Normally here on Touring Plans we focus on helping you plan your next big vacation, but today I want to take a moment to talk about what happens once we get home. That’s right, I’m talking about Post Disney Blues (PDB). Most people think that because I live in Central Florida that I’m immune to PDB. However, the more you visit, the more you miss it! So today I’m reviewing my top 10 tips to beat the Disney Blues.
1) Stow Some Tasty Treats: Many of the snacks sold in the parks are pre-packaged and will keep for a while. Nothing perks up a sad day like some Sour Mickey Gummies or a bag of Chip & Dale Pretzels. Did you know that pre-packaged food items can even be ordered from Disney Merchandising? Just call 877-560-6477 if you need your fix before your next trip!
2) Visit Virtually: YouTube is an amazing thing! Before I ever visited Disneyland or Disneyland Paris I’d toured both parks through videos shared by others. Of course, you can always count on the TouringPlans YouTube channel for all the latest. I can also take requests! Let me know if there is anything you’d like to see in the comments below.
3) Curl up with a classic: Disney films are how many of us fell in love with the parks in the first place. When I’m really missing Disneyland, dusting off a classic Disney film always hits the spot!
Hi, Everyone! I’m very happy to announce this new weekly article bringing you the best of Disney and what to expect in the week ahead. Since this is new, please let me know what you like, what you don’t, and what you’d like to see added. We’re always really happy to hear your feedback. Now, let’s get started with a look at the best week ever!
The Star Wars Weekends event continues to be popular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but last weekend wasn’t as crowded as expected. I’ve heard rumors that this was because cast member passes were blacked out. In any case, it was nice to see the streets not quite so packed!
We correctly predicted the resort-wide crowd level every day last week except for Sunday where we missed by one. Wait times were at or above average for most attractions all week although wait times at The Studios in between Star Wars Weekends have been quite low. We expect that to continue so you may want to plan to visit mid-week to take advantage.
Let’s look at The Disney World Crowd Report to see how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week:
Walt Disney World Resort Crowd Levels – Daily Breakdown
Peter Pan’s Flight (47, predicted 75), Space Mountain (41, predicted 77) and Winnie the Pooh (28, predicted 44) pushed Magic Kingdom’s crowd level to a ’6′, two down from the ’8′ we predicted. Meanwhile, we correctly predicted the wait times at Hollywood Studios would be the highest so far during this year’s Star Wars Weekends.
Monday’s crowd at The Studios dipped much lower with Star Tours averaging only a 20 minute wait, half what we predicted. Tower of Terror also came in lower than expected with an average of 40 minutes (predicted 72).
Epcot’s wait times on Wednesday slipped a few index levels higher than predicted although not at Test Track where we predicted an average of 73 minutes and it turned out to be 63. At Magic Kingdom our predictions were spot on with Pirates of the Caribbean being the only possible exception (predicted 23, it was 33).
Predictions did well at Magic Kingdom on Thursday as well with only two attractions missing by 10 minutes or more, and both those (Space Mountain and Splash Mountain) were over-estimated. Disney Hollywood Studios was the place to be with wait times barely reaching moderate levels at most attractions. Toy Story Mania (61 minutes, predicted 78), Tower of Terror (35 minutes, predicted 57) and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster (47 minutes, predicted 58) stayed well below average. Mid-week wait times at the Studios have been low during Star Wars Season, possibly a new trend.
Crowds were pretty similar across all four parks Friday although our estimates of ’7′ at Epcot and ’5′ at The Studios needed to be flipped. The ’5′ at The Studios was quite surprising for a Friday of Star Wars Weekend but the wait times were definitely low including 78 minutes at Toy Story Mania (predicted 101) and 33 minutes at Tower of Terror (predicted 60).
Saturday brought the third consecutive day of a resort-wide crowd level ’6′ with all four parks staying between a ’5′ and ’7′. The Studios wait times underwhelmed again while the other three parks all saw wait times slightly higher than expected. Wait times were higher at Animal Kingdom but not by a lot, Expedition Everest had an average wait time of 39 minutes (predicted 24).
May is over and soon, school districts will approach the end of their respective school years and we will see summer crowds begin. June can be a good time of year to visit if your kids are done school in the middle of the month, the peak of summer crowds will not begin until late June.
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.
Is it already the end of May? This month flew by.It seems we just celebrated Cinco de Mayo at La Cava del Tequila. We saw the annual running of the Kentucky Derby and the beginning of Star Wars Weekends. We rocked our Disney Side at the Magic Kingdom’s 24 Hour Event and we got to ride the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in soft opens. Meanwhile over at Universal a Dragon showed up at Diagon Alley, and work on the rumored King Kong attraction at Islands of Adventure is in full swing. It has been insanely busy, but we couldn’t forget about our monthly pilgrimage to the Disney Outlet Store!
March’s trip to the Outlet Store brought us unsold Valentine’s Day Duffy Bears from February, while April’s visit saw several St. Patrick’s Day items show up. Surprisingly enough, only two Easter items arrived at the Outlets so far. One is in the form of this Easter Egg Duffy Bear plush. Originally $20, it is now $9.99.
Turns out this Humpty Dumpty got pushed off the wall.
Fair warning: if you don’t have a trip to Orlando planned soon you might want to postpone reading this one. If you continue on I can’t be held responsible for any airfare booked as a result! You’ve been warned.
Many of you have probably seen me dropping into articles here and there that I’m maniacally planning a trip to Tokyo Disneyland Resort later this year. Apparently, I’ve been talking about it a little too much at home, too. Earlier this week my hubby came home and announced he had a surprise for me. We piled into the car and just a short while later arrived at the Kissimmee Popcorn Company. For anyone who is confused, Tokyo Disney is known for exotic popcorn flavors sold around the parks. Some of the oddest include: curry, strawberry, soy sauce, and milk tea! I didn’t find any milk tea popcorn, but I did find something really special. And just like all good things – I couldn’t wait to share it with you guys!
This week’s SATURDAY SIX covers the Top Six Roller Coasters in Orlando. We here atthe Saturday Six offices have been looking forward to the grand opening of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train for a while and one of the side effects of that anticipation has been having roller coasters on our brain. Luckily we are blessed with a lot of fantastic coasters in Orlando. But which ones are the very best? Today we are going to find out…
Dragon Challenge in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter squeaked by over Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster to take the # 6 spot. In its former incarnation as Dueling Dragons, this coaster had the unique experience of two trains leaving at the exact same time and at several points of the ride come oh-so-close to touching each other. Unfortunately the trains are now staggered, so while they don’t offer that exhilarating rush of coming near each other, they offer two exciting – and different – experiences. The Chinese Fireball (red side) has got faster speed and a bigger drop while the Hungarian Horntail (blue side) has a zero-gravity roll, cobra roll, and plenty more inversions to put a smile on your face. Waiting for front row on both is highly recommended.
Hi Everyone! I had the best Saturday of park hopping and I wanted to share some observations with you. My day started when we parked at Animal Kingdom at 8:45am. While we were walking in we noticed it was much more crowded than we’d expected. Umm… oops… your trusty host had forgotten about Extra Magic Hours! I was so delighted to get a Fastpass+ for the Kilimanjaro Safaris at 9:05am that I hadn’t paid attention. Well, we decided to walk back and check the wait time to see if we could sneak on then use the Fastpass+ for a second ride. Luckily, it wasn’t too crowded. We were able to pretty much walk on the first time but 30 minutes later we were so glad we had the Fastpass for a quick second ride! The line was already very slow moving for standby.
This week’s SATURDAY SIX covers the Top Six Theme Park Bars in Orlando. Reading the recent Epcot After Hours Wind Down reviews got the staff of Saturday Six thinking about the best theme park bars in town, so we grabbed our iPad and pulled up the Walt Disney World Bars and Lounges eGuide as a reference, cashed in our 30 day A.A. chips, and hit the parks to make our final judgements. What follows are the very best of your watering hole options inside the theme parks….
# 6 – Duff Gardens (Universal Studios Florida)
Some of the 7 Duffs topiaries in front of Duff Gardens (photo by Brandon Glover)
Duff Gardens is one of the newer entries in the parks, making its debut at Universal Studios Florida in August of 2013. The variety of drinks served here is limited (various Duff beers, coke products, Buzz Cola, and the Flaming Moe) but what Duff Gardens lacks in overall drink options, it makes up for in atmosphere and location. The topiaries of the 7 Duffs (Tipsy, Queasy, Surly, Sleazy, Edgy, Dizzy and Remorseful) are incredible. There is a photo op with Duffman and guests are steps away from the wonderful statue of Jebediah Springfield. There is signage within the bar that has the trademark Simpsons wit while cleverly mocking traditional beer advertisements. There is plenty of seating at the bar and there are even more tables bordering the nearby lagoon. Grabbing a couple tacos from Bumblebee Man’s Taco Truck and a Duff beer on tap from Duff Gardens is one of our favorite theme park meals.
When I was recently approached about heading to Los Angeles for a business I trip all I heard in my head was, “You’re going to Disneyland!” I couldn’t wait to tell my hubby and get our flights booked. You can imagine how deflated I was when the dates fell over a period that he couldn’t join me. At first, I was sad that I would be so close to Disneyland and not visiting the happiest place on Earth. Then I realized, I visit Disney World several times a month all by myself. Why not do the same for the west coast? I figured if I thought twice about doing Disney on my own then most of you would too. So with that in mind here are the best things about traveling alone on your next Disney vacation and why you should give it a try!
What to ride next? Anything I want! Often when traveling with friends and family compromises have to be made to keep everyone happy. When you’re on your own there’s a very short list of people to keep content! Want to ride something that your family hates? No problem! Want to sleep in or stay out late? Sounds great! In my case, that means a lot of time taking photos with no pressure to go faster because someone it bored.
Hi Everyone! Hope you’re ready for a report full of pixie dust! I’d originally planned on doing a post about May the 4th at Disney’s Hollywood Studios but it seems like everyone has been talking about that this week. Instead I decided to take you on a fun filled night at the Magic Kingdom. Let’s get started! Of course, Mickey was there to greet me before I even arrived to the park…
I decided to take some video as we rolled into the Magic Kingdom Monorail station. Unfortunately, it’s complete with authentic kid finger prints on the glass. No matter where I moved around the window was just covered.