Podcast Episode 114: Fall 2016 Disney News

Here at Dole Whipped, we like to keep you informed of all the Disney information available so this week we bring you Fall 2016 Disney news!  We hope this helps you better plan your upcoming Disney vacations!

Happy listening!

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Guest Blogger Michelle K.: The ABC’s and 123’s of Planning Your Disney Trip

You’ve decided to take a Walt Disney World vacation.  OH YEAH!!  If you are like me, it can seem a little overwhelming to start planning your vacation.  Not to fear though, you don’t have to have a Mousester or Ducktorate degree in all things Disney to plan a great trip!

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The best option is to use a Disney expert travel agent to help guide your decision making Blog2to create a customized vacation just for you.  As a former cast member, even I love having the help and ease of using one.  (Huge shout-out to Tara McClure one of the DoleWhipped ladies and Disney travel planner; our last vacation was just perfect!)

Want to start planning yourself?  Great!  As a huge Disney fan (or fanatic per dear Husband), with numerous trips to the mouse house under our belt, I’d love to share the 8 steps we use for you to start planning you dream vacation at Walt Disney World.

1.    Call to request your free Walt Disney World planning DVD.  These are a great resource for planning your trip and bonus, they are fun for kiddos to watch in the car if you are making a road trip of it!

2.    Decide when you would like to go! A few considerations to picking the best dates:

  • Consider weather and crowd levels! Take a look at free crowd calendars available on the web; it is a great tool to help pick a week that may be less crowded than others.  Will you want to hit the fabulous pools at the resorts or at the Disney water parks?  If so, January or December weather might be iffy.  That being said, we took a February trip to Walt Disney World this year and swam at the resort or Blizzard Beach 5 out of 7 days.  Thank goodness for heated pools!

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  • Want to time your vacation to take part in a special event? Throughout the year, Walt Disney World hosts different events, some are covered through basic tickets and Blog4others require a special ticket purchase.  These include Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, Star Wars and Princess Running events including marathon, half marathon, 5K and family fun run options, and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, just to name a few!  We’ve attended the Halloween party twice and it was fantastic!  Everyone should try it once for the special Halloween treats, fireworks, parade, and trick or treating.

 

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  • Consider dining and fast pass reservations. Dining reservations can be booked 180 days in advance; fast pass reservations can be booked 60 days in advance if staying at a WDW resort or 30 days in advance with your ticket.  Planning your trip a little further in advance makes it easier to secure hard to get reservations!  Not to fear though, booking last minute trips has worked for us too but did require a little more flexibility.

3.    Determine how long you want to stay! There is so much to do at Walt Disney World.  Walt Disney World has 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, the ESPN sports complex, 5 golf courses, 2 mini golf courses, multiple spas, boating recreation, and a dining and shopping area at Downtown Disney with enough activities to fill multiple days.

4.    Decide where you would like to stay! There are a lot of choices and the great news is that it becomes easy to narrow down what works best for your needs by thinking about a few questions.

  • How many of your posse are going on the trip? Some resorts have more room options for groups larger than 4 wanting to share a room.
  • What will be important to make the most of your time there? Are you looking for the most amazing pool or little kid water play area?  What is important to you regarding location, do you want to pick the resort in walking distance to your favorite park?
  • Lastly, what works best for your budget? Resorts are available at every price point; offsite, value, moderate, or deluxe are available with numerous options for each!

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5.    Would you like Disney Dining? If you are staying on property (in one of the Disney World resorts) you are eligible for a prepaid dining plan.  Several web sites break down the different plans and offer helpful tips if you aren’t sure.  We’ve made trips with and without the plan and were equally happy with both.  We enjoyed getting to try so many different types of snacks and meals on the Dining plan, especially character meals and dining at Epcot (gelatos, sushi, and crepes, oh my!).  Also great was being able to order the most expensive meal on the menu in restaurants for table dining that was covered by the plan!  On the other hand, we also enjoyed the flexibly of bringing in our own lunches to eat wherever and whenever was convenient.

6.    Make your resort reservations and purchase your tickets! If staying onsite, make sureBlog7 to use a Disney travel expert.  Their services are free to you (score!); they are paid directly by Disney and all prices are identical to what you would get booking directly with WDW.  There is really only an upside to this as they provide expert advice, ideas, and guidance to make your vacation the best it can be.  If you would like to use the dining plan, make sure to book it with your room reservations.

 

7.    Book your dining reservations as soon as possible! There are so many fun, unusual, Blog8and yummy options.  If you don’t already have a few favorites in mind, try checking out on-line reviews and on-line menus to find great places to eat.  Also, consider if you would like a character meal while on vacation.  There is a large variety available with different characters and menu options (everything from standard breakfast fare to African to Norwegian!)   Don’t worry if you can’t get all of your top reservations at first.  For each trip, I was able to get every restaurant, even the hard to get ones like Ohana and Crystal Palace that we wanted by checking availability a few times a day for several weeks and being flexible with meal times.

 

Blog98.    Lastly, book your fast pass choices as soon as possible. Choosing fast passes to your favorite attractions early helps ensure you get the times and choices you want!

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Now sit back and get your Disney vacation count down calendar ready – You’ve got a great vacation to look forward to!

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Tickets Go On Sale 05/05/16 – Open for dates and pricing!

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FINALLLYYYY…what you have all been waiting for and wondering why Disney is making you wait. Well, the day is finally here! If you are planning a trip to Disney this Fall or Early Winter you should absolutely make plans to attend on these extra special events.

My favorite is the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and especially the Boo to You parade!13115896_10153701704279423_229910031_n

 

All tickets go on sale tomorrow, 5/5/16:

 

 

MICKEY’S NOT-SO-SCARY HALLOWEEN PARTY 2016

  • September 2, 8, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 29, 30
  • October 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31

September 2, 8, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 25 – $72.00 plus tax age 10+, $67.00 plus tax age 3-9 in advance, $79.00/$74 same-day

September 29, 30 – $79.00 plus tax age 10+, $74.00 plus tax age 3-9 in advance, $88/$83.00 same-day

October 2, 6 – $86.00 plus tax age 10+, $81.00 plus tax age 3-9 in advance, $95.00/$90 same-day

October 4, 10, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 27 – $91.00 plus tax age 10+, $86.00 plus tax age 3-9 in advance, $95.00/$90 same-day

September 23 – $85.00 plus tax age 10+, $80.00 plus tax age 3-9

October 7, 14, 21, 28, 30 – $95.00 plus tax age 10+, $90.00 plus tax age 3-9

October 31– $105.00 plus tax age 10+, $100.00 plus tax age 3-9

Passholder Rates available 9/2, 8, 11, 13, 16, 18, 23, 25, 29, 30; 10/2, 6 : Rates are $67-80 (depends on night) plus tax. DVC members have discounts on additional nights (in addition to all APs dates) 10/4, 10, 11, 13, 16, 18, & 20 can be purchased at a discount ranging between $62-83.

MICKEY’S VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS PARTY 2016

  • November 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 18, 27, 29
  • December 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18, 22

 

November 10, 13 – $86.00 plus tax age 10+, $81.00 plus tax age 3-9 in advance, $91.00/$86 same-day

November 18, 27, 29, December 2, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13 – $92.00 plus tax age 10+, $87.00 plus tax age 3-9 in advance, $96/$91.00 same-day

November 7, 8, 11, 15, December 1 – $91.00 plus tax age 10+, $86.00 plus tax age 3-9

December 9, 15 – $96.00 plus tax age 10+, $91.00 plus tax age 3-9

December 16, 18, 22 – $99.00 plus tax age 10+, $94.00 plus tax age 3-9

Passholder Rates available 11/7, 8, 11, 15; 12/1, 10, & 13 : Rates are $74-$84 plus tax depending on night. DVC members also discounts on additional nights (in addition to all APs dates) 11/10, 13, 18, 27, 29, & 12/6 can be purchased at a discount ranging between $74-89 plus tax.

 

 

 

All pricing should be confirmed when purchasing tickets. DoleWhipped is not responsible for typos or errors related to dates and pricing.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Review

If you’ve listened to our podcast, you’ll know that I’ve talked extensively about how much we loved Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, but I can’t quit talking about it so here we are.

If you’re not familiar, Magic Kingdom in Florida hosts this hard ticket event on certain nights during November and December.  There are special fireworks, parades, and even lots of goodies included in the price of admission.

Low Crowds

First things first, this is huge.  Are there still a lot of people there?  Yes, but the party is a hard ticket event and only so many tickets are sold so you’re guaranteed to have fewer people in the park and that really helps.  The park felt so much more open and spacious without the mass of bodies you typically encounter on a normal park day.

Once Upon A Christmas Parade 

This parade was amazing!  The floats are really well done and the characters are all in their holiday best.  They include some of the lesser known characters like Wreck It Ralph which we loved.  My youngest daughter is 4 and she just loved the parade.  Watching her during it was definitely worth the price of admission.

They run the parade twice during the party so if you miss the early show, be sure to get a spot for the later one.

Cocoa and Cookies

Another fun part of the party is the cocoa and cookies they provide as party of admission.  There are several locations set up throughout the park and you can walk up and get some treats.  We happened to get ours at Tomorrowland Terrace and there was no line.  The cocoa and cookies were both delicious.  They also had cold apple juice because this is Florida and it’s not always cold enough for cocoa!

 

No FastPasses Needed

One of the best parts about the Christmas party (and this goes hand in hand with the low crowds) is that no FastPasses are offered during the party because you don’t need them!  We walked on almost every single ride we wanted because there really weren’t any lines.  The only attraction we wanted to do and decided not to wait for was Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and that wait was only 30 minutes, which is practically nothing.

Special Family Memories

At the end of the day, my favorite part of the Christmas party was the special time I got to spend with my family.  I don’t know if there was extra magic in the air or what but we just had the best time.  No one fought, no one complained, everyone was cheerful, the weather was great.  I would absolutely recommend this party to anyone looking for a special experience at Disney.  Disney at Christmas is already amazing so this is just the shining star on top.

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Podcast Episode 71: Our Fall Vacation Trip Reports – Jillian and Shannon

Join us as we talk about our recent Disney vacations!  We talk about the new things we tried, new shows and attractions, and special events like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party!

We cover Jillian’s and Shannon’s vacations in this part 1 episode, so check back next week for Jamie’s and Tara’s reports in part 2!

Happy listening!

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WDW Parks Holiday Happenings Overview

Magic Kingdom

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party: separate ticketed event that runs from 7pm to midnight. There is a special parade, fireworks, hot cocoa and cookies, stage shows, and “snow” falls on Main Street!

Nightly castle lighting. Either the fairy Godmother or Elsa (on Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party nights) bring the castle from it’s normal appearance to completely decked in lights! It really is a sight to see. 

The Jungle Cruise turns into the Jingle Cruise! The boats are renamed in holiday themes and there are some added jokes.

The Barbershop Quartet the Dapper Dans sing Christmas carols instead of their normal tunes.

Epcot

Storytellers: Late in November cast members tell stories about their country’s traditions and legends. In addition there are some special holiday treats for sale!

Candlelight Processional: November 27-December 30th, 3 shows per night each with a celebrity narrating the biblical Christmas story featuring a choir and orchestra. These shows are VERY popular, lining up at least an hour in advance, if not much more, is a good idea if you want to see this show. One way to guarantee seating is the Candlelight Dinner Package at one of many Epcot restaurants for 2 Table Service credits.

Hollywood Studios

Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights: Disney has announced this will be the last year due to construction and expansion of Hollywood Studios. Streets of America are covered(buildings, trees, lampshades, everything) in lights that “dance” choreographed to music . You can purchase “Made with Magic” items  Mickey Ear Hat, Minnie Mouse Headband, Mickey Mouse Glove and the Sorcerer Mickey Wand to add to the effect, they are programmed to light up at key points of the show (can also be used at Holiday Wishes and other shows year round).

Merry & Bright Dessert Party at Hollywood Studios is a new event this year. From November 6 through December 30, 2015, you can purchase a separate ticket at a cost of $69 per adult or $39 for children. This includes entry (you can come and go as you please) to dessert party, reserved viewing site and a keepsake stadium blanket.

Will you be able to see any of these special Holiday happenings? Which are you most excited for?

Podcast Episode 70: Christmas At Disney

Have you ever wondered what Disney has to offer for the holidays?  Wonder no longer because we’re giving you the scoop of what you can expect at Walt Disney World for Christmas!  We cover decor, shows, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and other events.

Happy listening

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Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2015

The dates for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2015 have been released.  Tickets will go on sale in April.

November
8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 29

December
1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is a hard ticketed event  on select nights starting in November.  The party takes place in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.  During the party there are special fireworks, parades, rare character meets and cookies and hot cocoa.  The number of tickets is limited so be sure to order early as the can and will sell out.

 

Podcast Episode 34: WDW Holiday To Do List

Join us this week as we discuss some of the great things you can do at Walt Disney World during the holidays!  We talk about fireworks shows, the Candlelight Processional, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and more!  If you’re thinking of a Disney trip during the holiday season you don’t want to miss this!

Happy listening

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