By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2018, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here.—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

Category — Uncategorized

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

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

In late 2017, Disney’s Yacht Club resort completed a much-needed room refurb, and I had the chance to stay in a refurbed room in early November.

A complete photo tour follows, but for those familiar with the former rooms here, here’s the key points:

  • The rooms are much more livable than before
  • Yacht Club rooms were never very interesting, and have gotten even less so
  • A gulf has emerged between Beach Club rooms and Yacht Club rooms.  In the past they were largely identical other than color schemes and decorations. Now, after each of their recent refurbs, while they have the same basic characteristics in terms of size, capacity, bath layout and such, the Yacht Club rooms are better on almost every other dimension


Standard rooms at the Yacht Club sleep either four or five–four on two queens, and the fifth on a fold-down sofa bed, if present.

The floor plan shows a five person room. Four person rooms have an easy chair where the desk is, and move the desk to where the couch is.  The connecting door, if present, is between the dresser and closet in either room type.

At the entry, the bath area is on one side…

…and the coffee area, mini-fridge, and closet on the other.

The coffee maker is a Keurig–unusual in DisneyWorld rooms–and underneath it is a good-sized drawer.

Below both and behind a door is the same sort of glass-fronted mini-fridge that’s been common in recently refurbed Disney World rooms.

Beyond these is the re-done closet. Note the nice paneling and the shelves above and below on the right side.

Inside the doors you’ll find more structured storage. Older Disney rooms have just a long blank closet with a long clothes rod and a shelf above.  This is much more helpful.

The safe is quite large–my book is 6×9 inches, and you could fit a more than a dozen.  In fact, you probably should.

The other side of the room contains the divided bath. The sink area, which used to be open to the room, now has a sliding barn door that can limit the effect of light and noise in here on the rest of the room.

Inside you’ll find double sinks and, new with this refurb, a make-up mirror.

The hair dryer.

Storage underneath the sinks.

The tub and toilet are in their own separate space, now closed off by a pocket door rather than a swinging door. I’m not a fan of the new sliding shower doors which replace the old curtain. They make it too hard to bathe kids.

The two heads of the rainfall shower make it much more usable.

The toiletries.

Back in the room, on one side you’ll find two queen beds.

The bed side from the back. In four person rooms, you’ll find an easy chair where the desk is, and the desk is moved to the TV side of the room, where the couch is in five person rooms.

A closer view of one of the queens. Note that, consistent with recent trends in hotels, these beds are high off the floor. At about 30 inches they may be as high as six inches taller than you are used to, and are about three inches higher than the beds in the Beach Club. Shorter folk and those with any number of disabilities may have difficulty getting into them.

New in this refurb is a set of (?halogen) pencil reading lights. There are four in total, one on each side of each queen. They come on when you pull them out of their slot in the headboard, and you can aim them.

The additional bulb-style reading lights on the walls are each controlled by a single switch per bed, so both of a bed’s wall-mounted lights will light up when that switch is thrown.  The pencil lights provide more control and more light.

There’s a small bedside shelf with a power point for four devices (two plug, two USB) between the near bed and the bath wall.

In addition between the two beds is a more traditional bedside table. I believe the design of this table is meant to recall steamer trunks that used to be taken on transatlantic cruises.  We’ll see other gestures towards this design concept in the dresser. Also, if you can up above, you’ll see a similar theming to the mini-fridge enclosure.

The table has another 4 device power point and three small storage drawers, with one big enough for your most important books.

The undersides of the bed are now open…

…creating a handy place to shove your luggage.

The desk includes 8 power points…

…and underneath is is a rolling table, handy for eating or playing games.

The TV side of the room has the connecting door (if present), dresser, TV, and a couch in five person rooms. In four person rooms, the desk is moved to this side.

The TV side from the back.

The TV is 54 inches–much bigger than that in the Beach Club rooms.

The dresser includes nine drawers and a cabinet.  There’s plenty of storage in these rooms, even for five people. There’s a four-device power point at either end of the dresser.

The couch…

…folds down into a bed, which I measured as 33″ by 75.”  The high sides at the ends make it sleep a little shorter than this.  The cushion is firm but thin, and so the bed  is best suited to kids, the uncomplaining, or those whose complaints are typically ignored.

Above the couch is this art. The mickey head and referen to Disney World’s 1971 opening is one of three subtle gestures in the room to Disney theming.

The second is in this art on the wall between the needs and the bath…

…and the third is in this curtain that separates the balcony from the room.

Look closely at what at first seems a map of the constellations of the night sky, and you will see some constellations hitherto unknown to mankind.

Almost all Yacht Club rooms have full-width balconies, unlike the Beach CLub, which combines regular balconies, small balconies and uselessly tiny ones.

This balcony difference was traditionally the largest difference between Yacht Club and Beach Club rooms. But after the 2015 Beach Club room refurb and 2017 Yacht Club room refurb, more differences have emerged, as the Yacht Club rooms now have…

  • Keurig coffee makers
  • Wooden floors
  • More structured closet storage
  • Larger safe
  • Barn-door closure to the sink area
  • A make-up mirror
  • Pocket door access to the bath
  • Dual shower heads
  • Sliding shower doors
  • Under-bed storage
  • Halogen individual reading lights
  • Larger TVs

…most of which most people would consider improvements in livability over the Beach Club rooms.


This review continues here!

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November 20, 2017   2 Comments

Review: The 2017 Edition of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (“MVMCP”)


Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (“MVMCP”) is a special event that takes place during the Christmas season at Walt Disney World.

It requires its own ticket, which is entirely separate from regular Disney World tickets, and is only shown on certain nights from early November through mid-December.

(For more on MVMCP tickets and show nights, see this.)

Even though it is expensive (tickets for a family of four will cost $300 or more) it’s been part of this site’s Basic December Itinerary since the site opened, for a couple of reasons:

Going to it lets people save a lot of time. 

Disney limits the amount of tickets it sells to each show of MVMCP.  As a result, waits for the rides are low–most typically 10 minutes, although you’ll find longer waits at Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan, and Jingle Cruise.  Going to it and seeing some really popular rides with hardly a wait saves a ton of time that can instead be spent sleeping in or at the pool.

Waits Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from

For example, above is the Space Mountain wait at a little after 9p.

The Castle Transfigured Frozen Holiday Wish from

Going to it guarantees seeing an evening parade and fireworks. 

The regular evening parade at the Magic Kingdom is now gone, and at the time of year the Basic Itinerary covers, the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom may happen just a couple of times a week on non-MVMCP nights.  Going to MVMCP guarantees your family will have the opportunity to see an evening parade and fireworks.

Moreover, the parade and fireworks are unique. The fireworks are tied with those of the Halloween party as best of the year, and the parade has a fun Christmas theme!

I recommend people go to Walt Disney World in the early part of the Christmas season…so how can I not send them to this show?

It’s silly and fun!

In mid-November 2017 I had a chance to see it again on Sunday the 12th, my eleventh visit to this party. The rest of this entry is the review of that visit. (Note that some of the photos are from my earlier visits, where they turned out better than those I took that night…)


There’s a couple of components to MVMCP.

Noted already are the parade and fireworks, both in special Christmas versions.

Parade Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from

The parade, called Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, happens twice each night, at 8.30 and 11p.

Saving a Spot for the Parade Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from

I strongly suggest you avoid the first parade.  Instead, go on rides until about 3o minutes before the fireworks, and watch them and then watch the second parade–crowds for the second parade will be much lower, and you won’t have to save a spot like the little guy above.

Characters Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade at MVMCP from

The parade begins with a bunch of characters…

Mickey and Minnie Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from

…then Minnie and Mickey.

Frozen comes next with three floats, beginning with Anna and Elsa…

…then Olaf…

…and then Kristoff.

Next is Wreck-It Ralph…

…then Clarabelle Cow and Christmas cookies–I still wonder why no resort is themed to Clarabelle?

Goofy Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from

Next is Goofy and Christmas candy.

Next up is a sequence of princess-themed floats.

You might spot some dwarfs.

Snow White Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade at MVMCP from

Snow White Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from


Snow White and Cinderella get their own floats.

A closer shot of Cinderella.

Princesses Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from

One large float is fronted by the Beast and holds a passel of princesses.

Woody Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from

The parade then shifts to a toy theme, including Woody and Jess…


…and toy soldiers.

Santa Claus is on the last float.

Santa Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade at MVMCP from

Santa Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from

The fireworks, called Holiday Wishes, happen between the parades at 10p.

More fireworks:





Also noted already are the rides.

  • Not all rides are open, but all of the most popular ones are (there’s a list of what’s open on the brochure below).
  • Because of the limit on tickets sold, most of the rides are pretty easy to get on to without major waits. The park will feel very crowded on Main Street and near the Castle, but this is because of all the people lining for the castle shows and the parade route.  Away from Main Street and Frontierland the park opens up and ride waits are quite short.

There’s some shows, some unique to this event.

Elsa Making Snow Frozen Holdiay Wish from

A Frozen Holiday Wish is the same as on regular MK evenings. It’s OK but the 8.15 show will be mobbed and cut into your ride time.

Totally Tomorrowland Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from

Only shown during the party are the skippable A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas in Tomorrowland…


…and a skippable dance party in Cosmic Ray’s in Tomorrowland.

Voiceplay Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from

Also available is “Voiceplay,” showing on the same stage as A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas at 8.10, 9, 10.20 and 11.10p.  This will please you in direct proportion to the joy you take in slightly thuggish boy band a Capella gestures towards Christmas songs.

Continuing from its 2016 debut is the Castle stage show “Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration.” Showing at 7.40, 9.25, 10.30p, and 11.55p, this utterly skippable show includes dancing and character appearances to (mostly) second rate Christmas standards and (mostly) third rate original songs (all powerfully sung, however).

Oddities include a song about texting and keeping your phone charged which also features Daisy’s rarely expressed longing for Donald, and a torch song by Clarabelle that will chill any potential target of her affections. But wait, there’s less, as the Three Amigos also are a focal point:




There’s some fun other business: free cookies, free hot chocolate or other drinks (locations on the map), and snow!

Snow on Main Street Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from

Bear Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from

There’s also character encounters, some very rare. My first reaction to the bear was “that scarf must be warm.” Yes, my first reactions are often stupid.

Aladdin Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 from

You can spend a lot of time waiting in lines for characters–go for it if that’s your thing, but for most there’s much better ways to spend your time given the cost of this party…


More characters:



Both sides of the 2017 MVMCP brochure are below–as always, click them to enlarge them.

Even though the party starts at 7p, Disney traditionally lets people holding tickets for it through the turnstiles beginning at 4p. Show up early, see some of the lower wait rides, and have dinner.  If you show up around party time, Main Street will be mobbed.  If the train is still running–the last run will be 6.45p or so–take the train to Frontierland or Fantasyland to avoid the crowds on Main Street and in front of the Castle.

FastPass+ is not available during the party–but it’s also not needed, as only Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan and the Jingle Cruise see major waits. If you want to see these at the party, do them as late as you can stay up.


Fireworks Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2014 from (2)

As noted, this show is expensive, but worth considering if one or more of the following apply to you:

  • You otherwise won’t see the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom
  • Your plans otherwise leave you short on Magic Kingdom time, and/or
  • You are really a fan of Christmas

With kids old enough to be focused on rides, the right plan for MVMCP is to

  • Show up early, and eat before the party
  • Do rides until around 9.30p, and then
  • Position yourselves near the Castle for Holiday Wishes, and the second showing of the evening parade.
  • After the parade, do more rides or see the shows!

SOme more shots from around Magic Kingdom during the party:

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November 18, 2017   5 Comments

Theming and Accommodations at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort

For the first page of this review of Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort, see this.


Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort from (3)

Port Orleans Riverside is one of 5 moderate resorts at Walt Disney World:

The moderates have much more room than the value resorts, more amenities, and (except for Fort Wilderness) much better landscaping. See this for what you get by Disney World price class.

Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort from (5)

Although the typical moderate rooms, at 314 square feet (the cabins have 508 square feet), look much smaller than the rooms available at the deluxe resorts, differences in hall/entry layout make the living space of the typical moderates much more comparable to many Walt Disney World deluxes than raw square footage would imply. See this for more on square footage and livability.

Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort is officially a “hotel inspired by rural Louisiana that flows alongside the picturesque Sassagoula River…” set in a “…time and place where everything seems to move a little slower and simple pleasures flourish like magnolia blossoms in the springtime.”

The hotel’s more than 2000 rooms are divided into two large sections, Magnolia Bend and Alligator Bayou.

A room refurb is expected to kick off at Port Orleans Riverside in later 2018, starting in Alligator Bayou.

No confirmed details of what will change are available, but recent refurbs at other Disney World resorts have included a shift to wood floors, the replacement of the fabric curtain separating the bath from the living area with a sliding solid door, bigger TVs, more and better organized storage, and many, many more powerpoints.

This refurb will likely be done floor by floor in Magnolia Bend, and building by building in Alligator Bayou, and should have little impact on guests. Look for updates on Andre’s here.


Magnolia Bend Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort from
The Magnolia Bend section of Port Orleans Riverside contains  four large buildings themed as graceful southern plantation homes, with courtyards, porticoes, grand stairs, formal gardens, and fountains.

Magnolia Bend Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort from (2)

Magnolia Bend Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort from (3)

Review - Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort from

Magnolia Bend is also characterized by vistas and well-manicured lawns.


Alligator Bayou Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort from
Alligator Bayou is much less formal and much more wild.

Alligator Bayou Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort from (2)
The two-story, no-elevator buildings here are themed as backwoods cabins.

Meant to suggest more distance from civilization, rooms here have more of a hand-built feel…

…and the landscaping around them is more wild and swampy….

…although there is some grass.


Much more so than Disney World’s other moderate resorts, Port Orleans Riverside has distinct areas and room types, with varied pros and cons.

The two areas–Alligator Bayou and Magnolia Bend–have three different room types.

Annotated Map Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort

See the map (click it to enlarge it)–whose colored circles I will explain as I go along.


The Magnolia Bend section of Port Orleans Riverside contains the four large plantation-style buildings circled in yellow at the right of the map,

The two top-most of these buildings are Acadian House and Magnolia Terrace, Buildings 80 and 85.

These two buildings are the most highly recommended among the Port Orleans Riverside options, because of their

  • Access to bus stops–above on either side, circled in red
  • Access to the main pool, on the island at the center of the map over the bridge between them, and
  • Access to the food court and services, just to the left of the pool

Bed Side from Back Standard Magnolia Bend Room Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort from

The four person queen bed rooms you’ll find here are tied with the rest of the Magnolia Bend rooms for being most livable, and tied with the Alligator Bayou rooms for having the lowest cost.

Floor Plan Standard Room Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort from
Their floor plans are typical of the moderates. What make them more livable than the Alligator Bend rooms is that they have both more, and more accessible, drawer space. Also available in this section are two person king bed rooms.

For a full review of this room type, see this.

Royal Rooms at Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort from

The two bottom-right buildings, Oak Manor and Parterre Place, circled in black, are where you’ll find Riverside’s Royal Rooms.

The four person queen bed Royal Rooms are distinctively decorated to a Disney Prince and Princess theme, and are higher cost than any other options at Port Orleans Riverside. Their floor plans are very similar to those in the two other Magnolia Bend buildings. No king bed rooms are available in these two buildings.

Families who find the added theming worth the extra ~$50-$100 per night these rooms cost may find them quite pleasant.

The buildings themselves, however, are distant from the main pool and from bus stops.

A detailed review of the Royal Rooms is here.


Alligator Bayou Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort from

The Alligator Bayou section of Port Orleans Riverside is on the top left of the map, circled in purple. The two-story, no-elevator buildings here are themed as backwoods hovels cabins.

Alligator Bayou Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort from (2)

While some of these buildings are quite convenient, e.g. Building 14, many are distant from one, two, or all three of the main pool, central services, and bus stops.

However, these rooms are among the few “traditional” moderate rooms at Walt Disney World that can sleep 5–the only other ones are at Caribbean Beach.

Murphy Bed Alligator Bayou Port Orleans Riverside from

The fifth sleeping spot is in a short (66″) Murphy Bed that drops down from the TV/dresser object. Some ALligator Bayou rooms have one king bed.

Floor Plan Alligator Bayou 5 Person Room Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort from

The geometry of the object means that these rooms have both less drawer space to start with, and also that the drawers are inaccessible if the Murphy Bed is in use. The five person rooms at Caribbean Beach have a better design–they both have more drawers, and also some of their drawers remain accessible after the bed is lowered.

These rooms are great for families seeking a Riverside room, but needing the extra sleeping spot; otherwise, a room in the Magnolia Bend section at either Acadian House or Magnolia Terrace is a better choice.

The Murphy bed is present in all Alligator Bayou rooms, including king bed rooms, except for most accessible rooms, which have two queens.

See a full review of these Alligator Bend rooms here.

King rooms are in a separate booking category.  Beyond that, there are multiple view options you can book–standard, garden, pool and river. And you can also book “preferred rooms,” which will put you in Alligator Bayou buildings 14, 15, 18 or 27, all of which are reasonably convenient to Port Orleans Riverside’s central services, main pool, and the bus stop outside of the Sassagoula Steamship Company. King bedrooms might have any view, and preferred rooms will have–because of their location–only standard or garden views. BTW, “standard view” means “parking lot or some other thing that is not garden-like or of water.”


Andre has lovely detailed floor plans of all the buildings on his masterful so you can see your view and other options. His Alligator Bayou building floor plans are here, and his Magnolia Bend building floor plans are here.

If you don’t need the extra bed or sleeping capacity I recommend a standard view (because you won’t be in your room much) room in Acadian House and Magnolia Terrace, Buildings 80 and 85.  If you need the extra bed or capacity of Alligator Bayou, I recommend a standard room in Buildings 16 or 17, or a garden view room in Building 38 (there are no standard view rooms on this building). I’m not keen on the location of any of the Royal Rooms, but many of those in Building 90 Oak Manor are closer to the bus stop and main services than many rooms in Building 95 Parterre Place, which can be up to a half mile away from a bus stop.


This review continues here.

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October 18, 2017   No Comments

Disney World 2019 Resort Price Seasons


The material below shows my forecasts for resort price seasons at Walt Disney World at different times of the year in 2019.

It’s based on Disney World’s recent practices, with an especially sharp look at March and April 2014, because 2014 also saw a very late Easter–Easter was April 20 in 2014, and will be April 21 in 2019.

(For 2017 price seasons, see this, and for 2018 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 details listed below, Disney typically 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.

I will revise these forecasts as needed when Disney releases its actual 2019 prices, most likely in the summer of 2018.

Cars at Disney's Art of Animation Resort from


  • 30-40% higher–the peak season–begins 1/1/2019
  • 15-25% higher–Marathon rates–begin 1/2/19
  • Lowest of year–the value season–begins 1/6/19
  • 20-25% higher–the regular season-begins 2/10/19
  • 30-40% higher–the peak season–begins 2/14/19
  • 20-25% higher–the regular season–begins 2/24/19
  • 30-40% higher–the peak season–begins 3/9/19
  • 55-65% higher–the Easter season–begins 4/14/19
  • 30-40% higher–the peak season–begins 4/21/19
  • 20-25% higher–the regular season–begins 4/28/19
  • 30-40% higher–the summer season–begins 5/24/19
  • 20-25% higher–the regular season–begins 8/11/19
  • 5-10% higher–the fall season–begins 8/25/19
  • 20-25% higher–the regular season–begins 9/15/19
  • 5-10% higher–the fall season– begins 10/27/19
  • 30-40% higher over Thanksgiving begins 11/23/19
  • 5-10% higher–the fall seasonbegins 11/30/19
  • 20-25% higher–the regular season–begins 12/8/19
  • 30-40% higher–the peak season–begins 12/13/19
  • 60-70% higher–the holiday season–begins 12/20/19

Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort from


  • 20-25% higher–the peak season–begins 1/1/19
  • 15% higher–Marathon rates–begins 1/2/19
  • Lowest of year–the value seasonbegins 1/6/19
  • 15-20% higher–the regular season-begins 2/10/19
  • 20-25% higher–the peak season–begins 2/14/19
  • 15-20% higher–the regular season-begins 2/24/19
  • 20-25% higher–the peak season–begins 3/8/19
  • 30-45% higher–the Easter season–begins 4/14/19
  • 20-25% higher–the peak season–begins 4/21/19
  • 15-20% higher–the regular season–begins 4/28/19
  • 10-15% higher–the summer season–begins 5/24/19
  • 15-20% higher–the regular season–begins 8/11/19
  • 10-15% higher–the fall season–begins 8/25/19
  • 15-20% higher–the regular season–begins 9/15/19
  • 10-15% higher–the fall season–begins 10/27/19
  • 20-25% higher over Thanksgiving begins 11/23/19
  • 10-15% higher–the fall seasonbegins 11/30/19
  • 15-20% higher–the regular season–beings 12/8/19
  • 20-25% higher–the peak season–begins 12/13/19
  • 35-50% higher–the holiday season–begins 12/20/19

Disney's Polynesian Resort from


  • 20-40% higher–the peak season–begins 1/1/19
  • 15-20% higher–Marathon rates–begins 1/2/19
  • Lowest of year–the value season–begins 1/6/19
  • 10-20% higher–the regular season–begins 2/10/19
  • 20-40% higher–the peak season–begins 2/14/19
  • 10-20% higher–the regular season–begins 2/24/19
  • 20-40% higher–the peak season–begins 3/8/19
  • 30-50% higher–the Easter season–begins 4/14/19
  • 20-40% higher–the peak season–begins 4/21/19
  • 10-20% higher–the regular season–begins 4/28/19
  • 5-15% higher–the summer season–begins 5/24/19
  • 5-10% highernear-lowest of year–the value season 2–begins 7/7/19
  • Lowest of year–the value seasonbegins 8/23/19
  • 10-20% higher–the regular season 2–begins 9/20/19
  • 5-15% higher–the fall season–begins 10/13/19
  • 10-20% higher–the regular season–begins 11/1/19
  • 5-15% higher–the fall season–begins 11/11/19
  • 25-40% higher during Thanksgiving begins 11/26/19
  • 5-15% higher–the fall season–begins 11/30/19
  • 10-20% higher–the regular season–beings 12/8/19
  • 20-40% higher–the peak season–begins 12/13/19
  • 55-75% higher–the holiday season–begins 12/20/19

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September 17, 2017   No Comments

Disney After Hours Back in Early 2018

Disney After Hours is a separately-ticket opportunity to be in the Magic Kingdom with next to no one, and for three hours ride the best rides (not all are open, but most are) with next to no waits.

It’s expensive, but especially for returning visitors who know their way around Magic Kingdom and want to nail a lot of rides, can be well worth it.

I’ve done it twice–extensive reviews are here for my January 2017 Disney After Hours test, and here for my April 2016 Disney After Hours test.

These are the dates of Disney After Hours in early 2018:

  • Friday January 19: 8 to 11p
  • Friday January 26: 8 to 11p
  • Tuesday January 30: 8 to 11p
  • Thursday February 8: 8 to 11p
  • Thursday February 15: 9p to 12MN
  • Thursday March 1: 9p to 12MN
  • Thursday March 8: 9p to 12MN

Have you done it? What did you think?

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September 16, 2017   7 Comments

Meet Dave, Josh, Steve Bell September 24 at Magic Kingdom

Josh of and I will be meeting our readers and signing more or less anything they bring for us to sign—but signing with special delight our co-authored The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney Visit 2018—in later September! (Scroll down a bit to learn more about The easy Guide.)

This time we’ll also be joined by Steve Bell of!

Steve, in addition to authoring that great resource for military families,  is also the author of Walt Disney World For Military Families  and The Essential Guide to Shades of Green.  Steve—like Josh—is one of my longest-standing imaginary internet friends. If you’ve had enough of us, talk to Steve instead.

Josh, Steve and I will be in (or near) the seating area at Tomorrowland Terrace at Magic Kingdom on Sunday September 24 from 5.30p til 6.30p.

We love to be able to meet the folks we’ve tried to help, and are grateful for their kind words and support. If you will be in (or near!) the Magic Kingdom that day, we’d love to meet and thank you, too!


As I noted a few days ago, the 2018 edition of the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook, ever, is now available on Amazon—paperback here, and Kindle here.

A guidebook too large to be understood or easily used is doing folks no favors. Co-author Josh of and I from the start wanted to publish the shortest and best-organized guidebook we could. Our 2018 edition has 307 substantive pages—about a third the size of some Disney World guidebooks—and in what is probably a first for Disney World guidebook series, has 8 fewer pages fewer than our 2017 edition!

But in those 307 pages we cover every major decision you need to make—how old and tall your kids should be, how long to stay, when to go, where to stay, what to do in the parks, where to eat, and more.

Moreover, we make it easy for you to refer to the book in the parks. If you purchase the paperback version, we make the Kindle version available for free. Load it onto a Kindle app on your phone and you are all set!


We also pride ourselves on providing the most accurate guidebook available. Our knowledge of Disney World comes from direct experience—Josh is in the parks and restaurants two to four times a week, and later this year I will have stayed in my 150th different Disney World-owned room, villa, suite, studio, cabin or campsite. No one else can match the experience we bring.

Dave’s stays…

We match this with disciplined judgment and a commitment to accuracy. Accuracy is really hard, and we’ve had our share of goofs. But we are sure that we have fewer than anyone else.

For example, another 2018 guidebook that also came out in August 2017 has not updated its entry on Toy Story Mania since 2015, nor has it updated its entry on the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival since 2015, either. More examples: it has Easter 2018 as April 11, still has a 54 inch trundle bed in Port Orleans Riverside—which was replaced by a 66 inch Murphy bed in 2012 (!)–and has only three DVC studios offering accommodations for 5, rather than the five that’s been true for a while now.

I could go on with many more errors from this alternative, but the key is that it’s really hard to be accurate, and we (largely) get it done.


Our guidebook is up to date as of early August 2017—so we incorporate in it the latest refurb news at Pop Century, Caribbean Beach, and Coronado Springs, the shift of the afternoon parade to 2p, the closures of Ellen’s Energy Adventure and The Great Movie Ride, etc.

But no matter how up-to-date a guidebook is when published, it will necessarily become less so over time, as things change. We solve this problem for our customers by offering free updates. We will update the 2018 easy Guide two to four times between now and August 2018, when we publish our 2019 edition.

Anyone who emails us their Amazon receipt will get instructions on how to get these updates when they come out:


The best-reviewed Disney World guidebook. The easiest-to-use Disney World guidebook. The most accurate Disney World guidebook. The most up-to-date Disney World guidebook. That’s The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit.

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September 11, 2017   No Comments