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Your Guide to Picking The Best Time To Visit Walt Disney World

Our biggest question received, when is the best time to visit Disney World? My suggestion is to consider the following things and then decide when you should visit the most Magical Place on Earth!

  1. Your children’s schedule. I know you are always busy with your children’s activities throughout the year. You should consider which weeks are the most convenient to travel with them. Keep in mind school attendance and test requirements. If you do not have worry about this, move to step #2.
  2. Are you dreaming of the sweet treats and international food cuisine options? If you said yes, then consider one of the festivals for a wide variety of amazing foods, including treats, and plan your dates accordingly. Dates will vary for each, but the months will stay close to the same.
  • Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Arts January to February
  • Taste of Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival March to July
  • Epcot International Food & Wine Festival July to December
  • Epcot International Festival of the Holidays November to December
  1. Consider the Crowds! When the schools are out on break, families are eager to visit. The major holidays are also busier because many guests want to celebrate the holidays together in Disney World! If you can visit when the schools are in session and not during the holidays, you will see lower crowds. My favorite months are January, February, March, October (typically hot but I love fall), November, and December.
  2. Pricing and Promotions! Reflect on #3 and consider the slower times because this will be when you will see the best pricing and promotions. The easiest way to break it down, Disney will use the lower pricing and promotions to fill the rooms and resorts. Have you ever wondered why your resort was not included in a promotion? The promotions are going to be used for a set number of rooms at each resort that is need of being filled. The resorts that sleep families of five are limited on promotions because there is a high demand.
  3. Final thoughts to consider:
  • If you love the holidays, November and December are for you!
  • January and February tend to see ride closures due to refurbishments.
  • Want cooler temperatures? Consider November through February; March can also see nice temperatures.
  • You can visit Disney World at any time. The important thing to remember is thoughtful planning is important to create magical memories.

Our agency visits Disney World every 4-6 weeks so we can provide our clients with the most current information. We would love to help you plan your next memorable vacation to Happiest Place on Earth! If you have any questions or want to reach out for a quote, feel free to reach out to me at tammy@fairytalesandsunsets.com

Magic Kingdom
Disney After Hours Boo Bash

Should You Attend Disney After Hours Boo Bash or Disney Very Merriest After Hours?

We just returned from Disney World and attended the second Disney After Hours Boo Bash Party. The party hours were 9:30pm to 12:30am. Here are our thoughts on it and how you can decide if the After-Hour events are right for you.

Disney After Hours Boo Bash was so much fun! We experienced lower crowds, short wait times, our favorite character cavalcades, and of course Mickey snacks and drinks. The DJ Dance Party was hopping with guests having a ghoulish time!

The Character Cavalcades included:

  • Mickey’s Happy Halloween
  • Disney Villains
  • Jack’s Nightmare
  • Maleficent’s Fiery Prowl

The Disney Photopass® were taking magical shots. What a great way to celebrate with your family and friends by capturing those magical moments! Another Disney fan favorite is having access to purchase exclusive After Hour Disney merchandise. We have learned over the years that when you see something at Disney you want, buy it then or you will miss out!

The Trick-Or-Treat locations were well appointed throughout the park. Don’t worry, they hand out bags at the beginning in case you forget to bring your own bag. There is also a teal-colored bag for our allergy friendly friends. You grab this at the start and at each treat location, they will give you tokens you will cash in at the end of night.

Let’s not forget the Specialty Food and Beverages.

  • Mocha Chocolate Chip Frozen Drink- perfect to keep you going until the end of the night!
  • Apple Ginger Dale Frozen Drink- frozen apple cider with ginger ale, topped with Twix candy bar pieces, and whip cream
  • Prince John Sucker Frozen Drink- Tart green apple lemonade slush topped with a ring pop
  • +18703150225 Maleficent Churro- extra sweetness with chocolate cookie crumbles, purple icing, and green and purple sprinkles.

Now that we shared our Boo Bash experience, here is our take on the Disney Very Merriest After Hours. This event runs from November 8th through December 21st on select nights and begins at 9pm to 1am.

First, we understand the price is more expensive. Disney added an extra hour to the Merriest After Hour event, so you have 4 hours of holiday magic and fun!  It is important to remember this is not your traditional seasonal parties, it is an after-hours event.

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade will have your favorite Disney characters and Santa Claus.

Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks Show will light up the sky, plus you will get to see the regular nighttime firework show, Disney Enchantment!

 If you have any questions on this event, feel free to email us at travel@fairytalesandsunsets.com

 Important note: you can enter the park at 7pm with your After Hours ticket. When the party starts, you can experience lower wait times, enjoy sweet treats, magical photo opportunities, plus see some of your favorite Disney characters.

 We think both After Hour events are worth the cost and would do it again. We visit Disney World every six to eight weeks so that we can stay on top of all the changes for our clients. Let us help you plan your next memorable Magical vacation!

Click here to watch Disney Villains Halloween Cavalcade

Disney After Hours Boo Bash
Disney After Hours Boo Bash

What You Need to Know Before Booking Your Next Walt Disney World Vacation

Hello, I visit Walt Disney World multiple times a year. Since the pandemic, I have focused on going at least every other month to stay up to date on the new changes. Here are my best takeaways for you before you start planning.

  1. This is the most important; Park Pass Reservations! I have seen more times than I care to admit guests arriving to Disney with no Park Pass Reservations and being denied entry! This is required to enter the Disney theme parks in Orlando, with a valid theme park admission ticket. Without a Park Pass Reservation, you will NOT be allowed to enter the theme park.
  2. We highly recommend booking with a travel agency that specializes in Disney Destinations. You do not want to trust your vacation to anyone that doesn’t stay up to date on the current changes. Why not use a travel designer that knows the destination inside and out? Put your tax dollars back into your community and support small business.
  3. Temperature Checks: You will have your temperature checked every time you enter a Walt Disney World theme park; even if you leave and come back. You will also have your temperature checked before entering Disney Springs.
  4. Face Masks! They are required on Disney property, including the theme parks and Disney Springs. Anyone ages 2 and up must wear a face mask. Do yourself a favor before going and find one you prefer and bring a few extras so you can swap out during your stay.
  5. Your Resort Pool. The pools have capacity limits so you may have to wait to swim if your pool is at capacity when you arrive.
  6. Memory Maker Photos. Disney’s policy is noted that if anyone in your photo has removed their face mask, you will not be able to download that photo. This is their policy so if you do not wish to follow their guidelines, then we recommend you do NOT purchase Memory Maker.  You can take an outdoor photo while stationary while practicing social distancing without your mask.

I hope you found this helpful. If you have any questions, please let us know. We specialize in Disney Destinations and would love to help you plan your next Magical Vacation!

We provide a day-by-day itinerary, provide insider tips, book your dining reservations, and assist before, during, and even after you travel should you need us.

Should You Rent A Car For Your Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando Vacation?

There are many ways to get around Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort. We have used the theme parks transportation, Uber/Lyft, and renting a car. Renting a car for your Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando vacation is an easy process, and probably our favorite.

Once you exit your plane, you will head to luggage on Level 2. Once you grab your luggage, head down to Level 1 and go to the car rental desk. There are several to choose from and we booked Alamo. We had to provide our return flight information or pay a $300 deposit. Once you complete the rental process, you will exit the airport and go to the crosswalk for your vehicle. The staff will tell you the process to get your vehicle.

There are a few important things to remember.

  1. You will pay a nightly parking fee at your resort.
  2. You will be billed for toll roads. (Usually, a month later and will be separate charges from the rental)
  3. You can park for free at your Walt Disney World theme park because you have paid for parking at your resort.
  4. You will pay for parking at Universal Theme Parks, even if you are staying at resort.
  5. Construction around the theme park areas is always evolving and a consistent change. Please know the area you are driving and remember safety.

Pro Tip: Always do a video and take photos with your phone to confirm the condition of the vehicle when you picked it up. Keep these until after you return the rental.  

Yes, You Can Honeymoon at Walt Disney World too!

We have sent many couples to Walt Disney World for their honeymoon. Why do they love it so much? Well, here are the top reasons straight from our clients.

Romantic Resorts

There are several resorts at Walt Disney World that are romantic, so we will share a few of our favorites.

Port Orleans- French Quarter is a nice smaller quaint resort themed after New Orleans! You will enjoy the lovely boat ride to Disney Springs, a horse-drawn carriage ride around the resort, or an evening eating and drinking around 11 countries in Epcot, romance is abundantly sprinkled all around.

The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is a favorite for honeymooners too! The deluxe accommodations are perfectly situated around the resort with access to the Monorail Loop and fabulous views of Magic Kingdom. All brides will feel like a Princess at this whimsical resort.

Theme Parks

Contrary to belief, the theme parks are not just for kids. Each park has a uniqueness that makes it special and we recommend you experience all four.

  • Magic Kingdom is a playground for adults with Peter Pan’s Flight taking you back to a favorite storybook or laughing your way through the ride on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad together!
  • Epcot is perfect for romance around The World Showcase. You have 11 countries to dine, shop, explore, and depending on the time of the year you may even experience one of Epcot’s famous festivals! Soarin’ Around the World or zoom in your race car on Test Track, the fun and romance possibilities are endless!
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios is full of excitement! You will make memories together while riding through Hollywood on Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith or entering the Twilight Zone together on The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™! You can also geek out at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and experience the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run or Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom celebrates life and animals! Explore Pandora-The World of Avatar and fly on a banshee or float the boat on Na’vi River Journey!

Dining

Dining around Walt Disney World can be an amazing experience. California Grill offers gourmet dining with panoramic views of Cinderella’s Castle in Magic Kingdom. The BOATHOUSE®: Great Food, Waterfront Dining, Dream Boats™ is another favorite signature dining including water views and the opportunity to experience the amphicars for a fee. We offer many great recommendations for our clients and help with all the planning.

For your Walt Disney World honeymoon, you can have it all: activities, spectacular dining options, and romantic accommodations.  Contact one of our romance specialists today for your honeymoon or anniversary trip!

Please note some resorts and restaurants are not available during the pandemic.

Quick Service Mobile Ordering from Your My Disney Experience App

Walt Disney World Quick Service dining locations now require mobile ordering on the My Disney Experience app or by using a QR Code.  We wanted to provide you with step by step instructions as well as some useful tips.

First, make sure you have downloaded the My Disney Experience app and set up your account.

Step #1: Open the app, click the (+) at the bottom of the screen and then click “Reserve Dining”

You will want to have your phone setting to allow the app to use your current location. This will populate restaurant options that are close by.


Step #2: Select the restaurant time frame you want to pick up your food.

Step #3: You can click the “View Menu” for options and then order your food.

Step #4: Review your order or modify If you need to make changes.

Step #5: Click the “I’m here, Prepare my Order” so they will begin to prepare your food. Remember, your food is prepared fresh.

You will see this screen next. You should receive a notification on your phone letting you know the order is ready for pickup. However, we have found notifications are not always initiated.

Tip: We recommend you keep the app open so you can see when the order is ready or keep checking the status.

Step #6: Once your order is ready, see the cast member at the front of the food court. There is one entrance in the food court and one exit so you will have to follow the directions of the cast member and the arrows. This is for your safety.

Step #7: Look for the number on the floor that matches your pickup number. You will see a bag with your name and order information on it. Pick up your food and then move to the next counter for drinks (bottled water will be in your bag), napkins, condiments, and silverware.

We hope you found this beneficial and please let us know if you have any questions.

We would be honored to help you plan your next Magical Disney vacation. Email us at travel@fairytalesandsunsets.com for a complimentary quote!

Travel Day or Park Day?

Should we visit a Theme Park on the day we arrive and/or the day we travel home?  It’s a question we are asked quite frequently.  We understand you want to get the most of out of your money and your trip.  So, do you hit the ground running or do you pace yourself?

I have found through both personal experience and listening to my client’s testimonials, unless you are local to Walt Disney World Resort or Universal Orlando, I would recommend declaring both your first and last days at the destination, a travel day. 

To put it simply, travel days are hard at any age.  In most circumstances, you have an early flight to catch.  Then you have the hustle and bustle of getting through TSA and your flight to your destination.  With family in tow you know that someone is bound to be hungry as well.  What should the plan be when you finally arrive at your resort? 

I find this is the best time to take a rest, then explore your resort and see all they have to offer.  Take a swim in the pool to refresh and rejuvenate the tired eyes, grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants on site to keep yourself and your family full and happy.  Perhaps enjoy a movie under the stars to unwind and relax from your day of travel if your resort has that feature.

You can also choose to visit Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort or CityWalk at Universal Orlando.  Both of these are shopping/dining districts where you do not need a ticket to visit.  There are many entertainment venues built in as well that you can visit to keep the family happy.

Once your trip is over, most everyone in the family is exhausted.  You will have walked what will seem like a million miles.  You may just be looking forward to getting back home and seeing your family pet that you’ve had to leave behind.  Some choose to make this last day a travel day so that they can slowly begin the “back to reality” routine.

However, there are many of you that still want to squeeze in those last-minute items that you either didn’t get to or would like to revisit.  If you decide to make a go of it, please be sure you factor in the following things.  Your transportation to the airport from your resort will pick you up anywhere between 2-3 hours before your flight home.  Also, think of everything after you land at home, grabbing bags, getting home and settled.

In conclusion, you as a family have to decide what is right for you.  Only you know your family and what they can handle.  If you are rockstars and can keep going without skipping a beat – more power to you!  If you’re the average family, like mine, I think leaving your travel days as such are the way to go! 

Christine Ruszkay has over 3 + years specializing in all Disney destinations, Cruises, and Universal Orlando.  Her joy of planning your vacation comes from her passion to help others experience the happiness and excitement while making memories on your AMAZING trip!  Her concierge services offer insider tips and tricks, plus helping you maximize your time with your family to experience what matters most to you!  

Walt Disney World

What You Need to Know about Walt Disney World’s Reopening

We stayed onsite for the reopening of the Walt Disney World theme parks. There are so many things we want to share with you. First, my walk down Main Street U.S. A. in Magic Kingdom was overwhelmingly emotional. The cast members clapped us in the park like a pep rally and shouted welcome back and welcome home. Being a part of this was truly Magical and heartfelt! If you want to view those videos, click here! 

Here are the most important things we learned:

  • Face Masks are required in all areas of Walt Disney World, including the resorts. You can stop to eat or drink and remove your mask as long as you are social distancing. Find a spot away from everyone.
  • Before entering the theme parks, you must go through the temperature screening tents and have your temperature checked.
  • You can leave the park and come back in the same day. However, you will have to have your temperature checked each time you return. Remember, no park hopping is allowed at this time.
  • Security checkpoints are different. Currently, the only thing you place in the bins are umbrellas, metal drink containers, and aerosol cans. Everything else you keep on you and walk through the screening point.
  • You scan your Magicbands but you do NOT use the finger scanner anymore.
  • Check your park maps for “relaxation stations” in each park. These are mask free zones and are cool comfortable areas to take a break.
  • There are hand sanitizer dispensers throughout each park, plus at the entrance and exit of attractions and shows.
  • Be patient please. They must stop certain attractions and clean them. If you are waiting in line, this is a fast-thorough process. Remember, there are no FastPass+ for rides or attractions currently.
  • There is only one entrance and one exit at the food courts, attractions, and stores. Follow the flow for safety and physical distancing. 
  • There are Disney PhotoPass photographers. You will have to wear your mask for photos. You will also not receive Memory Maker photos if you remove your mask during any ride.
  • You MUST use the My Disney Experience app to order food at quick service locations or use the QR code. I find the My Disney Experience app is easiest.
  • All restaurants, quick service locations, and snack kiosk are running on limited menus. Not all snack and quick service locations are open as well. We will have more on the dining situation in another blog post for you.

We hope this helps all of our great travelers! Let one of our travel designers plan your next Magical vacation! Get your quote here: 

When should you book your Walt Disney World Vacation?

Have you ever been curious about how far in advance you should consider booking your Walt Disney World vacation with us? We suggest at least seven months before your vacation start date. Why? This gives you a better advantage for the best room category, dining reservations, and FastPass+ selections.  

We suggest the following tips to help you decide on when you should book your next Magical vacation with Fairytales and Sunsets Travel.

  • We suggest you book at least seven months in advance.

  • When you book your Disney vacation in advance, you can book your dining reservations 180+ days in advance. This is a significant part of your vacation planning, especially if you are searching for character meals.

  • As a Disney onsite guest, you can book your FastPass reservations 60 days in advance before you ever leave home. This is crucial for those hard to get FastPass+ selections!

  • Layaway Plan! Yes, you can book your Walt Disney World vacation using the layaway plan! How? You can confirm your Disney reservation with us for a minimum down payment of $200.00 per room. You can make payments of any amount at anytime as long as you are paid in full at least 30 days in advance before your vacation start date.

We hope this helps you decide on when to book your next Magical vacation!

Contact us for a quote for your next Walt Disney World vacation and enjoy our complimentary concierge planning services. Simply click the “Ready to Discover Your Vacation Dreams?” below.   

Rainy Day at Disney

One of the commonly asked questions when it comes to Disney is “What do you do when it rains at Disney?”   The answer is quite simple, “you still go to the park!”  Rain drives many people away from the parks, so this is a prime window for you, The Rain Warrior, to suit up and enjoy the short wait times.

This exact scenario happened to me and my family last December, only it wasn’t just rain, it was a Tornado warning!!  Luckily, we were still at the resort and waited the warning out but it left us to think – what do we do? We put some bags over our socks, stuffed them in our sneakers (to keep our feet dry), put on our rain ponchos and made our way to Epcot.

Was it not the ideal weather conditions to be walking around outside?  Of course not, but did it ruin our fun? 

Nope!