Walt Disney World (FL)

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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Ask It: Best Special Event at Epcot

by on February 22, 2017

Best Special Event at Epcot

Last week, we presented this #AskIt —

My favorite special event at Epcot is…

Without a doubt, people are passionate about special events at Epcot. For many, it was difficult to choose just one. For others, there was one that drew large amounts of vitriol. With more than 800 votes in, here’s the results (in order from least to greatest).

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Geyser Point Impresses On Opening Day

by on February 22, 2017

Geyser Point overlooks Bay Lake at Disney's Wilderness Lodge.With so many changes in the works for Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Boulder Ridge Villas, it was inevitable we’d see a new dining hotspot for the resort’s guests. The latest addition to the resort’s great slate of restaurants, Geyser Point Bar & Grill, recently opened while construction crews add finishing touches to the new lakeside villas and pool area. Functioning as a hybrid quick service location and outdoor bar for the neighboring quiet pool, Geyser Point is currently the main quick serve dining location for the resort while Trout Pass Pool Bar and Roaring Fork undergo refurbishment.

I dropped in for lunch on opening day to get a look at the new menus and location, and at first glance, Geyser Point really wowed me. The location is spectacular – set right on the edge of Bay Lake (adjacent to Trout Pass and the geyser walkway), the covered (with an actual roof!) cushy seating area surrounds a central bar, with a quick service window and accompanying drink refill station on one exterior edge. The open-air seating area features built-in fans and heaters, useful for both of Florida’s seasons (the two-week winter and then summer), as well as pull-down shade screens on all sides that will protect guests from inclement weather.

With architecture matching the main lodge, Geyser Point blends in to the resort seamlessly.This place is pretty versatile – you can order quick food to-go, or stay a while and have your food delivered to you in the seating area (on real plates with real silverware – a true luxury at Walt Disney World quick service locations). If bar/lounge food is more your speed, you can take a seat and one of the roaming cocktail servers will come to take your order from the separate bar menu. Once you’re done with your meal (either quick food or bar menu food), Cast Members will come clear your table for you.

Quick service food options are pretty traditional fare – sandwiches and salads, but the menu emphasizes seafood options (crab cakes and grilled salmon) uncommon at many other resort quick service locations. Even the burger comes with a slightly-elevated option – you can grab the standard beef burger common around Walt Disney World, but you can also opt for a bison burger. The menu is definitely a little more adventurous than the resort’s other quick service location, Roaring Fork (which serves solid, simple sandwiches, flatbreads, and salads).

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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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Price comparison of Orlando’s water parks

by on February 17, 2017

Summer is coming and this year will be unlike any previous year in Orlando because Universal Orlando’s Volcano Bay erupts onto the scene. It’s hard not to call Volcano Bay a water park, because well, that’s what it is, but it is indeed so much more. It is said to have technology and features unlike anything we’ve seen before, especially in Orlando. Still, chances are as you think about planning your Orlando vacation, you’re thinking about Volcano Bay as if it is a water park. Most likely you are trying to decide how to spend the time you’ve allocated for a water park and debating between Volcano Bay, Disney’s water parks, Aquatica, or even Discovery Cove.

Price comparison of Orlando’s water parks

Without diving too deep into the strenuous detail between all of Orlando’s water parks, let’s take a look at this price comparison.

Prices below do not include tax, prices are as of 2/17/2017

Ticket type Volcano Bay Disney Water Parks
 Single day Single day tickets are not officially available as of yet, but can be purchased only as part of a vacation package through select travel booking services. Several sources indicate $124 as the price per person.

 $62.00 adult

$56.00 child

Multi day regular theme parks plus water parks

(park to park / park hopper)

3 days

  $314.99 adult

($105 per day)

$304.99 child

($102 per day)

 $364 adult

($121.33 per day)

$346 child

($115.33 per day)

Multi day regular theme parks plus water park

(park to park / park hopper)

4 days

$324.99 adult

($81.24 per day)

$314.99 child

($78.75 per day)

 $440 adult

($110 per day)

$420 child

($105 per day)

Multi day regular theme parks plus water parks

(one park per day)

3 days

 $259.99 adult

($86.66 per day)

$249.99 child

($83.33 per day)

 water parks are not available without Park Hopper option

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Back to the Basics: Park Tickets at Walt Disney World

by on February 17, 2017

©Disney

You Guys, this is my 100th post with TouringPlans!

What better way to celebrate than another Back to the Basics episode?

To learn about park tickets at Walt Disney World, click below.

Park Ticket Video

Enjoy!

If I missed anything, leave a comment and I’ll do a FAQ video!

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New Joffrey’s Coffee Kiosk Opening at the Magic Kingdom

by on February 17, 2017

Joffrey's Coffee

Guests will soon be able to get their Joffrey’s Coffee fix at the Magic Kingdom in Tomorrowland, as a brand new Joffrey’s kiosk is expected to open in March. This is the first Joffrey’s Coffee kiosk to be located at the Magic Kingdom.

The new location is expected to serve a specialty coffee that is specific to Tomorrowland and that is their brand new s’mores latte, which includes Joffrey’s espresso mixed with chocolate sauce and marshmallow syrup, topped with whipped cream, graham cracker crumbs, and marshmallows. (Which you can get either hot or iced.) Oh does that sound delightful!

Currently, the two closest kiosks to the Magic Kingdom could be found at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and at the Transportation and Ticket Center.

This new kiosk is perfect for those looking for a great pick me up, as well as for those who have been wishing for an alternative to Starbucks at the Main Street Bakery.

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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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Paddlefish Swims to Success After Renovation

by on February 15, 2017

Paddlefish Review

If you’ve been to Disney Springs in recent months, you’ve probably noticed the large-scale renovations going on with the classic Empress Lilly stationary steamship, formerly home to Fulton’s Crab House. The seafood eatery closed this past April to make way for an updated restaurant. This month, though, we finally get to enjoy this new restaurant in a familiar home, now called Paddlefish. With an updated menu and all-new décor inside and out, I was pretty excited to give Paddlefish a try and see how it compares in the now highly competitive Disney Springs dining arena.

The exterior of the newly-revamped PaddlefishReservations are now open for booking for meals starting February 20th; in the meantime, the restaurant is working on a solely walk-up only basis. I was able to snag a table right away midweek for an early dinner, ready to sample from the extensive dinner menu. Be warned: lunch and dinner are not the same menus here (as is common at many Disney Springs restaurants like neighboring Boathouse, Homecoming, and Frontera Cocina), and they even have a special Sunday brunch menu, so check out TouringPlans’ menu pages to see which meal fits your budget and appetite the best. Disney Dining Plan is accepted here, as well as Tables in Wonderland, Annual Passholder, and DVC Member discounts.

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