Posts Tagged ‘special events’

Wearable Halloween Costumes + MNSSHP Experience

by on October 17, 2014

Photo - Keith Dahlgren

It’s raining, it’s pouring….

With Halloween creeping closer and closer, it’s finally time to start getting those costumes ready. Today, I’ll be sharing my experience attending Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, as well as what costumes we wore. Now, let’s grab our candy buckets and be on our way!

We attended Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party on September 19, so we were ahead of the game when it came to costume planning. Our family is pretty low maintenance when it comes to Halloween costumes, and as we’d be running about all night, we dressed for comfort. We decided on a group costume, so off to Neverland we went. First up was our little pixie, Tinker Bell.

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The Disney Dazzle: Wishes Fireworks Cruise

by on October 7, 2014

Photo - Keith Dahlgren

Mom and Dad sharing a special moment

Today, I’m going to share my experience attending the Wishes Fireworks Cruise. I first went on this cruise in 2011 and again in September 2014. This most recent time, it was a birthday surprise for my dad. If you know me personally, you will understand just how hard it is for me to keep a secret. The cruise can be booked as early as 180 days in advance, but mine was booked about 90 days beforehand. That’s 90 whole days I had to keep my lips zipped…I barely made it! After a fun day at the parks and a delicious dinner at The Brown Derby (Yes, he was spoiled rotten!), we arrived at the Contemporary. We led my confused dad through the lobby and outside to the marina. He had no clue what this birthday surprise could be!

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Mark Your Calendar: The List of Unofficial Disney Events

by on July 30, 2014

Dapper Day

Dapper Day: dress to impress

The Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World celebrate different events throughout the year: Valentines Day, Halloween, Christmas, New Year’s, and much more. These official Disney events only celebrate a particular calendar holiday. What about celebrating something more unique? That is when unofficial Disney events come into play. Throughout the year, there are special unofficial events take place at Disney parks. These events were created by fans, for fans, to show off their Disney side in a different way. Here is a list of the most well known unofficial Disney events and their affect on crowd levels.

Dapper Day

This is a day to go to Disneyland and look your best. Lots of people come to the parks dressed up in stylish fashions from the past to the present. Started in 2011, Dapper Day is quickly becoming one of the most popular unofficial Disneyland days. There are not only events at Disneyland Resort and Disney World but Disneyland Paris as well. I have never been but a lot of my friends have gone and they always tell me that they have a great time.

Dates, Parks, and Crowd Levels: 

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Epcot After Hours Wind Down Review: La Cava del Tequila and Spice Road Table

by on April 25, 2014

Epcot After Hours Wind Down Review

You can see Epcot from a unique perspective — for a price — at the new After Hours Wind Down.

Recently, we brought you the first word on Epcot After Hours Wind Down, a brand-new after hours program that began on April 17 at World Showcase in Walt Disney World’s Epcot park. Because we are will to sacrifice almost anything — including sleep, brain cells, and our livers — to bring Touring Plans readers complete coverage, my wife and I volunteered to be opening-weekend guinea pigs for this new food and alcohol tasting adventure (it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it…). Now that our hangovers have cleared, enjoy this exclusive in-depth Epcot After Hours Wine Down review, covering the experiences offered at Mexico’s La Cava del Tequila and Morocco’s Spice Road Table.

 

La Cava del Tequila Wind Down Review

Since I developed a new appreciation for tequila while reviewing Universal CityWalk‘s Antojitos, I chose to attend the Wind Down tasting at Mexico’s La Cava del Tequila, long one of my favorite bars inside any theme park. The tasting sessions are scheduled to begin at 9:20 p.m., but because we watched IllumiNations before from near Morocco (on the opposite side of the World Showcase lagoon), I didn’t arrive until approximately 8 minutes into the session. I suggested that they hold the start time until at least 15 minutes after the closing fireworks, but until that change is made I strongly suggest watching the show from a spot nearby your selected tasting venue.

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Epcot After Hours Alcohol Tasting Events Begin April 17

by on April 10, 2014

Epcot After Hours alcohol tasting events

Drink up! Epcot After Hours alcohol tasting events begin April 17. (photo courtesy Stacey Lantz)

Do you like Epcot? Do you like staying late at Walt Disney World theme parks? Do you like adult beverages? If, like us, your answer to all three questions is “heck yes,” then Epcot has a new treat for you. Beginning on April 17, several venues around World Showcase will begin holding Epcot After Hours Wind Down alcohol tasting events on select nights after the park officially ends operations for the day.

The after hours events will run from 9:20 p.m. (immediately after the end of IllumiNations) until 11:00 p.m., and are scheduled to run every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening. Each tasting session will cost $35 per person (plus your park admission), and includes wine or spirits samplers and small bites at one four different locations.

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Complete Guide to Universal Studios Mardi Gras 2014 UPDATED

by on March 12, 2014

Universal Studios Mardi Gras 2014 guide

Universal Studios Mardi Gras Grand Celebration starts on Feb 8, 2014.

Today we tackle one of my favorite theme park topics: the annual Universal Studios Mardi Gras Grand Celebration. Universal Studios Mardi Gras holds a special place in my heart because, back in the late 1990s when I worked in Universal Studios Florida’s entertainment department, I was a talent supervisor for the parade, and got to walk with it nightly. (I’ll never get “Iko Iko” or “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now” out of my skull.) So I’m thrilled to share Touring Plans’ complete guide to Universal’s bead laden bacchanalia, bringing you all the info you need to laissez les bons temps rouler!

[UPDATED 3/12/14: Scroll down for late-breaking news on the Mardi Gras extension and rescheduled Robin Thicke concert!]

Background

Mardi Gras originated in the religious observation of “Fat Tuesday” (the literal translation of the name), which is the day before “Ash Wednesday” on the Catholic calendar, and the start of Lent’s 40 days of dietary restrictions. People would bid “farewell to flesh” with a “carnivale” where they would indulge in the meat and drink they were about to forswear. Mardi Gras is the New Orleans, Louisiana, variation on this tradition — which is echoed in other cities from Venice, Italy to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Over the centuries, the religious significance has been stripped away, and most Mardi Gras revelers attend for strictly secular reasons — namely, epic quantities of booze, beads, and bare breasts. About 20 years ago, Universal took a look at the festivities and said, “This will make a fine family friendly event,” and amazingly it is — minus the bare breasts, of course. But that doesn’t mean it’s inauthentic; much as Universal partnered with Macy’s for its holiday parade, Universal engages Blaine Kern Studios, the same company that’s been building floats for the real deal since 1947, to create the park’s parade platforms. And musicians and recipes imported from the Big Easy add to the French Quarter feel. Of course, the real Bourbon Street doesn’t have concerts from big-name recording artists after each parade, much less a high-speed roller coaster cruising by in the background.

 

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Photo Gallery: Disneyland Dapper Day February 2014

by on March 4, 2014

Do you ever look longingly at old photographs of the Disney parks, and wish you could time-travel back to an era when guests got gussied up in their Sunday Best before visiting the Magic Kingdom? Twice a year you can do just that, thanks to Dapper Days. The most recent retro fashion celebration occured at Disneyland Resort over the weekend of February 22-23, 2014. There’s been plenty of photos floating around online of the most recent Disneyland Dapper Day from inside the parks, which were flooded with flocks of fans wearing high-fashion outfits from the 1920s through 1960s. But there’s been little coverage (until now) of the Dapper Day expo and events held simultaneously inside the Grand Californian hotel’s convention center.

Dapper Day in the Parks

First, here’s a brief look at a few of the ten-thousand-plus Disneyland Dapper Day participatants who were on parade inside the parks:

Disneyland dapper day

The queue to ride the Mark Twain riverboat stretched all along the Frontierland waterfront.

 

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Disneyland Annual Passholder Sing Along Under the Stars Events Start Feb 5

by on February 5, 2014

Disneyland Annual Passholder Sing Along Under The Stars in February at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree

Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree (seen here with holiday decor) will host Disneyland Annual Passholder Sing Along Under The Stars in February.

Drive-in movie theaters are sadly a distant memory in most of America, and the majority of us can’t jump on a Disney cruise just to watch a flick while floating in the pool. But this month, Disneyland Annual Passholders have a unique interactive opportunity to experience a Disney “second golden age” classic outdoors under the Anaheim night sky, thanks to February’s Disneyland Annual Passholder Sing Along Under The Stars screenings at Frontierland’s Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree.

Each week, a different animated musical film is shown, accompanied by hosted trivia and (of course) sing-along sections. Passholders even get free popcorn, coffee, and cocoa! The venue opens at 5:30 p.m., and the film starts at 6:30 p.m.. Space is limited, so secure a wristband by presenting your valid annual pass after 2 p.m. on the day of at Westward Ho! in Frontierland.

Here’s the schedule:

  • Beauty and the Beast: February 5 and 6, 2014
  • The Little Mermaid: February 12 and 13, 2014
  • Aladdin: February 19 and 20, 2014
  • The Lion King: February 26, 2014

It’s worth noting that events like these, which were formerly promoted under 2013′s “Limited Time Magic” banner, seem to have outlived that marketing campaign. You can find all the fine print on the Disneyland website.

 

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Video Double Feature: Walt Disney World Talking Mickey & Jingle Cruise

by on November 16, 2013

Hey boys and girls, it’s movie time! Today on the Touring Plans YouTube Channel we have a very special video double feature direct from Orlando’s Magic Kingdom, featuring the new Walt Disney World talking Mickey Mouse and a Christmas twist to a classic ride.

Talking Mickey

Now you can do more than just say cheese with the Big Cheese at WDW — you can have a conversation!

 

First up is a complete ride-through of the Jingle Cruise, which (as Morgan Crutchfield recently reported) is the new holiday overlay of the classic Jungle Cruise attraction:

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Tickets almost sold out for Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen Gingerbread House Workshops at Disneyland’s Downtown Disney

by on November 12, 2013

Ralph Brennan Jazz Kitchen Gingerbread House Workshops 2013

Tickets went on sale yesterday (November 11, 2013) for this year’s Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen Gingerbread House Workshops at Disneyland’s Downtown Disney, and seats are already almost completely sold out. Spots for the December 15 and 21 worshops are gone, but you can still purchase tickets for the first session on December 14.

Here’s how Ralph Brennan’s describes this popular seasonal activity:

The workshop kicks off with the induction of all participants as ‘chefs for the day’ with artfully self-designed chef’s hats. Next, Chef Darrin Finkel leads an interactive demonstration on the proper assembly of gingerbread houses. Next, the good stuff…Decorating your gingerbread house with several handfuls of Holiday candy personally procured by Santa’s elves. Finally, in the spirit of the season and in recognition of the participants’ hard work, Santa will pay a surprise visit and hand out commemorative gifts to all attendees.

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