Tag Archives: Walt Disney World Resort

Sneak Peek of Disney World’s Phased Reopening Plus Tips for Your Visit

sneak peek at Disney World's phased reopening

Walt Disney World Resort began its phased re-opening on July 11, 2020. I had the opportunity to spend eight days in the theme parks and at Disney’s Pop Century Resort at the end of July and would love to share my experience during Disney World’s phased reopening this summer.

Overall, I had a magical time in the parks and at my hotel. We were able to see a number of Disney characters, experience all of the attractions we wanted to (many multiple times) thanks to short lines, and even enjoy a character dining experience. The Disney magic is still alive and well and waiting to welcome you back at the Walt Disney World Resort. I even discussed my experience during Disney World’s phased reopening on The Budget Mouse podcast. Be sure to listen for all the details!

Safety Protocols

ways Disney World is keeping you safe during Disney World's phased reopening

Disney is taking guest (and cast member) safety very seriously.

All guests make pass a temperature screening to enter the theme parks and wear a face covering throughout their visit. Face masks are only able to be removed while actively eating or drinking AND stationary. You are no longer able to stroll the parks with a drink in hand without your face covering.

DisneyStore.com

Social distancing is being practiced everywhere, from the resort lobby to attraction queues and even Disney transportation. Disney buses now accommodate five to six families with barriers installed and select seats marked as unavailable. Dividers have been installed in the monorail, as well. There are ground markers at every attraction queue to keep at least (and sometime more) six feet between parties. At certain points of the queue where guests would be on one side of you or the other, plexiglass barriers have been installed.

They have added hand sanitizer machines throughout the parks and resorts. It is readily available and encouraged both before and after experiencing attractions.

I personally felt very safe traveling during Disney World’s phased reopening with my three year old and eight year old due to all of these safety precautions.

Disney Characters

Disney Characters at Disney World's phased reopening

One thing that many guests seem to be very concerned about (and understandably so) is characters. Disney is not allowing guests to hug characters right now, but we still found plenty of opportunities to see and even interact with them.

All four parks are offering character cavalcades that actually feel like a short, mini parade. You can find Mickey and friends at all four parks and a variety of other characters throughout the parks. Guests can even personally interact with many of these characters. For example, Anastasia and Drizella are often standing on Cinderella Castle with microphones to talk to guests. We also found Buzz Lightyear, Joy from Inside Out, Gaston, Winnie the Pooh, and Alice in Wonderland among others. You can stop for a picture and even talk to these characters.

Disney is currently offering two character dining experiences. You can enjoy breakfast at Topolino’s Terrace at Disney’s Riviera Resort or lunch or dinner at Garden Grill at Epcot. These are also the only opportunity to take a picture with the characters with your mask on. The characters just have to keep their distance.

Five Tips for Visiting During Disney World’s Phased Reopening

  1. Take Advantage of Mobile Order Whenever Possible: This single tip will save you so much time during your visit. Mobile order is available at the resort food courts and (open) quick service locations in the theme parks. You can order your meals in your My Disney Experience app and simply arrive to pick up your food when it is ready.
  2. Prepare for Bag Check: Bag check has changed, but for the better! It is so much faster and easier now! However, you can be prepared by removing any large metal objects from your bag like an umbrella or sunglass case as you prepare to enter the park.
  3. Pack Multiple Masks: You’ll probably get hot and sweaty throughout the day so if you have an extra mask in your park bag, you can change it out for a fresh mask. Masks are also available for purchase throughout the theme parks and hotels.
  4. Set Expectations in Advance: You can find a list of which attractions and dining experiences are currently open. Be sure to look this over so you aren’t disappointed with the attractions or even dining experiences are currently available.
  5. Practice Wearing Masks at Home with Kids: Your kids may not have had to wear a mask very much at home, if at all. I would recommend practicing with them at home so that they have an idea of what to expect. They can also start getting used to the mask so it won’t be as bothersome during your visit.
Free Gift when you book a 2020 Disney World Vacation Package

We’d love to help you plan a magical and memorable Disney World vacation this year. Plus, we have a special offer when you book your 2020 Disney World vacation package with us! When you book a minimum three night stay with a three day ticket, you’ll receive a 2020 Walt Disney World Resort photo album ($24.99 value)!

Will you be visiting during Disney World’s phased reopening this year? Don’t miss answers to our most FAQ about Disney World’s phased reopening, too!

PS- Don’t forget to sign up to receive a FREE Disney World coloring book here!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. We may make a small commission from purchases made through these links. Thank you for supporting our small business!

20 Reasons to Visit Walt Disney World Resort in 2020

20 Reasons to Visit Walt Disney World Resort in 2020

From the Disney Parks Blog:

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

With great new attractions, experiences and places to eat on the way, 2020 is shaping up to be an absolutely thrilling year for guests to visit Walt Disney World, The Most Magical Place on Earth.

If you’re considering planning a Disney vacation in 2020, be sure to check out these 20 reasons why you should visit the Walt Disney World Resort in 2020!

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

1. Jump Into New Star Wars Experiences at Disney’s Hollywood Studios– From the newly opened Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to the new destination that was just added into Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is overflowing with offerings for Star Wars fans of all ages.  

2. Enjoy Disney After Hours Events at Magic Kingdom Park & Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Disney After Hours events allow guests to explore a theme park at night with little wait times for many favorite attractions and character greetings. (Select snacks are also included). Tickets to 2020 Disney After Hours event nights are already on sale. 

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

3. Immerse Yourself in the Arts at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts – The Epcot International Festival of the Arts will return to the park Jan. 17-Feb. 24. Get ready to explore a variety of galleries, watch live art demonstrations, purchase artwork and get it signed by the artist, or take in a live performance in the festival’s Disney on Broadway Concert Series.

Photo; Disney Parks Blog

4. See Epcot’s New Films – New films will debut at Epcot on Jan. 17. “Awesome Planet” in The Land pavilion showcases the Earth’s beauty and diversity in a 10-minute film featuring spectacular imagery, in-theater effects and an original musical score from Academy Award-winning composer Steven Price. “Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360” in the Canada pavilion is an update to the previous “O Canada!” film with new scenes, a new musical score by Canadian composer Andrew Lockington and new narration by award-winning actors Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy. Sing Along to “Beauty and the Beast” in the France Pavilion – The “Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along” will debut in the France pavilion Jan. 17. Directed and produced by Don Hahn, producer of the animated and live-action “Beauty and the Beast” films, the show invites you to participate in a twist on a tale as old as time. It features narration from Angela Lansbury, who played Mrs. Potts in the original film.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

5. Celebrate Your Villainous Side at Disney Villains After Hours at Magic Kingdom Park – Disney Villains After Hours which returns to the Magic Kingdom Park on 24 select nights starting Feb. 7. This year, the event will feature a new Villains Caravan that will feature favorite baddies like Gaston, Oogie Boogie, Cruella de Vil, Captain Hook and more!

6. Grab Barbecue at Regal Eagle Smokehouse at Epcot – One of the first restaurants set to open in 2020 is Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue a fast-casual barbecue experience at The American Adventure. Expect sliced Texas beef brisket sandwiches, Kansas City smoked chicken, Memphis dry-rub pork ribs, North Carolina chopped smoked pork butt, power green salads and more.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

7. Journey to Space 220 for ‘Out of this World’ Cuisine – Set to open this winter, Space 220 restaurant will offer a one-of-a-kind dining experience. You’ll board a special elevator for a journey 220 miles above Earth to a space station where you’ll enjoy fantastic meals and drinks while taking in views that are truly out of this world. 

8. Cool Down with Ample Hills Creamery Sweet Treats – At Disney Springs you’ll soon be able to tempt your taste buds with flavors like Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, Peppermint Pattie and Nonna D’s Oatmeal Lace when Ample Hills Creamery opens this winter.

9. Grab Grub at City Works Eatery & Pour House at Disney Springs – City Works Eatery & Pour House is set to open on the West Side of Disney Springs this winter. The restaurant and bar, offeing more than 80 beers on tap, will feature plenty of high-def TVs including a 165-inch screen, perfect for viewing live sporting events. 

10. Take in the Topiaries During Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival – Welcome spring’s arrival with this popular festival, which runs March 4-June 1. This year’s event will feature delectable bites at outdoor kitchens, as well as dozens of world-renowned, Disney-themed topiaries. In addition, the Garden Rocks Concert Series will include three shows a day for all 90 days of the event.

Photo; Disney Parks Blog

11. Hop Aboard Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, set to open March 4 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, will be the first Disney ride-through attraction featuring Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. Here, you will travel inside a Mickey cartoon for a fun-filled adventure where “Mouse rules apply” and anything can happen! 

12. Step Into the Mickey Shorts Theater – A new Mickey Mouse-inspired theater will debut at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in March. Stop in to watch an original cartoon short and enjoy special photo opportunities.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

13. Prepare to Be Astounded at the New Cirque du Soleil Show ‘Drawn to Life’– Get ready to journey into a world where an animator’s desk becomes the stage and drawings come alive. Tickets are already on sale (including preview performances in March), so grab your seats now!

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

14. Embark on Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at Epcot – Set to open in Summer 2020 in the France Pavilion at Epcot, the Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure attraction will invite you to join Chef Remy on a super-sized journey through Gusteau’s kitchen.

15. Savor a Sweet Treat at La Creperie de Paris in Epcot – La Crêperie de Paris, offering both table- and quick-service options, opens this summer. The menu from celebrity chef Jérôme Bocuse is inspired by the Brittany region of France.

16. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Will Spice Up Fall –The aromas and flavors of global marketplaces will welcome you to the 25th anniversary of this fan-favorite festival. You’ll have a chance to meet celebrity chefs, try new food and wine pairings, and listen to great music during the Eat to the Beat Concert Series.

Photo: Disney Parks Blog

17. Enjoy the Return of Halloween and Holiday Events – Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties are guest-favorite events here at Walt Disney World Resort. Keep checking Disney Parks Blog for more information we’ll have for you later this year!

18. Gather for ‘Harmonious’ at Epcot – In 2020, Epcot is on track to debut the largest nighttime spectacular ever created for a Disney park. It will celebrate how the music of Disney inspires people the world over, carrying you away harmoniously on a stream of familiar Disney tunes reinterpreted by a diverse group of artists from around the globe. The show will feature massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, lasers and more.

19. Lasso Some Grub at Roundup Rodeo BBQ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Roundup Rodeo BBQ, a new table-service location, is riding into Toy Story Land in 2020. This immersive restaurant will surround guests with a kaleidoscope of toys, games, and playsets while serving up delicious dishes.

20. Celebrate many milestones at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park – It’s the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and the 25th anniversary of the Disney Conservation Fund. Plus, our gorilla family will be celebrating Lilly’s 10th birthday and Grace’s 1st birthday this spring!

Which attraction or offering are you most excited to experience at Walt Disney World Resort in 2020? Tell us in the comments section below!

Go Behind the Scenes at Disney World with the Backstage Magic Tour

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Have you ever wanted to go backstage to see just how the magic is brought to life here at Walt Disney World Resort? On the Walt Disney World Resort Backstage Magic Tour, you can do just that, and enjoy a one-of-a-kind VIP look at the inner workings on an amazing 7-hour journey through The Most Magical Place on Earth.

Here are the top four experiences that you’ll enjoy on the Backstage Magic tour:

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

1. Peek behind the curtains at The American Adventure, where you’ll learn how engineering and artistry come together to create this truly historic show.

2. Unravel the secrets behind creating the dazzling costumes for Disney Characters, as well as show and parade performers, at Walt Disney World Resort’s own Creative Costuming department.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

3. From the smallest details to the most ornate sets, get an up-close look at the unparalleled talent and craftsmanship at work in the Walt Disney World Central Shops.

4. Last, but definitely not least, you can navigate the legendary underground tunnels or “utilidors” used by Cast Members located beneath Magic Kingdom Park.

Backstage Magic isn’t the only tour that gives you an inside look at popular Walt Disney World locales. Later this year, you can embark on the Gardens of the World Tour during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, or even learn how wintery fun comes to life in the theme parks on both the Disney’s Yuletide Fantasy and Holiday D-Lights tours.

Which of these behind-the-scenes tours are you most excited to experience?

Siera is a travel agent with Destinations in Florida, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. She would love to help you plan your next vacation at no cost to you. Contact Siera today at siera@destinationsinflorida.com or at 734-771-1290 for more information or your free, no obligation quote. 

Top Three Tips for Making the Most of a Rainy Day at Disney World

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Summer days at Walt Disney World Resort can be beautifully sunny, but they can also be filled with humidity and lots of rain! Here are three tips to help you make the most of a rainy day at Disney World!

  1. Find and enjoy the many indoor attractions and shows. Some of the best choices include “it’s a small world,” Pirates of the Caribbean, and Mickey’s PhilharMagic at Magic Kingdom ParkSoarin’The Seas with Nemo & Friends, and World Showcase Pavilions at EpcotStar Wars Launch BayStar Tours, and Toy Story Mania at Disney’s Hollywood Studios; and the amazing shows “The Festival of the Lion King” and “Finding Nemo – The Musical” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
  2. Be sure to pack clothing that is appropriate for all types of weather. It is usually hot and humid so you need clothes that are light but also that can dry easily in case you get caught in the afternoon downpour. You also need comfortable shoes and socks! Brings extra pairs of socks because your feet will be the first thing to get soaked during a summer downpour. Wet socks are not fun! Also, you will want to bring rain jackets or ponchos and even umbrellas to stay dry. Trust me, they’re much cheaper to pack and bring with you than to purchase in the parks. However, if you do forget any rain gear, you can always buy what you need at the stores in the resorts and the parks.

(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

3. Find indoor character greeting locations where your family can take photos and ask for autographs where they are allowed. You can find Mickey Mouse and Tinker Bell at Tony’s Town Square in Magic Kingdom Park; Mickey and Minnie at the Outpost at Disney’s Animal Kingdom; Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy at the Epcot Character Spot; and BB-8 and Kylo Ren at Star Wars Launch Bay at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

What are your favorite things to do during a rainy day at Disney World? Be sure to share your favorites with us in the comments below!

Siera is a travel agent with Destinations in Florida, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. She would love to help you plan your next vacation at no cost to you. Contact Siera today at siera@destinationsinflorida.com or at 734-771-1290 for more information or your free, no obligation quote. 

Try a LEGO Mini Build at Downtown Disney

Are you looking to try something new on your next Disney World vacation or for something free on a day outside of the theme parks? You should stop by the LEGO Imagination Center at Downtown Disney at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

The LEGO store at Downtown Disney hosts monthly LEGO Mini Builds. The photo above shows the LEGO figure for August was a flamingo.

Here are a few things you should know about the LEGO Monthly Mini Builds:

  • The event is designed for kids ages 6-14 years old. Parents can help their kids, and LEGO staff are also on hand to guide children along each step
  • Mini builds happen on the first Tuesday of every month from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. It’s best if you get there early since there are a limited number of kits
  • There’s a different theme every month
  • These events are totally free

The next LEGO mini build at the LEGO store at Downtown Disney will be Tuesday, September 3, 2013. (Rumor has it that it may be a pirate theme!)

Siera is a Disney travel specialist and would love to help you plan your next Disney vacation! You can request a free, no obligation quote on the right side of the page or email spreadingmagic@gmail.com for more information! 

Enter to win a Disney Parks adventure from Ocean Spray

You can enter to win a Disney Parks Adventure from Ocean Spray. You can enter to win a vacation to your choice of either the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida or the Disneyland Resort in California.

One Grand Prize winner will receive his/her choice of a vacation package for four people to either Walt Disney World (valued at $8,002) or Disneyland (valued at $7,763) which includes:

  • Round trip coach air transportation for four
  • Four round trip ground transfers
  • Room accommodations consisting of one standard room (with a maximum of four persons per room) for five nights at an on-site hotel
  • Four (4) 6-Day Magic Your Way Tickets with Park Hopper Option or four Disneyland Resort 5-Day Park Hopper Tickets and four (4) Disneyland Resort 1-Day Park Hopper Tickets
  • One Disney Gift Card with a value of US$1,000
  • One Welcome Basket in winner’s hotel room
  • Disney PhotoPass® Service with a value of US$300 fulfilled by Disney gift card
  • VIP Viewing for a party of four for a show, parade or night-time fireworks spectacular
  • $1,000 spending money to be awarded as a check
The First Prize winner will receive a vacation package for four to either Walt Disney World (valued at $5,800) or Disneyland (valued at $5,800), including:
  • Round-trip coach air transportation for four
  • 5 days/4 nights’ standard double-occupancy hotel accommodations
  • Use of a rental car
  • 4 five-day Magic Your Way Tickets with Park Hopper option
  • $1,000 spending money to be awarded as a check

Ten Second Prize winners will receive a $100 Disney Gift Card.

Twenty-five Third Prize winners will receive a $50 Disney Gift Card.

You must be at least 18 year of age or older and a legal resident of the United States to enter the sweepstakes. You can enter for your chance to win a Disney Parks adventure here now through September 27, 2013.

Siera is a Disney travel specialist and would love to help you plan your next vacation! Request your free, no obligation quote on the right side of the page or email spreadingmagic@gmail.com to start planning your next Disney Parks adventure! 

Disney Parks Limited Time Magic August 19-25, 2013

This week’s Limited Time Magic runs August 19-25, 2013 and will not be the same for both theme parks. The Walt Disney World Resort in Florida will host the Dapper Dans on Main Street, U.S.A while the Disneyland Resort in California will reunite with some long lost friends.

You can take a trip back in time when the old school sounds of the Dapper Dans, the “original boy band,” return to Disney World’s Main Street, U.S.A. For this week only, the Dapper Dans of the Magic Kingdom are bringing their iconic medley of popular boy band hits! You will love being able to join the striped quartet, along with an audience of adoring fellow fans, while you all tap your toes to the troupe’s renditions for a performance you won’t soon forget!

This year’s Limited Time Magic promotion has brought back some great Disney characters that are rarely seen. This week’s long lost friends reunion at Disneyland will feature some classic Disney companions as they come back into the spotlight at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree in Frontierland. You won’t want to miss this amazing opportunity to get up-close and personal with Disney Characters selected in an online poll by Disney fans. You could see Merlin, Hercules, Meg, Tarzan, Jane, and Terk. Plus, this is also a great opportunity to snap some pictures of these characters.

Siera is a Disney travel specialist and would love to help you plan your next Disney Parks vacation so you can participate in the year-long Limited Time Magic celebration. Request your free, no obligation quote on the right side of the page or email spreadingmagic@gmail.com for more information!