Winter 2019 Walt Disney World Offers Now Available

Today I added several new Agency Exclusive offers to the Walt Disney World Resort Offers Page. You can also view the offers below: 

 

JANUARY 2 -JANUARY 9, 2019

Magical Vacations Travel - Offer EJAN - Disney's Pop Century Resort, Disney's Port Orleans Resort Riverside, Disney's Port Orleans Resort French Quarter, Disney's Beach Club Resort, Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort. 

JANUARY 12 - JANUARY 21, 2019

Magical Vacations Travel - Offer MIDJAN - Disney's Pop Century Resort, Disney's Port Orleans Resort Riverside, Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter, Disney's Beach Club Resort, Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

JANUARY 26 - FEBRUARY 3, 2019

Magical Vacations Travel - Offer LJAN - Disney's Pop Century Resort, Disney's Port Orleans Resort Riverside, Disney's Port Orleans Resort French Quarter, Disney's Beach Club Resort, Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort. 

FEBRUARY 11 - FEBRUARY 26, 2019

Magical Vacations Travel - Offer MIDFEB - Disney's Pop Century Resort, Disney's Port Orleans Resort Riverside, Disney's Port Orleans Resort French Quarter, Disney's Beach Club Resort, Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort.

Walt Disney World Bus Times Now Available

 Wait Times for Walt Disney World Buses now in real time. 

Wait Times for Walt Disney World Buses now in real time. 

Walt Disney World Resort in Florida just introduced a new bus time feature in the My Disney Experience mobile app that enables you to view up-to-the-minute estimates for when the next bus will depart from your Disney Resort hotel and when you will arrive at your destination.

The app regularly updates in real time to provide the most current estimates for buses heading to all four theme parks, two water parks and the Disney Springs area. Guests can access this feature by tapping “See Bus Times” when viewing an active Disney Resort hotel reservation.

Currently wait times are only offered for buses departing resort hotels to theme parks, not from theme parks to hotels. 

Disney released this video to demonstrate how it works

Get Started on 2019 Walt Disney World Reservations Now

cinderella_castle

Earlier I shared with you that 2019 Walt Disney Travel Company Packages for Walt Disney World Resort will become available on June 19, 2018. I anticipate this to be a very busy day here. If you'd like to begin the process early, you can send me your information in advance by using my Online Quote Request Form. This will allow me to prepare a quote for you faster on June 19. 

Also, special offers may be available for select dates in January and February 2019. Be sure to check the Offers Page for updates. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. 

 

FastPass Strategy at Walt Disney World

disney-fastpass

As a travel agent I'm asked all the time about how to maximize Disney FastPass. Today I found a great article from TouringPlans.com that offers a great strategy for obtaining additional FastPasses after the first three selections have been used.

How to Maximize the FastPass System at Walt Disney World

 

Darren specializes in Walt Disney World Resort

Benefits of Staying Club Level at Walt Disney World

 Club Level Lounge at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort | Walt Disney World

Club Level Lounge at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort | Walt Disney World

Staying Club level can actually have a lot of value even though it costs more. The added benefits are designed to save you time while offering you some VIP treatment. Perhaps the biggest benefit to staying Club Level at Walt Disney World Resort is access to the hotel lounge. But a new benefit has recently been added that allows you to purchase additional FastPass selections making a Club Level stay even more valuable. 

Club Level Instead of the Dining Plan?

If you typically purchase the Disney Dining Plan, you may wish to compare the cost of staying Club Level without it. Having access to the lounge is a terrific benefit and for many, the continental breakfast, snacks and beverages (including unlimited beer and wine) may supplement many of your meals. If you have a larger family, in particular, you can actually save money just by having access to the lounge and forgoing the Disney Dining Plan. 

Lounge Access

You can start your day with a continental breakfast, hot coffee and fresh juice. Breakfast offerings typically include pastries, yogurt, cereals, granola, bagels, oatmeal and fruit. It's a great way to get your day started and can really be a savings compared to dining at a restaurant every day. During the daytime, snacks are provided in the lounge that usually include Gold Fish crackers, cookies, candy, pretzels and beverages like beer, wine, soda and water. Evening service includes a buffet of light appetisers, usually from one of the featured restaurants at the hotel. Once again a wide array of beverages are available. For late-evening you'll find an assortment of desserts and beverages. 

Sometimes Disney will schedule private events like a wine and cheese tasting - all included with your stay. 

Additional FastPass Selections

Earlier this year I shared with you that additional FastPass selections can be made when staying Club Level. When staying Club Level you'll have the option of purchasing a FastPass Premium Option where each member of your party will get to select three additional FastPasses 90-days in advance for a total of six FastPasses per day. I anticipate this being especially valuable once Star Wars comes online over at Disney's Hollywood Studios. 

The cost for the Premium FastPass Option is $50 per day/per person. 

Read more about the benefits of staying Club Level here. 

Darren W specializes in Walt Disney World Resort

How to Find Discounted Walt Disney World Tickets

cinderella-castle-night

If you're traveling to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida this summer and looking to save money on Theme Park tickets, you have a few options. Retailers like Sam's Club, Costco, AAA, and BJ's Wholesale often have discount tickets available.

Also try a trusted ticket wholesaler like Undercover Tourist, a company that is authorized by Disney to sell tickets for less. They usually purchase large quantities of tickets from Disney which results in a lower price. The wholesaler then passes the savings on to you. 

Read about more ways to save and view current ticket offers on Disney World tickets on my Ticket Page

Customers who book a room and ticket package with Magical Vacations Travel can save on Theme Park tickets when booking an Agency-Exclusive Offer. 

Ticket Scams: 

Never purchase tickets from sites like Ebay, Craigslist, or from any agent that is not an authorized ticket seller.

Discount Tickets Through a Time Share Sales Pitch? 

Yes, there are numerous offers from some time-share companies that promise discounted or even complimentary Disney World tickets in exchange for your participation in a sales pitch. These offers are usually held in Orlando and are probably legitimate. However people have reported that the seminars are very high pressure and take much longer than expected. And of course they save the best part for last - handing over your tickets. 

Related

Discounted Theme Park Tickets for Universal Orlando Resort

Darren W specializes in Walt Disney World Resort

 

Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Refurbishments

Resort-Wide: Children's Activity Centers

Children's Activity Centers - Closing Permanently 
July 31, 2018 will be the last day of operation for the Children's Activity Centers. Kid's Nite Out will remain available for Guests looking for a child or babysitter service.


Disney's All Star Movies

Rooms Refurbishment - Through Early 2019
During this time, it is possible that Guests may see or hear construction, but noise should not be heard from Guest rooms between dusk and 9:00am. All resort amenities including dining and merchandise locations will remain in full operation

 Disney Skyliner Resort Transportation

Disney Skyliner Resort Transportation

Disney's Art of Animation Resort

Disney Skyliner - Until further notice
Disney has embarked on creating a new transportation system, Disney Skyliner, which will give Guests a bird's-eye view of Walt Disney World Resort while traveling via gondolas. During this time construction noise may be seen or heard throughout the resort, but noise should not be heard from Guest rooms between dusk and 9am.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge & Villas

Jambo House - Rooms Refurbishment - Mid-August 2018 - Fall 2019
During this room refurbishment, it is possible that Guests may see or hear construction, but noise should not be heard from Guest rooms between dusk and 9:00am.

Jambo House - Uzima Feature Pool - September 2018 - Early December 2018
Uzima Springs Pool and Uzima Springs Pool Bar are scheduled to be closed for refurbishment. During this time Samawati Springs Pool and Maji Pool Bar at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village will be available. Brief rides via shuttle transportation will be provided to and from Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House. During this time, it is possible that Guests may see or hear construction, but noise should not be heard from Guest rooms between dusk and 9:00am.

Jambo House - Payment Policy Pilot - February 12, 2018 - TBD
Beginning February 12, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House will participate in a pilot where transactions will be handled with convenient, cash-free options. All purchases and services at the resort will accept MagicBands, credit cards, debit cards, Disney Gift Cards, Disney Rewards Redemption Cards and contactless payments such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Pay.

Disney's Boardwalk Resort

FriendShip Boat Service to Disney's Hollywood Studios - May 7, 2018 – Mid-Summer 2018
Refurbishment work is taking place on the bridge near the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels. As a result, there will be no FriendShip boat service to or from Disney's Hollywood Studios. Service to and from Epcot and Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts will not be interrupted. Additional Disney bus transportation will be operating to and from both Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot during this time. The pedestrian walkway across the bridge will remain open.

Disney Skyliner - Until further notice
We have embarked on creating a new transportation system, Disney Skyliner, which will give Guests a bird's-eye view of Walt Disney World Resort while traveling via gondolas. During this time construction noise may be seen or heard throughout the resort, but noise should not be heard from Guest rooms between dusk and 9am.

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort

 Disney's Riviera Resort is being built inside the Caribbean Beach complex and will be added to the Disney Skyliner. 

Disney's Riviera Resort is being built inside the Caribbean Beach complex and will be added to the Disney Skyliner. 

Old Port Royale Food Court, Shutters Restaurant, the pool bar, arcade and gift shop are unavailable. 

There will be a variety of dining options available for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

  • Centertown, a dining location, will serve an all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet for breakfast and dinner, and a la carte options for lunch.
  • A selection of grab-and-go meals will be conveniently available for purchase throughout the day in three new island markets, located in the Aruba, Jamaica and Martinique regions of the Resort.
  • Additional a la carte offerings will be available at mobile food vending locations.
  • In-room dining will remain available. The menu includes pizza, sandwiches and pasta.
  • Disney dining plans will be accepted.
  • We will make every effort to assist with dietary needs.

The pools will remain available. Also recreation activities and entertainment will remain available.

During this time, multiple construction projects will be seen and heard throughout the resort, but noise should not be heard from Guest rooms between dusk and 9:00am.

Additional information is available in this 2017 Disney Parks Blog post.

Disney Skyliner - Until further notice
We have embarked on creating a new transportation system, Disney Skyliner, which will give Guests a bird's-eye view of Walt Disney World Resort while traveling via gondolas. During this time, multiple construction projects will be seen and heard throughout the resort, but noise should not be heard from Guest rooms between dusk and 9:00am.

 

Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

 Construction of a new 15-story tower is underway at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

Construction of a new 15-story tower is underway at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

Pepper Market - Now through Summer 2019
During this time, the quick-service restaurant, Pepper Market, will undergo minor refurbishment work, but will remain in operation. If Guests would like to experience one of the other dining locations, they can visit Maya Grill, Las Ventanas, Café Rix, Laguna Bar, Siestas Cantina and the newly reimagined space, Rix Sports Bar & Grill, featuring a variety of sandwiches, salads and refreshing beverages. All amenities will remain in operation, including the Dig Site pool area, La Vida Health Club, Salon & Spa and the Iguana Arcade.

The Dig Site (including Feature Pool) - September – Mid-December 2018
The Dig Site, home to The Lost City of Cibola Pool, volleyball court, playground, Iguana Arcade and Siestas Cantina, will be closed for refurbishment. While this work takes place, our other exceptional amenities, including three leisure pools, dining and merchandise locations, La Vida Health Club, Salon & Spa and recreation activities, including Movies Under the Stars and Campfires with Marshmallows, will remain available.

General Construction/Rooms Refurbishment - Ongoing until further notice
During this time, amenities including dining locations (such as the newly reimagined Rix Sports Bar and Grill) and merchandise locations, pools, La Vida Health Club with the spa and salon, and recreation activities such as beach volleyball, Iguana Arcade, Movies Under the Stars and more, will remain available. Please note that noise will be heard while our Resort is undergoing refurbishments, but noise should not be heard from Guest rooms prior to 9:00am daily.

Additional information is available in this 2017 Disney Parks Blog post.

Disney's Old Key West Resort

Room Refurbishments - Through Spring 2019
Guests may see or hear work in progress and certain pathways may be unavailable. During this time, the Resort will be in full operation with all amenities available including dining and merchandise locations, pools, and recreation activities. It is possible that construction may be seen or heard, but noise should not be heard from Guest rooms between dusk and 9:00 am.

Turtle Pond Leisure Pool April - Early July 2018
Turtle Pond Pool, Turtle Shack Snack Bar and Flying Fish Gameroom will be unavailable due to refurbishment. During this time, it is possible that Guests may see construction. In addition, Sandcastle Pool, featuring a waterslide, kiddie pool and a variety of dining and recreation locations, will be available.

Disney's Pop Century Resort

Room Refurbishments - Through Summer 2018
During this time, Guests may see or hear work in progress and certain pathways may be unavailable. To minimize disruptions, we will attempt to limit all work until after 9:00 a.m. daily.

Disney Skyliner Ongoing until further notice
We have embarked on creating a new transportation system, Disney Skyliner, which will give Guests a bird's-eye view of Walt Disney World Resort while traveling via gondolas. During this time construction noise may be seen or heard throughout the resort, but noise should not be heard from Guest rooms between dusk and 9am.

Disney's Port Orleans Resort Riverside

Leisure Pool Refurbishment - July 2018 through Fall 2018
One of the Alligator Bayou leisure pools will be closed for refurbishment, but the feature pool, Ol' Man Island, and four other leisure pools will be available. During this time, it is possible that Guests may see or hear construction, but noise should not be heard from Guest rooms between dusk and 9:00am. All dining and merchandise locations will remain in full operation.

 A newly refurbished room at Disney's Pop Century Resort

A newly refurbished room at Disney's Pop Century Resort

Room Refurbishments - July 2018 through Early 2019
During this room refurbishment, it is possible that Guests may see or hear construction, but noise should not be heard from Guest rooms between dusk and 9:00am. All dining and merchandise locations will remain in full operation.

Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

The Turf Club Bar & Grill – Kitchen Refurbishment - Late July - Early August

Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Hotels

FriendShip Boat Service to Disney's Hollywood Studios - May 7, 2018 – Mid-Summer 2018
Refurbishment work is taking place on the bridge near the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels. As a result, there will be no FriendShip boat service to or from Disney's Hollywood Studios during this time. Service to and from Epcot and Disney's BoardWalk Resort will not be interrupted, with the exception of May 14 – May 25, 2018, during which time the FriendShip boat dock at these hotels will also be undergoing refurbishment work. Additional Disney bus transportation will be operating to and from both Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot during this time. The pedestrian walkway across the bridge will remain open.

FriendShip Boat Service - May 14 – May 25, 2018
Refurbishment work is taking place on the FriendShip boat dock. As a result, FriendShip Boat Service to and from the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels will be unavailable during this time. Additional Disney bus transportation will be operating to and from both Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot during this time.

Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Resorts

FriendShip Boat Service to Disney's Hollywood Studios - May 7, 2018 – Mid-Summer 2018
Refurbishment work is taking place on the bridge near the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels. As a result, there will be no FriendShip boat service to or from Disney's Hollywood Studios. Service to and from Epcot and Disney's BoardWalk Resort will not be interrupted. Additional Disney bus transportation will be operating to and from both Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot during this time. The pedestrian walkway across the bridge will remain open.

Walt Disney Travel Co. Packages Available June 19, 2018

walt_disney_travel_company_logo

Today the Walt Disney Travel Co. announced that 2019 pricing will be available for packages and room-only reservations for the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida on June 19, 2018. Magical Vacations Travel customers can expect that Agency-Exclusive offers should be available by fall 2018.

You can view all current offers on the Resort Offers Page

Darren W. specializes in Disney Destinations

Disney Hints at Star Wars Hotel Location

 Families visiting the new Star Wars-inspired hotel coming to Walt Disney World Resort will board a starship alive with characters and stories that unfold during their voyage through the galaxy – and every window has a view of space. 

Families visiting the new Star Wars-inspired hotel coming to Walt Disney World Resort will board a starship alive with characters and stories that unfold during their voyage through the galaxy – and every window has a view of space. 

Disney has not yet announced where the new Star Wars hotel will be located other than it’s “under development.” We know that it is going to be somewhere near World Drive and on the south side of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We also know that Disney plans to build it near Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to “allow the experience to be seamlessly connected.”

 Disney Star Wars Hotel concept

Disney Star Wars Hotel concept

The Star Wars hotel will be different from other Disney resorts in that families will board a starship that will take them to their destination. While onboard, Star Wars characters will appear, stories will unfold for them, and views outside the “windows” will have views of space. 

 Disney Star Wars Hotel concept

Disney Star Wars Hotel concept

Guests who plan a multi-night stay can participate as a resident of the Galaxy and even dress in Star Wars traditional garb. 

Stay tuned for more information. 

Darren W specializes in Walt Disney World Resort

Sneak Preview of Toy Story Land Tonight 8PM

toy-story-land-disney-world

Watch “Toy Story 3” on ABC from 8-10 p.m. ET tonight plus check out their new adventure. They join a few new faces – some plastic, some plush – including Barbie’s counterpart Ken, a thespian hedgehog named Mr. Pricklepants and a strawberry-scented bear named Lots-O-Huggin’ Bear.

And throughout the night viewers will have a front-row seat to the new Toy Story Land opening June 30, 2018 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Darren specializes in the Walt Disney World Resort

2018 Epcot Candlelight Processional Dates

 2018 Epcot Candlelight Processional Dates

2018 Epcot Candlelight Processional Dates

2018 Epcot Candlelight Processional dates have been announced:  The first show begins on Thanksgiving (November 22) and will run through Dec 30, 2018.  Previously I shared with you dates for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom, be sure to check that out as well! 

Darren specializes in Disney Destinations

Secret Walking Tour at Disney's California Adventure Park

california-adventure

If you've ever had a chance to enter a Disney Theme Park prior to opening, say for an early dining reservation or special tour, you know how magical it can be. There's something about seeing the parks without all the congestion and foot traffic. It can also be a great time to take some photos without other guests in them! 

At Disney's California Adventure Park, guests can make reservations for a secret 2-mile walking tour of the Theme Park. The tour is led by a Cast Member who also provides some trivia and Disneyland Resort history. This tour is available to any Disneyland Resort hotel guest - but just remember that advance dining reservations are required. To make a reservation, stop by Guest Services. 

By Darren Wittko, Specializing in Disney Destinations

New Experience Coming to Typhoon Lagoon

 Disney H20 Glo Nights at Typhoon Lagoon

Disney H20 Glo Nights at Typhoon Lagoon

With glowing beach balls, inner tubes and other lighting effects, Disney H2O Glow Nights is a rare opportunity for you to experience Typhoon Lagoon under the moonlight. On select nights beginning June 21, 2018, Typhoon Lagoon becomes a nighttime hotspot featuring a DJ Dance Party on the beach, plus special character meetings with Buzz, Woody and Jessie from Pixar’s “Toy Story,” as they visit Typhoon Lagoon for the first time. 

Guests can also play party games, try unique food and beverage treats and enjoy all attractions at the water park with minimal wait times, including Crush ‘n’ Gusher, and Miss Adventure Falls, the newest attraction at Typhoon Lagoon.

Adults can visit The Wharf. This adults-only oasis is unique to Disney H2O Glow Nights and is only available when Typhoon Lagoon transforms at nightfall. 

Tickets for Disney H2O Glow Nights cost $55 for adults and $50 for children, ages 3-9 (plus tax). 

 

Important Change to Disney Dining Reservations

Recently I discovered that the website used to make dining reservations at Walt Disney World opens at approximately 5:45 AM, not 6:00 AM as it had before. 

 The Dining Reservations website now opens at approximately 5:45 AM.  

The Dining Reservations website now opens at approximately 5:45 AM.  

I first discovered this while trying to make a dining reservation for Be Our Guest Restaurant 180 days in advance. I was online, logged in, and ready to go at 6:00 AM Eastern Time. But in less than a minute, Be Our Guest was already booked to capacity. While Be Our Guest is popular, it didn't seem right to me that it could have sold out so quickly. I later called Disney to ask if there was an error on the website. The booking agent explained to me that the site had opened to guests at 5:45 AM. So, basically I was 15 minutes late to the party. 

I confirmed this on the Walt Disney World website as well. In the FAQ section, Disney explains that the website could open prior to 6 AM: 

Reservation availability for select Walt Disney World restaurants typically begins each day at approximately 5:45 AM.
— https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/faq/dining-reservations/resort-restaurants-reservations/

When making hard-to-get dining reservations, log into your My Disney Experience account a few minutes prior to 5:45 AM. I recommend testing your username and password the night before just to make sure you are able to log in. You don't want to discover that you forgot your password when it's game time. If you have trouble with your account, you can call 407-WDW-HELP and select option 3 for Disney Internet Help. 

I also recommend using the website over the mobile app, but have both ready to go just in case. The website tends to be more stable and will operate a little faster than the app.

Darren specializes in Walt Disney World Resort. 

Changes to Extra Magic Hours at Walt Disney World

expedition_everest_disney

On select mornings now through June 30, 2018, Guests can enjoy Extra Magic Hours access to the most popular experiences at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, including the newest attractions in Pandora – The World of Avatar, as well as Expedition Everest and Dinosaur.

In July and August Guests staying at select Walt Disney World resort hotels can access Extra Magic Hours daily – yes, daily! – to experience favorite attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, including the attractions in the all-new Toy Story Land.

For excusive offers on Walt Disney World Resort hotels, check out the Offers Page

By Darren Wittko, specializing in Disney Destinations. 

New Attraction Opens at Epcot

Epcot-Norway

I love the cultural exhibits scattered around World Showcase at Epcot. These hidden, gems are great places to escape the crowds and to just find a little peace and quiet. Among my favorites are the Morocco Pavilion and Japan Pavilion. And recently, The Stave Church Gallery in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot has been reimagined to showcase a brand-new exhibit called “Gods of the Vikings.”

Celebrating the legendary Norse gods and goddesses that inspired the ancient Vikings of Scandinavia in their daily lives, you can stop in to learn more about the popular Viking gods Thor, Odin, Freyja, and Loki through displays of authentic Viking artifacts. This exhibit can be found inside the Stave Church located right at the entrance to Norway - yes you can really go inside! Be sure to check it out on your next visit. 

By Darren Wittko, Specializing in Walt Disney World Travel

New Disney World App Coming This Summer

 All-New Play Disney Parks App Coming to Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort This Summer

All-New Play Disney Parks App Coming to Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort This Summer

This summer you can soon explore Walt Disney World Resort in a whole new way using the all-new Play Disney Parks app! This soon-to-launch mobile app to access exclusive experiences at Walt Disney World through activities that interact with the surrounding environment. The app will be free to download.

Darren W. Specializes in Walt Disney World Resort