Posts Tagged ‘Epcot’

Disney World Trip Planning Strategies – Segmenting

by on September 3, 2015

Make Your Own "Hidden" Mickey

Elyssa making her own “Hidden” Mickey – © John Kivus, 2015

Fellow TouringPlans writer Sarah Graffam recently wrote a post about Managing Your Disney Evening, a sister piece to her earlier post, Managing Your Disney Morning, that got me thinking about how I manage my Walt Disney World trips. Many Disney guests focus on “days” while they plan, but I normally think of my trip in terms of “segments.” These segments vary in duration, but each usually consists of a meal coupled with certain attractions. It isn’t until after I have decided on the particular segments for an upcoming trip that I start to fit the segments into particular days. This post shares a few examples of trip segments that my wife, Elyssa, and I really enjoy:

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All it Takes is Faith and Trust! (And a Little Bit of Help from the Touring Plans Readers)

by on September 2, 2015

All it takes is faith and trust

“All it takes is faith and trust!” – Peter Pan

It’s no secret that I am a planner. A crazy-nutcase-super-planner (I admit it). I don’t take even a short trip to Disney World without planning FastPass + selections and Advanced Dining Reservations at the earliest opportunity. I mean, have you read my articles on planning for spontaneity? If my introductory and advanced courses in leveraging MyMagic+ didn’t paint a vivid picture for you of my planning love, I’m not sure what would.

As I was planning for our upcoming trip over Labor Day weekend, a wild thought occurred to me. What if, for one of the days of our trip, I didn’t pre-plan anything? (Cue intense hyperventilation.) I know that some people are critical of MyMagic+, citing that it “forces” them to plan their trips months in advance. I don’t share in that sentiment, and even though I don’t personally go the non-planning route that doesn’t mean I believe it can’t be done. (Did everyone follow that convoluted sentence? I plan because I want to, not because I believe that one must plan in order to have a good time at Walt Disney World.)

Now you might be asking yourself, “How would this type-A planner know that someone can enjoy a day in Disney without planning?! She probably doesn’t even know how to have an impromptu day at Disney World!” Valid points, dear readers, and those thoughts are precisely what have led me to this particular experiment. And YOU are the key to this experiment. Essentially, I need you to tell me what to do.

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FastPass+ Reservations Available for Eat To The Beat Concerts

by on August 26, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

One of the popular aspects of the Epcot Food & Wine Festival is the Eat to the Beat Concert Series. These concerts take place in the America Gardens Theatre at the America Adventure Pavilion nightly during the festival and feature beloved artists such as Boyz II Men, Sugar Ray, Air Supply, Wilson Phillips, and more.

Well, for the first time ever, if there is an artist that you absolutely cannot miss, you potentially won’t have to. You see, now you can make FastPass+ reservations to ensure they will definitely see their favorites.

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Soarin’ Around The World Headed to Epcot and Disney California Adventure

by on August 15, 2015

Current version of Soarin' ©Disney

Current version of Soarin’ ©Disney

It looks like the rumors were indeed true! It was announced at the D23 Expo today that Soarin’ Around the World will be headed to not only Epcot, but also to Disney California Adventure.

The attraction will take guests on a journey to far-flung lands and fly above some of the world’s most unique natural landscapes and man-made wonders. Some of the destinations will include the Great Wall of China and Monument Valley.

Disney California Adventure’s Soarin’, which debuted when the park opened in 2001, just saw an upgrade to digital projectors during the transformation of its land from Condor Flats to Grizzly Peak Airfield. In addition, over at Epcot, a third theater is currently being constructed, augmenting the two that have been there since the attraction opened in May 2005. Both upgrades are being done to prepare for the new film.

Soarin’ Around the World is expected to debut in 2016 in both parks.

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2015 Disney D23 Expo Predictions

by on August 12, 2015

D23expologo

This week marks the fourth ever D23 Expo, which is the exposition event for Disney D23 (the official fan club for The Walt Disney Company). Since 2009, and every second year after that, the event has offered fans the chance to come together and celebrate all things Disney while also getting a sneak peek at upcoming projects across the company’s numerous divisions including parks, film and even video games. With rumors swirling about possible announcements for quite some time now, speculation and anticipation are at a fever pitch. One of my favorite parts of any event like this is making predictions because a) it offers me the chance to brag about how right I was or b) laugh at how wrong I was. I can’t lose! With that in mind, here are my ten predictions for the D23 Expo.

©Disney

©Disney

10. Hollywood Studios Gets a New Name

Let’s get one of the big ones out of the way. Every Disney fan at this point knows that Hollywood Studios is getting a huge revamp. With the new changes will also come a new name for the park, which was previously revealed by Disney CEO Bob Iger after he got tricked by a young fan at the annual shareholders’ meeting. From everything I’ve read, the most popular new name appears to be Hollywood Adventure but at this point, it’s anybody’s guess.

Chance it happens: 90%

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Tips for Conference Goers at Disney World Who Are Too Cool for Characters

by on August 12, 2015

Q: Why do lots of people without kids visit Walt Disney World if they think it’s for the preschool set?

A: They’re getting paid to be there.

My first visit to Walt Disney World as an adult was for a convention. According to Disney Meetings, Walt Disney World is home to over over 700,000 square feet of meeting space. Six of Disney’s own hotels include convention space, and that doesn’t include the on-property Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin resorts, which add 329,000 square feet to that total. Hundreds of thousands of additional conventioneers visit Orlando each year to attend events at the Orange County Convention Center and many other hotels in the area. In other words, if you are a professional who hasn’t attended a conference in Orlando yet, you probably will soon.

However, not everyone visiting central Florida wants to be immersed in Mickey and pals. If you are visiting Walt Disney World as part of a business trip, you may be worried that your visit will be a nightmarish cacophony of cartoony characters.

Chef Mickey

I promise, you can avoid this guy entirely.

You can certainly get your fill of characters in Walt Disney World if that’s your thing, but you can also avoid them entirely. This post will explain where to stay during your trip to maintain an oasis of calm in Mickey Central as well as how to fill your leisure time in Walt Disney World without getting too much pixie dust on your clothes, and where you can have a dignified, character-free meal.

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Disney World After Dark: 10 Tips for Night Owls

by on August 3, 2015

Just about every reputable planning guide for Walt Disney World (ahem, Unofficial Guide) strongly advises getting up early in Orlando – really early. During the winter holidays, making rope drop for an morning Extra Magic Hour at Magic Kingdom could have your family strolling up to the tapstiles shortly after 6:00. In the morning.

But if you haven’t seen a sunrise since the last time you stayed out all night, never despair. You don’t need to sacrifice your sleep-in to have a great time at Walt Disney World. In fact, the dark hours are some of my favorite times to be in the parks. Here’s how you can have a fabulous night owl-optimized vacation at Walt Disney World, without bringing an alarm clock into it:

Magic Kingdom at night. Main Street U.S.A.’s best hour.

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Garden Grill to Start Serving Breakfast and Lunch

by on July 28, 2015

The LandAre you a fan of Garden Grill at The Land Pavilion at Epcot? Well, now you can enjoy two new character meals at the popular Table Service location – breakfast and lunch.

Chip n’ Dale’s Breakfast Harvest Feast will include delights like biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, bacon, Mickey waffles, and Chip’s Sticky Bun Bake. (Oh yum…I can feel the sugar coma.)

Lunch will include similar items that are currently served at dinner, like the “Living with the Land” harvest-inspired farmer’s salad, char grilled filet of beef, turkey breast, veggies, and more.

Breakfast and lunch will both be served family-style and will continue to be an all-you-care-to-enjoy meal. Breakfast and lunch offerings will begin on November 8. To make reservations, call (407) WDW-DINE.

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More Details about the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

by on July 22, 2015

The Hawai'i kiosk at Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

©Disney

Are you ready for fall? Well, if you are, details are abounding now about this year’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival! If this is your favorite time of year to visit the parks, like it is mine, you count down the days until you can start making your plans! (I’m drinking pumpkin spice tea to get me in the mood as we speak!)

Well, now, we are only just a little over two months away from opening date, which starts on September 25 and will last a total of 53 days through November 16. What makes this year even more special is it is the 20th anniversary of the event! We’ve already heard some initial details, but we now know things like Marketplace Kiosk menus, special event details, and more.

What’s New?

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GLIDDEN’S Colortopia Coming to Epcot’s Innoventions

by on July 21, 2015

©GLIDDEN

©GLIDDEN

Have you been curious about what’s been going on with Epcot’s Innoventions lately? Well, wonder no more! The paint brand, Glidden has been collaborating with Walt Disney Imagineering to create a brand new interactive exhibit called Colortopia.

Guests of all ages who experience the Colortopia exhibit will encounter unique and surprising hands-on activities. In addition, park visitors will be able to extend the Colortopia exhibit experience with a mobile app and website which are set to to launch later this year.

“Pairing the magic of the park experience with the magical role color plays in our lives is an exciting opportunity for the Glidden brand,” said Mark Lancia, Senior Brand Manager at Glidden. “We’re excited to share the Colortopia experience with the park’s visitors from around the world.”

There is no official opening date for this new experience, but it is expected to open sometime later this fall.

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