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In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of October 13, 2017

by on October 13, 2017
Filed under: In Case You Missed It 6 Comments

In Case You Missed ItWell, today is Friday the 13 and so with that, I have a pressing question. Now, the saying is it’s bad luck for a black cat to cross your path on Friday the 13. How does that work if I have a black cat the crosses my path every day and is certain to cross my path today too? I think I’ll risk it. My cat, Professor Snape (yes, I did name my cat after a Harry Potter character and yes, Professor Snape is his actual full name) is pretty loving, you know…when he wants to be.

This week has been chock full of news! Take a look at a new patent that could signal a new attraction on the horizon, see which Disney film has been shelved, and find out which celebs you can see at Universal’s celebration of all things Harry Potter, plus so much more!

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


Victoria & Albert’s received the number two spot in TripAdvisor’s top 10 fine dining restaurants in the United States. (Yep…that’s right, I said out of the entire U.S., not just Orlando, or Florida.)

This week, Disneyland had a very interesting and eerie looking backdrop thanks to those awful fires in California. We hope that those impacted are remaining safe.

A droid named Jake is currently being tested around Disneyland. Is the something we will see in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge?   Read the rest of this entry »

Julia’s Best Week Ever, October 12, 2017: Mom’s Magical Morning

by on October 12, 2017
Filed under: Best Week Ever, Magic Kingdom 5 Comments

Last Friday, I got a note from my part-time job saying that they’d be closed Monday for the holiday. I checked my daughter’s school schedule–she had school. Then I contacted my full-time job, and asked them “Hey, um, I feel silly asking this, but do we have Monday off?” A handful of emails later, the staff realized that we did (although most people were planning to work during the day anyhow to avoid production falling behind, but as an hourly employee and not salary, that wasn’t an option for me). I checked with my husband–nope, he had to work.

I had a day off ….. by myself!

I hadn’t been to Magic Kingdom in ages, and that sounded like a great option for a quick solo trip. I dropped my daughter off at school at 8:30 and was pulling into the Simba section at 8:50. Ah, the local life! After a quick tram ride to a bus ride to a leisurely stroll, I was at the front entrance, which was surprisingly empty for a holiday.

Halloween decorations were all up, and I love the character that they have. It really does add something for the season.

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Walt Disney World Preview — Week of October 14

by on October 12, 2017
Filed under: Walt Disney World (FL), Weekly Preview

Another week, another Walt Disney World preview. Keep reading to see the latest!

Special Events

  • Reservations can now be made for Ferrytale Fireworks: A Sparkling Dessert Cruise. Enjoy desserts and specialty beverages while experiencing Magic Kingdom fireworks…all from Seven Seas Lagoon! This cruise begins December 1st, so book now!
  • Dining discounts have been extended for Annual Passholders! Through December 23rd, Passholders will continue to receive a 20% discount at 45 select Walt Disney World restaurants. For a list of participating restaurants, check out Rikki’s article!

Read the rest of this entry »

Universal Orlando Resort Preview — Week of October 14

by on October 12, 2017
Filed under: Harry Potter, Uncategorized, Universal Orlando Resort, Weekly Preview

The Universal Orlando Preview is brought to you by Storybook Destinations. Storybook Destinations specializes in Disney and Universal travel, is consistently highly rated by our readers, and is owned by our own blogger extraordinaire, Tammy Whiting. Storybook also offers free subscriptions to TouringPlans to clients with qualified bookings.

So you survived Friday the 13th….sounds like you deserve some playtime!

Weekly Crowd Level

Detailed crowd level information can be found here.

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Tickets Available Now for Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire Experience

by on October 11, 2017
Filed under: Disney Springs, Disneyland (CA), Downtown Disney, Recent News, Walt Disney World (FL) 11 Comments

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire

©Star Wars

Recently I told you about a brand new experience that Guests would be able to take part in called Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire. This is a new collaboration between Lucasfilm, ILMxLAB, and THE VOID that will take Guests into the Star Wars world via a hyper-reality experience at two new new VOID Experience Centers. These centers will be found at locations at both Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort and at Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Guests will be able to walk freely and untethered throughout the multisensory experience in groups of four. During the mission, under the orders of the budding rebellion, the teams will go undercover as stormtroopers to capture Imperial intelligence that is vital to the budding rebellion’s survival. The experience will take your team to the molten planet of Mustafar. Alongside K-2S0, your team must navigate through an enemy facility where you will walk into danger at every turn. Guests will grab their blaster, solve puzzles, and fight giant lava monsters in an effort to fulfill your team’s orders. Read the rest of this entry »

Five Ways a Disney Resort Concierge Can Help You

by on October 11, 2017
Filed under: Resorts, Walt Disney World (FL) 6 Comments

TouringPlans is pleased to welcome guest author Chloe Gandal to share her personal insights about Concierge. 

Planning a Walt Disney World trip can be overwhelming, and sometimes you may need a little extra help to get everything just right. As a former Walt Disney World Resort Concierge, I know that there are many families who never stop by the Concierge desk, perhaps because they simply don’t know how helpful the Concierge can be. We can assist families in many of the same areas as Guest Relations, without having to wait in a long line! If you need assistance in dining reservations, FastPass+ selections, MagicBands, tickets, or any magical extras (like tours, gift baskets, etc.), your resort Concierge is the place to visit. Here’s five ways that a resort Concierge can help you on your next trip.


  1. Dining Reservations

While the My Disney Experience app has made planning dining reservations more convenient, there are some instances where the reservation you’re looking for is simply unavailable on the app. In this case, visit the resort Concierge and check if they can find something on their end. Now, I’m not saying that the Concierge can always find a reservation for you and your family (some restaurants are almost always booked, like Be Our Guest), but they often have more access to reservations. They can also directly call the restaurant to see about cancellations, food allergies, or any other restaurant-related questions you may have. If they’re unable to find a reservation for you and your family, they are a wealth of knowledge for other dining options. Many of the Concierge cast members are well-versed in Disney Dining, and can recommend a restaurant perfectly suited for you and your family’s dining desires.

  Read the rest of this entry »

Ask It: Do You Dress Up for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party?

by on October 11, 2017
Filed under: Just For Fun 6 Comments

Halloween season is in full swing, and there’s still many more weeks of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party nights left to come. At these events, costumes are encouraged but not required. So this week, we’re asking you:

Do you dress up for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party?

  • Yes (62%, 192 Votes)
  • No (38%, 117 Votes)

Total Voters: 309

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Voting is live here and on Twitter. If you do dress up, feel free to tell us about your best costume ideas in the comments. We’ll have your results next week.

Ask It Results: What Is the Best Age for a Kid’s First Disney Trip?

by on October 11, 2017
Filed under: Just For Fun, kids 4 Comments

At the end of the day, there isn’t really a wrong age to take a child on their first trip to a Disney theme park. Each age has its challenges, and each age has its plusses. If you are taking your child for their one and only trip to Disney, different considerations come into play than if you’re a parent taking your child for the first visit of many. If your child has siblings, this can also create some interesting dynamics. So many things to consider, but no one ever said that children make your life less complex!

Last week, we asked you:

What is the best age for a kid’s first Disney trip?

Here’s your results.

0-2 (354 votes, 14%)

Pros: Kids are free and relatively portable.

Cons: They won’t remember much from the trip.

Our daughter was six months when we took her on her first trip, and it was so wonderful to just strap her in a chest pack carrier and head out to the parks. (Or at least it was wonderful for me–my husband wore the chest pack.) Strollers meant that we had the ability to carry child and supplies comfortably. There’s something amazing about kids seeing this hyper-intense sensory overload environment at such a young age. Everything is amazing. You have the ability to get incredibly cute photographs, and as parents you get to make some amazing memories. We actually found it easier to travel with a child who wasn’t yet in the throes of potty training, and we made use of the baby care centers at each park. But if this is your one and only trip, your child may not forgive you if you have the chance to make these memories and they just have to hear about it second-hand.

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Monthly Merchandise Spotlight, October 2017

by on October 10, 2017
Filed under: Shopping, Walt Disney World (FL) 14 Comments

Without a doubt, Derek Burgan’s monthly column “The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! (aka The Outlet Report) has developed a cult following here at TouringPlans. And who doesn’t love that combination of wit and merchandise that sometimes allows the jokes to write themselves. Not every item makes it to the Outlets, because Disney actually does sell some good stuff. In the middle of the month, we’re testing out a new series–a monthly merchandise spotlight on items that your lowly Outlet Intern Julia (that’s me!) found while window shopping and that I might consider buying, or know people who would or have certainly buy it. (But I promise, no Instagram-worthy Rose Gold Mouse Ears shots here! Primarily because, as of yesterday, they were once again sold out in Magic Kingdom.)

This month, I did a bit of window shopping around Magic Kingdom. Here’s some of the goodies that you may want to put on your wish list. Remember, many (but not all) of these items are available through the Shop Disney Parks app.

The Halloween season is in full swing, and this year Disney has some super-cute décor. I really like this wooden Halloween sign with its slightly edgy artwork. This sign is $32.99, but is only available in stores. If this makes it to the Outlets, I may have to pick one up. Who doesn’t love decorating for Halloween?


At one time, I think we had every type of glowing necklace possible for our daughter. Thankfully, she’s outgrown much of that, but secretly I love the pumpkin one shown here. And if you’ve got a Nightmare Before Christmas fan, a necklace of glowing Jack skulls might be a hot buy. Prices for glow necklaces vary, but generally are not sold through the app.

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Special MagicBands and Gift Packaging For 2018 Walt Disney World Vacations

by on October 10, 2017
Filed under: MyDisneyExperience, Walt Disney World (FL) 3 Comments

Holiday package MagicBand from Walt Disney World

Thanks to Small World Vacations for the heads up.

Disney is offering new MagicBands which will arrive in special packaging when you book your 2018 Walt Disney World vacation under the Disney Gift Vacation Package offer. This can be booked through your travel agent, by calling Disney, or online with this package.

Booking window: October 10 – November 15, 2017

Travel window: January 1 to December 31, 2018

Other info: minimum three night stay. If you want to receive the bands by December 15, Disney says to order the bands through MyDisneyExperience by December 1. This offer does not seem to be available for room-only bookings. For more details, contact Disney or your travel agent.

What you get: Holiday MagicBands in a specially themed box. This is not a discount.