New Wizarding World of Harry Potter E-Guide — Free to Subscribers

by on December 16, 2015

Cover_iPadWe know that there are a lot of Harry Potter fans out there as evidenced by the millions upon millions of people who have read the books and seen the films. This immense popularity led, of course, to the creation of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Universal Orlando Resort. While we have always covered the Wizarding World on TouringPlans.com, we have decided to go a step further to help those planning a Universal Orlando visit.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter E-Guide was designed with many different readers in mind. For those completely unfamiliar with Harry Potter and all of his exploits, the guide will give you all of the necessary background to help you understand just how amazing the Wizarding World is. Alternatively, if you have read the Potter books an embarrassing amount of times (as I have), the guide is full of little details that you’ll want to seek out. Anyone in between those two extremes will also enjoy it, although I admit that I’m a bit biased.

The best part about the Wizarding World E-Guide? It’s included with your TouringPlans Universal Orlando subscription! Simply go to our TouringPlans eBook page and click the appropriate link. If you’re not a subscriber, you can sign up for only $5.95 and that gets you a full year of our time-saving Universal Orlando Touring Plans, decision making Crowd Calendar, and the in-park mobile app Lines (not to mention this fantastic new E-Guide).


Disneyland’s Fantasyland: Drama, Humor and Beauty

by on October 13, 2013

The Disneyland Story - The Unofficial Guide to the Building of Disneyland

Sam’s new book is available for pre-order.

From the publisher of The Unofficial Guide books comes The Disneyland Story: The Unofficial Guide to the Evolution of Walt Disney’s Dream by Sam Gennawey, the story of how Walt Disney’s greatest creation was conceived, nurtured, and how it grew into a source of joy and inspiration for generations of visitors. Here is a brief excerpt:

More than virtually any other attraction in the park, it was Fantasyland’s dark rides that set Disneyland apart from other parks. Before Disneyland, the typical dark ride would be something like the Tunnel of Love, where boats followed each other through a canal. Coats felt “the big improvement we made over what had been done before was the way we left people with a little two-minute experience within a certain story that they had known from our animated films. Now they got to see it in a more dimensional way, and these were interesting ways of doing it.” Walt wanted each ride to represent a different emotional experience. He wanted drama, humor, and beauty.

The process started with the source material, the animated films. The Imagineers used the original 4-by-8-inch storyboards and concept sketches. Claude Coats credits Ken Anderson with finding a way to make it work. Anderson drafted storyboards that highlighted key elements of the story but focused more on creating the right mood. Then Ken Anderson and Claude Coats designed the interior sets. Fortunately, both Anderson and Coats worked on the films and knew the material well. Once they finished, Bill Martin would make modifications to fit the shows inside the buildings.

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“We Might Need Racing Boats” – Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise

by on October 11, 2013


The Disneyland Story

From the publisher of The Unofficial Guide books comes The Disneyland Story: The Unofficial Guide to the Evolution of Walt Disney’s Dream by Sam Gennawey, the story of how Walt Disney’s greatest creation was conceived, nurtured, and how it grew into a source of joy and inspiration for generations of visitors. Here is a brief excerpt:

According to Disney historian David Mumford, one of Walt’s early ride concepts was the River of Romance, “a tribute to Americana and the original had guests gliding through the Everglades and down the Suwannee. By 1953, the boat ride design had become a jungle excursion.” The initial site plan had a big lake with an island in the middle filled with tropical trees and foliage. Motorboats would leave a dock and circumnavigate the island. Harper Goff decided that the concept would not work. He told Walt, “What you’ve got is everybody on that boat, if you go counterclockwise around the island, having to look to the left. The boat isn’t going to go sideways, so half the people will have to look over the shoulders of people beside them.”

Goff’s next suggestion was to have the boats enter a river on the island, with sights for people to look at from both sides. Walt agreed. As the plan continued to evolve, Goff also learned that Walt wanted the attraction to last a certain length of time. So Goff drafted a plan with a lake with an island at the center. The boats would cross the lake and then could enter the river on the island. Walt looked at the plan and asked how long it would take to get across the lake and how fast would the boats get back to pick up another load. Goff had no idea. He did not know how fast the boats could go. Walt was becoming increasingly frustrated and kept asking about the time estimates. Goff then suggested that they could build a smaller ride but Walt would have none of that. This was going to be a marquee attraction.

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The Ultimate Walt Disney World Bar Tour

by on September 19, 2013

Page219The always well received Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is nearly upon us, and there are many conversations happening about this interesting yearly event. As is bound to happen, alcoholic beverages are part of the discussion since there are many extra options popping up in Epcot for the next two months or so. I have heard several groups making plans for a modified version of drinking around the world, which is the slightly-too-common tradition of having a drink from every World Showcase pavilion. I am a fan of most adult beverages, yet drinking around the world is something I have never done. What I have done, however, is drink around the world…Walt Disney World.

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WDW Bars and Lounges: A Brand New Touring Plans eGuide!

by on March 26, 2013

TouringPlans.com is proud to announce another addition to our stable of  eBooks: the Walt Disney World Bars and Lounges eGuide!

Are you unfamiliar with the over 70 bars and lounges found on Walt Disney World property? Are you a frequent visitor who is always on the lookout for hidden gems and new experiences? Do you like pretty pictures? Have you always wanted to try your hand at making Disney cocktails at home? This eBook is for you!

With descriptions and numerical ratings of every single bar at Walt Disney World plus over 400 pictures, this eBook is just another way that TouringPlans.com fully prepares you for any Disney vacation. From the Walt Disney World bar novice to the advanced lounge lizard, this eGuide offers something for everyone! It contains information about history, themes, drinks, and food at every lounge along with wonderful pictures illustrating the highlights. The suggestions and tips in this eGuide will easily pay for themselves as the Bars and Lounges eGuide will help you pick the best bars and make the best selections, saving valuable vacation time!

Another wonderful thing about this eGuide is the 26 cocktail recipes that allow you to continue that Disney vacation feeling from your own home lounge. The recipes are designed to minimize the amount of liquor needed to maximize the value of our drink list.


Purchase Walt Disney World Bars and Lounges on the TouringPlans.com eBooks page! As a thank you for purchasing from our site, we are offering 20% off for a limited time. Use code BARSBLOG20 when you purchase the eBook!

Still need convincing? Check out these sample pages!

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TouringPlans.com eGuide en Español!

by on December 20, 2012

TouringPlans.com se complace en anunciar nuestro primer eBook en español – Walt Disney World: Temporada de Fiestas TouringPlans eGuide 2012. Para obtener más información, visite nuestra nueva página en http://touringplans.com/disney-ebooks/temporada-de-fiestas-eguide-2012.

Esperamos que os guste!

Discount Code – Buy Disney World E-Book Get Disneyland E-Book Free

by on November 23, 2012

Our new holiday eBooks for Disney World and Disneyland are perfect reading while you’re in line for your Black Friday holiday shopping.  Use promo code BLACKFRIDAY when purchasing both to get the Disneyland version for free.  Today only.

Link to our e-books: http://touringplans.com/disney-ebooks