By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here. PDF version available on Gumroad here.



yourfirstvisit.net—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor



Category — j. To-Do Lists for Walt Disney World

2018 Disney World Prices Released

Yesterday prices for 2018 Disney World packages were released. I’ve largely updated my 2018 price seasons page, but have more checking to do, so have left it with its “projected” label for a day or so.

I’m also collecting and analyzing actual nightly prices, comparing them within resorts and to 2017. This is always a pain, and is much more so for 2018, as there is much more variation in prices across the days of the week than we’ve ever seen before, especially for the value, regular, peak and fall seasons.

This pricing messiness means that more than ever before it makes sense to use a travel agent, as the agent can help your figure out if small changes in your planned dates will yield huge savings.

If you want to use an agent, I recommend Kelly. She’s the agent from Destinations in Florida dedicated to the readers of yourfirstvisit.net, and hundreds of my readers have had great experiences with her.

Kelly can be reached at KellyB@DestinationsInFlorida.com or 980-429-4499.

Knowing I was swamped with pricing analytics, Kelly also wrote for me (thanks, Kelly!!!) the following update:

The wait is finally over. 2018 Walt Disney World® packages have been released. Now is the perfect time to book your Disney vacation. From the youngest child to the wisest Main Street citizen, there is something for everyone. 30 unique resorts, 4 theme parks (including the all new Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom), 2 water parks, 100’s of places to snack, sip and dine across Disney property, not to mention the unique mix of dining, shopping and entertainment found at Disney Springs.

When you book a Walt Disney World® vacation package you are in for a magical experience like no other. Your Magic Your Way package includes:

  • Resort accomodations at a Disney Resort hotel
  • Magic Your Way Tickets (2-10 Days. Base tickets allow admission to one theme park per ticket day. Add the Park Hopper Option to visit more than one park per ticket day. To visit the water parks as well, be sure to add the Park Hopper Plus option)
  • Complimentary MagicBands (1 per resort guest)
  • Free airport transfers aboard Disney’s Magical Express (this service is only available at Orlando International Airport – MCO)
  • Keepsake Luggage Tag (one per resort guest)

As a Disney resort guest you also have the option of adding one of Disney’s Dining Plans. Quick Service Dining Plan, Disney Dining Plan or Disney Deluxe Dining Plan.

(All guests staying in the same room must have the same package -dining and ticket options. Children ages 2 and under are free).

The magic doesn’t stop there. These exclusive Magical Extras are included with Walt Disney Travel Company packages at the Walt Disney World® Resort.

Things to Do

  • Miniature Golf: Receive four (4) vouchers per package, each voucher valid for one (1) 18-hole round of miniature golf prior to 4:00 p.m. on one (1) day for ONE (1) Guest at either Disney’s Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course or Disney’s Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Course. Voucher and Magic Band or resort key card are required at time of redemption. Voucher is non-transferable and expires at midnight on the day of checkout. Lost or stolen vouchers will not be replaced. Not valid with any other offer, discount, or promotions, and may not be redeemed for cash in whole or in part. Due to capacity limitations, occasionally it may not be possible to accommodate Guests at the time they choose to visit. No photocopy or reproductions of voucher will be accepted. VOUCHER IS VOID IF SOLD.
  • ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex: Receive four (4) vouchers per package, each voucher valid for one (1) general admission to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on one (1) day for ONE (1) Guest. Valid only on event days. Some events require an additional admission charge. There are no events on certain days. Days and hours of operation of concessions, venues and attractions varies. Visit www.espnwwos.com for more information.
  • Voucher and Magic Band or resort key card are required at time of redemption. Voucher is non-transferable and expires at midnight on the day of checkout. Lost or stolen vouchers will not be replaced. Not valid with any other offer, discount, or promotions, and may not be redeemed for cash in whole or in part. No photocopy or reproductions of voucher will be accepted. VOUCHER IS VOID IF SOLD.
  • Sammy Duvall Water Sports: Receive 10% off the non-discounted price of all activities, including parasailing, waterskiing, wakeboarding, tubing trips and personal watercraft rentals at Sammy Duvall Water Sports Centre located at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Restrictions apply. Excludes merchandise. Subject to availability. For reservations call (407) 939-0754. Due to capacity limitations, occasionally it may not be possible to accommodate Guests at the time they choose to visit.
  • Splitsville Luxury Lanes™: Receive 10% off the non-discounted price of bowling (walk-in bowling only); receive 10% on the purchase of food and non-alcoholic beverages (dine-in only); and receive 10% off the non-discounted price of merchandise at Splitsville Luxury Lanes located in Disney Springs® West Side.

Places to Eat

  • EARL OF SANDWICH®: Receive 10% discount on the purchase of food and nonalcoholic beverages at EARL OF SANDWICH located at Disney Springs Marketplace. Valid for dine-in only. Gratuity not included.
  • Ghirardelli Ice® Cream and Chocolate Shop: Receive 10% discount or $1 off any Specialty Sundae at Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop located in the Disney Springs Marketplace. Cannot be combined with any other offers.
  • House of Blues® Restaurant & Bar: Receive 20% discount on the purchase of food and nonalcoholic beverages during lunch or dinner at House of Blues Restaurant and Bar located in Disney Springs West Side. Valid for dine-in only. Excludes Quick Service location. Discount limited to six guests per party. Gratuity not included. Receive 10% off the non-discounted price of merchandise, excluding CD’s, art, sundries and sale items, at House of Blues Restaurant and Bar located at Disney Springs West Side.
  • Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea Company®: Receive 20% off entire purchase excluding alcohol at Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea Company at the following locations at Walt Disney World Resort: Magic Kingdom® Park, Epcot®, Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park, Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park and Disney Springs The Landing including Tea Traders Café by Joffreys, or purchases online at Joffreys.com and use coupon code: travel.
  • Planet Hollywood Observatory™: Receive 10% discount on the purchase of food and nonalcoholic beverages during lunch or dinner at Planet Hollywood Observatory located at Disney Springs Marketplace. Valid for dine in only. Gratuity not included. Offer not valid for merchandise.
  • Wolfgang Puck® Express: Receive 10% discount on the purchase of food and nonalcoholic beverages during breakfast, lunch or dinner at Wolfgang Puck Express located at Disney Springs Marketplace. Offer not valid for merchandise.

Places to Shop

  • Basin: Receive 10% off entire purchase, (excluding sale items), at Basin located at Disney Springs Marketplace or Basin White located in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.
  • Crystal Arts by Arribas Brothers: Receive 10% off purchases at the Crystal Arts by Arribas Brothers stores at Disney Springs Marketplace, Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot. Exclusions apply. Not applicable for shipping charges. Some other restrictions apply. Discount may not be combined with any other offer.
  • Curl® by Sammy Duvall: Receive 10% off the non-discounted price of merchandise at Curl by Sammy Duvall, located at Disney Springs West Side, excluding sale items.
  • JOHNNY WAS: Receive 20% off a single full priced item at JOHNNY WAS located at the Disney Springs Town Center. Not to be combined with any other discount or offers. Exclusions may apply.
  • Live Trends: Receive 10% off the non-discounted price of merchandise purchased at Live Trends located at Disney Springs Marketplace.
  • Pop Gallery: Receive 10% off the non-discounted price of merchandise at Pop Gallery located at Disney Springs West Side. Published artists excluded. Not valid toward shipping. Other exclusions may apply.
  • Set The Bar: Receive 10% off the non-discounted price of merchandise at Set The Bar located at Disney Springs The Landing.
  • Something Silver®: Receive 10% off the non-discounted price of merchandise at Something Silver located at Disney Springs West Side.
  • Sublime Gifts and Finds: Receive 10% off the non-discounted price of merchandise at Sublime Gifts and Finds located at Disney Springs The Landing.
  • Sugarboo & Co: Receive a gift with any purchase of US $50 or more at Sugarboo & Co. located at Disney Springs Town Center. Cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions. Exclusions may apply and subject to availability.
  • UGG: Receive customization up to US $35 with any merchandise purchase at UGG located at Disney Springs Town Center. Exclusions may apply.
  • Vince Camuto: Take 15% off your Vince Camuto purchase located within Town Center at Disney Springs. Offer valid in Disney Springs Vince Camuto store only. To redeem, present card at point of purchase. Not for use on previous purchases, with purchase of gift cards or in combination with other offers. No price adjustments on items purchased after 30 days. Some exclusions may apply. See sales associate for more details. Code: MAGIC15

With so many options and choices, planning a Disney vacation can be a bit overwhelming. But no worries, Kelly B is the designated Destinations in Florida travel agent for yourfirstvisit.net. As your personal Disney World expert, when you book a vacation package with Kelly, she is able to provide you with the agency’s many valuable services including:

  • Free Itinerary Planning
  • Free Mouse Perks – Tips, Updates, and Fun Freebies
  • Free Dining Services – Dining suggestions and reservation planning
  • Free FastPass+ Services – FastPass+ planning and reservation assistance
  • Free Future Discount Search – Ongoing searching for future discount to apply to your vacation
  • Give Kids The World – Our agency is proud to support one of Orlando’s local organizations called Give Kids the World. This organization is a 70 acre storybook village in Kissimmee where children with life-threatening illnesses are treated to a cost-free fantasy vacation. For every package booked with our agency, a donation goes to Give Kids the World. Thank you for helping support this wonderful organization.

Contact Kelly B today at KellyB@DestinationsInFlorida.com or 980-429-4499.

The 2017 easy Guide

Kelly B Can Help You Book Your Trip

Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest!!

June 21, 2017   1 Comment

To-Do List: Disney World Higher Crowd Itinerary

This To-Do List is for the Disney World  Higher Crowd ItineraryFor To-Do-Lists for other itineraries, see this.

(Note that a good travel agent, such as Kelly at Destinations in Florida at 980-429-4499 or at Kelly@DestinationsInFlorida.com can do almost all of this for you, for free. If you use Destinations in Florida as your travel agent and tell them you came from this site, then they share a bit of the pixie dust they get from Disney with me.)

A. MORE THAN 180 DAYS BEFORE YOUR PLANNED ARRIVAL DATE

1. Confirm your budget, planned dates, intended hotel, kids’ development and heights, and your transportation choice and its availability for your planned dates.

2. Make your plane reservations, if flying. Make any other needed transportation arrangements.

3. Create your My Disney Experience account here and add your family members to it

4. Set up your hotel and tickets. Call 407-939-7675 (preferred, because this allows you to tell the reservationist which building at your resort you wish to be in), or click here to use Disney’s online system.  (Note: if your dates are later than what the online system permits, see this.)

  • If you are following my itinerary, you want the hotel you’ve picked for 8 nights, nine day no hopper tickets, the Dining Plan, and Disney’s Magical Express if you are flying
  • Itineraries other than mine will have different requirements here

B. 181 DAYS BEFORE YOUR ARRIVAL DATE

San Angel Inn at Epcot from yourfirstvisit.netDecide whether on your first night you’ll be dining at Akershus or the San Angel Inn. Akershus is a princess meal–you’ll have another princess meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table on Thursday.  If you really like princesses, do Akershus; otherwise, San Angel Inn is the better choice.

Login to your MyDisneyExperience.com account, click the “Things to Do” tab at top right, under Dining hit “Make Reservations,” and practice trying to reserve restaurants (hint: use the search box at the upper right).

This may well drive you crazy, but the site works better than it used to…and is likely the only way you can get your Cindy reservations done! (as the site opens up a new reservable day at 6a, whereas the phone reservation line opens at 7a).

Collect your restaurant reservations together. You will want to do them online in order of hardest to reserve first. This is how they are listed below.

C. EXACTLY 6am EST, EXACTLY 180 DAYS BEFORE YOUR ARRIVAL DATE

(For an 180 day calendar, see this).

Be on the restaurant website by at least 5:50am EST, and have your Cindy reservation all set up on the page. Keep refreshing, as you will be let in as soon as Disney’s system decides it is 6a.

Make as many of the following as you have patience for (try to get through at least Tusker House), in the exact order listed–but note that sometimes the Rivers of Light Dining Package is not available until 90-120 days before:

  • Cinderella’s Royal Table Lunch (dining plan, two credits): Thursday at 11a or later if you can; earlier than 11 only if your sole option…
  • Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue (dining plan, two credits): Tuesday 6.15p show. The later time will keep you up later than you need to be, OK if all you can get. Avoid the earlier time–it’ll cut into your park time too much
  • Chef Mickey’s (dining plan, one credit) Tuesday 11a.  Later is OK, but not a whole lot earlier–no earlier than 10.30a
  • Tusker House as Rivers of Light Dining Package (dining plan, one credit). First Sunday 5.30p. You can schedule for as late as Disney will allow you to do so, but not earlier.
  • Crystal Palace (dining plan, one credit): Second Saturday 6p if you can; earlier OK, but not later
  • Akershus Banquet or San Angel Inn (dining plan, one credit): First Saturday 6p.  No later than 6.30p, but earlier is OK if your travel plans allow for an ealrier arrival at Epcot.

For those you don’t make online, make them by calling call (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463)

D. 60 DAYS BEFORE YOUR ARRIVAL DATE

Liking the Name on This MagicBand1. Be on your MyDisneyExperience account by 7a and set up the following FastPass+

  • First Saturday afternoon and evening at Epcot: Tier One: Frozen Ever After. Tier Two: Spaceship Earth. The Tier One FastPass+ is your priority. Set the Tier Two times for when your travel plans permit you to be in the park. If you van book just one because of your travel schedule, choose Frozen Ever After
  • First Sunday at the Animal Kingdom: Na’vi River Journey, Finding Nemo: The Musical, and Kali River Rapids. Set Na’vi for 10-11a, Nemo 11.30 to 11.45 for the noon show, and Kali River Rapids at 12:40p
  • Monday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Tier One: Great Movie Ride. Tier Two: Tower of Terror and Indiana Jones. Set Tower of Terror for 9-10a, Great Movie Ride for 10-11, and Indiana Jones for the noon show time.
  • Tuesday at the Magic Kingdom: Space Mountain, Tomorrowland Speedway, and Jungle Cruise. Set Space Mountain for 9-10a, the Speedway for 10-11a, and Jungle Cruise for 3-4p.
  • Wednesday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Tier One: Toy Story Midway Mania; Tier Two: Star Tours and the Frozen Sing-Along. Set Toy Story for 1.10 to 2.10p, Frozen for the 2.30p show, and Star Tours for 3.15-4.15p
  • Thursday at the Magic Kingdom: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Enchanted Tales with Belle, and the Haunted Mansion. Target Seven Dwarfs for 1-2p, Belle for 2-3p, and the Haunted Mansion for 3.30-4.30p.
  • Friday at Epcot: Tier One: Test Track. Tier Two: Mission: SPACE and Turtle Talk with Crush. Set Mission: SPACE for 9a-10a, Test Track for 10a-11a, and Turtle Talk with Crush for 12.30p to 1.30p.
  • Second Saturday at the Magic Kingdom: Pirates of the Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain, and a third ride. Set Big Thunder for 9-10a, and Pirates for 10-11a
  • Second Sunday at the Animal Kingdom: Avatar: Flight of Passage and Festival of the Lion King. Set Flight of Passage for 9.30 to 10.30a, and Festival of the Lion King for 10.30-10.45a for the 11a show.

2. Do online check in, requesting as you do special location points

3. Customize your MagicBands

E. NOTES ON PACKING ETC. BEFORE YOU LEAVE

1. Bring your MagicBands in your carry-ons

2. If you use Disney’s Magical Express, you do not need to collect your bags at the Orlando airport unless you arrive late in the evening/at night or are an international traveler. Disney will get them for you and, eventually, deliver them directly to your room. Your bags may arrive hours after you do; so, depending on the weather forecasts, have a carry-on with an appropriate change of clothes for Orlando weather on Saturday, as you will almost certainly go to Epcot on Saturday before your checked bags arrive.

3. Follow the instructions in the Magical Express packet you will receive in the mail regarding both tagging your bags pre-departure, and where to go at the Orlando airport to find your transport to your resort.

4. Bring a copy of your room reservation, confirmation numbers and any tickets for special events you may have received in the mail.

5. Pack breakfast utensils, as they are not always available in the gift shop: bowls, spoons, napkins

6. When you arrive at the hotel, look for the special “On-line Check-in” line, and get into it.

The 2017 easy Guide

Kelly B Can Help You Book Your Trip

Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest!!

May 11, 2017   No Comments

To-Do List: Disney World Lower Crowd Itinerary

This To-Do List is for the Disney World Lower Crowd ItineraryFor To-Do-Lists for other itineraries, see this.

A. MORE THAN 180 DAYS BEFORE YOUR PLANNED ARRIVAL DATE

(Note that a good travel agent, such as Kelly at Destinations in Florida at 980-429-4499 or at Kelly@DestinationsInFlorida.com! can do almost all of this for you, for free. If you use Destinations in Florida as your travel agent and tell them you came from this site, then they share a bit of the pixie dust they get from Disney with me.)

1. Confirm your budget, planned dates, intended hotel, kids’ development and heights, and your transportation choice and its availability for your planned dates.

2. Make your plane reservations, if flying. Make any other needed transportation arrangements.

3. Create your My Disney Experience account here and add your family members to it

4. Set up your hotel and tickets. Call 407-939-7675 (preferred, because this allows you to tell the reservationist which building at your resort you wish to be in), or click here to use Disney’s online system.  (Note: if your dates are later than what the online system permits, see this.)

  • If you are following my itinerary, you want the hotel you’ve picked for 8 nights; nine day, no hopper, tickets; the Dining Plan; and Disney’s Magical Express if you are flying
  • Itineraries other than mine will have different requirements here

B. 181 DAYS BEFORE YOUR ARRIVAL DATE

San Angel Inn at Epcot from yourfirstvisit.netDecide whether on your first night you’ll be dining at Akershus or the San Angel Inn. Akershus is a princess meal–you’ll have another princess meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table on Thursday.  If you really like princesses, do Akershus; otherwise, San Angel Inn is the better choice.

Login to your MyDisneyExperience.com account, click the “Things to Do” tab at top right, under Dining hit “Make Reservations,” and practice trying to reserve restaurants (hint: use the search box at the upper right).

This may well drive you crazy, but the site works better than it used to…and is likely the only way you can get your Cindy reservations done! (as the site opens up a new reservable day at 6a, whereas the phone reservation line opens at 7a).

Collect your restaurant reservations together. You will want to do them online in order of hardest to reserve first. This is how they are listed below.

Note that the Rivers of Light dining package has so far not been open for booking until much closer than 180 days, so it may not be available at the 180 day mark.  If not, keep trying.

C. EXACTLY 6am EST, EXACTLY 180 DAYS BEFORE YOUR ARRIVAL DATE

(For an 180 day calendar, see this).

Be on the restaurant website by at least 5:50am EST, and have your Cindy reservation all set up on the page. Keep refreshing, as you will be let in as soon as Disney’s system decides it is 6a.

Make as many of the following as you have patience for (try to get through at least Chef Mickey’s), in the exact order listed:

  • Cinderella’s Royal Table Lunch (dining plan, two credits): Thursday at 11a or later if you can; earlier than 11 only if your sole option…
  • Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue (dining plan, two credits): Tuesday 6.15p show. The later time will keep you up later than you need to be, OK if all you can get. Avoid the earlier time–it’ll cut into your park time too much
  • Chef Mickey’s (dining plan, one credit): Tuesday 11a.  Later is OK, but not a whole lot earlier–no earlier than 10.30a
  • Tusker House as Rivers of Light Dining Package (dining plan, one credit): First Sunday 5.30p. The timing of Rivers of Light varies, so if offered it’s ok to do it later–they will only offer later reservations if they fit with the Rivers of Light timing. This may not be available at 180 days–if not, keep checking
  • Crystal Palace (dining plan, one credit): Second Saturday 6p if you can; earlier OK, but not later
  • Akershus Banquet or San Angel Inn (dining plan, one credit): First Saturday 7p.  No later, but earlier is OK.

For those you don’t make online, make them by calling call (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463)

D. 60 DAYS BEFORE YOUR ARRIVAL DATE

Liking the Name on This MagicBand1. Go to your MyDisneyExperience account at 7am and set up the following FastPass+

  • First Saturday afternoon and evening at Epcot: Tier One: Frozen Ever After. Tier Two: Spaceship Earth.  Set the times for when your travel plans permit you to be in the park. If your plans allow only one, pick Frozen Ever After
  • First Sunday at the Animal Kingdom: Na’vi River Journey, Finding Nemo: The Musical, and Kali River Rapids. Set Na’vi for 10-11a, Nemo 11.30 to 11.45 for the noon show, and Kali River Rapids at 12:40p
  • Monday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Tier One: Toy Story Midway Mania. Tier Two: Star Tours and Frozen Sing-Along. Set Toy Story Midway Mania for 1.30-2.30p, Star Tours for 2.30 to 3.30p, and the Frozen Sing Along for after.
  • Tuesday at the Magic Kingdom: Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, and Jungle Cruise. Set Space Mountain for 12-1p, Buzz Lightyear for 1-2p, and Jungle Cruise for 3.30-4.30p
  • Wednesday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Tier One: Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. Tier Two: Tower of Terror and Voyage of the Little Mermaid. Set Voyage for 12.30-1.30p, Tower of Terror for 2.30-3.30p, and Rock ‘n’ Roller for 3.30-4.30p.
  • Thursday at the Magic Kingdom: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Enchanted Tales with Belle, and the Haunted Mansion. Target Seven Dwarfs for 1-2p, Belle for 2-3p, and the Haunted Mansion for 3.30-4.30p. (At park open, head to Peter Pan.)
  • Friday at Epcot: Tier One: Test Track. Tier Two: Turtle Talk with Crush and a Mission: SPACE. Set Mission: SPACE for 9.30-10.30a, Test Track for 10.30a-11.30a,and Turtle Talk with Crush for 12.30p to 1.30p.
  • Second Saturday at the Magic Kingdom: Splash Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Big Thunder Mountain. Set Big Thunder for 11.30-12.30, Pirates for 12.30-1.30, and Splash for 1.30-2.30.
  • Second Sunday at the Animal Kingdom: Avatar: Flight of Passage and Festival of the Lion King. Set Flight of Passage for 9.30 to 10.30a, and Festival of the Lion King for 10.30-10.45a for the 11a show.

2. Do online check in, requesting as you do special location points

3. Customize your MagicBands

E. NOTES ON PACKING ETC. BEFORE YOU LEAVE

1. Bring your MagicBands in your carry-ons

2. If you use Disney’s Magical Express, you do not need to collect your bags at the Orlando airport unless you arrive late in the evening/at night or are an international traveler. Disney will get them for you and, eventually, deliver them directly to your room. Your bags may arrive hours after you do; so, depending on the weather forecasts, have a carry-on with an appropriate change of clothes for Orlando weather on Saturday, as you will almost certainly go to Epcot on Saturday before your checked bags arrive.

3. Follow the instructions in the Magical Express packet you will receive in the mail regarding both tagging your bags pre-departure, and where to go at the Orlando airport to find your transport to your resort.

4. Bring a copy of your room reservation, confirmation numbers and any tickets for special events you may have.

5. Pack breakfast utensils, as they are not always available in the gift shop: bowls, spoons, napkins

6. When you arrive at the hotel, look for the special “On-line Check-in” line, and get into it.
The 2017 easy Guide

Kelly B Can Help You Book Your Trip

Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook or Google+ or Twitter or Pinterest!!

May 2, 2017   No Comments

Revised Animal Kingdom Touring Plans Incorporating Pandora: World of Avatar

FastPass+ for Avatar: Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey will become bookable March 24 for those visiting Pandora: World of Avatar after its opening May 27 (and staying in a Disney-owned resort or the Swan or Dolphin).

Revised Animal Kingdom suggested FastPass+ bookings and touring plans for those following my FastPass+ High Crowd Itinerary–which covers arrival dates from May 27 through August 5–are below.

FIRST SUNDAY ANIMAL KINGDOM DAY 1

MORNING PLAN

Book FastPass+ for Na’vi River Journey (10-11a), Finding Nemo: The Musical (noon show), and Rivers of Light (first show)

  • Arrive 40 minutes before open
  • At open, head to and ride Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • See Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
  • See Na’vi River Journey (FastPass+)
  • Have lunch
  • See the noon Finding Nemo: The Musical (FastPass+)
  • See the Maharajah Jungle Trek
  • See the 1.30 Flights of Wonder
  • See it’s Tough to Be a Bug
  • Head back to your hotel for a nap and dinner

EVENING PLAN

  • Be back in the park by at one hour before Rivers of Light
  • See Rivers of Light (FastPass+)—be in the FastPass+ line 30 minutes before show start
  • Explore Tree of Life Awakenings and Pandora: World of Avatar after dark
  • Ride, if you wish, Expedition Everest and/or Kilimanjaro Safaris after dark
  • Head back to your hotel

SECOND SUNDAY ANIMAL KINGDOM DAY 2

Book FastPass+ for Avatar Flight of Passage (9.30-10.30a), Festival of the Lion King (11a show) and Kali River Rapids (11.45a-12.45p or later, given your travel schedule)

  • Arrive 40 minutes before open
  • At open, head to and ride Expedition Everest
  • Ride DINOSAUR
  • Ride Primeval Whirl
  • Ride (if desired) Triceratops Spin
  • Ride Avatar Flight of Passage (FastPass+)
  • See the 11a Festival of the Lion King (FastPass+)
  • Fit more exploring of Avatar: World of Pandora and seeing Maharajah Jungle Trails around your Kali River Rapids FastPass+

The 2017 easy Guide

Kelly B Can Help You Book Your Trip

Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook or Google+ or Twitter or Pinterest!!

March 23, 2017   No Comments

To-Do List for 2016 Basic December FastPass+ Itinerary

This To-Do List is for the FastPass+ 2016 Basic December Itinerary. For To-Do-Lists for other itineraries, see this.

basic-december-itinerary-from-yourfirstvisit-net-oct

A. MORE THAN 180 DAYS BEFORE YOUR PLANNED ARRIVAL DATE

(Note that a good travel agent, such as Destinations in Florida, can do almost all of this for you, for free. If you use Destinations in Florida as you travel agent through a link for this site–like this one–then they share a bit of the pixie dust they get from Disney with me.)

1. Confirm your budget, planned dates, intended hotel, kids’ development and heights, and your transportation choice and its availability for your planned dates.

2. Make your plane reservations, if flying. Make any other needed transportation arrangements.

3. Create your My Disney Experience account here and add your family members to it

4. Set up your hotel and tickets. Call 407-939-7675 (preferred, because this allows you to tell the reservationist which building at your resort you wish to be in), or click here to use Disney’s online system.

  • If you are following my itinerary, you want the hotel you’ve picked for 8 nights, nine day, no hopper, no “water parks and more” tickets, the Dining Plan, and Disney’s Magical Express
  • Itineraries other than mine will have different requirements here

B. 181 DAYS BEFORE YOUR ARRIVAL DATE

San Angel Inn at Epcot from yourfirstvisit.net1. Login to your MyDisneyExperience.com account, click the “Things to Do” tab at top right, under Dining hit “Make Reservations,” and practice trying to reserve restaurants (hint: use the search box at the upper right).

This may well drive you crazy, but the site works better than it used to…and is likely the only way you can get your Cindy reservations done! (as the site opens up a new reservable day at 6a, whereas the phone reservation line opens at 7a).

2. Collect your planned restaurant reservations together. You will want to do them online in order of hardest to reserve first. This is how they are listed below.

C. EXACTLY 6am EST, EXACTLY 180 DAYS BEFORE YOUR ARRIVAL DATE

(For an 180 day calendar, see this).

1. Be on the restaurant website by at least 5:50am EST, and have your Cindy reservation all set up on the page. Keep refreshing, as you will be let in as soon as Disney’s system decides it is 6a.

2. Make as many of the following as you have patience for (try to get through at least Chef Mickey’s), in the exact order listed:

  • Cinderella’s Royal Table Lunch (dining plan, two credits): Thursday at 11a or later if you can; earlier than 11 only if your sole option…
  • Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue (dining plan, two credits): Monday 6.15p show. The later time will keep you up later than you need to be, OK if all you can get. Avoid the earlier time–it’ll cut into your park time too much
  • Chef Mickey’s (dining plan, one credit) Second Saturday 6p.  Later is OK, but not a whole lot earlier as you have a late lunch this day
  • Akershus Banquet (dining plan): Lunch Tuesday, as close to noon as you can get it.
  • San Angel Inn as Candlelight Processional Dining Package (dining plan, two credits): Friday 5.45p. Can be earlier but not later.

For those you don’t make online, make them by calling call (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463)

3. Go to the site for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and order tickets for your family for Tuesday

D. 60 DAYS BEFORE YOUR ARRIVAL DATE

Liking the Name on This MagicBand1. Go to your MyDisneyExperience account as soon as a minute after midnight and set up the following FastPass+

1. Go to your MyDisneyExperience account at 7am and set up the following FastPass+

  • First Saturday evening at Epcot: Book just one, Test Track, for 6-7p
  • First Sunday at Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Kali River Rapids 1-2p, Rivers of Light (keep checking for its opening date and book your FastPass+ for it as soon as it opens for them), Kilimanjaro Safaris (latest available; you may later have to move it to book Rivers of Light)
  • Monday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Toy Story Midway Mania noon-1p, Star Tours 1-2p, Frozen Sing-Along 3.30 show
  • Tuesday at Epcot: Frozen Ever After 12.30-1.30p, Mission Space 1.30-2.30p, Spaceship Earth 2.30-3.30p
  • Wednesday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Voyage of the Little Mermaid noon-1p; Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster 4-5p, Tower of Terror 5-6p
  • Thursday at Magic Kingdom: Book FastPass+ for Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain. Design the times for them around the time of your reservation for Cinderella’s Royal Table, and don’t set one for 2.30-3.30p, as you will need that time for the afternoon parade. (A FP+ 2-3p and/or 3-4p is OK, as you can use them at the beginning of the 2p window or end of the 3p window without interrupting your parade viewing.
  • Friday at Epcot: Soarin’ 11a-noon, Living with the Land noon-1p, Turtle Talk with Crush 2p show
  • Second Saturday at Magic Kingdom: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train 1-2p, Peter Pan’s Flight 2-3p, Haunted Mansion 3-4p
  • Second Sunday at Disney’s Animal Kingdom: 10a show of Festival of the Lion King (will show as “9.30”), Expedition Everest 10.40-11.40a, DINOSAUR 11.40a-12.40p

2. Do online check in, requesting as you do special location points

3. Customize your MagicBands

E. NOTES ON PACKING ETC. BEFORE YOU LEAVE

1. Bring your MagicBands in your carry-ons

2. If you use Disney’s Magical Express, you do not need to collect your bags at the Orlando airport unless you arrive late in the evening/at night or are an international traveler. Disney will get them for you and, eventually, deliver them directly to your room. Your bags may arrive hours after you do; so, depending on the weather forecasts, have a carry-on with an appropriate change of clothes for Orlando weather on Saturday, as you will almost certainly go to Epcot on Saturday before your checked bags arrive.

3. Follow the instructions in the Magical Express packet you will receive in the mail regarding both tagging your bags pre-departure, and where to go at the Orlando airport to find your transport to your resort.

4. Bring a copy of your room reservation, confirmation numbers and any tickets for special events you may have received in the mail.

5. Pack breakfast utensils, as they are not always available in the gift shop: bowls, spoons, napkins

6. When you arrive at the hotel, look for the special “On-line Check-in” line, and get into it.

MATERIAL IN THIS DISNEY WORLD ITINERARY

The 2017 easy Guide

Kelly B Can Help You Book Your Trip

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June 2, 2016   4 Comments

The Basics: My Disney Experience and MagicBands

The Basics - My Disney Experience and MagicBands from yourfirstvisit.net

MY DISNEY EXPERIENCE AND MAGICBANDS

The My Disney Experience web resources (and app) is a key tool for planning your Disney World vacation–especially FastPass+.

And if you are staying in a Disney-owned resort, you need to know about MagicBands too!

MY DISNEY EXPERIENCE

If you don’t already have a My Disney Experience (MDE) account, sign up for one by visiting this page and clicking the “sign in or create account” button in the middle of the screen.

There’s also a My Disney Experience app. Once you are signed up on the website, get the app as well. Although Disney does not make a big deal out of this, the website is meant for planning, and the app for in-Orlando checks and changes. It is generally easier and faster to do your planning via the website.

A My Disney Experience account is required to make FastPass+ reservations, and handy for all your other reservations. If you are staying at a Disney-owned resort hotel, you also use it to customize your MagicBands (more on those below) and do online check-in.

My Disney Experience

See the menu items at the top of the image. From your account you can buy tickets (“Parks & Tickets”), book your hotel (“Places to Stay”), make dining and other reservations (“Things to Do”), and see your current plans.

My Disney Experience Drop Down

There’s many more tools in the “My Disney Experience” dropdown at the right.

The first section is “Plan and Manage,” with three clickable links, “My Itinerary,” “My Reservations and Tickets,” and “FastPass+.”

My Itineraries

“My Itinerary” will show everything MDE knows about your trip, one day at a time. So it knows and reminds me that April I am having lunch at Sanaa, later have some FastPass+ at the Animal Kingdom, and am checking out of a Jambo DVC room and into a regular Animal Kingdom Lodge room.

My Tickets and Reservations

“My Reservations and Tickets” shows basically the same stuff, but ordered by topic rather than date–so, for example, all dining will be grouped under the topic “Dining Reservations.”

It also adds a list of your valid tickets, and begins with, in red, some annoying messaging. Messaging is one of the weaker parts of the MDE site—there’s no way to mark messages as read, etc.

My Tickets and Reservations--Link Tickets

One important feature of this page is that you can link tickets and reservations that you did not make from your MDE account, like if you bought discounted tickets from the Official Ticket Center, (or that just aren’t showing up there) by clicking the “Link Tickets” or “Link Dining Reservations” buttons. You need your reservation numbers to make these work.

“FastPass+” is where you make and modify your FastPass+. Details on how to set up your Disney World FastPass+ are elsewhere on this site.

The next major section is “My Account,” with “My Profile,” “My Family and Friends,” “My Wish List,” “MagicBands and Cards,” and “Annual Passholders.”

My Profile

“My Profile” is where you edit, review and change your basic data.

You can also add family and friends through a link here, or through the next menu item, “My Family and Friends.”

Family and Friends

Adding other folk lets you then assign tickets to them, group them into FastPass+ parties you are scheduling, add them to dining reservations, etc. The simplest way to do this is just to type in their name.

Disney has instructions for more complicated relationships here. If you have trouble, try tech support—at (407) 939-5277—and have the ticket and reservation numbers of the missing elements at hand.

My Wish List

Next is “My Wish List.” I’ve never used it nor do I know anyone who has, but it’s meant as a place to bookmark things you want to do.

MagicBands and Cards

Next is “MagicBands and Cards.” (“Cards” means tickets for which you don’t have MagicBands.)

The most important thing you do here is to de-activate old MagicBands, as having more than around ten active at once messes with Disney’s systems especially at the hotels, as I have learned the hard way. More on MagicBands is below.

The last link in this section is for annual passholders.

The final part of the My Disney Experience dropdown is the “Photography” section with a couple of ways to manage photos if you have PhotoPass shots or have signed up for Disney’s Memory Maker Program

MAGICBANDS

For those staying at a Disney-owned resort, MagicBands are quite handy, and play many roles on a trip. For those not staying at a Disney-owned resort, they do little, are entirely optional, and should really be thought of as souvenirs.

For Disney-owned hotel guests, MagicBands link to everything Disney knows about your trip, and in particular to all of your reservations—hotel, dining, and FastPass+ in particular.

They then function as room keys, park tickets, the link to using your Dining Plan credits, the link to FastPass+, and, if charging privileges are enabled (which you can do or not do for each person on your reservation), a means to charge back to the room.

They contain no personal data—rather, all they have encoded within them is a unique numeric identifier which Disney uses to link up databases in its own systems behind the scenes.

MagicBands are waterproof—you can wear them in the pools or the waterparks. Although designed as wristbands, they don’t even need to be worn on a wrist—you can stick them in a pocket or purse and just wave them about when needed.

Many need to take them off and wave them about anyway since not all the readers work easily when they are on a wrist, especially on hotel room locks.

Customizing MagicBands

The color and names printed on the MagicBands can be customized online at DisneyWorld.com after booking.

Disney will email you when you can begin customization. Select MagicBands and Cards from the My Disney Experience dropdown menu. Confirm the shipping address, then select MagicBands one by one for the people in your party. For each MagicBand, pick a color and customize the name, which is limited to nine characters including spaces.

Liking-the-Name-on-This-MagicBand

So “yourfirstvisit.net” does not fit.

MagicBand Colors

The initial set of colors included red, orange, blue, green, pink, yellow and the default grey.

Purple MagicBands!

The latest color to be added is purple.

My MagicBands from yourfirstvisit.net

If you already have recently-created MagicBands, you can decline new ones. I haven’t so far, as perhaps you can tell. I have a quaint notion that those who write about Disney World hotels ought to have recently stayed in them, and my stack of MagicBands provides a little evidence that I‘ve done so. So do my reviews.

MagicBands

MagicBands will be shipped directly to the U.S. address of your choice if they’re customized at least 10 days before the arrival date. MagicBands customized closer to the check-in date will be available at check-in at the resort.

Disney does not ship MagicBands internationally,which means all visitors without a U.S. address will pick up their MagicBands at check-in. If you fail to customize the MagicBands at all, grey MagicBands will be waiting at the resort at check-in.

Those not staying at a Disney-owned resort can purchase MagicBands on site. The MagicBands of such visitors are linked at the time of purchase to their theme park ticket, and the MagicBand can then be used for FastPass+. Note that a MagicBand is not required to use FastPass+ (a ticket, of course, is required) and off-site guests can simply scan their ticket instead of a Band.

The 2017 easy Guide

Kelly B Can Help You Book Your Trip

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April 13, 2016   No Comments