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Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report – July 24 to 30, 2016

by on August 8, 2016

Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report

How Crowded Was Disneyland Resort Last Week?

Other than slightly lower crowds than expected at Disney California Adventure on Sunday and Monday, crowds at Disneyland Resort were within one index level of what the Disneyland Crowd Calendar predicted each day last week. Monday and Tuesday were the busiest days of the week with crowds slightly lower as the week went on.

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar Report – July 24 to 30, 2016

by on August 7, 2016

Disney World Crowd Calendar

How Crowded Was Walt Disney World Last Week?

Sunday through Tuesday last week, crowds we observed were within one index level of what the Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar predicted while later in the week crowds drifted a little further away from what we expected. Crowds were at least a point busier last year during the equivalent week.

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

Read the rest of this entry »

SATURDAY SIX: Six Reasons We LOVE Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort

by on August 6, 2016 9 Comments

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Reasons We LOVE Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort. Currently, the Universal Orlando Resort has five on-site hotels. Disney has three classifications for their resorts: Value (including Pop Century), Moderate (Caribbean Beach), and Deluxe (The Poly). Universal also has three levels: Preferred (including Royal Pacific Resort), Premier (Portofino Bay Hotel), and Prime Value, which is where Cabana Bay Beach Resort resides.

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Cabana Bay Beach Resort. (photo by Mike Sperduto)

Cabana Bay is Universal’s first attempt at a lower priced “value” resort, and  is also the first time they have gone after the increasingly popular Family Suite market (led by Disney’s incredible Art of Animation Resort). Unlike Disney’s lower tier hotels (such as the All Stars) Cabana Bay is loaded with amenities. In fact there are so many “extras” at Cabana Bay that many Universal fans consider it their favorite on-site hotel despite it not offering Unlimited Express Pass. Today we’re going to look at some of our favorite features of this fantastic resort. So sit back, put on the soundtrack to Mad Men as background music, and let’s begin our list with…

# 6 – Lazy River

Now, Cabana Bay has two huge pools, a giant slide, several jacuzzis, and a water play area, but what separates it from the pack is everyone’s favorite water feature: a lazy river. The E-Ticket of pools, a relaxing float along the lazy river – with its waterfalls and lush theming – can be just what the doctor ordered. Unlike many lazy rivers, Cabana Bay does not supply tubes to guests (they have no cleaning facility to disinfect them) but they do offer a wide assortment of tubes for pretty much the same price you would pay at WalMart or a pool store. Several of the tubes they offer are Cabana Bay branded and are relatively inexpensive souvenirs. One of the more popular tubes for kids is one that is themed to a car’s tire. There are also several water cannons around the river which kids love to play with.

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Lazy river at Cabana Bay.

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Lazy River at Cabana Bay.

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Water cannons at the Lazy River. There is actually very little water pressure in these, so guests who don’t want to get wet can easily avoid them.

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Night of Joy Schedule of Events for 2016

by on August 5, 2016 6 Comments

©Disney

©Disney

It is almost time for Night of Joy, the Christian music festival that occurs at Walt Disney World each September. This year, the popular event will take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex for the first time ever on Friday, September 9 and Saturday, September 10.

Due to the new location, the event will be expanded for 2016. Guests will have more options than ever with two nights of music, ample seating at indoor and outdoor venues, amazing performances on multiple stages, including Champion Stadium, and opportunities for fellowship and fun.

This year’s Christian artist lineup features 18 great artists. The lineup for each evening is as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

Limited Time Character Experience with Memory Maker

by on August 5, 2016 1 Comment

Belle - Memory Maker

©Disney

If you have Memory Maker for your Walt Disney World vacation this month, you’ll be able to soon take part in a limited time character meet and greet experience test.

From August 7-31, Guests who visit the Magic Kingdom who have purchased Memory Maker, Memory Maker One Day, or have an Annual Pass with complimentary Disney PhotoPass available, will be able to take advantage of a special character experience with Belle in her formal gown. This meet and greet experience will occur at the Heritage House in Liberty Square from 11:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

Only one person in your party needs to have purchased Memory Maker in order for your entire group to take part in this opportunity.

This seems like a great way to meet one of your favorite Disney Princesses with minimal wait!

In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of August 5, 2016

by on August 5, 2016

ICYMIMan, it seems like that Disney rumor mill has been heating up a lot the past few months. It’s always interesting when that rumor mill starts churning. That’s for sure!

This week, we’ll learn some interesting tidbits from Michael Eisner, take a look at The Hulk, and more.

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

 

Is the TCM deal to sponsor Great Movie Ride going to be dead here soon? What do you think of this potential rumor that Disney is declining to renew the contract?

If you’ve been to Walt Disney World this summer, then you know that the parks have been quieter than usual. Here are some of the reasons why.

There has been fighting on both sides of the important issues this summer season. You are either fall on one side or the other and it’s pretty divisive. While most fall in the hate it category, here is one article that shares why changing DCA’s Tower of Terror to a Guardians attraction isn’t necessarily the worst thing…nay that it actually makes sense. Read the rest of this entry »

Blaze Pizza Opens at Disney Springs

by on August 5, 2016 1 Comment

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

Today, the newest restaurant opens at Disney Springs. Blaze Pizza, the counter service location that serves artisanal pizzas cooked in a blazing hot oven in just 180 seconds, invites Guests to create their own pizzas. The focus at Blaze is all on being an individual.

The Disney Springs location is themed as the town’s local sawmill. You will see touches indicating this throughout the restaurant including a lathe above the menu board and touches of Cypress trees that have been used in decoration of the dining establishment.

At Blaze, you get to build your pizza your way. Here are the toppings you can choose from to make your pie: Read the rest of this entry »

A Night Out On The BoardWalk at Flying Fish and AbracadaBar

by on August 5, 2016 7 Comments

The marquee at Flying Fish remains as colorful as everDisney dining fans have been anxiously awaiting the reopening of one of the most popular signature table service restaurants in Walt Disney World, and it’s finally here. After several months under refurbishment, Flying Fish (formerly Flying Fish Café) reopened this week with a new look, new menu, and a new chef leading the way (though Chef Tim Majoras is a familiar face to the restaurant, as he’s been with Flying Fish for the past five years). As a longtime favorite of mine, I was just as excited as all of you to try the new menu (and probably just as sad to see favorites like the potato-encrusted snapper fly away off the menu). But first, I had to make a quick stop into another new addition to the BoardWalk, right next door, at AbracadaBar.

The front of AbracadaBar's menu offers a peek into the bar's backstory.Located in the space formerly occupied by Seashore Sweets, AbracadaBar is the newest addition to the Disney bar scene, though it may surprise a few guests with how different it is from other recent additions. AbracadaBar, open at 4:00 PM daily, is a bar, through and through, and decidedly not a lounge in the traditional Disney lounge sense. The menu (featuring a little magic trick of its own) is fairly short, featuring eight signature cocktails with high-end spirits, a selection of beers, wines, and two non-alcoholic drinks (that can also be tailored to your tastes if you prefer them on the alcoholic side).

If you frequent Disney lounges, you’ll notice something – I didn’t mention any food on the menu; that’s because there isn’t any, though your server will likely offer you some truffle popcorn to snack on with your drink. This is probably for a specific reason – there are a TON of food options on the BoardWalk (AbracadaBar itself is sandwiched between Trattoria al Forno and Flying Fish). It seems like it’s meant more as a stop-off for those on their way to their final dinner destination. This could be a great idea for the area, typically packed with adults looking for a fun place or two to spend a night out without kids.

AbracadaBar's interior is both cozy and welcoming.The space inside AbracadaBar isn’t huge in size, and the beautiful dark finishes and ornate red and gold wallpaper inside make it pretty cozy but welcoming. The tables aren’t on top of each other, which is always a plus in a bar or lounge. I loved coming in to this atmosphere out of the harsh Florida summer sun – a quick twenty minute break inside to enjoy a drink was really all I needed. Speaking of a drink – what to sample? I’m a big fan of many of the style of cocktails on this menu, so my choice was difficult, but I settled on one of the rare-at-Disney drinks, the Elixir 13. Read the rest of this entry »

Dani’s Best Week Ever August 4, 2016: Reign of Kong, Off Kilter, Emeril’s Happy Hour and SeaWorld

by on August 4, 2016 3 Comments

The pendulum is always swinging. Just two weeks ago I truly had one of my best weeks ever! This one was decidedly less so. But I am an optimist and try to make the best of each situation. It also helps that I live in Orlando and have annual passes to all three major theme park destinations, plus I have a great collection of friends in my life. So when the air conditioning went out for four days in my house, I did what needed to be done and enjoyed Orlando life while waiting for my house to become livable again.

Thankfully this week marked new and exciting adventures at Islands of Adventure, and new fun offerings at SeaWorld as well. Come with me as I face the Reign of Kong, contemplate facing my ultimate fears with the Incredible Hulk, enjoy live music from the beloved Off Kilter, and take a quick stroll around SeaWorld enjoying the most affordable snacks and drinks in any Orlando theme park!

Beautiful signage - photo by Brandon Glover

Beautiful signage – photo by Brandon Glover

Off Kilter and Dancing at CityWalk

Saturday early morning I awoke to a hot and humid house. Goodbye air conditioning, hello discomfort and an expensive repair. I couldn’t get it taken care of over the weekend so I did what any reasonable adult would do, make plans with friends and head for Universal Orlando!

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Elena of Avalor To Debut at Magic Kingdom

by on August 3, 2016 4 Comments

©Disney

©Disney

If you have a little one, then you likely already know who Elena of Avalor is. The newest Disney Channel star will soon be introduced at the Magic Kingdom via a brand new show titled “The Royal Welcome of Princess Elena of Avalor.”

The show, which begins on August 12 and will be presented multiples times a day at the Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage, will feature Cinderella and Prince Charming who are on hand to introduce their very special special guest, Princess Elena. With great fanfare, Princess Elena arrives accompanied by regal banner carriers and musicians.

Princess Elena of Avalor will not be meeting Guests in the park and instead will only be featured in this new royal welcome celebration.

Guests will be able to see the show for the first time via the next Disney Parks Blog Live stream on August 11 when Princess Elena’s official debut will take place beginning at 10:45 a.m. You’ll want to watch the Disney Parks Blog for more information.

Do keep in mind that “The Royal Welcome of Princess Elena of Avalor” castle stage show will only be around for a limited time.