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The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special Returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on December 10, 2014 1 Comment

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©Disney

©Disney

Due to the busy holiday season, Disney brings out special entertainment offerings to entertain guests. One of the more popular offerings each year at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is the Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special.

The holiday-themed show will feature hilarious improvisational comedy (a la, the former Comedy Warehouse at Pleasure Island or the TV show, Whose Line Is It Anyway? It’s the same premise). The show is completely interactive, and sometimes guests will be asked to participate in the hijinks. During the show, the live performers will field suggestions from the crowd, obtaining help composing funny Christmas songs, putting their own spin on classic stories, and creating hilarious scenarios. The entire act will be festive and family-friendly. One of the best part is that due to the improvisational nature, the show is different each time. These performers are extremely witty, quick, and talented.

The show takes place in the Superstar Television Theater (the former home of the American Idol Experience) from December 20 to January 4. The show lasts 20 minutes and show times are scheduled at

The show is sure to be a rip-roaring time for the whole family!

25 Drinks of Christmas Countdown – Day 10: Bay Lake Sunset from Top of the World Lounge

by on December 10, 2014 1 Comment

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The Christmas season is my absolute favorite time of the year. Growing up, one of the little things I loved most was getting an Advent calendar and counting down the days until Santa would be coming down the chimney. As I grew older, I had to leave Advent calendars in the rear view mirror,* but I still miss that daily countdown building anticipation to the big day. So, we’re going to start a virtual Advent calendar here at TouringPlans. For 2014, we are going to countdown our favorite drinks at Walt Disney World and the Universal Orlando Resort.

Criteria: Drinks can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Drinks can come from any venue on property as well as the Disney Cruise Line. Bonus points awarded for atmosphere where drink is served. Any drink with glow cubes is immediately disqualified. Ready? Let’s go!

DAY TEN: Bay Lake Sunset from Top of the World Lounge (Bay Lake Tower)

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Bay Lake Sunset at the Top of the World Lounge.

 

We love Disney’s Contemporary Resort for many reasons, but one of our favorites is straight out of a real estate agent’s handbook: location, location, location. Located mere steps away from the Magic Kingdom, it’s impossible to be closer to the Most Magical Place on Earth. One of our favorite things to do at the Contemporary is head over to the Top of the World Lounge at the Bay Lake Tower DVC wing. With a breathtaking view of MK, the Top of the World is home to several signature drinks, including the Bay Lake Sunset cocktail. Ingredient list: Stoli Vanil vodka, Parrot Bay coconut rum, and pineapple juice with a splash of grenadine.

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What’s in a Name: Walt Disney World Roads

by on December 10, 2014 2 Comments

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I never used to think much about Walt Disney World roads. I simply followed the purple signs and got from one place to another or relied on Disney transportation. Once I became a local resident, suddenly road names were important to help me figure out how to get from point A to point B on and off property. At that point, I realized I how many roads had names that sounded like they must have a story behind them.

Some roads, like Epcot Center Drive or World Drive are pretty obvious where they got their inspiration. Other roads, like Dopey Drive back in the distribution center district, are both obvious for their inspiration, and fun names for roads in general. Besides those, there are quite a few road names that may not be obvious but, like many things Disney, have wonderful stories behind them.

Three guesses which theme park Savannah Circle East can be found at. (Photo by Julia Mascardo)

Three guesses which theme park Savannah Circle East can be found at. (Photo by Julia Mascardo)

Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway

Also known as US Highway 192. If you are staying off property, chances are you are probably very familiar with this road. It is named after Irlo Overstreet Bronson, Sr., a politician and rancher who owned a lot of property in the Disney area. His grandparents had moved from North Carolina to Florida in a two-wheeled ox cart in the 1860s and accumulated large amount of cattle ranchland. As the family ranches were passed from generation to generation, Irlo’s father (George W. Bronson) had more than 50,000 acres. Irlo added more land, but eventually sold 8380 acres for around $100 an acre to Disney, much to the ire of his family. Some say that he sold it at such a low price because he recognized that this would build a better future for Central Florida, but whether that was his actual motivation or just some rewriting of history is the subject of opinion and debate. Regardless, the sale of the ranch lands did allow for the development for Walt Disney World, and so Irlo Bronson’s name is memorialized in the highway running along the south side of property.

Osceola Parkway Read the rest of this entry »

Disney World Planning Challenges: Business Conferences—Tips for Squeezing in Some Magic

by on December 10, 2014 3 Comments

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Although attending a business conference at or near Walt Disney World isn’t quite the same as taking a vacation trip, it’s still a wish come true for a Disney enthusiast. Several strategies can help you get your Disney fix around a conference schedule. In fact, a business trip to the World can be an excellent opportunity to experience the park in some new and exciting ways.

Balancing Your Time

The first priority in planning time for fun while at a conference at Disney World is figuring out how to balance work and leisure time. Consider arriving in Orlando a day before the conference or giving yourself an extra day after the conference ends. Being creative with the overall time frame of your trip can give you a free half-day or more to enjoy Disney. Once the conference starts, plan to make a quick exit at the end of the day and spend the afternoon or evening at leisure.

Mix It Up—Spending Time In and Out of the Parks

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Downtown Disney’s West Side, including the AMC Dine-In Theatres (photo by Brandon Glover)

With the limited number of hours you’ll be able to spend in the parks (unless you’re lucky enough to have an Annual Pass), it doesn’t make sense to purchase park tickets for every day of your trip. Instead, a business trip can be a chance to experience some of Disney’s offerings outside of the parks such as at Downtown Disney and Disney’s BoardWalk.

If your hotel is located near Downtown Disney or you have access to Disney transportation (current construction at Downtown Disney makes traffic and parking a challenge), Downtown Disney can be a great non-park destination. It has lots of dining options and an even wider variety of merchandise than can be found at the parks, and don’t forget about its AMC Dine-In Theatres where you can enjoy both dinner and a movie.

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Taste of Hollywood To Go Packages Returning for Holiday Season at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on December 9, 2014 2 Comments

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©Disney

The busy holiday season is rapidly approaching, and over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios there is a great option for guests to have the chance to grab a quick meal, as well as a reserved seating for Fantasmic!

The Taste of Hollywood To Go Winter Fantasmic! Package Meals are pre-packaged offerings that are available from December 24 through 31. There will be five different picnic-style choices that guests can choose from. They are:

  • Golden fried chicken with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, sweet corn and carrots and warm apple crisp
  • Veggie sandwich made with ginger-marinated tomatoes and cucumbers, with quinoa salad, and chocolate cake
  • California and tuna sushi roll with avocado, orange and tomato salad, ginger-marinated tomatoes and cucumbers and a spicy pecan chocolate cluster
  • shrimp salad with fresh pita, ginger-marinated tomato and cucumbers, and mandarin orange cheesecake
  • cold-cut roast beef with creamy horseradish, potato salad, grilled asparagus and chocolate cake

In addition, there will be two kids options: Read the rest of this entry »

Guests Can Now Purchase Tickets Through My Disney Experience App

by on December 9, 2014 1 Comment

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Disney has now made it even easier to purchase tickets. Through an app update, guests can choose to purchase them through the My Disney Experience app.

And trust me when I say it is so easy to do! Simply tap on the giant circle with the + sign. Pictorial options will pop up, allowing you to easily make FastPass+ reservations, make dining reservations or add any extras. Of course, the final option allows guests to purchase tickets.

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25 Drinks of Christmas Countdown – Day 9: PBR in a Paper Bag at Cabana Bay Beach Resort

by on December 9, 2014 6 Comments

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The Christmas season is my absolute favorite time of the year. Growing up, one of the little things I loved most was getting an Advent calendar and counting down the days until Santa would be coming down the chimney. As I grew older, I had to leave Advent calendars in the rear view mirror,* but I still miss that daily countdown building anticipation to the big day. So, we’re going to start a virtual Advent calendar here at TouringPlans. For 2014, we are going to countdown our favorite drinks at Walt Disney World and the Universal Orlando Resort.

Criteria: Drinks can be alcoholic or nonalcoholic. Drinks can come from any venue on property as well as the Disney Cruise Line. Bonus points awarded for atmosphere where drink is served. Any drink with glow cubes is immediately disqualified. Ready? Let’s go!

DAY NINE: PBR in a Paper Bag at Cabana Bay’s Atomic Tonic

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Pabst Blue Ribbon and its paper bag koozie. (photo by Brandon Glover)

 

No one is going to mistake a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer for top shelf alcohol, but in a working man’s terms, it gets the job done. We love the new Loews Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal, and one of the many surprises of the retro-themed hotel was discovering a paper bag koozie for PBR at the Atomic Tonic pool side bar. Cabana Bay is the new standard for what a “value” resort can be, so we have no problem popping the top of a 16 ounce can of American’s “value” beer and enjoying the Orlando weather.

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What’s the Strangest Thing Sold at Epcot?

by on December 9, 2014 39 Comments

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There’s plenty to love about shopping at Epcot’s World Showcase. I can’t get enough of the cheery Japanese candy, friendly German Christmas ornaments, or cheeky British tee shirts. And then there are the World Showcase merchandise items that leave me scratching my head. These are the things that leave me thinking, “Who approved that addition to the merchandise list?” “What is the demographic profile of the typical buyer?” and “Has anyone actually ever purchased this item at Epcot before?”

So that you can be as perplexed as I am, here’s a tour of just a few of Epcot’s oddities.

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There’s absolutely nothing wrong with vanilla extract. I have several bottles in my pantry standing ready to be called into service for holiday baking. But who goes to a theme park and decides that’s what they’re going to bring home?

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Disney World Crowd Report – November 30 to December 6, 2014

by on December 9, 2014 5 Comments

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After a busy week of Thanksgiving crowds the week before, last week saw a return to a mix of low and moderate crowds across Walt Disney World Resort, as expected. Some parks, some times of the day still saw relatively high wait times but they were the exception, not the overall trend. Overall, last week was a good week to visit the resort. On December 5th, the crowd calendar was updated to reflect recent trends.

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

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Disneyland Resort Crowd Report – November 30 to December 6, 2014

by on December 9, 2014 1 Comment

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Last week, our crowd projections did well the first half of the week but our second half did not properly reflect the impact of Candlelight Processional on wait times across the resort. We saw average wait times on Thursday through Saturday at or near the highest points on our scale in some cases.

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

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