A Very Merry Trip to the Worlds!

I am crazy excited about this next series of posts because I am in the midst of planning my first trip to WDW during Christmastime! I’ve seen magical pictures of Main Street USA and the Resort Loop Hotels decorated beautifully for the holiday and it’s been towards the top, if not THE top, of my Disney bucket list.

mickeys-very-merry-christmas-party

I’ve always preferred going to the parks during more ‘low-key’ months like September and October although I’ve gone during times of sincere stress like the summer months and spring break (EEK!). The Christmas crowds are notorious but I feel confident that if I have a solid Touring Plan (*wink wink*), I’ll be able to : 1) Enjoy my trip and 2) be productive in the parks!

Here’s how I plan my visit to the World in the earliest phases!

  1. I don’t have an Annual Pass, rather a 10-day No Expiration Park Hopper that I purchased a few years ago. I have only TWO days remaining (big bummer) so I know the trip will be brief BUT I intend on purchasing tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party as my third park visit!
  2. I checked Touring Plans’s Crowd Calendar* and picked the first weekend of December for the lower expected crowds compared to the rest of December (*you need an annual subscription to view the Crowd Calendar – which is not the only useful paid feature on their website)
  3. I also checked for any major holidays or school breaks, as this ALWAYS screws up the expected crowd volume for any given week (i.e. the Jewish holidays in the fall and the North East schools are closed for multiple days)
  4. The dates have been selected! December 1st arrival and a December 5th departure. Short and sweet but jam packed with fun
  5. Next! Book ROOM ONLY. Even if you have to also purchase your theme park tickets, ALWAYS book ROOM ONLY. The reason is very simple : You’ll get better discounts through Disney with a RO package, even if you book before there are discounts for your travel dates. For December, there aren’t any RO discounts available yet, but when they are, just call the Disney Reservations number and ask them to apply the discount to your reservation. There are no fees to change your reservation with RO, even if you are changing the dates or the resort location. This is not the case with Magic Your Way (MYW) packages. They will charge ‘Change Fees’ even if it’s to apply a discount to your reservation. Lastly, you can find cheaper tickets through 3rd parties and it’s easy to link those tickets to your My Disney Experience (MDE) account.

There are variables to consider here. Not everyone has the luxury to go whenever they please whether it’s work commitments or young children in school. Additionally, you’ll have to determine long before you even get booking your reservation, what your budget will be and how much you intend on saving for the trip.

For me, since my visit will be brief, I do not plan on going “all out” as I have on previous trips but I also want to make the trip memorable in other ways by trying new experiences. So from December 1st through December 5th, I’ll be staying at the Art of Animation Resort in the Little Mermaid Rooms! This is the most expensive of the values and the most recent addition to the line up of value resorts in WDW but I’ve heard many wonderful things about the design of the resort as well as the very comfortable rooms. I’m so looking forward to checking out the Cars Land area and all the remaining themed resort areas!

So here we are! The earliest of phases but there’s plenty more to get excited about! Next post will be about choosing your itinerary based on crowd levels, park hours, and events as well as ADRS!!

If you have any tips as you’re following along, make sure to leave them in the comments or you can send me an email if you’d like to contribute some of your own Trip Planning Tips or even your own Trip Reports to be featured on a future post!

 

New Name, New Me

I started my Disney-inspired Instagram account, YASDisney, back on February 9th 2016. When creating the account, I was a bit nervous but I also didn’t quite realize what it would become for me. The name, the account, the vision was not there at the beginning. I had no idea how inviting, welcoming, and wonderful this community would be and how I would look forward to interacting with all of you.

I’ve been muling this over for quite a while. I report on both Disney and Universal as I truly love both! I knew removing the word “Disney” from my name might cause me to lose a few followers but I want to draw in a broader audience of Disney lovers, Universal lovers, and those who love both, like myself! I didn’t want to have to limit myself to only Disney posts just because it was in my name. And the name wasn’t even very crafty. I was watching a lot of Broad City at the time and wanted to get started with posting my park pictures ASAP! This has grown into something much deeper to me though and I take the account very seriously, so it was time for a name that represented that.

So today, I’m introducing to you my new name, my new identity : The Enchanted Park Hopper

Aaaaahhh! It feels so much better. I’ve updated all besides my Snapchat account (which apparently you’re unable to change, oh well). I can’t wait for you all to see the things I’ve been working on!

Instagram : @enchantedparkhopper
Twitter : @the_park_hopper
Snapchat : yasdisney

RUMOR : Guardians of the Galaxy On Their Way to EPCOT

Today’s rumor has been floating around the internet for a week or so and all signs point to TRUE.

It’s no secret that there are a few attractions in Future World that have been in desperate need of reforms or updates. The experts are predicting the following changes to come to EPCOT :

  • Ellen’s Energy Adventure is getting a GotG overhaul, which sources indicate has been green lit
  • Wonders of Life – which has not been utilized as an attraction in years, may very well get a GotG update as Phase II but has not yet been green lit.
  • The CommuniCore Pavillion (Innoventions) has gotten the green light for an update. Some are speculating it could become a Club Cool
  • Mission : Space also got the green light for a refurb/update!
  • Lastly, plans are on the horizon for updates/changes to Journey Into Imagination but nothing has received approval yet.

 

I think there’s a ton of wasted space right now in Future World and having another major dark attraction to replace outdated shows/pavilions would be most welcome, in my humble opinion. With Star Wars Land and Toy Story feeling like they are lightyears from completion and Pandora arriving next year, Disney needs to generate some major excitement for EPCOT, beyond a Frozen ride in Norway. As always, give change and peace a chance. Hopefully we get some previews from the Disney Parks Blog soon!