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

Returning to the Magic!

Whew! It’s been a whirlwind of updates regarding Disney travel over the last 24 hours, I’m going to do my best to cover as much as I can at this point. All of my information comes from Disney and I alway wait to hear confirmation before posting so that there are no rumors. I’ll start with the newest news to break (in the last few hours) which is, the CDC is recommending cruises sailing from the US through September 15, 2020 be suspended. Disney Cruise Line has agreed to uphold this decision from the CDC and while Disney is still working on their official update on how we (as travel planners) need to proceed to help our guests, they have not yet released how refunds or rebookings will be handled. We should hear something over the next few days and I’ll update everyone at that time. Disney Cruise Line had previously suspended cruises departing from Canada until September 14, 2020 and Europe until October 2, 2020.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, MNSSHP for us Disney fanatics, has been officially cancelled for 2020. This is an incredible and fun event that Disney puts on at Magic Kingdom and I personally have several disappointed travelers that were looking forward to attending this year. Disney’s main priority during this time is safety for their guests and cast members and unfortunately MNSSHP was not able to move forward for this year. Guests who had already purchased tickets through Disney for this 2020 event will be refunded by Disney.

As an authorized Disney Vacation Planner, the biggest question I have gotten lately is when can we change or book reservations for end of 2020 and 2021 at Walt Disney World? Well the good news is that we can start this all very soon! Next week will be a big week for bookings as well as seeing a lot of changes to the current way guests experience Disney. When the Walt Disney World Resort reopens in July, guests will not only need to have a park ticket but also a park reservation to enter a theme park. This is due to the limited park capacity that Disney will have in place at the theme parks, the capacity will be managed with the reservation system located in your My Disney Experience account. Any guest that currently has a resort and ticket reservation for 2020 (from July – Dec 2020) will be able to book their park reservations on Monday June 22, 2020. On Wednesday, June 24th, packages for January 2021 – September 26, 2021 will be available for booking! Then on Friday June 26th, Disney Annual Passholders can book their park reservations as well.

While there will be changes for the safety of guests and cast members, this still is very exciting news! Things may look and feel different when Disney Parks and Disney Cruise Line reopen, but we can be sure that the MAGIC will still be there. I can’t wait for my guests to start arriving and for my family to start planning our next visit. I will be sharing more about the park reservation system and process, as well as other information, in the upcoming days so be sure to follow my blog for more details.

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

Fun in the Sun, exploring Southwest Florida

Sunset after the rain on Naples Beach

If you are looking for a vacation destination for the whole family or just adults looking to relax, southwest Florida is the perfect destination! With beaches overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, golf course galore and lots of outdoor activities to choose from, there is something for everyone in your group. Southwest Florida includes many cities but today I’m going to focus on my favorite 3 cities to visit; Fort Myers, Sanibel Island and Naples.

Fort Meyers Florida is known for its beaches and family friendly attractions. You can visit Thomas Edison and Henry Ford’s winter estates that are now museums that honor both men and their work. Enjoy a day at Fort Meyers Beach and soak up the sun while playing in the warm gulf water or walk among the butterflies and their favorite flowers at Butterfly Estates. If you are visiting in January or early February you will want to visit Manatee Park and see the migrating manatee. At Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve, there are miles of elevated boardwalk where you can see lots of native animals such as alligators, woodpeckers, herons and so much more. Want a mini vacation inside of your vacation, than you can book a 3.5 hour (approximate) boat ride to Key West on the Key West Express where you can hang out for the day or book your return trip a few days later and enjoy “island life” for a while.

Just a short drive from Fort Meyers is the beautiful Sanibel Island. You will soon catch yourself doing the “Sanibel Stoop” as you search for the perfect sea shell along the beach because Sanibel Island is one of the best places for shelling. This island is famous for its abundance of sea shells but also for its beautiful sunsets, lighthouse and beach. It’s a great place to stay for a week or just visit for the day with boating, fishing, shopping and lots of relaxing. Check out some of the local cuisine at places like The Island Cow with its super fresh seafood or the Over Easy Cafe for some delicious breakfast and lunch options. If you want to relax and enjoy the beauty of the island, be sure to visit the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. This wildlife refuge takes up one-third of Sanibel Island and is a fun way to spend your day.

Last but certainly not least is Naples Florida, which has been a family favorite in my family for generations. Naples offers several family friendly hotel options as well as more upscale and luxurious options. Historic downtown boasts several art galleries, boutiques and shops while a short distance away is Tin City which is a more unique and eclectic shopping area with shopping and restaurants by the water (some of my favorite little shops are located here). Make sure to allow some time to visit Naples Zoo and also the North Collier Regional Park which offers nature trails, soccer & softball fields and is home to Sun-N-Fun Lagoon which is a six acre water park! You won’t want to miss catching the sunset on Naples Pier, but get there early because it is a popular place to watch the sun go down and the sky light up with beautiful purple, pink and golds.

Summer is approaching and now is the perfect time to start making plans and booking vacations for the future. No matter where you end up spending your vacation, be sure to check out some of the local favorites in addition to the traditional tourist stops. Some of the best finds are the small businesses and mom and pop shops and restaurants that may be off the “tourist”path.

I am an authorized travel planner for Disney, Universal Orlando and various cruise lines, proud to be affiliated with Academy Travel. Please check out my Facebook and Instagram pages if you are interested in more travel information.

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Travel

Tickets Now on Sale for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2019!

It’s the most magical time of the year, especially at the Walt Disney World Resort, when Mickey and friends deck the halls (and parks, and resorts) and get into the Christmas Spirit! Celebrate the holiday season with Mickey and his friends during the “Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party” where you will see Elsa make Cinderella’s castle shimmer and glimmer. There is music in the air as you enjoy all the decorations in Magic Kingdom, visit with some of your favorite characters decked out in their holiday best and some of your favorite attractions take on a holiday theme.

This is an extra ticket event so you will want to purchase tickets ahead of time. The party starts at 7pm and lasts until midnight. Dates for this year’s party are:

  • November: 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22 and 24
  • December: 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20 and 22

During Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, be on the lookout for special Character appearances like Jack Skellington dressed as Sandy Claws, Scrooge McDuck and even Santa Claus himself!

During the party there is so much to see and do such as enjoy a seasonal beverage (included with your admission) and an event-exclusive treats available for purchase throughout the night. Grab a hot chocolate and a sweet treat and find a spot to watch the “Once Upon a Christmas Time Parade” where you might see a dancing reindeer or even Santa himself! Don’t forget to grab a spot for the special holiday firework show at Cinderella castle too, it is a must see show for sure.

While the party is going on there are still some attractions open so you can enjoy some rides or head over to Cosmic Ray’s for a dance party as it turns into “Club Tinsel”.  There is so much to see and do during this event, you won’t want to miss out on this party! There is absolutely something for all ages to enjoy at this magical special ticket event.

Contact me for a free, no obligation quote for your upcoming Walt Disney World vacation. Please be sure to follow my blog, Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on the latest Disney news!

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