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 — The easy Guide

July Update to The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit

Earlier this week, Amazon published a new version of my and Josh’s The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017.

While not as extensive as our March update, we did send our publisher, Bob McLain of Theme Park Press, 34 pages of additions, deletions, updates and changes. Many were minor, but we made major changes to the Animal Kingdom material, so it is now fully up-to-date for those visiting the newly-opened Pandora: World of Avatar. We also made major changes to our review of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.

As noted in the image, we offer those who bought any earlier versions of the 2017 edition free updates (as a PDF). If you’ve not already sent us your email, do so following the instructions in the image, and we’ll reply telling you how to get your update!

Some more specifics on what’s available in the July update of The easy Guide:

CHAPTER 4: WHEN TO GO

We’ve made minor changes to reflect new dates that have come out—for example, for the Halloween and Christmas parties—since our last update.

We also revised the crowd forecast for the week of 12/16/2017, as new data suggest it will be a bit better than we had thought.

CHAPTER 5: WHERE TO STAY

We added minor updates on the status of various refurbs and additions, for example at the Wilderness Lodge, the Yacht Club, and Pop Century.

We’ve stayed in and dined at Caribbean Beach since its refurb began in May, and as a result did a major rewrite of its review. The key point: “We are hesitant to recommend [Caribbean Beach] for any guests planning much dining at the resort, as the temporary dining is barely adequate.”

CHAPTER 6: WHAT TO DO IN THE PARKS

Animal Kingdom saw an enormous set of changes and additions, including a new map, new overviews, new recommended FastPass+, new reviews, and new touring plans, and our material now fully reflects this major addition to Disney World.

Epcot saw just minor updates, and no changes to its FastPass+ priorities or touring plans.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios saw an expansion and re-organization of our material on the evening shows, an update on what’s happening at Hollywood and Vine, and other minor updates. The first four steps of one of our touring plans, “Morning Plan: Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster First,” changed a bit.

Magic Kingdom saw minor changes in the FastPass+ priorities, minor changes in the touring plans (especially related to the change of the typical afternoon parade time from 3p to 2p), a review of the new Happily Ever After evening show, and other small changes.

CHAPTER 7: WHERE TO EAT

We introduce the new mobile order function—where you can use the My Disney Experience app to save a ton of time by pre-ordering and then clicking “I’m here.” The new Animal Kingdom venue Satu’li Canteen is now in here, and you’ll find minor updates to dining in all the other parks, Disney Springs, and the resorts.

*  *  *  *  *

Ours is the only guidebook updated multiple times over the year, with free updates available to buyers. When Disney World changes, our advice changes. What does your guidebook do??

Kelly B Can Help You Book Your Trip

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July 16, 2017   No Comments

July Update to The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit

Earlier this week, Amazon published a new version of my and Josh’s The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017.

While not as extensive as our March update, we did send our publisher, Bob McClain of Theme Park Press, 34 pages of additions, deletions, updates and changes. Many were minor, but we made major changes to the Animal Kingdom material, so it is now fully up-to-date for those visiting the newly-opened Pandora: World of Avatar. We also made major changes to our review of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.

As noted in the image, we offer those who bought any earlier versions of the 2017 edition free updates (as a PDF). If you’ve not already sent us your email, do so following the instructions in the image, and we’ll reply telling you how to get your update!

Ours is the only guidebook updated multiple times over the year, with free updates available to buyers. When Disney World changes, our advice changes.

Some more specifics on what’s available in the July update of The easy Guide:

CHAPTER 4: WHEN TO GO

We’ve made minor changes to reflect new dates that have come out—for example, for the Halloween and Christmas parties—since our last update.

We also revised the crowd forecast for the week of 12/16/2017, as new data suggest it will be a bit better than we had thought.

CHAPTER 5: WHERE TO STAY

We added minor updates on the status of various refurbs and additions, for example at the Wilderness Lodge, the Yacht Club, and Pop Century.

We’ve stayed in and dined at Caribbean Beach since its refurb began in May, and as a result did a major rewrite of its review. The key point: “We are hesitant to recommend [Caribbean Beach] for any guests planning much dining at the resort, as the temporary dining is barely adequate.”

CHAPTER 6: WHAT TO DO IN THE PARKS

Animal Kingdom saw an enormous set of changes and additions, including a new map, new overviews, new recommended FastPass+, new reviews, and new touring plans, and our material now fully reflects this major addition to Disney World.

Epcot saw just minor updates, and no changes to its FastPass+ priorities or touring plans.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios saw an expansion and re-organization of our material on the evening shows, an update on what’s happening at Hollywood and Vine, and other minor updates. The first four steps of one of our touring plans, “Morning Plan: Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster First,” changed a bit.

Magic Kingdom saw minor changes in the FastPass+ priorities, minor changes in the touring plans (especially related to the change of the typical afternoon parade time from 3p to 2p), a review of the new Happily Ever After evening show, and other small changes.

CHAPTER 7: WHERE TO EAT

We introduce the new mobile order function—where you can use the My Disney Experience app to save a ton of time by pre-ordering and then clicking “I’m here.” The new Animal Kingdom venue Satu’li Canteen is now in here, and you’ll find minor updates to dining in all the other parks, Disney Springs, and the resorts.

*  *  *  *  *

Ours is the only guidebook updated multiple times over the year, with free updates available to buyers. When Disney World changes, our advice changes. What does your guidebook do??

Kelly B Can Help You Book Your Trip

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

July 16, 2017   No Comments

March Update to The easy Guide

A few days ago co-author Josh and I published an updated version of our guidebook, The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017.

We pride ourselves on writing the best-reviewed, most accurate and most up-to-date Disney World guidebook series ever, and part of keeping it up to date is revising it several times a year.

Our latest revision included more than 60 pages of changes. Key changes are below.

CHAPTER 1: HOW TO USE THIS BOOK

Chapter 1 includes three things: guidance on how to use the book, boiling down our recommendations—especially for first timers–by chapter; and “what’s new” for returning visitors.

The key changes are in “what’s new,” and point out

  • The loss of the evening parade at Magic Kingdom
  • The new show Happily Ever After, which will replace Wishes in May
  • The new evening attractions at Animal Kingdom, and the late May opening there of Pandora: World of Avatar
  • The projected end of the Wilderness Lodge refurb, and the beginnings of major refurbs at Caribbean Beach and Coronado Springs
  • The ticket price increase of February 2017

CHAPTER 2: WHY AGE AND HEIGHT MATTER and CHAPTER 3: HOW LONG TO STAY

These two chapters saw only minor changes.

  • In Chapter 2, we added the new rides to open at Pandora: World of Avatar to our summary table about the appropriateness of rides for folk of different ages, and to the ride height restrictions chart table
  • In Chapter 3, we updated some ticket price material

CHAPTER 4: WHEN TO GO

In Chapter 4 we sharpened up material for which dates are now firm—or more firm–including

  • The opening of Pandora May 27
  • The kick-off of the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival in August and its last day of November 13
  • The possibility that Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will begin August 25

CHAPTER 5: WHERE TO STAY

Most of the changes in Chapter 5 were from or about resort refurbs

  • The opening of the Copper Creek Villas at the Wilderness Lodge in mid-July, and other refurb-related WL items
  • The already-started demolition, construction, and room refurbs at Coronado Springs
  • The beginning-in-May replacement of the food, shopping, and bar at Caribbean Beach with temporary facilities while new constructions launches
  • The refurb at Pop Century that kicked off earlier this month
  • Minor updates on refurbs at the Dolphin and the Yacht Club

CHAPTER 6: HOW TO SPEND YOUR TIME

Chapter 6 is the heart of the book, and saw 22 pages of changes from us—well, actually, almost entirely from Josh.

Just a few highlights of the updates here include:

  • Substantial revisions to the Animal Kingdom guide and cheat sheet, especially the touring plans, principally based on the effects of Rivers of Light on priorities and touring. (Our update for Pandora will come out once it is stable, likely in late June; see both of our sites for FastPass+ and touring plan advice well before then.) The new Animal Kingdom material of course includes an all-new review of Rivers of Light
  • Updates on the changes to the park opening procedures and minor changes to the Epcot touring plans—mostly cleaning up typos
  • In the Hollywood Studios section, updates on the changes to the park opening procedures and more detailed reviews of the two daytime Star Wars shows, and a revised approach to seeing Fantasmic and the Star Wars fireworks. No significant touring plan changes, other than even more emphasis than we already had to keep refreshing for new FastPass+ opportunities.
  • Updates on the changes to the park opening procedures and evening offerings at Magic Kingdom, and minor changes to the Character-Centric Touring Plan, Morning Day 2

CHAPTER 7: WHERE TO EAT

Like Chapter 6, Chapter 7 saw dozens of changes

New or completely redone reviews include

  • Paddlefish
  • Planet Hollywood Observatory
  • Las Ventanas

Other changes included

  • New character breakfast with Rapunzel, Flynn, Ariel and Eric
  • Shift of the characters at Hollywood & Vine at lunch
  • New Dining Plan prices

CHAPTER 8: WHICH TICKETS TO BUY AND HOW MUCH TO BUDGET

Disney raised ticket prices in February 2017, so all our pricing material has been revised. One ticket form is gone, a new one has been added, there’s now a penalty for not buying in advance, and a new expiration policy is in place—we cover all of these.

CHAPTER 9: HOW TO SET EVERYTHING UP AND GET EVERYTHING DONE

In Chapter 9, we made no substantive changes, but rather only cleaned up some awkward wording (the 90,000 other instances of awkward wording in Chapters 1-8 remain).

*  *  *  *  *

The easy Guide is the only Disney World guidebook to offer free updates to the current year edition.
We sent out emails last week to those already on the update list.

To join our list—you’ll get the latest update, plus we’ll do at least one more update to this edition, after Pandora opens (after then, we’ll turn to the 2018 edition)– just follow the instructions below!

Kelly B Can Help You Book Your Trip

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March 26, 2017   2 Comments

Get The easy Guide Without the Awkwardness

As noted here, Josh and I will be signing copies of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit Saturday January 28 from ~1-2p at Mexico in Epcot.

Win a Copy of The easy Guide Signed by Both Me and Josh

However, you don’t need to actually be there to get a signed copy. For the first time in a while, Josh and will each be giving away and mailing copies signed by both of us of this best-reviewed Disney World guidebook, ever, to one lucky winner from each of our sites—this one and easyWDW.com.

Josh’s giveaway is here. You can enter both.

In the meantime, though, to enter my giveaway, all you need to do is page down and enter a comment about how either this site OR easyWDW.com OR one of our guidebooks has helped you with your Disney World visit.

The way it will work is that

I’ll the use the email you entered in the comment form (only I can see your email address) to notify the lucky winner, and get his or her mailing address.

Want your own signed copy without the awkward pauses and lingering regret that comes from meeting us in person? Then add your comment now!!

  • To get a quote on your trip from my travel agent partners Destinations in Florida, you can either call the toll-free line dedicated to readers of this site, or fill out the form below.
  • To speak directly to an agent, call 877-918-8941 Monday-Saturday between 9a-4p (Eastern). (Toll-free if dialed from within the USA.)
  • (Hint: Check out What to Budget first, as there can be some real sticker shock!)






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The 2017 easy Guide

Kelly B Can Help You Book Your Trip

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January 22, 2017   14 Comments

Meet Me and Josh Saturday 1/28 at Epcot in Mexico at 1p

Josh of easyWDW and I, the co-authors of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit, will be meeting and greeting and signing copies of our books (or someone else’s book, we’re easy) next Saturday.

Meet Dave and Josh 1-28

(c) easyWDW, used without permission

We’ll be at Epcot, on and outside of the Mexico pyramid to the right, Saturday 1/28 from roughly 1p to 2p. See the arrow in Josh’s image, which I stole.

The easy Guide 2017

Our book combines

  • the un-matched insights of Josh into the parks and dining (he’s in the parks several days a week) with
  • my un-matched insights into the Disney hotels (by the time of our meet-up, I’ll have stayed in 140 different Disney World-owned rooms, suites, studios, villas, cabins and campsites)

into the best-rated Disney World guidebook series ever published (our Disney World guidebooks have had almost 300 reviews on Amazon, of which 92% have been 5 stars).

There’s not a better way to spend an afternoon hour on Saturday than reading our book. But if you are at Epcot instead, come on by–we’d love to meet you and thank you!

The 2017 easy Guide

Kelly B Can Help You Book Your Trip

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

January 21, 2017   No Comments

Meet People Who are Good at What They Do, and/or Dave and Josh, in Late January

MEET THE AUTHORS

Co-author Josh and I will be doing a meet-up and book signing Saturday January 28 at Epcot.

Meet Dave and Josh 1-28 at Epcot at 1pWe’ll be outside the main pyramid in Mexico on the right from 1p to 2p (or until the crowds go away) and would love to say hi and sign your copy of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017.

For your own copy of the 2017 edition of the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever (ever!), click here.

PRO BOWL AT DISNEY WORLD

That’s the same period that for the first time the Pro Bowl will be in Orlando, with many festivities in Disney World, especially at ESPN but also at Magic Kingdom and Disney Springs.

Cleveland Browns at the Pro Bowl from yourfirstvisit.net

Here’s the current scoop on what’s going on with the Pro Bowl at Disney World:

Pro Bowl at Disney World from yourfirstvisit.net

To actually see practices or the skills showdown, go here to get tickets.

Pro Bowl Event Tix at Disney World from yourfirstvisit.net

The tickets are free and are just a way of limiting access to capacity. Note that Saturday the 28th is already sold out, so just come to the meet-up. You don’t need tickets for the “Pro Bowl Experience” fan zone.

In addition there’s a parade of players Friday at the Magic Kingdom—at 2.30p, according to the Orlando Sentinel—and something at Disney Springs, possibly late night player sightings at Raglan Road or, more likely, STK.

Younger son and I will be doing most of these experiences so we can review them for you in case you want to try them out next year. (Older son can’t make it because he’s too busy BECAUSE HE WON A TICKET TO THE SUPER BOWL.)

It’s hard to say what impact the Pro Bowl and associated festivities will have on the parks that week—the best guess is little, except for Friday at the Magic Kingdom and the roads around ESPN Wide World of Sports. (We’re at Art of Animation most nights, so are theoretically within walking distance, although I don’t recall any sidewalks on Victory Way.)

The Pro Bowl fan events and practices at ESPN and parade at Magic Kingdom obviously makes a Disney World visit a little more attractive that week for some football fans, and if it gets the rep of being fun, may make that week a bit more of a target next year. That’s’ why I’m going—to see for myself so I can offer guidance for next year.

ALTERNATIVES TO EPCOT’S FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS

Over that weekend I’ll also be seeing Epcot’s new International Festival of the Arts, which occurs Fridays to Mondays until February 20th. This looks, so far, more promising than I’d thought it would, and after the visit I’ll let you know what I think.

DSC02942

However, you can do your own Festival of the Arts at home—grab some Triscuits and pimento cheese, and settle down with a copy of The Walt Disney Film Archives.

DSC02938

Wildly expensive at 135 bucks on Amazon, this huge (I put the playing card on it for scale, and had to reorganize one of my bookshelves to fit it), 14 pound book is the most beautiful book on the classic animated films you’ll find, and despite the tiny type, my favorite Disney-related book in years.

DSC02964

I’ll post more on this amazing book later, but in the meantime, just trust me and get it.

DISNEY AFTER HOURS

Friday night the 27th we’ll be doing the Disney After Hours event, an expensive way to see a bunch of Magic Kingdom rides with hardly any waits.

Not something I’d recommend for first-timers, this event is well worth it for returning visitors who can stay up through it, especially on nights Magic Kingdom closes at 8p, or if they’ve otherwise blown their Disney World visit hanging around at ESPN.

Space Mountain at the After Hours Party

Space Mountain at the Disney After Hours Event

It’s currently on the calendar for multiple Thursday and Friday nights into early March—specifically, January 20 and 27, February 2, 9, and 16, and March 2 and 9.

See this for how it went in 2016.

THIS AND THAT

FWIW, also on this visit I’ll be staying in and photographing a refurbed One Bedroom Villas at Kidani, and also, I hope, a refurbed room at the Dolphin.

The 2017 easy Guide

Kelly B Can Help You Book Your Trip

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January 15, 2017   No Comments