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.—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

Category — p. News and Changes

The 2017 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival


The 2017 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival from yourfirstvisit.netEvery year from late summer into mid-November Walt Disney World presents the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.

In 2017, the Festival will run from August 31st through November 13th.

There are two components to the festival, one available to all Epcot visitors, and another made up of a bunch of events which have limited capacity and require reservations.

Neither has an extra ticket admission cost–you get to participate by virtue of your theme park ticket–but there are cash costs for the food, beer and wine, and for entry to some special shows and events. [Read more →]

February 14, 2017   No Comments

Most Relevant Disney World Ticket Prices Increase 8-12%

As expected, on February 12, 2017 Disney World put into place new ticket prices.

There’s a couple of new twists to the ticketing model, too—multi-day tickets now have an expiration date (12/31/2018 at the moment) and those buying three day and longer ticket options will pay an extra $20 if they do not get their tickets in advance and online.

The full set of new multi-day Disney World ticket prices is here.

A couple of observations about this latest price increase:

  • While short non-hopper tickets showed some price stability and even decreases, four day and longer non-hopper tickets—the sort most will buy—went up 8% to 11.5%
  • The biggest driver of this is a major increase in the cost of the fourth ticket day, which for those 10 and older went from $346.13 to $372.75 (up $26.63).
  • On top of this increase to a four day ticket, Disney World increased the cost to add days 5 through 7—from $15.98 a day to $21.30 per day, or an increase of $5.33 per day.

Here’s a chart of the increases in prices compared to the last set of prices by length of ticket in days for non-hopper tickets. Price increases for tickets for those 10 and older are in blue, and kids 3-9 in red.

Disney World 2017 Percentage Ticket Price Increases from

In addition, Park Hopper prices went up more than $10 for tickets longer than three days, so Park Hopper tickets show as a result an increase in four day and longer tickets of 9% to 12%.

I had expected Disney World to shift to seasonal pricing for multi-day tickets in this round. Instead, the main package change is the new expiration date. This date of course allows it to enforce seasonal multi-day prices later. (The price of totally unused expired tickets can be credited towards the price of new tickets.)

These price increases are quite steep. In business terms, they allow Disney to recapture the value of the investment it is putting into the Animal Kingdom park, with Pandora opening in late May 2017, and into Hollywood Studios, with Toy Story Land there perhaps opening in 2018.

It also creates headroom for when, and if, it changes multi-day tickets to seasonal pricing, allowing “value season” dates to show little increase…at least the first year…

My friends at the Official Ticket Center likely will have tickets at the older price levels available for a bit.

The 2017 easy Guide

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February 14, 2017   No Comments

Halloween 2017 at Walt Disney World


Halloween 2017 at Disney World from yourfirstvisit.netWhile Halloween itself is October 31st of course, Walt Disney World provides a special Halloween celebration at the Magic Kingdom many evenings in September and October 2017, and possibly even August.

This celebration is called “Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party,” or “MNSSHP” for short.

At the party, many of the Magic Kingdom’s rides are open, and trick or treating, special events, and different parades and fireworks are offered.

The official Disney World page (and actual dates and prices, when they are out) for this event can be found here.

Click the images below for the 2016 offerings.

And you can find a review of the 2016 MNSSHP party here.

Map Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2016 Page 1 from

Map Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2016 Page 2 from


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February 13, 2017   6 Comments

Disney World 2017 Ticket Prices


theo_rev6(This page is sponsored by the Official Ticket Center. Check them out for reliably lower-priced Disney World tickets!)

Updated after February 2017 price increase.

Three types of Walt Disney World prices are important to think about:

  • Walt Disney World theme park admission ticket prices—the tickets that grant you admission to the parks
  • Walt Disney World resort hotel prices, and
  • Park and hotel food prices

Disney World ticket prices were last updated in early February 2017. This page focuses on Walt Disney World theme park admission ticket prices from now until they go up again.


There are multiple types of Walt Disney World theme park tickets, but the one most relevant to most first time visitors is the Magic Your Way ticket, with or without the Park Hopper option.

You buy one theme park ticket for each person who will be three years old or older at the time of your visit (kids younger than three enter the parks for free.) The tickets have two pricing levels: one for kids who will be younger than ten at the time of your visit (but 3 or older) and the other for people ten or older.

When you buy your tickets, you also say how many “days” you want—from one to ten. Each “day” you buy permits unlimited visits to one theme park on one day. If you also add the Park Hopper option, you can make unlimited visits to any of the theme parks in one day–one theme park, two, three, or all four theme parks.

  • For example, if you buy a three day ticket without the park hopper option, you could make two visits to the Magic Kingdom on day one, three visits to Epcot on day two, and two visits to the Animal Kingdom on day 3
  • If you have a three day ticket with the park hopper option, you could for example make two visits to the Magic Kingdom and one to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on day one, one visit to Epcot and two to Disney’s Animal Kingdom on day two, and one to Epcot and two to the Magic Kingdom on day three
  • What you can’t do without a park hopper ticket is visit more than one theme park on the same day. For example, you can’t, on November 25th, use one day of your three-day ticket to visit the Magic Kingdom, and another day of this same ticket to visit Epcot that same day. More than one theme park in a day requires a park hopper

You do not have to use your days all in a row boom boom boom—e.g. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Once you use your first day, you have 14 days to use all the days on your ticket. So on a three-day ticket you could visit the theme parks Monday, Thursday, and Sunday.

  • You can also add days at the same price that you would have paid had you bought all those days at once, but have to do so no later than the day you use the last day of your original ticket (and within 14 days of the first day, and before the tickets expire–12/31/2018 for tickets bought now)
  • So if you buy a three-day ticket, and realize a few days later that you need more days, you can add two days and they will cost only the difference between what you paid originally for a three day ticket, and what you would have had to have paid for a five day ticket, so long as you add these days no later than the day you use your third day
  • You can also add stuff like the Park Hopper during the same day window at the same price as you would have paid when you first bought your ticket

However, you can’t “subtract” days if you overbuy.


Disney World Ticket Prices as of February 2017 from

1. While Disney typically increases ticket prices at least once a year–late February in 2014 through 2016, and early February in 2017—it changes theme park admission prices based on the seasons of the year only for One Day tickets, which also have another curious characteristic–different prices for the Magic Kingdom vs the other three parks. Multi-day tickets–which most people buy–are the same price whenever you plan to visit, but as of February 12, 2017 do have an expiration date–12/31/2018 (you can trade in unused expired tickets towards a new ticket.)

(Note that all my prices assume you buy online; as of February 2017 most in-person purchases cost an extra $20.)

2. Disney sells tickets by the day—one through ten days. The way it prices these days, the first four days are very expensive, while days after the fourth are comparatively almost free. See the image for exact Disney World prices.

For example, a four day ticket costs (including tax) an adult $372.75, or an average of $93.19 a day. A ten day ticket would cost the same adult $468.60. The added 6 days cost in total around $96 more—or just about $16 per day. For a 4-6 day ticket, it costs $21.30/day/person to add more days–and on and after the 7th day, just $10.65/day/person to add days.

3. A park hopper costs (after tax) about $80 for all ticket lengths longer than three days..

I have also uploaded an excel spreadsheet with the same data in it as the chart, so that you can multiply by the number of members of your own family.


There are other ticket types than the ones discussed above—less relevant for first time visitors. For details on all of them, see this page on

While it’s hard to find discounts on tickets, it is sometimes possible, especially for longer-stay tickets. Check sponsor the Official Ticket Center,, Triple A if you are a member, and if you have military ties, this page and also

Since you can add on to your tickets–days, park hoppers, etc.–but can’t subtract, it doesn’t really pay to overbuy. Start with the minimum you think you need (but at least two days) and add on later if needed.  Remember to add no later than the day you use your current last day!

All of this site’s To-Do Lists tell you exactly what ticket type you need for their associated itineraries.


Disney world no longer offers free tickets on your birthday.
The 2017 easy Guide

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February 13, 2017   No Comments

Rivers of Light to Open February 17

For the details, see this.

I’m not sure how stable the calendar is yet, but it looks like after the opening weekend that it’ll be on (until early April) Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, with one show a night.  After that it’s expected to be on nightly.

February 9, 2017   No Comments

Pandora to Open May 27, Ticket Price Increase, and Other News and Rumors from Yesterday

Pandora Opening Ticket Prices and Other News and Rumors from yourfirstvisit.netSeveral interesting things came up in yesterday’s Walt Disney Company earnings call. One takeaway is that you might want to buy your tickets now.


From Disney CEO Bob Iger’s introductory remarks on the call:

“This year we’ll open a great addition to Disney’s Animal Kingdom with a brand new land called Pandora – The World of Avatar. Our Imagineers have brought the breathtaking world of Pandora to life through astonishing feats of artistic genius and groundbreaking engineering. The result is an exquisite environment with phenomenal attractions. And today I’m happy to announce this incredible new world will officially open on May 27.”

From later in the call:

“This is a very big land with an extremely unique design and architecture because it really does make you feel as though you’re in Pandora, that great world that Jim Cameron created, and an E-ticket attraction that is unlike any E-ticket attraction that we’ve ever built. And it is sizable. The whole experience is sizable.”


Also from Iger on the call:

“Additionally, our progress continues on Star Wars Lands at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World [Hollywood Studios], both of which will open in calendar 2019.”


Toy Story Land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios did not come up in the call, but the Star Wars date of 2019 has led many to continue to believe that 2018 will see its opening. This seems a little fast to me…


For the last three years, Walt Disney World has increased ticket prices in February. Buying your tickets now –for example from my friends at The Official Ticket Center  –will let you avoid this price increase.

Moreover, I do expect one of these days that Disney World will move its multiday tickets to a seasonal price model, where tickets for some periods of the year are more expensive than for other periods. (One day tickets took on this form in 2016.)

The business logic of this is to simultaneously shift demand to lower attendance times and, for those who won’t change their dates, to capture more value from higher demand times—as Disney’s hotel prices already do.

The possibility of a ticket price increase came up in the call, and I was intrigued by how Bob Iger answered it—and specially why he did not stop his response after the words “I have nothing to announce at this point,” and why he went on to mention redesign of packages and the distinctive importance of multi-day tickets at Disney World.

My take away? This stuff is on his mind…and so perhaps we will see the shift to seasonal pricing for Disney World multi-day tickets this month. If so, my guess is we will see only minor increases in ticket prices for the less-demanded parts of the year, and larger increases for the popular times.

So if you have not yet bought your tickets for your next visit, I’d do that now, especially if you plan to go in the spring break season, the summer, or during any of the major holiday periods later in the year. My friends at The Official Ticket Center  can help you get great prices.

Here’s the complete discussion of ticket prices during the call:

John Janedis – Jefferies LLC

“Hi. Thank you. Maybe another quick follow up at the parks. I think you’ve increased ticket prices in February the last couple of years. You’re going to lap the demand-based pricing model in a couple of weeks. And with Pandora opening, is there maybe a near-term opportunity to further increase single or multi-day ticket prices?”

Robert A. Iger – The Walt Disney Co.

“Yes. I have nothing to announce at this point, but we do take ticket pricing up on typically an annual basis and we do so in a variety of different ways. Sometimes it’s redesign of packages. Remember that in Florida that most of our attendance is multi-day in nature, and so the single day including when we take pricing increases is less important than when we take single-day pricing up in California. But we’re not prepared to make any specific comments about what’s in store in that regard.”


Something else happened yesterday that was not on the earnings call—Rivers of Life, the much-delayed new evening show at Animal Kingdom, had a preview:

There’s no official opening date, but one rumor is that it could be announced any day now, and open as soon as next week. I’ve been burned so much on predicting this show that I officially have no opinion.

The 2017 easy Guide

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February 8, 2017   No Comments