Archive for November, 2012

Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special To Bring Joyous Laughter

by on November 29, 2012


The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special will return for this festive season once again this year over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The show, which will be held in the Premiere Theater, will run for a fun-filled 14 days, from December 23, 2012, to January 5, 2013.

This delightfully funny experience, which fans of the former Pleasure Island area will be familiar with, will feature family friendly improvisational comedy. (Much like they used to do on the show Who’s Line Is It Anyway?)  The cast will create various scenarios, songs, and general merriment based off of audience suggestions.

For those who would like to catch the show (and personally, I suggest you do), a tip is to go to the earlier shows, if possible.  Last year, in a smaller venue this special show was so popular that it played to capacity most times.

The show is included with park admission. Pick up a Times Guide or look at Lines or our show schedule for exact information.

Should You Surprise Your Kids With A Trip To Walt Disney World?

by on November 28, 2012

You’ll notice that the question here is not, “Should you take your kids on a trip to Walt Disney World?” The answer to that is of course a resounding, “Yes indeedy do!” What I’m talking about here is whether your trip should be a surprise. Should you spring your Disney vacation on the young ‘uns?

Many family vacations are decided by tradition, vote, parental fiat, or simply a collective desire to explore the world. Someone, or everyone, decides. You discuss. You plan. You save. You wait. And then off you go.

The cultural zeitgeist makes Disney vacations different. Disney vacations seem to demand an extra measure of razzmatazz every step of the way. Not “We’re going to Disney World,” but “WE’RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!” Surpriiiiiise!

If the surprise trip is a gift, how will your kids react to not having "things" for their birthday or Christmas?

You rarely hear of people surprising their children with a trip to the Great Smokey Mountains, or Hawaii, or even other theme park destinations, wonderful vacation spots though they may be. But surprise visits to Walt Disney World are somewhat common. Disney even built a substantial portion of their recent “Let the Memories Begin” advertising campaign around guest videos of children being surprised with Disney visits. There’s almost a competitive pressure to create the most magically happy, over-the-top, wowapalooza Disney trip surprise reveal video, featuring cherubic children dancing with glee. A YouTube search of “surprise Disney” yields more than 21,000 hits. Maybe you should be one of those folks, but maybe not.

First let’s clarify that there are two types of Disney trip surprises: one where the trip is presented as a gift to be enjoyed at some later date and one where the family is leaving on the Disney trip RIGHT NOW.

There are pros and cons to each of these.

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Analyzing Disney’s Quick-Service Dining Plan for 2013

by on November 28, 2012

In my third and final in-depth evaluation of the 2013 Disney Dining Plan at Walt Disney World, I am going to analyze the least expensive plan option, the Quick-Service Dining Plan. In 2013, this plan costs $37.58 for an adult and $14.32 for a child, per night. Every guest staying in the same room (on Walt Disney World property, of course) must be on the plan, with the exception of children under 3 years old. Children under 3 are free to share from another family member’s plate at no additional charge or a separate meal can be purchased. Per night, each guest using the Quick-Service Dining Plan will receive two Quick-Service meals and a snack. Each guest will also receive a refillable mug that can be used only at the resort he or she is staying at for the length of the stay.

The Quick-Service Dining Plan is often seen as the time and money-saving plan. This plan does not include a sit-down meal; however, that does not mean a family cannot pay for one out of pocket. If you think your family is more of a “one sit-down meal a day family,” you might want to think about the standard Disney Dining Plan. If you are thinking about pricing out the Quick-Service Dining Plan for your family to see if it is a good fit, consider your family’s eating habits. How many full meals do you like to eat a day? Do you often order dessert and a soft drink with each meal? Does your family ever share meals?

Let us take a look at how a family of four (two adults and two children) does on the Quick-Service Dining Plan at the Magic Kingdom. This family is my favorite kind of family. They are very money-savvy and like to get the biggest bang for their buck. To do this, they are going to eat breakfast in their room before heading out to the Magic Kingdom for the day. My prototype family is also going to try to order more expensive options off of the Walt Disney World restaurant menus as they dine throughout the day.

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Christmas Day Parade Taping at Magic Kingdom

by on November 28, 2012

Every year it’s something that Disney fans get excited about! We look forward to turning on the television to watch the Disney Parks Christmas Parade on Christmas morning!

However, the parade taping doesn’t take place on Christmas. Instead, the taping usually takes place early in the month of December. This year, the parade and the concert performances will take place on Friday, November 30, and Saturday, December 1. In case of rain on either of those days, the make up day will be Sunday, December 2.

For those who will be in the Magic Kingdom, Main Street will be the most affected; the rest of the park traditionally is not extremely impacted.

A few of the entertainment offerings will be impacted, and I suggest that you pick up a Times Guide or look at Lines or our show schedule for exact information.

More Details Abound For the 20th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

by on November 27, 2012

Recently, a few details have come out about the upcoming 2013 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.  Since the festival is just a few short months away, Disney has been releasing more and more details.

Because this is the 20th year, it appears that a lot of new firsts will be added to the annual event. For the first time ever, there will be food and beverage cooking stations selling items such as barbeque and global and garden inspired fare. These exclusive bites will be found along the World Showcase promenade.

Also new for next year, in both Future World and World Showcase, illuminated gardens and topiaries will glow each evening.

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Reminder: Scavenger Hunt On November 30

by on November 26, 2012

A few weeks ago we announced the Scavenger Hunt that would take place during WDW Today’s Reunion. Be sure to RSVP on Facebook and we hope you will join us for all the fun!

Date: Friday, November 30, 2012

Time: 8:30 am, with the hunt starting at 9:00 am

Place: Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Meet at the big billboard outside the park to the right of the turnstiles.

Details: This will be a scavenger hunt with a slight taste of a jumble thrown in. Teams of 3 or 4 people will answer a series of questions. Those answers will help to fill in a magical phrase that will ensure maximum points. The team with the most points will win…something…probably (prizes yet to be determined, but remember that the real prize is the fun you will have).


Quick Reviews of Disneyland’s Holiday Desserts

by on November 26, 2012

Disneyland is usually filled with some amazing treats but during the holidays they roll out some extra special items that are only available for a limited time. With so many items to try I decided to bite the bullet and test them out for you, the loyal TouringPlans blog reader. This is not a complete list of all holiday desserts, after all I am only one man (and Len said I couldn’t expense any medical bills caused  by eating too many desserts).

Dessert Coffin – $4.99 – French Market, New Orleans Square, Disneyland

Wow, this was good. The Dessert Coffin is cheesecake covered in chocolate flakes and topped with crushed Oreos. French Market is themed to match Nightmare Before Christmas along with the Haunted Mansion next door so it’s fitting that this dessert is shaped like a coffin and sprinkled with bone shaped candy. If you like chocolate and cheese cake you will absolutely love this dessert. I also feel like I got value out of this as it can easily be shared by 2 people.

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Last Week at Disneyland Resort (11/18/2012 – 11/24/2012)

by on November 26, 2012

Did you get your fill of turducken, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie last week? Hopefully you were busy chowing down during Thanksgiving, and not braving the record crowds that descended upon the Disneyland Resort. Cyber Monday through Post-Turkey Thursday is your last best chance for exploring the park's holiday offerings. Expect attendance to steadily build starting this coming Friday through the end of December.

Crowd Calendar

Quietest Day: Saturday 11/24 was a 9 out of 10 at the resort, with a 8.5 at Disneyland, and 8.4 at DCA.

Busiest Day: Tuesday 11/20 was a 10 out of 10 at the resort, with a 9.6 at Disneyland, and 9.9 at DCA.

Subscribe to the Touring Plans Disneyland Crowd Calendar for full details on predicted attendance for the next 30 days.

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New Custom T-Shirts Available for Pre-orders

by on November 25, 2012

Our new custom design

We are super excited to announce pre-orders for a snazzy new t-shirt designed just for by Richard Terpstra, whose work you have probably seen on some of the retro-style shirts for sale at Walt Disney World and Disneyland and at his blog, DesignerLand. We realize that this is not the same shirt we asked for votes on earlier in the month, but when we got the opportunity to do a run of the these shirts in time for the holidays, we jumped on it.

The shirts are American Apparel jersey knit unisex short sleeved Ts. The size chart is found on the order page. We are taking pre-orders for one week (until December 3) and will ship the shirts by December 17. The price is $24.95 ($26.95 for extended sizes), with a $2 discount on a second shirt shipped to the same address.

As they say, order early and order often!

New Unofficial Guide Podcast: Guns, Alcohol and Money on Disneyland’s Main Street USA

by on November 25, 2012

Episode 26 of the Unofficial Guide’s podcast is out. Join Jim and me as we walk through what Disneyland’s Main Street USA was like when it opened, and what Walt had planned for that part of the park. Recorded live on Main Street in Disneyland.

iTunes link hereMP3 link hereRSS feed here. And here’s an iTunes link to Warren Zevon’s song “Lawyers, Guns and Money,” which inspired this podcast’s title. It’s funny. Buy it.

Don’t forget to rate the podcast on iTunes and let us know what other topics you’d like to see covered. We’re planning our early 2013 schedule soon. Thanks!