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 Introduces New Magic Bands

It’s been quite the year for MagicBands at Walt Disney World Resort, with the resort-wide rollout of the versatile and easily customizable MagicBand 2, the addition of the super convenient MagicKeeper accessories and an assortment of popular new limited and open edition designs. As Disney continues to expand this innovative wearable, we’re very excited to share a first look at two open edition MagicBands featuring new highly-requested colors that will soon be available for purchase online and wherever MagicBands are sold throughout the Resort.

The first new MagicBand is a solid-color millennial pink, the fashion-forward, trendy shade of pink that continues to grow in popularity. If you’re not familiar with this particular color, its hue is a delicate, softer pink, and we’re already hearing wonderful feedback from guests about this product. The band retails for $12.99 and will debut on Jan. 8. This new MagicBand color is a great addition to the already popular rose-gold Minnie Ears.

The second new color is brown and will first be featured in a fun new design starring the Seven Dwarfs from the Disney classic “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” The design includes the whole gang – Bashful, Doc, Dopey, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, and Sneezy – as well as a few diamonds dug from their famous mine. Guests will have the opportunity to purchase this fun, new MagicBand, selling for $22.99, beginning today.

These colors join the new solid-color black MagicBand, which Disney released last month, offering guests even more choices for how they want to unlock the magic of their Disney vacation. As always, these MagicBands connect the vacation choices and purchases guests make in My Disney Experience – from effortless theme-park entry to Disney PhotoPass association, dining plan redemption, room entry and more. And as a reminder, with the MagicBand 2 design, you are able to remove the center icon to mix and match colors and create multi-color bands or take advantage of one of the MagicKeeper accessories to give you even more options on how to wear the magic.

From The Disney Parks Blog

 

My Disney Experience Update Brings New Features

Disney has released a new version of My Disney Experience that brings a very useful features to app.

For Annual Passholders, it will now be possible to renew a pass directly from the My Disney Experience app.

For guests staying at Walt Disney World Resort hotels, you can now view room charges and Disney Dining Plan entitlements/usage directly in the app. This will make it easier to keep track of the remaining Dining Plan meals and snacks throughout your trip.

For the iOS version, the update will also add compatibility for the upcoming update to iOS11.

The updates for iOS and Android are available in the App Store and Google Play.

Mobile Order Debuts at Epcot’s Electric Umbrella

Mobile Order is now available to guests at the Electric Umbrella in Epcot’s Future World.

The rollout at Epcot will continue with it being available at the Liberty Inn on August 7th.

Mobile Order allows guest to pay for meals within the My Disney Experience app, bypassing what can be a lone line to order at the restaurant. Using the app, guests can select menu items, customize an order and pre-pay for a meal.

Mobile Order is currently available at 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.

Online Check-In Now Available on My Disney Experience App

It’s been incredible to see the guest experience transform over the past four years since Walt Disney World first launched My Disney Experience in 2013. From the FastPass+ service to MagicBand 2 and Mobile Order, Disney is always exploring new opportunities to make a Walt Disney World Resortvacation even more convenient and more magical.

Earlier this year, Disney unveiled a redesigned My Disney Experience app with new features that spoke to guests’ desire for an easier way to access all of their vacation plans. Today, Disney is bringing yet another feature to the app: Online Check-In.

Guests staying at Disney Resort hotels will be able to use Disney’s Online Check-In service on the My Disney Experience mobile app, expediting their arrival while providing additional convenience, flexibility and customization of their experience. The feature enables Guests to start the check-in process up to 60 days before their arrival, bypassing the need to visit the front desk and giving families the opportunity to begin their vacation as soon as they set foot in Walt Disney World Resort. Guests complete their check-in by unlocking their room, when it is ready, using the MagicBands sent to them prior to their arrival.

With just a few taps of the screen, guests can make room requests, add credit card information and authorize charges, submit an estimated arrival time to help prompt room access, receive a notification when your room is ready and more. Please note that room requests are not guaranteed and guests must provide consent to receive notifications.

The best part? Guests can begin the check-in process at any point up to 60 days prior to your arrival date – even minutes beforehand as you’re transported on Disney’s Magical Express to your resort hotel.

Here is a short video that also explains the online check in process using the My Disney Experience App.

As always, world-class guest service is part of the magic of a Walt Disney World Resort vacation, and front desk and concierge cast members are available at all of our resort hotels to assist guests at their leisure for the duration of their stay.

To take advantage of the Online Check-In service and other features, be sure to download the latest version of My Disney Experience, now available in the App Store for iOS devices and Google Play for Android devices.

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.

New My Disney Experience app Launches, Makes Planning Walt Disney World Vacations Even Easier

As Disney fans know, the My Disney Experience app is a one-stop shop for all things Walt Disney World from viewing park hours, purchasing tickets and merchandise, making FastPass+ selections, getting turn by turn directions, accessing vacation photos and sharing them through Disney PhotoPass and much more.

The enhanced My Disney Experience app features a look and feel to make planning and enjoying your Walt Disney World Resort vacation easier than ever.

The new My Disney Experience mobile app opens right to the park maps to help you find attractions, restaurants, restrooms and more. It makes it easier for you to navigate through our parks so you can spend more time enjoying the magic of Walt Disney World Resort. A new section called “Spotlight” highlights new park experiences and entertainment offerings to help you find out the latest and greatest happenings at the parks.

And when you stay at one of the Disney resorts, you will be able to use the new feature called “My Resort Dashboard,” which gives you access to your resort reservation details all in one place, including the ability to see room number, theme, building and floor once you have your room assignment. “My Resort Dashboard” even gives you directions to your resort using Disney transportation options, a map showing you the location of your room and a link to directly call the Resort Front Desk if you need further assistance during your stay.

For guests who enjoy visiting our other Disney Parks around the world, the new My Disney Experience app now features the same look and feel as our other park apps, making the mobile experience seamless across the globe.

To check out all of these exciting new app features, take a look at this short video!

The My Disney Experience app and MagicBand still work together seamlessly, allowing you to effortlessly connect all your vacation choices from the My Disney Experience app to your MagicBand.

 

Walt Disney World Introduces New Multi-Day Ticket Pricing and Park Hopper Plus Option

Today Walt Disney World released the specifics of the tickets price increase and it includes new 2017 multi day ticket pricing. A $20 discount can be had on 3 days and beyond for buying tickets in advance from Disney, the pricing listed here is for purchasing at ticket windows or guest relations.

With the Park Hopper Plus Option, Guests can visit more than one theme park on the same day and are also entitled to visit the following other gated attractions:

  • Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park
  • Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park
  • DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive Theme Park until closure in the summer
  • Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course (greens fees for one round of golf)
  • ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (valid only on event days, some events require an additional charge)
  • Disney’s Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course (one round before 4:00 PM)
  • Disney’s Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Course (one round before 4:00 PM)

Tickets Expire 14 days from first use, and issued tickets expire on 12/31/2018.

Pricing for all ticket options are as follows:

2 Day Park Tickets

2 Day – Adult $211.94, Child $199 – 2016 pricing was Adult $215.16, Child $202.35
2 Day Hopper – Adult $275.84, Child $263.06 – 2016 pricing was Adult $273.71, Child $260.93
2 Day with Park Hopper Plus Option – Adult $291.81, Child $279.03

3 Day Park Tickets

3 Day – Adult $329.09, Child $309.92 – 2016 pricing was Adult $308.85, Child $289.68
3 Day Hopper – Adult $392.99, Child $373.82 – 2016 pricing was Adult $367.43, Child $348.26
3 Day with Park Hopper Plus Option – Adult $408.96, Child $389.79

4 Day Park Tickets

4 Day – Adult $394.05, Child $372.75 – 2016 pricing was Adult $346.13, Child $324.83
4 Day Hopper – Adult $473.93, Child $452.63 – 2016 pricing was Adult $419.61, Child $398.31
4 Day with Park Hopper Plus – Adult $489.90, Child $468.60

5 Day Park Tickets

5 Day – Adult $415.35, Child $394.05 – 2016 pricing was Adult $362.10, Child $340.80
5 Day Hopper – Adult $495.23, Child $473.93 – 2016 pricing was Adult $435.59, Child $414.29
5 Day with Park  Hopper Plus Option – Adult $511.20, Child $489.90

6 Day Park Tickets

6 Day – Adult $436.65, Child $415.35 – 2016 pricing was Adult $378.08, Child $356.78
6 Day Hopper – Adult $516.53, Child $495.23 – 2016 pricing was Adult $451.56, Child $430.26
6 Day with Park Hopper Plus Option – Adult $532.50, Child $511.20

7 Day Park Tickets

7 Day – Adult $457.95, Child $436.65 – 2016 pricing was Adult $394.05, Child $372.75
7 Day Hopper – Adult $537.83, Child $516.53 –  2016 pricing was Adult $467.54, Child $446.24
7 Day with Park Hopper Plus Option – Adult $553.80, Child $532.50

8 Day Park Tickets

8 Day – Adult $468.60, Child $447.30 – 2016 pricing was Adult $404.70, Child $383.40
8 Day Hopper – Adult $548.48, Child $527.18 – 2016 pricing was Adult $478.19, Child $456.89
8 Day with Park Hopper Plus Option – Adult $564.45, Child $543.15

9 Day Park Tickets

9 Day –  Adult $479.25, Child $457.95 – 2016 pricing was Adult $415.35, Child $394.05
9 Day Hopper – Adult $559.13, Child $537.83 – 2016 pricing was Adult $488.84, Child $467.54
9 Day with Park Hopper Plus Option – Adult $575.10, Child $553.80

10 Day Park Tickets

10 Day – Adult $489.90, Child $468.60 – 2016 pricing was Adult $426, Child $404.70
10 Day Hopper – Adult $569.78, Child $548.48 – 2016 pricing was Adult $499.49, Child $478.19
10 Day with Park Hopper Plus Option – Adult $585.75, Child $564.45

Walt Disney World to Increase Ticket Prices Sunday

Prices for tickets and annual passes at Walt Disney World will increase Sunday, while the resort will also make changes in policies regarding online purchases and expiration dates.

Disney last year introduced seasonal one-day ticket pricing, with three tiers based on time of year.  For most Disney theme parks, mid-tier tickets will cost $107, up from $102. Peak season tickets – generally for spring break, summer and Christmas break – will cost $119, up from $114.

A one-day visit during the least-popular value days will cost $99, up from $97.

The Magic Kingdom has a premium tacked on to its admission. Prices will rise for value and regular seasons, but the peak price will remain unchanged at $124. A mid-tier ticket will rise to $115 from $110.

Prices are for adults do not include tax. Tickets for children 3 to 9 will also become more expensive.

Annual-pass prices will also increase Sunday. Florida-resident gold passes with blockout dates during Christmas and spring break will cost $559, up from $549. Platinum passes with no blockout dates will cost $679, up from $649.

“Our pricing provides guests a range of options that allow us to better manage demand to maximize the guest experience and is reflective of the distinctly Disney offerings at all of our parks,” the company said in a statement.

Prices for Disney tickets have typically risen each February.

Also starting Sunday: Visitors buying tickets online or on their phones can save $20 on Magic Your Way bundles from three to 10 days.  SeaWorld and Universal Orlando also charge less for online purchases.

And all tickets will have expiration dates starting Sunday, not just single-day tickets. The dates will vary.

Disney World visitors typically buy multi-day tickets or passes rather than making single-day visits.

The price increases go into effect a few months before a new land based on “Avatar” will open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Overall, attendance declined 1 percent at Disney’s domestic theme parks in fiscal 2016. On Tuesday, the company reported the number of domestic visitors fell 5 percent year over year for the first fiscal quarter. The company blamed the decline on factors including Hurricane Matthew and a Christmas holiday shift. Seasonal pricing could also be encouraging visits during less busy times, executives said.

“However, the fact that Disney was still able to increase its theme-parks segment’s revenue by 6 percent and operating profit by 13 percent is exactly why it’s going to go through with this month’s inevitable hike,” analyst Rick Munarriz wrote Friday on the Motley Fool financial website. “Disney is learning to make more with less, and it won’t stop until revenue and earnings suggest otherwise.”

Still, the company could be reaching the point of pricing out potential visitors, said Bob Boyd, an analyst with Pacific Asset Management.

“We believe it’s going to become increasingly difficult for Disney to continue raising theme-park prices,” he said in an email.

The price of preferred parking, an option added last year, will rise to $40 instead of $35. Preferred parking is one of many perks Disney has added to generate more revenue from guests with the means to pay extra for them.

Also, Disney will eliminate the “water park fun and more” standalone option, which had combined admission to Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon with a golfing outing or a visit to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.  Visitors can still get the combo with a park hopper ticket.

From the Orlando Sentinel

My Disney Experience App Now Supports PhotoPass Editing on iOS

Disney has updated its iOS version of  “My Disney Experience” app to include new PhotoPass editing features.

Guest are now able to add stickers, filters, borders and crop to purchased images, which can then be saved to their device camera roll for sharing.

Also part of this update is enhanced attraction wait time information, which uses location services and Bluetooth to improve performance.