Archive for July, 2017

Disneyland’s Galactic Grill Offering Late Night Menu

by on July 26, 2017

Galactic Grill Late Night Menu

©Disney

You know that feeling you get when you’re touring in a theme park later in the evening and you all the sudden get hungry? You want more than a bucket of popcorn or a turkey leg, but all the restaurants are closed. What are you supposed to do?

Well, Galactic Grill in Tomorrowland at Disneyland has your answer! They are introducing a late night menu. (Which, let me tell you….is genius!) Items that will be offered include:

  • Micron Burger – A mini-double slider with American cheese, house sauce, pickle and caramelized onions
  • Meteor Potato Bites – Loaded potato bites topped with chopped ground beef, caramelized onions, house sauce and sharp cheddar cheese sauce
  • Sweet or Spicy Star Clusters – A waffle bowl filled with crispy chicken bites over blue cheese coleslaw and pickle chips; choose sweet chili or buffalo sauce
  • Little Dippers – French toast sticks served with salted caramel and strawberry sauces
  • Lunar Space-Adilla – A quesadilla with pepper jack cheese, Ortega chilies, chicken breast and chipotle-ranch sauce
  • Kid’s Power Pack with a banana, sliced apples, baby carrots, cheese crackers, yogurt smoothie and choice of milk or water
  • Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar
  • Cookies & Cream Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Strawberry Fruit Bar

These offerings will be available at Galactic Grill from 9:00 p.m. until park close.

New BaseLine Tap House and Grand Avenue Area Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios This Fall

by on July 26, 2017

BaseLine Tap House

©Disney

As you all are well aware, big changes are taking place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and today it was announced another new addition….well, actually they sort of announced two additions.

A brand new lounge experience is coming to the park called BaseLine Tap House. It will be located in a brand new area called Grand Avenue which has the goal of capturing the spirit of present-day Downtown Los Angeles, and it will showcase vintage office buildings and warehouses representing the different districts and cultures of the city.

BaseLine Tap House will be a cheerful corner pub that will specialize in beer and wines from California. The dining establishment will feature  California craft ales, lagers and ciders, California wines on tap, and specialty cocktails. Non-alcoholic options will include lemonade and soda options. Guests will also be able to try one of the small bites that will be offered including a Bavarian pretzel with mustard and beer-cheese fondue, spiced almonds or a charcuterie board featuring California cheeses. (Hmmmm….this sounds familiar….almost like what Writer’s Stop offered right before it officially closed. Makes sense, because it’s thought that the lounge will be located in this space.)

When BaseLine Tap House opens officially this fall, it will open daily at 11:00 a.m.

Ask It: Ever Received an Elusive PIN Code?

by on July 26, 2017

Within the past year, I’ve managed to find a Unicorn Frappuccino, a Hatchimal in the stores before Christmas, and a FastPass for Frozen Ever After. What I have not been able to find is a PIN code for a Walt Disney World vacation in my mailbox or email. In fact, in more than 30 years of traveling to Walt Disney World, I’ve received exactly one–and it was not properly linked to my name and address, so I couldn’t use it. (I know, insert the sound of the world’s smallest violin playing here.)

PIN Codes are a mystery to many people. There seems to be no predictable rhyme or reason to who gets them and who doesn’t, but if you get one, there’s always the thrill of seeing what sort of vacation discount it may include. So this week, we’re curious:

Have you ever received a PIN code for a discount/special offer on a Disney vacation?

  • No (51%, 372 Votes)
  • Yes (49%, 353 Votes)

Total Voters: 725

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Voting is open here and on Twitter, and we’ll have your results next week. If you have received one, feel free to share what type of deal you were offered in the comments.

Ask It Results: Ready for Your DCL Close-Up?

by on July 26, 2017

Are there any souvenirs better than photos? A photo can bring back memories of a moment of joy, a funny experience, or just the warmth of the great times had on vacation. And even though almost everyone carries a camera with them all the time, sometimes you want something a bit better than a cell phone snapshot for your memory. But professional photos on Disney Cruise Line can be very pricey. Last week we asked you:

When you take a Disney cruise, do you buy the professional photos taken on board?

Here’s your results.

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The Disney Vacation Account Has Been Discontinued

by on July 25, 2017

©Disney

Once upon a time, Disney created the Disney Vacation Account, which allowed people to be able to create a vacation savings plan to help you save up funds for your next Disney vacation. People could put their funds away on their own schedule, as they saw fit, to help squirrel away their money so that it was for sure going towards their vacation.

Today, that is no longer an option as the Disney Vacation Account closed for good. But wait…what if you had a Disney Vacation Account where you were saving your money? What is going to happen to it and the money you’ve saved?

Disney is offering four different options to choose from:

  • Option 1 – Use the total amount in your account to purchase a Disney Gift Card. (Or multiple gift cards, depending on how much is in your account.) This must be done by September 27, and Disney will add an extra 5% on your Disney Gift Card. The gift card will be emailed to your inbox.
  • Option 2 – Redeem your Disney Vacation Account toward the Disney vacation of your choice.
  • Option 3 – Do nothing. Starting after September 27, Disney will close Disney Vacation Accounts and will process refunds. If you have funds in a Disney Vacation Account after September 27, then some time after you will receive a full refund of your balance to your original form of payment or by check to your mailing address
    Those who choose this option will receive a bonus of 2% of your closing balance or $5.00 (whichever is greater) will be placed on a Disney Gift Card and emailed to you. The bonus Disney Gift Card will be delivered separately from your refund.
  • Option 4 – Request a refund before the refund process described in Option 3 is completed, and you will be issued the full unused balance that will be refunded to your original form of payment or by check to your mailing address. With this option, you will not be eligible to receive the bonus Disney Gift Card.

 

If you have a Disney Vacation Account and you still have questions, make sure that you check out their FAQ.

 

Groceries at Disney World – Garden Grocer vs. Amazon Prime Now

by on July 25, 2017

As you’re probably well aware by now, Disney vacations aren’t cheap. But there is one area you can cut costs without damaging the vacation experience – food. By supplementing signature dining experiences and Dole Whips with groceries back in the room, you can get the best of both worlds while still saving time and money. One part of that plan that doesn’t save time, though, is traipsing around an unfamiliar grocery store trying to find your groceries. Luckily, a few services now offer to do that part for you. We’re comparing two of the most popular services, Garden Grocer and Amazon Prime Now, to help you figure out which one is best for you. 

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Back To The Basics: TouringPlans Dining Reservation Finder

by on July 25, 2017

180 Days.

If you’ve ever planned a trip to Walt Disney World, you know exactly what I’m talking about. That’s when your window opens to begin booking dining reservations; 180 days before you arrive.

Making dining reservations can be super stressful, so let us help! Our Reservation Finder is a free service that can help you locate hard-to-get dining reservations at Walt Disney World.

To learn more about this, check out the video below!

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Best Ice Cream in Walt Disney World

by on July 24, 2017

Just in time to cool off in the summer heat, I’m back to rank the top ten best ice cream offerings in Walt Disney World! This may be my most divisive list yet – everyone’s got their sentimental favorites when it comes to this tasty treat. Check out my rankings to see where your favorites fall!

Best Ice Cream in Disney World

 

10. Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop (Disney Springs)

A longtime staple of Downtown Disney and now Disney Springs, the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain offers overflowing sundaes, floats, scoops, and cups of several flavors of ice cream, complete with specialty chocolate treats like decadent brownies and cookies, or milk and dark chocolate hot fudge. Lines here are often long, but for a picture-perfect classic sundae, chock-full of chocolate, it’s hard to resist.

  1. Vivoli il GelatoVivoli il Gelato (Disney Springs)

World-famous gelato, straight from Italy… What more can you ask for on a hot day in the middle of central Florida? With tons of flavors and serving options (cups, cones, shakes, and even tasty espresso-soaked gelato called affogato), Vivoli il Gelato is the perfect stop in The Landing for a sweet treat.

  1. Landscape of Flavors (Disney’s Art of Animation Resort)

Gelato from Landscape of FlavorsHidden in a corner of the Art of Animation food court lies a secret stash of sweetness – a small selection of gelato and toppings is available on a rotating basis in the cold counter just next to the refrigerated grab-and-go food section of Landscape of Flavors. Cast Members will scoop and top your selection for you, and while it’s a smaller flavor selection (usually only four or five a day) than most other ice cream locations around Walt Disney World, the flavor and texture of the gelato here is perfect, plus, bonus: toppings!

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Disney Park, Resort Employees See Hours Cut Starting Tomorrow

by on July 22, 2017

We’ve heard that Disney is making a small reduction to some Castmember shifts at its domestic parks and resorts beginning with tomorrow’s work week. We hear the cutbacks will run from July 23 through September 30, 2017, the last day of Disney’s fiscal year.

The scope of these cutbacks appears to be smaller than we’d heard proposed earlier this month, which is good news.

Theme Park and Crowd Calendar Impacts

Cutting back staff hours at the theme parks may increase wait times at the rides. We believe that earlier cutbacks contributed to higher wait times starting in 2016. Our crowd calendar is based on wait times at popular rides. If these cutbacks increase wait times, you may see higher crowd levels than predicted.

We estimate that we’ll need to collect 14 days of data with the new staff levels before our crowd models can reflect their impacts. That means a new crowd calendar update would be available the week of August 7. We post the previous day’s crowd levels on the calendar, so you can follow this along from home.

Resort Impacts

We’re told that resort staff cutbacks are relatively minor. Most guests may not see a change in service levels.

SATURDAY SIX: 6 Amazing Details in Disney’s Pandora: The World of Avatar

by on July 22, 2017

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Amazing Details in PANDORA: THE WORLD OF AVATAR!  A little while ago we looked at Disney’s incredible new land at the Animal Kingdom, Pandora: The World of Avatar. We gushed about the rides, and since that article was written Flight of Passage has become the #1- rated attraction at all Disney and Universal theme parks, per TouringPlans readers. Today we are going to take a deeper dive into Pandora, and check out some of the unbelievably cool details found throughout the land, and let’s kickoff the countdown with….

# 6 – The Handprints

The queue for Flight of Passage is hands-down the best ever done by Disney. The depth of detail and overall amount of unique elements is right up there with what Universal has accomplished with Forbidden Journey and Escape From Gringotts. Among these details are the cave drawings early in the queue, where on the rock work you’ll see Na’vi paintings of banshees, woodsprites, and even handprints of Na’vi, humans, and the human-made avatars. However, after you have finished riding Flight of Passage, on the ground floor of the exit corridor you will find three more handprints. These particular handprints are from James Cameron (the director of Avatar,) Jon Landau (the producer of Avatar,) and Disney Imagineer Joe Rhode.

James Cameron, Joe Rhode, and John Landau handprints. (photo by Brandon Glover)

(photo by Brandon Glover)

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