Now available – Minnie Van service at Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Minnie Van Service Begins

Walt Disney World Resort just launched a new transportation pilot called Minnie Van service. Announced earlier this month at D23 Expo 2017, this new transportation service is now available for guests staying at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort and Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts.

Through a collaboration with Lyft, guests at these resorts can arrange their own private Disney vehicle right from the Lyft app on their smartphone. With Minnie Van service, Disney cast members will then whisk you away to wherever you want to be at Walt Disney World Resort. This service accommodates up to six guests and provides two versatile car seats so even the tiniest of passengers can travel in style!

Minnie Van service will be available between 6:30 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. (subject to change). Guests staying at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort and Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts can learn more by visiting their Bell Services desk.

By Darren Wittko, Specializing in Disney Destinations

Mission: SPACE at Epcot Offers New Out of This World Experiences

New Experiences Coming to Mission Space at Epcot

New Experiences Coming to Mission Space at Epcot

Starting Aug. 13, 2017, Epcot will relaunch Mission: SPACE with a brand new experience and an enhanced version with 2 very different experiences. 

Orange Mission: a truly intense experience that lets you feel the force of an actual space launch en route to Mars. On this mission, you’ll dodge meteoroids, slingshot around the moon and attempt a precision landing on the Red Planet’s alien surface. This “mission” has been enhanced with new, HD video to make it even clearer.

Green Mission: a new, family friendly mission that takes you on an exciting orbit around Earth. On this new adventure, you’ll take in sites like the Hawaiian Islands, Italy’s “boot” and the Northern Lights—as seen from space. Before finally landing at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The height restriction has been changed for the Green Mission side with the addition of new X-2 booster seats allowing children 40-44” to ride.  

By Darren Wittko, Specializing in Disney Destinations. 

 

Disney's Star Wars Resort at Walt Disney World

Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, just confirmed that a Star Wars-inspired resort will debut as part of the new Disney 360 vacation concept.

According to Bob, this revolutionary new vacation experience will be a living adventure that allows guests to immerse themselves in an entirely new form of Disney storytelling.

“It’s unlike anything that exists today.” Bob said. “From the second you arrive, you will become a part of a Star Wars story! You’ll immediately become a citizen of the galaxy and experience all that entails, including dressing up in the proper attire. Once you leave Earth, you will discover a starship alive with characters, stories, and adventures that unfold all around you. It is 100% immersive, and the story will touch every single minute of your day, and it will culminate in a unique journey for every person who visits.”

By Darren Wittko

Disney Cruise Line Has 3 New Ships on Order

Disney Cruise Line is planning not two, but three new ships in the next phase of expansion. By the time these three ships are sailing, Disney will have nearly doubled the size of its fleet! 

Last year, I told you that two new ships were going to be built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany with scheduled completion dates of 2021 and 2023. This additional ship will be built at the same shipyard and is scheduled to be completed in 2022.

 

By Darren Wittko

Space Themed Restaurant Coming to Epcot

Disney unveiled plans to create a new restaurant at Epcot that’ll offer amazing meals with spectacular views high above Earth – from space!

The restaurant, which will be located adjacent to the park’s Mission: SPACE attraction, will invite guests to travel into space for amazing dining experiences in the stars.

By Darren Wittko

New Coaster for Magic Kingdom Park

Disney announced that a new Tron attraction will sit in an entirely new area right next to the Space Mountain attraction at Magic Kingdom Park

The TRON Lightcycle Power Run attraction at Shanghai Disneyland is a coaster-style attraction where riders will board a train of two-wheeled Lightcycles. It offers access into the energy, lights and excitement of TRON’s high-tech universe and is one of the most thrilling adventures at any Disney park.

The Tron attraction will open in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary in 2021.

A coaster-style attraction based on Tron is in the works for Magic Kingdom Park. 

 

By Darren Wittko, Specializing in Disney Destinations

EPCOT: New Ride for France Pavilion

Epcot to get a new Ratatouille ride.

Epcot to get a new Ratatouille ride.

Disney announced this week that a Disney•Pixar’s “Ratatouille”-inspired attraction will also be added to the France Pavilion in World Showcase. The attraction will expand the pavilion. Similar to the 4-D attraction Ratatouille: The Adventure that opened at the Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris in 2014, guests will be able to shrink to Remy’s size and scurry to safety in a dazzling chase across a kitchen with the sights, sounds and smells of Gusteau’s legendary Parisian restaurant. The ride is expected to open in 2021.

It's expected that the Epcot version will be similar to Ratatouille at Disneyland Paris. 

EPCOT: Guardians of the Galaxy to Replace Universe of Energy

Epcot_Guardians_of_the-Galaxy

Epcot’s newest E-ticket attraction will be based on the world of “Guardians of the Galaxy” and is the next step in how guests can encounter these characters at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Disney says this attraction adheres to the original vision of Epcot’s Future World as the place to experience the excitement and adventure offered by space travel. What do you think?

This new attraction will replace the current Universe of Energy attraction, which will close August 13, 2017). The new ride is expected to be ready in time for Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary in 20121.

Epcot_Guardians_of_the_Galaxy

This Hollywood Studios Headliner Will Close Aug 13, 2017

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios.

On Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, you’ll step through the movie screen and join Mickey and his friends like never before. The attraction will put you inside the wacky and unpredictable world of a Mickey Mouse Cartoon Short where you’re the star and anything can happen. This zany out-of-control adventure features surprising twists and turns, dazzling visual effects and mind-boggling transformations that happen before your very eyes.

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will feature a new story and a new singable attraction theme song as well as a new experience Disney is calling “2 1/2 D.” No glasses required.

In order to begin to prepare the new home of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at the Chinese Theatre in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, August 13, 2017 will be the final day of operation for The Great Movie Ride presented by Turner Classic Movies.

Until August 13, you can still relive some of the greatest movie moments in history on the Great Movie Ride attraction.

By Darren Wittko

President Trump Will Star in The Hall of Presidents

President Trump to have a speaking role in the new Hall of Presidents opening late 2017. 

President Trump to have a speaking role in the new Hall of Presidents opening late 2017. 

Since the Magic Kingdom Park opened in 1971, The Hall of Presidents has brought together a one-of-a-kind look at the office of the President of the United States through film and the magic of Disney’s Audio-Animatronics technology. Despite some media reports to the contrary, President Trump will have a speaking role in The Hall of Presidents, like every president since 1993. Disney has been working closely with the current White House — just as they have with previous administrations — and the president’s recording session has been scheduled. The attraction will re-open in late 2017.

The Hall of Presidents is getting a new show, and a complete theater upgrade including a new sound system, lighting and high-definition projection system. The multi-screen viewing experience you may have seen in prior versions of the attraction is returning with an even wider vantage point of our country’s history.

by Darren Wittko

Annual Passholder Offer for Express Transportation

Express Transportation | Walt Disney World 

Express Transportation | Walt Disney World 

Now you can breeze between all 4 theme parks with fast, nonstop service that drops you inside the main gates—and closer to the magic—so you can start playing right away.

If you have tickets with the Park Hopper Option (or a Walt Disney World annual pass), adding Express Transportation is a great way to pack even more fun into your day. We’ll take you directly to the drop-off location inside the theme park you want to visit next—with no waiting to reenter at the gate.

No matter which theme park you’re in, when you’re ready to enjoy any of the others, just make your way to our Express Transportation check-in location, where a Cast Member will escort you to your vehicle.

Express Transportation service:

departs approximately every 30 minutes.
is available each day from 10:00 AM until park closing.*
travels directly between each of the theme parks—with no other stops along the way.
lets you off inside the main gate, so you’re in the middle of fun from the moment you arrive!
gives you unlimited transfers between all 4 theme parks—for as long as your Express Transportation ticket is valid.

 

By Darren Wittko, Disney Destinations Specialist

Pirates of the Caribbean Gets PhotoPass

pirates-of-the-caribbean-photopass

Beginning June 19, 2017 at Pirates of the Caribbean in Magic Kingdom Park, Disney PhotoPass Service will be available for on-ride photos. Your photo will be automatically associated to your account, where it can be viewed at MyDisneyPhotoPass.com and in the My Disney Experience mobile app alongside all of your vacation memories from Disney PhotoPass Service.

 

by Darren Wittko, Specializing in Disney Parks and Resorts

New Epcot Dessert Party Available Today!

Frozen Ever After Dessert Party at Epcot

Frozen Ever After Dessert Party at Epcot

Starting July 17, 2017 there will be a new way to experience “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” at Epcot. Reservations open today, June 15, 2017, for the new Frozen Ever After Dessert Party, plus a special opportunity to enjoy the Frozen Ever After attraction!

The party, overlooks World Showcase Lagoon and feature décor, drinks, desserts and snacks inspired by the beloved film, “Frozen.” Frozen Ever After Dessert Party Guests will have reserved seating. Specialty cotton candy lemonade or “melted snow” and other non-alcoholic beverages will be offered to Guests of all ages. Adults 21 years and older can enjoy alcoholic beverages such as a piña colada, margarita or “Summertime Punch,” a refreshing blend of prickly pear syrup, vodka, lemonade and ginger ale.

After “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth,” Guests of the Frozen Ever After Dessert Party will be escorted to the Norway Pavilion for a special ride on the popular Frozen Ever After attraction. 

The Frozen Ever After Dessert Party is $79 for Guests ages 10 and above, $47 for ages 3 to 9—tax and gratuity included. Reservations are now open for dates beginning July 17, 2017 and can be made by visiting DisneyWorld.com/dine or by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

Holiday Dessert Parties at Walt Disney World

Tickets are now available for holiday party nights at Walt Disney World Resort! Special add-on dessert parties are available on select nights for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party this fall and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party this winter. 

Dessert parties are now available at Magic Kingdom Park this holiday season. 

Dessert parties are now available at Magic Kingdom Park this holiday season. 

 

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Dessert Party 

At Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Dessert Party, you can indulge in Halloween-themed eats, including chocolate-dipped strawberries, chocolate mousse, cupcakes, ice cream, seasonal fruits, cheeses and other ghoulish goodies created daily by Disney's master pastry chef. Specialty drinks, signature lemonades, coffee, tea and hot chocolate will also be served. 

This Magic Kingdom dessert party offers prime views of the Happy HalloWishes Fireworks Spectacular over Cinderella Castle. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Dessert Party takes place select nights Aug. 29 – Nov. 1, 2017.

 

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Before the holiday fireworks, you'll discover a host of holiday-themed cupcakes and desserts prepared by Disney's master pastry chef, along with a buffet of sweet treats – like chocolate dipped strawberries, chocolate mousse, ice cream, cheeses and fresh, seasonal fruits. And raise a cup of good cheer with sparkling cider, signature lemonades, specialty Christmas drinks, hot chocolate, coffee or tea, and then marvel as the sky above explodes with color, music and lights!

Both parties will be held at the Tomorrowland Terrace. The cost is $79 plus tax for adults; $47 plus tax for children ages 3-9. Magic Kingdom Theme Park admission is required. 

 

By Darren Wittko

2018 Walt Disney World Packages

Today I'm pleased to share with you that the Walt Disney World Resort has announced a release date for 2018 rates and packages: June 20, 2017.

2018 Rates

Walt Disney World

Rates Available on June 20, 2017

2018 Walt Disney Travel Company packages can be booked for arrivals January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018. 

Historically speaking, the Magical Vacations Travel Exclusive Offers typically become available in the fall so we will not have information on "magical deals" at this time.

>> View a special 2018 Magic Your Way Package Offer from Darren - Magical Vacations Travel

 

By Darren Wittko, Voted a Best of the Best Disney Travel Agent Since 2015. 

 

Walt Disney World Reservation System Outage - Will Be Longer Than Expected

The Walt Disney World Resort announced on Wednesday, June 7, 2017 that bookings would not be possible beginning on Friday, June 9 at 2 a.m. and lasting through the most of the day. This outage prevented potential guests from making a new resort reservation online or by calling Central Reservations and Group Reservations. 


The Walt Disney World booking system and consumer website have been offline for over 24 hrs. 

The Walt Disney World booking system and consumer website have been offline for over 24 hrs. 


It is now expected that this outage will last into Saturday as well. The website, disneyworld.com has a banner message notifying guests of the outage and that they are working quickly to resolve the problem. 

Some rumors have begun to circulate that Disney is uploading the 2018 packages and pricing to this system as this is typically when rates are made public for the upcoming year. 

Stay tuned to Save At Walt Disney World and our social media pages for updates on the outage and 2018 Walt Disney World Packages. 

 

A New Way to Order Food at Walt Disney World

 Satu’li Canteen at Walt Disney World to feature Mobile Order

 Satu’li Canteen at Walt Disney World to feature Mobile Order

Mobile Order will be available at Satu’li Canteen restaurant at Disney's Animal Kingdom Park on opening day – May 27 – and then expanding to Pizzafari, Flame Tree Barbecue and Restaurantosaurus during the summer. And better yet, more Mobile Order fast casual and quick service locations across Walt Disney World Resort are on the way.

Mobile Order, which can be found in the My Disney Experience app, offers the added convenience of being able to place orders and purchase meals on-the-go. You can select menu items, customize orders and pre-pay for meals during park visits – all within the app. 

It’s easy to do. After you place your order, pre-pay in the app and arrive at Satu’li Canteen, you'll tap the “I’m here” button. That will notify the kitchen to prepare your meal. When ready, you will be alerted through the app to pick up your meal at the designated window with the Mobile Order pick-up sign.

Please note during the initial launch period of Mobile Order, the only form of payment accepted will be by credit card. Anyone with special dietary restrictions, or those who want to use discounts or redeem dining plan entitlements must place their order with a cashier. 

By Darren Wittko, Specializing in Disney Destinations

Adult Beverage ID Requirements Enforced at Walt Disney World

Disney is reminding all guest to bring the proper identification they’ll need during their stay.  Please note the following ID requirements required to purchase alcoholic beverages at any establishment throughout the Walt Disney World Resort.

Alcohol will not be served to anyone who does not present valid identification upon request.

Visitors from outside the United States are required to present both a valid passport and another form of government-issued photo identification from their country of origin. Foreign driver’s licenses or ID cards are not acceptable by themselves.

The following forms of ID will be accepted as proof of age:

U.S. state driver’s license (includes U.S. territories – Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa)
U.S. state ID (includes U.S. territories)
U.S. military ID
Original passport
Copy of passport (either on paper or captured on a mobile device), along with a government photo ID that verifies the person and birth date show on the copy
NEXUS card issued by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (Canadian Guests only)

 

By Darren Wittko, Specializing in Disney Destinations