Archive for October, 2015

Margaritaville’s Lone Palm Bar – details, stories, and new improvements

by on October 28, 2015

Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville is home to the best outdoor bar at Universal Orlando’s CityWalk, and it just got better. The Lone Palm Airport Bar is an oasis beckoning passersby to come and sit in the shadow of the real life Hemisphere Dancer airplane, put their toes in the sand, and soak up the sunshine state of mind. There are some great details to be found here and the place just beckons to be the site of fun, cheerful gatherings. All new, upgraded chairs and dining tables appeared at the Lone Palm, prompting me  to share my love for this pinnacle of tropical relaxation and a Parrot Head’s paradise.

The big deal with the new chairs and tables…

I am sure for the vast majority of guests, the new tables and chairs at the Lone Palm are no big deal. For me, however, someone who clocks at least 2-3 visits a month to Margaritaville’s Lone Palm, the new furniture does change the feel of this place.

The furniture at the Lone Palm has gone through a few evolutions in the Margaritaville Cafe’s 16 year history at Universal Orlando. This is the third version of furniture that I am aware of. Intially the tables and chairs were very low to the ground and basic. A very rustic, island feel.

Original Lone Palm furniture (source Margaritaville.com)

Original Lone Palm furniture (source Margaritaville.com)

Then the tables were replaced with sturdy reinforced recycled plastic. Backless barstools with a wide base replaced the chairs. This is what I am used to and this is what I miss. The stools were very easy to maneuver, making it very easy for patrons to reconfigure the area to be more comfortable in order to socialize and gather.

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A Look at Remy’s Hide and Squeak Scavenger Hunt

by on October 28, 2015

Hidden around Epcot’s World Showcase during the International Food and Wine Festival, you’ll find more than just booths with food and drink—you’ll find rats. But don’t worry, these aren’t your ordinary rats. It’s Remy, from the Disney movie Ratatouille. He’s decided to make his signature dish and is scouring ingredients from around World Showcase. Even better, he needs your help for a game of “Hide and Squeak”. DSC02918

Available at select gift shops in Epcot (such as Pin Central and the Port of Entry), you can purchase a map with stickers for $7.95, similar to the kind available during the Epcot Easter Egg hunt in the spring. As you travel around World Showcase, look for Remy hiding somewhere in each location noted on the map. (For a hint, because he’s searching for food, you’ll usually find him somewhere near a food booth.) As you find him, see what ingredient he’s obtaining at each location and use the corresponding sticker on your map. When you are finished with your grand tour, take the completed map back to the Port of Entry and receive one of six commemorative pins featuring Remy and one of the ingredients.

As we were playing this game, we did find that some of the hidden Remy locations were more tricky than others, and so it may be challenging for a young child to do completely alone—but it is a great game for families or even for adults. To add another layer to the game, most of the ingredients are aligned in some way with the country in which you find them or the food being served at the booth. We had the most fun trying to predict what ingredients we would be looking for in each country. (Proud to say, I got more right than my husband!)

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Video: 4 Must-See Disney Cruise Line Shows

by on October 28, 2015

must see disney cruise line shows

Pirates in the Caribbean fireworks, one of 4 must-see shows on the DCL Magic (videos by Seth Kubersky).

The Disney Cruise Line is famed for its live entertainment offerings, and the DCL Magic is no exception. Despite being the oldest ship in the fleet, the Magic has some of DCL’s freshest shows, which I was lucky enough to experience on my recent Transatlantic crossing. You can’t go wrong with any of the mainstage production in the Walt Disney Theater — I’m particularly partial to Disney Dreams, and am excited to see the new Tangled musical — but there are tons of other live shows around the boat that you shouldn’t overlook. If you are stuck on dry land dreaming of sailing the seven seas with Mickey, whet your whistle with these new videos of 4 must-see Disney Cruise Line shows from the DCL Magic.

 

Freezing the Night Away Deck Party

Ok, this first entry might be stretching the “must-see” moniker for most adults, but if your kids are still Elsa-crazed you aren’t going to want to skip this one. Freezing the Night Away with Anna, Elsa and Friends is a relatively recent addition to the DCL deck party rotation, which debuted earlier this year on the Disney Wonder, and was subsequently added to the Magic. It serves as the capstone to a full day of Frozen-themed activities, including a chocolate scavenger hunt, maypole dance, and special Norwegian-inspired dinner menu.

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Trivia Tuesday: Walt Disney World + Video

by on October 27, 2015

Photo - Michael DahlgrenIt’s Trivia Tuesday!

Let’s jump right in and learn all about Walt Disney World.

 

Follow us on Youtube and Facebook for more TouringPlans videos and posts.

What Trivia Tuesday topic would you like me to cover next? Let me know in the comments!

Universal Crowd Calendar Report – October 18 to 24, 2015

by on October 27, 2015

How Did The Universal Crowd Calendar Do Last Week?

How Did The Universal Crowd Calendar Do Last Week?

Last week, Universal crowds surged on Thursday through Saturday but were within normal ranges during the first half of the week, matching the crowd levels predicted by the Universal Crowd Calendar. Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights continue to be popular and unlike Disney’s Halloween Parties the crowds at Universal Park peak throughout the day as well.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the Touringplans.com Universal Orlando Resort Crowd Report:

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Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report – October 18 to 24, 2015

by on October 27, 2015

How Did The Disneyland Crowd Calendar Do Last Week?

How Did The Disneyland Crowd Calendar Do Last Week?

Last week, Disneyland crowds surged on the weekend which was surprising given that most annual passholders were blocked out. During the week crowds were within close range of what the Disneyland Crowd Calendar predicted with the only exception being Tuesday when Disneyland wait times pushed the resort-wide crowd level two points higher.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the TouringPlans.com Disneyland Resort Crowd Report:

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Disney World Crowd Calendar Report – October 18 to 24, 2015

by on October 27, 2015

How Did The Disney World Crowd Calendar Do Last Week?

How Did The Disney World Crowd Calendar Do Last Week?

Last week, Disney World crowds continued to be up compared to the same period in previous years however the difference between what we saw and what we predicted was only one index level on our scale four of the seven days. When we missed by more than one level it was driven entirely by crowds at Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom. The other two parks saw crowds at or even below what we predicted each day last week. In the case of the Studios, that park continues to struggle with a lack of high capacity attractions.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the Touringplans.com Disney World Crowd Calendar:

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Video: Ribab Fusion Debuts at Epcot’s Morocco Pavilion

by on October 26, 2015

Ribab Fusion Epcot Morcco

Ribab Fusion is jamming now through January at Epcot’s Morocco pavilion. (Video by Seth Kubersky)

During last year’s reshuffling of Epcot’s World Showcase shows, long-time fan favorite musical group Mo’Rockin’ was moved out of the Morocco pavilion and replaced by a Berber band called B’net Al Houwariyate. Now, the revolving door of Epcot entertainment has rotated yet turned again: B’net has said goodbye (at least for the time being) and Ribab Fusion has made their debut at Epcot’s Morocco.

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Animal Kingdom AtMousePhere: The Music of the Entrance and Oasis

by on October 26, 2015

copyright Disney

copyright Disney

Over the past year-and-a-half AtMousePhere has covered the music of Magic Kingdom park, Epcot, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Now it’s time to take a look at the newest Walt Disney World park: Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Much of the music for the area (besides Dinoland U.S.A.) really blends well into the area. Through the use of all sorts of instruments, the music composed really envelops you. Unlike other parks, it’s very peaceful.

To start, we will be taking a look at the music heard at the main entrance, as well as the Oasis.

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My Top 10 Disney World Time Savers

by on October 26, 2015

Whenever I’m at Walt Disney World, I’m all about taking advantage of every valuable minute so I can squeeze as much magic and memories as possible. Unfortunately, there are number of factors and obstacles that tend to zap some of my valuable vacation time, ranging from long wait times for my favorite attraction to having to wait for buses. I’ve learned a few tricks over the years for how to better maximize my time in the magic, and today I’m letting you in on a few of the best in My Top 10 Disney World Time Savers.

TyphoonLagoon ClockTower10. Strategize Your FastPass+ Reservations – FastPass+ is all about saving guests time in line, but to truly maximize the service some strategy is necessary. For starters, do NOT book a FastPass+ for a show. Typically — although there are exceptions on especially busy days — FastPass+ does not get you into a show any quicker as you have to wait for the show ahead of you to end. By that time, the standby crowd has already caught up to those who used the service. In addition, the theaters for the shows at the parks are huge and almost everyone can secure themselves a great seat even without a FastPass+. What I’ve learned is to save those FastPass+ reservation slots for attractions. Secondly, don’t book a FastPass+ reservation for a time within the first two hours of park opening. Even on busy days, most attractions are walk-ons within that first hour and lengthy lines don’t really form until about two hours into the day. One of the best time saving strategies of all is to arrive at the park for rope-drop and then ride the most popular attractions first, saving FastPass+ reservation slots for the attractions you want to ride or re-ride in the afternoon or evening or for another park you plan to visit later in the day.

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