Breaking the Myths

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Breaking the Myths – Where to Stay at the Walt Disney World® Resort

After deciding when you would like to visit the Walt Disney World® Resort, the next step is deciding where you want to stay. While working with their guests, our Magic Makers® often run into some misconceptions when it comes to accommodations at the Walt Disney World® Resort. As a continuation of our “Breaking the Myths” series, today we look at lodging.

  1. Myth: I can receive the same benefits staying at a Walt Disney World Good Neighbor® Hotel as I do staying at a Resort Hotel.
    Staying at a Walt Disney World Good Neighbor® Hotel allows you stay “near the Magic” in accommodations just a short drive from the Theme Parks. While these hotels have all met Disney’s quality and service standards, they do not offer all of the Magical Extras that the Walt Disney World® Resort Hotels offer Disney’s Magical Express® Transportation to/from Orlando International Airport and the option of adding the Disney Dining Plans. Other features like Extra Magic Hours and early access to Disney FastPass+ planning vary by the hotel chosen. While most of the Walt Disney World Good Neighbor® Hotels do offer transportation to and from the theme parks, the schedule and frequency of the transportation is often limited.
  2. Myth: I can always save money by staying offsite for my Walt Disney World® Vacations.
    When taking a vacation to the Walt Disney World® Resort, there are countless lodging options for your family. While some offsite properties may offer a lower per night rate, that savings can quickly diminish when you add in extra expenses occurred with those properties. Transportation (cost and time) to/from the airport and theme parks, parking fees, dining costs, and resort fees can quickly add up! Plus, these offsite properties are excluded from most of Walt Disney World® Resort’s specials and promotions!
  3. Myth: As a military family, it is always cheaper for us to stay at Shades of Green® Resort.
    Shades of Green® Resort is an Armed Forces Recreation Center located at the Walt Disney World® Resort exclusively for use by military families. Many of our past military families have found that staying at one of the Walt Disney World® Resort Hotels utilizing Disney’s Armed Forces Salute discount has not only been just as economical, but provides them with more options and convenience. Details on Disney’s Armed Forces Salute can be found here.

With over 25 unique Walt Disney World® Resort Hotels available, finding the hotel to meet your family’s needs can be a difficult task! Count on your Magic Maker® to help guide you with this and every decision through your vacation planning! Put our years of knowledge and experience of the Walt Disney World® Resort to work for you and your family!

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By |2020-02-12T10:05:07-05:00February 12th, 2020|Categories: Disney News|Tags: |0 Comments

Breaking the Myths – Dining at Disney Parks

Dining at Disney Parks for some is just as much fun as a ride on Space Mountain®. With a wide variety of options, it’s no wonder that dining is a topic of confusion for our guests. Here is a look at 3 of our most common myths for dining:

  1. Myth: All of the Quick Service Dining locations offer the same foods
    Each Quick Service Dining location throughout the Walt Disney World® and Disneyland® Resorts carries its own theme and a menu offering select tastes supporting that theme. While certain items like a hamburger or hot dog may be seen on most menus, several additional items will be available that aren’t quite so common. In fact, some may be exclusive to only that location! And don’t forget to check out the Quick Service Dining locations at the Resort Hotels as they also provide some great options.
  2. Myth: At Be Our Guest Restaurant inside Magic Kingdom® Park, you can choose a Quick Service meal or a Table Service meal at either lunch or dinner
    Even years after its opening, Be Our Guest Restaurant is still a popular dining location located inside Beast’s Castle in the New Fantasyland® area. Be Our Guest Restaurant operates during the day at breakfast and lunch as a Quick Service Location and at night as a (2)-entitlement table service location for dinner. So, guests wanting to use a Quick Service credit on the Disney Dining Plan at Be Our Guest Restaurant can only do so at breakfast or lunch.
  3. Myth: There is no need to make Advance Dining Reservations for Disney Parks’ Restaurants
    This is a myth that we have touched on before, but it is so important that it is worth talking about again! Advance Dining Reservations are an important part of planning your Walt Disney World® and Disneyland® Resort vacations. The Walt Disney World® Resort starts accepting Advanced Dining Reservations 180-days in advance of your arrival date and at the Disneyland® Resort it is 60 days. Many of the popular locations, like Character Dining and Dinner Shows, fill up shortly after starting to accept reservations. Because of capacity, these popular restaurants are not always able to accept walk-ins. So, while Advance Dining Reservations are not required, they are definitely recommended!

Contact your Magic Maker® today and explore how FUN eating at Disney Parks can be!

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Breaking the Myths – Visiting During Peak Dates

With the holidays quickly approaching, crowds at the Walt Disney World® and Disneyland® Resort will increase day by day. Today, we continue our “Breaking the Myths” series by focusing on visits during peak travel dates.

  1. Myth: Since I have purchased my ticket in advance, I don’t have to worry about capacity due to crowds during peak times
    During peak travel times, the Walt Disney World® Resort uses a phased closure system to ensure the safety and comfort of their guests and cast members inside the parks. While the specific details of the program remain internal and confidential, the 4-phase program limits the type of guests entering that park for the day. For example, in a Phase 2 closure, guests not staying at a Walt Disney World® Resort Hotel may be denied access to the park at the gates due to capacity. At Phase 4, all guests are denied entry until capacity levels decrease. It is important to note that while guests staying at a Walt Disney World® Resort Hotel are guaranteed entry into a park with valid admission, it may not be the park you had planned for the day – you may have to choose from one of the other theme parks.
  2. Myth: It’s best to not have reservations or plans when traveling during peak times
    While some guests enjoy having the flexibility of “going with the flow” on vacation, peak travel times may not be the time to try it. Table service meals start booking 180 days in advance, so the likelihood of getting a walk up reservation can be slim. If you are set on dining at a specific restaurant or having your child experience things like Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or The Pirates League, then you definitely want to work with your Magic Maker® and see what advanced reservations are available.
  3. Myth: Since New Year’s Eve is such a late night, it is best to get a late start
    On a day that the parks may reach capacity, getting a “late” start can be detrimental to your plans. Our suggestion is to plan on spending the day at one park (don’t hop) and arrive early. Additional entertainment will often be added around the parks during peak times for you to enjoy. Even at a busy park, a solid touring plan can make for a magical day full of memories!

Guests can expect peak travel times at the Walt Disney World® and Disneyland® Resort around the holidays (Christmas, New Year’s, Easter, 4th of July) and during other special events attracting large crowds. By utilizing the tips and services of your Magic Maker®, your upcoming trip will be Magical!

Breaking The Myths – Walt Disney World® Resort Dining Plans

For this week’s “Breaking the Myths” series, we focus our attention on the various dining plans offered to guests staying at the Walt Disney World® Resorts.

Here are the top 3 myths associated with these Dining Plans:

  1. Myth: I have heard that there is a limited selection of restaurants that accept the Disney Dining Plans
    While not all dining locations at the Walt Disney World® Resort accept the dining plans, the majority do. As a matter of fact, over 100 dining locations accepted dining plan credits in 2016! Many table service restaurants were added in 2016 including The BOATHOUSE®, Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming, STK Orlando, and Frontera Cocina in Disney Springs™. The final participant list for 2017 should be released very soon!
  2. Myth: With the Walt Disney World® Resort Dining Plans, I can only eat at the restaurant or food court at my Resort
    Regardless of what Walt Disney World® Resort you are staying at, your dining credits are accepted at any of the participating dining locations throughout property. As many of the resort dining locations serve the “flavor” of their resort’s theme, we encourage clients to try the various dining options outside of the parks. Whether you choose to dine in the island ambiance of the Polynesian-inspired ‘Ohana or the rowdy cowboy dining hall at Whispering Canyon Cafe, the Walt Disney World® Resort Dining Plans ensure that no one leaves hungry!
  3. Myth: Dining credits received are based off of the number of days on my Magic Your Way® Ticket and must be used before I check out
    The amount of dining credits you receive are based solely on the number of nights in your Walt Disney World® Resort Magic Your Way® Vacation – no other factors affect this number. Credits are good until 11:59pm on the day you check out.

With three different Magic Your Way® Packages that include a dining option, finding the perfect one to fit your family’s needs can be confusing! Our Magic Makers® are dedicated to providing you with a vacation that is centered around you, so let us help!

Breaking The Myths – Getting Around The World

When you decide to vacation at a nearly 40-square-mile world-class entertainment and recreation center, one major worry is transportation once you get there. Our clients often wonder with four theme parks, two water parks, 25 resort hotels, and a shopping and nightlife district spread out throughout the property, how do you get from Point A to Point B.

As part of our continuing “Breaking the Myths” series, we turn our focus on the Walt Disney World® Resort’s Transportation System.

  1. Myth: I am going to need a rental car
    Guests flying to the Walt Disney World® Resort via Orlando International Airport (MCO) can vacation without renting a vehicle. By using Disney’s Magical Express® Transportation to and from the airport and Disney’s onsite transportation, you can save by not spending a penny on transportation! These options are only available to guests staying at a Walt Disney World® owned/operated Resort – one of the many benefits of staying on-property.
  2. Myth: If I stay at a monorail resort, I won’t have to use any other form of Transportation
    In use since 1971,  the Walt Disney World® Monorail system runs three lines with six stops along the way. Guests may use the monorail system to access the Magic Kingdom® Park, Disney’s Contemporary Resort (Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort), Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa), Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort (Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows), the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) and Epcot®. Guests wishing to reach destinations other than those listed will need to select another form of Disney Transportation – either bus or boat.
  3. Myth: Traffic and parking must make driving around the Walt Disney World® Resort unbearable
    While the Walt Disney World® Resort has great airport and on-property transportation systems in place for their guests, we understand that driving (either by rental or your own vehicle) may be best for some families. If you happen to be that family, know that navigating the Walt Disney World® Resort area is very easy. All roads are clearly marked and the roadways have been designed to handle even the heaviest of traffic. And once you get to the parks, even though you are parking in some of the largest parking lots in the world, operations are in place to make them extremely efficient.

Even after discussing these three top myths with Walt Disney World® Resort’s transportation, there is still much left unsaid. Your Magic Maker® will be happy to discuss any questions or concerns you have regarding “Getting Around the World” on your next Walt Disney World® Resort vacation.

Breaking The Myths – Age Is Just A Number

Today, we are continuing our “Breaking the Myths” series by covering the topic of “age.” When it comes to a Disney Vacation, there is truth in the adage that “age is just a number.”

  1. Myth: My kids are too young/old
    As parents, you understand how quickly time flies and how precious each and every second is that you are able to spend with your children. How are they graduating Kindergarten when it seems like just yesterday they were born? Disney Destinations have an unexplainable way of making magical memories out of the simplest things. While your 8-month old may not remember the big smile on her face when she met Mickey, you certainly will! As an added bonus, children under age 3 receive free admission inside the parks of Walt Disney World® Resort and Disneyland® Resort, so it is a great time to save on your vacation.  And when you children grow older, they don’t outgrow Disney, their focus just simply shifts towards more fast-pace attractions like Rock ‘n Roller Coaster® Starring Aerosmith and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™.
  2. Myth: Disney Vacations are only for kids
    Walt Disney was quoted as saying “You’re dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are only kids grown up, anyway.” With that being said, it should be no surprise that Disney Destinations aren’t just for kids. In fact, there are so many things to do that several authors have written a book strictly on things adults can enjoy on their Disney Vacation. So whether it is a romantic dinner at Victoria & Albert’s in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, an adult-exclusive itinerary with Adventures by Disney® or a relaxing day at Serenity Bay on Disney Cruise Line private island, Castaway Cayyou will have a great time!
  3. Myth: Disney Parks have no rides for babies/toddlers 
    Disney Destinations makes traveling with little ones easy. Many of the attractions are family friendly and will accommodate your little travelers. For most of those more intense attractions, a Rider Swap option is available that allows guests to take turns waiting with those too small to ride a certain attraction, then “swap” with another adult from their party to experience the ride without standing in line twice. And when it comes time to take care of the little one, Baby Care Centers are available offering private rooms with rocking chairs for nursing mothers, diaper-changing rooms and rooms with highchairs.

And here is where your Magic Maker® steps in. We’ve not only visited the Disney Parks countless times ourselves, but we have helped take the stress out of planning vacations for families just like yours for over nine years now! Regardless of age, there is something for EVERYONE at any Disney Destination, so just call on your Magic Maker® to help uncover that hidden treasure!

Breaking The Myths – Disney’s FASTPASS® and FastPass+ Services

It is no surprise that as the use of social media increases, the amount of myths or “half truths” also increases. As an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, Off to Neverland Travel® receives questions every day from our clients asking for clarification on a wide range of topics related to their upcoming vacation.

Today we are going to provide some clarification on Disney’s FASTPASS® Service at the Disneyland® Resort and Disney FastPass+ service available exclusively at the Walt Disney World® Resort. Since it’s debut in 1999, Disney’s FASTPASS® Service allows guests to skip the wait of the normal queue at select attractions inside the theme parks. If the guests decide to utilize the FASTPASS® Service, they will be given an hour-long time to return and experience the attraction with little to no wait. In 2013, Walt Disney World® Resort introduced Disney FastPass+ service which allows guests to schedule similar hour-long return windows 30-60 days in advance of their visit.

  1. Myth: You have to pay to use Disney’s FASTPASS® Service
    While other theme parks charge their guests for similar services, both Disney’s FASTPASS® and Disney FastPass+ services are complimentary for all park guests! At the Disneyland® Resort, you’ll just simply use your theme park ticket to retrieve your FASTPASS® from the machine. At the Walt Disney World® Resort, you’ll use My Disney Experience to schedule your FastPass+ in advance and then utilize your MagicBand or park ticket to access the attraction at your selected time.
  2. Myth: At Disneyland® Resort, you can obtain more than one FASTPASS® at a time
    Guests are able to get several FASTPASS® tickets during a single day in Disneyland® Park or Disney California Adventure® Park. However, they cannot immediately obtain multiple FASTPASS® tickets. While you typically have to wait 2 hours, it sometimes varies. Your current FASTPASS® ticket will always list the time you can obtain your next. There are sometimes select attractions that you are able to “double up” on FASTPASS® tickets, so be sure to ask your Magic Maker® about those.
  3. Myth: Don’t worry about the time listed on the FASTPASS® or FastPass+, you can return at any time after what is listed
    While at one point this was true, it is no longer the case. FASTPASS® and FastPass+ return times are now being strictly enforced with little to no exceptions made for being late. Guests a few minutes late will typically be admitted, but we suggest you stick to your scheduled time!
  4. Myth: You are only able to get (3) FastPass+ per day
    When you are making advanced FastPass+ choices for the Walt Disney World® Resort, you will be limited to up to (3) selections in your choice of (1) park per day of your stay. However, each day of your visit after you have used your first (3) selections, you are able to choose a 4th selection based off of what is currently available in the system. Then after using that 4th choice, you may repeat that process and continue to make (1) additional selection as availability exists. So while initially you are limited to only (3) selections, it’s possible to make more during your visit.

This is just the first of a series of “Breaking the Myths” articles. We hope you will follow along with us!