Storm Colin came through.)
Mom: My exhaustion in the heat. I wish I could someday visit Florida in any other season than summer. I also thought Stitch’s Great Escape was a waste of time. (Author’s note: I did warn them!) Read the rest of this entry »

Magic Kingdom Parades At Walt Disney World + Video

by on June 28, 2016 4 Comments

Magic Kingdom is full of wonder, it's no mystery why preschoolers love it so much.

Welcome back to TouringPlansTV!

Today, I’m talking all about Magic Kingdom Parades at Walt Disney World. Read the rest of this entry »

Dinner at Cabanas: A Review from the Disney Dream

by on June 28, 2016 1 Comment

As the saying should go, if you starve on a cruise ship, it is by choice alone. At any time of day there is always something to eat. For many, the highlight of the day is typically the main dining for dinner, where themed dining rooms and a carefully crafted menu combine with a little bit of Disney magic for an unforgettable meal. Sometimes it can be too much of a good thing, however, and there may be reasons why you want to skip main dining. Perhaps you don’t feel like dressing up. Maybe you want a quieter meal. You might have even overslept and missed early dining. Thankfully, on select nights, there is another option–dinner at Cabanas.

On my most recent cruise on the Disney Dream, my husband and I tried dinner at Cabanas. Here’s our experience:

Because it was pirate night for our cruise, I was wearing jeans and a pirate t-shirt–something that I would have felt awkward wearing to Royal Palace (where we were assigned that night). Because dinner at Cabanas is more casual, my outfit was not out of place at all. The dining room is changed a bit from breakfast and lunch service. You have two servers assigned to your table, just like in the main dining room. These are servers who are training for the main dining room, and so they go over the top trying to be attentive to whatever you need. The dining room itself has placemats and fun “Cabanas-style” napkins, plus glass plates and glasses–a step above the plates and cups at other meals.

DSC03822

Unlike the main dining rooms, where you have a set time to show up, you can show up without a reservation at any time during Cabanas’ dinner service (which on our cruise was 6:30-8:30). When we arrived at the beginning of the dinner time, we checked in, gave our stateroom number, and were seated immediately. Due to lower seating capacity, if there is high demand, you may have to wait for a table. Read the rest of this entry »

Frontera Cocina Now Open at Disney Springs

by on June 27, 2016 3 Comments

Frontera Cocina

Taken prior to opening   ©Rikki Niblett

The newest restaurant for Disney Springs has opened! Frontera Cocina, brought to life by celebrity chef, Rick Bayless, is now open in the Town Center section of Disney Springs.

Frontera Cocina will delight friends, family and food-lovers with exciting flavors and a contemporary Mexican experience. Frontera Cocina features warm colors, an open kitchen and a lively atmosphere.  The table-service portion of the restaurant offers menu items such as Oaxacan Red Chile Chicken, Salsa Verde Shrimp Enchiladas Suizas, Carnitas, Shrimp Mojo de Ajo, Crispy Half Chicken, and freshly made salsa and guacamole.

The restaurant also includes a quick-service window, offering Guests the option of enjoying on-the-go tacos, chips and guacamole, as well as a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Frontera Cocina is open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

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More Details about the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

by on June 27, 2016

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

They’re coming back! If you are a fan of the ABC daytime show, “The Chew”, have I got some great news for you! The five co-hosts, Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly and Daphne Oz, will be returning to record five shows live from the 21st Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. The show will tape on October 5-7 and will air on ABC from October 10-14. For those who missed the show taped at Epcot last year, the hosts shared stores of Disney adventures, played games, and created tasty dishes and drinks. Those looking to attend a taping will be able to find out more information soon.

In addition, throughout the festival, fans of “The Chew” will be able to stop at The Chew Collective in the Next Eats section located in Future World. Dishes will include Grilled Beef Skewer with Romaine, Apricots and Feta Cheese; Ricotta and Zucchini Ravioli with Rustic Tomato Sauce and Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Mousse with a Caramel Drizzle. Festival guests also can sip this year’s exclusive new Festival Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon at The Chew Collective. Read the rest of this entry »

A Teetotaler’s Review of Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar

by on June 27, 2016 11 Comments

jocklindsey11

Do you seek adventure? How about fortune and glory? If so, you may want to add Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar to your next travel itinerary! Last year, Disney Springs gained Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, themed after Indiana Jones’ pilot, Jock Lindsey, from Raiders of the Lost Ark. This incredibly themed dining destination has been on my to-do list for months; but as you probably noticed by this article’s title, I’m somewhat of a teetotaler and was a little apprehensive about dropping in a self-proclaimed bar and ordering a soft drink! But a few weeks ago, after an especially long and hot trek through Disney Springs, I decided to venture in to finally check it out for myself. So if you’re curious about my adventure, or you’re a fellow non-drinker who may have had the same concerns, here’s A Teetotaler’s Review of Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar.

Story:

As with everything at Walt Disney World, it’s always about the story and Jock Lindsey’s maintains that tradition. The story behind this Disney Springs addition is that Jock came across this particular part of Florida while on an adventure with Indy. He, and his famous pet snake Reggie, returned in the 1940s and bought a waterfront piece of property to operate a seaplane tour operation. His hangar eventually became a popular hangout for fellow globe trotters, particularly for members of The Society of Explorers and Adventures, and now Disney World travelers.

Note: The story behind Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar has ties to the storyline of the Magic Kingdom’s Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen, as The Society of Explorers and Adventures also frequented that location and references to Jock, Reggie, and Indy have been found there as well. Keep an eye out for them if you have the opportunity to visit!

jocklindsey10Location:

At Disney Springs, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar can be found at The Landing, a charming waterfront area between the Marketplace and the West Side and directly across from the newly opened Town Center. Of all the new spaces to be discovered at Disney Springs, The Landing is by far my favorite. I love the convenient, central location; and as I was staying at Disney’s Old Key West Resort, having the resort boat launch right next to Jock Lindsey’s was quite a perk.

Hours:

Unlike other bars or lounges I’m familiar with at Walt Disney World, Jock Lindsey’s opens each day at 11:30 A.M. and stays open throughout the afternoon and into the evening until Disney Springs closes for the night. During my first visit, I dropped in around 1:00 P.M; and while there were a few guests sitting both inside and out, I still pretty much had the place to myself which was great for exploring and taking a few photos without interfering with anyone’s meal. It would also be the ideal time for families to visit so kids could freely look around too.

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SATURDAY SIX: Six Reasons We LOVE the Queue For SKULL ISLAND: REIGN OF KONG

by on June 25, 2016 3 Comments

This week’s SATURDAY SIX looks at Reasons We LOVE the queue for SKULL ISLAND: REIGN OF KONG. Over the last two years, Trygve Nelson and Seth Kubersky have been tracking the progress of Skull Island at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Earlier this month it began technical rehearsals and started letting guests experience the attraction. One area that has drawn consistent raves is the queue. Over the last fifteen years, Universal has become the best in the business at building queues in which people actually enjoy spending time in line. Guests walk through what seems like the actual movie set for Men In Black: Alien Attack. At The Simpsons Ride, in two separate pre-show rooms, guests enjoy some hilarious jokes written by actual writers of The Simpsons television show. Meanwhile guests get to tour the Daily Bugle in The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man (which even has a dedicated themed experience just for Express Pass guests, allowing them to see Peter Parker’s dark room). Universal then perfected the queue experience with Forbidden Journey and Escape From Gringotts, creating lines guests actually wanted to spend more time in. This was not just the theme park equivalent of breaking the four minute mile, this was breaking the three minute mile. 

KongLogo_glover

Skull Island: Reign of KONG. (photo by Brandon Gllover)

The good news, is that not only does Skull Island: Reign of Kong continue Universal’s era of incredible queues, it becomes the first to take a page from the Halloween Horror Nights playbook and be extremely creepy as well. A good queue sets up a ride’s story and atmosphere, and Skull Island takes that to the next level. The giant facade alone, with seemingly thousands of skulls strewn about and a giant ape head made carved out of rock, is something pretty intense for the theme park world. Inside, the queue gets even better. Today we are going to look at six reasons we love the Skull Island queue, including some details many guests may miss when walking through. So sit back, grab a banana, and let’s start our countdown with…

# 6 – Reference to Revenge of the Mummy

Kongfrontation was an opening day ride for Universal Studios Florida back in 1990, and was based more or less around the King Kong film from 1976. Like Jaws, this was an iconic Universal ride that many guests fondly remember to this day. Kongfrontation closed in 2002 to make way for The Revenge of the Mummy. As with many recent attractions, Mummy has several tributes to Kong in both the queue and attraction itself. In an Inception-like nod, Skull Island has a reference back to Revenge of the Mummy. As guests load onto the ride vehicle, to their right will be several skeletons. One of these skeletons is just like one of the skeletons that rise up and attack guests in the Mummy’s impressive throne room sequence.

KONG_mummy_terrell

Skeleton in Kong queue. (photo by Travis Terrell)

Mummy_skeleton_courtesyunivesal

Skeletons in Revenge of the Mummy. (photo courtesy of the Universal Orlando Resort)

# 5 – Eighth Wonder Expedition Co.

Back in March, Universal started teasing their upcoming Kong attraction through the Myth Explorer web series and blog featuring Erin Ryder. In several of her updates, the 8th Wonder Expedition Company was seen or mentioned. In the Skull Island attraction, right before guests grab their 3D glasses, they will be able to see a crate stamped with this mysterious group’s logo. Many Universal fans, including Your Humble Author, believe Universal should have a full line of 8th Wonder Expedition Co. merchandise available. As of this writing, there is nothing.

KONG_8thwonder_Terrell

Eighth Wonder Expedition Co. Hopefully soon to be seen on t-shirts, hats, Tervis tumblers, and pressed pennies. Hey, a guy can dream can’t he? (photo by Travis Terrell)

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Celebrate the Fourth of July at Walt Disney World

by on June 24, 2016 1 Comment

©Disney

©Disney

It’s time to celebrate America with a bang and Disney will be doing so in red, white, and blue style! If you’re looking for fireworks spectaculars, Walt Disney World is the place to be! Here’s what you can expect to experience when saluting all nations, but mostly America.

Magic Kingdom

 

Celebrate the country’s highest office by enjoying a stop at the infamous Hall of Presidents. This inspirational Liberty Square show which includes all 43 U.S. Presidents tracing the history of the office, takes place every hour and half hour. Another must see is the Flag Retreat which takes place at 5:00 p.m. each day.

The Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade will be shown twice on both July 3 and 4 – once at 12:00 p.m. and once at 3:30 p.m.

Guests will have two chances to catch the spectacular fireworks extravaganza that is “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky.” The 14 minute showcase will take place on both July 3 and 4 at 9:00 p.m.

There will also be two showings of the Main Street Electrical Parade, once at 10:15 p.m. and once at 12:15 a.m.

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