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A Big Thank You!

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This past weekend some of the Touring Plans gang and I hosted a series of meets in the parks where our readers and fans could converge and share in our love of Walt Disney World.  I’m happy to declare the meets a a smashing success!  Katie, our social media guru, and I were on hand for all of the events and our bloggers Caroline and Todd also got to join the fun for most of them.  I think I speak for all of us when I say we had a wonderful time with all of you!

Our first meet was held on the evening of August 12th at the Tower of Terror.  We wanted to check out the attraction with its “improvements” for Summer Nightastic which was a blast with such a great group.  We needed two elevators to accommodate our group!  I think most of us liked the original version of the attraction better, but we still had a great time.  Some people even stuck around to hang out with us for a while that night after the meet and it was great to get to chat with all of them.

The our second meet was our biggest and included close to 40 people taking in the Main Street Electrical parade, popcorn, and soda.  When, Katie, Caroline, and I went up to the popcorn cart and asked for 30 drinks and 40 boxes of popcorn they couldn’t have been sweeter and more helpful.  A special thanks to the cast members who helped us out that night.  Our blogger, Todd, was also on hand to meet with readers and help stake out a spot for the parade on the hub.  It was packed and hot, but we had a great time dancing to the parade’s music and laughing together anyway.

The next afternoon on August 14th we invited everyone to stop by the Germany pavilion at Epcot to sample one of my favorite snacks: pretzels!  It was really, really hot so we tried to find a shaded spot to munch on our pretzels and some enjoyed a beer.  The cast member at the pretzel cart couldn’t believe how many we wanted to buy!   I think a good time was had by all and we took a much needed afternoon break.

Our final meet took place on Sunday the 15th at the Dawa Bar at Animal Kingdom.  People gathered there for a while in the extreme heat to chat a bit before heading over the Kilaminjaro Safaris.  We had our own jeep and got some great views of the animals roaming about.  The heat index that day was 113 degrees so a special thanks to those who braved the elements to join us!

I want to thank all of the folks who took time out of their busy vacation (and real life for the locals) schedules to come meet us!  It was so nice to put some faces to names I’ve been chatting with online through the blog and twitter.  I think I have walked away from the meets with a lot of laughs, hugs, and a few new great friends.  Please be on the look out for future events with the Touring Plans staff!

Next week I’ll tell you more about my recent trip to Walt Disney World with my trip report…

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Kristen Helmstetter

Kristen Helmstetter is an Unofficial Guide researcher who will share her 20-something perspective of all things Walt Disney World with blog readers. Kristen’s email address is You can also follow her on Twitter: @khelmstetter.

15 thoughts on “A Big Thank You!

  • Just wanted to add my two cents in … Kristen and Katie did an amazing job planning out the meets. It was amazing to see how many people wanted to meet them in “real” life. They are even more wonderful in real life than they are on their blogs/twitter so if you didn’t meet them this trip, I highly encourage you to find them on their next trip. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

    • Erin I can’t tell you how much I appreciate these very kind words. It was a blast to have you along this weekend and I’m so glad you had so much fun! Can’t wait to travel with you again!

  • Dana B.

    Any meet & greets scheduled for December? We’ll be there the 4-9th.

    • Many of us will be in town the first weekend of December so keep your eyes open, but there have been no plans made as of yet. Thanks for the interest, we’d love to meet you!

  • Amy from KC

    I’m also interested in meets for that part of December. We’ll be there the 4-13. I know that Reunion is 1-5, but we aren’t getting in until late afternoon on the 4th, and have traditional family touring stuff on the 5th – including ADR’s. 🙂

  • Caroline Baggerly

    I had the very best time at the meets. Thank you for all of the work that went into this great trip. I had an awesome time serving popcorn and pretzels. 🙂 I can’t wait for our next one. If anyone has reservations about meeting up with “strangers” that love Disney. Don’t. People that love Disney are great!! I

    • Thank you for your help Caroline! It was really great to see you and I had a great time with you as always!

  • Hey Kristen, thanks for everything you and Katie did to help organize what was one of my all time favorite trips to WDW. I know I just showed up, but I had a blast doing it. And I’ll dance to a Disney Parade any time with you 🙂

    • It was no problem at all! Thanks for helping us out too! I think I danced more on this trip than ever between Captain EO, the parade, and various fireworks shows. Its good to know I’ll always have a dance partner! See you in October!

  • Bob Basl

    Just wanted to say thanks for letting me and my family join you guys at the MK and AK meets. We have followed the blogs and Twitter chatter for a while, but decided to “take the plunge” when we learned the August meets happened to overlap with our vacation. Couldn’t have been easier! Just walked up and said hi and a bunch of great people welcomed us with open arms. We wish we could have able to do more. Thanks for adding something special to our trip.

    • It was great to meet you guys! Thanks so much for coming to our meets. You are always welcome to join us in the future and hopefully now that you’ve met us you’ll feel comfortable jumping right in. I really enjoyed meeting the new faces who joined us. Thanks again!

  • Charles Aguillon

    I really enjoyed meeting so many of you in person! Thanks for putting this all together. See alot of you in October!


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