Big Ticket Price Changes Coming to Walt Disney World!

Walt Disney World has announced that starting October 16, 2018, they will offer seasonal-priced multi-day tickets where the final price of the ticket depends on what dates you are planning to visit. This will work like current 1-Day tickets: a ticket for Value dates will be cheaper than a ticket for Regular or Peak dates. Most ticket periods will cover a mix of Value, Regular and/or Peak dates, and the price will be based on the specific dates the ticket covers.

We do a quick analysis of the changes below, but here’s our bottom line: we recommend that most people who have a vacation planned between now and the end of 2019 should buy tickets now or book a package now with Wishes and Wands Travel. We think it’s likely that most multi-day tickets will go up in price, and if some go down in price it won’t be by much.

All current tickets will be honored through their existing expiration dates, for any day of the year, and packages booked now will stay at their current prices even if the components (tickets, dining, etc.) go up in price before your vacation (assuming you don’t make a change that causes the package to be repriced; see below for more). Read on for more details about the new tickets.

Important Note: this information is based on our best understanding of Disney’s current plans. Disney may change aspects of the new ticket system between now and the actual day they roll it out (including changing the date they roll it out) so consider all of this preliminary information until Disney actually starts selling the new tickets.

Below is a basic outline of the changes.

Each new ticket will have a specific date range it is valid for, which you select when you buy it.

Each length of ticket is valid for a few more days than there are admission days on the ticket, so you don’t have to go into the park every day. For example, a 2-day ticket can be used on any 2 out of 4 consecutive days, while a 7-day ticket can be used on any 7 of 10 consecutive days.

If you buy a ticket with a Disney Vacation Package, the validity period is the longer of the period mentioned above, or the full length of the package (counting both arrival and departure days).

“Flexible date” tickets that work the same way as today will still be available, but we’re pretty sure they’ll be more expensive than specific-date tickets.

You will be able to change the start date, length, or options on a ticket yourself without having to visit the park in person. There will be options on the MyDisneyExperience web site and app, or you can do it over the phone with Disney Reservations. You’ll have to pay any price increase caused by the changes, naturally.

The price of the specific-date tickets vary over the course of the year. They’re cheapest during slow, off-season weekdays, and expensive over holiday periods and summer weekends. We don’t know the exact calculation used.

In the end, we believe most tickets will be more expensive under this new system, with some possible exceptions for tickets covering mostly weekdays during Value season. Looking back to when Disney introduced season-priced 1-Day tickets, the Regular and Peak tickets went up in price relative to the “any day” tickets that were being sold previously. The Value tickets went down in price, but by a very small amount. We think this is likely to repeat.

So if you have a trip planned for next year that touches a weekend or a holiday period, we think it’s a safe bet to buy your tickets or book a package now and lock in the current prices. Think of it as insurance. On the other hand, if you look at your planned dates and most of them are Value dates, you may want to roll the dice and see if the new prices end up saving you money.

Storybook Dining at Artist Point Debuts This Winter at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

Magic mirror on the wall, what is the fairest character dining of all?

This winter, it will most certainly be the all-new character dining experience opening at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge!

Storybook Dining at Artist Point will invite guests to venture into an Enchanted Forest-like setting inspired by Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” There, you’ll enjoy a delicious meal of fantastic fare with visits from Snow White, Dopey and Grumpy. Delightful music and activities will help bring the classic fairytale to life, and they’ll even have an opportunity for an encounter with The Queen.

This immersive character dinner takes place amidst the rustic elegance and exceptional dining that Artist Point is known for. You will enjoy a uniquely themed prix fixe menu, including shared starters, a choice of individual plated entrees and ‘sweet spells’ to finish the meal.

We’ll have more information to share soon, including menu offerings, an opening date and when you can book reservations , as well as where Guests might be able to find select fan-favorite Artist Point menu items in the future.

Storybook Dining at Artist Point with Snow White is slated to begin this winter.

Everything you need to know about Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party!

Mickey Jack-O-Lanterns light up Main Street, U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom as decorations set the stage for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. The family-friendly after-hours event offers trick-or-treating, meet and greets with favorite characters in costume, plus the must-see “Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade” and “Happy HalloWishes” fireworks display. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a special ticket event and takes place on select nights each fall at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Ali Nasser, photographer)

Are you planning a visit to Walt Disney World® Resort this fall? Then Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom® Park is an absolute must-do event. This in-park party celebrates Halloween with spooky decor, Disney characters in Halloween costumes, complimentary trick-or-treating, and entertainment you will have to see to believe!

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, which requires a special ticket to attend, will be held on the following nights: Aug. 28, 31; Sept. 3, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 28 and 30; and Oct. 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30 and 31. Party fun takes place from 7 p.m.-midnight, although party ticket holders may enter the park as early as 4 p.m. to enjoy regular park offerings.

Guests of all ages are welcome to dress in costume on party nights (check out the park guidelines here). As you arrive, you can grab a treat bag for trick-or-treating and party event map, which displays all the locations of trick-or-treat stations, special entertainment and more. Sometime during the night, you can head to the Main Street Fire Station and pick up an event-exclusive Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom spell card. This year’s design features Orange Bird.

You won’t want to miss the “Boo To You” parade, which steps off twice on party nights. The Headless Horseman leads off the hair-raising procession, which includes classic Disney characters (in not-so-scary Halloween costumes), an entire portion devoted to the Haunted Mansion, a celebration of treats and more.

“The Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular” stage show delights Guests by bringing the Sanderson Sisters back to run “amuck” for the evening, calling on Disney villains to help them conjure the ultimate Hocus Pocus Party Potion. 

Disney Villains light up the night during “Happy HalloWishes Fireworks.” This spectacular features a villainous soundtrack with songs like “Grim Grinning Ghosts,” “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” “Never Smile at a Crocodile” and more.

Those with a sweet tooth can take treats to the next level by perusing the tasty selection of limited-time goodies created specifically for the event.

As a reminder, tickets for select nights for both Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party are commissionable.

Applicable Dates for 2018 Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Tickets:

  • August 28, 31 
  • September 3, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 28, 30 
  • October 2, 4, 8, 9, 11, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25

Advance tickets start at $75 for adults and $70 for children ages 3-9 (plus tax). Day-of tickets start at $85 for adults and $80 for children ages 3-9 (plus tax).

Bus Times at Walt Disney World Resort Now Available in Newly Redesigned My Disney Experience App

If you have ever wondered when the next bus is going to arrive at their Disney Resort hotel, the answer will now be right at your fingertips.

Disney is rolling out a brand new bus time feature in the My Disney Experience mobile app that enables you to spend less time waiting at the bus stop and more time getting ready for a fun-filled day in the parks. With this feature, you can quickly discover up-to-the-minute estimates for when the next buses will depart from your Disney Resort hotel and when you will complete your journey to your destination.

The app regularly updates in real time to provide the most current estimates for buses heading to all four theme parks, two water parks and the Disney Springs® area. You can access the feature throughout your stay by tapping “See Bus Times” when viewing an active Disney Resort hotel reservation associated with your account.

You may also notice that this My Disney Experience update brings a new and improved design to the app, making it easier than ever for you to navigate and find what you are looking for – from the new bus time feature and mobile food ordering service to adding tickets, booking FastPass+ selections and discovering key park offerings.

This is just the most recent example of how Disney is using digital technology to make the Guest experience even more convenient. During the past year alone, they have added app features that allow Guests to view room charges, keep track of Disney dining plan usage, check in online to start their vacation even faster, use their mobile devices as a digital key (now available at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and coming soon to additional Disney Resort hotels) and more.

You can explore all that’s new in My Disney Experience by updating to the current version of the app, now available in the Apple Store for iOS devices and Google Play for Android devices.

And there’s more coming soon! Their teams are constantly exploring and innovating new enhancements to My Disney Experience as it continues to grow and evolve, so be sure to stay tuned for the latest updates.

Universal Orlando’s Newest Resort is Now Accepting Reservations – Here’s Why You Should be Excited!

The most affordable hotel option at Universal Orlando Resort is now accepting reservations!  Opening in August 2019, Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites will be the first hotel in the destination’s new Value hotel category, with rates starting at less than $75 per night. It will offer a hotel option for families looking for theme park thrills, exclusive benefits and a seamless Universal Orlando vacation experience at the destination’s most affordable rates.

Brought to life by the award-winning Universal Creative team, Surfside Inn and Suites will offer nightly rates starting at just $73 for a seven-night stay and $85 per night for a four-night stay in a standard room. The hotel will feature 390 2 Bedroom Suites that sleep six and start as low as $111 per night for a seven-night stay.

“This hotel checks every box – quality, family-friendly suites and exclusive benefits that only come with staying in one of our hotels at a value that is simply unmatched in Orlando,” said Vince LaRuffa, Senior Vice President of Resort Sales and Marketing at Universal Orlando Resort. “With the addition of this new Value hotel category, we now offer a hotel for every style and budget.”

Guests at Surfside Inn and Suites can take advantage of exclusive Universal Orlando hotel benefits to enjoy an epic vacation, including:

  • Early Park Admission – allowing them to breeze into one of Universal Orlando’s three amazing theme parks an hour before everyone else
  • Complimentary shuttle bus transportation to and from the theme parks and Universal CityWalk
  • Destination-wide charging privileges with their room key
  • Complimentary delivery of merchandise purchased throughout the resort to their hotel

Families needing a bit more room will find it easy to relax in the spacious 2 Bedroom Suites, which sleep six comfortably and feature a kitchenette and separate bath and vanity areas. It’s the perfect home-base for families of any size to experience all that Universal Orlando has to offer.

The 750-room Surfside Inn and Suites will feature a relaxed and fun surf vibe with beach details woven throughout the experience. It will be the destination’s seventh hotel in partnership with Loews Hotels & Co.

Sister property Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites will add 2,050 rooms and suites when it opens in 2020. Both hotels will be located minutes away from Universal Orlando’s three theme parks – Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal’s Volcano Bay – as well as its dining and entertainment complex – Universal CityWalk.

If you’re ready to book your amazing Universal Adventure, message one of our Travel Agents today at info@wishesandwandstravel.com.

 

Get Ready to Play Big and Save Up to 25% on Rooms at Select Disney Resort Hotels

Spend quality time together in the middle of the magic before the laid-back days of summer fade away! With so many new and exciting things for you to experience at all 4 theme parks—including the larger-than-life Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios—it couldn’t be a better time to book your Walt Disney World Resort enchanted escape.

Jump on the chance to save up to 25% on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels for stays most nights, August 2 through October 7, 2018 when you book through September 7, 2018!

Book Through
September 7, 2018

Valid Travel Dates
Stays most nights, August 2 through October 7, 2018

Important Details

  • The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited.
  • Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room.
  • Additional per adult charges may apply if there are more than 2 adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts.
  • Advance reservations required.
  • Offer excludes the following room types: 3-bedroom villas, Cabins at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows.
  • Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion.

Campsites included at 20% discount for stays most Sunday through Thursday nights, August 12 through September 13, 2018. Moderate and Deluxe suites may be available for a lesser discount.

Free Dining is Officially out for 2018!

Free Dining is officially out!

 

➡ Stay dates:
(as long as you check IN during this timeframe, you can get it for your whole trip)

* August 20-September 29, 2018
* November 24-November 27, 2018
* December 7-December 23, 2018

➡ Minimum stay: 5 nights

➡ What you get for free:

* Value and Moderate Resorts: Quick Service Dining Plan

* Deluxe Resorts: Regular Dining Plan

* Costs to upgrade:
Quick Service to Regular – $22.99 for adults (age 10+), $4 for kids (age 3-9)
Regular to Deluxe – $40.76 for adults (age 10+), $14.24 for kids (age 3-9)
Quick Service to Deluxe – $63.75 for adults (age 10+), $18.24 for kids (age 3-9)

➡ Resorts that are INCLUDED are:

* Value – All-Star Movies, All-Star Music, All-Star Sports, Pop Century

* Moderate – Caribbean Beach Resort, Coronado Springs Resort, Ft. Wilderness Cabins

* Deluxe and DVC – Grand Floridian, Old Key West, Beach Club Resort and Villas, Yacht Club, Animal Kingdom Lodge and Villas, Boardwalk Inn and Villas, Saratoga Springs Resort

EXCLUDED rooms: campsites, 3 bedroom villas, Art of Animation Little Mermaid rooms

➡ Ticket requirement: Park Hopper tickets

Ready to book?  Click here.

Florida Resident Summer Room Offer

When you stay in the middle of the magic, you will be incredibly close to all of the new and exciting experiences launching at all 4 Walt Disney World Resort theme parks this summer!

Enjoy Florida resident rates starting as low as $155 per night, plus tax for a stay in a standard room at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, most Monday through Wednesday nights from June 25 through August 29, 2018.

How about being immersed in the artistry of beloved Disney and Pixar tales? As a Florida resident, you can also discover great rates on Family Suites at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort select dates this summer.

Book through August 30, 2018.

Sample Rates
These sample rates are valid for stays most nights in a standard room or select Family Suites during the dates specified in the chart below.

Resort

Sample Price

Valid Dates

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

$155
per night,
plus tax

Mon-Wed
6/25/18 – 8/29/18

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

$325
per night,
plus tax

Sun-Thu
7/15/18 – 8/29/18

Disney’s All-Star Music Resort

$117
per night,
plus tax

Sun-Thu
6/25/18 – 8/30/18

The number of rooms available at these rates is limited. Length of stay requirements may apply. See Important Details.

Important Details:

  • Additional per adult charges may apply if more than 2 adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts.
  • Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotions.
  • Advance reservations required.
  • Offer excludes the following room types: campsites, 3-bedroom villas, Cabins at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows.

*The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Length-of-stay requirements may apply. Additional per adult charges may apply if more than 2 adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotions. Advance reservations required. Offer excludes campsites, 3-bedroom villasCabins at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness LodgeDisney’s Art of Animation Resort – The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms, Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, the Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Proof of Florida residency required at check-in.

 

Resort Hotels Included in This Offer

  • Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
  • Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
  • Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – Family Suites Only
  • Disney’s Beach Club Resort
  • Disney’s Beach Club Villas
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
  • Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
  • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
  • Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows – Studios Only
  • Disney’s Pop Century Resort
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
  • Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
  • The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

FastPass+ for Toy Story Land Opens to Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Guests, Special Extra Magic Hours To Be Offered

Are you counting down the days until Toy Story Land opens at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® on June 30, 2018? Today, we have some exciting news to share – FastPass+ reservations are now open for Guests staying at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels.

Effective today, FastPass+ reservations are available for attractions in the land. Guests who are up to 60 days from their Walt Disney World Resort hotel check-in can choose one FastPass+ reservation for one of the Toy Story Land attractions, plus two other attractions in the park such as Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™, and more, depending on availability.

Don’t have a trip planned yet?! We can help!

Cost of Passports on the Rise

Passport Fee Set to Increase in April 2018

From new policies to price increases, changes in the travel industry happen all the time – and recently, a small change in passport fees was announced. On January 31, 2018, the Department of State published a final rule that will increase the passport execution fee from $25 to $35, effective on April 2, 2018. The fee increase does not apply to individuals who renew their passport through the mail using the DS-82 form. But it does apply to applicants using the DS-11 form, which is the form used by:

  • First time applicants over 16
  • Children under 16
  •  People who reapply after reporting their passport as lost or stolen

According to the Department of State, the final rule is a result of two studies conducted by the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs and the U.S. Postal Service, which determined that the $25 execution fee was not enough to cover the cost of processing a passport. For passport books, the price will go up from $135 to $145 for adults and from $105 to $115 for individuals 16 years or younger.