Travel

Disney World Resumes 2020 Ticket Sales TODAY!

Cars section at Art of Animation Resort

It’s an exciting morning in our household because Disney World has resumed both ticket sales and Disney Resort bookings for 2020! Earlier this year, Disney put a temporary hold on ticket sales and resort bookings while they implemented their new Disney Park Pass System, which requires guests to have both a park reservation as well as a valid ticket to enter the theme parks. When Disney released the bookings for 2021, they did not reopen bookings for 2020 so that they could give guests with existing reservations time to book their theme park reservations. This morning, I am happy to say, we can start booking for 2020 vacations again!

I was already on the site this morning and was able to choose between value resorts, Pop Century and Art of Animation. There were several moderate resorts showing availability such as Coronado Springs and Caribbean Beach Resort as well as deluxe resorts such as Animal Kingdom, Contemporary, Riviera Resort and more! This is great news because that means no matter which level of resort you prefer (value, moderate or deluxe), there is availability for 2020.

If you are booking your own Walt Disney World Resort vacation, be aware that they are expecting high volumes online so you may be directed to a virtual waiting room to help manage the volumes. Once you book your vacation, or purchase tickets, don’t forget to log into the Disney Park Pass System found in your My Disney Experience account to reserve your days in the parks.

I also highly recommend that you check out the “Know Before You Go” page on DisneyWord.com to find information and tips related to the new safety guidelines. Even though experiences may be different now then in the past,there is still so much to see and do at Walt Disney World this year!

If you would like help booking a future Walt Disney World Resort vacation, I am an authorized Disney Vacation Planner and would be happy to assist you! With so many changes surrounding travel at this time, I’m here to help guests navigate the changes as related to the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland as well as book their vacation packages, I sit on hold or in virtual waiting rooms so you don’t have to. Send me a message if you would like a free,no obligation quote for a vacation package.

Have a magical day!

Travel

Walt Disney World opens up 2021 reservations!

This morning, June 24th, the Walt Disney World Resort officially opens up their booking system for 2021 reservations through September 26, 2021! While June is typically the month that we can begin booking resort packages for the following calendar year, this year seems even more special since it’s been so long that any of us could enjoy the magic of Walt Disney World. There is so much to look forward to over the coming year, but there are also changes to how we enjoy the parks and resorts with added safety features in place as well as how we plan and navigate the property.

In 2021 we will see a lot of changes to how we experience the parks and resorts. When we start booking for 2021 today, there will be no park hopper passes or dining plans to be offered. This is still partly due to the response from Disney for the handling of safety measures for COVID-19 and the new Park Reservation System. When guests are booking their 2021 vacation packages, they will need to log into their My Disney Experience account and link their reservation so that they can go in and select their park reservations. While it may be difficult to know which park you want to attend a year from now it is extremely important to do this immediately so you can be sure to have a reservation, the good news is that those park reservations can be modified at any time, based on availability. Disney is expecting to bring back park hoppers and dining plans at some point in the future when they can safely accommodate them, until then we need to make plans without them. Disney will also be proving a “Know before you go” link with up to date information for guests before they travel.

We will also see an upgrade in the My Disney Experience app which will move some of the functions of the Magic Band into the app! With the upgrade, guests will be able to by pass the front desk at check in with the online check in process, unlock their resort room (at Disney resorts), chat with a guest services cast member, check in for dining reservations and order food online at select dining locations, scan their park tickets and check out from their resort without stopping at the front desk. With this upgrade, Disney has announced that they will not be providing complimentary Magic Bands for guests with check in dates January 1, 2021 and later. Now, if you are like me, you may have several Magic Bands and might be wondering what to do with them! The good news is, Magic Bands will still be available for purchase and any Magic Bands that you have linked to your My Disney Experience account will still work, they just are not sending out complimentary ones in 2021. For guests that don’t have a Magic Band and don’t want to purchase them or guests not wanting to use their smartphones for everything, Disney will be providing a free Key to the Kingdom card which will act as your park ticket and room key.

October 2021 marks the 50th Anniversary of Magic Kingdom and while details have not been released at this time, we are all excited to hear what Disney has in store for this celebration! Currently we are not able to book past September 26, 2021 so packages are not available yet for this celebration, but they will go fast once they open for booking so it’s going to be important to watch for announcements.

Travel over the next year will look different than it has in the past with mandatory face coverings, social distancing, recommended cashless transactions by using credit cards, gift cards etc as well as how we book and navigate the Walt Disney World Resort. It is important to stay up to date on all of the guidelines and changes happening with the Walt Disney World Resort for your upcoming stay. Now, let’s start planning and RETURN TO THE MAGIC!

Be sure to follow my blog for continued updates and send me a message if you would like help booking your next Walt Disney World Resort vacation!

Travel

Walt Disney World Announces Reopening Dates!

Walt Disney World Reopening July 2020

Get ready to head back to the magic! In a meeting this morning with the Orange County Economic Task Force, Walt Disney World announced their planned reopen dates as well as safety measures they are putting in place to keep guests and cast members safe. The Walt Disney World Resort will do a phased reopening with Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom theme parks opening on Saturday July 10, 2020 and then Epcot and Hollywood Studios opening on Wednesday July 15, 2020. Prior to these opening dates, Disney will welcome cast members into the parks to allow the parks to launch, learn and adjust their procedures as needed so that guests can have the best possible experience when returning to Walt Disney World.

When guests return to the Walt Disney World Resort on July 11th and 15th, there are a several things that they should expect such as masks being required (they will be provided if a guest does not have one), social distancing throughout the parks, restaurants, shops as well as reduced capacity and temperature screenings. In addition, Disney is expanding their mobile ordering opportunities for restaurants, encouraging cashless transactions with Magic Bands, Apple Pay and Google Pay options and Disney gift cards. We will see enhanced cleaning and sanitation throughout Walt Disney World especially in high touch areas.

In order to reduce gathering of large groups, Disney will be suspending parades, fireworks, character meet and greets as well as closing play areas and water effects. While the suspending of parades, fireworks and character meet and greets will be difficult for many guests, me included, this is the safest way that Disney could implement social distancing in high volume gathering areas. We will also see reduced capacity throughout the parks and prior ticket purchase requirements. More specific details should be released as we get closer to reopening.

Disney also debuted their new “Social Distancing Squad” with the opening of Disney Springs last week and you will see them throughout the Walt Disney World property. These cast members will be helping guests with the new requirements. Signs will also be found throughout as soon as you enter Walt Disney World Resort property notifying guests of the requirements and keeping them informed.

With the rules being released, how do you feel about going back to the theme parks?

Contact me if you would like help planning your next Walt Disney World vacation as we Return to the Magic! I’m also on Facebook and Instagram so be sure to follow me there for the latest park and resort news.

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Travel

Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland and Disney Cruise Line update.

Today the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland began contacting guests scheduled to arrive between June 7th through June 13th to notify them that their planned vacations have been impacted by the resort and park closures. This comes just days after the Disney Cruise Line cancelled cruises through July 28th. Here is what we know on each of these based on information released from Disney.

Walt Disney World Resort guests have been impacted through June 13th at this point. Disney has been assessing the situation weekly and, for the foreseeable future, we expect this to continue as a weekly update. Walt Disney World resort guests that were booked for arrivals during this time have the option to either receive a full refund for their resort and park tickets or they can rebook their vacation for later this year with no penalties. Currently Disney is offering for these guests to rebook for July 1st and later.

Disneyland has also begun to notify guests booked through June 13th that they are eligible to either receive a refund or rebook for a later date. Eligible guests of the Disneyland Resort Hotels may receive a $50 per night resort credit (for future stays between July 1, 2020 and December 31,2020). In addition, guests who had booked a stay at a Disneyland Resort Hotel during the period of March 16, 2020 through June 30, 2020 may be eligible to take advantage of a special Disneyland resort offer to save up to 35% (for stays most nights July 1, 2020 through October 3, 2020). This is not valid for room reservations cancelled prior to March 1, 2020 or for multiple rebookings of the same reservation.

Disney Cruise Line, earlier this week, announced that they were cancelling all sailings on the Dream, Fantasy, Magic and Wonder through July 28, 2020. Guests that have been impacted are eligible for a refund or have the option to rebook. Guests that choose to rebook for a future cruising date may be eligible for a 25% credit of their original cruise fare if rebooked to sail within fifteen months of their original departure date. Please check out the official Disney Cruise Line website for more details.

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Disney Skyliner Takes Flight on September 29, 2019!

On Sunday, September 29th the Disney Skyliner gondolas will take flight and begin transporting guests around the Walt Disney World Resort. Disney Skyliner connects Epcot and Hollywood Studios to 4 resorts, Art of Animation, Pop Century, Caribbean Beach and the new Riviera Resort. Travel the sky and see some amazing views in cabins decorated with some of your favorite characters and themes such as Mickey, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Monsters Inc, Coco and more!

It’s always a great time to book a Walt Disney World Vacation, contact me for a free, no obligation quote!

Video courtesy of Disney Park Blog
Travel

From infants to grandparents – traveling to Disney as a family.

More and more it is becoming common to not just travel as an immediate family (parents & kids) but to travel with extended family also. This usually means there will be multiple generations on the vacation and it can seem difficult to keep everyone happy. With a Disney Park vacations, there truly is so much that every age can enjoy together. Here is a list of a few of our favorites!

  1. Take in a show – Did you know that there are several live action shows throughout the Disney theme parks? Check out strolling entertainment like The Dapper Dan’s in Magic Kingdom to the Citizens of Hollywood in Hollywood Studios. These incredible performers put on a show the whole family can enjoy. Want to get out of the Florida sun for a while? Head to an indoor show such as Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage in Hollywood Studios or Festival of the Lion King or Finding Nemo – The Musical in Animal Kingdom.
  2. Character Meet & Greet – Meeting your favorite character is not just for kids. Take the family and meet Mickey & Minnie, a princess or your favorite Disney character. The characters love to interact with kids of ALL ages, not just the little ones! Bounce like Tigger for a cute family pic or flex your muscles in a picture with Gaston. The entire family can get into the picture. Be careful if you meet Edna Mode in Hollywood Studios, she WILL critic your outfit. After all, she is a designer darling.
  3. Enjoy rides together – There are several rides that a family can enjoy together that are friendly for everyone in your group even when traveling with very little ones. In Magic Kingdom everyone can enjoy Small World, Peter Pan’s Flight, Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid, Jungle Cruise, the Enchanted Tiki Room, Pirates of the Caribbean and more! In Epcot, be sure to head over to the World Showcase and in Mexico the family can enjoy the Gran Fiesta tour – starring the three Caballero’s or in Norway check out Frozen Ever After to watch Elsa bring the ice and snow to life. One the most fun places for my family in Epcot is The Seas with Nemo and Friends where after riding in a clamshell and finding Nemo you can explore a 5.7 million gallon saltwater aquarium, play among Bruce and his friends while you learn about sharks or talk to everyone’s favorite Sea Turtle Crush in Turtle Talk with Crush.
  4. Go for a swim – Don’t forget to make time in your vacation plans to enjoy the pool area at your Walt Disney World Resort. There is so much fun to be had hanging around the pool with your entire family while you relax and enjoy each others company. Many of the moderate and deluxe resorts have water slides and plenty of room for everyone to splash, swim and play.

Regardless of who you might be traveling with or how many people are in your travel party, be sure to be in the moment and enjoy yourself. Let the photopass cast members take family pictures so you have a family picture to cherish for years to come. You can either purchase your photo pass picture from Disney or you can ask the cast member to take a photo using your camera or phone, they will be happy to do so.

Walt Disney World vacation pricing for 2020 is due to be released on June 18, 2019. Head over to my Facebook page and let me know if you would like to be notified when I can assist you in booking a 2020 Disney World vacation! http:// www.facebook.com/KristieRyan.travel

Travel

New Summer One World Ticket at Walt Disney World Resort.

Best Friends in front of CInderella’s Castle, Magic Kingdom

Disney just announced today an offer unlike any other, the “Summer One World Ticket” that will allow guests 6 admissions – one admission to each of the 4 theme parks and 2 water parks. Tickets will cost $74 (plus tax) per admission for a total purchase price of $444 (plus tax). Tickets must be purchased and used between June 4, 2019 – Aug 28, 2019. Tickets are able to be used for more than one park admission per day.

Ticket includes 1 admission to each park; Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach. This can be used along with a room only reservation at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel, guests are not required to stay on Disney property to obtain this offer. Contact me for more details or for a free, no obligation quote for a stay at a Walt Disney World Resort.

Travel

Epcot: Whole Day, Half Day or Skip it?

Out of the four Walt Disney World Resort theme parks, Epcot seems to be the one that I often hear potential clients with kids unsure if they want to send an entire day exploring until I share all there is to offer. The reality is that there is a lot to see and do, plus exciting things coming soon! The park is divided up into “Future World East”, “Future World West” and “World Showcase”.

Always have to have a picture in front of Spaceship Earth

When you enter the park you can’t miss Spaceship Earth (a.k.a. the big ball) which has a nice slow ride through the sphere that takes you through the history of innovation. From here, head into “Future World East” to find exciting rides for the thrill seekers in your family. Test Track allows riders to design their own virtual concept vehicle and then take it through hairpin turns, hills and straightaways. On Mission Space, choose from two intensity levels and head into space on this NASA – style training of a simulated space launch.

When you get to Future World West, you won’t want to miss out on meeting some of your favorite characters like Baymax, Joy & Sadness or Mickey & Pals. One of our favorite things to do here is to explore The Seas with Nemo and Friends where you can ride a “clamobile” through a few of your favorite Nemo scenes, have a conversation with Crush in Turtle Talk with Crush or explore the SeaBase which is a 5.7 million gallon aquarium. If you want a little more excitement, visit The Land where you can soar around the world on Soarin as you fly, feel the wind on your face and see the world from a different view. If that’s not your speed, The Land also has greenhouses where some of the food for WDW is grown and on Living with the Land you can take a nice relaxing boat ride and check this out. While you’re here, be sure to make a reservation for Garden Grill and enjoy a family style dinner with Chip & Dale and friends. The younger kids in the family will enjoy Imagination! with Figment as they explore the imagination and visit an interactive area.

World Showcase represents 11 countries and each one boasts food, drinks, souvenirs and a Kidcot area where kids can interact with cast members from the country to learn more. Visit Mexico and take a boat ride with the 3 Caballeros or take a tour of scenes from Frozen in Norway on Frozen Ever After. Explore China, Germany, Italy, America, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom and Canada. You also will often find some of your favorite characters in their home country like Anna & Elsa, Aladdin & Jasmine, Belle, Snow White and Mulan.

Even with all of this, construction has already begun on new experiences like the much anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy ride that is scheduled to open in 2021. This will be one of the worlds largest enclosed roller coasters and will keep guests fully immersed in the story from launch to finish. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is currently under construction in the France Pavilion and will be a 4D experience where you will shrink down to the size of Remy as you scurry through Gusteau’s Kitchen.

Epcot also has live performances, special events throughout the year and plenty of places to eat, drink and shop. What do you think, could you family enjoy an entire day at Epcot?