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 — p. News and Changes

Disney World Room Rate Deals for August to Early October 2017 Released

DISNEY WORLD DEAL FOR LATE SUMMER AND EARLY FALL 2017

This morning, Disney World announced a new room rate deal that covers stays most nights from August 1st through October 7 2017. It needs to be booked by August 31.

Savings range from 15-30% off at the hotels included, and some hotels have two different discount levels depending on when you go.

If you book your vacation through partner and friend of this site Kelly B as your travel agent, she will get the best deal for you!! Contact her at 980-429-4499 or at  Kelly@DestinationsInFlorida.com!

DISNEY VALUE RESORT DEALS

Value resort deals exclude–as usual–Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation. Disney’s website has an error, leaving off the dates of the second part of the offer, which I have on good authority is 9/1-10/7.

DISNEY MODERATE RESORT DEALS

Port Orleans French Quarter is excluded from the August part of the deal among the moderates, and deals at Riverside are slender.

 

DISNEY DELUXE RESORT DEALS

All of the Disney deluxes are in the deal, and savings range from 15% to 30%.

DISNEY DVC RESORT DEALS

Bay Lake Tower and the Villas at the Grand Floridian are excluded from the DVC resorts on offer, as is the new (opening in July) Copper Creek Villas at the Wilderness Lodge. At the Polynesian Villas and Bungalows, only Studios are in the deal.

At the rest, saving vary from 15% to 30%.

 

For detailed reviews of every resort hotel  option, see this or get a copy of my book.

For more on the deal that came out today, see this. For the free dining deal that also came out today, see this. Or, if you sign with Kelly B as your travel agent, she will figure out the best deal for you!! Contact her at 980-429-4499 or at Kelly@DestinationsInFlorida.com!

The 2017 easy Guide

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April 24, 2017   No Comments

2017 Disney World Free Dining Deal is Out

2017 DISNEY WORLD FREE DINING DEAL RELEASED

As expected, this morning Disney World’s fall 2017 free dining deal came out.

To book the deal, contact Kelly at 980-429-4499 or kellyb@destinationsinflorida.com.

It covers arrival dates of

  • 8/21* to 9/30/2017
  • 11/14 to 11/20/17
  • 11/25 to 11/27/17
  • 12/8 to 12/23/17

It requires a three night minimum stay, and a minimum of two ticket days including one of the extra cost Park Hopper or Park Hopper Plus add-on options.

Eligible value and moderate resorts offer the Quick-Service plan for free, and deluxe resorts and DVC spaces offer the Regular Dining Plan for free.

Excluded resorts include Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation, All Star Movies, Port Orleans French Quarter, Copper Creek at the Wilderness Lodge, Bay Lake Tower, Polynesian Villas and Bungalows, Grand Floridian Villas, and after 9/30, Port Orleans Riverside.

For more on Free Dining, see this, and to book the deal contact Kelly at 980-429-4499 or kellyb@destinationsinflorida.com.

*Disney Visa cardholders can book for dates beginning 8/14

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April 24, 2017   2 Comments

Free Dining Deal Expected to Open Tomorrow; Quick Service for Moderates

Update: the 2017 deal is out, see this for details.

The Disney World deal Free Dining is back this year–with one major change. Guests booking a moderate resort stay will now only be receiving for free the Quick Service Dining Plan, rather than the “regular” Disney Dining Plan which includes table service meals that they have received in past versions of this deal.

Values and deluxes will get the same deal as in recent years–quick service at the values, and the regular plan at the deluxes.

In order to get the deal, guests must book a minimum 3-night-stay with 2 days of Park Hopper or Park Hopper+ tickets.

Booking for the package will open tomorrow, Monday, April 24th, 2017. Available arrival dates will be between August 21st* and September 30th, 2017, as well as select dates between November 14th through December 23rd.

Rumor has it that the November and December eligible arrival dates will be 11/14-11/20, 11/25-11/27, and 12/8-12/23.

To get a travel agent to make over your reservation, contact Kelly at 980-429-4499 or kellyb@destinationsinflorida.com.

*Beginning August 13th for Disney Visa Cardholders, and Canadian guests.

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April 23, 2017   1 Comment

Photo Tour of a Standard Room at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

(For the first page of this review of Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, see this.)

PHOTO TOUR OF A ROOM AT DISNEY’S YACHT CLUB RESORT

Standard rooms at the Yacht Club are being refurbed, with the renovation expected to be complete by the end of 2017. This tour is of an un-refurbed room from my March 2017 visit. I’ll have a renovated room to show later this year, but expect it to be near identical to a refurbed Beach Club room, except for colors and details.

Renovated or not, these standard Yacht Club rooms sleep either four on two queens or five on two queens and a sofa that converts to a bed.  These photos (and the floor plan) are of a five-person room.

As is typical, when you enter the room the bath is on one side and the closet on the other.


On the closet side you’ll first find this small set of drawers…

…expanding the storage available in the room and handy to the bath. The coffee maker may be on top of it, or on the desk.

Next comes the large closet.

Here’s one side.

Note the ironing board etc. on the other side of the closet. There’s also a small safe set in the closet–all Disney rooms have small safes, some smaller than others.

On the other side you’ll find the bath, starting with a pair of sinks.

In a separate space you’ll find the toilet and tub.

Deeper in the room you’ll find two queens on one side, and in the rooms with the fifth sleeping spot, the desk is on this side too.

Here’s the beds from the back of the room…

…and a close up of one of the beds.

There’s a small shelf on the bath wall, and this bedside table between the beds…

…with a bit of storage.

Here’s the desk:

Rolly Table Disney's Yacht Club Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

It includes a small rolling table that plays multiple roles: perch the kids on the couch or bed and roll it up to them for dining, or use it as a better-height laptop table.

In Need of Refurb Disney's Yacht Club Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

Note the worn edges.  These rooms badly need their current refurb.

On the other side of the room you’ll find the TV and dresser, and in five person rooms a couch–maybe I should call  this a daybed?

The TV side from the back.

The dresser includes a mini-fridge…

…and four smallish drawers–making the extra drawers near the bath that much more valuable.

Here’s the couch.

Take off the throws and it’s a bed. I measured it at 72″ long by 30 inches wide, with a 6 inch cushion.

Day Bed Tight Fit Disney's Yacht Club Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

The arms are right on the cushion, so it sleeps shorter than the mattress length implies–but it is comfortable!!

The balcony.

On my latest stay our balcony had distant views of IllumiNations…

View from Balcony Disney's Yacht Club Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

…but other stays here have had less good views–this one was of the roof of the central back-of-the-house kitchens shared by the Yacht and Beach Club.

Wall Art Disney's Yacht Club Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

There’s some nautical theming in the room–e.g. the sailboats on the shower curtain, the wheel in the headboards, and the 12 Meter race above the couch.

Some other nautical and Disney touches:

These rooms are nicely proportioned and have all the right furnishings.  They are tired, though, and need their refurb!

DINING AT DISNEY’S YACHT CLUB RESORT

This review continues here!

The 2017 easy Guide

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April 18, 2017   No Comments

Photo Tour of a Refurbed Standard Room at the Disney World Dolphin

For the first page of this review of the Disney World Swan and Dolphin, see this.

REFURBED STANDARD ROOMS AT THE DISNEY WORLD DOLPHIN

Rooms at the Dolphin are being refurbed, and this photo tour is of a refurbed room. The main elements of the refurb are a simplified bath, new dresser and table, and different fabrics and finishes. Refurbed rooms have kept the full beds and single sink that make Dolphin rooms less family-friendly.

For a photo tour of an un-refurbed Dolphin room, see this.

The room layout is traditional with a bath on one side of the entry and a closet on the other.

The closet is large but not as engineered for capacity as are those in Swan rooms.

Next to the closet is a small station with a coffee service on top and a shelf below. The mini-fridge that used to be here has shifted into the main room.

The divided bath has a single sink in an outer space…

…with some amenities in shelving between the studs.

Sink Disney World Dolphin from yourfirstvisit.net

This layout adds simplicity and space to what used to be an angled sink and vanity area.

Beyond the sink area you’ll find in their own space a toilet and tub/shower combo.

Deeper in the room the bed side offers two full beds. Note the easy chair beyond them.

Here’s the beds from the back.

Between them is a small bedside table.

The other side of the room has a dresser, TV, and a table and chair.

This side of the room from the back. The table can serve as either a dining or games table, or a desk.

The dresser has four medium-sized drawers.

At one side of the dresser you’ll find this mini-fridge

Dolphin rooms have a variety of views, and most don’t have balconies.

Our room did have a balcony, and from it I could see glimpses of the Hollywood Studios Star Wars fireworks!

AMENITIES AT THE DISNEY WORLD SWAN AND DOLPHIN

This review continues here!
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April 11, 2017   No Comments

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (“MVMCP”) in 2017

DISNEY WORLD’S SPECIAL CHRISTMAS PARTY IN 2017

While Christmas itself is December 25 of course, Walt Disney World provides a special Christmas celebration at the Magic Kingdom many nights in November and December.

This celebration is called “Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, or “MVMCP” for short.

At the party, many of the Magic Kingdom’s rides are open with really low waits, and cookies and hot chocolate, special events, a Christmas parade, special fireworks, and even snow (!) are offered.

The official Disney World page for this event (where you can also buy tickets, once they become available) can be found here. For a review of the 2016 version of MVMCP, see this.

MORE ON MICKEY’S VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS PARTY

This party occurs from 7p-12MN on certain evenings at the Magic Kingdom in November and December.

The 2017 dates for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party are as follows:

  • November 2017: 8, 9, 12, 14, 16, 17, 26 and 28
  • December 2017: 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21 and 22

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party from yourfirstvisit.netYou need to buy a special ticket for this party. This ticket is different from regular Walt Disney World park admission tickets.

  • The special party ticket does not allow you to enjoy the rides and attractions of the Magic Kingdom before the Party starts–you need a regular ticket for that (note that you can usually enter and enjoy the rides as early as 4p–although your ticket will say 7p)
  • Regular tickets used to enter the park earlier the day of a Party do not give you access to the Party–you need to have the special Party ticket

Mickey and Minnie at Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade at MVMCP 2014 from yourfirstvisit.net_

The party tickets are expensive, so why would first-time visitors be interested? A couple of potential reasons

  • Evening fireworks shows are rare this time of year, so going to one of the parties is a way to guarantee you can see them
  • Operating hours at the Magic Kingdom are shorter this time of year, so the Party allows you more time there within the same visit
  • Walt Disney World sells only a limited number of tickets to each party, so the evening can be less crowded, particularly compared to whenever the Magic Kingdom is doing evening Extra Magic Hours that week

Many families go the first time for one of these reasons…and then going becomes a tradition!

On the other hand, families following one of the standard 8-night itineraries on this site will see the fireworks and evening parade, and have plenty of time at the Magic Kingdom. For that reason, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is not designed into this site’s pre-Thanksgiving itineraries.

It is, however, built in to this site’s Christmas-oriented Basic Itinerary, which works for the three weeks beginning the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

For details on what the party offers, suggested approaches, etc., see this!

Here’s the 2016 brochure–as always on this site, click to enlarge:

2016-mvmcp-brochure-side-1

2016-mvmcp-brochure-side-2

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April 7, 2017   2 Comments