Archive for May, 2016

Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar Report – May 8 to 14, 2016

by on May 26, 2016

How Crowded Was Walt Disney World Last Week?

How Crowded Was Walt Disney World Last Week?

Crowds at Walt Disney World held steady last week with only one park reaching a crowd level above ‘7’ on our scale. Other than that, most days the parks were about average, between ‘4’ and ‘6’. Crowds at Animal Kingdom were a little more volatile than expected but Magic Kingdom stayed very stable will all ‘6’s except Saturday when it went up one notch to a ‘7’.

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Disneyland Crowd Calendar Report – May 8 to 14, 2016

by on May 26, 2016

How Crowded Was Disneyland Resort Last Week?

How Crowded Was Disneyland Resort Last Week?

Midweek crowdedness is the new norm for Disneyland Resort. For three of the last four weeks we have seen midweek crowds as busy as weekends which is something that has not happened in years past. Value pricing for single day tickets during the week as well as the lack of annual passholder blockouts may be combining to bring an abnormal number of guests to the park during the week. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues through the summer months.

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Universal Crowd Calendar Report – May 8 to 14, 2016

by on May 26, 2016

Universal Orlando Crowd Calendar Report

How Crowded Was Universal Orlando Last Week?

Last week, crowds at Universal started out the week low on our scale and by the end of the week had risen a few points higher. This matched the pattern predicted by the Universal Crowd Calendar except that Friday and Saturday’s crowds were a couple points higher than expected. I don’t believe the spike at the end of the week is indicative of an influx of guests since the crowds have settled nicely in the days since.

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Dani’s Best Week Ever May 26, 2016: Exploring Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and construction update

by on May 26, 2016

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is a wonder to behold. It is one of the few Walt Disney World Deluxe Resorts that feels far removed from the theme parks and yet it is just a few moments away from the most attended theme park of them all: the Magic Kingdom. When I set out to enjoy this week’s “fun day”, a visit to Wilderness Lodge was not in the original plans. But the best laid plans sometimes fall apart when real life responsibilities pop up. Faced with less time than I’d hoped, I decided to give into the nagging need to visit Wilderness Lodge that had been pulling at me for quite some time. My visit rekindled my love and appreciation for this resort and allowed me to explore some of the construction taking place at this resort as it prepares to expand its Disney Vacation Club inventory.

IMG_9800

The transition into the world of the wilderness begins the moment you turn right onto Timberline Drive and pass under the archway leading to the Security shack. The tall pines tower above, flanking either side of the drive. Wildflowers add pops of color along the way.

The lodge stands proud and majestic. It is an impressive sight to behold. No matter how many times I’ve visited this resort that first sight of the lobby never fails to make me grow wide eyed and wide grinned. The towering totems, the tee-pee light fixtures, the view all the way to the top floor, it’s all so warm and inviting.

IMG_9806

 

Check out the hoof prints in the walkway!

Check out the hoof prints in the walkway!

 

IMG_9813

Many guests compare Wilderness Lodge to Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and / or Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. I have a hard time accept the comparison to the Grand Californian because the theme and style is actually very different than Wilderness Lodge. Grand Californian represents the Arts and Crafts movement of California with a tinge of Art Nouveau. Some of the rich colors such as deep wood tones and rich evergreen are repeated at both resorts, but if you are attuned to details you can clearly see the difference in the two themes.

Read the rest of this entry »

Guests Can Participate in “Speak Like a Whale Day” at Disney Parks This June

by on May 25, 2016

 

©Disney

©Disney

I am not ashamed to admit it. I am really looking forward to Finding Dory. Finding Nemo was always a favorite of mine, so I’m excited to head back into the Big Blue World with Dory, Marlin, Nemo, Crush, Squirt, alongside brand new characters.

To celebrate the upcoming film, Guests will be able to participate in “Speak Like a Whale Day” on June 11 at both Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Resorts. Here’s how:

    • Guests at Disneyland Resort and the Walt Disney World Resort will receive a complimentary button to celebrate the day.
    • At the Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort and Disney Springs at Walt Disney World, families can take part in unique themed activities, jam out to a live DJ, and participate in games and giveaways. Young guests can also attend “Whale Speak University” and give speaking the language that Dory seemed to master a try.
    • At The Seas with Nemo & Friends in Epcot, guests can learn about the real-life versions of the characters from the film and see them in their aquarium home. In addition, experts from Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment Team will be on hand throughout the day to help guests find Dory and her friends, as well as give them a closer look at their world.

In addition, for those who didn’t know, you can now find Dory and some of her new friends from the upcoming film at the Turtle Talk with Crush attraction in Epcot’s The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion and at Disney California Adventure park.

Finding Dory swims into theaters on June 17, 2016.

 

Avoiding A Case of The Grumps

by on May 25, 2016

Copyright 2014 Claire Nat

Looks like Grumpy has a case of the Grumps.

When it comes to Walt Disney World, it needs to be understood that it is almost like stepping into a different country. Suddenly your life has background music, everything is 20% more expensive, and anything taking place outside of Disney consciousness feels incredibly irrelevant.

Unfortunately, it also means coming into contact with more than a few people with the Grumps.

No, I’m not talking about Grumpy, one of the Seven Dwarfs (though he may suffer from a chronic case). I am talking about the Grumps, a feeling you get where everything is wrong and nothing is good. When a person or group of people gets the Grumps, they can contain a Dementor’s touch (if you don’t mind me stepping away from Disney to include a Harry Potter reference) and ruin the happiness you have.

People with the Grumps are everywhere, but they seem to thrive in Disney Parks. Have to wait for the monorail for more than 10 minutes? Rant and rave to the cast member, loudly. Stuck in a queue that hasn’t moved in a while? Make sure everyone around you knows how displeased you are. Does it seem like that person in the motorized scooter doesn’t need that scooter? Make sure your groans and eye rolls are heard and seen!

So what is the best way to keep the Grumps at bay? Take this advice:

Read the rest of this entry »

Seven Must-Dos on Your First Disney Cruise

by on May 25, 2016

First-time cruises can be overwhelming. It can take a few days to get your bearings around the ship, plus the sheer volume of activities on board means that you simply can’t do everything. In reality, going on a cruise can be the most relaxing of vacations, but you may be concerned that, as you’re spending a large price tag for this vacation, that you might miss out on the best of what a cruise might have to offer. Here’s seven suggestions  about what not to miss during your first Disney Cruise.

 

1. Sail Away Party

Immediately following the required safety drill (which truly is the only must-do on your cruise, whether it is your first or your fiftieth), there is a Sail Away party on the main deck. Although it is billed as a show, think of this more like a pep rally. Lots of energy, appearances by some of your favorite characters all dressed for their cruise, and most important, the sounding of the ship’s horn. It can be VERY hot depending on what port you sail from and time of year, so make sure to stay hydrated and wear plenty of sunscreen. If you are able to get in an area where you can see both the Funnelvision screen and the dock as you set sail, you get the best of the sailing away experience.

Read the rest of this entry »

DCL Announces Fall 2017 Itineraries

by on May 24, 2016

Disney Cruise Line announced today its itineraries for fall 2017, rounding out the full schedule of sailings for next year.

P1040070

While much of the new schedule follows familiar DCL patterns, there are a few new twists in store for next year, including a Disney Magic 7-night sailing Canadian cruise departing from New York City with a stop in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, a new destination for DCL. Another new port stop will be in Bar Harbor, Maine. I’m guessing that everyone getting back on the ship will be wearing LL Bean boots and toting plush lobsters. Later in the season, the Magic will be in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Miami, Florida, making port visits in the Caribbean.

The Disney Dream will be making her typical 3 and 4 night sailings to the Bahamas from Port Canaveral, Florida. The Fantasy will make 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean journeys, also from Port Canaveral. One exceptional sailing of the Fantasy will include a “double-dip” trip at Christmas with two stops at Disney’s Castaway Cay private island.

The Disney Wonder will port in San Diego, California, and Galveston, Texas, with itineraries covering Mexico and the Bahamas respectively.

Bookings open on May 25 for Disney Cruise Line gold and platinum Castaway Club members, with bookings open to all others on May 26.

TouringPlans is typing as quickly as we can to get these into our system so you can start tracking fares and reading up on the latest ports. If you enjoy our DCL coverage, you just might want to check out the Unofficial Guide to the Disney Cruise Line or subscribe to DCL here on TouringPlans.

TouringPlansTV – Disney’s Grand Californian Resort and Spa + VIDEO

by on May 24, 2016

 

Grand Californian HotelWelcome to TouringPlans TV!

You may have noticed the name change. The way we see it, why limit ourselves to just one day a week when we can talk about Disney EVERY. SINGLE. DAY!

Read the rest of this entry »

Trail’s End Weekend Brunch Review

by on May 24, 2016

2016-05-21 11.33.33Long-time fans of Trail’s End may remember when it offered both a breakfast and lunch buffet. The trick was to get a dining reservation near the end of breakfast so that your first plate or two was breakfast food and the rest was lunch. Eventually, Disney decided to move Trail’s End to a la carte dining for lunch, and the world was suddenly a darker place for many. Time to come out of that dark place, because Trail’s End now offers a weekend brunch buffet from 7:30 AM to 2 PM daily. (And for those who love some of the unique offerings on the lunch menu, it will still be offered on weekdays.)

Part of the challenge with dining at Trail’s End, located at the Settlement part of Fort Wilderness (next to the Hoop De Doo Revue) is getting there. If you are driving, you have to park at the Outpost and take a Fort Wilderness internal bus to get to the Settlement. This means that you’ll want to arrive at Fort Wilderness at least a half hour before your dining reservation (and 45 minutes to an hour is ideal). From the Magic Kingdom, you can take a boat directly to the Settlement. From any other theme park, you’ll be dropped off at the Outpost and then still need to take an internal bus. But enough about logistics–let’s talk food.

Read the rest of this entry »