Your subscriptions support new blog articles and research. Please consider

subscribing.

today.


Wearable Halloween Costumes + MNSSHP Experience

by on October 17, 2014 4 Comments

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print
Photo - Keith Dahlgren

It’s raining, it’s pouring….

With Halloween creeping closer and closer, it’s finally time to start getting those costumes ready. Today, I’ll be sharing my experience attending Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, as well as what costumes we wore. Now, let’s grab our candy buckets and be on our way!

We attended Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party on September 19, so we were ahead of the game when it came to costume planning. Our family is pretty low maintenance when it comes to Halloween costumes, and as we’d be running about all night, we dressed for comfort. We decided on a group costume, so off to Neverland we went. First up was our little pixie, Tinker Bell. Read the rest of this entry »

Thanksgiving Day Options at Walt Disney World

by on October 16, 2014 2 Comments

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print
©Disney

©Disney

For those looking to celebrate Thanksgiving at Walt Disney World, there will be more than 30 different dining choices throughout the different Walt Disney World parks and resorts.

Disney will be offering both lunch and dinner options at many different locations. They will include:

Magic Kingdom

Epcot

Read the rest of this entry »

Details About Big Hero 6 Meet and Greet Opportunities

by on October 16, 2014 6 Comments

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print
BGS697042

©Disney

Who else is looking forward to hugging Baymax from the upcoming Big Hero 6? Well beginning at some point this Fall, you’ll have the chance to do so on both coasts!

For guests who are headed to Walt Disney World, you’ll need to visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where inside The Magic of Disney Animation, you’ll be able to tour the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology’s lab. From there you’ll make your way to Hiro’s garage workshop to meet both Hiro Hamada and Bamax.

Unfortunately, this means that we will no longer be able to head to Sugar Rush; we’ll be losing the meet and greet for Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope. Their meet and greet officially closes on October 24. (Guests looking to at least see Ralph or Vanellope will still be able to find them in the “Mickey’s Boo-To-You Parade” and the “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade” this year.)

In Disneyland, guests should make their way to Tomorrowland’s Starcade, where you’ll be able to visit Hiro’s robotics workshop and see both Hiro and Baymax. Guests will also be able to see an extended sneak peek of the upcoming film Big Hero 6 in the Magic Eye Theater. (Where Captain EO could previously be found.)

The only detail we now need to wait for is the opening date, as it hasn’t been announced for either Walt Disney World or Disneyland. The only information we have is mid-November. Big Hero 6 rolls into theaters on November 7.

Extra touches for Celebrations at Walt Disney World

by on October 16, 2014 12 Comments

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Once Upon A Time there was a glorious celebration filled with love, laughter, and pixie dust. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to create such a memory for yourself or someone you love? Not every celebration can be fairy tale like, but when at Disney the sky is the limit. No matter what you are celebrating, they have options for you. Birthdays, Anniversaries, Weddings, Graduations, and everything in between can be reason for some extra pixie dust on your vacation.

Celebrations Buttons

Courtesy Disney

Courtesy Disney

You’ve probably seen other guests wearing these 3” buttons before. Not being a person who wants to draw attention to myself, I am always a little hesitant about announcing to the world it’s my birthday or anniversary, but it certainly has its perks. The buttons can be picked up at your resort upon check in, or at any vacation planning booth or guest services location within the four parks. These buttons are FREE for the asking and can be personalized. There are currently nine choices available: anniversary, … happily ever after, 1st visit, birthday, family reunion, I’m celebrating…, my magical triumph, just engaged, and just married.

You can receive and wear the buttons 6 months prior to an event, such as your birthday, and up to 6 months after. So, if traveling to WDW two months after your birthday, you can still get a button and proudly wear it around the parks as you have a late celebration of the event.

Read the rest of this entry »

Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: October 16, 2014 at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort

by on October 16, 2014 8 Comments

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

1Hi everyone! Welcome to the best week ever! While you’ll normally find me covering all the latest news at  Walt Disney World, this week I had the amazing opportunity to visit Disney’s Vero Beach Resort as part of TouringPlans #Everywhere. This resort was one of a very few Disney locations I hadn’t visited and I was excited to check it out.

Vero Beach is a very easy drive from the Orlando International Airport. We clocked it at just shy of two hours. We could have been there a little sooner but noticed that Disney routes you around some of the less desirable parts of Vero Beach. In any case we were checked through the guard gates in just a matter of minutes and ready to start our fabulous beach weekend. Want to see more? Please click to keep reading! :) Read the rest of this entry »

Street Performers at Disney Hollywood Studios

by on October 16, 2014 1 Comment

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Visiting Hollywood Studios but not a fan of the amusement rides? I’ve got a solution for you: Live actors mingling with guests throughout the park. Yes, walking (and even driving) about; interacting with you. We make it a point every visit to seek them out and enjoy their shenanigans, um I mean, their shows.

Just your average Citizen. - Courtesy of Disney

Just your average Citizen. – Courtesy of Disney

The Citizens of Hollywood

The Citizens of Hollywood, or Streetmosphere characters as they are otherwise known, are characters that perform every day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You can usually find them on Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards. The characters range from aspiring actors to directors and even to police officers. They perform a variety of skits that generally have us rolling with laughter and are a great source of family-friendly entertainment. The skits are always different because the crowd they are interacting with constantly changes.

A Brief History:     Streetmosphere has been a part of Hollywood Studios since its opening day in May 1989. The entire idea of Streetmosphere was created by C. McNair Wilson, who would later become an Imagineer at Disney. Wilson was one of the directors of a street theater company, SAK Theatre, which performed at renaissance festivals throughout the country. In 1982 Disney Imagineers asked the group to perform in the Italy pavilion in Epcot. They were quickly extended to performing in the United Kingdom pavilion and then Future World. By 1985, they were performing 45 shows-a-day in Epcot in four different locations. That year they were brought into the plans for the upcoming Hollywood Studios Park as part of the planned 2-hour Backstage Tour show. Once Disney decided to go in another direction, Wilson still was inspired to make SAK part of this expansion. Wilson presented a collection of 40 characters that would make the guests feel like they were actually in Hollywood. The Disney executives were won over and presented Wilson with a budget for 23 characters.

Read the rest of this entry »

Official Opening Date for Trattoria al Forno Announced

by on October 15, 2014 4 Comments

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print
©Disney

©Disney

Kouzzina recently closed at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn and in its place is the upcoming Trattoria al Forno. Today, the Disney Parks Blog announced the official opening date for the Italian restaurant — December 18. The restaurant will offer both breakfast, which will be served from 7:30 a.m. until 11:00 a.m., and dinner, which will be served from 5:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.

Menu items for dinner will include dishes like specialty pizzas (like Broccoli Rabe with Fennel Sausage or Truffle Cream with Asiago, Pecorino, and Fontina); pasta (like Linguine alla Vongole or Polpetta Gigante, a giant meatball with ricotta cannelloni and marinara); entrees (including things like Pork Chop Milanese or Shrimp with Garlic, Capers and Anchovy Butter, with Polenta); and dessert (like Bembolini served with dark chocolate and vanilla gelato or Tiramisu).

Guests may begin to make reservations beginning October 21.

Canada Place: Vancouver Cruise Terminal Basics

by on October 15, 2014 3 Comments

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Vancouver Cruise TerminalThis summer fellow Touring Plans blogger Erin Foster and I were lucky enough to take a Disney Cruise to Alaska aboard the Disney Wonder with our families. We enjoyed some incredible Port Adventures like dog sledding, the White Pass and Yukon Railroad and viewing the Misty Fjords National Monument by float plane. Before my family and I set off on our trip of a lifetime, we spent a night at the Fairmont Waterfront hotel and a lovely evening exploring parts of Vancouver. After a good night’s rest, it was time to get up, get ready and head over to Canada Place – the Vancouver cruise terminal. In case you find yourself at the Vancouver cruise terminal about to embark on an amazing Disney Cruise to Alaska, here’s everything you’ll need to know.

Read the rest of this entry »

This Ain’t Disney World! – Planning a First Visit to Universal Orlando

by on October 15, 2014 17 Comments

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print
The scenery may be beautiful, but the line is VERY long.

The scenery may be beautiful, but the line is VERY long.

On our first visit to ‘the other Orlando park,’ my oldest daughter and I attended a viewing of Universal’s Horror Make-up Show. During the show, the volunteer, a nice woman ended up covered in red-dyed corn syrup. The hosts threw a towel out to the woman and called after, “That’ll be $14.50!” We all laughed, but knew it wasn’t exactly distant from the truth. Certainly, we knew most of the major differences between Disney World and Universal Studios. We weren’t, however, expecting to encounter such a myriad of differences between the two parks. Hopefully, some quick research, a planned touring plans itinerary, and this article can help you get a quick overview of what to expect at your first visit to Universal Orlando Resort.

The parks are over a small area. Really small. If you could walk through a few buildings, you could easily get back and forth between the parks. We could see Dr. Doom from our window at Loews Royal Pacific Resort. You can also take Hogwart’s Express between the two parks at any time, too. I’d avoid going during the surge of the middle of the day, but make certain to go both directions, so board at Hogsmeade Station, as well. Each ride is a bit different. The walk wasn’t quick, but it was awfully close.

Don’t, however, mistake close for convenient. I could see the park, but our walk to the entrance was about fifteen minutes each day along a winding path that seemed to close back over itself. We ended up walking to and from the parks every day, but getting through Universal can’t always be done quickly.

The queue and exit line for every ride can be pretty long, if they are needed or not. The line to get onto Dragon Challenge at Islands of Adventure is filled with beautiful pieces, the Triwizard Cup, banners for each champion, and VERY few people. Most of the occasions we were on the ride, it was essentially a walk-on. The theming was much better than I had expected, but the walk was LONG. The wait may have been longer for Flight of the Hippogriff than it was for Dragon Challenge. The queue for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey was long, as well. It was filled with stations throughout Hogwarts, talking paintings, and myriads of setup. Perhaps the rides were purposefully trying to delay our boarding, but on multiple occasions, I wondered why I STILL had to walk through tons of labyrinthian mazes to get on the Seuss High in the Sky Trolley ride. The exit for Ripsaw Falls, I felt like I had mistakenly gotten back in line for another ride. Even the pathway between our hotel and Islands of Adventure I felt like it had carved out a purposefully winding path to throw off our pace. Each day, my pedometer on my iphone killed its battery. I never had an accurate step count, but I was well above 15,000 steps. Read the rest of this entry »

A Guide to Walt Disney World Attraction Vehicles and Seating: Epcot

by on October 14, 2014 11 Comments

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

t_logo_fbWe recently brought you guides to the ride and attraction seating situation at the Magic Kingdom and at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Next up is our guide to the attraction seating at Epcot.

Keep those hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times …

FUTURE WORLD

Captain EO, Imagination Pavilion

  • Seating capacity per row: Several dozen.
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: NA. Show-style attraction. More than 100 guests per show.
  • Seating surface: Lightly padded chair with armrest.
  • Safety restraints: None
  • Boarding procedure: Walk into theater
  • Height requirement: None
  • Notes: Wheelchair and ECV users may ride directly into the theater. Some of the special effects can only be experienced when seated in the attraction chairs. Guests wanting the full attraction experience may want to transfer to the standard seating if possible.

IMG_8329
Read the rest of this entry »