Archive for June, 2017

Five Things You Need to Know About Flight of Passage

by on June 26, 2017

Animal Kingdom’s Pandora – The World of Avatar officially opened on May 27th; and apart from the floating mountains, Flight of Passage has generated most of chatter and acclaim. This new attraction grants guests the experience of flight aboard a banshee. Flight of Passage has been described as a combo of Soarin’ and Star Tours, which is a fair comparison. Sort of. Flight of Passage uses both 3D and simulation, but is so unique and advanced that it’s changing the theme park game. After a flight or two on a banshee at Pandora, I’ve compiled a list of Five Things You Need to Know About Flight of Passage for those of you about to take flight and rise to the challenge!

1. You Are Riding Solo

Unlike other attractions at Walt Disney World, each guest riding Flight of Passage has their own ride vehicle or link chair. Guests straddle the link chair as they would ride a bike and both leg and back restraints keep guests sitting securely. The link chairs are positioned in rows and situated close to another; however, Flight of Passage is very much an individual experience. I believe this is worth noting for guests apprehensive about certain attractions or who are claustrophobic and for kids. The height requirement is 44″, about the average height of 7 or 8 year old. Be sure your child is prepared for the restraints, which limit movement, and riding relatively separate from you and others.

Note: Some larger or taller guests have had difficulty with Flight of Passage’s ride vehicle restraints to the point where some haven’t been able to ride. A test seat of the ride vehicle is located outside the attraction for guests to try out; however, it only provides an idea of the ride vehicle’s seat. This means guests who had no issues with the test seat may experience difficulties with the actual ride vehicle and still could be prevented riding.

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The SATURDAY SIX Looks at the (possible) future of Walt Disney World and Universal

by on June 24, 2017

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at the (possible) future of Walt Disney World and Universal!  As they do several times each month, TouringPlans’ own Len Testa teamed up with industry icon Jim Hill to record an episode of the Disney Dish podcast. This particular episode was going to be answering a listener question of character meet-and-greets in the park, but before they got to that question the two men discussed several major stories affecting both Walt Disney World and the Universal Orlando Resort. The two theme park titans discussed many rumored additions and changes to the two resorts, as well as giving reasons why they may – and may not – actually come to fruition. Today we’re going to take a look at some of the more important items, and let’s kickoff the countdown with…

# 6 – It’s GAME ON for Universal’s Super Nintendo World vs. Disney’s Star Wars Land

Universal vs. Disney. (art by Joel Carroll)

Many of us saw the recent groundbreaking of Super Nintendo World in Japan, and a lot of us have been waiting (not so) patiently for some news on what Universal and Nintendo have cooked up for Orlando. Universal waiting on announcing new projects is nothing new, in fact many insiders say the company got “burned” when announcing the original Wizarding World early, causing many guests to delay their Universal vacations until it was opened. Whatever the case, news on Nintendo attractions in America has been between slim and none until recently.

All of a sudden, the flood gates opened. Thanks to Twitter user Gary Snyder we got a look at the original pitch for a Nintendoland in Universal Studios Florida along with some pieces of concept art. In a word, these pictures were mind-blowing. Located in the area of USF that currently houses Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone, the new Nintendo area would replace everything except the E.T. Adventure (the only opening day ride still in the park) and the ultra-themed gift store,Spongebob Storepants.

Early draft of what could possibly be coming to Universal Studios Florida and how it would fit into the park. (photo via Gary Snyder)

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In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of June 23, 2017

by on June 23, 2017

It’s official! This week, you can book your 2018 Walt Disney World vacation! Did you book yours? When are you heading to the Orlando area?

This week, see how they made the cars in Cars 3 look that much more realistic, find out what new treats you must try on your next WDW vacation, and more!

In Case You Missed It – Disney and Universal Orlando News and Rumors

 

The Hollywood Reporter just released their Top 100 Most Powerful People in Entertainment and for the second year in a row Bob Iger topped the list.

Did you miss the big hubbub when a piece of the monorail fell off?

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Review of Breakfast at Goofy’s Kitchen in Disneyland Hotel

by on June 22, 2017

It’s the morning on your last day of your trip to Disneyland Resort. You still have several characters you need to meet so you can complete you Disney character checklist. The problem is you also need a place to stuff your face with ungodly amounts of unlimited food before you return to your soul crushing job the next day. This restaurant may be for you. Here’s my review of breakfast at Goofy’s Kitchen in Disneyland Hotel.

When you check in you will be required to pay upfront. Before the shock of $36 per adult and $21 per child can hit you, a cast member will inform you it is time to meet Goofy. He’s decked out in appropriate attire, as are the rest of the characters you will meet later (Minnie Mouse is the dessert chef, Chip & Dale are dressed as waiters, etc). Goofy thankfully doesn’t show any signs of stress and pressure of owning a busy and successful restaurant. He is as fun and playful as he would be if you met him in the parks. At some point in your meal you will be given the option of buying expensive picture packages of your meet and greet with Goofy. I noticed most people politely decline this offer, as did my group due to the $20+ charge.

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Eat to the Beat Concert Series Artists for 2017

by on June 22, 2017

©Rikki Niblett

With this year’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival taking place even earlier than ever before (the event kicks off August 31 and lasts through November 13), we are that much closer to the event. I mean it’s literally happening in almost two months time, so it will be here before we know it!

Today, we have the information for who will be performing at this year’s Eat to the Beat Concert Series. During this concert series, bands and solo artists perform some of their most popular songs nightly. Oh and since there’s more days of the festival than ever before, that means there are more new performers too! This year, there will be 11 new performers to the Eat to the Beat series  including Jazz Legend Kenny G, and pop superstars like 10,000 Maniacs and Squeeze.

Of course, there will be some familiar faces at this year’s festival too. Artists like Taylor Dane, Tiffany, STARSHIP, Sugar Ray, Boyz II Men, and my personal favorite, Hanson will all return. (I’m going to miss Hanson AGAIN!!! ARGH!)

This year’s schedule is as follows:

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Walt Disney World Fourth of July Celebrations

by on June 21, 2017

Fourth of July Celebrations at Walt Disney World

©Rikki Niblett

Fourth of July and fireworks. They go together like peanut butter and jelly, right? Walt Disney World is ready to celebrate the good old red, white, and blue in fantastic fashion. So, if you are wanting to salute all nations, but mostly America, they have some great ways to do it!

Magic Kingdom

Celebrate with Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky which commemorates the Fourth with brilliant fireworks that are all choreographed to patriotic music. The best part about this fireworks spectacular is that they are shown on two nights – July 3 and July 4 at 9:00 p.m. So you have two chances to catch this unique and special show.

You also don’t want to miss The Muppets Present…Great Moments in History. During the show, Miss Piggy, Kermit, Fozzie Bear and friends reenact famous moments in American history all in a fun manner. This is a live show that is performed daily in Liberty Square.

Another must see during the holiday is the Flag Retreat which takes place at 5:00 p.m. each day in Town Square on Main Street U.S.A.

The Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade will be shown twice on both July 3 and 4 – once at 12:00 p.m. and once at 3:30 p.m.

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#AskIt – Best Disney World Water Park

by on June 21, 2017

Maybe it’s because the summer heat is upon us. Maybe it’s because Volcano Bay may not be quite ready for primetime. But I’ve got water parks on the mind today. Disney has two highly themed ones for you to choose from, and they both have their advantages. So which do you prefer?

  • Typhoon Lagoon (64%, 271 Votes)
  • Blizzard Beach (36%, 153 Votes)

Total Voters: 424

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Please let us know your thoughts by voting and in the comments. Feel free to use the comments to wax poetic about River Country too!

Ask It Results: Which Walt Disney World Mountain Provides the Best Experience?

by on June 21, 2017

Exciting! Thrilling! Rides I have never been on because I’m a thrill ride chicken! It’s time for the results of Ask It!

Last week, we asked you:

Which Walt Disney World mountain provides the best experience?

Yes, the question was left vague on what “experience” meant to each person. For some, it was an overall impression–from the queue to the ride itself and everything in between. For others, it was all about the ride and how thrilling that ride can be. It was close the end, two rides were neck and neck but one finally got moving along to the win of our not-so-scientific poll. Here’s the results.

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Finding the Least Crowded Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in 2017

by on June 21, 2017

Here I am once again to review the information from last year and give you an even better projection for the least crowded Micky’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2017. Make sure you check out our dedicated page for a complete list of dates as well as a thorough description of what the Christmas party is.

In short, if you’re looking for the best Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2017, we recommend Tuesday, December 5, 2017. The equivalent date was the party last year with the lowest wait times and has been very low in the past. It’s a Tuesday, early in December, far enough away from the first party for the initial rush to subside and far enough from Christmas to avoid that rush as well.

As I’ll explain below, we’ve made some adjustments to how we calculate the best party to attend, although since I’m sure you’re wondering how we did with our recommendations last year, the answer is…not too bad. Here are the top 5 from last year’s recommendations:

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Megaphone To Host Album Release Party at House of Blues at Disney Springs

by on June 20, 2017

Megaphone

©Megaphone

I know a lot of you are reading the title of this blog post and going, ok….what’s the connection between this Orlando band, Megaphone, and Disney. You know, minus the fact that they are holding their release party at House of Blues at Disney Springs. Well, for those who don’t know, Megaphone includes musicians from the fan favorite band, Mulch Sweat n’ Shears (who used to play at Disney’s Hollywood Studios), as well as current musicians from Blue Man Group at the Universal Orlando Resort.

Megaphone band members include Matt Bloodwell who is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist, Paul Smith who is on lead guitar, Scott Smith who is on drums, and Dave Traver who is on bass. Matt, Paul and Scott were all part of Mulch Sweat n’ Shears and currently Matt, Paul and Dave are musicians at Universal’s Blue Man Group show.

To celebrate the release of Megaphone’s new album called “Sending Out a Signal,” the band will be performing at House of Blues in Disney Springs on June 24. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the concert begins at 8:00 p.m. Megaphone’s new album will be available for the first time at this event! Tickets are available for FREE at megaphonemusic.com. On the night of the concert, tickets will be $5.00 at the door.

Also performing that evening will be Copper Bones, Kinky Rhino and Kasson.

For those who love great music, this will be a rockin’ evening that you won’t want to miss!