Will you visit the Walt Disney World Resort this week? A lot of families will head to our parks to ring in the new year, so we thought we’d share some tips on how to make the most of your trip during this busy time.
Traveling Around The Walt Disney World Resort
Using on-property resort buses, boats or Monorails can help you avoid traffic and arrive at parks sooner. Busses begin departing from Disney resort hotels 45 minutes prior to the park opening and run two hours after park closing.
If driving a personal car, please plan for additional travel time.
Magic Kingdom Park will offer an Extra Magic Hour from 7-8 a.m., daily, from Dec. 28-Jan. 1, 2015. Visiting the park early will help you get a headstart on your day.
New Year’s fireworks spectaculars will be displayed at Magic Kingdom Park on both December 30 and 31. (Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios will join the celebration with displays on December 31 only).
Walt Disney World Dining
Use the My Disney Experience app, visit Guest Relations or call 407-WDW-CNCL to modify dining reservations.
Consider choosing a dining time prior to 6 p.m. or after 8 p.m. to avoid the dinner rush.
We’ll be adding new numbers in the future, so make sure to follow our Pinterest account to collect them all. Once you’ve created your own countdown calendar, show us how you customized it by sharing on Instagram with #DaysTillDisney!
1. More time to play
All Disneyland Resort hotel guests enjoy admission to select attractions, stores, entertainment and dining locations in Disneyland or Disney California Adventure parks for one full hour before the parks open to the general public on select days!
2. A warm welcome
Everyone knows that a stay in a Disneyland Resort hotel begins with a warm “Welcome!” from the cast members at the front desk. At Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, more than 50 of these cast members have learned to say “welcome” in 10 different languages to make all guests feel at home.
“Guests visit the Disneyland Resort Hotels from all over the world,” says Guest Services Manager Brian Elling. “When a cast member says ‘welcome’ in a guest’s own language, it creates an instant connection with the guest and puts them at ease.”
3. Surf’s Up!
Did you know that the PCH Grill at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel is the only dining location at the Disneyland Resort where you can enjoy a meal with Mickey Mouse? The Surf’s Up! Mickey and Friends Breakfast is an all-you-care-to-eat breakfast experience, and seeing Mickey Mouse himself dressed in his beachy best is a perfect way to start surfing your way through a fantastic day at the Disneyland Resort.
“You definitely get to have a full experience with our characters during the breakfast,” says PCH Grill Area Manager Stacey Edwards. “Every guest gets to see Mickey in our photo location when they come in, and while they’re eating, guests can even get up and dance with the characters!”
4. Closer to the magic
Staying at a Disneyland Resort hotel puts you just steps away from all there is to do at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks and the Downtown Disney District. Plus, you’re surrounded by all the special Disney details that make the Disneyland Resort such a magical place to be – you never have to leave the Happiest Place on Earth until it’s time to go home!
Thirsty travelers over 21 years of age can order a Shipwreck on the Rocks or Krakatoa Punch at this tropical oasis at the Disneyland Hotel. But be careful, because the tiki gods might just create a fearsome lightning storm (complete with thunder and a sinking ship in a bottle) or cause a volcano eruption.
“We’re ex-skipper captains from the Jungle Cruise,” explains Bartender Roy Hanzal. “We kept wrecking the boats, so Trader Sam sent us over here to serve drinks to the guests instead.”
6. Kids have a getaway of their own
Pinocchio’s Workshop offers supervised play and themed activities each evening for children (ages 5 – 12) of hotel guests, providing parents an opportunity to have their own adventures. This fun-filled child activity center is located at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa but is open to guests staying at any of the three hotels of the Disneyland Resort.
7. A ‘Signature’ experience
While every guest room at a Disneyland Resort hotel includes special Disney touches, the six themed Signature Suites at the Disneyland Hotel fully immerse guests in the magic of Disneyland. From the replica of Davy Jones’ Dead Man’s Chest in the Pirates of the Caribbean Suite to a twinkling Tinker Bell turning on the lights of the Sleeping Beauty Castle model in the Fairy Tale Suite, it would take much longer than one night to see all the details in these extraordinary suites.
8. Something special for fitness fanatics
While a walk in Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks is a great way to stay in shape during a vacation, a power walk before a park opens to the public is a special treat. The early-morning Get Up and Go Power Walk through Disney California Adventure Park and Fitness Fusion class at the outdoor fireplace at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa are open to guests at all three hotels.
9. See more with a tour
The Happiest Hotel on Earth tour at the Disneyland Hotel teaches guests about the history and heritage of the hotel, while the Art of the Craft tour at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa shows the influence of the Arts and Crafts Movement on the hotel. These tours are complimentary and available on select days to all guests, including those not staying at a Disneyland Resort hotel, though reservations are encouraged.
10. Time for a bedtime story
Everyone loves a good story — and there’s nothing quite like having your own personal storyteller at bedtime. Guests cuddle up with blankets and gather in the rocking chairs around the stone fireplace in the lobby of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa to hear Tales from the Hearth. It’s a great way for the whole family to wind down after a day at the parks. But if you miss it, no fear: just turn to the designated channel on your TV at any of the three Disneyland Resort hotels to hear Disney’s Princess Story Time. What better way to have sweet dreams?
Special thanks to my fellow cast member, Madeline Des Jardins, for providing these great tips!
What better way to begin a new year than with a visit to the Disneyland Resort? If you’re planning a vacation to the Happiest Place on Earth between January and March, I’ve got some great offers to share with you!
First, you can save up to 25 percent on premium rooms at Disneyland Resort hotels on select nights, Sunday through Thursday, for travel from January 4 – February 12, 2015.
If your travel plans fall later in the winter, you can save up to 20 percent on premium rooms at Disneyland Resort hotels on select nights, Sunday through Thursday, for travel from February 13 – March 26, 2015.
To take advantage of these savings, be sure to book today through February 12, 2015. You can make reservations online here.
*Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room at the same hotel for select Sunday through Thursday nights between 1/04/15 – 03/26/15. Book from 10/29/15 through 02/12/15, with travel completed by 03/27/15. 25% savings available on Premium, Deluxe and Woods/Garden/Courtyard rooms; select Concierge rooms; and Paradise, Artisan and Regal suites for travel between 01/04/15 to 2/12/15 and 20% savings available on Premium, Deluxe and Woods/Garden/Courtyard rooms; select Concierge rooms; and Paradise, Artisan and Regal suites for travel between 02/13/15 to 3/26/15. Ask about savings in other room types. Not valid on previously booked rooms. Advance reservations required. Subject to availability as the number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Excludes applicable fees and taxes. Limit two (2) rooms per reservation and five (5) people maximum per room. Not valid in combination with any other hotel discounts or offers. Subject to restrictions and change without notice. Separate Theme Park admission required to enjoy the Parks.
Winter is just around the corner and what better way to escape the cold weather than with a tropical vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, in Ko Olina, Hawai`i? If that is not tempting enough, the longer you stay and enjoy snorkeling at Rainbow Reef or relaxing at the infinity pool in Ka Maka Landing this winter, the more you’ll save! Take a look at the video below and you’ll see why Aulani has become a favorite destination for families around the world.
Starting today, book a 4-night stay at Aulani and enjoy the 4th night free with a complimentary breakfast at the Ulu Cafe! Click here to learn more. Or if you’re thinking your keiki will need more time at Aunty’s Beach House, our signature complimentary kids club, or you’ll need an extra day at Laniwai Spa, enjoy 30% off a 5-night or more stay – plus complimentary breakfast at Ulu Cafe. Click here to learn more.
You can book either of these special offers October 9, 2014, through February 23, 2015, for most nights January 4, 2015, through March 23, 2015. Visit www.DisneyAulani.com or call 866-443-4763 for more information.
*Stay 4 nights and get the fourth night free with daily breakfast offer for stays of four consecutive nights. Save 30% with daily breakfast offer for stays of five or more consecutive nights. All stays must be booked between 10/9/14 and 2/23/15 inclusive, with all nights between 1/4/15 and 3/23/15. 30% savings based on the non-discounted price of the same room. Number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited, and room availability may vary by dates of stay. Package includes daily breakfast for all Guests booked per room per night of your package stay. Breakfast is only redeemable at Ulu Cafe during normal breakfast operating hours, and includes one entree and one coffee or fresh rotating juice. Breakfast entitlements may not be redeemed for cash in whole or in part, sold separately, transferred or refunded and will expire at midnight on package departure date. Excludes Resort fees and taxes. Not valid in combination with any other discounts or offers. Offers exclude suites and 3-bedroom Grand Villas. Additional per-adult charges may apply if more than two adults per room. Limit two rooms per reservation and subject to room occupancy limitations. Advance reservations required. Subject to additional restrictions and changes without notice.
Today is the first day of fall, and here at Walt Disney World Resort that means it’s the official start of a whole new season of fun.
Here are 10 reasons that fall is a great time to visit our parks.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties – This special after-hours Halloween party at Magic Kingdom Park is a must-do during a fall visit. Bring your Halloween costumes, get ready to trick-or-treat and expect to see some amazing Halloween entertainment and fireworks! More details on this offering here.
Villain’s Sinister Soiree - Available only on Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party nights, guests can book this special package that offers a wicked good time that includes VIP viewing for the parade and fireworks, as well as an exclusive dessert party that features some of your favorite Disney villains, musical entertainment and some delectable treats. The package costs $99 per person and more details can be found here.
Pumpkins! (And Generally Amazing Fall Decor) - Fall at Magic Kingdom Park offers up some amazing photo opportunities, as our photography team showed in this blog post earlier this month. What I love most are the pumpkins along Main Street, U.S.A., which each feature their own unique design. Take a moment to check them out.
Haunted Mansion Merchandise Shop Set To Debut - This fall will see the debut of a new dedicated merchandise shop that Haunted Mansion fans are guaranteed to love. Steven Miller offered a sneak peek at some of the items that will be available at the shop in this post. Stay tuned for more on the shop’s opening.
Epcot International Food & Wine Festival - Each night through November 10, Epcot will come alive with food and fun thanks to the return of one of our most popular events, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. This year, 25 marketplaces will show off the talents of 270 chefs, including some of Disney’s finest, as well as some celeb chefs.
Celebrity Chef Appearances - This year’s festival will feature appearances by celeb chefs Jamie Deen, “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro and Allen Susser, among others.
Eat To The Beat Concert Series - While we’re talking about fall fun at Epcot, the Eat to the Beat concert series is already underway with several new acts – including Fuel, Jim Brickman, Los Lonely Boys and David Cook – in the lineup. (Concerts are included in park admission).
Special Fall Treats -Even snacks are dressed up for the holiday, with new Maleficent cups, Zero popcorn buckets and more now appearing in parks.
Fall Savings on Resort Rooms - Guests visiting Walt Disney World Resort this fall can save up to 30 percent on rooms at select Disney Resort hotels, including Deluxe Villa Resort rooms and Deluxe Resort rooms. This offer is valid for stays most nights October 4 through November 25, and November 29 through December 23, 2014 and must be booked by October 3, 2014. (Some restrictions apply). To book, visit DisneyWorld.com/fall or call 407-WDW-1896.
What’s your favorite part of visiting Walt Disney World Resort during the fall season? Tell us in the comments section below.
Fall is one of my favorite times of year at the Disneyland Resort. The warm, sunny Southern California summer has given way to the slightly cooler but still just as sunny Southern California fall. And with Halloween Time, through October 31, and Holidays at the Disneyland Resort, from November 13 through January 6, added to the mix it’s the perfect time of year to plan a weekday getaway!
Beginning today, you can save 20 percent on premium rooms at a Disneyland Resort hotel for stays on select Sunday through Thursday nights, from October 26-December 18. To take advantage of this offer, book travel through November 19.
So plan your fall getaway now! Click here to book.
Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room at the same hotel for select Sunday through Thursday nights between 10/26/14 – 12/18/14. Book from 9/17/14 through 11/19/14, with travel completed by 12/19/14. Blockout dates of 10/31/14, 11/1/14, 11/7/14, 11/8/14, 11/13/14 through 11/16/14 and 11/21/14 through 12/13/14 apply. 20% savings available on Premium, Deluxe and Woods/Garden/Courtyard rooms; select Concierge rooms; and Paradise, Artisan and Regal suites. Ask about savings in other room types. Not valid on previously booked rooms. Advance reservations required. Subject to availability as the number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited. Excludes applicable fees and taxes. Limit two (2) rooms per reservation and five (5) people maximum per room. Not valid in combination with any other hotel discounts or offers. Subject to restrictions and change without notice. Separate Theme Park admission required to enjoy the Parks.
UPDATE: We are no longer accepting applications for the Disney Parks Moms Panel. I want to thank everyone who applied and shared their passion for Disney Parks. Be sure to check back right here on the Disney Parks Blog for future updates on the Disney Parks Moms Panel.
In my many years with Disney Parks, I’ve been fortunate to work on many amazing projects. One project near and dear to my heart will always be the creation and launch of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel in 2008.
The panel, made up of everyday moms and dads from around the globe, have answered hundreds of thousands of questions over the years – covering just about every Disney vacation topic imaginable. Their knowledge of Disney Parks and their passion to help our guests shines in their answers. In fact, you’ve met quite a few of them here on the Disney Parks Blog.
The panel became so popular that several years ago it was expanded to include other Disney Parks vacation experiences. The name was officially changed to the Disney Parks Moms Panel.
September has traditionally been a special month for the Disney Parks Moms Panel. It’s when we search for new panelists to join the team for the next calendar year. It’s a rigorous and thorough process, consisting of multiple rounds, that determines who will be selected to represent the panel and answer vacation questions from guests around the globe.
Thousands will apply for a small number of spots on the panel. But please, don’t let that be a deterrent. The most recent panelists to join the team include several who have applied every year, a few who applied for the very first time, and those in between. Dreams really can come true.
This year, applications will open at 10 a.m. ET on Tuesday, September 2, 2014, and will remain open until noon ET on Friday, September 5, 2014.
If you know a mom, dad or grandparent who is your “go-to” person for advice about a Disney Parks vacation and loves to help others plan their trips, encourage them to apply for the Disney Parks Moms Panel. (Be sure to check the rules and regulations on the application to insure eligibility.)
More information about becoming a panelist can be found here.
Have you checked out the new Disneyland.com on your mobile phone? This all-new mobile experience puts your entire Disneyland Resort visit right in the palm of your hand with features like dining reservations, attraction information and – my favorite new features – the new Disney eTicket and even prepaid parking. This complete planning tool is accessible through your device’s web browser; there are no apps to download.
Let’s start with planning. The new Disneyland.com mobile site allows you to book hotel rooms, make dining reservations, and purchase park tickets right on your mobile device. You can even add options like transportation and other area attractions. Driving to the Disneyland Resort? You can also purchase pre-paid parking vouchers to make your arrival even easier.
Once your travel dates are selected, you can research park hours, entertainment schedules and even find height requirements and information on your favorite Disneyland Resort attractions.
And here’s the best part. Once your tickets are purchased and you’re ready to begin your Disneyland or Disney California Adventure park visit, you simply scan your Disney eTicket directly from your mobile device right at the park turnstile. No need to print anything or visit the ticket booth!
So get started planning your next Disneyland Resort visit on your mobile device today!