Welcomed Change WDW MagicBands

Disney has made a change to the MyDisneyExperience website that is allowing return guests to select if they want a NEW MagicBand, or to reuse a previously selected one.  If you are planning to stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, you can now Opt-Out on a new band.

!Magicband-Box
Here are the facts…

You MUST have an active My Disney Experience account.

The existing MagicBand must be less than One Year old.  This is because of the encased battery and the odds of them remaining operational past the one year point are still unknown.

You must opt out for each reservation you make.  But, you can opt back in at anytime, if you change your mind.

The update is currently only available through the My Disney Experience website and not on the app.  There is no word, at this time, of that availability.

Thanks for reading!  Have a Blessed and Magical day

MyMagic+ Update!

MyMagic+

There are some updates involving Magicbands, Fastpass Plus, and other enhancements that I wanted to take a look at today. I’ll also try to give a few strategies with these changes. Some that you may have heard elsewhere, and some that may be new thinking.

First, you may have heard about the new Check-In Bypass being tested at some of the resorts. This test, and probable add-o to the Magicband, will allow you to make use of the Online Check-In system and when you arrive at your resort, you will be texted or emailed a room number. You can then proceed to your room, scan your Magicband, and enter your room without visiting the Check-In desk at your resort. I am curious to hear input from those who have done this to see what THAT experience was like, and how they made the transition! I am also curious to know how you know where to go to find your room, especially at the larger resorts like Port Orleans – Riverside! If you have taken part in this test and would be willing to share input, please email me at threestrandswdw@outlook.com! I’ll pass the information along!

There has been a change in the tiered rides at EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios! At EPCOT, in addition to Test Track, Soarin’, Maelstrom, and Illuminations! Reflections of Earth, you can now choose Living With The Land in Tier One! At DHS, We add The Great Movie Ride to the Tier One list along with Toy Story Mania, Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster, Beauty And The Beast, and Fantasmic! However, another recent change allows you to select additional Fastpass Plus reservations once you have used your initial three selections! This will let you choose any Tier One ride for a first, or even second, ride! This is a significant move toward feeling like the ‘Classic’ Fastpasses.

Finally, it is rumored that you can now order specially designed Magicbands for your WDW vacation. A few of the designs I have seen are Star Wars and Frozen. I suspect this is just a first look idea, and there will be many more variations becoming available as the use of Magicbands becomes more the norm! Not sure what type of design I would want to wear..hmmm!

One side note from MyMagic+, Disney has recently announced that the Wilderness Lodge, Silver Creek Springs Pool, will be closed for a lengthy refurbishment from Sep 3 – November 27, 2014. Alternatives offered at this time are: the leisure pool at The Villas At Wilderness Lodge, the Meadow Swimming Pool at Ft. Wilderness, or the Main Pool at the Contemporary Resort. Complimentary transportation is scheduled to be available for you during that time. I’ll add this to the Refurb Page of this blog!

As always, thanks for reading! May you have a very Blessed and Magical weekend, my friends!! Keep dreaming!

What Tickets Do I Need?

When planning for your Walt Disney World vacation, one of the key things to consider is what type of admission ticket do I need? I can say that my view of this has changed over the past few years!

MYW PH

The first thing to determine is how many days do you want to spend in the parks? That answer will help you decide how you purchase your tickets! One aspect to think about is whether or not to use the Park Hopper option, and the way I decide this is based on how many days I will be at WDW. IF I am going to be at WDW for five or less days, I tend to lean toward using a Park Hopper (PH), because I know I won’t be able to do see everything I might want. But, using the PH allows me to get to all of the primary, and a few of the secondary, attractions and shows.

On the other hand, is you are staying 6 or more days, you may not want to make use of the PH option! With careful planning, you can probably get to everything you want to see, and more! Making use of good planning tools can help you decide what parks to do when, and what order to hit the attractions with, or without, Fastpasses! The choice, of course, belongs to you in planning how you want to do the parks on a day-to-day basis.

One note about Park Hoppers! The cost of adding Park Hoppers is the same from 3 days and up, which is about $60. So, you might be tempted to consider this as the cost is minimal the longer you stay! Also, Park Hoppers are connected to your Magicbands, just like other ticket information.

I hope this has been helpful! Please let me know if there are any questions you might have, and I’ll be glad to try and answer those! Contact me below, or at threestrandswdw@outlook.com. Have blessed and magical day, my friends!

DDP – The Deluxe Plan

Citrico's at  The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
Citrico’s at
The Grand Floridian
Resort and Spa

If you are REALLY hungry, or just want to make your Walt Disney World adventure more appetizing, then the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan may possibly be for you! But, I must warn you, there is a lot of food to eat!

With the Deluxe Plan you will receive three meals per night per person at either a sit-down OR quick-service restaurant on the WDW property! Remember, if you need to book an Advance Dining Reservation (ADR) for your sit-down meals, you can book those up to 180 out from your first night accommodation either online or by calling 407-WDW-DINE! Quick-service meals do not require an ADR and can be exchanged on the run!

You also are entitled to two snacks per day, and the Resort Refillable Mug! As with all Dining Plans, you actually receive entitlements on your Magicband that are used for purchasing our meals! There are also some other options I would like to take a look at in this writing!

The Deluxe Plan makes it possible to really take part in some special dining experiences. Places like Citrico’s, Cinderella’s Royal Table, and Le Cellier will charge two entitlements per person. But, with the extra meals and snacks available on this plan, you could easily enjoy one of these or other two meal establishments!

Or, how about private In-Room dining at your Deluxe Resort or Deluxe Villa Resort? These are also two meal entitlements each, but it could truly add a new dimension of SPECIAL to your WDW vacation! I like this idea!

There are extras that you do need to remain aware of with the deluxe plan. Gratuities are not included! Some dining experiences offer photo opportunities that MAY not be included, but may be eligible for Memory Maker! And, of course, you will need to purchase any souvenir merchandise you may want to add to your collection!

The cost of the deluxe plan, in addition to your resort package is: $109.53 per adult per night and 29.86 for children ages 3 – 9. If this fits into your plans for experiences at Walt Disney World, it may be worth the investment! If, however, there’s no way on this side of heaven you can eat this much, it may be better to pass!

Thanks for reading! May you have a Blessed and Magical Day, my friends!!

DDP – Quick-Service Dining

DDP

We hear about it all the time! Is it free? Do I pay extra? What does it include? In this short series, we will look at each dining plan that is offered at Walt Disney World. We will attempt to get into the details about what is included and how it affects your costs, if you pay to include it on your Magic Your Way package.

Today, we look at Quick-Service Dining!

Quick-Service (or Counter) Service locations are generally places you can eat at on the run, without an Advanced Dining Reservation (ADR), and there may or may not be seating areas provided. The Disney Dining Plan offers a package that includes two quick-service meals and one snack per night of your stay. It also includes a resort-refillable mug usable at your resort food court and can be refilled as often as you like! One thing to remember about the mug is that it is RFID equipped, just sit it under the spout of the drink you desire and press the button, the display will tell you everything you need to know after that.

Your quick-service breakfast is one entree or complete combo meal and a single-serving, non-alcoholic beverage. For lunch and dinner just add a dessert! You also get one snack credit that can be used for Mickey Bars, Ice Cream, bottles of soda or water, or anything that has the official DDP logo next to it (see above).

When you check into your Walt Disney World Resort, you will receive a total number of entitlements according to the length of stay and type of meal package in which you are participating. Keep an eye on those entitlements, your receipts will show your balance, because many people end up with extras at the end of a trip, and it can be a bit overwhelming to use them all in a few short hours before your vacation ends!

A few examples of quick-service (counter-service) restaurants in the parks are: Flame Tree BBQ in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Sunshine Seasons or Tangerine Cafe in EPCOT, Starring Rolls at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Pecos Bills at The Magic Kingdom. Downtown Disney, soon to be Disney Springs, has some good offerings in this area, as well. You can try Wolfgang Puck’s Express, or (my fav) Earl Of Sandwich!

The added cost to your package, if you purchase the Quick-Service Dining Plan is $41.99 per adult per night and $16.03 per child per night ages 3 – 9. Look at the eating habits of your family, and check the menus out online at http://www.disneyworld.com to see if this would be a benefit to your trip.

The Quick-Service Dining package is often giving at Value level resorts, if a free dining or special package rate is announced by Disney. These meals are really good for those who don’t want to be strapped to a dining schedule and just want to grab on the run. And, many of these locations do offer significant seating areas in shade or air conditioning, if you need time to just chill and recover before moving on to the next attraction.

One more thing, your entitlements are connected to your MagicBands, so make sure all is well before you leave the check-in desk at your resort.

I hope this is helpful for you all, and I’ll be back soon with a look at the Plus Dining Package! For now, have a Blessed and Magical evening, my friend!

Making Memories…2014

Train Station

I’ll bet some of my fellow ‘enthusiasts’ saw the title thinking,oh joy, we’re going to talk about that old attraction at the Imagination Pavilion! Well, as much as I actually loved that movie, uh, NO, we are not talking about that Making Memories!

Today, I want to give you a quick take on the Memory Maker package being offered at Walt Disney World to help enhance your visit to the Walt Disney World Resort. To begin, Memory Maker is a new package that combines all of the elements that were previously offered separately. PhotoPass was the service where PhotoPass Photographers would greet you in the parks and snap pictures of your party near an iconic park attraction (such as Cinderella’s Castle or Spaceship Earth). Dining Photo Packages were offered at various restaurants around the resort. Chef Mickey’s and 1900 Park Fare just to name a few, were included in these venues. And, ride photos captured aboard some of your favorite, if not more terrifying, attractions. Splash Mountain and Tower of Terror are examples of those offerings.

Memory Maker combines ALL of those elements under a single umbrella for you to use during your vacation visit. You can purchase your MM package at: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/memory-maker/ BEFORE you leave for your vacation. You must make the purchase at least 3 days in advance of your first in park day. I would suggest a bit sooner just to be sure! The cost is $149.00 if you make the purchase before your leave. If you decide to purchase on site, the cost jumps to $199.00 for the package.

Memory Maker can be linked to the MagicBands of everyone in your party, and can be viewed on your Memory Maker online account beginning no later than 30 days after your first usage. You must complete your downloads no later than 45 days after your first usage. And, should pictures not find their way to your online wallet, you can call 407-560-4300 for assistance in rounding up any photos that have wandered off. And, the success rate has been pretty good from what I have heard!

Attractions that you can get pictures on are: Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, Tower of Terror, Rock and Rollercoaster, Expedition Everest, Dinosaur, and Test Track.

Dining Experiences include Breakfast at ‘Ohana, 1900 Park Fare, Cinderella’s Royal Table, Chef Mickey’s, Tusker House, Akershus in Norway, Hoop-Dee-Do-Revue and Spirit of Aloha.

You can also find photographers at Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, as well as Downtown Disney! You may even come across some during Holiday Parties or in the Resorts during the holidays near the Christmas Tree.

I’d love to hear of your experiences, so please feel free to leave comments at the bottom of this post!

Have a Blessed Easter, my friends!

2014 Vacation Video

I have gotten the Vacation Planning Video every year for several years, and when I ordered this year’s version, I wasn’t expecting much. Was I every surprised!

2014 Disney Vacation Planner Video
2014 Disney Vacation Planner Video

The 2014 Vacation Planning Video has been completely reimagined, to use Disney terminology. A lot of good visuals showcasing everything from Theme Park overviews to more specific looks at rides, dining options, and entertainment all around the resort.

This video is an excellent tool to use, in conjunction with your Authorized Disney Travel Planner, to help put together the most magical experience you could ever design, and even introduce you to some different ideas to make that possible. And, it even gives you a very brief look at each resort available on the WDW property. I only wish there had been a bit more said about each resort to give us a better idea of what they have to offer.

You can view both Walt Disney World in Florida AND Disneyland in California on this presentation. So, you can plan your vacation to either destination, or get a quick Disney fix if you are something of a Disney Parks Addict, like me!

So, order your copy today by going to https://www.disneyvacations.com/dv/en_US/VacationPlanningDVD/index to request your copy! Then, contact your favorite Authorized Disney Vacation Planner to begin dreaming! If you don’t know anyone, message me at threestrandswdw@outlook.com, and I’ll be happy to connect you with one of my friends!!

I hope this puts a little touch of magic into your lives! Blessings…Mr ThreestrandsWDW