Posts Tagged ‘photos’

Exploring Disneyland Hotel at Disneyland Paris: Part 2

by on May 17, 2016

This is Part 2 of a photo-centric post related to a stay at Disneyland Hotel in Disneyland Paris in late January 2016. This post focuses on my hotel room. See Part 1 for photos of the hotel and its breakfast buffet.

To set the stage appropriately, note that I stayed in the cheapest class of hotel room (Chambre classique) during the cheapest season (Basse saison) at Disneyland Hotel. I checked in very early (around 9:30 AM) on Wednesday, January 27, 2016, and was pleasantly surprised to learn that Room 1420 was ready for my family.



My Floor 4 (fifth floor in US nomenclature) was above the second floor bridge that connects the registration building (where my room was) to the central building of the hotel (where the restaurants, stores, etc. are). Although Room 1420 by no means had a premium view, I could glimpse into Disneyland Park and saw Tower of Terror looming in the distance. It also was a great location in that it was the closest room on my floor to the elevator, minimizing travel time during my stay.


Looking Directly Out the Window

Looking Straight Out the Window

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Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever February 11, 2016: Kylo Ren & Construction Walls at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on February 11, 2016

Kylo Ren Disney's Hollywood Studios

Visit Kylo Ren and check out DHS construction with Best Week Ever! (Photos/video by Seth Kubersky)

Ed – Sorry to break in right at the start, but I would like to announce that this will be Seth’s last Best Week Ever for the time being. While Seth is focusing his considerable talent on other things, we will have some new Best Week Ever authors. Look for the first new Best Week Ever later today…that’s right, double Best Week Ever week! Now, on to Seth’s wonderful week.

It’s been a little while since Best Week Ever took a look at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, so I stopped by the park several times in recent days for an update on this in-transition attraction. Construction walls may be rising on a daily basis, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping the crowds from coming! We’ll look at some of the changes around DHS, culminating in an encounter with the newest patricidal Star Wars star, Kylo Ren.


First, let’s take a look around Disney’s Hollywood Studios during the first week of February. This is a typically moderate time of year according to our Crowd Calendar, but I encountered some long lines around DHS, especially on February 8th:


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Disneyland Season of the Force Videos & Photo Gallery

by on January 17, 2016

Disneyland season of the force videos photos

Celebrate Star Wars at Disneyland with new Season of the Force videos and photos.

With the latest Star Wars movie breaking the all-time domestic box office record less than a month of its release, it’s pretty clear that the Force is wide awake all over America, but nowhere has the film’s impact been more evident than inside the Disney parks. I’ve already covered the newly added Star Wars attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida, and recently I had the chance to fly west and compare Orlando’s offerings to their Anaheim analogues. While in California, I captured this gallery of Season of the Force videos and photo gallery to give our Disneyland-deprived readers a taste of the Happiest Place on Earth’s take on a galaxy far, far away…


Season of the Force Crowds

The first thing to know about Season of the Force is that the crowds are strong with this one! Even though the days of my Disneyland visit were predicted to have moderate attendance, Tomorrowland was packed from open to close, only becoming busier as the afternoon and evening continued. If you want to experience all the popular attractions that are part of Disneyland’s Season of the Force, get there at rope drop or be prepared to wait in line!

Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever January 14, 2016: 48 Hours at Disneyland Resort

by on January 14, 2016

I’ve just had a bittersweet Best Week Ever, because I took a weekend away from my usual Orlando assignments to say adieu to some old friends in Anaheim. January 10th marked the last day for a number of Disneyland attractions before Star Wars Land construction commences. Some, like the Railroad and Rivers of America will return next year in an altered form; others, like the Big Thunder Ranch petting zoo, are gone for good. I’ll be covering the closing of these attraction in detail over the coming days, but for this Best Week Ever I want to stash the sayonaras; instead, lets focus on some other experiences I was able to enjoy around the rest of the resort during my 24 hours in Disneyland.

My trip was largely made possible by a ludicrously low airfare ($159 round trip!) I found on Frontier. While I was delighted to get such a cheap seat between MCO and LAX, the airline makes their money back through sky-high baggage fees and some of the least comfortable seating in the sky.

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Star Wars Galactic Outpost Now Open at Disney Springs

by on December 29, 2015

Star Wars Galactic Outpost

Move over D Street, the Star Wars Galactic Outpost has arrived at Disney Springs. (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

With over $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales in only 12 days, it’s safe to say that The Force Awakens has woken up consumer demand for Star Wars. We’ve already covered the wide array of Star Wars merchandise now available inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Watto’s Grotto and the Star Wars Lauch Bay Cargo store, but there’s now a new option for those without a theme park admission. The D Street store it Disney Springs‘ West Side, which had already given much of its shelf space over to the galactic franchise, is now gone entirely, and has become the Star Wars Galactic Outpost.

Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever November 19, 2015: 2015 IAAPA Attractions Expo

by on November 19, 2015

2015 IAAPA Expo

Rides and games galore at the 2015 IAAPA Expo in this Best Week Ever. (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

In today’s very special episode of Best Week Ever, we’re going to take a trip outside of today’s theme parks themselves to a wondrous world where the attractions of the future are on display. Welcome to the 2015 IAAPA Attractions Expo, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions’ annual convention at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center. The enormous event, which is for industry professionals and the media, is a showcase for everything that’s new and next in themed entertainment, and while Disney and Universal don’t have booths on the cavernous show floor, most of the vendors they and other big parks partner with do. So look carefully because you never know — in a few years you may see products previewed below inside a major Orlando attraction!

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Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever November 12, 2015: Disney Springs Twenty Eight & Main

by on November 12, 2015

Disney Springs Twenty Eight & Main

Take a Best Week Ever walk around Disney Springs to the new Twenty Eight & Main shop. (Photos/video by Seth Kubersky)

Black Friday is fast approaching, so for this installment of Best Week Ever I took another trip to Disney Springs in order to check out Twenty Eight & Main, the newest spot inside the Marketplace Co-Op to spend a mortgage payment. Come along as see what you’re going to go broke on during your next Walt Disney World visit!


As I reported in October, the new I-4 exit ramp to Disney Springs makes entering the Orange parking garage pure bliss. If you are used to spending an hour sitting at stoplights and circling surface lots each time you tried to park at the old Downtown Disney, the new traffic flow into the renamed complex is going to seem like nirvana. I parked on the garage roof for easy access to the exit ramp, and also to snap some panoramic pictures of continuing construction on Town Center:

Extend the Magic: Using Photo Books to Tell Your Story

by on November 6, 2015

extend the magic

Photo books are a great way to extend the magic of your trip!

I’m sure you’ve all been there – your Disney vacation is over and the dreaded Disney blues set in and all you want to do is extend the magic from your trip. The end of a Disney trip can be depressing, but I’ve developed methods for extending the magic past the vacation so I can bask in the Disney happiness just a little bit longer. One of my main methods of doing this is through the creation of photo books.

Now I know what you might be thinking, “Photo books? Anyone can create photos books to document a vacation! What makes your method so special?” Well I’m glad you asked. I approach photo book creation for Disney trips from a unique angle. Rather than just documenting step-by-step the different events that take place on a trip, I attempt to find a new and different storytelling theme for every photo book I create. My desire is that the photo books not only transport us back to the wonderful memories from the trip, but also make us laugh at the way I chose to tell the story. Essentially, I’ve embraced the idea of being goofy. Let me break down my process step by step.

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Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever September 24, 2015: Disneyland Paris Walkthrough Attractions

by on September 24, 2015

best week ever disneyland paris walkthroughs

Take a walk through the best attractions at Disneyland Paris with the Best Week Ever. (photos by Seth Kubersky)

Greetings and salutations from the high seas! I’m currently in the middle of a transatlantic cruise from Barcelona back to Florida, but even in the midst of my marvelous voyage on the newly refurbished Disney Magic (more on the boat’s upgrades in an upcoming column) I still can’t get my recent visit to Disneyland Paris out of my mind. If you read the last edition of Best Week Ever, you already know I didn’t find much positive to say about the Walt Disney Studios park at the resort formerly known as EuroDisney, but the Disneyland Parc — as the French call it — was a different story altogether. When I’m back on dry land, I’ll go into greater depth on the strengths and weaknesses of that potential-packed park, but for right now I want to share some visual highlights from my favorite unique attractions. Disneyland Paris is well know for its unusual variations on classic Disney rides like Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, and Haunted Mansion (a.k.a. Phantom Manor). Far less publicized — but just as exciting to me — are the one-of-a-kind Disneyland Paris walkthrough attractions that can be found in each of its lands. While most guests attend a theme park to climb aboard moving ride vehicles, I invite you now to take a stroll through some of Disneyland Park’s most exciting pedestrian experiences.

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Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever September 10, 2015: Efteling, The Netherlands’ Anti-Disneyland

by on September 10, 2015

It goes without saying that we at Touring Plans are pretty big fans of the theme parks produced by the Disney and Universal corporations, as they they typically represent the current pinnacle of the genre. But every so often it’s important to take a step outside the Orlando box and experience a different type of attraction, if only to gain some perspective on other cultures, and a deeper appreciation for the art and history that informed the parks we love. With that in mind, take a step through the looking glass with me now for a bizarro Best Week Ever, as we explore a place that shows us what a Disney park might look like if only Walt’s vision had been a whole lot darker, creepier, and quirkier. Welcome to Efteling, the anti-Disneyland of The Netherlands!

Located about 2 hours by train and bus from the city of Amsterdam, Efteling (or “De Efteling” as the locals call it) celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2012, which means it predates Disneyland — often referred to as the “first theme park” — by a good 3 years. There have long been rumors (some propagated by the park’s PR department) that Walt himself found inspiration for Disneyland during a visit to Efteling, but there’s no hard evidence to support that story. Even so, it’s fascinating for a frequent Disney guest like myself to see the striking similarities, and sometimes surprising differences, between the resorts.

Efteling is an enormous attraction, with a sprawling organic layout that resembles Busch Gardens Williamsburg or or Tampa more than the exactingly engineered Disney and Universal parks. I spent two days there and felt like I just scratched the surface; while I got to experience Efteling’s insane selection of dark rides and the brand-new Baron 1898 roller-coaster, I sadly had to leave several E-Tickets (including the dueling wooden coasters and hybrid dark/coaster/water ride) for my next European vacation.

Unlike the Disney parks, whose designs were the product of dozens of talented Imagineers, Efteling largely reflects the artistic vision of two people: artist Anton Pieck, who created the opening day attractions, and Ton van der Ven, who took over from the 1970s through the turn of the millennium. The result is a charming and idiosyncratically personal consistency to the characters found throughout Efteling’s attractions; imagine if every Disney animatronic was designed by either Marc Davis or Mary Blair. While Disney still employs some name-brand artists (chiefly Joe Rhode), and there are virtues to the modern “design by committee” method that tends to smooth over the individuality of the mega parks, at Efteling you can practically still see the fingerprints of the craftsmen embedded in their creations, making it a amazingly intimate, personal experience.

Without further ado, here’s a small selection of the seriously surreal sights to be seen inside Efteling. Please do not attempt to adjust your computer — images in your monitor may be even weirder than they appear!

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