Archive for December, 2012

A Notice For Tower Of Terror Over The Holidays

by on December 25, 2012

Over the past several weeks wait times at Terror of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios have shown suspicious spikes. We have confirmed that these were due to the temporary shut down of one of the elevator shafts that take guests into the other dimension. Historically, we have found that the shut down of one shaft, although rare, usually results in a posted time that is more than double the wait time from before the shutdown. These shutdowns have been more frequent recently, affecting as many as 5 days out of 7. If I had to guess, I would suspect that during the busy holiday season, Disney may be less likely to shut a shaft down for fear of driving wait times too high. Regardless, we want our holiday touring-planners to be prepared.

Most of you who follow an optimized touring plan will find that Tower is Terror is slotted in the first half the day, which is good, but we want you to be aware that if these temporary shutdowns continue you may come to the queue with a Christmas wait time surprise in the range of 200 to 300 minutes. We have tried to adjust our estimates for the wait times at Tower of Terror, but it is difficult to predict when the elevator shaft will go down. (Pun intended!)

If Tower of Terror is on your must-do list over the holidays, make sure to re-optimize your Hollywood Studios touring plan while in the park. Lines will adjust to the current wait times and the optimizer will adjust as well.

Last Week at Disneyland Resort (12/16/2012 – 12/22/2012)

by on December 24, 2012

Last week was slow news-wise, but not attendance-wise, as the Disneyland Resort ramped up into the final week of the busy holiday season. Look for the largest crowds of the year to descend upon Anaheim between now and New Year's Day.

Crowd Calendar

Quietest Day: Tuesday 12/18 was a 5 out of 10 at the resort, with 4.7 at Disneyland, and 3.7 at DCA.

Busiest Day: Thursday 12/20 was an 9 out of 10 at the resort, with a 8.6 at Disneyland, and 8.6 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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Parking Restrictions at Walt Disney World for Holiday Season

by on December 24, 2012

Due to the extremely busy Holiday Season, a few of the Walt Disney World resorts in the Magic Kingdom area will have some parking restrictions.

  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort will be restricted until January 1
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort will be restricted until January 13

These parking lots will only allow guests who are staying at the resort, those who are attending a conference, or those who have some sort of dining or recreation reservation to park in their gates.

Twas the Night Before Christmas…

by on December 24, 2012

Twas the night before Christmas, and at Touring Plans
Vacation has started for woman and man.
The optimizer’s running, the stats in great shape
As we wait for Santa to smite Stitch’s Great Escape.

Researchers sleep as they smile with glee
As they dream about dining at Club 33.
The bloggers check their stockings, looking for a sign
They’ll be told to write about Disney Cruise Line.

When outside our office arose such a clatter,
I jumped from my desk to see what was the matter.
In case it’s the boss, my laptop gets closed
To hide that I’ve been watching cat videos.

Magic snow must have fallen and covered the streets,
Or maybe I fell asleep at Blizzard Beach?
Well, what do I spy as I squint through the gleam?
A monorail, and the entire Touring Plans team!

The driver was excited, and set for fiesta.
I knew in a moment it must be Len Testa.
Running like it was rope drop, his team they all came
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

On Steve, David, Guy, Sarah, Justin, and Fred
On Laurel, Tom, Scarlett, Darcie, Gerelyn, and Brad!
Someone get in line, time your wait ‘til you’re through!
We need walk times and bus times, there’s still work to do!

They sprang into action predicting wait times,
Collecting menus & crowd stats that show up in Lines.
So all with a mission to attractions they flew,
And sat for three months outside of Star Tours 2.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard from the door
A resounding “WOOT” that vibrated the floor.
I craned my neck, and then turned to see,
A WEDWay Peoplemover ambling t’ward me.

Out stepped the man, myth, and legend…head geek
And he ran up to me and gave my nose a tweak.
Len said “Don’t just sit here napping and snoring,”
“We need actual times, go get in line for Soarin’!”

His eyes-how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks kind of rosy, his hair was…uh, hairy?
He spoke very quickly, his mind raced with options
I was as out of place as a family picnic in Compton.

He yelled t’ward the TV, then yelled once again,
“C’mon Steelers, we need this! Go Big Ben, get seven!”
As he turned back to me, a boom box near his belly,
Van Halen shook the room like a bowlful of jelly!

We spoke of his podcast and he stated that
He may not be the coolest…but he’s cooler than Matt.
And while all Touring Plans tasks may not be the best,
They’re better than always being at DHS.

He gave my hand a shake and went off to his work,
And I worried a bit when I saw his head jerk.
He gave one more “WOOT” as I realized the plot
He was tipping his head back for tequila shots.

He met up with the team, donning a Touring Plans sweater,
And they continued their mission to make vacations better.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”


From myself and the entire team, we sincerely wish you and yours a happy holiday season. May all of your wishes come true.


Don’t Forget Walt Disney World’s Free Wi-Fi This Week

by on December 23, 2012

Past experience has shown us that when the Walt Disney World theme parks, particularly the Magic Kingdom, see extra high crowds, cellular service can be extremely unreliable. If you’re using Lines, our mobile app, while you’re touring this week, please switch over to the free in-park Wi-Fi. Lines does not cache any park information or your plans locally to your phone and needs a data connection to work correctly.

Enjoy your holidays at Walt Disney World!

Walt Disney World Annual Pass Discount Change

by on December 22, 2012

Starting January 1, 2013, Disney will reduce the discount that Premier and Premium Annual Passholders receive on merchandise.

The discount has been 20% in recent years, but starting on January 1, the discount will change to 10%  at Walt Disney World-owned stores.

There is no change to the 10% discount for regular Annual Passholders at Walt Disney World, nor are there changes to Passholder discounts at Disneyland Resort in California.

Weekly Disneyland Photo Update For December 22, 2012

by on December 22, 2012

The Disney Gallery premiered a new exhibit last weekend. “Realms if Fantasy” replaces the previous exhibit.

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10 Best Gifts for the Disneyland Lovers in Your Life

by on December 21, 2012

It’s that time of year!  The time where, if you haven’t already – and you really should have by now – you start racking your brain for ideas for gift ideas!  And not just any gift idea, gift ideas for Disney fans.  Or people you want to make Disney fans so they understand what you are talking about when you refer to things like “the post Disney blues”, “what time is the 3 o’clock parade?” or “try to share my Dole Whip and there will be repercussions”.  Is that last one just me?

Here are some suggestions for you!  Some of these are Disneyland specific and others are just Disney wonderful.

1. A Trip to Disneyland – Well, duh.  This is of course the best present.  Surprise your loved ones with a trip to Disneyland.  The Happiest Place on Earth.  I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials where parents filmed their kid’s reactions to surprise trips to Disney.  Does anyone not get choked up, or at least smile, when they see the pure joy those children are experiencing?  It’s the best!  I need to do that!  Or be on the receiving end of it for that matter.  Not that I would argue with a trip to Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris or a Disney Cruise either!

2. Annual Pass – Would you like an annual passport to Disneyland?  Okay then.  No discussion needed here.  Unless you already have one.  Then maybe you’d like an upgrade to the Premier Pass which will get you into Walt Disney World and Disneyland!  Double the fun!

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by on December 20, 2012 se complace en anunciar nuestro primer eBook en español – Walt Disney World: Temporada de Fiestas TouringPlans eGuide 2012. Para obtener más información, visite nuestra nueva página en

Esperamos que os guste!

New Exhibit to open at the American Adventure Pavilion

by on December 19, 2012

The Kinsey Collection, personal treasures of African American art and history, will be found in Epcot’s American Adventure Pavilion early next year. This collection dates back to the 17th century and includes items from 90 countries. The exhibit will be in the American Heritage Gallery.

This display will show more than 40 pieces of art, books, sculptures, artifacts, and more. The official opening is scheduled for March 9, 2013; however, there will be previews before that date.

Viewing this collection will be included in your Epcot park admission.