For my thoughts on the re-opening of Walt Disney World, see this.

By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2020, the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever.

Available on Amazon here.

(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Category — Uncategorized

Fridays with Jim Korkis: A Lost Dreamfinder Film

Welcome back to Fridays with Jim Korkis! Jim, the dean of Disney historians, writes about Walt Disney World history every Friday on


By Jim Korkis

“A very serious, very advanced engineering project is being built in Florida around these new Disney characters: Dreamkeeper and his pet dragon Figment…It will be only part of a total experience that people will remember all their lives.” –Kodak in-house magazine advertisement, 1980

Yes, the iconic Dreamfinder was once going to be called “Dreamkeeper” after he had evolved from Imagineer Tony Baxter’s concept for a Professor Marvel for the never built Discoveryland section at Disneyland.

(c) Disney

When EPCOT Center opened on October 1, 1982, actor Ron Schneider, costumed as the character, explained to Bryant Gumbel on the Today show who Dreamfinder was supposed to be:

“Well, I’m kind of the host of the Journey Into Imagination show out here at Epcot Center. I traveled all over the Universe, collecting the stuff dreams are made of: Sounds, Colors, Ideas . . . Anything that sparks the imagination. And I store these sparks in the Journey Into Imagination Pavilion. And the guests and I recombine them into new ideas and new inspirations.”

While Dreamfinder and Figment were there at the opening of Epcot, their attraction, Journey Into Imagination, did not officially open at the Imagination Pavilion until March 5, 1983.

The Imagination pavilion was to house an attraction featuring these characters and also a 3-D film titled Magic Journeys, directed by Murray Lerner. However, there was some concern that the film might not be ready in time for the opening of the pavilion, so Imagineering decided to prepare a back-up plan.

The Walt Disney Company contacted filmmaker Mike Jittlov, who was well-known for his 1979 short film, The Wizard of Speed and Time. Jittlov was asked to produce a 70-second live-action film featuring Dreamfinder that could be used to introduce about five minute of clips from Magic Journeys as a back-up, in case the entire 3-D film wasn’t finished in time.

Contrary to other descriptions, this segment was not done in Jittlov’s well known stop-motion technique except for a few seconds, nor was it in 3-D in order to better showcase the 3D clips.

The film was titled Dream Finder Run, because, at that point, the name Dreamfinder was two separate words, and basically the character was going to run around a lot.

The film begins with Dreamfinder putting on his coat and talking to the off-camera Figment: “Figment, my impatient young friend, you can’t push creativity. It takes time to do things right.”

Figment (off camera): “And isn’t now the time for a preview of the Magic Journeys film?”

Dreamfinder: “By golly, you are right. I better hurry along.”

There was one day of filming in Florida and two days in Tujunga, California, at WED (Imagineering). The film had the character running around in the Imagination pavilion while it was still being constructed, as well as passing projects being built at the WED workshop in California.

Dreamfinder spends brief seconds in each location. Jittlov has a cameo, as does the shadowy silhouette of Mickey Mouse. Figment appears on the desk of a sculptor, as well in the basket of a bicycle (as a tribute to the film E.T.).

At one point, Dreamfinder grabs a reel of film (supposedly Magic Journeys). He inadvertently runs off the edge of a second floor hallway and lands in a pile of film cans. Looking at the audience, he informs them it is now time to put on the 3-D glasses to see the preview of scenes from Magic Journeys.

Lerner, who was directing Magic Journeys, found out about this back-up plan and rushed to finish his film. It premiered on time so Dream Finder Run was never shown in its entirety.
However, a clip of a few seconds from Dream Finder Run was shown in the television special Epcot Center: The Opening Celebration on October 23, 1982. Danny Kaye and a very young Drew Barrymore meet Dreamfinder and his puppet Figment outside the original attraction transitioning into about eight seconds from the film.

*  *  *  *  *

Thanks, Jim!  And come back next Friday for more from Jim Korkis!

In the meantime, check out his books, including his new books Vault of Walt: Volume 10: Final Edition  Kungaloosh! The Mythic Jungles of Walt Disney World and Hidden Treasures of Walt Disney World Resorts: Histories, Mysteries, and Theming, much of which was first published on this site.


Follow on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest!!

January 21, 2022   No Comments

Next Week (January 8 through January 16, 2022) at Walt Disney World


The material below details next week’s Disney World operating hours, parades, early entry, extended evening hours, and fireworks.


Magic Kingdom will be open from 9a-10p 1/8, 9a-8p 1/9, 9a-9p 1/10 through 1/14, and 9a-10p 1/15 and 1/16

Epcot will be open from 9a-9p 1/8, and 10a-9p 1/9 through 1/16

Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be open from 9a-9p every day

Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be open from 8a-8p 1/8, 9a-7p 1/9 through 1/13, 8a-7p 1/14 and 8a-8p 1/15 and 1/16


  • Magic Kingdom: every morning
  • Epcot: every morning
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios: every morning
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom: every morning


  • Magic Kingdom: 1/12
  • Epcot: 1/10


There will be no parades. Magic Kingdom’s afternoon Festival of Fantasy parade will return in later 2022


  • At Magic Kingdom, the Disney Enchantment evening show is scheduled for 8p every night
  • At Epcot, the Epcot evening show Harmonious is scheduled at 9p every night
  • At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, a minor evening show, Wonderful World of Animation, is scheduled at 9p every night. An even more minor evening show, Disney Movie Magic, shows at 8.40p every night


See Steve Soares’ site here. Click the park names at its top for show schedules.



Follow on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest!!

January 6, 2022   No Comments

Dining at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

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


Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort has always had a wider range of dining options than any other Disney World moderate resort, and added even more in July 2019. In dining, it now far outclasses the other moderates, and is comparable to several deluxes.

Dining options are in four areas.

  • Gran Destino Tower offers a new table service venue, Toledo, and two new bars, Dahlia Lounge and Barcelona Lounge, each of which also serves hot food. Barcelona Lounge during the daytime does double duty as a coffee shop with various simple breakfast options.
  • Also new, over the water between the Casitas, Ranchos, and Dig Site, is the Three Bridges Bar and Grill, which combines a table service venue with a small bar.
  • In El Centro are two table service venues, a counter-service option, and a grab and go coffee shop.
  • It shares with Caribbean Beach the distinct position among the moderates of having hot food at the main pool bar, and it has a more extensive room-service menu than any other moderate, although the room service menu is weaker than it used to be.

Coronado Springs also has six bars–two in Gran Destino, two in or near El Centro, one over the water, and one at the pool.

If you are counting, that adds up to four more bars than any other moderate, and three more table service venues than any other moderate.


The standout at the new in July 2019 Gran Destino Tower is Toledo, a sixteenth floor Spanish-influenced venue with some nice, though limited, views, of Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot.

Toledo specializes in steak, seafood, and small plates. The non-entrees are the stars–the appetizers, cazuelas, house boards, and pintxos.  Above are a couple of these, the stuffed piquillo peppers and the Spanish charcuterie, both of which were delightful.

The rooftop setting is lovely for a moderate–or any hotel, for that matter–but can get quite loud, so much so that I would not consider it a date night option.

Despite the noise, I enjoyed the hanger steak, served on a bed of crushed potatoes and with charred peppers, greens, and salsa verde mixed in.

Here’s the review from our book, The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2020:

You can find the menu for Toledo on Disney’s website here.

Next to Toledo is the new bar, Dahlia Lounge.

Quite nice, it has both indoor and outdoor seating.

The view from outdoor seating at Dahlia Lounge. Just under the rail at almost the far left you can see Tower of Terror; the blue building just to its right is Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. The camera lens makes these appear farther away than they are–we are just over a half a mile away.

Dahlia Lounge also has an extensive food menu.  See it here. Above are the savory churros, which I kinda felt I had to order, but were a little disappointing–other than the presentation.

And by the way, if you, like me, are a tad empty in the head regarding just what is a Dahlia, above are some examples, courtesy of the Cuyahoga County Fair–my go-to source for Disney World questions. That said, the namesake of the bar is not a flower, but the love interest in the Disney-Salvador Dali collaboration Destino.

The third new option at Gran Destino is Barcelona Lounge.  This first floor space is on the way out to either the pools or El Centro, so it sees much traffic. While there is nothing wrong with it, during times both are open I can’t think of any reason to go here rather than the Dahlia Lounge.

Barcelona Lounge also serves hot food–the full afternoon and evening menu is here.

Not in the online menu (at least as I write this post) are the breakfast offerings–a range of cold and room temperature options like pastries and fruit plates, and also coffee drinks.

There’s no refillable mug station in Gran Destino–there should be–but there is a set of coffee urns off to the left (if you are facing the bar).

There’s an event lawn just outside the Barcelona Lounge. Above is a shot of it from my 8th floor room, while it is being set up for a wedding, which Disney would film for its “Fairytale Weddings” series. The Barcelona Lounge is just behind the left side of the picture.

The propinquity of this event space–and the presence of the Dahlia Lounge upstairs–makes me expect that at times the Barcelona Lounge will be closed for events.


Also new in July 2019–but not part of Gran Destino Tower–is the Three Bridges Bar & Grill.

This over-the-water venue on Lago Dorado is connected by three bridges–also new–that start from El Centro, the Casitas, and the Dig Site–shortening walks from the Casitas to the Dig Site in particular.

Among other Disney World resort venues, Three Bridges is most like Geyser Point at the Wilderness Lodge, with its views, and the fact that its sides are open to the weather. But it is larger than Geyser Point, and feels more like a restaurant than a bar–though besides tables, it does have a lot of lounge chairs that can do double duty as either bar-area or dining-area options, depending on how much dining is booked.

The night I dined here, dining was so heavily booked that bar guests literally could sit only at the small bar–although the cast member volunteered to move me to a table if one opened up.

I had the stuffed mushrooms appetizer, and the braised pork tacos entree.  Both were terrific.

Overall, Three Bridges Bar & Grill is the most comfortable (so long as the weather cooperates) and casual of the Coronado Springs table service venues, and has some pretty nice prices (the tacos were $13, and the mushrooms $12). That said, I could easily see it being a popular event space as well.

The Three Bridges Bar & Grill menu is here.


El Centro, between Gran Destino and the Casitas, has a gift shop where you can buy various shelf-stable and refrigerated snack sand such, and also a grab and go shop, a bar that doubles as a table service venue, a food court, another table service venue, and another bar outside along the lake.

Grab and Go Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from

The grab and go food shop offers pastries, coffee, soft drinks, and such, and can get quite crowded if a convention or meeting is happening.

Next to it is the food-court style El Mercado de Coronado, formerly Pepper Market, the “quick service” meal offering.

Food Stations Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from

The food stations used to be overly complicated, but fresh and interesting, making Pepper Market then the best food court among the moderates, though admittedly convoluted.  Now El Mercado de Coronado is much more like any other Disney World food court, with a bit of an added garnish of southwestern offerings and flavors.

Check Out Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from

Checkout and payment used to have a mystifying multi-step approach that garnered the envy of former Warsaw Pact customer service staff, but now is utterly simple. El Mercado de Coronado is now comparable to other moderate quick service offerings, a loss on the food front but a gain on the service and simplicity dimension.

The El Mercado de Coronado menu is here.

Maya Grill Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from

There are two table service offerings in El Centro.  Best known of these two is the Maya Grill.

The Maya Grill review from The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2020:

The Maya Grill menu is here.

Las Ventanas Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from

Also available for dining is the Rix Sports Bar & Grill, offering a table service menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The Rix Sports Bar & Grill is in particular a great option for a hot breakfast that’s fresher than the cafeteria style offerings at EL Mercado. That’s the Chorizo Skillet, at $14 not wildly more expensive than a less tasty option at El Mercado.

The Rix Sports Bar & Grill menu is here.

Outdoor Bar Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from

On the lake side of El Centro, you’ll find the last venue in the El Centro area, the Laguna Bar.

Because of its lakeside setting, Laguna used to the best bar among the moderates. However, it is now just the third or fourth best bar at Coronado Springs–a testimony to the quality and number of bars that opened here in July 2019.

Outdoors Disney's Coronado Springs Resort from

Also here is lots of other outdoor seating.


The main pool bar, Siestas Cantina, is unique among the moderates in offering a hot menu.

One of my lunches-Carnitas Tacos–from Siestas Cantina, no longer on the menu.

Another more pedestrian lunch. As much as my co-author Josh is dubious about their actual ingredients, that Snake River Wagyu Hot Dog is quite good.

A perhaps more legible version of the menu is here.


Coronado Springs used to offer the best room service menu among the moderates.

Above is the room service menu from as recently as April 2018.

The menu is much less interesting now…

…and food from it is presented unappealingly.

I expect that the demands of the meetings and conventions markets will force Coronado Springs to up its room service game.


This review continues here!




Follow on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest!!

August 14, 2019   No Comments

To-Do List: Disney World Extra Extra Magic Hours Itinerary

This To-Do List is for the Disney World Extra Extra Magic Hours ItineraryFor To-Do-Lists for other itineraries, see this.

(Note that a good travel agent, such as Kelly, the long time travel agent partner of this site, can do almost all of this for you, for free. Use the form at the bottom of the page to contact her.)


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


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 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…

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.


(For an 180 day calendar, see this).

Be on the restaurant website by at least 5:50a 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, and the earlier time will cut into your afternoon–but it is the better choice if the 6.15 show is booked.
  • 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 or later. You can schedule for as late as Disney will allow you to do so, but not earlier than 5.30p
  • 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 earlier arrival at Epcot.

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


Liking the Name on This MagicBand

Note that you are booking your FastPass+ in two steps: first you are focusing on nailing the ones that are hardest to get, then second  you are going back to the beginning of your visit and adding the rest. This is because some FastPass+ are hard to get even at 60 days (because people whose 60 days opened a few days ago booked their FastPass+ for all their ticket days after that date, overlapping with your dates.)

1. Go to your MyDisneyExperience account at 7am and set up the following hard-to-get FastPass+, booking them in the order noted

  • Second Sunday at the Animal Kingdom: Avatar: Flight of Passage for 9.30 to 10.30a
  • Wednesday at Hollywood Studios: Slinky Dog Dash for 12-1p if you plan to do Savi’s Workshop, Oga’s Canteen, and/or the Droid factory; 2-3p if not
  • Monday at Hollywood Studios: Tower of Terror 9a-10a
  • First Saturday afternoon and evening at Epcot: Tier One: Frozen Ever After. Set the time for when your travel plans permit you to be in the park.

2. Second, continue with the rest (I’ve kept the ones above in this list so you can see the various times):

  • 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 can 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 Kali River Rapids for 2-3p, Nemo 3p-3.15p for the 3.30p show, and Na’vi for 4.30-5.30p
  • Monday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Tier One: Tower of Terror. Tier Two: Star Tours and Frozen Sing-Along. Set Tower of Terror for 9a-10a, Star Tours for 10a-11a, and the Frozen Sing-Along for the first show available 11a or later, ideally 11-11.15a for the 11.30a show)
  • Tuesday at the Magic Kingdom: Space Mountain, Tomorrowland Speedway, and Jungle Cruise. Set Space Mountain for 8-9a, the Speedway for 9-10a, and Jungle Cruise for 10-11a.
  • Wednesday at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Tier One: Slinky Dog Dash. Tier Two: Beauty and the Beast and Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular. Pre-book FastPass+ for Slinky Dog Dash (2-3p if you do not plan to pre-book Savi’s Workshop, Oga’s Cantina, and/or the Droid Factory; 12-1p if you do have plan to see them) and for the shows Beauty and the Beast and Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular.  Ideally, you will pick both the times and the order of the two shows so that you tap in for the second show as early in the afternoon as possible, so check both shows before booking either.
  • Thursday at the Magic Kingdom:  Peter Pan’s Flight, Enchanted Tales with Belle, and Haunted Mansion. Book Peter Pan before your Cinderella meal, and Enchanted Tales with Belle after–but not between the window of 1.45-2.45p (you will be watching the afternoon parade then).  Book 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: DINOSAUR, Avatar: Flight of Passage and Festival of the Lion King. Set DINOSAUR for 8a-9a, Flight of Passage for 9.30 to 10.30a, and Festival of the Lion King for 10.30-10.45a for the 11a show.

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

4. Customize your MagicBands


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.

Kelly, the long-time travel agent partner of this site, can book your Disney World vacation at any Disney World hotel!  Contact her using the form below.

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY

Kelly B Can Help You Book Your Trip

Follow on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest!!

June 24, 2019   No Comments

Next Week (June 8 through June 16, 2019) at Walt Disney World


The material below details next week’s Disney World operating hours, Extra Magic Hours, parades, and fireworks.

For more on June 2019 at Disney World see this.


The Magic Kingdom will be open from 9a-10p 6/8 and 6/9, 9a-11p 6/10, 9a-10p 6/11, 9a-11p 6/12, and 9a-10p 6/13 through 6/16

Epcot will be open from 9a-9p every day

Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be open from 9a-9p every day

Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be open from 8a-10p 6/8 through 6/10, 8a-9p 6/11, and 9a-10p 6/12 through 6/16


Saturday 6/8 Morning: Animal Kingdom Evening: none

Sunday 6/9  Morning:  Hollywood Studios Evening: none

Monday 6/10 Morning: Animal Kingdom Evening: none

Tuesday 6/11 Morning: none Evening: Epcot

Wednesday 6/12 Morning:  none Evening: Magic Kingdom

Thursday 6/13 Morning: Epcot Evening: none

Friday 6/14 Morning:  Magic Kingdom Evening: none

Saturday 6/15 Morning: Animal Kingdom  Evening: none

Sunday 6/16 Morning:  Hollywood Studios  Evening: none


The Magic Kingdom: Afternoon parade: 3p every day


Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom 9.15p every night

IllumiNations at Epcot: 9p every night

Fantasmic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: 9p every night

Star Wars Show and Fireworks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: 9.30p every night

Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom: 9 and 10p 6/8 through 6/10; 9p 6/11; 9 and 10p 6/12 through 6/16


See Steve Soares’ site here. Click the park names at its top for show schedules.

Follow on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest!!

June 6, 2019   No Comments

Date-Based Ticket Pricing Soon to Launch at Disney World

As has been expected for some time, Disney World yesterday announced that theme park tickets purchased October 16 or after will have varying prices based on the start date of the ticket.

The prices themselves were not announced—that’s expected on the 16th itself, although rumors, some accurate, will come out before then. Many were confused by apparent prices being used in an explanatory video—even though every image in that video had material like the following:

The way it will work is that ticket purchasers first select a ticket form or type.*

You choose from among the current ticket types:  “regular” one park per day tickets, “hopper” tickets that allow visiting different parks in the same day (multiple visits in a day to one park are covered by “regular” tickets), or “hopper plus” tickets that also include pre-paid admission to the minor parks (waterparks, mini-golf, etc.).

The next choice you make is how many park days.

With these two choices in hand, you then pick your first possible day of use from a calendar that shows average daily prices by start day for a ticket of the already-selected form and number of days.

With a date clicked, the cost per day is highlighted…

…and the system will then show the total cost of the tickets…

…and also the days the tickets are eligible to be used.

Except for one day tickets, these tickets have eligibility ranges greater than the actual number of park days that can be used. Two and three day tickets have two extra calendar days they might be used; tickets with four through seven days of park admission have three extra days, and tickets with eight to ten days have four extra days.

This allows guests some flexibility for off days, visits to other Orlando attractions, or for working around family, illness, or weather issues. It also allows, I would guess, for a bit of start-day arbitrage for guests who are willing to give up some flexibility.**

For guests with calendar flexibility, the system will also let you seek low cost days…

…and for those who want to lock into a set of tickets and not worry yet about start dates, an option to pay more for flexible dates will also be available. This option also provides the longest date range of eligible use—fourteen days—regardless of the actual number of days in the ticket.

Disney has two intentions behind this change.

  • One is to shift guests from higher-wait periods to lower wait ones, thereby increasing the satisfaction of the shifted guests (though not that of those who had already planned to go those dates because they held the promise of be see lower crowds)
  • The second is to extract more value from those who, regardless of pricing, choose the more popular dates

Both these have already been in place at Disney World in some fashion for years. Resort prices have worked this way from time out of memory. And over the last three years, Disney World has restructured the prices of its various types of annual passes to shift many people into lower-cost pass options that block out many of the most popular dates—resulting, for example, in starkly lower summer waits the past three summers.

The new approach to date-based pricing is much less complicated than many had feared it would be. Yes, you need to pick a date or pay a premium for flexible dates—but you always have had to pick a date; this new approach will simply incent that choice to even earlier. And yes, you will pay higher prices for some dates than others, even if you have no real choice in your dates—but this has also always been true for hotel prices.

The impact on park waits is still to be seen, and will be partly shaped by the actual price differences among dates. Higher price differences will level out crowds across the year to some as-yet unquantifiable extent, making formerly bad dates better and formerly good dates worse, although the impact is yet to be seen and good daily planning will still pay off quite a bit. Lower price differences will have less impact on the flow of crowds across the year.


*All screenshots are from Disney’s video here.

**For example, say you plan to be in the parks for three days, on exact dates—e.g. February 3 through February 5. The two extra calendar days your ticket can be used on a three day ticket means your start dates could be February 1, February 2, or February 3. If you are willing to give up the option to use your tickets on February 6 or February 7, then picking February 1 or 2 as your start day, rather than February 3, in some scenarios might save you some money.


Follow on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest!!

September 25, 2018   13 Comments