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Walt Disney World Preview — Week of December 9

by on December 7, 2017
Filed under: Walt Disney World (FL), Weekly Preview 3 Comments

Heading to Walt Disney World next week? Here’s your weekly preview!

Special Events

  • Ample Hills Creamery, located at Disney’s Boardwalk, is featuring Star Wars-themed ice cream flavors! These three flavors are inspired by Star Wars: The Last Jedi and can be purchased in store and online.
  • Will you be attending the Candlelight Processional? This week’s performances will be narrated by Disney Legend, Kurt Russell.
  • Hours have been extended for Christmas Tree Trail. To check out these Disney-inspired trees, visit Disney Springs through January 7. New hours below!
    • Monday – Thursday: 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
    • Friday and Saturday: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
    • Sunday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
    • Christmas Eve (12/24): 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
    • Christmas Day (12/25): 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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Artists Announced for the Disney on Broadway Concert Series

by on December 6, 2017
Filed under: Epcot, Recent News

Disney on Broadway Concert Series


The Epcot Festival of the Arts is a celebration of all things art. That includes visual art, culinary art, and theatrical art. Which means that during this unique festival, the park collaborates with Disney Theatrical to bring favorite music and Broadway talent who will perform at the America Gardens Theatre singing the award-winning music of Disney on Broadway, including ‪The Lion King‪, Newsies, and Aladdin. The shows will take place Fridays through Mondays from January 12 through February 19.

Here is a list of performers for the 2018 Disney on Broadway Concert Series:

January 12 to 15
Performers: Kara Lindsay and Kevin Massey
Songs from: Tarzan, Aladdin, Newsies and Frozen

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New Details About Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

by on December 6, 2017
Filed under: Recent News, Resorts, Walt Disney World (FL)

As we all know, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is undergoing a massive refurbishment. Today, Disney shared some great new details about what we can expect to experience when the resort’s enhancements debut in the summer of 2018.

First, Old Port Royale will be reimagined as the port of entry where guests will check in. This centralized location will offer resort guests more convenient access to services, amenities and dining. This includes the all-new quick service location known as Centertown Market, an all-new Shutters restaurant that will include waterfront dining and will be adjacent to the new Banana Cabana outdoor bar and lounge. For Guests looking to do some shopping, look no further than Calypso Trading Post which will offer shoppers Disney merchandise and other vacation essentials. Read the rest of this entry »

Ask It: Universal Orlando for the Holidays?

by on December 6, 2017
Filed under: Holidays, Just For Fun 2 Comments

Although Walt Disney World often gets most of the attention during the holiday season (and with reason given the massive amounts of decorations, activities, and more throughout the resort), it isn’t the only game in town for holiday festivities. Many locals often visit Sea World and LEGOLAND to avoid the crowds and still see some very impressive bits of holiday cheer, for instance. In recent years, Universal Orlando has slowly been upping their game when it comes to holiday events, decorations, and more. (To see some of what there is at Universal Orlando for the holidays, check out Derek’s recent Saturday Six article.) Is it enough for people to make a trip this year to Universal Orlando for the holidays or plan for a holiday trip in the future? This week, we’re asking you:

Does the increase in holiday experiences at Universal Orlando make you more likely to take a trip there for the holidays?

  • No (54%, 100 Votes)
  • Yes, in the future (35%, 65 Votes)
  • Yes, this year (10%, 19 Votes)

Total Voters: 184

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Voting is live here and on Twitter, and we’ll have your results next week. Is there anything that you’re especially excited about from Universal’s holiday offerings? Let us know in the comments.

Ask It Results: The Candlelight Processional

by on December 6, 2017
Filed under: Holidays, Just For Fun

It’s Wednesday, and time for Ask It. Peace on Earth. Goodwill to all. Drinking around the world. Two of these can be found this time of year at Epcot. (Although, truth told, which two you find probably depends who you are traveling with.) One of the most popular events this time of year is Epcot’s Candlelight Processional, a retelling of the Christmas story with a celebrity narrator and full choir. People wait in long lines for a chance to get into one of the multiple shows each evening, but for some people, it is a “one and done” experience or something that doesn’t hold interest to wait to get in.

Last week, we asked you:

Is the Candlelight Processional something you like to do every year, occasionally, or never?

Here’s your results.

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Introducing the All New TouringPlans Podcast

by on December 5, 2017
Filed under: Podcast 6 Comments

As a result of the massive wave of demand, we have decided to start a brand new TouringPlans podcast. Okay, maybe the “wave” was one person who half-heartedly suggested it, but I like talking so I ran with it. Angela and myself (Brian, by the way) will bring you weekly episodes featuring an assortment of other TouringPlans superstars discussing all aspects of theme parks from planning to crowds to money matters.

The first full episode will be available very soon, but here is a short preview. Make sure you head on over to iTunes to subscribe now…well, not now because the feed isn’t active yet, but I’ll add it here as soon as it is.


Pixar Play Parade to See Enhancements During Pixar Fest

by on December 5, 2017
Filed under: Disneyland Park, Recent News

Next year, the Disneyland Resort will be celebrating Pixar Fest, which is a celebration of all of your favorite Pixar stories. When Pixar Fest debuts on April 13, the Pixar Play Parade will be returning, but this time at Disneyland park. Oh and the parade will see new additions featuring characters from Up, Inside Out and more!

Leading out the parade will be Luxo Junior and the famous Pixar ball.



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International Parks Round-Up — November/December 2017

by on December 5, 2017
Filed under: Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Recent News, Shanghai Disney Resort, Toyko Disney Resort 1 Comment

While not as exciting as October, the month of November brought us a few new announcements regarding the International Disney Parks, with more excitement happening for the holidays in December. Let’s break the news down park by park.

DLP International Christmas

Disneyland Paris sparkles this holiday season! (Photo courtesy of Disney)

Disneyland Paris

The holiday season is in full force at Disneyland Paris, with special holiday entertainment throughout both parks. Disney’s Christmas Parade at Disneyland Park features familiar characters, dancing sugar canes and gingerbread men, and so much more! Ending with the always-magical snowfall on Main Street U.S.A., this parade will put you in the Yuletide spirit.

You can also find a brand-new show, “A Merry Stitchmas” on the Royal Castle Stage, led by that ever-mischievous alien Stitch. In addition, meet and greets are taking place throughout the park with Marie, Scrooge McDuck, Thumper, Miss Bunny, and Santa Claus.

Furthermore, at Walt Disney Studios Park you’ll find two new holiday shows. The stage show “Sing Me a Merry Christmas” gives you a chance to sing along with Mickey and friends to your favorite Christmas songs. At night, gaze in awe at “Goofy’s Incredible Christmas,” a nighttime extravaganza featuring all-new mapping technology and special effects displayed on The Hollywood Tower Hotel. If you’ve ever needed a reason for international travel, Christmas at Disneyland Paris seems like a good one! Read the rest of this entry »

Walt Disney World Vlog: Pandora – The World of Avatar and Flight of Passage

by on December 5, 2017
Filed under: Video, Walt Disney World (FL) 3 Comments

I finally had the opportunity to experience Pandora – The World of Avatar! In today’s video, I take you on a tour of this area, located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park.

Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »

Disneyland Planning for Walt Disney World Veterans – Part 1

by on December 4, 2017
Filed under: Disney California Adventure, Disneyland (CA), Disneyland Park, Downtown Disney, Transportation, Trip Planning 10 Comments

For veterans of Walt Disney World, Disneyland planning can be a bit of a challenge in that there are several unknowns. Yes, Disneyland and Walt Disney World are similar in a lot of respects, but there are enough differences that your familiarity with the east coast parks will only get you so far. The good news, however, is that Disneyland planning is actually far easier than planning an Orlando trip — the park is set up to be equally accessible to day guests and locals as people who’ve planned for months — so with just a little bit of planning, you’ll quickly find the same comfort level out west in no time. Read on for all the info you need to take your Disneyland planning from newbie to expert!

The Basics

First and foremost, some basic info to help you get oriented: there are two theme parks at Disneyland Resort, three Disney hotels (for now) and the Downtown Disney area. The theme parks are Disneyland Park, which is similar in layout and content to Magic Kingdom, and Disney’s California Adventure, which I think of as sort of a smorgasbord of attractions you’ll find spread across Disney World’s parks (like Soarin’, Toy Story Midway Mania, and Turtle Talk with Crush), plus several original attractions that only exist there. Unlike Disney World’s parks, these two parks are very close to each other, and park-hopping takes about 90 seconds, exclusive of lines at the turnstiles. Yes, really!

The three Disney hotels are:

  • Grand Californian: the nicest, closest, and most expensive Disneyland Resort. It is attached to Disney’s California Adventure and has its own dedicated entrance to the park.
  • Disneyland Hotel: the original, throwback Disneyland lodging experience, and home to Disneyland icons like Trader Sam’s. It is typically the middle tier from a pricing standpoint.
  • Paradise Pier: the most spartan, and least expensive Disney hotel at Disneyland. Least expensive does not mean inexpensive, however, as will be discussed in more detail below.

Guests of Disney hotels can enter one park an hour early each day, sort of like Extra Magic Hours at Disney World. Disneyland does not do extra hours in the evening at all. In addition to the Disney hotels, there are several non-Disney “good neighbor” hotels that are within walking distance of the parks. While these guests do not get early entry every day, they can purchase multiday tickets that allow them to enter only Disneyland Park one hour early on certain days once over the course of their trip (called “Magic Mornings,” more on that below).

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