Recent News

Disney Dining Plan Rates Increase for 2017

by on February 23, 2017

©Disney

If you’re a fan of the Disney Dining Plan, you’re going to be paying just a little more going forward, as new rates have been released for Walt Disney World. Increases this year were relatively small. Here’s a breakdown of the changes (prices include tax):

Note: Disney doesn’t actually announce pricing. These costs were figured using a booking at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and a calculator. Please note that there may be a slight difference when booking your vacation package. (The difference typically tends to be within a few cents.)

Plan Inclusions (per night) Previous Price
(per night)
NEW Price
(per night)
Quick Service Dining Plan 2 Quick Service Meals
2 Snack
1 Refillable Mug
Adult $46.34
Child $20.18
Adult $48.19
Child $21.00
Regular Dining Plan 1 Table Service Meal
1 Quick Service Meal
2 Snacks
1 Refillable Mug
Adult $67.33
Child $24.22
Adult $69.35
Child $24.95
Deluxe Dining Plan 3 Table (or Quick) Service Meals
2 Snacks
1 Refillable Mug
Adult $103.57
Child $37.62
Adult $106.68
Child $38.75

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Swan and Dolphin Hotels Offering Great Deal For Patriots and Falcons Fans

by on February 23, 2017

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort Well, while I may still be licking my own wounds from this year’s Super Bowl (darn those Falcons!), at least there is a little bit of a silver lining.

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels are rewarding Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots fans with their “I’m off to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel” deal. Residents of Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Georgia will be able to receive a free night stay at either the Swan or the Dolphin when booking two nights at the standard rate for stays through January 31, 2018.

Of course, while residents of Georgia will be able to take part in this deal, even though our team lost, residents of the northeast will be able to celebrate the big win in style as they will recieve a upgraded accommodations in the form of a complimentary automatic room upgrade.

For additional information about this offer or to make your reservation, call 1-800-227-1500 and you must mention your homestate. Guests must have appropriate valid state ID to present upon check-in. This offer is not available from the dates of December 22-31, 2017. Additional fees and other restrictions may apply.

Hurry! To take advantage of this deal, you must book by February 28, 2017!

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California Grill Introduces Celebration at the Top Event

by on February 21, 2017

Celebration at the Top - Disney's California Grill

©Rikki Niblett

Are you looking for an intimate, semi-private special experience at the California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort? Beginning February 26, Guests will be able to take part in the new Celebration at the Top – Savor, Sip, and Sparkle event which celebrates both fine food and fireworks.

During this event, which takes place on Sunday evenings, Guests will be able to savor small plates and enjoy fine libations that take their inspirations from the California Grill’s menu. Guests will be able to enjoy culinary offerings including canapés, sushi and other small plates. Beverages will include a complimentary bar offering California wines, beers, and cordials. Guests can relax and dine in the private Sonoma Room and Napa Room for one hour prior to the nightly Magic Kingdom fireworks extravaganza.

Then, as showtime approaches, Guests will be able to step out on the private observation deck that is reserved exclusively for Celebration at the Top Guests. Enjoy Wishes with the lights dimmed and the music pipped in.

Once the fireworks are over, Guests are invited to go back inside and enjoy petit fours, cordials, and coffee.

The cost of this event is $99 plus gratuity and tax per person. Complimentary valet parking is included with this event. Reservations can be made by calling (407) WDW-DINE.

 

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Celebrate the Oscars at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on February 20, 2017

Oscars

©Disney

Many people dream of walking the red carpet and holding that beautiful golden statue, thanking their friends and family. Well, since I doubt you’ll have the opportunity to do that, here’s the next best thing for those of you who are fans of The Oscars.

For a limited time, Guests who visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios’s One Man’s Dream will have the once-in-a-lifetime chance to see and take a photo with a gorgeous Oscar statuette.

During this unique experience, Guests will have the opportunity to walk the red carpet and pose with the Oscar statue, against a signature Oscar backdrop. Oh and make sure to share your experience on social media using the hashtag, #Oscars.

This wonderful opportunity will be available for Guests to take part in only until February 26.

The Oscars will air this Sunday, February 26, on ABC at 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT and will feature host Jimmy Kimmel.

 

 

 

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Doc McStuffins Meet at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Starts This Weekend

by on February 17, 2017

©Disney

Recently, I let you all know that Guests will be able to meet Doc McStuffins at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Well, it appears that she will officially start meeting Guests beginning this Sunday, February 19.

Doc will be meeting with Guests just outside the veterinary clinic of Rafiki’s Planet Watch. The popular toy doctor will make daily visits taking photos and signing autographs. While at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, make sure to stop and learn all about the different conservation efforts that Disney is helping with, as well as how Disney’s vets care for the numerous animals that live at the park.

Guests will still be able to meet Doc McStuffins in the Animation Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios where she appears alongside fellow Disney Junior stars Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates and Sofia from Sofia the First. Guests looking to dine with Doc are still able to do so at Disney Junior Play n’ Dine for breakfast at Hollywood & Vine.

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Guests Will Be Able to Meet BB-8 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on February 17, 2017

BB-8

©Disney

Ok, this is cool. Soon, Guests will have the opportunity to meet the lovable Star Wars droid, BB-8 at the Star Wars Launch Bay in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This meet and greet opportunity will begin later this spring.

BB-8 will appear in addition to Kylo Ren and Chewbacca, two characters who meet Guests regularly in the Star Wars Launch Bay.

The Star Wars Launch Bay is a fantastic overall experience for Guests who are Star Wars fans. Located in the Animation Courtyard, Star Wars Launch Bay is a multi-sensory space where Guests will see special concept art, tour galleries featuring memorabilia and replicas of large-scale Star Wars artifacts, including ones from Rogue One, and have the ability to purchase special Star Wars merchandise.

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Big Changes for Disney’s Coronado Springs and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resorts

by on February 16, 2017

There are some thrilling new changes that are on the horizons for two of Walt Disney World’s moderate category resorts.

The first is an expansion of Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, which will be getting a new 15-story tower adding 500 rooms to the resort. The tower, which will overlook Lago Dorado, the resort’s lake, will include suites and concierge level services. Oh and there will be unique rooftop dining added to this new tower with a great view of some of the theme park’s fireworks spectaculars. Of course, Coronado Springs’ current rooms will be getting a refurbishment. Oh and the landscape of the resort will gain floating gardens and an island oasis that will connect the resorts through a series of bridges.

Here is a look at what to expect with the new work at Disney’s Coronado Springs.

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How Pandora Will Impact Crowds At Animal Kingdom – A Crowd Calendar Update

by on February 13, 2017

Pandora: The World of Avatar opens officially at Animal Kingdom on May 27, 2017 and crowds will flock to the park to take in the new attractions. Expect to wait 200 minutes or more to experience the new attractions during the first week of operation. We also expect wait times at other Animal Kingdom attractions to increase 15% when the new Pandora attractions open, and we expect that increase to last throughout most of the summer.

The last major addition to a Disney Park was New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom. The expansion ended with the opening of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train on May 28, 2014, two days after Memorial Day. Wait times at Magic Kingdom rose dramatically after the headliner opened, not just at nearby Fantasyland attractions but across the park. Animal Kingdom doesn’t draw the same crowds that Magic Kingdom does, and Pandora likely won’t have the same draw that New Fantasyland did, but it is reasonable to expect a significant bump in attendance. The new Pandora attractions will see extreme wait times throughout the summer, but we expect rides like Expedition Everest and Kilimanjaro Safaris to see wait times go up, as well.

As a result, we are updating the Crowd Calendar to reflect the announcement of Pandora’s official opening date. In addition, we are making a few minor updates to other dates and parks in line with our most recent analysis.

Other New Developments That May Affect Crowds

  • Disney announced an increase to Walt Disney World ticket prices, with costs going up as much as 10% for certain multi-day tickets. A price increase can lead to a small dip in attendance, either through shorter or fewer trips. What we don’t yet know is how much this price increase will affect crowds, given the opening of Pandora and other developments.
  • We expect Disney’s Hollywood Studios to drop its evening Extra Magic Hours program. We also expect the Animal Kingdom to add evening Extra Magic Hours, and Magic Kingdom not to replace its evening parade (at least with anything new or notable) for the next few months. The net effect of those changes should be to push evening crowds to the Animal Kingdom. We’ve never seen this situation before, though, and we don’t know how much the price increase in park hopper tickets will discourage people from visiting a second park per day.

Is Pandora Animal Kingdom’s New Fantasyland?

It may take our models up to 30 days to recognize the impact of these changes. We’ll adjust each park’s crowd predictions based on that and post something to the blog explaining the changes as we get them.

What’s Behind These Crowd Calendar Updates

Here is a brief description of what you will see on the latest crowd calendar. As always, the crowd levels are subject to change as they are based on the information available to us at the time we make the predictions. We always encourage you use a touring plan as the best defense against any size crowd – they work, so use ’em!

February

The rest of February will see some minor changes that reflect dips in wait times we have seen in late January and early February, mostly at Hollywood Studios. The calendar is currently not predicting a large boost in wait times at Animal Kingdom when Rivers of Light begins regular performances but that may have to be revised once we see what happens after February 17. Unless you are visiting specifically to see the show, try to avoid that park, especially in the evening.

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Disneyland Ticket Pricing Breakdown

by on February 12, 2017

Disneyland Ticket

©Rikki Niblett

It’s that time again. Time for the annual Disneyland ticket price increase.

Last year, Disneyland introduced seasonal pricing. That continues going forward and means that each month is divided into being either a value, regular, or peak day. The new system will work as follows: If you’re visiting in September, you’ll pay value pricing. If you want to visit around the holiday week of Christmas and New Year’s, you pay peak pricing.

Seasonal pricing only impact 1 day tickets. Those who purchase multi-day tickets will not see seasonal pricing.

Here’s what this all means for Disneyland tickets:

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Walt Disney World Ticket Pricing Breakdown

by on February 12, 2017

Walt Disney World Ticket Pricing

©Disney

Yesterday, I shared with you that Walt Disney World tickets will be increasing beginning today. In addition, to that, there were a few other changes that occurred as well that include:

  • Pricing that includes a range of options
  • All new tickets will have an expiration date that the ticket must be used by. (Previously, only one day tickets expired.) This means that unused tickets must be used by a certain date or they will expire. (Example, right now, tickets purchased today must be used by December 31, 2018.) Anyone who holds an expired ticket will be able to exchange it for a credit that can be used towards purchasing a new ticket of equal or greater value. Unused tickets that have been purchased prior to Sunday, February 12 will remain valid and not carry expiration dates.
  • Guests can receive a $20 discount on any 3-Day to 10-Day Magic Your Way Ticket purchased in advance through Disney.
  • The Water Park Fun & More and Park Hopper Ticket will now be called Park Hopper Plus. Water Park Fun & More will be discontinued by itself.   The Park Hopper Plus will include the ability to visit more than two parks in a day, as well as a certain number of visits to your choice of Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course, Fantasia Gardens Mini-Golf Course, Winter Summerland Mini-Golf Course, or ESPN Wide World of Sports.

Last year, Disney introduced seasonal pricing at Walt Disney World. That will continue this year for one day tickets. With the seasonal pricing, each month is divided to include value, regular, and peak days. You would pay Value Season pricing if you visited in September, but if you visit in December during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, you will pay Peak Pricing. Those who purchase multi-day tickets or are purchasing an annual pass do not currently see seasonal pricing.

Here is the full breakdown of ticket pricing for Walt Disney World:

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