Walt Disney World to Introduce New Online Vacation Planning Site and Identical Single Day Ticket Pricing for All Parks

Yesterday Walt Disney World announced that beginning October 16th that they will be launching a new vacation planning site to help guests purchase date-based tickets.

In the announcement Disney stated –

“With all there is to see and do in our parks, we know guests are increasingly looking for easier ways to plan a vacation with personalized options that fit their individual needs. Beginning October 16 on DisneyWorld.com, guests will be able to access our new online vacation-planning destination and purchase tickets priced by the date of visit. These changes are designed to simplify the booking experience, give guests an enhanced way to purchase theme park tickets and help them more easily plan the Disney vacation of their dreams”

While Disney has not stated this, presumably this is being done to make it easier for people trying to book and plan a vacation to Walt Disney World by streamlining the now disjointed process by guiding people through the process on a single website as opposed to navigating through the abundance of dropdown menus on Walt Disney World’s current site.  The fact that there is no mention of the fact that date-based pricing that was announce a while ago and has been the pricing practice for the Disneyland Resort for a while now and that they seem to emphasize the planning process seems to verify this.  Personally I’m skeptical that this process will be as “streamlined” as Disney professes.  Disney has a history of making complicated processes even more complicated.  That’s on top of their history of having technical issues and outages.

Here is the video that Disney is using to explain the new site.

What also was not mentioned in the announcement but has been found out is that as of October 16th Walt Disney World will begin pricing all four of it’s theme parks at the same price for single day tickets.  This will eliminate the Magic Kingdom premium, and raising the price of the other three parks to match the ticket price for the Magic Kingdom.

Beginning in the summer of 2013, the Magic Kingdom carried a premium price, putting it at around $5 more than the other three theme parks. The new pricing will now put all four Walt Disney World theme parks between $109 and $129, depending on the season that they will be used.

Currently one-day tickets for Epcot, Studios and Animal Kingdom are between $102 and $122.

With the impending opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World in late fall 2019, the launch of the new planning site seems to make sense due to the anticipated increased bookings of vacations.

What seems odd about the same price for all parks beginning in October is that much of Disney’s Hollywood Studios is still under construction due to the new Star Wars land.  While the price difference between parks doesn’t seem like a lot, the fact that the Studios is barely a full-day park, Disney is expecting guests to pay the same daily ticket price as the other parks.  Maybe Disney is thinking that the Magic Kingdom Premium was too difficult for guests to figure out and this just makes things easier.  If that’s the case, I don’t have as big of an issue with the change and after all we’re only talking about a few dollars a day.  The premium really didn’t seem to change crowd distribution between the parks much anyway.

It will be interesting to see what if any affect this will have on bookings and guest satisfaction.

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Walt Disney World Online Lost and Found System Goes Live

Have you ever lost something at Walt Disney World and had to either call or go to Lost and Found to report the lost item?  Well, you no longer have to do that.

Walt Disney World Lost and Found has now moved online.  The new system is powered by Chargerback.  Chargerback also provides lost and found services for airlines and other tourism and entertainment companies.

Starting today, if a guest has lost an item at any Walt Disney World theme park, Disney Springs, Transportation (including busses, monorails and watercraft), ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex or Disney Water Park they will fill out a lost item report here.

Guest will no longer have to visit or phone the Lost and Found center.

Once guests fill out the online form they will receive an email notification with a Lost Item claim number. Disney will then continue to look for the item and provide you with an email update within 48 hours.  Disney will contact guests if they that they have found the item or need further information.

Nothing has really changed if guests have lost items at any hotel or on Disney’s Magical Express.

If an item was lost at any resort hotel, please contact the specific resort Lobby Concierge for assistance.

For Disney’s Magical Express please contact (866) 599-0951. If the item was lost over 30 minutes ago, please contact Mears Transportation Group at (407) 423-5566.

If guests aren’t where the item was lost, Disney is asking guests to go to the above link and fill out the online form.

According to Disney policy, highly valuable items (such as wallets, purses, credit cards, prescription glasses and cameras) are held for 90 days.

Items of lesser value (such as sunglasses, hats, toys and clothes) are held for 30 days.

 

New Show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to Feature Russell, Dug from Disney•Pixar’s ‘UP’

Today Walt Disney World announced an all-new show coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Spring 2018 featuring Russell and Dug from Disney•Pixar’s “UP.”

Beginning just in time for the 20th anniversary of Disney’s Animal Kingdom next year, this new experience will offer guests the chance to see Senior Wilderness Explorer Russell and his furry friend Dug as they discover species of birds from around the world in their newest adventure at the Caravan Theater in Anandapur village. There will be “UP” close encounters each day with amazing winged creatures!

As you plan ahead, we also wanted to let you know that in order to begin to prepare for the new show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, December 31, 2017 will be the final showing of Flights of Wonder. Until the end of this month, you can still experience Flights of Wonder at the park.

From The Disney Parks Blog

Walt Disney World to Celebrate Mickey’s Birthday Saturday

The Magic Kingdom will be celebrating Mickey Mouse’s birthday on Saturday November 18th with special entertainment, merchandise and desserts.

The day will kick off with a special Welcome Show birthday moment and rope-drop, followed by a Tomorrowland birthday-themed dance party, birthday celebration during Move it! Shake it! Dance & Play It! Street Party, and finally a Happily Ever After pre-show birthday moment.

Guests arriving at any of the Walt Disney World theme parks will also receive a birthday button.

If you’re celebrating Mickey tomorrow, be sure to pick up one of his tasty treats and wish him a happy birthday. All of these items will be available all weekend, November 17-19

Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Found at Trolley Car Café

  • Mickey’s Birthday Cupcake – Cookies and cream-flavored cupcake with cookies and cream frosting

Magic Kingdom
Found at Main Street Bakery, Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café and Pinocchio Village Haus

  • Steamboat Willie Cookies ‘n Cream Cheesecake – Cookies and cream cheesecake with chocolate glaze, whipped cookies and cream panna cotta and Steamboat Willie garnish
  • Found at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, Cinderella’s Royal Table, Be Our Guest Restaurant and Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen
  • Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat Chocolate Cake – Layers of flourless chocolate cake with caramel mousse, milk chocolate pearls and a red glaze

Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Found at Contempo Café

  • Mickey’s Red Velvet Cake – with cream cheese filling and white chocolate glaze

Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts
Found at Beach Club Marketplace and Market at Ale & Compass

  • Mickey’s Birthday Celebration Cupcake – Large peanut butter cupcake

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Found at Narcoossee’s

  • Happy Birthday Mickey Dessert – Almond-crusted cheesecake

Disney Springs
Found at the Ganachery

  • Strawberry Ganache Lollipop
  • Mickey Mouse-themed Milk Chocolate Bar

Found at Amorette’s Patisserie

  • Mini Mickey Dome Cake – Chocolate chiffon, milk chocolate mousse and orange blossom pâte de fruit
  • Mini Pluto Dome Cake – Banana and peanut butter-flavored
  • Mickey-Shaped Chocolate Macaroon

Epcot
Found at Sunshine Seasons

  • Mickey’s Cookies ‘n Cream Cheesecake

Found at Rose & Crown Dining Room

  • Kid’s Bangers and Mash with Mickey-Shaped Potatoes
  • Scotch Egg with Mickey-Shaped Puff Pastry
  • Mickey-Shaped Cheese in Cheese Plate
  • Mickey Banoffee Tart – Banana, Jameson Irish Whiskey-Caramel, sweet cream and chocolate

Found at The Garden Grill

  • Mickey-Shaped Cucumber Salad

Found at Fountain View and Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe

  • Mickey’s Celebration Cupcake – Vanilla cupcake with white chocolate mousse and vanilla buttercream

Found at Le Cellier Steakhouse

  • Mickey Nanaimo – Chocolate cake with peanut butter cream covered in red glaze with graham cracker-coconut streusel and toasted coconut ice cream

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
Found at Kona Café

  • Mickey’s Hau’oli lā Hānau – Coconut mousse, crispy vanilla pearls, tropical fresh fruits and dragon fruit sorbet

Found at Capt. Cook’s

  • Mickey’s Chocolate Celebration Birthday Cupcake – Chocolate cupcake filled with strawberry guava ganache and topped with white chocolate mousse

Disney’s All-Star Resorts
Found at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort

  • Mickey’s Pumpkin Mousse Marshmallow Tart – Pumpkin mousse with spiced marshmallow dipped in chocolate

Found at Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort

  • Steamboat Mickey’s Cupcake – Chocolate cupcake with Oreo buttercream

Found at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort

  • Mickey’s Pumpkin Whoopie Pie – Pumpkin whoopie pie with cream cheese buttercream

Disney’s BoardWalk
Found at BoardWalk Bakery

  • Heritage Mickey Dessert – Black and white tart with white chocolate mousse and topped with a dark chocolate Mickey dome adorned with chocolate ears, tail and buttons

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Found at Roaring Fork

  • Mickey’s Mischievous Rice Krispy Treat – Mickey-themed crispy treats

Found at Whispering Canyon

  • Mickey’s Birthday Dark Chocolate Dome – Dark chocolate Mickey dome with raspberry sauce and Chambord cream

Found at Geyser Point

  • Mickey’s Birthday Celebration Brownie – Mickey brownie with dark chocolate mousse and white chocolate face

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Found at The Mara

  • Mickey’s Charm – Lemon rose cremeux, caramelized milk chocolate mousse tart

Found at Jiko – The Cooking Place

  • Fantasmic Entremet – Spiced chocolate and cherry entremets

Found at Boma – Flavors of Africa

  • Steamboat Willie Cheesecake – Oreo cheesecake tartlets

Found at Sanaa

  • Tropical Mickey Tart – Coconut lime cremeux, passion fruit mousse tart

Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Found at Creature Comforts, Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery and Isle of Java

  • Safari Mickey Cupcake – Yellow cake filled with banana pastry cream, dipped in chocolate ganache and topped with buttercream and fondant and red chocolate balloon

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park
Found at Leaning Palms and Happy Landings Ice Cream

  • Mickey’s Birthday Cupcake – Vanilla cupcake with white buttercream icing and Happy Birthday Mickey chocolate topper

Found at Typoon Tilly’s and Snack Shack

  • Mickey’s Birthday Cupcake – Chocolate cupcake with buttercream icing and red chocolate Mickey glove

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
Found at Trail’s End Restaurant

  • Mickey’s Birthday Celebration Cupcake – Yellow cake with strawberry filling, buttercream icing, sugar cookie Mickey Ears, chocolate buttons and tail

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
Found at ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill

  • Mini Mickey Dome Cake – Chocolate chiffon, milk chocolate mousse and orange blossom pâte de fruit

Disney’s Pop Century Resort
Found at Everything POP Shopping & Dining

  • Mickey Cupcake – Vanilla cupcake covered with buttercream frosting and topped with Oreo cookies and crumbles

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
Found at Landscape of Flavors

  • Mickey Cupcake – Vanilla cupcake with buttercream icing, Oreos and white chocolate buttons

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
Found at Artist Palette

  • Happy Birthday Mickey! – Funfetti cake with vanilla buttercream

Disney’s Old Key West Resort
Found at Good’s Food to Go

  • Mickey Funfetti Mini Cake – Yellow cake with vanilla bean filling

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
Found at Centertown

  • Mickey’s Birthday Celebration Cupcake – Red velvet cupcake filled with chocolate mousse and fondant Mickey topping

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside and French Quarter
Found at Riverside Mill Food Court and Sassagoula Float Works and Food Factory

  • Mickey’s Birthday Celebration Cupcake – Red velvet cupcake filled with chocolate mousse and fondant Mickey topping

Walt Disney World to Re-Open Theme Parks on Tuesday

At approximately 3:30 PM EDT today, the official website of Walt Disney World updated their park operating hours and revealed that they would be re-opening the parks on Tuesday, September 12th. However, not all of the parks are going to open back up on Tuesday.  This is due to some cast members who evacuated due to the storm and Disney being a little short-staffed.

Both Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach will remain closed at least until Wednesday before reopening.

At this time the hours of operation for Walt Disney World tomorrow will be:

  • Magic Kingdom: 9 AM – 7 PM with Extra Magic Hours of 8 AM – 9 AM; Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will take place from 7 PM – Midnight
  • Epcot: 9 AM – 9 PM with Extra Magic Hours of 9 PM – 11 PM
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios: 9 AM – 9 PM
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom: 9 AM – 9 PM
  • Typhoon Lagoon: Closed
  • Blizzard Beach: Closed
  • Disney Springs: 10 AM – Midnight

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Offering New ‘Ultimate Nights of Adventure VIP Tour’

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is  now offering a new tour which gives easy (and pricey) access to some of Animal Kingdom’s most popular attractions and shows.

Experiences included with the tour are –

  • Expedition Everest
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Avatar Flight of Passage
  • Na’vi River Journey
  • Rivers of Light
  • Satu’li Canteen sampler, beverage (adult or non-alcoholic available) and popcorn

The four hour tour is being offered on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and costs $265.19 including tax per person. There is a 15% discount available for Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club members and Disney Visa cardholders. Theme park admission is required and not included.

Reservations are open now and can be booked now for tours beginning October 1 2017 via  407-WDW-PLAY (939-7529).

Harambe Market at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Joins Mobile Order

Mobile Order continues to expand with the addition of Harambe Market to the mobile ordering system.

Mobile Order allows guests to pay for meals on-the-go within the My Disney Experience app, bypassing the queue to order at the restaurant. Using the app, you can select menu items, customize an order and pre-pay for a meal.

Arriving at the restaurant guests will tap an “I’m here” button in the app, which will notify the kitchen to prepare the meal. When ready guests will be alerted through the app to pick up the meal at a designated window. Only credit card payments will initially be accepted via Mobile Order, Disney Dining Plan guests and those wishing to use a discount will have to use the regular line.

Mobile Order is currently available at Harambe Market, Backlot Express, ABC Commissary, PizzeRizzo, Liberty Inn, Electric Umbrella, Columbia Harbour House, Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café, Pinocchio Village Haus, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, Tomorrowland Terrace, Flame Tree Barbecue, Pizzafari, Restaurantosaurus, Satu’li Canteen and D-Luxe Burger.

Watch #DisneyParksLIVE Stream of ‘Rivers Of Light’ August 22 at 8:40 P.M. EDT

Disney is continuing their celebration of summer fun here with a special #DisneyParksLIVE stream of “Rivers of Light” on Tuesday, August 22nd.

In case you haven’t seen this amazing nighttime show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, “Rivers of Light” celebrates animals and nature by combining floating set pieces, lanterns, a soaring musical score, fountains and more. The show’s storytellers “narrate” this emotionally moving show through a combination of dance, music, song and shadow puppetry.

The live stream of “Rivers of Light” will begin Tuesday, August 22 at 8:40 p.m. EDT. A fresh Disney Parks Blog post with the live video will appear at the top of the Disney Parks Blog Tuesday night right before the show.

Walt Disney World Offers Special Character Experiences and Photo Opportunities During Disney PhotoPass Day

August 19 marks World Photo Day, and we’re excited to celebrate the occasion with the return of Disney PhotoPass Day at Walt Disney World Resort! During this event, Disney PhotoPass Servicewill offer a number of exclusive photo opportunities that will let you take home even more picture-perfect memories of your visit.

You can also celebrate Disney Princesses during Disney PhotoPass Day! In honor of Disney’s “Dream Big, Princess” campaign, you’ll find photo opportunities focused on some of your favorite Disney Princesses.

Check out all of the special opportunities that are planned in each of the four theme parks and Disney Springs on August 19:

Entertainment and photo opportunities are subject to change. Some locations could be affected by inclement weather.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Character Experiences:

  • Meeko joins Pocahontas at Character Landing on Discovery Island
  • Timon joins Rafiki at Rafiki’s Planet Watch
  • Princess Atta joins Flik at Discovery Island near Creature Comforts

Photo opportunities:

  • Dream Big Princess photo backdrop before the park entrance (daylight hours only)
  • Jungle Book Magic Shot near Yak & Yeti Restaurant
  • Visit the PhotoPass photographer in DinoLand U.S.A. from 9-10 p.m. to have magical Mickey light effects added to your photo (example below)

Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Character Experiences:

  • The Queen from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” Maleficent, and Cruella de Vil will meet with guests at Sunset Showcase. This opportunity will be available from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Photo opportunities:

  • Dream Big Princess photo backdrop outside the Theater of the Stars (daylight hours only)
  • Poison Apple Magic Shot on Sunset Boulevard
  • Fisheye lens in the Chinese Theatre Courtyard area

Epcot
Character Experiences:

  • Genie will join Princess Jasmine in the Morocco Pavilion
  • Mushu will join Mulan in the China Pavilion

Photo opportunities:

  • Dream Big Princess photo backdrop near Epcot Character Spot (daylight hours only)
  • Baymax Animated Magic Shot with the PhotoPass photographer located near Mouse Gear and the Fountain of Nations
  • Fisheye lens near the fountain close to the entrance to Spaceship Earth

Magic Kingdom Park
Character Experiences:

  • Dopey joins Snow White at Town Square Courtyard
  • Captain Hook joins Peter Pan in Fantasyland

Photo opportunities:

  • Dream Big Princess photo backdrop in Fantasyland (daylight hours only)
  • Cinderella’s Coach in Fantasyland
  • “Tangled” light painting photo opportunity near Ariel’s Grotto (available after dark)
  • Mickey Mouse Magic Shot on the bridge near Fairytale Garden
  • Main Street Vehicle near the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor (available in the morning and early afternoon)

Disney Springs
Photo opportunities:

  • Dream Big Princess photo backdrop next to the Marketplace Stage
  • Fairy Wings Magic Shot from the PhotoPass photographer roaming around the Marketplace near Tren-D (available from 1-10:30 p.m.)
  • You can also visit the Disney PhotoPass Studio at Disney Springs to enjoy special $99.95 plus shipping pricing on a Personalized Storybook now through August 20!

Disney to Enforce FastPass+ Usage Terms and Conditions Effective Today

Effective today Disney will be strictly enforcing the FastPass+ terms of usage to make the system fairer for everyone.

What should be of note to guests is the rule regarding FastPass+ reservations only being made on tickets used for admission into the park will be enforced.

According to the official Disneyworld.com website, the rule is:

The valid theme park admission associated with your Site/App account and used to make FastPass+ selections must be the same valid theme park admission that you will use for entry into the park on the day the FastPass+ selections are redeemed.

FastPass+ selections made on tickets not used for theme park admission that same day, the My Disney Experience app may be temporarily locked, and the app will prompt guests to speak to guest relations or call the My Disney Experience Support Center.

Continued attempts to make FastPass+ reservations with tickets not used for admission that day may result in permanent loss of access to FastPass+.

You can read the full FastPass+ terms and conditions here.

The enforcing of this rule results from the abuse of FastPass+ has becoming more widespread.  Visitors have been using friends tickets, expired tickets, and other methods to obtain more than the allowed amount of FastPass+ allocation per day.