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Disney World Crowd Report – August 3 to August 10, 2014

by on August 13, 2014 1 Comment

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Crowds continue to be consistent, above average and predictable this summer. Our predictions have performed very well with none missing by more than two index levels all week and most within one. Pirates of the Caribbean did see some suspiciously higher than expected wait times on some days which may indicate that the reduced capacity is having an impact although it is still too soon to tell.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week:

Walt Disney World Resort Crowd Levels – Daily Breakdown

Sunday, August 3, 2014

  WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
6
5

Crowds were ‘5’s and ‘6’s across the resort on Sunday with wait times remaining within 10 minutes of average. Toy Story Mania averaged 79 minutes, exactly 10 minutes higher than our prediction.

Epcot
5
6
Hollywood Studios
6
6
Animal Kingdom
5
5

Monday, August 4, 2014

  WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
7
8

Great results again on Monday with only the Studios missing by more than one index level, due to higher than expected wait times at Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster (71 minutes, predicted 56) and Toy Story Mania (85 minutes, predicted 69). Still, Tower of Terror came in lower than expected at 55 minutes (predicted 67).

Epcot
7
7
Hollywood Studios
7
9
Animal Kingdom
7
7

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

  WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
7
8

Again on Tuesday all our predictions stayed within one index level of what we observed. Epcot hit a level ’10’ on our scale for the first time since July 4th including a 103-minute average posted time at Test Track.

Epcot
9
10
Hollywood Studios
7
8
Animal Kingdom
8
8

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

  WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
8
8

Crowds were up on Wednesday. Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, Spaceship Earth, Toy Story Mania, Great Movie Ride, Dinosaur, Kali River Rapids and Kilimanjaro Safaris all hit a level ’10’ on our scale.

Epcot
6
8
Hollywood Studios
7
8
Animal Kingdom
7
9

Thursday, August 7, 2014

  WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
8
8

Level ‘8’ all around except for Animal Kingdom. Predictions all did well. At Magic Kingdom we were within 2 minutes for Peter Pan’s Flight, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Haunted Mansion and Winnie the Pooh.

Epcot
8
8
Hollywood Studios
7
8
Animal Kingdom
7
7

Friday, August 8, 2014

  WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
8
7

Friday saw more ‘8’s and ‘9’s with Animal Kingdom coming in lower again. Attraction level predictions continued to be good including predictions for Rock ’n’ Roller Coster, Star Tours, Kali River Rapids and Expedition Everest that missed by no more than 3 minutes.

Epcot
8
9
Hollywood Studios
7
8
Animal Kingdom
5
6

Saturday, August 9, 2014

  WHAT WE
THOUGHT
WHAT WE
SAW
ANALYSIS
Magic Kingdom
5
7

Only Magic Kingdom surprised us Saturday. Biggest contributors were Buzz Lightyear (43 minutes, predicted 33), Pirates of the Caribbean (44 minutes, predicted 28) and Haunted Mansion (32 minutes, predicted 27).

Epcot
4
4
Hollywood Studios
6
7
Animal Kingdom
4
4
What to Expect This Week
August 10 to 16, 2014
How Crowded is Disney World?

How Crowded is Disney World?

Expect busy summer crowds for another 10 days or so, then a slow decline as we approach September. Park hours remain extended for the summer season so touring can be pleasant despite the larger crowds. Just make sure to take a midday break during the hottest and busiest time of the day.

To see Walt Disney World Crowd predictions for the days of your vacation, check the Crowd Calendar.

To get details about our predictions of future crowds or details about crowds in the past check out the Crowd Calendar and select “Jump to Date” on the left margin.

Hitting the Trail: Taking on the Disney World Walking Paths

by on August 13, 2014 8 Comments

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I know what you’re thinking. Why would anyone want to take a walking path when it seems like all you do at Walt Disney World is walk? Well, just hear me out, I do have a few good reasons! You see, walking paths allow you two big luxuries that are hard to come by at Disney World: no lines or crowds and the ability to make your own time.

Hollywood Studios Walking Path

Hollywood Studios Walking Path to the BoardWalk

Nobody likes fighting the long lines for buses, boats, and monorails, especially at closing time. It’s not unusual to have to wait for several of your own resort buses to fill up before you can board yourself following Magic Kingdom’s Wishes, which is hard to bear when your feet hurt and the kids are crying, right? Although, there can be lines or standing room only on buses, boats, and Monorail during the day too. However, the walking paths are never crowded, offering you and yours a reprieve from the shuffling lines and seas of strollers. Also, many are in open, beautiful settings that are well-lit, paved, and serve as great decompression zones from all the hustle and bustle.

But the lack of chaos isn’t the only reason to take on a walking path. Guests who have visited Disney World before know that getting from one place to another can be time consuming! Disney even recommends those with dining reservations to allow at least an hour for transportation time. Why? Well, for example, if you were to have a reservation at one of Epcot’s World Showcase restaurants, a lot of time can be wasted in waiting for transportation, actual travel time, going through security and the turnstiles, and then actually walking across the park to your restaurant. Whew! That can really take awhile and there are a lot of variables to contend with! That’s why, when I can, I prefer to take a walking path so that I can make my own time without checking my watch in nervous frustration for the umpteenth time at a resort bus stop.

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Walt Disney World Tips for Big Groups: Stay Sane, Stay Happy

by on August 13, 2014 7 Comments

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You love your friends and family. I know it. You know it. But when you’re on vacation and suddenly everyone has different ideas of what they want to go and where to eat and when they need bathroom breaks don’t you… sort of… want to push them in the lake? Just a little? Whether this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip or a yearly affair, vacationing with a big group of people can get stressful in a hurry. Here are a few Disney World tips to save your sanity and keep things running as smoothly as possible.

As told entirely by screenshots of The Emperor’s New Groove.

Copyright - Disney

Copyright – Disney

Because nobody knows how to party like Kronk and Yzma, that’s why.

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Observations from Downtown Disney Part 3 (Marketplace Co-Op and Art of Disney)

by on August 13, 2014 11 Comments

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Today we are finishing up our three part photo tour of Downtown Disney. Part One looked at the West Side, the new parking garage, and the current construction going on around Pleasure Island. Part Two looked at several venues within the Marketplace and the new pedestrian bridge across Village Lake. We’re going to close out with a look at some items from two of my favorite stores to walk through in Downtown Disney. First up is the Marketplace Co-Op, which opened up earlier this summer replacing the awful Team Disney store. I personally always thought that Team Disney had the opportunity to sell some really unique items based on all the incredible sports movies that Disney has made over the year. Imagine hockey jerseys based off the characters and teams from the Mighty Ducks series of films, or shirts with various Disney characters in the gear of professional teams or even just made up teams from the Disney Universe like maybe a Junior Woodchucks soccer team from the DuckTales universe. Instead, Team Disney for the most part just sold the same MLB and NFL stuff you could get any Sports Authority or Target near you.

Miraculously, Team Disney was transformed earlier this summer into the Marketplace Co-Op, a store which is already among my favorites in all of WDW property.

 

DIS4

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Disney California Adventure Character Meet & Greets: A Walking Tour

by on August 12, 2014 2 Comments

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Mickey Mouse

Me with an old friend, both in our bow ties.

A couple weeks ago, I took you on a walking tour of some of the various character meet & greet opportunities in Disneyland Park. This week, let’s take a look at some of the spots in Disney California Adventure Park where you can meet your favorite Disney characters.

Before the park became known as Disney California Adventure, and before the major “DCA 2.0″ overhaul, a park visitor would be pretty hard-pressed to find characters to take pictures with or get an autograph from. But over the years, that has changed. DCA is now home to many characters, much like its companion park across the esplanade. Read the rest of this entry »

TouringPlans Everywhere: Budgeting for A Tokyo Disneyland Trip

by on August 12, 2014 28 Comments

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cinderella-castle-rear-tokyo-disneyland-guests-posing-640x514A couple of weeks ago I posted an introduction to my upcoming trip to Tokyo Disneyland as part of TouringPlans Everywhere. In this post I will talk about how much each component of the trip costs and share a time line of my different planning stages.

The earliest stage of planning for my trip to Tokyo began back January of this year. The idea of every TouringPlans employee taking a trip to a different Disney destination was thrown around, and we were asked to get a rough estimate on how much a trip would cost. When I was assigned Tokyo, I knew I would want to stay beyond the 4 days the company was paying for. My wife and I discussed how many days we could actually afford to go, and we ended up settling on 8 nights. Anyway, like I said , my first step was to get an estimate, so I started searching for hotel rooms and airfare to get a basic idea. After quickly going through a few travel websites (I was just getting an estimate so I didn’t shop around too much), I figured the total cost would be around $5825. Breaking it down, my estimates were $2500 for airfare, $2000 for hotel rooms, $1000 for food, $325 for park tickets, and $600 for transportation in Japan. That total price is too high for my wife and I to afford, so I knew we would have to adjust the plans or get lucky and find some deals to save us some cash.

Time line

1/14/14 – Very early on in my trip planning I was shopping around for hotels in the Tokyo Disney Resort area. Like any major city or theme park, Tokyo Disney Resort has many hotels with a wide variety of price ranges to choose from. I started to see some good deals for just a little over $100 a night. This would save us some money, but if we stayed at them we would have to take some form of transportation in to the resort. As I mentioned in my last post, there are several hotels on Tokyo Disney Resort property that are also located near a Disney monorail station. After comparing prices at the six non-Disney-branded hotels, the lowest price ended up being the Hilton Tokyo Bay. Hilton.com listed rooms at $171 a night, so we whipped out the credit card and locked in our dates. However, we knew we wanted to splurge a bit and stay in a Disney-branded hotel for at least one night, so we only booked three nights at the Hilton.

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My Disney Experience Brings Needed Improvements For Making Advanced Dining Reservations While in the Parks

by on August 12, 2014 19 Comments

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My Disney ExperienceHave you ever been in Walt Disney World and suddenly come to the realization that you are hungry? You aren’t just hungry, but instead you are starving and want a full meal to satisfy your appetite. One little caveat…while you want to enjoy a nice table service meal, you currently have no Advance Dining Reservation scheduled.

So you open up the app because you want to see what restaurants have availability in the near future, but the app says that reservations are unavailable. (At least over the next hour. Search for times after the initial hour or, so and you’ll see that some restaurants clearly have availability.) You know that  not every restaurant can be booked up for the next couple of hours, but you cannot see any availability to be able to make an ADR. So you are stuck either going door to door to the different table service locations to find one to dine in, or you are stuck eating counter service. It’s so frustrating! (This happened to me on my last trip actually, so I speak from experience. Can you tell?)

Well, beginning tomorrow, all that changes! You see, starting on August 13, dining reservations can be made via the My Disney Experience app for iOS devices or via Disney’s website for any available seating up to 20 minutes in advance! (Yay!)

Future enhancements are planned to include the same booking feature via the My Disney Experience app for Android devices.

This is great news for those who may be looking for a last minute reservation, because – let’s be honest – you never know when a craving will hit while you are at Walt Disney World. It will be nice to know that I now have the option to satisfy more easily that desire for a good table service meal.

Disney Partners With Pandora Jewelry

by on August 12, 2014 1 Comment

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DC99325LOGO-b

©Pandora

Pandora is coming…and I don’t only mean the Pandora associated with Avatarland.  Instead I mean that PANDORA Jewelry will be coming soon, as the company has entered into an alliance with the Walt Disney Company.

Beginning this November, a collection of PANDORA’s 14k gold and sterling silver charms will go on sale featuring many of Disney’s favorite characters, like Mickey and Minnie.

The initial line that will be found at PANDORA stores will consist of 25 styles. There will also be 16 additional styles that are only going to be sold at Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort, Disney Vacation Club properties, and on the Disney Cruise Line. Additionally both Uptown Jewelers in the Magic Kingdom and La Mascarade d ‘Orleans in Disneyland will unveil unique PANDORA retail sections.

“We’re looking forward to the opportunities ahead through our alliance with PANDORA,” said Tiffany Rende, senior vice president of Disney Corporate Alliances and Operating Participants.”In addition to debuting a new line of PANDORA Jewelry at retail level that we know will be a fan favorite, we are collaborating on other product lines and guest experiences at our domestic Parks and Resorts.”

The agreement will last for 10 years and will also include a sponsorship of the Magic Kingdom’s nightly fireworks spectacular, Wishes.

Observations from Downtown Disney Part 2 (Disney Springs, World of Disney, T-REX)

by on August 12, 2014 17 Comments

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In part one of this photo tour of Downtown Disney we covered the West Side and all the walls surrounding Pleasure Island. We start off part two with one of the only references to Disney Springs that you will see in the entire Downtown Disney area. Even the concept art doesn’t have “Disney Springs” on it. Several lampposts outside of Fulton’s Crab House were emblazoned with the Disney Springs logo earlier this spring.

 

DIS1

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Walt Disney World Newsworthy Notes – 8/11/14

by on August 11, 2014 3 Comments

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Hello again! My notepad is full of lots of little things I’ve jotted down lately that you all should know that may influence your next trip to Walt Disney World, so here we go!

  • Beginning with the refurbishment news, It’s Tough To Be A Bug at Disney’s Animal Kingdom was supposed to reopen today, however, it would appear that work is taking much longer than initially thought, as the refurb was recently extended. It will now last at least a month and a half longer, reopening on September 28.
  • The Astro Orbiter will also see an extended refurbishment; however, its extension isn’t for nearly as long. The attraction’s extra refurb work is only for an additional week; it is also now supposed to reopen on September 28.
  • Staying in the Magic Kingdom, the “Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It” street party will see an amended schedule for the following dates: August 12, 13, 19, 20, and 29. On those dates, performances will only take place at 5:40 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
  • While it was recently announced that The Yankee Trader was being converted into a Haunted Mansion gift shop, it appears that the refurbishment will be more extensive than originally thought. The store is now scheduled to reopen on January 1. Also, (and lending more credence to the rumor that the new gift shop will offer on-ride photos from the Mansion), the Haunted Mansion will be closed from December 1-19, reopening on December 20.
  • The First Aid Center at the Magic Kingdom has temporarily relocated from Main Street, U.S.A., to the lounge next to Space Mountain until August 19.
  • During this year’s Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party nights, a brand new event will take place. Called Club Villain, guests will get the chance to dance and mingle with a few infamous Disney villains at The Diamond Horseshoe. It is currently unknown which specific characters will be participating in this dance party.

That’s gonna do it for this edition of Newsworthy Notes. What are your thoughts?