Disney Park Pass System

Disney Park Pass System

Disney has officially announced the start of their new Disney Park Pass system. Here is what we know so far!

-You’ll need a My Disney Experience account, as this is where your Walt Disney World Resort plans are stored and managed.

-You’ll also need a valid theme park ticket or Annual Pass that’s linked to your My Disney Experience account. 

-If you have a Disney Resort hotel reservation, be sure to link it to your My Disney Experience account beforehand, as well. 

-Initially park hopping will not be available

-You will be able to check park availability before booking your package or purchasing tickets

– Disney Park Pass system will be released to guests in phases, beginning with those with future Disney Resort and other select hotel stays. Later this summer, we will resume sales of 2020 tickets and Disney Resort hotel arrivals, based on availability of park reservations, while we continue to provide guests with existing tickets and Annual Passholders the opportunity to make park reservations for 2020 dates.

-By June 28, all guests will be able to purchase new Disney Resort hotel packages and theme park tickets and make their park reservations for arrivals starting in 2021 as our phased reopening continues.

Also starting in 2021 Disney will be doing away with complimentary Magic Bands. You will be able to purchase magic bands, use previously obtained bands or use the Key to the World card you will be given upon arrival

Walt Disney World Update

Walt Disney World Update

A few seasonal updates from Walt Disney World were released yesterday.


-Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, due to its many hallmarks – stage shows, parades and fireworks – are unable to take place in this new, unprecedented environment. With that in mind, Disney has made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Additionally, Disney H2O Glow Nights, the nighttime special ticket event at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, will not take place for the remainder of 2020. Guests who have already bought tickets to these events will be assisted with refunds over the coming weeks. 

-EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival will begin this year on July 15th! While Disney has stated that it will be a modified festival experience, we don’t have more details at this time. For scavenger hunt fans, Remy’s Ratatouille Hide and Squeak scavenger hunt returns, however the “Eat to the Beat Concert Series” has been cancelled as well.

-Disney has also released a statement regarding festivals later this year during the holiday season:
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays, which includes the Candlelight Processional. We are monitoring our new environment closely, and will make a decision on these events as we continue to learn more from government and health officials. As always, our goal is to explore every option and look at ways in which we can still host events and festivals full of Disney magic, while still operating responsibly with the health and safety of our guests and cast members in mind.

Top 10 Movies to Prep for a Trip to Walt Disney World

Top 10 Movies to Prep for a Trip to Walt Disney World

So you’re sheltering at home and school just ended for your children. Faced with a summer of no camps and very few outings, what are we to do? At my house, we are dreaming of Walt Disney World reopening and making sure we are prepped and ready by watching a few of our FAVORITE Disney movies. If you’re like us, you’ll want to watch them ALL (thank you, Disney Plus!), but if you just want the ones that will get you ready for a trip to the World, sit back and get ready for our family’s Top 10 List.

We will start in the fan-favorite park, Magic Kingdom. This park is FULL of amazing movie tie-ins and awesome characters! We have several favorites from this park!

  1. Dumbo! Sweet and nostalgic, Dumbo is everyone’s favorite elephant and a classic ride in Fantasyland. If you’re dreaming of flying with Dumbo, this one makes a great family film! While we can’t play on Dumbo’s playground right now or soar to amazing heights on his back, we can cue up this movie to relive some sweet memories. (Bonus: It even has an updated live action feature if you’ve worn out the animated movie already!)
  1. Staying in Fantasyland (there are SO MANY in Fantasyland!), our next movie pick is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. One of our favorite rides in all of Disney World is Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and knowing the story of Snow White makes it even more fun! Waiting in this line, while ALWAYS long if you’re trying stand-by, is actually one of our favorite things! The movie will introduce you to the dwarfs and their relationship to Snow White. The ride itself will take you through the mine as heigh-ho, off you go! Snow White is one of my favorite princesses and we always enjoy watching this one!
  2. Peter Pan has such a special place in my heart. My 3-year old (who is now 10!!!) was mildly obsessed with Peter Pan. We had a Peter Pan birthday party when he turned 4! This is definitely one of our favorite rides at Disney World, one of our favorite meet and greets, AND one of our favorite parade floats! (That rainbow!) We LOVE watching Peter Pan at home when we can’t go to the parks!

Magic Kingdom Honorable Mention: Swiss Family Robinson, Winnie the Pooh, Aladdin, Pirates of the Caribbean, Beauty and the Beast, and Alice in Wonderland! There are SO MANY good tie-ins for Magic Kingdom!

Now we will head over to Epcot for a quick visit!

4. Our top movie to watch before heading to Epcot had to be Finding Nemo! There’s a whole area dedicated to Nemo! From riding The Seas with Nemo and Friends to the aquarium to one of our favorite restaurants – Coral Reef! Finding Nemo was a hands-down winner for us!

5. Frozen is another must-see before heading to Epcot. Norway is one of my VERY favorite countries in the World Showcase. There you’ll find the ride – Frozen Ever After – as well as a meet and greet with two favorite princesses – Ana and Elsa!

Our family’s FAVORITE park is probably Hollywood Studios. Since they’ve recently added two new lands, it is ABSOLUTELY a full-day park! Two weeks before closing, our family spent a weekend at Disney and BOTH days were spent in

6. Hollywood Studios trying to do it all! The movie tie-ins here are definitely plentiful! Top for us is Star Wars! I realize this is a series, but you need to start with A New Hope and work your way out from there. Galaxy’s Edge is new and AMAZING. We were floored by it when we visited. My husband is not a Star Wars fan and even HE said that Rise of the Resistance is one of his favorite attractions in all of Walt Disney World!

There’s also Millennium Falcon – Smuggler’s Run to try and our old favorite is Star Tours! Another must-do for elementary-aged kids is Jedi Training! The kids get trained to be Jedi and individually battle Darth Vader or another villain at the end of their instruction. Try a Star Wars movie or two even if you think they’re not for you, just to give you some background before you visit!


7. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of my favorite movies of all time! I absolutely love watching it! Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular has always been one of our FAVORITE shows at Hollywood Studios, but it’s awesome to have a little background before watching Indy and Marian flip, punch, and kick! (Insider tip – wait after the show until everyone has left and walk to the floor. Sometimes the cast members will come over to take a quick picture and say hello!)

  1. Toy Story is definitely another must-see before heading to Hollywood! The new Toy Story Land is INCREDIBLY well-themed. Slinky Dog Dash is our favorite ride there, but you can’t go wrong getting in line for any of the Toy Story rides. Sometimes you’ll also find Bo Peep, Woody, Jessie, and the Green Army Men there for pictures and autographs!

Honorable Mention: The Incredibles! You’ll find many of the characters, snacks from the film, and some great photo ops tucked away as you go toward Toy Story Land!

Finally, we will make our way over to Animal Kingdom (my personal favorite park!)

  1. While it’s not suggested for younger kids, for those who are over 10-12, Avatar is a must-see before heading into Pandora at Animal Kingdom. Pandora opened a few years ago, but I still haven’t gotten over how INCREDIBLE it is when I walked into it. Tucked away toward the front of Animal Kingdom, it is home to one of the most sought-after Fastpasses at Disney World, Flight of Passage. This land makes a lot more sense if you’re familiar with the movie, BUT it’s absolutely enjoyable whether you’ve seen the movie or not!
  2. The Lion King is my final pick for our top-10 list! While it’s not a necessary tie-in like some of the others, it’s a favorite at our house and will get you in the Animal Kingdom spirit! Our favorite show at Walt Disney World is Festival of the Lion King! The tumble monkeys are our FAVORITES! Will, our youngest, wanted to BE a tumble monkey when he was a little younger! This show features music from The Lion King as well as some of the characters! After you’ve seen that, head over to Kilimanjaro Safari where you can see some of the REAL versions of the characters in The Lion King! Africa is definitely our favorite place in Animal Kingdom! The music, theming, and cast members are TOP NOTCH! 

Honorable Mention: UP! See if you can find Russell and Dug’s meet and greet as well as Kevin wandering the park! There’s also a new Up-inspired bird show that we love!

Alright, now it’s YOUR turn! What movies would you add to our list of favorites? How many did I miss?

Lauren Fresh

Walt Disney World Updates

Walt Disney World Updates

This information is up to date as of June 7, 2020. Disney Parks and Resorts are constantly updating and releasing new information. Check back often!

Here are the top things to know as you prepare to visit:

  • To enter a park, both a park reservation and valid admission for the same park on the same date is required
  • Face coverings are required for Guests (ages 2 and up) and Cast Members; temperature screenings are required in some locations
  • Some experiences—including theme parks—may be modified or unavailable to allow for physical distancing and limited contact
  • Helpful technology and the My Disney Experience app will help you make the most of the magic
  • Park Reservations: Initially, park attendance will be managed through a new park reservation system. To enter a park, both a park reservation and valid admission for the same park on the same date is required.
  • New Ticket Sales: At this time, new ticket sales are temporarily paused. Existing ticket holders and Annual Passholders will be able to make reservation requests in phases before new tickets are sold. Additional details will be shared with these Guests soon. New ticket sales will resume after that period of time.
  • New Disney Resort Hotel Reservations: At this time, new reservations at Disney Resort hotels are temporarily paused so we can focus on Guests with existing reservations. Reservations will resume after that period of time.
  • All Guests ages 2 and up—along with Cast Members—are required to wear face coverings when visiting Walt Disney World Resort. Please bring your own face coverings and wear them at all times, except when dining or swimming.
  • Upon arrival at Disney Springs or at the Walt Disney World theme parks, you may undergo a temperature screening with no-touch thermometers.

On June 22, select Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will reopen. These select Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts include:

  • Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
  • Disney’s Beach Club Villas
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows
  • Disney’s Riviera Resort
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort
  • The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Please be aware that you’ll also need:

  • A confirmed room reservation for your stay. Be sure to link your reservation to your Disney account to receive important information prior to your arrival—visit My Plans to get started
  • A confirmed dining reservation if you’re a day Guest (and not staying overnight)
  • Face coverings for each Guest age 2 and up—which must be worn in all public areas, except while swimming or seated for dining
  • Planning to visit a theme park during your stay? Select Walt Disney World theme parks will begin to reopen on July 11. To enter a park, both a park reservation and valid admission for the same park on the same date is required (a Disney Resort hotel reservation does not guarantee theme park access)

Also, it’s highly recommended to have:

  • The latest version of the My Disney Experience app on your mobile device, with location services and notifications enabled
  • Cashless or contactless forms of payment, including MagicBands, which Disney Resort hotel Guests can use to charge purchases to their Disney Resort hotel folio

Disney’s Magical Express® Service
Complimentary airport transportation via Disney’s Magical Express service will be available for Guests arriving and departing from Orlando International Airport.

Many airlines have modified their flight schedules, so please confirm your flight information. If you plan to use Disney’s Magical Express service, contact your room reservation booking agent, or call (407) 939-1936 to make any updates to your flight information on file.

FastPass+ Service
As a result of the COVID-19 impact, FastPass+ service will be suspended for the time being as we plan to use additional queue space to manage capacity for attractions and maintain physical distancing. With that in mind, access to FastPass+ planning is temporarily unavailable. We will share updates at a later date.

Extra Magic Hours
The Extra Magic Hours benefit is unavailable until further notice.

Complimentary Resort Transportation
Before the theme parks reopen, bus transportation will be available between your Disney Resort hotel and Disney Springs area.

When the theme parks reopen, complimentary transportation will also be provided between your Disney Resort hotel and Disney theme parks.

Transportation will operate with physical distancing measures in place, reducing capacity. As a result, you may experience delays.

Minnie Van Service
Minnie Van Service will not be available during the initial reopening period.

Parking
Self-parking will be available. Valet service is temporarily unavailable, with the exception of Guests with disabilities who may require parking assistance. A valid disability parking permit is required. Parking fees apply for Disney Resort hotel Guests.

Dining Experiences
Select dining locations will be available at Disney Resort hotels.

Pools

  • Feature pools may operate with reduced hours; leisure pools will be open 24 hours a day
  • Pools will operate with reduced capacity to allow for physical distancing
  • Select poolside activities may be available at select Resort hotels
  • Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts will not be available during the initial reopening period; Guests of this Disney Resort hotel may enjoy the leisure pool at Disney’s Beach Club Villas

Fitness Centers & Sports Courts

  • Fitness centers will open in alignment with state and county regulations, and may have reduced hours
  • Fitness centers may have reduced hours and capacity
  • Instructor-led fitness classes will not be available
  • Fitness and sports courts will be open, and Guests must maintain physical distancing

Rooms and Packages
At this time, we are temporarily pausing Disney Resort hotel reservations so we can focus on Guests with existing reservations (Disney Vacation Club Members can still make new reservations). We will resume new hotel reservations after that period of time.

To provide additional flexibility, we are waiving Disney-imposed change and cancellation fees up to the date of check-in for reservations with arrivals through October 3, 2020. To modify or cancel your reservation, please contact your travel professional.

If no action is taken for impacted stays, Disney will automatically cancel your reservation within 7 days of the original check-in date and process any refund due to the original form of payment. Please note that cancellation fees imposed by third-party suppliers, including airlines and rental cars, as well as non-refundable products like travel protection plans, are deducted from refundable amounts for Walt Disney Travel Company packages.

In-Park Dining Reservations

At this time, dining reservations are not available. Reservations will resume at a later date.

When in-park dining initially becomes available, you’ll need valid park admission, a reservation for park entry and a dining reservation to dine at an in-park, table-service restaurant. Dining reservations do not guarantee admission to the park.Disney Springs Dining Reservations

Select dining locations at Disney Springs are currently accepting reservations.Dining Plans

At this time, Disney dining plans cannot be added to reservations. Check back soon for more information.

Dining Experiences

Additional changes to Walt Disney World dining experiences include:

  • Menu items may vary. For specific menu information, check the restaurant’s online menu when the restaurant reopens.
  • Character Dining will not be offered during the initial reopening, with the exception of a modified Character Dining experience at Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera.
  • Dinner shows will not be offered during the initial reopening.
  • Dining locations will be limited in capacity. Some locations will remain temporarily closed.
  • Private dining and in-room delivery will not be offered during the initial reopening window.
  • Mobile order service will be offered at select quick-service dining locations throughout the Walt Disney World theme parks (when open), Disney Springs and select Disney Resort hotels.

You can read more information and stay up to day by clicking here.

Walt Disney World reservations Update

Walt Disney World reservations Update

We are sharing with you the most recent updates from Walt Disney World. Remember they are going to have a phased opening starting with Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom on July 11th, and Hollywood Studios and EPCOT on July 15th. We’ll share more news as we learn it!

  • New Ticket Sales and Hotel Reservations: At this time, we are temporarily pausing new ticket sales and Disney Resort hotel reservations so we can focus on guests with existing tickets and reservations. Existing ticket holders and Annual Passholders will be able to make a theme park reservation before new tickets are sold; we will be reaching out to these guests soon to provide additional details. We will resume new sales of tickets and Disney Resort hotel reservations after that period of time. Theme park reservations will be limited due to attendance limitations and will be subject to availability. 
  • Dining and Experiences: In order to foster physical distancing during this time, upon reopening, our offerings, restaurants and other experiences such as behind-the-scenes tours will be limited in capacity, and other experiences may remain closed. As a result of limited capacity, we have made the difficult decision to cancel all existing dining reservations and experience bookings, including Disney dining plans included in packages. We will reopen dining and experience bookings with more limited numbers closer to when the parks reopen. We will also shift from a 180-day booking window to a 60-day booking window for dining and experience bookings going forward to allow Guests to make their plans closer to their visits.
  • FastPass+ and Extra Magic Hours: As a result of the COVID-19 impact, the FastPass+ service will be suspended for the time being as we plan to use additional queue space to manage capacity at our attractions and maintain physical distancing. We will automatically cancel existing FastPass+ selections and share any future updates on the service at a later date. Also, please note that upon reopening, Extra Magic Hours will be temporarily suspended.
Walt Disney World Reservations Update
Five Things to Love about Character Couture Makeovers

Five Things to Love about Character Couture Makeovers

Who hasn’t wanted to get in on the fun of the makeovers at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique as an adult?  I know I have.  I mean, come on, to have someone pamper you, do your hair and make up and turn into one of your Disney faves?  Would be fun for an adult right? 

Character Couture Makeovers were created with just that in mind. All ages are welcome (and encouraged).  The services available are Hair, Make-up and even add-on nails The fun thing about Character Couture is that you can choose from any character in the Disney realm.  Not relegated to Princesses.  Princess, hero, villain, Space characters. You name it. They will do it.  

Last summer my husband and I took our daughter on a two on one trip to Walt Disney World (the boy child was on a school trip exploring Boston and New York with his school).  My daughter at “almost 12” was thinking she might be “too old” for the big Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique experience. 

So I decided to take advantage of that and propose a Mother-daughter Character Couture day.  Fortunately, she agreed.  We landed on a Disney Bound of The Evil Queen and Snow White coinciding with our Storybook Dining at Artist Point Reservation.   I felt kind of awkward initially upon arrival but quickly my stylist put me at ease and I was so glad we did it. 

Here are the reasons why I loved the Character Couture Makeover Experience

Relaxation:

The Spas at Disney are the ultimate for comfort and relaxation.  This was my second spa experience at Disney and it’s just so very calming.  The day that we did our makeover was our arrival day, our flight was late and we barely made our appointment.  I’m a ball of nerves when I travel and within five minutes of being there I was relaxed and ready to enjoy the Mother daughter time.  The lights, the aromatherapy scents and the stylists do their best to make it a relaxing and fun time.

Choices:

Seriously, the sky’s the limit.  They can create magic with any character chosen.  For my Evil Queen, we went more with a Regina Mills – Once Upon a Time Evil Queen vibe with the make-up.  So many options to choose from. You can represent your favorite Disney character.  

Pampering:

Who doesn’t want to feel beautiful?  I love make up.  Love, love, love it.  Not the best at applying on it me. Nor do I really want to put the time in to do it right.  Having someone do my make-up for me is a splurge that was well worth it.  I went with a bolder look than I normally would and it was a blast.  

Memories:

Hands down one of my favorite memories with my daughter.  We both had a blast.  She even wants to do it again.  The whole point of a Disney Vacation is to bring magic to the everyday and what is more magical than channeling your favorite character while getting pampered at the same time?  

It’s for Everyone:

Young or young at heart.  It’s perfect for mother-daughter adventures, girls getaway trips or just because. How fun would it be to do for a family theme at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party?  The only limit to character couture makeovers is your imagination.

At the time that we did it, it was only available at the Salon at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.  But the options have expanded and you can now get the Character Couture Makeover of your dreams at the following locations

  • The Salon at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Salon by the Springs at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • La Vida Salon at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
  • Ship Shape Salon at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort
  • In-room services are offered for an additional fee at participating Walt Disney World Resort hotels.

The prices start at $75.00 for adults and can go up to $145.00 if you add on make-up and nails.  There is children’s pricing (12 and under). Discounts are available if you have a Disney Visa as well.  

Have you experienced the Character Couture Makeovers?  Would you do it if you had the chance?  

Suzanne Prevost