Travel

Disney Unveils New Park Pass System Today!

Today Disney unveiled their new Park Pass System which will help to manage the park capacity when the Walt Disney World theme parks open in July. With the new Park Pass System, guests will be required to make a park reservation once they have purchased their park tickets or resort packages. Disney’s Park Pass System will be located in the guests My Disney Experience account and once guests link their park tickets, they will see a menu option to select their park reservations. Check out the steps below to learn how to use Disney’s Park Pass System and start planning your return to the magic!

Step 1: Link Your Admission to Your Disney Account

  • First, you will need a My Disney Experience account, which is where your Walt Disney World plans are stored and managed. Create an account or sign into your existing account.
  • Then, link your valid ticket or reservation number your Disney account. All Guests in your party must also have valid park admission linked to their profile.

Once your admission is linked to your account, you can begin to make a park reservation.

Create your party using your Family & Friends List in My Disney Experience

Step 2: Create Your Party
When you begin to make a reservation, you will be prompted to create your party from your Family & Friends list.

Simply select the family and friends you would like to include, then select “Continue”.

If you do not see someone in your travel party, select “Add a Guest” to include them.

Staying in a Disney Resort or other select hotel with a package that includes tickets? Everyone in your party must also have a hotel reservation. If this varies, you will need to make separate Disney Park Pass reservations.

Step 3: Select a Date and Park
Choose the date and the theme park that you would like to visit from the available reservations. Please note that dates and theme park selections are limited and subject to availability.

After creating your party in the Disney Park Pass system, you will be prompted to:

  • Select a Date: View a calendar and choose one of the available dates for your visit.
  • Select a Theme Park: Park hours will be displayed for your convenience.
  • Select a Time: This is the time that you can visit the park.

After selecting your date, park and time, you can confirm your reservation.

Step 4: Review and Confirm Your Plans
Carefully review and confirm your selected park and date.

If you need to make any changes, select “Back” to revise your selections.

Before confirming, you will need to agree to the Terms & Conditions, including the COVID-19 liability waiver. Then, select “Confirm” to complete your park reservation”.

Once you confirm the reservation it will appear in My Plans, both in the online and My Disney Experience App versions.

You will need to do this step for each day of your ticket.

If you need to cancel a reservation, view your daily itinerary in My Plans, then select “Reservation Details”. Reservations can be done via the Disney website or you My Disney Experience App and can be done even after you have checked into the resort.

There are a few important things to keep in mind. Due to reduced park capacity, park reservations will fill up so it is highly recommended that guests link their park tickets as soon as they purchase them and reserve their park days immediately. Guests without a park reservation will not be allowed to enter the theme park, even with a valid ticket. Due to the park reservation system, park hopper tickets will not be sold at this time, all tickets are one park per day.

Disney is requiring that the guest books the park reservation due to a COVID-19 acknowledgment form that must be accepted. This means if you book using an authorized Disney Vacation Planner, like myself, they will not be able to book your park reservations for you. Your Disney Vacation Planner can help you navigate the system and walk you through it if needed but you, as the guest, will need to be the one to book the reservation.

With all that said, if you have booked a FastPass or a dining reservation in My Disney Experience, then navigating this should be very easy. The steps are extremely straightforward. Park reservations can be made now, with a valid park admission, from July 11, 2020 through September 26, 2021.

If you don’t have a reservation yet but are looking to book for dates between January 1, 2021 – September 26, 2021 and would like an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner to help book your vacation package and navigate all of the changes at the Walt Disney World Resort, send me a message and I’ll be happy to help get you booked on your next magical vacation!

Travel

Halloween at Walt Disney World!

Watch out for the Headless Horseman at Magic Kingdom!

Tomorrow is Halloween so what better time than now to talk about one of the best special ticket events that Walt Disney World offers, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party! This special event happens on select nights starting in late August and runs through actual Halloween night. At Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or MNSSHP for short, there are so many things to do that it’s hard to pack them all into this event. Here are a few of the top things to do or experience while at this party.

  • Dress in your favorite costume! This event is one of the only times adults are allowed to come to a Disney Park dressed in costume and many people put a lot of effort into their look! We have seen families themed like the Incredibles, a couple dressed as Carl and Ellie from Up! and my own family got in on the fun as Monsters Inc. If your someone who doesn’t enjoy dressing up in costume, no worries, costumes are not required.
  • Trick or Treat! It is a halloween party after all so of course you need candy. When you enter the party you will receive a map of the trick or treat stations as well as a bag to put your treats in. The lines do get long but the cast members are great at keeping the lines moving and they do give out pretty generous helpings. Since this is Disney, they are good about food allergies and offer different options to those guests with food allergies.
  • Watch the Cadaver Dans Barbershop Quartet perform in the streets of Frontierland. Their shows are entertaining as always, if you haven’t see the Cadaver Dans I highly recommend taking a few moments to watch them perform, you won’t regret it.
  • Catch the show in front of Cinderella’s Castle hosted by the Sanderson Sisters and starring their villain friends! This is one of the best shows I have ever seen at Walt Disney World, entertaining for the whole family and full of villains you don’t see onstage often.
  • Boo – To – You Parade is something you definitely will want to watch. Scope out a viewing spot early, I like to hang out in Frontierland or near the bridge where the parade crosses heading towards Main Street. Not only will you see some of your favorite Disney characters dressed in their halloween costumes, but you will also see some of the guests from Haunted Mansion make an appearance. The ghost dancers from the Haunted Mansion ballroom waltz through the parade, the gravediggers make their way through complete with shovels as part of their performance and this year the ghost bride even joined the parade. While you are watching the parade be on the lookout for the Headless Horseman, he just might make an appearance too.

What better way to spend the evening than riding some of your favorite Magic Kingdom rides while dressed in a costume, trick or treating, seeing the Sanderson Sisters, watching a parade and then you can finish off the night by relaxing and watching the special firework and laser light show that is done at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. If you didn’t have a chance to go to the party this year, you can start planning now for next year. This is an event you won’t want to miss!

If you are interested in booking for next fall so you can attend the party, contact me and I would be happy to help you book your family adventure! http://www.facebook.com/KristieRyan.travel http://www.instagram.com/KristieRyan.travel kristieryan.travel@gmail.com

Travel

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Virtual Queue Boarding Pass System

With the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s we also were introduced to the Virtual Queue Boarding Pass system. This was used most recently in Disneyland for the initial opening of Galaxy’s Edge, here is a look into how it works.

The boarding passes will only be available as the park starts to fill up so you will want to check your My Disney Experience App after entering Hollywood Studios and while headed towards Galaxy’s Edge.

If there is still room available for guests to enter the land, your app will look like this:

Your MDE App will note that the land is OPEN and that Boarding Groups are not required.

If Boarding Groups are required, the “Join Boarding Group” button turns red and you simply click it to join a Boarding Group for your party. The App will tell you which Boarding Group is currently “boarding”, so make sure you have downloaded the most recent version of the My Disney Experience App and have turned on your Push Notifications.

While you are waiting for your turn to enter, you can enjoy the rest of Hollywood Studios.  

Just a reminder, you will need reservations for Savi’s Workshop to build a lightsaber, Droid Depot to build a droid or for Oga’s Cantina. If you have a reservation for one of these locations, you SHOULD be able to enter Galaxy’s Edge at least 15 minutes before your reservation time, a Cast Member should be able to answer any questions regarding that while you are there.

There is so much to see and experience at Walt Disney World and even more new and exciting things to come. Contact me today for your FREE, NO OBLIGATION quote for your next Walt Disney World vacation!http://www.facebook.com/kristieryan.travel

Travel

Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, do I need one?

I was on a Disney Fan Facebook page recently and saw a debate about using a Disney Vacation Planner when planning your upcoming Disney vacation or if it’s better to just do it yourself. The comments ranged from “it’s great to have someone else do all the work” to “I don’t want to lose control of my trip” and even “I’m not going to pay someone else to book my vacation when I can do the same thing online myself”. This isn’t the first time I have seen or heard these comments so I wanted to share a little about how an authorized Disney Vacation Planner can help, even if you are a seasoned visitor to a Disney property. Here are the top 4 things that I typically talk to potential guests about using my services.

Training: To become an authorized Disney Vacation Planner, you are required to go through Disney’s training course and pass all of their testing and criteria. You are also required to stay current on any updated training that is provided. Many of the agencies also have requirements regarding training and even traveling to the various Disney properties so that you can provide firsthand knowledge and experiences to your guests. There are many training tools and information sharing that we have access to so even if I personally haven’t run into a particular situation, I can pretty quickly find someone to help me to get my guest an answer.

 Customized Experience: An authorized Disney Vacation Planner can be as involved or as “hands off” as the guest prefers. For example, a first-time visitor to the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida can easily get overwhelmed with the planning. There are multiple parks, resorts to choose from, tickets, dining, FastPasses, special events, waterparks and it’s all spread out over miles of property. This can be very overwhelming for a guest who may not know where to begin. As an authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I can help narrow down all of these items until we create a vacation that is perfect for your family. After booking the package, I am available to my guests anytime a question arises. I send reminders to be sure they are aware when important dates such as dining opens or FastPasses can be scheduled. I can help with the booking of dining and FastPasses also.  For a more seasoned guest, I may only be booking their vacation package and they may choose to book their own dining and FastPasses or may just ask me for recommendations. At the end of the day, this trip is about finding what is the best fit for your family based on budget and availability and tailoring how involved I am to what the guest is comfortable with.

Advocate for the Guest: Once a guest has booked their vacation, my job doesn’t stop there. In fact, my job isn’t complete until after the guests have returned from their Disney vacation. On a regular basis I am watching for discounts that may be able to be applied to any of my guests’ packages, I will spend hours on the phone getting these discounts applied (if applicable) so that the guest does not have to make the call into Disney Travel themselves. If problems arise, I do my best to resolve the pieces in my control. For example, if a flight is cancelled due to weather I can’t change the flight but I will call into Disney and see if we can cancel that dining reservation you are now going to miss and see if we can reschedule it or what options we may have to make situation a little better.

We LOVE Disney: Disney Vacation Planners are often some of the most passionate people about Disney and Disney Vacations! This is a labor of love for many of us, we get paid from Disney via our agencies and never directly from a guest. We do not, and are not allowed, to charge guests for our services. Disney Vacation Planners are typically frequent Disney travelers themselves and stay up to date on parks, rides, attractions, entertainment and resorts so they can help you create the trip that best suites your family.We do this because we are usually the ones at the parks before rope drop, checking wait times and FastPasses on the My Disney Experience app, are always looking for the next time we can plan our own Disney vacation. I enjoyed helping family and friends make plans for their Disney vacations and I was always on the various Disney sites to find out about the latest news and offers so this is my dream job. My family has traveled to the Walt Disney World Resort over 10 times in the last seven years because we love it so much, so often that my pre-teen can navigate through the theme parks like a pro and is now starting to help me make our family plans.

For me, the decision to become an authorized Disney Vacation Planner was a dream come true and I am grateful every day that I am affiliated with Academy Travel, an EarMarked Diamond Travel Company, which is the highest honor Disney Travel gives to an agency. I am proud to be an authorized Disney Vacation Planner and helping others plan their dream vacations and make memories. Disney has so much to offer with theme parks, cruises, adventure travel options and much more so if you haven’t been on a Disney vacation before or if it’s been a while, I would love to help you plan a trip of your dreams. Contact me for a Free, No Obligation quote and let’s start creating your magical adventure together!

http://www.facebook.com/KristieRyan.travel

Travel

How to beat the heat in a Disney Theme Park

Summer is in full effect and being in a theme park on super hot and sunny days can be brutal. Here are a few quick tips I have when heading to a Disney Park during the summer.

1. Get a cool treat! Nothing tastes better than a Mickey shaped ice cream treat or (my fav) a Dole Whip.

Photo credit to Disney Food Blog

2. Head over to a splash area. Did you know that Epcot & Magic Kingdom have areas where your little ones (or you) can splash and cool off in the water?

3. Ride an indoor ride like Carousel of Progress at Magic Kingdom or Soarin in Epcot. Take in the Lion King show at Animal Kingdom or the Beauty and Beast show at Hollywood Studios.

4. Drink plenty of water. You can bring water bottles into the park to save some money. Ice is free at the kiosks so get a free cup of ice and spend your money on the cool, refreshing ice cream treat. 😉

Summer isn’t over yet and there is still time to book a Walt Disney World Resort vacation for this year! Contact me for a quote and remember, my services are FREE for my clients!

Travel

Exploring Ohio Amish Country

One of the many farms we passed along the country roads in Berlin, Ohio

Sometimes you need just a short trip out of town to relax and explore so I packed up the car with my kid and my parents and we headed off to Amish country. Most folks in the midwest know of several areas you can visit that offers a peek into the Amish lifestyle, my mom’s favorite is Berlin, Ohio so that was where we headed for short 3 day adventure. This is not a typical adventure that my daughter and I do, in fact we hadn’t been there in probably 9 years but I figured a few days for us both to unplug would be a good thing.

We stayed at the Berlin Grande hotel which was beautiful! The rooms were spacious and super clean, probably the cleanest hotel I’ve ever stayed in. With friendly staff, a salt water pool, hot tub, outside courtyard with plenty of seating to hang out and talk, plus a complimentary breakfast this hotel was more than worth the price. The added bonus is that you are walking distance to the Farmstead Restaurant, which was so good we ate there twice, and just a few short blocks from the main street in town with lots of shopping. Since it was over 90 degrees while we were there we drove to the main shopping area but it is absolutely walkable as well.

We were only there for one full day and two half days so there was a lot that we didn’t do but here were a few of our favorites. It’s not a trip to Berlin without a stop at Heini’s Cheese (even in a downpour). While you wander through their cheese section you get to try all of the yummy options, my hubby swears their Ghost Pepper Cheese is the best, my daughters favorite was the Pepperoni Cheese, or maybe the sharp Cheddar or was it the Butter Cheese…honestly she ended up loving a lot of them and she had so much fun trying them all. But don’t think they just have cheese, they have incredible homemade fudge that is so yummy we had to get some of that too.

After cheese shopping we were headed to Miller’s Bakery, which had my mom not been with me there is no way I would have found it on that back country road, to pick up donuts and bakery goods that are some of the best we ever tasted. Helpful hint, they almost always run out of powdered sugar donuts but you can call ahead to place an order and just let them know which day you will be there to pick them up. On the way back into town we passed a petting zoo so my animal obsessed daughter insisted we stop. She spent well over an hour wandering through and petting farm animals and holding bunnies. The area with the animals you could interact with was more than worth the cost of admission. She also wanted to ride the horse and when they say the horses are big, they are not exaggerating. She got to ride for a decent amount of time and had a lot of fun.

Overall, I think spending just a few days was the perfect amount of time unless you are a big shopper. In the past I had gone there to order a kitchen table, still in great shape after 9 years of abuse, but this trip was just to relax. There was more to do that we just didn’t have time but with having a kid that loves to be online it was just the right amount of time for her to “unplug” and get some swimming in. With that said, the hotel had free wi-fi and I only lost my phone signal once but we were way off the main path into some back roads and it was just in one spot. So even though we unplugged, we really didn’t have to it was just a choice we made. So head to Amish country, eat some incredible fresh food, do some shopping, enjoy the scenery and do some relaxing.

Travel

Family Fun when cruising to Key West

It’s no secret that Florida is my absolute favorite state to visit; from the historic towns, beautiful beaches and theme parks, to the multi-cultural experiences, nature and the clear blue and turquoise water traveling through the Keys. While my family does spend a lot of vacations in Orlando, I was excited when we took a Carnival Cruise that had Key West as a port of call. The hubby and I had visited Key West a few years before our daughter was born and fell in love with the island vibe that the people and scenery give off. We had been anxious to go back and were excited to share Key West with our daughter.

Being the southernmost point in the continental U.S., and only about 90 miles from Cuba, it is a town brimming with energy, beautiful colors, gorgeous waters and history. There is so much to do whether you are traveling with adults or a family with kids. Duval Street is full of shops, bars and restaurants. Stop by Sloppy Joe’s Bar and hang out in one of Ernest Hemingway’s favorite places. You will hear music pouring out of the many bars and restaurants as you walk up and down Duval Street. Since we were on a cruise, we only had a few hours to explore but here are some of our favorite places to visit in Key West when you are only there for a short time.

Key West Aquarium – Don’t underestimate this aquarium based on its size, it may look smaller than some other aquariums but it is one of the best aquariums we have been to. They have some unique sea life that that we hadn’t seen anywhere else and the staff members are incredibly friendly and knowledgeable. My daughter spent over thirty minutes talking to a staff member about a rare sea animal they had on display. She was so excited that the staff member never made her feel rushed, took her time in answering questions and gave her so much information about the waters surrounding the keys. This was definitely one of her favorite places to visit.

Key West Shipwreck Museum – If your kids, or you, are fascinated by shipwrecks then you will want to make time to stop at the Key West Shipwreck Museum (located near the aquarium). Here you will enter a recreation of an 1800’s wrecker’s warehouse and see some incredible artifacts discovered in the waters near Key West. If you stop here, don’t forget to climb the stairs to the top of the museum, the view is breathtaking!

The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum – This was the actual residence of Ernest Hemingway for more than 10 years. Take a guided tour through this beautiful home that was built in the 1800’s. Explore the lush gardens and don’t be surprised if you see a cat, or several! There are more than forty cats that call this their home and are believed to be the descendants of Ernest Hemingway’s cat. You may also notice something a little different about these friendly felines, many have 6-toes due to a gene called the polydactyl gene which causes cats to have kittens with 6 toes. Sailors believed these cats to be good luck and are they still roam the grounds of Ernest Hemingway’s home today.

Before you head back to the ship, don’t forget to take a few pictures at the iconic landmarks. The Southernmost Point of the Continental U.S. Monument is located at Whitehead St. and South St. This iconic buoy is popular so give yourself time to get your picture and get back to the ship. This monument is located at the far end of the island on the opposite side from the cruise ship docks. Head over to Mile Marker 0 on Whitehead St. and take a picture to show you made it to the end of the highway. If you happen to be staying in Key West overnight, you will want to head to Mallory Square to catch the sunset. This waterfront square is full of shops and restaurants and is the most beautiful place to watch a breathtaking sunset. There are plenty of street performers and people watching to do as you wait for the sunset (you may even see a chicken or two).

Unfortunately we only had a few hours to explore Key West this last time so we didn’t get to enjoy the festive environment of Mallory Square at sunset or a lot of other activities but we know we will be back! Key West is truly a one of a kind destination and there is so much to experience that I hardly scratched the surface with this post. If you haven’t been to Key West yet, now is the perfect time to plan, you’ll be happy you did.

“Gypsy Chickens” roam free in Key West. It is common to see chickens and roosters roaming around the city.

Have you visited Key West? Drop me a comment on your favorite place or activity that you experienced.

Travel

H20 Glow Nights Party at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon

We are heading quickly into summer and what better way to celebrate the warming temperatures then to check out this great offer from Walt Disney World! On select nights between May 30th – Aug 24th, Typhoon Lagoon Water Park will host the “H20 Glow Nights Party” from 8 pm to 11 pm. This special ticket event has fun for the entire family to enjoy as Rex “The Dinosaur of Ceremonies” and his Toy Story pals turn this watery world into an electrifying nighttime celebration with special lighting and entertainment.

Dance the night away on the sandy beaches by the Surf Pool or meet your Toy Story friends Buzz, Woody and Jessie. There will be yummy specialty themed bites and drinks you can treat yourself too as you enjoy the lit up scenery around you. For the adults in the group, head over to the 21 and up area at “The Wharf” for entertainment and some refreshing adult beverages.

During this special ticketed event, guests will receive a special Glow wristband to wear as they enjoy all of the Typhoon Lagoon attractions with shorter wait times. Tickets are on sale now and range from $54 to $59 (plus tax). Tickets are limited so be sure to purchase your tickets in advance.

Travel

Sizzle in Summer Fun with a Kid Sized Vacation Package.

All-Star Movies Resort

Make memories that you’ll cherish forever when you stay in the middle of the magic at a WDW All-Star Resort. Disney has released their Summer Fun package that includes a 2 day / 3 night stay at one of the three Disney All-Star Resorts; All-Star Movies, All-Star Music and All-Star Sports. For as low as $1,205, a family of 3 (2 adults 1 child aged 3-9) can enjoy a 3 night stay in a standard room at a Disney All-Star resort and a 2 day theme park base ticket. Sample package price is based on an arrival Sunday – Thursday June 2nd – June 25th and July 7th – Aug 29th.

All-Star Music Resort

When you book this offer for arrivals in June, you will receive a Disney gift card upon resort check in, $10 per room per night. The gift card is only valid for arrivals between May 28, 2019 to June 30, 2019; one gift card will be issued per reservation per night of stay.

All-Star Sports Resort

This package is available for arrivals between June 2, 2019 – June 25, 2019 and July 7, 2019 – August 29, 2019. The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited and may be available at additional resorts for an increased price. Summertime is a magical time a the Walt Disney World Resort, contact me for additional information or for a free, no obligation quote via email or my Facebook page; Kristieryan.travel@gmail.com or 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.