Walt Disney World Reservation Updates

Use the following link to read the full article on the Disney Parks Blog.

An Update on Walt Disney World Resort Reservations

Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

“In case you missed it, this week we shared some big news about Walt Disney World Resort, including plans to welcome guests back to the theme parks as part of a phased reopening beginning July 11, pending state approval.”

WDW Updates

WDW offering Free Dining in 2019!

Free Dining is now being offered at Walt Disney World most nights from July 5 to Sept. 30, 2019. This offer has caught travel agents by surprise because Free Dining has not historically been offered this early in the year, or has it been offered for the summer months.

Below is the announcement as it appear on the Disney Parks Blog.

Free Dine Package Offer Now Available at Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

Wed, January 2, 2019

By Managing Editor, Walt Disney World Resort Public Relations

If you’re a foodie at heart, then Walt Disney World Resort is the place for you. With a multitude of culinary experiences to explore across the resort, there’s something for every palate.

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That’s why we’re happy to share news about a “Free Dine Offer.” Starting today, if you book a non-discounted five-night/six-day Walt Disney Travel Co. package that includes a room at a select Disney Resort Hotel and a ticket with a Park Hopper Option or Park Hopper Plus Option* through Feb. 10, 2019, for arrivals most nights from July 5 to Sept. 30, 2019, you’ll receive a dining plan for free! Packages of other lengths of stay may also be available.

The Disney Dining Plan provides flexibility and convenience, offering prepaid meals and snacks when you dine at Walt Disney World resort hotels, theme parks and select locations at Disney Springs.

The package includes a room at a select Walt Disney World resort hotel and tickets with Park Hopper Option.* Packages of other lengths of stay may also be available.

Guests staying at select Value and Moderate Resorts receive the Disney Quick Service Plan, which includes two quick-service meals and two select snacks per night honored at more than 100 dining locations.

Guests staying at select Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts receive the Disney Dining Plan, which includes one quick-service meal, one table-service meal and two select snacks per night. Meals are available at over 200 select Walt Disney World dining locations.

If you’re still recovering from the holidays, make it easy and book online from the comfort of home. You can also make reservations by calling 407-W-Disney or contacting your travel agent. To learn more about this great Disney Resorts offer, click here.

*The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Tickets valid for admission beginning date of check-in and must be used within a limited period of time, depending on length of stay and ticket. Minimum 4-night length of stay. Minimum 4-day Theme Park tickets with Park Hopper or Park Hopper Plus option. Visit disneyworld.com/usage for more details. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Advance reservations required. Offer excludes the following room types: campsites, 3-bedroom Grand Villas, Cabins at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Bungalows at Polynesian Villas and Bungalows and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort—The Little Mermaid standard rooms. Dining plan excludes gratuities. Children ages 3–9 must order from children’s menu, if available. Some Table-Service restaurants may have limited or no availability at time of package purchase.

Happy 47th Anniversary to Walt Disney World

On October 1, 1971, the Walt Disney World Resort officially opened, including Magic Kingdom Park, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Resort and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. – Disney Parks Blog

The Mature Mouse™ first visited Walt Disney Word during the summer of 1972. It took 42 years before I would make my way back home. Walt Disney World is in the throes of change, with major additions and modifications set to open by and after the 50th Anniversary in 2021. Are you looking forward to all the changes coming to Walt Disney World?

Walt Disney: Here in Florida, we have something special we never enjoyed at Disneyland: the blessing of size. There’s enough land here to hold all of the ideas and plans we can possibly imagine.

WDW Opening Day 1971

 

Disney Magic Goes Pop

My first trip report is not a good one. The Mature Mouse™️ posts take a positive look at a Walt Disney World vacation for adults; this is not just a vacation destination for kids. I have never been a Pollyanna. I realize Disney is not perfect. However, at the end of my first day I was beginning to wonder: Is Disney beginning to lose its magic?

After a very bumpy flight on Southwest, which required some fancy maneuvering by the pilot to land around some serious thunderstorms, The Mature Mouse™️ had returned to Orlando. I, along with a dozen or so other guests, boarded an empty Magical Express bus heading to Art of Animation and Pop Century resorts. We then sat and waited for close to twenty minutes as the bus slowly filled. It was a dreary, rainy drive to the resort.

Check-in went well, and the cast member was very friendly and welcoming. He even gave me a button to wear after I told him I was celebrating my 60th birthday. I easily found my remodeled, preferred room (less walking to the main building).

I headed over to the food court, which was packed. There were long lines at every station. And, there were numerous groups of teens eating, cheering, and playing games in the dining areas. Guests and cast members had trouble talking over the noise level. Ordering required a series of gestures to indicate your preferences. I took my food back to my room to eat in peace.

By 8 o’clock I was wondering about my luggage. Disney promotes delivery of your checked bag three-hours after your arrival. They do not specify if that is three hours from landing or arrival at your resort on Magical Express. So, I waited until 9 p.m., three hours after arrival at Pop, and still no sign of my luggage. I called the luggage desk and was told that it was here, at the resort, but the runners were out making deliveries. As soon as one returned, my bag would be delivered. 9:30 – still nothing. I started calling again at 10; no one was answering and my luggage had still not arrived. I finally went to the luggage desk, located next to the resort entrance. There were a few guests there looking for their luggage, and three people assisting these guests. I finally retrieved my bag and returned to the room to unpack.

It is times like these that I wonder what Walt Disney would say about the quality of guest experiences.

Why stay at a Walt Disney Resort?

One of the questions The Mature Mouse™ is often asked is: Why stay on property when hotels off property can be cheaper? Although the cost of your non-Disney room can be less expensive, there are other costs and conveniences that you need to consider.

Here are two videos that focus on the benefits of staying at a Walt Disney World resort. The first one is from Touring Plans, and other video is from Disney Parks.

Let me know what you think in the comments section. Do you always stay on property, or do you prefer off property?

Free Dining returns for 2017

Walt Disney World has announced their Free Dining offer for 2017. Please use the following link for more information from disneyworld.disney.go.com.

Free dining seems to be deciding factor for many travelers to Walt Disney World. Like every other offer, let the buyer beware. 

Free dining can end up costing you more for your trip, and there may be other offers that would be a better fit for your travel needs. Consult an expert Disney travel agent to assist you in determining what the best package is for your budget and expectations.

Days 4 & 5 WDW Solo Trip Recap

The fourth day of my solo trip was a busy one, and the next two days were spent traveling home and visiting family. Then, I headed back to work. I finally have a moment to give you a recap of my last days at Walt Disney World.

IMG_2588The Mature MouseTM took advantage of the Extra Magic Hour at Epcot, arriving at 7:45. After a ride into the past on Spaceship Earth, I enjoyed several of the exhibits of the Flower & Garden Festival. Very few Future World attractions, restaurants, and stores are open during Epcot’s Extra Magic Hour.

My afternoon and evening were spent in Adventureland, Frontierland, and Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom. I had planned my three visits to the MK to focus on specific areas of the park. This minimizes walking, and allows for flexibility in experiencing these areas.

Mark Twain once described golf as “a good walk spoiled.” The Mature MouseTM finally rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. And, to paraphrase Mr. Twain, BTMR is a well themed attraction spoiled by a thrill ride. This rollercoaster never slows down long enough to enjoy the scenery created by Disney’s Imagineers.

The Mature MouseTM also had the opportunity to ride the Liberty Square Riverboat, something I have not done since my first visit in 1972. This ride down the Rivers of America afforded me a great view of Frontierland and Haunted Mansion.

I make every attempt to make appropriate FastPass+ selections each day of touring the parks. Because I used one of my FP+ for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and the other two were used for the Haunted Mansion and Jungle Cruise, I had to wait about 15 minutes in the stand-by line for Pirates of the Caribbean. This attraction is always worth the wait.

The morning of my last day at Walt Disney World was spent roaming All Star Music Resort. If you are planning a WDW vacation with a very tight budget, All Star Value Resorts are a good choice. I did not take advantage of the pools or play areas, but many of the guests did and they looked to be enjoying themselves.

The Mature MouseTM will be posting more detailed reports from my experiences during this trip.

Please use this link to visit The Mature Mouse™ store for logo merchandise. Many of the items would make great gifts for the Disney fan in your life.IMG_2098-0

Make sure you consult Jennie Nowers about your next Disney vacation. She will assist you in all your vacation planning. Tell her that The Mature Mouse™ sent you and receive a special gift from Jennie with your next booking.

Day 1 WDW Solo Trip Recap

It’s late and The Mature Mouse™ is exhausted, so I am going to keep it short. After a five hour and thirty minute flight, involving one lay over, I finally made it to Disney’s All Star Music Resort by 3. I was on my way to Magic Kingdom by 4. 

I met Tinker Belle

I witnessed the Flag Retreat.

I spent most of the evening in Tomorrowland. 

I met some amazing Cast Members. 

I road Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at night (very cool).

Took two spins on The People Mover, at sunset and after dark. 

And, I top the evening off with Wishes. 

On a side note: After logging in to my third FastPass experience, I was able to make a fourth using the app. I canceled it because The Mature Mouse™ needed to call it a day. 

Tomorrow The Mature Mouse™ is off to Animal Kingdom in the morning, and Hollywood Studios (what’s left of it) in the evening. 

More details, with pictures and videos, will be posted after my trip. See you in the parks!

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