Archive for March, 2013

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit: Five Rockin’ Tracks to Try!

by on March 22, 2013

Following up on my previous article regarding the hidden songs available to experience on Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, I felt it would be appropriate to offer up my five favorite song recommendations for the ride for those who might not be sure what track might best fit their musical journey. I have compiled my top five songs for your consideration when next riding Rockit… Just a reminder, listening to any of the hidden tracks will prevent you from being able to watch and/or purchase your on-ride video of the ride, so keep that in mind.

Crocodile Rock by Elton John, Hidden Song #104: A child of the classics, this one intrigued me as soon as I saw it on the list, but since my first time listening to it on the ride, I’ve gone back to experience it several times over. Holding its own against some of the heavier rock tunes available for the ride, this song starts out at the natural beginning of the song and pairs up fairly well with the course of the ride. My favorite segment of the song (“la, lalalalala, lalalalala, lalalalala” and clapping) times up perfectly with the CityWalk/Blue Man Group portion of the ride… And seriously, if you’re riding with a group of people, it would be a blast to get them all to ride with the same song and clap along as a group. I couldn’t stop laughing the first time I clapped along with the song and I still get a kick out of it to this date. Call me crazy…

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American Idol Experience En Español

by on March 21, 2013

Una nueva oportunidad de participar en una de las atracciones de Disney’s Hollywood Studios acaba de comenzar.

Visitantes que tienen aspiraciones de cantar en un escenario pueden hacerlo, ahora en español, en el American Idol Experience. En el programa de American Idol, Devin Velez ha cantado tanto en inglés como en Español. Esto le dio una idea al equipo de American Idol Experience y ahora ofrecen varias canciones en español para todas las personas que desean hacerlo. Hablando con uno de los managers de AIE nos comentó que las canciones han sido muy populares teniendo todos los días por lo menos un show con una canción en español.

Para las personas que necesitan de un traductor, solo necesitan pedirlo al momento de la audición. Se les consigue un traductor que los puede ayudar durante todo el proceso. Las canciones en español que están disponibles son:

  • “Y Yo Sigo Aquí” de Paulina Rubio
  • “La Camisa Negra” de Juanes
  • “Oye” de Beyonce
  • “Lo Que Soy (This Is Me)” de Demi Lovato
  • “Una Noche Mas” de Jennifer López
  • “Ciclo Sin Fin” (“Circle of Life”) de “The Lion King”
  • “No Importa La Distancia” (“Go the Distance”) de “Hércules”
  • “Mi Reflejo” (“Reflection”) from “Mulan”
  • “En Mi Corazon Viviras” (“You’ll Be in My Heart”) de “Tarzan”

An English translation follows: 

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Live Entertainment Series: Main Street Philharmonic

by on March 21, 2013

When people think “Walt Disney World” and “entertainment”, the first things that usually pops into mind are character-filled shows on the castle forecourt stage or parades racing through the park. In reality, there are a ton of live entertainment options available pretty regularly around all of the parks; most won’t even require securing a viewing spot several hours beforehand! My personal favorite of the live entertainment presentations in the parks stems from my past as a band geek. That’s right; I am in love with the Main Street Philharmonic.

The Main Street Philharmonic in Liberty Square

Imagine strolling through the Magic Kingdom to all of a sudden be bombarded with the blasting brass sound of four trumpets, three trombones, and two sousaphones on top of three percussionists, one of them playing everyone’s favorite, the cowbell. It is an everyday occurrence, and often how most people are introduced to the Main Street Philharmonic. Depending on the weather, they play several different ten to fifteen minute long shows throughout the day, five days a week (generally Sunday through Thursday). Shows earlier in the day (typically the 11:20am and 12:20pm shows) take place in Liberty Square on the walkway in front of the Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe and the Liberty Tree just across from Hall of Presidents. Their afternoon shows (1:35pm and 3:55pm) take place on Main Street, USA, bookending a quick sweep through the park shortly before the Celebrate A Dream Come True parade begins (listed on the Times Guide for 2:50pm). The last chance to catch the group for the day is at the Flag Retreat Ceremony in Town Square at 5pm.


Taste of Hollywood To Go Meals Being Offered

by on March 20, 2013

With today being the first day of spring, Spring Break is right around the corner! (Wasn’t it just Christmas?!)

With that being said, a busy season is upon us, and over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios there is a great option for guests to get both a quick meal and reserved seating for Fantasmic!

The Taste of Hollywood to Go is a prepackaged meal that will be offered at the park from March 24 – April 4. There will be five different choices that guests can choose from. They are:

  • hot fried chicken with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, sweet corn and carrots and warm apple crisp
  • veggie sandwich with avocado, orange and tomato salad, tabbouleh and chocolate cake
  • California and tuna sushi roll with avocado, orange and tomato salad, ginger-marinated tomatoes and cucumbers and a spicy pecan chocolate cluster
  • shrimp salad with avocado, orange and tomato salad, ginger-marinated tomatoes and cucumbers and mandarin orange cheesecake
  • cold-cut roast beef with creamy horseradish, potato salad, grilled asparagus and chocolate cake

In addition, there will be two kids options:

  • turkey and American cheese wrap with apples and carrots with Ranch dip, strawberry yogurt and a seven-layer cookie bar
  • strawberry yogurt, apple wedges, carrot sticks, Goldfish crackers, and an organic apple and cinnamon oatmeal bar

Meals will cost $15.99 for adults or $5.49 for kids ages 3-9. If a guest is using the Disney Dining Plan, it will be one quick service entitlement.

The pick up location will be at Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner from 11 am – 8 pm. While reservations are not “required,” the option is only available on a first come, first served basis, so if you have not made reservations, make sure to check early to see if there is any availability. If you would like to make a reservation, call (407) WDW-DINE

The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains: Tour Report

by on March 20, 2013

Our guide introduces himself.

On a recent Walt Disney World visit, I was out the door of my resort at 7:00 a.m., not for a meal with Mickey or for an especially ambitious run at rope drop, but rather for the bright-and-early Magic Behind Our Steam Trains tour at the Magic Kingdom. I’ve been making admirable progress on my quest to eventually do everything at Walt Disney World, but this particular tour had been repeatedly pushed to the bottom of my to-do list for years. Two factors finally made it rise to the forefront: first, I was traveling solo and thus had no cranky kids or hubby to complain about the potentially “boring” topic, and second, I was staying at the Bay Lake Tower, which made getting to the tour itself particularly convenient.

First some housekeeping basics and then I’ll give my impressions of the tour.

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Opa! A Celebration of Greece Coming this May to Disneyland Resort

by on March 20, 2013

Image copyright Disney

Between the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and its newly expanded Flower & Garden Festival, it seems like Walt Disney World gets to have all the fun where cultural celebrations are concerned. But last week the Disneyland Resort announced that it would soon be getting some international excitement of its own.

For the weekend of May 25-27 (10am to 6pm daily), Opa! A Celebration of Greece will bring authentic Greek music, dance, art, food, history, and more to both parks at the Disneyland Resort. Activities will take place in both “it’s a small world” Mall in Disneyland park and Paradise Gardens in Disney California Adventure park.

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Limited Time Magic Review – Disney Character Easter Egg Hunt

by on March 19, 2013

Do you like hunting for Easter eggs? What about Disney Easter eggs? What about not getting to keep the eggs after you found them? Well, you’re in luck, for only $4.95 (plus tax) you can participate in a Disney Easter egg hunt in Disney California Adventure and Epcot. I’m not going to lie: when this was first announced I tilted my head in confusion, kind of like my dogs tilt their heads when I sing Britney Spears to them. At first I thought it was strange to pay to participate in an Easter egg hunt where you don’t get to keep the eggs. But then as I sat at my computer for 5 minutes, I realized that A) At the very least this is a chance to obtain what will become yet another piece of obscure Disney ephemera for my collection, and B) Len said he would pay for it. Weighing those two factors, I promptly decided I was all in.

Before I get started, this is the map you get after you hand over your $4.95. I have to say it’s pretty fabulous. The same artwork from DCA’s guide maps is used. The map is surrounded by eggs with brief descriptions on where you can find an egg. After you find an egg you take the corresponding sticker and attach it to the map. If for some reason the egg hunt overwhelms you and you can’t finish, you can still obtain the same prize as everyone else.

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New Disney Dish Podcast w/ Jim Hill: Epcot’s Habit Heroes and IBM Think!

by on March 19, 2013

Join Jim and me as we review the new Habit Heroes and IBM Think! attractions at Epcot’s Innoventions. Jim also talks about the challenges in maintaining the “future” part of Future World. Here’s the link to listen in iTunes. Here’s the direct MP3 file.

One of the ideas discussed for keeping Future World “future-y” is to invite college and university R&D labs to exhibit their ideas. In 2008, for example, the folks at MIT’s User Innovation Lab were working with 3-D printers – three or four years before they became relatively common. Showing ideas such as those, while still in their infant stages, would give Epcot an element of “here’s the future” it’s (mostly) lacking.

How would you suggest Epcot bring back its future-looking perspective?

New Bus Loop To Be Added To Magic Kingdom

by on March 18, 2013

A brand new bus loop is currently being added to the Magic Kingdom.

This new area will serve as a depot for the over-sized, articulated buses that Disney tested last year. It will also provide additional capacity for the park.

Construction on this new area is expected to start today, March 18, 2013.

Universal Food Finds: Emeril’s Tchoup Chop (In-Depth Food Review)

by on March 18, 2013


The Touring Plans crew recently had the chance to try out Emeril’s Tchoup Chop as a group, and as a result, I have plenty of great food to write about for you all! Disclaimer: I don’t normally try this many items on the menu in one sitting, but in the nature of the meal, we all agreed to order a large amount of food, allowing everyone to share and try it all—really a great way to broaden your culinary horizons if you are up for challenge.

One of two restaurants belonging to Emeril Lagasse at the Universal Orlando Resort, I’d heard nothing but rave reviews about this establishment for years, but had never worked out of my comfort zone that I’d mentioned previously of go-to restaurants on property to make my way over to the Loews Royal Pacific Resort to check it out… And I’m glad I waited, because I now know I couldn’t have appreciated this restaurant nearly as much as I do now—especially with my ability to try so much in one sitting (see the menu)!

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