BIG changes are coming to Walt Disney World! Beginning Thursday, February 17, 2022, face coverings will become optional for fully vaccinated guests.
Face coverings will still be required for anyone ages 2+ on Disney transportation, including buses, Monorail, and Skyliner transportation.
Universal Orlando removed the face covering requirements for fully vaccinated guests on February 12, 2022.
Refer to the Operations and Safety updates from both Disney and Universal for the most updated information. Contact me with any questions!
Private Ground Transportation Available Again for Walt Disney World Resort Through Walt Disney Travel Company
Private airport transportation is once again available for Walt Disney World!
While Magical Express is still gone, there are several paid options available through the Walt Disney Travel Company. Private ground transportation to and from Walt Disney World Resort is now available as a package add-on.
As part of this offering, there are several options available, including exclusive vans, sedans, SUVs, executive limousines and stretch limousines. Private, direct ground transportation can be booked up to five days prior to arrival.
Ground transportation can also be added for flights arriving at Tampa International Airport and/or Sanford International Airport. Transportation can also be coordinated to Orlando Amtrak Station, Kissimmee Amtrak Station, Cape Canaveral, Vero Beach, Daytona. Both one-way and round-trip fares are available for all destinations.
Up to one complimentary car seat will be available for children five years old and under, with additional car seats subject to availability.
For more information about how to add this to your package, contact me!
Disney Travel News
It's been a big week for Disney travel news! We've heard multiple announcements from Walt Disney World and have even heard a big announcement from Disney Cruise Line. Check it all out below!
Changes Coming to Toy Story Land in 2022
Attention all honorary toys! After enjoying Toy Story Mania!, guests will soon be treated to a new experience. Jessie’s Trading Post will be full of the coolest toys and finest souvenirs.
That's not all! Also coming in 2022 is the previously announced Roundup Rodeo BBQ restaurant! This family-friendly dining experience will offer barbecue fare. It will also offer some fan-favorite Pixar characters! Stay tuned for more details!
New Character Sightings Available on Genie+
The latest update to theDisney Genie+ service has extra...character! Starting Jan. 26, guests who have purchased Genie+ will find select Character Sightings have been added as an option for Lightning Lane entry. Character Sightings will include:
*Attractions with Lightning Lane entrances that are Disney Genie+ and individual purchases are limited in availability, subject to change or closure, may vary by date, are not guaranteed and may not be available at all on the date of visit or at the time you make a selection.
Pixar Day at Sea - Coming in 2023
Disney Cruise Line Guests will be immersed in the stories of their favorite toys, monsters and heroes during the all-new Pixar Day at Sea aboard special sailings on the Disney Fantasy in early 2023.
This day-long celebration on select seven-night voyages will bring beloved Pixar tales exclusively for Disney Cruise Line Guests. These experiences will include themed dining, character encounters, dance parties and a theatrical musical experience.
Contact me for more information about Pixar Day at Sea sailings.
It’s a good day to be a Disney Foodie! Three fan-favorite dining locations are reopening in Walt Disney World, while two more will be expanding their offerings! All of these dining options are available for booking now.
Flying Fish, at Disney’s BoardWalk, will welcome guests back on January 27th. This restaurant is known for their signature seafood dishes, but don't sleep on the steaks! This dining location is just a walk or boat ride away from Epcot.
Reopening February 3rd is The Turf Club Bar and Grill. The Turf Club is located at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa. Here, you'll find delicious American flavors in every dish!
Beginning on February 17th, Jiko - The Cooking Place will finally reopen at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge! Here, you can savor the tastes and flavors of African, Indian, and Mediterranean cuisine. This is one of the best places for a fancy date night! (The wine selection is phenomenal!!)
Beginning February 15th at Cape May Cafe, guests can once again feast upon an all-you-care-to-enjoy, buffet breakfast! Complete with Mickey AND Minnie waffles! The buffet will continue for dinner, where it will offer seafood favorites. Cape May Cafe is located at Disney's Beach Club Resort.
Walt Disney World Deal Alert!
Enjoy some fun in the sun at Walt Disney World this spring and summer!
Save up to $500 on a 5-night stay at select Disney Resort hotels most nights between March 6 - July 7, 2022.
There's so much to celebrate when you stay at a Disney Resort hotel—especially during The World's Most Magical Celebration! As a Guest of a Disney Resort hotel, you'll enjoy early entry to the parks 30 minutes before opening! Plus, Disney Resort hotel guests get early access to purchase individual Lightning Lane entries!
That's not all! Florida Residents can save up to 20% on rooms this summer at select Disney Resort hotels for stays most nights from March 11 - July 7, 2022.
Restrictions apply. Contact me for details.
Click here for pricing and more information.
Disney Genie officially launched on October 19, 2021! Keep reading to learn everything you need to know.
Like I explained before, this free component of My Disney Experience will be available for all guests. This complimentary service offers new features, including a tool that can map out an entire day based on your pre-travel choices. It will also help to reduce wait times in rides, pace your day, and build around existing plans.
While Disney Genie is free, there will be 2 different ways to utilize paid Lightning Lanes to save time in lines. Lightning Lane entrances, available for a fee, will be used.
Disney Genie+ will be an add-on at 40+ attractions. It will cost $15 per person, per day. Using this service, you can select arrival windows for Lightning Lane entrances, one at a time throughout the day. Genie+ will also feature audio files and PhotoPass lenses. Genie+ will not sell out.
Once you have Genie+, you can book the next available arrival window for your first experience via the My Disney Experience app beginning at 7:00 AM on the day of your visit. Once you’ve redeemed your initial selection (or the arrival window has passed), you can make another selection using the app, up to park closing.
I can add this on to your ticket or package for the duration of your visit prior to travel, or you can choose to purchase for single days on your own in the My Disney Experience app.
Individual Attraction Selections
These are the headliner attractions. These highly demanded rides will offer Lightning Lane entry as an "á la carte" purchase. This option will be available for everyone—with or without Disney Genie+ service—and lets you choose a time to arrive at up to 2 attractions each day (booked one at a time).
Purchase of Lightning Lanes for these headliners will be only be via Disney Genie in the My Disney Experience app on the same day of your visit. Pricing will vary by date, attraction and park. Prices and availability will be listed in the My Disney Experience app on the day of your visit.
You can only purchase individual selections for up to 2 different attractions per day. These will have a limited, and can sell out. Guests at Disney resorts will have "first dibs" on attractions.
The photo below outlines which rides are included with the Genie+ add-on, and which are included with the “a la carte” premium Individual Attractions.
Disney Genie, as well as its paid components, only work if you have the most updated version of My Disney Experience app. Update this the day before you travel, and double-check that it's the most updated version before you use any part of Disney Genie. We also learned that it's MUCH easier to add Genie+ prior to travel, rather than adding by day once you're already there.
I have already added Genie+ for all currently booked clients who have requested it. If you have questions about how I can add Genie+ to your trip, contact me. For more information about becoming a concierge-level client, click here.
What a crazy week it's been! “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” is in full swing as of October 1st, and now Disney has some MORE news!
The previously announced Disney Genie service will launch on Oct. 19 at Walt Disney World Resort! This service will be available for all guests right in the My Disney Experience app! This complimentary service will perfectly compliment my tips and suggestions with your decisions in real time!
The technology will work similarly to a navigation app on your phone. Basically, Disney Genie will update your itinerary. This will help to:
This launch will also include Lightning Lanes at 40+ attractions! This will be available for additional purchase through Disney Genie+ OR individually “a la carte” at the most highly demanded attractions. Pricing will vary, depending on date, attraction, and park. Additionally, some rides, like Remy's Ratatouille Adventure, may still operate on a virtual queue.
For more information about how Disney Genie, Disney Genie+, or Lightning Lanes will work, contact me!
Walt Disney World Turns 50!
Walt Disney World is officially 50 years old!
I was fortunate enough to be in Magic Kingdom on its actual 50th anniversary. While it was magical and emotional, it was also crowded. Read along to find out how I skipped all of those crazy lines and what I did instead!
I've been planning this trip for a long time. I predicted that the crowd situation would likely look intense, and I was right. However, what I wasn't prepared for were where the crowds actually were.
I personally prefer my "merch" in the forms of things I can use in my daily life. (Water bottles, coffee mugs, hoodies, etc.) After over 20 personal trips over the last 31 years, I've learned what I use the most. Anyway, I never got super into things like popcorn buckets, pins (I do have a few), or other items that I otherwise can't use in my daily life.
If you saw the INTENSE lines on the news, TikTok, IG, etc., those were lines for merchandise and popcorn buckets. No joke. As of 8:15 a.m., the Emporium and Main Street Confectionary were literally full for the day and were not accepting anyone else into their virtual spots. With those people in lines for merch, as well as people who didn't mobile order food in advance (more on that soon), lines for rides were crazy short all day.
While most people were extremely polite, I sadly saw some very ugly behavior on October 1st, too. Literally fighting over merchandise, folks screaming at Cast Members, complaining about having to wait for food, you name it. Please, no matter where or when you're traveling, remember to BE KIND.
What I Ate
I pre-ordered our breakfast, dinner, and snacks at 5:30 a.m. (We had table service lunch reservations.) While that may sound extreme, I mentally thanked myself for that all day long. I was also sure to hydrate constantly, and carried snacks in my park bag, just in case! (If you're wondering what's in my park bags, get my packing list here!)
Breakfast - Fresh fruit waffle sandwich and French Vanilla Iced Coffee (Sleepy Hollow)
Lunch - All-You-Care-to-Enjoy platter and 2 adult beverages (Liberty Tree Tavern)
Snack - Pineapple Dole Whip cup (Aloha Isle)
Dinner - 1971 Meal (Casey's Corner)
One of the highlights of my day was seeing absolute legend Randy Morris play at Casey's Corner! Randy started as a pianist at Casey's Corner (then called Coke Corner) back at the park opening in 1971. He's since retired, but returned on the 50th to play again! It was incredible, and I'm getting emotional just typing about it!
What I Did
While these aren't the order we rode them in, we experienced:
I was at Magic Kingdom on September 29th for the last-ever Happily Ever After, and I thought that surely nothing could top that show. This one absolutely did.
Stunning. Absolutely stunning. This show made my jaw drop, gave me goosebumps, and made me laugh, cry, and sing along. The theme song, "You Are The Magic", is one of the best, most magical pieces written for a Disney attraction ever. This show is a must, MUST see. I was so glad to get up close to the Castle (we were in front of the hub grass) for the premiere, but next time I definitely want to watch from Main Street USA.
Did you know that there are projections along Main Street during this show?? Depending on where you watch, you'll have a completely different experience!
This was a once-in-a-lifetime event, and I'm so incredibly thrilled that I was there to experience it. The heat, the crowds, the exhaustion...they were all well worth it.
The World's Most Magical Celebration lasts for 18 months, so you'll have plenty of opportunities to experience everything that the 50th Anniversary has in store, including cavalcades, nighttime spectaculars, shows, and merchandise (did I mention that the infamous Starbucks cup that people were punching each other over is already back in stock???? LOL!!)
There is tons of fun, excitement, and magic to be had. If your trip isn't on the books yet, contact me to get started or schedule a complimentary vacation consultation to get more information!
What I Wore
I opted not to do a DisneyBound for the 50th, and instead relied on a few of my tried and true favorites. I wore a pink version of my favorite FunkyMonkey park sandals, a pink "bunny ear" scrunchie at the bottom of my Dutch braid, rose gold Mickey earrings, (mine were "Hey June" brand and a gift from a friend, but I've linked something similar), and my favorite Disney Parks Attractions Loungefly mini-backpack. You can find each of these right on Amazon and can shop them from these links or from the photos below!
New & Returning Dessert Parties and Dinner Packages at Walt Disney World Resort
Looking for a special way to celebrate the fireworks at Walt Disney World? Now you can choose from FIVE dessert parties and TWO dinner packages!
From sweet treats to international fare, there’s no shortage of options for making the most of the nighttime spectacular experience. To make your evenings even more magical, a new lineup of Appetizing Occasions will be returning just in time for “The World’s Most Magical Celebration.”
Disney Enchantment, a brand-new, dazzling nighttime fireworks spectacular, debuts October 1st at Magic Kingdom. To enrich the experience of this immersive show, there’s a full menu of dessert party options that include viewing locations from the heart of the park to the Seven Seas Lagoon.
Learn more about Disney Enchantment here.
Celebration at the Top: 50th Flavors and Fireworks at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
$129 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Dress code requirements apply.
Beginning October 2nd, a sophisticated evening awaits you at this event, where you'll be welcomed to the private Sonoma and Napa Rooms at California Grill to sample specialty drinks, canapes, sushi and small plates. After an elevated cocktail hour, step outside to the observation deck on the 15th floor for a unique viewpoint of Disney Enchantment, complete with the synchronized music. The event continues back inside after the show with petit-fours, cordials and coffee.
At Magic Kingdom Park, three dessert party options put you right in the middle of the magic to view Disney Enchantment. Each event includes 50th anniversary-themed delights at different times throughout the evening at Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant. These events will begin on October 3, 2021.
Each of these 3 parties will include 50th anniversary-themed desserts, a variety of cheeses, and drink selections, including beer and wine for anyone ages 21+
As I previously shared, Disney's Ferrytale Fireworks: A Sparkling Dessert Cruise begins September 18th. Reservations are available now. On select Wednesday and Saturday nights. set sail on an iconic ferryboat for a magical evening on the Seven Seas Lagoon. Once onboard, you can enjoy bite-size signature sweets including build-your-own mousse, key lime tarts, cupcakes and specialty beverages. (Beverages both with and without alcohol are available.)
Kids can participate in an ultraviolet scavenger hunt. During the cruise, you'll get to experience observe the Magic Kingdom fireworks accompanied by stunning water views.
$99 for adults and $69 for children ages 3 to 9 (tax and gratuity included)
Harmonious, one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for Disney Parks, will light the EPCOT's World Showcase Lagoon beginning October 1st.
With choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics and lasers in a 360-degree view, Harmonious shows how Disney music and stories have the power to bring people from all around the world together. To celebrate there are two new package options available at World Showcase restaurants. Both of these experiences will be available October 1, 2021.
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New dining experiences are coming to Disney’s Contemporary Resort for “The World’s Most Magical Celebration!”
Replacing The Wave at Disney's Contemporary Resort, Steakhouse 71 will be a new casual-themed dining concept that gets its name from the resort’s opening year and will be open in time for the celebration.
Upstairs at California Grill, a new dining experience will also be available later this year, featuring a limited-time menu with items inspired by the restaurant’s history.
While these experiences are not yet available for reservations, I will be sharing more information as it becomes available! You can read more about Disney's Contemporary Resort here and learn more about the new Incredible rooms here!