So I'll let you in on an a secret that we haven't told the kids, we're off to Disney World in the Summer for our family vacation and Cerys and I can't wait. We've been before as teens and as adults but have never seen the magic of the world through the eyes of a young child. Even more special is that we will be there while J has his birthday, so have all sorts of treats planned for that day for the whole family including my brother-in-law, sister-in-law and nephew that live in Florida. So that brings me to the first in a series of post over the coming months on planning a Walt Disney World Vacation, with those dates that you need to be aware of.
So you decide that you are going to Walt Disney World and you make decisions like whether you will be staying on property or off. We're staying out at Reunion Resort with James Villas as it allows us so much flexibility as a family with all the comforts of home unlike a hotel room, plus time to get away so the kids can rest, as with a 5/6 year old and a 4 year old I have a feeling that at times it's going to be overwhelming. With the vacation all booked there are several key dates that you need to know and a few things that you need to have sorted out as soon as possible.
Here in the UK, Disney offers 7, 14 or 21 day ultimate tickets that cover multi-park entry per day including the water parks. These can be purchased from a variety of companies, often in bundle packages with other Orlando attractions such as Sea World or the Universal Resort parks. Single and multi day "magic your way tickets" can also be purchased with or without water park options. All these tickets can generally be purchased from around a year and a half before your trip and it is usually cheaper to pre purchase. Some companies supply the hard tickets while others a voucher code that can be exchanged at "will call". Disney has recently introduced the magic band which are linked and can replace the hard tickets providing more convenience. Staying on property these are included or are available for a nominal charge if not. Magic bands can be customized within the My Disney Experience app.
My Disney Experience
Since our previous visit to the world, technology has come on leaps and bounds and Disney has embraced this by launching the My Disney Experience website and mobile phone/tablet app. Once registered the app allows you to create plans for your visit and share them with family and friends. You can schedule dining reservations, book additional experiences, link your tickets and customise your magic bands.After all this is done you can register for 3 fast passes per day...more on this later. My Disney Experience provides other functions that vary depending if you are staying on property or outside in the surrounding locations.
Dining Reservations can be made from 180 days out - yes you really can book them 6 months in advance of your holiday. Reservations can be made via the phone or using the My Disney Experience website or app available from the apple store or Google play store. The site and app let you; view menus and availability across all the restaurants at Disney world - the parks, resorts and shopping districts - Board walk and the soon to be transformed to Disney Springs - Down town Disney. If you are staying on site you can book your first 10 days reservations from 180 days however, if you are staying off site its a day at a time at 180 days.
Fast Pass +
This is the exciting part where you can link your tickets to my Disney Experience and reserve at time of writing up to 3 fast passes per guest per day to gain speeder access to your chosen rides at the parks. If you are staying on property this is available from 60 days otherwise it is from 30 days. We cant wait to do this and the planning is all part of the fun. Fast passes can be swapped at any time subject to availability.
That's it for now but on my next post I will share our experience of linking our tickets together with planning and booking fast passes as we approach the 30 day mark. I will also talk about the photographic packages that are available to pre purchase.