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 2018 Resort Price Seasons

2018 RESORT PRICE SEASONS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

The material below shows resort price seasons at Walt Disney World at different times of the year in 2018.

It’s based on material Disney published June 20, 2017, revised–especially January–June 21, and may revise yet again. As my material is based on moving averages and ranges, revisions should not much change conclusions you’d draw from it. (For 2017 price seasons, see this.)

Although this may change at the next ticket price increase, currently only one-day ticket prices vary over the course of the year–multi-day tickets do not, although they typically have an annual increase during the year. See this for more on ticket prices.

Resort prices, however, can be almost twice as high during some periods as they are at others.

In the material below, “X% Higher” means compared to the lowest prices of the year.

In addition to the detailed forecasts presented below, Disney ups prices even more during certain weekends and holidays–particularly over the Martin Luther King Day weekend, President’s Day weekend, Memorial Day weekend, Columbus Day weekend, and Veterans Day weekend.

The images give an overview of the year, with specifics in the lists.

Cars at Disney's Art of Animation Resort from yourfirstvisit.net

2018 DISNEY WORLD PRICE SEASONS: VALUE RESORTS

  • 40-50% higher–the peak season–begins 1/1/2018
  • Lowest of year–the value season–begins 1/2/18
  • 20-30% higher–Marathon rates–begin 1/3/18
  • Lowest of year–the value season–begins 1/7/18
  • 25-30% higher–the regular season-begins 2/11/18
  • 40-50% higher–the peak season–begins 2/15/18
  • 25-30% higher–the regular season–begins 2/25/18
  • 40-50% higher–the peak season–begins 3/9/18
  • 65-70% higher–the Easter season–begins 3/25/18
  • 25-30% higher–the regular season–begins 4/8/18

  • 35-40% higher–the summer season–begins 5/25/18
  • 25-30% higher–the regular season–begins 8/12/18
  • 10-15% higher–the fall season–begins 8/26/18
  • 25-30% higher–the regular season–begins 9/16/18
  • 10-15% higher–the fall season– begins 10/28/18
  • 30-40% higher over Thanksgiving begins 11/17/18
  • 10-15% higher–the fall seasonbegins 11/24/18
  • 25-30% higher–the regular season–begins 12/9/18
  • 40-50% higher–the peak season–begins 12/14/18
  • 65-80% higher–the holiday season–begins 12/21/18

Disney's Polynesian Resort from yourfirstvisit.net2018 DISNEY WORLD PRICE SEASONS: DELUXE RESORTS

  • 30-45% higher–the peak season–begins 1/1/18
  • Lowest of year–the value season–begins 1/3/18
  • 15-25% higher–Marathon rates–begins 1/4/18
  • Lowest of year–the value season–begins 1/7/18
  • 20-25% higher–the regular season–begins 2/11/18
  • 30-45% higher–the peak season–begins 2/15/18
  • 20-25% higher–the regular season–begins 2/25/18
  • 30-45% higher–the peak season–begins 3/9/18
  • 50-65% higher–the Easter season–begins 3/25/18
  • 30-45% higher–the peak season–begins 4/8/18

  • 20-25% higher–the regular season–begins 4/15/18
  • 10-20% higher–the summer season–begins 5/25/18
  • 5-10% highernear-lowest of year–the value season 2–begins 7/6/18
  • Lowest of year–the value seasonbegins 8/24/18
  • 10-25% higher–the regular season 2–begins 9/21/18
  • 10-20% higher–the fall season–begins 10/14/18
  • 20-25% higher–the regular season–begins 11/2/18
  • 10-20% higher–the fall season–begins 11/12/18
  • 25-40% higher during Thanksgiving begins 11/20/18
  • 10-20% higher–the fall season–begins 11/24/18
  • 20-25% higher–the regular season–beings 12/9/18
  • 30-45% higher–the peak season–begins 12/14/18
  • 55-75% higher–the holiday season–begins 12/21/18

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort from yourfirstvisit.net2018 DISNEY WORLD PRICE SEASONS: MODERATE RESORTS

  • 25-30% higher–the peak season–begins 1/1/18
  • Lowest of year–the value seasonbegins 1/3/18
  • 10-15% higher–Marathon rates–begins 1/4/18
  • Lowest of year–the value seasonbegins 1/7/18
  • 15-20% higher–the regular season-begins 2/11/18
  • 25-30% higher–the peak season–begins 2/15/18
  • 15-20% higher–the regular season-begins 2/25/18
  • 25-30% higher–the peak season–begins 3/9/18
  • 45-50% higher–the Easter season–begins 3/25/18
  • 15-20% higher–the regular season–begins 4/8/18

  • 15-20% higher–the summer season–begins 5/25/18
  • 15-20% higher–the regular season–begins 8/12/18
  • 15-20% higher–the fall season–begins 8/26/18
  • 15-20% higher–the regular season–begins 9/16/18
  • 15-20% higher–the fall season–begins 10/28/18
  • 20-25% higher over Thanksgiving begins 11/17/18
  • 15-20% higher–the fall seasonbegins 11/24/18
  • 15-20% higher–the regular season–beings 12/9/18
  • 25-30% higher–the peak season–begins 12/14/18
  • 50-60% higher–the holiday season–begins 12/21/18

The 2017 easy Guide

Kelly B Can Help You Book Your Trip

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June 22, 2017   No Comments

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

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June 21, 2017   1 Comment

Dining Options at Caribbean Beach During Its Refurb–Updated

The counter service area and Shutters table service venue in Centertown at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort closed earlier in May for replacement.

Alternate dining arrangements have been made, and during my May visit and June stay at Caribbean Beach, I had eight meals here.

A full report follows later on this page, but here’s the short review of  temporary dining at Caribbean Beach:

  • Breakfast: Fine. Supplies for cold in-room dining are easily available, and the hot buffet and food truck offerings are entirely adequate.
  • Lunch: Weak. Both hot and cold offerings are limited. The quality of the hot food is good, but options and capacity are each slim. Cold food is widely available in limited options and while the fruits and salads are OK, the cold sandwiches are weak.
  • Dinner: Adequate for a meal or two.  Between the buffet, food truck, room service, and other options, most will find something to like, but the offerings at each option are limited, and capacity is tight except at the buffet.

A couple of general points before diving into the details

  • Disney has not consistently met demand in its smaller venues, so outages have happened–the Centertown food truck was out of sliders when I wanted them, and I’ve seen reports of the Trinidad South truck being out of lamb and the Island Markets selling out of sandwiches.
  • Waits at the Centertown food truck and buffets may “feel” long at busy times. By my stopwatch, in both cases the entire cycle wait (from committing to starting to eat) is comparable to what you’ll find at other Disney World moderate and value resort food courts at busy times, but don’t expect these to be “quick” options.
  • The buffets may use two holding lines–one to enter the tent (for fire marshal/egress safety issues) and a second before the buffet line (to allow those who have already eaten to get in line for seconds without going back out of the tent to the beginning of the line).
  • While you are in these lines, others may enter the tent simply to use the air conditioned tables or access the beverage station. Neither these people nor those returning to the buffet line for “seconds” are cutting in line, though it may feel like that at times.

OK, everything else I know is covered below.  If you want to see a specific venue, click the links:

THE CENTERTOWN OFFERINGS

The largest range of dining options is in Centertown, between the main pool and Trinidad North.

Here’s you’ll find a food truck offering all-day dining, a buffet serving breakfast and dinner, a bar, and, at times, a mini-truck with snacks.

I’ll get to the food truck and buffets in a minute, but to cover the minor Centertown entries, here’s the mini-truck…

…and a closer shot of its menu (click it to enlarge it).

The bar is visually horrible but with two bartenders, it operates just fine.

The bar menu.

Bar seating is available along a rail and at tables by the beach.

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THE CENTERTOWN FOOD TRUCK

All day dining is available from a food truck. You order from the kiosk on the right above…

…and pick your food up at the truck itself, typically being given a pager so that you can wait for your meal in the air-conditioned buffet tent.

You can then eat outside, bring it to your room, or enter the buffet tent and eat there.

The food truck runs two menus, one for breakfast and one for lunch and dinner. My image of the truck’s limited  breakfast menu, above, has a bit of a Jungle Cruise feel. For a more readable version, click here.

I had the bacon egg and cheese sandwich with a side of potato casserole. Both were fine.

Morning coffee is available outside (later in the day sees a shift to a lemon-water service here) and also inside the tent, which also has a refillable mug station.

The lunch/dinner food truck menu is also limited (click it to enlarge it)…

…but the burger was much better than most Disney food court burgers.

The fish tacos were good, too.

The food truck serves breakfast from 7-11.30a, and lunch/dinner (same menu) from 11.30a to 9p.

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THE CENTERTOWN BUFFET–BREAKFAST

The main option, however, is the buffet. It’s open for breakfast and dinner–but not lunch. The buffet is open for dinner from 5-10p, and for breakfast from 6.30-11.30a.

You pay for the buffet at the same area where you pay for the food truck. Breakfast prices are $13.99 for those ten and up, and $8.99 for those 3-9 years old, or one quick service credit. Dinner prices are $20.99 for those ten and up, and $11.99 for those 3-9 years old, or one quick service credit.

You then get a wrist band, which is what allows you into the buffet line—and allows the buffet tent to also serve double duty as an air-conditioned area for eating off the food truck, and/or filling your refillable mugs.

Here’s a couple of views of the buffet tent, which seats on the order of 250-300 people.

The buffet is all-you-can-eat if you dine in, and you can dine in or do it as a takeaway. However, you can’t both do a sit-down all-you-can-eat buffet meal and then also fill up a to-go plate. One or the other, bucko.

The breakfast buffet menu is above and also here.

First on offer is the waffle station, with waffles being made in the background.

The waffle station includes waffles, syrup, and blueberry and strawberry toppings.

Next is oatmeal, grits, and some more toppings.

Around the corner you’ll find butter and cream cheese, a variety of fruits…

…and several yogurts.

The hot station is next, with eggs, sausage, the same potato casserole you can get at the food truck as a side…

…veggie fritattas and “Island Crepes.”

Next is  a station with biscuits, sausage gravy, and pastries.

Then the bacon and ham station, with ham glaze.  This is the only station where a cast member portions the offerings–which, after you’ve tried the sausages, will make perfect sense to you.

Finally,  there’s a selection of breakfast bagels, pastries and breads.

Here’s what I assembled.  All was fine except the sausages, which looked unappetizing, were cold, and had little flavor. Bacon is the way to go! (The potato casserole looks weak but was quite good, as was the frittata.)

See below for the drinks station.

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THE CENTERTOWN BUFFET–DINNER

Here’s the dinner menu. Frankly, there’s a little less here than meets the eye, so I strongly suggest that early on a stay at Caribbean Beach you go inside and inspect the actual offerings, so that if you later decide to have dinner here there’s no surprises.

My main issue with the buffet is how limited the options are. Frankly, for a quick service credit, it’s nicely priced if you can find meal items you are in the mood for, but the adult cash price is high for the range of options available.

The first station combines some kids offerings with what the menu calls the “Pasta with a Selection of Sauces.” You’ll find here chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, meatballs, sausage, pasta alfredo, and pasta marinara.

Next are a couple of soups—on one of my visits, tomato and Island Conch Chowder. I had the chowder—it was very mild.

On another visit, instead of tomato, the second soup was collard green soup.

The salad section has precisely one greens option—mixed lettuce, mostly garden variety—well you know what I mean, it’s exactly the opposite of the variety of greens in our salad garden—six dressings, mixed fruit, and a pasta salad and slaw salad.

The entrée station includes the carving station—at both of my dinners, it was carved turkey. At one dinner, other options included roast pork, jerk chicken, and shrimp curry.

At another dinner, the same roast turkey, pork, chicken and shrimp was available, with “Island Glazed Fish.”

No beef—even though beef is common at carving stations at moderate and value food courts. If you want beef, get a burger at the food truck.

The meats were all adequate–mildly flavored (even the curry) and with a tendency to dryness–although the turkey gravy helps with this. The baked chicken and the shrimp curry were probably the best of the lot.

The image is of one of my dinners–the chowder, shrimp curry, rice, and collard greens. All these were delightful, expect for the greens, which were far too sweet.

Vegetables available my visits included broccoli, mixed vegetables, mashed potatoes, rice, black beans and collard greens.

There’s also a dessert selection…

…and a bread service area.

Off to the side is the beverage station, which is also accessible to those with refillable mugs. (You can get the mugs both outside the buffet and in the Island Markets, covered next.)

Service is incredibly attentive—at my first dinner, I must have had three cast members ask me how the food was, and two others ask if they could get me a drink. Others have commented on nightly live music here as well—such was not playing during either of my dinners.

An expansion in offerings would make me not hesitate to recommend this buffet. Another pasta, another soup, one or two more leaf salad leaf options, some salad toppings, a beef entrée and one or two more “casserole” or sauced entrees, and a couple more vegetable options would round it out nicely.

But without that, if exactly what’s on offer works exactly for your group, it’s fine; otherwise, it’s more of an emergency option than something I’d count on for a nice dinner at Caribbean Beach.

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THE ISLAND MARKETS

“Island Markets” are in three converted rooms—one each in Martinique (2509), Jamaica (4308), and Aruba (5524). (The first two digits of the room number indicate the building number.)

They offer

… ice cream (above, in the box at left), pastries, coffee and tea, cereals and pop tarts (with a microwave above)…

… drinks, yogurt, fruit, salads, sandwiches and wraps…

… and refillable mugs, bananas, and snacks.

A couple of closer looks at the salad side of the cold case…

…and the sandwich and wrap side.

The wraps/sandwich/fruit/salad choices are thin, and have sold out at times by early evening. I expect that problem to be largely fixed shortly as Disney learns more about patterns of demand.

Regardless, the offerings of these spaces work better for snacks and for breakfast supplies than they do as a place to grab lunch or a light dinner—unless you are thinking very light.

The Island Markets are open from 7a-10p.

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THE FREESTYLE COKE MACHINES

Refillable mugs can be refilled in freestyle coke machines—where you get to design your own drink, like my favorite, peach Sprite.

These machines are available in one or two buildings in each village, replacing in those buildings the old-style Coke machines—which remain in the rest of the buildings. Find the right building, then follow the signs for Ice and Vending.

Buildings with the freestyle machines are marked on the resort map–note what I’ve circled in red.

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THE TRINIDAD SOUTH FOOD TRUCK

The overview of dining at Caribbean Beach Disney provides does not include a food truck at Trinidad South.

But on both my mid-May and June visits, every day one was there, on the parking lot side of the quiet pool…

…specializing in gyro and pita sandwiches (click the image to enlarge it).

I quite enjoyed my lamb and beef gyro. Lots of sauce…

I imagine that the absence of it being listed means you can’t count on it being there.  But if it is, it’s a handy option for those staying in the otherwise distant-from-food Pirate Rooms in Trinidad South.

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IN-ROOM DELIVERY OF PIZZA AND SUCH

Another option is ordering off of the limited delivery menu, which features, pizza, wings and such. The menu (click to enlarge):

I’ve never had delivery pizza at Disney World. I tried to order one on my June visit, but a lizard-drowner of a storm meant everyone was sheltering in their rooms and ordering pizza, so after 15 minutes on hold I gave up and got a salad from an Island Market instead.

This option is available from 4p till midnight. Don’t use the dining plan for these options–way too many credits will be charged.

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SNACKS AT CUSTOM HOUSE

There’s a small selection of snacks available for sale at the Custom House.

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A BREAKFAST BAG IN YOUR ROOM

As a “thank you” for staying here during the construction, you’ll find a small soft-sided cooler in your room (if you don’t get one, call from your room phone for one).

The bag includes a couple of bottles of water and a selection of shelf-stable breakfast items.

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THE VENDING MACHINE IN THE QUIET POOL LAUNDRIES

Finally, a post on the disboards Caribbean Beach thread reminded me that there’s a vending snack machine in the quiet pool laundry rooms!

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The 2017 easy Guide

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June 7, 2017   No Comments

Review: The New Market Quick Service at the Yacht Club

THE MARKET AT DISNEY’S YACHT CLUB RESORT

A new quick service venue opened at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort in mid-May. I checked it out then, and then again in my June visit.

Part of a renovation (not yet complete) of the Yacht Club’s gift shop area, the new venue provides shelf stable snacks and breakfast goods, frozen treats, fruit, pastries, drinks, a coffee bar, cold packaged food, an eating area, and hot food. All are successful except the hot food, which is quite limited.

Traditionally the biggest weakness of Disney World’s Epcot resorts has been their quick-service offerings. There’s a bit at the back of the Beach Club gift shop, more at the Stormalong Bay pool bar and grill, Hurricane Hanna’s, and a bit more at the Bakery along the Boardwalk. (Links are all to overviews on Disney’s site.)

The opening of the new Yacht Club venue, the Market, adds one more minor option among a bunch of other minor options. It’s better than nothing, but still quite limited.

On one side as you enter is the coffee bar and the area where hot food is prepared heated.

The coffee bar—Joffrey’s coffee—has the full range of coffee options.

Beyond the coffee and grill space is a seating area.

Deeper in the Market is a mix of shelf stable snacks, fruit, pastries, and breakfast items. Other than maybe the fruit, this is comparable to what you’ll find in many resort gift shops, but better merchandised.

Along a wall are freestyle refillable mug machines…

…and coffee, hot chocolate, tea, a toaster, and such.

Around the corner is a microwave and frozen treats.

On the opposite wall is the cold case and hot case.

A closer view of the cold case, with drinks on the left and sandwiches, salads and such on the right.

The hot case has a small selection of ready-to-eat cooked food.

This feta and spinach pastry came from it—it was delicious.

The same hot food can also heated to order behind the counter. The limited hot food menu is above.

My Ham and Cheddar Sandwich came from behind the counter looking like this.

Here it is out of its wrapping. This is likely a good choice for kids, as there is no particular taste for them to object to. I mixed hot sauce and mayonnaise together into a sort of gesture towards horseradish. With that it was fine.

The limited set of hot food means that, other than the drinks, there’s not much here beyond what you might find in a Disney World gift shop anyway. As an addition it is welcome, but it does little to make up for the general lack of quick service offerings in the Epcot resorts.

Note that Josh has a longer and more detailed review of the offerings at The Market here.

The 2017 easy Guide

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June 6, 2017   2 Comments

Pop Century Refurb Update with Coffeemaker!

POP CENTURY REFURB UPDATE

As of this morning (6/5) the first building to be refurbed at Pop Century, the 90s area Building 8, had not yet re-opened. [Update: Building 8 opened later that week!]

What’s left seems to be largely punch-list items.

Being unloaded outside are what appear to be new ice-makers and/or Coke freestyle machines.

Construction fences are being moved to from 90s area Building 8 to 80s area Building 7–which has now kicked off.

Building 7.

More Building 7.

The bed side of a nearly-done room in Building 8.

The coffee-maker side of a nearly-done room.

The sink area.

There’s been speculation about the size of the fold-down bed here. Widely assumed to be a full, with the regular bed a queen, some have reported discussions indicating that the fold-down is a queen too.

I got one bad shot of the fold-down bed folded down:

In real life the foot looked much closer to being about where the foot of the queen was. Since I think the bed system requires clearance at the head for the depth of the bed to rotate, this suggests to me that it is in fact a full.

(After these rooms opened, reports that it is a queen continue to come out. None–so far as I know–show the tape measure used to confirm this, so I’m gonna remain a bit agnostic on this for the moment.)

Rooms in the 80s area Building 9 are also being worked on. A to-do list:

So to sum up:

  • Building 8 is nearly done, and the new rooms include coffeemakers!
  • Building 9 is completely underway
  • Building 7 has just kicked off

There’s more on this Pop Century refurb here.

The 2017 easy Guide

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June 5, 2017   13 Comments

The Week of 12/16/17 Will Be Better Than I’d Thought

DISNEY WORLD CROWDS THE WEEK OF 12/16/2017

I messed up my Disney World crowd forecast for the week of December 16, 2017. I’d expected on the order of 30% of us schoolkids to be off by 12/16, like in 2016, but in fact only about 10% are.

As a result, I’ll be revising the crowd forecast for this week from “high” to “moderate-plus.”

Moderate-plus for the week of 12/16/17 represents the overall average of the nine days from 12/16 through 12/24–these dates will be better than that at the beginning, and worse than that at the end.

SHORTER PATHETIC EXCUSE FOR GETTING THE WEEK OF 12/16/17 AT DISNEY WORLD WRONG

For the first time since 2006—well before I began forecasting Disney World crowds—Christmas in 2017 is on a Monday. I didn’t have enough experience with Monday Christmases to get it right…

LONGER PATHETIC EXCUSE FOR GETTING THE WEEK OF 12/16/17 AT DISNEY WORLD WRONG

Every year I publish draft crowd calendar in the fall for the year that begins ~15 months ahead, and then update it the summer before.

The draft is based on experience and judgment, and the later update is based on analysis of actual school breaks for the coming year school year.

My school break analysis is based on the actual schedules of more than 15 million kids in more than 270 school districts, weighted by state based on that state’s proportion of the 12 million visitors to this site (as a proxy for the propensity of families from that state to go to Disney World).

It comes so late in the year because so many districts don’t publish their calendars for the upcoming school year until May or even June. (BTW, because district calendars are largely not out yet, most of Michigan is still missing in detail from my datasets, but required common county calendars let me get Michigan Christmas breaks for this analysis.)

Part of Christmas is easy to forecast, and part is harder.

This is because there are two typical Christmas breaks—short breaks and long breaks.

  • Districts that take short breaks are out as close to December 25 to January 1 + a day or two as the calendar lets them be—a weekend New Year’s Day will put them back in school the Tuesday after it. Depending on the day of New Years, the shortest of the short breakers can have a break as short as 8 days. In 2017, the Monday holidays means the shortest possible break is ten days.
  • Districts that take long breaks are also off during this period—which is the easy part of the forecast, the parks will be mobbed for December 25 though December 31. They typically take at least two full weeks—with three weekends—off, and so are out a minimum of 16 days.

Here’s the distribution of actual break lengths for the 2017/2018 holidays (it’s not weighted):

If you sum, you’ll find about half of districts are long-breakers, and a tad less than half are short breakers. (The rest are in the right-side tail of really long breakers…)

The long breakers are the problem, as the day of Christmas shapes whether their breaks starts well before Christmas or not. A Wednesday Christmas makes forecasting easier—the vast number of long breakers facing a Wednesday Christmas will start their break the weekend before, on 12/21, and end it two weeks later on 1/5. A Saturday Christmas is harder to forecast, but many districts will begin their breaks a week before, on 12/18, and end on January 4 (not the third, as the holiday will be observed then).

Here’s the same point made (well, perhaps it’s made) graphically, with the long-breakers in green:

In 2016, Christmas was a Sunday, and as a result many long breaks went from 12/17/16 to 1/2/17. Thirty percent of kids were off the week beginning 12/17/16.

With the Monday Christmas in 2017, I expected a similar pattern—but as noted above, this is the first Monday Christmas since 2006, so I did not have solid data.

Now I do—and have discovered that only 10% of kids are out on 12/16/17, and the more common long break in 2017-2018 is from 12/21, 12/22 or 12/23 through 1/7.

This shows the distribution of breaks in 2016-2017 and 2017-2018:

OK so now I know better, and promise to do better the next time we have a Monday Christmas, which will be in 2023…
The 2017 easy Guide

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May 29, 2017   2 Comments