Archive for June, 2013

Loews Portofino Bay adds Despicable Me themed Kids Suites

by on June 24, 2013

The Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at the Universal Orlando Resort has announced the addition of new themed Kids Suites based around the popular Despicable Me franchise. These new floor plans feature two adjoined rooms similar in style to the family suites coming to Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort opening next year. In the new suites, one room is for children, with bedding inspired by the notable missile beds from the films; the other room is a more standard room for the adults.


Our Kids Suites let mom and dad have a little privacy, and the kids have some fun! With a standard king bedroom for the adults plus a separate room for the kids, there’s plenty of space for the whole family at 650 – 675 square feet. The two separate rooms are connected via a door that can be open or closed, and feature a single entrance to the adult room. In other words, the children’s room opens only into the adult’s room, and not into the hallway. The kids rooms are decorated in fun themes and include two twin beds or bunk bed, a small table and chair set, separate closet, and a television.

Despicable Me Kids Suites

Experience the fun starting October 1!

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Celebrate the Tiki Room’s 50th Anniversary This Week at Disneyland

by on June 23, 2013

Happy birthday Jose, Fritz, Pierre, and Michael! Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, known as the first Audio-Animatronic theme park attraction, opened its doors 50 years ago this week in 1963. This spectacle of singing flowers, wisecracking birds, and chanting idols has gone through a few changes over the decades, but the playful Polynesian spirt Walt intended is still fully intact, at least in the Anaheim installation.

If you are visiting Disneyland this week, grab a Dole Whip and stop in for an air-conditioned show or two, not forgetting to arrive early enough for the outdoor preshow. Better yet, it you have the spare bucks, swing by the Disneyland Hotel on 6/28-29 for the Enchanted Tiki Room 50th Anniversary Merchandise Event. The weekend features the opportunity to buy exclusive Vinylmation figures, posters, and other artwork, along with encounters with Disney Legends Rolly Crump and Bob Gurr, and artist SHAG.

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This week on TouringPlans YouTube Channel: Starbucks in WDW, Japanese Tower of Terror Idol, Pork Chops and more!

by on June 21, 2013

Every Friday on the TouringPlans blog we bring you the week’s newest videos from our YouTube channel. Let’s get started!

Starbucks is now open on Main Street USA in Magic Kingdom! Take a look at our video tour.

Our latest in the series of Disney merchandise reviews. This time we bring you an import all the way from Tokyo Disneyland’s DisneySea.

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Free Stuff at Disneyland

by on June 21, 2013

Inspired by Erin Foster’s list of Walt Disney World freebies from last year, I’m happy to bring you a free stuff list for Disneyland Resort!  


  • Water. The water bottles sold throughout the parks cost $2.75 to $3.00 each (depending on location). If you want to hydrate for free, simply walk up to any counter service restaurant and ask for a cup of ice water. By default they will give you the smallest cup, but you may ask for a larger size. There are a few locations that do no offer free cups of water. Cozy Cone Motel and Clarabelle’s in Disney California Adventure and Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor in Disneyland are a few of the locations that do not offer free cups of water.

Water! Free at most counter service restaurants.

  • Ice. Ice machines are available on most floors at all the Disney-owned hotels.
  • Meals for infants and toddlers. Children under the age of three will not be charged for food at Disney’s buffet and family-style table service restaurants when dining with their families.
  • Some sort of birthday dessert. Tell your server at any table service restaurant, and there’s a decent chance that she’ll gift you with a complimentary dessert. No guarantees, but worth a shot. Example, Blue Bayou will give you a free cup of chocolate mousse. Even the exclusive (and expensive) Club 33 will give couples celebrating an anniversary a free Mickey and Minnie shaped chocolate covered mousse dessert.
  • Chocolate samples. Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop in Pacific Wharf at Disney California Adventure passes out chocolate samples to anyone who walks in the door. 
  • Free bread. The Bakery Tour in Disney California Adventure gives all guests a free slice of warm bread as they enter the attraction. 

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Limited Time Magic For Disneyland – Bring Home A Lone Ranger Boot Mug

by on June 21, 2013



Help celebrate the upcoming flick, The Lone Ranger, over in Frontierland at Disneyland!

At The Golden Horseshoe guests can  pick up a boot-shaped mug featuring The Lone Ranger logo filled with Root Beer Slush. In addition, guests can dine on the “Masked Ranger Favorite,” a Deluxe Angus Cheeseburger with Bacon and Onion Rings.

Hi-Yo Silver!

Limited Time Magic For Walt Disney World – Random Magic

by on June 21, 2013



A smattering of smaller events were announced this week for Limited Time Magic.

First off, the Magic Kingdom is bringing back its popular Long-Lost Friends Week, and this time around Disney is holding a vote to see which characters we’d like to see. Voting is taking place on the Disney Parks Blog. Options include:

  • Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar
  • Robin Hood, Friar Tuck, Sheriff of Nottingham, and Prince John
  • Fifer Pig, Fiddler Pig, Practical Pig, and the Big Bad Wolf
  • Clarice, Chip, and Dale
  • Wendell, Liver Lips, Shaker, and Big Al
  • Chicken Little and Abby Mallard
  • Brer Bear, Brer Fox, and Brer Rabbit
  • Flik and Princess Atta
  • June and Leo from Little Einsteins
  • Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum, and the Queen of Hearts
  • Dr. Facilier and Louis the Alligator
  • Penguins from Mary Poppins
  • Suzy and Perla

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Get to Know the Disney World Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC)

by on June 19, 2013

If you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney World, chances are you’ll encounter the term “TTC.” TTC is the Transportation and Ticket Center and we’re here to tell you what it’s all about.


The TTC is, not surprisingly, a major transportation hub at Walt Disney World, serving as a transfer point between boats, buses, and monorails, as well as the parking center for guests driving to the Magic Kingdom.

Take a look at this map of Walt Disney World and you’ll see the TTC in the lower center of the blue blob. It doesn’t look like much, but it can be a big help in getting you from point A to point B. And knowing how navigate the TTC can mean the difference between making the trip from A to B pleasant and efficient or making it a looong night of waiting around.


Here are some of the transportation related things you can do at the Transportation and Ticket Center:

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My Response to the Starbucks on Main Street Nay-Sayers

by on June 18, 2013

020I remember first hearing that every domestic Disney Park was getting a Starbucks and being over-joyed. There had been countless mornings spent opening a dozen tiny creamer packets (and even more sugars) in an attempt to make cheap Nescafe drinkable. Every one of these mornings I remember asking out loud, “Why isn’t there Starbucks at Disney?” No, Starbucks isn’t the best coffee, nor is it my favorite. But it’s accessible and drinkable and no coffee drinker is ever going to tell you that it is worse than Nescafe.

Slowly I started to hear and read comments from people who weren’t happy about the change. Those opposed to Starbucks taking over Main Street bakery have been especially vocal the last few days during the soft (and now official) opening of the location. There are many reasons: they don’t want to see corporate logos on Main Street, they miss the old Main Street Bakery, the Bakery was a family tradition, they miss the seating area, and they just don’t like Starbucks. All of those are absolutely valid reasons to dislike something. I totally get it. But many commenters (not all, but a lot we’ve seen) are incredibly angry…even threatening to not come back to Disney. I just want to offer a counter-argument to those opposed to the new bakery.

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Free Passholder “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” Event Tonight at Disneyland AMC Theater

by on June 18, 2013

Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the Oscar-winning 1988 animated/live-action film that inspired Disneyland's Toontown attractions, is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary. A special screening is being held in the movie's honor tonight at Disneyland's Downtown Disney AMC 12 theater, and all Annual Passholders are invited to attend for free.

Wristbands are being distributed on a first come/first served basis at the theater beginning at 12 noon today for tonight's 7pm presentation. The evening will begin with a screening for the film, followed by a panel discussion hosted by Don Hahn (Associate Producer of Who Framed Roger Rabbit) and scheduled to include Dave Bossert (Visual Effects Animator on Who Framed Roger Rabbit) and Charles Fleischer (voice of “Roger Rabbit”).

All attendees must recieve their own wristband, and a valid Annual Pass (any level, blackouts do not apply) is required for everyone age 3 and over. See Disneyland's website here for all the details.


Couple of Quick Refurbishments for Walt Disney World

by on June 17, 2013

Late summer and early fall are popular times for refurbishment work at Walt Disney World. This summer is no exception, with some previous refurbishment announcements made earlier last month. Now, there are a few new announcements of refurbishment work being done in the parks.

First off, Space Mountain at the Magic Kingdom will have a few brief closures during the month of September. These will be quick two-to-three-day periods. The dates are

  • September 3 – 5, reopening on September 6
  • September 10 – 12, reopening on September 13
  • September 23 – 26, reopening on September 27

In addition, Spaceship Earth at Epcot will see a week-long refurbishment from August 18 – 25, reopening on August 26.

For a complete list of refurbishments for the parks, please check out our Disney World Refurbishment Schedule.