Archive for November, 2015

Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever November 26, 2015: Magic Kingdom Thanksgiving Week Crowds

by on November 26, 2015

Ok theme park fans, it’s time to talk turkey! If you want to have the Best Week Ever at Walt Disney World, common wisdom says that the Thanksgiving holiday isn’t the most stress-free time to visit in terms of attendance. In fact, the last week of November can be one of Orlando’s busiest seasons, right behind Christmas Week and Spring Break. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a great time in the parks this week, as long as you go in armed with some advice from your friends at Touring Plans, plus a whole lot of patience. To prove the point, I recently spent an afternoon elbow-to-elbow with Magic Kingdom Thanksgiving Week crowds to bring you this turkey day travelogue. Hopefully you won’t find it too fowl!

 

Violating the first rule of holiday touring, I showed up at the Magic Kingdom not at rope drop, but at high noon, just as park attendance should be reaching its peak. Much to my surprise, I was parked not in outer Siberia, but in the Zurg section of the Villains lot, right night to medical parking. From here I could walk to the TTC as easily as taking the tram, a nice treat on a busy day.

 

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Why Every Walt Disney World Veteran Should Visit Disneyland

by on November 25, 2015

Disneyland EntranceThere is a lot of spirited debate in the Disney community comparing Walt Disney World to Disneyland Resort, with passionate opinions on both sides of the issue. Indeed, there have been plenty of articles comparing the two parks on this site and others, and our very own Savannah Sanders has an ongoing series comparing attractions at the two resorts.  

The following is objectively true: Disneyland is smaller, has fewer parks, fewer hotels, and fewer restaurants than Walt Disney World, and versions of most of the major Disneyland attractions can also be experienced in Orlando. Accordingly, a common misconception seems to have developed among Walt Disney World veterans that Disneyland is a “lesser” park and there’s no reason to go when you could go to Walt Disney World instead. The oft-cited fact that “Walt walked there” isn’t enough to convince them to try out the original park.

The reality, however, is that the World’s smaller, older sibling has merit — a lot of merit, in fact — and is very worthy of a visit. Moreover, far from providing you with an excuse to skip Disneyland, your familiarity with Walt Disney World makes it an even better destination than for someone who had never been to either park. I’m going to take this a step further, however, and tell you that if you’re an Orlando veteran, you need to get to Anaheim and take in the original at some point for reasons that have nothing to do with which place is “better” or the footsteps of one Walter Elias Disney.  

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Holidays Happen Here Dance Party to Occur at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on November 24, 2015

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

Get ready to get your dancing shoes on!

Beginning December 1, and throughout the holiday season, Guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be able to move it and groove it at the Center Stage in front of The Chinese Theater where a DJ will be on hand spinning the perfect holiday mix. Guests may also have the opportunity to dance with some surprise Disney friends. The dance party will occur nightly from 5:00 p.m. until park close.

As a reminder, beginning December 5, Guests can also participate in Club Disney which will be a spot where Guests can join Mickey and friends on the dance floor in a club-like environment with a DJ spinning Radio Disney tunes and the floors and walls will feature images from Disney animation features.

Looks like this holiday season there will be plenty of places to dance the night away at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Canadian Lumberjack Show at Epcot to End

by on November 24, 2015

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

Changes are occurring in Epcot’s World Showcase once again, as it appears that The Canadian Lumberjack Show will no longer be taking place, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The show, which was performed on The Mill Stage at the Canada Pavilion began in October 2014 and featured two lumberjack teams, clad in plaid who competed against each other performing tradition log show demonstrations.

The Canadian Lumberjack Show replaced the fan-favorite celtic rock band, Off Kilter. (And for those who are curious, yes Off Kilter does still perform, both in and around Orlando, as well as across the country. Matter of fact, I recently caught the band performing in Celebration for their Fall Festival and they were just as great as they were in Epcot.)

As a reminder, another band just ended their run in World Showcase. Seth recently reported that the Paul McKenna Band will no longer be performing at the United Kingdom Pavilion. A new accoustic group called Quickstep will be taking their place. In addition, Ribab Fusion has replaced B’net Al Houwariyate in the Morocco Pavilion.

Trivia Tuesday: Candlelight Processional 2015 + Video

by on November 24, 2015

283 (2)Today’s Trivia Tuesday will give you the 411 on the Candlelight Processional at Walt Disney World.

 

Click here for a list of celebrities that will be narrating the event this year.

Have an idea for Trivia Tuesday? Leave me a comment and feel free to follow us on Facebook and YouTube for more TouringPlans posts!

 

 

Disney World Crowd Calendar Report – November 15 to 21, 2015

by on November 24, 2015

How Did the Disney World Crowd Calendar Do Last Week?

How Did the Disney World Crowd Calendar Do Last Week?

Crowds at Walt Disney World looked busier than expected on Sunday and Monday last week but otherwise within a reasonable range of what the Calendar predicted. Magic Kingdom and Epcot had the biggest surprises of the week. Epcot in particular showed some wait times much higher than we have seen recently, partly due to some mechanical issues at Test Track and Soarin’. Again last week we saw some wild swings in wait times depending on the day at Animal Kingdom. That park saw crowd levels of ‘1’, ‘3’, ‘4’, ‘6’ and ‘7’.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week:

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Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report – November 15 to 21, 2015

by on November 24, 2015

How crowded was Disneyland last week?

How crowded was Disneyland last week?

Last week, Disneyland crowds dipped well below the levels predicted by the Disneyland Crowd Calendar, mostly due to low wait times at Disneyland Park. Only Sunday saw wait times that matched what the Calendar expected. Guests who went to the parks on Thursday experienced some of the least crowded parks we’ve seen since early September.

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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Universal Crowd Calendar Report – November 15 to 21, 2015

by on November 24, 2015

Universal Crowd Calendar Report

Universal Crowd Calendar Report

Last week, no park reached wait times higher than a level ‘5’ on our scale and most days stayed between ‘1’ and ‘3’. That means posted wait times averaged 10 to 30 minutes at most attractions. Universal Parks continue to be the least crowded parks in Orlando this fall. Compared to the crowd level ‘8’s and ‘9’s we have seen at Magic Kingdom, Universal crowds have been much more desirable for those of us who prefer low wait times.

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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Disney Springs Updates on World of Disney and The Ganachery

by on November 23, 2015

Disney Springs keeps changing and adding new things to help round out the refurbishment of the shopping and dining district.

The first big change is that the expansion of World of Disney is now complete. This 6,000 foot expansion’s goal is to help to make things more convenient for Guests to shop. The expansion includes wider aisles, a centralized check-out location, a new information center, a new shop entrance, three additional rooms for Guests to shop in, updated displays, and great new ceiling murals featuring Disney and Pixar characters.

©Disney

©Disney

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Video: 2015 Osborne Family Spectacle Lighting Ceremony at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on November 23, 2015

2015 Osborne Family Spectacle Lighting ceremony

Ring in the holidays with this video of the 2015 Osborne Family Spectacle lighting ceremony. (Photos/video by Seth Kubersky)

Walt Disney World‘s holiday season celebrations are in full swing, and the final season of the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is drawing huge crowds each night to the Streets of America at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Recently, I brought you video of the Spectacle, featuring three full performances from the Dancing Lights. After that posting, some readers wondered whether the small ceremony that kicks off each evening’s illumination is still occurring. Well, wonder no more, because I’ve brought you this complete video of the 2015 Osborne Family Spectacle lighting ceremony:

 


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