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

Disney’s Splash Mountain to get a Princess Makeover

Photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog

Today, Disney unveiled new concept art for a reimagining of one of the park’s most popular rides, Splash Mountain! The ride, located at both Disneyland and in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, will be updated with an exciting adventure featuring characters from The Princess and the Frog. Guests will join Princess Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure as they get ready for their first Mardi Gras performance.

The backdrop of Tiana’s story takes place in New Orleans and the Louisiana bayou so it will fit perfectly into the theming of New Orleans Square in Disneyland. New Orleans Square was the first new”land” that Walt Disney himself opened, so it almost makes it even more magical. At the Magic Kingdom, Splash Mountain is located in Frontier Land so it will be interesting to see how Disney’s Imagineers tie the rethemed ride into its surroundings.

The Princess and the Frog is one of my all time favorite Disney movies and I am super excited to see how the Imagineers bring it to life. I can’t wait to enjoy the music and go on this adventure with Tiana and Louis. Stay tuned for more details!

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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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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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

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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

Make time for golf during your stay at the Walt Disney World Resort.

There really is so much to do at the Walt Disney World Resort outside of the theme parks. Did you know that the Walt Disney World Resort is home to four incredible golf courses? Each of the courses are rated 4 stars by Golf Digest and boast gorgeous greens and landscaping.

Disney’s Palm Golf Course is an 18-hole championship course located at the Shades of Green Resort in the Magic Kingdom resort area. Play among lakes, tropical sands, palm trees and sloping greens. This course will challenge the novice or the pro in your group with 9 holes that have water hazards and 59 bunkers throughout the course.

Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course was designed in a classic tour style and is the longest of the Walt Disney World golf courses. Not only will you be playing among majestic magnolia trees, this course features elevated tees, spacious greens and water hazards. Located at the Shades of Green Resort in the Magic Kingdom resort area this course is great for serious golfers as it boasts 11 holes with water hazards and 97 bunkers. Not only is this course beautiful but it is certified by Audubon International as a Cooperative Wildlife Sanctuary.

Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course is the third course located at the Disney’s Shades of Green Resort in the Magic Kingdom resort area. This is a 9 hole walking course that allows you to test your skills. The holes range from 132 to 517 yards from the white tees. Three of the holes route around a deep canal and beautiful pond. This course is also certified by Audubon International as a Cooperative Wildlife Sanctuary.

Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course was designed in a classic country-club style that winds through the pastel villas and gorgeous landscaping around Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa in the Disney Springs area. This amazing course has 18 holes featuring elevated bunkered greens and a 7th hole that will test your skills with its challenging island green. The Lake Buena Vista golf course has hosted the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour and USGA events.

Rental equipment is available at each of the courses including clubs and golf shoes. This is the perfect place for the traveler who is a golf enthusiast but isn’t able to bring their clubs on vacation, to test out another brand of clubs. Junior US Kids Golf rental equipment is provided complimentary at the courses. If you love to golf, make sure you leave some time in you vacation plans to golf on one of these amazing courses.

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

Signature Celebration Package at Cinderella’s Royal Table.

Beginning on May 2nd, Cinderella’s Royal Table is offering a new Signature Celebration Package. In addition to enjoying dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table, you can take advantage of reserved viewing in the West Plaza Garden for the “Happily Every After” fireworks. After the fireworks you will join the After Fireworks Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace.

With this package, Cinderella and Prince Charming will personally welcome their guests upon arrival to Cinderella’s Castle and invite you to embark on a royal evening that starts with a complimentary glass of sparkling wine or a specialty beverage. After dinner, a beautiful box of Cinderella inspired confections will be delivered to your table. Then you will move to a reserved viewing area for the Happily Every After Fireworks display. After the fireworks you will enjoy a dessert party which includes Cinderella inspired desserts. This signature celebration package will only be offered during one seating at Cinderella’s Royal Table, reservations are limited and strongly recommended. The cost of the party is $199 for adults and $169 for children 9 and under (this amount does not include tax or gratuity).