Just For Fun

Ask It: Do You Order New MagicBands for Each Trip?

by on January 17, 2018

When my husband went to Shanghai for a month before the park opening, our daughter and I strung a chain of MagicBands across the baker’s rack in our kitchen to use as a countdown calendar. Each day, we’d remove one MagicBand until it was time for my husband to come home. Almost every one of those MagicBands were used once and only once. At one time, it was a challenge to get Disney not to send MagicBands for an upcoming vacation, and so people often ended up with huge collections of bands in every color offered. Now with “designer” MagicBands sporting characters, attraction art, and more, and the option not to have MagicBands sent to you, it is easier to reuse old MagicBands from trip to trip. Yet, there is still a thrill of getting a new box of MagicBands in the mail that builds trip anticipation.

This week, we’re asking you

Do you order new MagicBands for each trip?

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The poll is live here and on Twitter. We’ll have your results next week. In the meantime, let us know in the comments what you do with your collection of MagicBands.

Ask It Results: Best Non-WDW Disney Vacation Club Resort

by on January 17, 2018

It’s Wednesday again, and time for another round of Ask It results. Although it is fairly laughable at this point to say that Disney Vacation Club is Disney’s Best Kept Secret, the non-Walt Disney World DVC resorts may be somewhat of a mystery for even seasoned DVC owners. With only one of the non-WDW DVC resorts being in easy access to a Disney theme park, these resorts tend not to get a lot of attention. They certainly provide a different kind of vacation from a Walt Disney World trip, and for many people, that’s part of their charm. Last week, we asked you:

Which non-Walt Disney World Disney Vacation Club resort is the best?

Here’s your results.

Vero Beach (31 votes, 5%)

©Disney

Located a couple hours away from Walt Disney World on Florida’s Atlantic coast, Vero Beach provides a wonderful beach retreat with lots of natural splendor. From nesting loggerhead sea turtles to a variety of birds to manatees and a wide variety of plant life, there’s plenty for a nature enthusiast to love about this setting. You can enjoy lounging on the beach, taking a dip in the pool, going for a spa treatment, or participating in resort activities at the Community Hall. It’s a much more relaxed pace than a Walt Disney World vacation, which may be why some people do land and land split stays between Walt Disney World and Vero Beach.

Hilton Head (63 votes, 11%)

The pool at Hilton Head Resort

Disney’s Hilton Head Resort has a pool for those who prefer their water chlorinated. Photo ©Disney

Disney’s Hilton Head resort is located, not surprisingly, in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Although it is not located at the beach itself, shuttle service is provided. There’s also easy access to swimming, golf, tennis, and more recreational activities. Different activities, events, and meals, including a low country boil (a seafood-lovers dream) or some good ol’ South Carolina BBQ, are available depending on season. Hilton Head provides a touch of Disney along with South Carolina charm.

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This Month in Disney Parks History: January

by on January 16, 2018

Can you believe we’re only two weeks in to 2018? I don’t know about you, but I feel like the holidays were ages ago already. I guess that’s what happens when you go back to a regular work or school schedule after enjoying some time off. The good news is, here at TouringPlans, we know the cure for those post-holiday blues. Disney, Disney, Disney! So we’re back with another edition of Disney Parks History. Let’s take a look at all the January happenings over the years.

1959: The Dapper Dans, a barbershop quartet act, premiered at Disneyland almost six decades ago.  They can still be found entertaining guests with their humor and harmonization along Main Street U.S.A. in both Disneyland and Magic Kingdom.

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Ask It: Best Non-WDW Disney Vacation Club Resort?

by on January 10, 2018

Staying at a DVC resort at Walt Disney World is a wonderful experience. Whether you’re watching animals from your balcony at Animal Kingdom Lodge, or closing the nights with fireworks from Bay Lake Tower, or walking to Epcot from your room at Beach Club, or staying at the other Walt Disney World DVC resorts, there’s so many different experiences you can have. It can be easy to forget that there are DVC resorts that are not at Walt Disney World that also offer amazing experiences. Which one is the best? This week we’re asking you:

Which non-Walt Disney World Disney Vacation Club resort is the best?

  • Aulani (53%, 81 Votes)
  • Grand Californian (24%, 36 Votes)
  • Hilton Head (16%, 25 Votes)
  • Vero Beach (7%, 10 Votes)

Total Voters: 152

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Voting is live here and on Twitter. We’ll have your results next week. Got a favorite? Let us know why you chose what you did in the comments.

Ask It Results: Disney Cruise without Castaway Cay?

by on January 10, 2018

They say that the best way to get over the withdrawal after coming back from a cruise is to write a blog post about a survey on cruises, right? Okay, I’m pretty sure no one actually says that, but at least writing about this gives me a chance to look at photos of Castaway Cay and daydream about my next Disney cruise. One of the key differences that Disney stresses about their cruises is time on the private island of Castaway Cay. Everyone knows that Disney cruises are more expensive than many other lines, and part of the value added is that special stop. For many people, saving money on a Disney cruise is highly desirable, but is it worth it to skip Castaway Cay if you got a discount? Last week, we asked you:

If you could book a Caribbean/Bahamas Disney cruise at a discount of 20-30% off, but that cruise did NOT include a stop at Castaway Cay, would you book that cruise?

Here’s your results:

Yes (525 votes, 51%)

As you can see, it was a fairly clean split.

For almost everyone, Castaway Cay is a highlight of the cruise. But a savings is a savings, and for some people a 20-30% discount might be the choice between going for a 4-night cruise instead of a 3-night cruise, or going on a cruise versus not going on a cruise. There are also people who aren’t big fans of beaches. For my family, we tend to spend a couple hours on the island and then the rest of the day on the ship. Having an extra sea day instead of Castaway Cay day wouldn’t be the end of the world for us, especially with lots of activities on board ship. For some people, it’s a decent tradeoff, especially when you know that certain times of year the weather can be less than ideal, and it is possible the ship may not be able to dock during high winds anyhow, or it may be rainy all day.

 

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Ask It: Disney Cruise without Castaway Cay?

by on January 3, 2018

Ah, there’s very little in the world that beats a Disney Cruise for rest and relaxation. One of the highlights for cruises that hit the Caribbean or the Bahamas is a stop at Castaway Cay. This tropical paradise is a hideaway with gentle breezes, crystal blue waters, and fun in the sun. It is part of the reason why some people pay a premium for a Disney cruise. While other cruise lines may have their own cruise line-owned getaways, Castaway Cay certainly has its own fans.

Although there are plenty of amazing Disney cruises that don’t stop at Castaway Cay (such as cruises to Alaska or around Europe), and even though there are times when docking at Castaway Cay is not possible due to weather conditions, we’re wondering if a discount on a Disney Cruise would be worth it if that cruise skipped Castaway Cay. Our question this week is:

If you could book a Caribbean/Bahamas Disney Cruise at a discount of 20-30% off, but that cruise did NOT include a stop at Castaway Cay, would you book that cruise?

  • Yes (52%, 200 Votes)
  • No (48%, 188 Votes)

Total Voters: 388

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The poll is live here and on Twitter, and we’ll have your results next week. In the meantime, what’s your favorite part of Castaway Cay? Let us know in the comments.

 

 

Ask It Recap: Your Choices for 2017

by on January 3, 2018

For nearly a year, Ask It has brought weekly questions to you, the readers, to get an idea of what you think on topics that aren’t earth-shattering, but are fun. For each week, I try and guess in advance about how the popular vote will go. Some weeks I feel like I have the pulse of the readership down–other weeks, I’m caught completely off-guard by the results. With a variety of questions on all sorts of Disney- and Universal-related topics, there have been some interesting trends in this wholly unscientific poll. Some results likely would change for 2018 if the same question was asked again. Here’s a summary of your thoughts from questions in 2017.

When it comes to parks, Cinderella Castle is your choice for best park icon, but if you had to spend a day in only one area in Magic Kingdom, you’d skip that area and head right for the Frontierland/Liberty Square area. No surprise, because Splash Mountain was your choice for the mountain that was the best overall experience. For best spinning ride, your choice was Dumbo all the way.

Dumbo The Flying Elephant

©Disney

If you had to skip a park altogether, you’d skip Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but a large number of people surveyed earlier this year would also skip Animal Kingdom as their second choice–do you think this has changed with the opening of Pandora?

Over at Epcot, if you could only attend one festival, you were very eager to go to Food and Wine or Flower and Garden, but Festival of the Arts barely made a mark. Will things change this year as it is a recurring event? If you’re not attending a festival, you might be riding on your favorite Epcot boat ride–Living with the Land. You also were a fan of doing Behind the Seeds for an inexpensive add-on, along with mini-golf if you weren’t going to be in a park.

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Ask It Results: 2018 Disney Trip

by on December 27, 2017

The best way to stave off the Disney post-vacation blues, they say, is to start planning your next Disney vacation. No matter who you are or where you are from, this year has had its share of interestingness and challenges. Perhaps the best way to get over the 2017 blues is to plan a 2018 vacation? With work schedules, finances, and the chaos of day-to-day life, sometimes it is hard to schedule a trip well in advance, but sometimes scheduling a vacation is the surest way to make sure you actually take that time off. To wrap up the year, we wanted you to let us know if you’ve got Disney vacation plans for next year. We asked you:

Are you taking a Disney vacation in 2018?

Here’s your results.

 

No, not in 2018 (483 votes, 21%)

As a local, I’m constantly reminding my daughter that most people do not go on a Disney vacation once a year, or even once every few years. We’re big fans of making sure that we respect that some people may be on their one and only trip to a Disney theme park, resort, or cruise. With the hype for Star Wars land coming in 2019, some people have mentioned that they’re skipping Disney this year so they can make sure to take a trip for that. Other people have mentioned that instead of Disney, this will be a Universal year for them. Whatever the reason, for some people, this isn’t a Disney year. (We thank you for following along with everything on TouringPlans even if it is a non-Disney year for you!)

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Ask It: Your 2018 Plans

by on December 20, 2017

Can you believe it is almost time to get used to crossing out 2017 on checks because you can’t remember that it’s now 2018? (Or is that just me? Does anyone else actually use checks anymore? I digress….)

Unless you’re packing up to head on your way to a Disney vacation right now, odds are good that you don’t have a trip planned for 2017. But do you have one planned for 2018? This week, we’re asking you:

Are you taking a Disney vacation in 2018?

 

  • Yes, already booked (61%, 387 Votes)
  • Maybe, still planning (22%, 137 Votes)
  • No, not in 2018 (17%, 110 Votes)

Total Voters: 634

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The poll is live here and on Twitter. We’ll have your results next week!

Ask It Results: Best Fireworks, NYE or July 4?

by on December 20, 2017

 

On any given night, Disney fireworks light up the sky to oohs and aahs of everyone around. For certain holidays, like New Year’s Eve or the Fourth of July, those fireworks displays are sent into overdrive. The synchronization between music and pyrotechnics is its own kind of theater performance. But is one holiday display better than another? Last week, we asked you:

Which holiday has the best fireworks shows at Walt Disney World?

Here’s your results.

July 4 (111 votes, 43%)

Magic Kingdom 4th of July Fireworks

And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that it is Independence Day! It’s hard not to feel patriotic watching any of the Fourth of July fireworks displays at Walt Disney World. Filled with lots of red, white, and blue, it’s all about celebrating America by blowing up the skies over it. (Fun fact: Of all colors, blue is the hardest firework color to blend. You can tell the quality of fireworks used in a show based on how the vibrant the blue shells are.) The experience of waiting for fireworks in July can be challenging–some years it is brutally hot, which is certainly not fun if you’ve been camped in a crowded theme park all day. Other years, it can rain and the fireworks can be delayed. Still, it is worth the wait and far better than anything that your neighbors will be making with fireworks purchased for Crazy Joe’s firework bonanza.

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