Friday, February 22, 2019

Ears the News: February 22, 2019 Edition


Welcome to the latest edition of Ears the News

Brought to you by our friends at WDWMagic.com


Disney After Hours events appear to be having a surge in popularity, with two nights having recently sold out during this holiday weekend.

All Disney After Hours event tickets cost $125 + tax for advance purchase and $129 + tax for day-of purchases. Disney Vacation Club members and Annual Passholders do receive a discounted price $95 + tax.

The event gives you access to the park for three hours after regular park hours, which means nearly no wait for attractions, and you can enter the park early – at 7pm on your event night – before Disney After Hours begins. Ice cream, popcorn and non-alcoholic beverages are also included in your Disney After Hours admission, which is a separately priced ticket from daytime park admission.

Magic Kingdom Park

Event nights will run on: Nov. 26; and Dec. 3, 10, 2018; and Jan. 7, 17, 24 and 28, 2019; Feb. 7, 14, and 28, 2019; and March 7, 2019.

Tickets are currently available for Disney After Hours at Magic Kingdom Park at DisneyWorld.com/DisneyAfterHours.

Disney's Hollywood Studios 
Photo courtesy of WDWMagic.com


Attractions available include Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers and Toy Story Mania! Rockin’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror . Select quick-service food & beverage locations will also stay open for purchases throughout the night. Event nights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be: Dec. 8, 15 and 22, 2018; and Jan. 5, 12 and 19, 2019; Feb. 2, 9 and 16, 2019; March 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, 2019; and April 6 and 13, 2019.

Disney's Animal Kingdom

Attractions available include the Tree of Life Awakenings, the adventures within Pandora – The World of Avatar and more. Select quick-service food & beverage locations will remain open throughout the night for purchases. Dates at Disney’s Animal Kingdom are: Dec. 4, 12 and 18, 2018; and Jan. 8, 16, 22 and 31, 2019; and Feb. 5, 6, 12, 13, 19 and 26, 2019; and March 5, 20 and 27, 2019; and April 3, 2019.

Photo courtesy of WDWMagic.com

'Service Your Way' was introduced late last year at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels, and it can save you $10 a night, if you are prepared to lose housekeeping service.

Here is how it works:
  • At check-in, you can decline housekeeping services, and in exchange receive a $10 per night credit. Opting out of housekeeping means your room will not be cleaned and beds will not be made. 
    Photo courtesy of WDWMagic.com
  • It isn't possible to choose t which nights of your stay to opt out of - it is all or nothing.
  • Resorts where 'Service Your Way' is available include: Disney's All-Star Movies Resort, Disney's All-Star Music Resort, Disney's All-Star Sports Resort, Disney's Art of Animation Resort, Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, Disney's, Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground (Cabins), Disney's Pop Century Resort, Disney's Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter, Disney's Port Orleans Resort - Riverside
  • Housekeeping for the last night of your stay cannot be declined.
  • If you are staying in a dog-friendly room at Disney's Art of Animation Resort, Disney's Port Orleans Resort or Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground you cannot take part.
  • If you decline housekeeping, you can still dial housekeeping on the room phone to request fresh towels, garbage removal and toiletry items.
  • Daily visual room inspections will still be carried out even if you have opted out of Housekeeping.
  • Your Disney Gift Card will be sent to the email address provided at check-in, and is usually received within a few hours of check-in. 
Note that 'Service Your Way' may not be offered at all times, so check with the front desk at check-in if you want to take part in the program.

Even more changes are coming to Epcot.

To showcase these changes, Epcot will open a new Experience Center in the Odyssey Events Pavilion later this year.

According to Disney, "They will discover engaging and interactive exhibits that showcase the relentless innovation, energy and excitement driving the future of the park all throughout this unprecedented period of transformation."

“Epcot is beloved for its focus on imagination, innovation, fun, food and family,” said Kalogridis. “It’s a timeless place where the real is made fantastic through the magic of Disney. It has a very bright future ahead and the best part is that we’ve only just begun to dream.”

Disney has announced that a new Play Pavilion will be coming to Epcot's Future World in the former home of Wonders of Life. 

Concept Art courtesy of Disney
This new space will be devoted to playful fun and feature an innovative city that’ll come to life under the dome of the un-named pavilion previously known as Wonders of Life. The pavilion’s city will be bursting with interactive experiences, your favorite Disney characters, hands-on activities and engaging entertainment when it opens just in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort.

“This innovative, new pavilion is beyond anything we’ve ever created and is completely unique to Epcot,” said Zach Riddley, portfolio executive, Walt Disney Imagineering. “Built on the power of play, it introduces an immersive and interactive ‘city’ where you can explore, create, and interact with some of your favorite Disney characters. This is an experience worthy of our bold vision for Epcot – and another signature element of our transformation.”

Epcot’s main entrance will be getting a makeover as well. The plaza will welcome guests with new pathways, sweeping green spaces and a newly reimagined fountain.

This new design will pay homage to the original park entrance with fresh takes on classic elements. As part of this new entry experience, Leave A Legacy photos will move into a new setting just outside the park’s gateway. While the photos will be staying, the granite columns will not be part of the new display.
Concept Art courtesy of Disney
“Epcot has always been, and always will be, an optimistic celebration of the real world that is brought to life through the magic of Disney,” said George A. Kalogridis, president, Walt Disney World Resort. “The exciting plans we have on the horizon will honor Epcot’s rich legacy of creativity and innovation while continuing to exceed the expectations of our guests for decades to come.”

Additional significant redevelopment will begin between Spaceship Earth and World Showcase Promenade. Disney has said that more details about the transformation of this area will be announced at a later date.

Work is planned to begin on the new entrance Spring 2019, with construction taking place in phases.

Epcot will open a new Experience Center in the Odyssey Events Pavilion later this year to showcase the upcoming changes to Epcot.

According to Disney, "They will discover engaging and interactive exhibits that showcase the relentless innovation, energy and excitement driving the future of the park all throughout this unprecedented period of transformation."

“Epcot is beloved for its focus on imagination, innovation, fun, food and family,” said Kalogridis. “It’s a timeless place where the real is made fantastic through the magic of Disney. It has a very bright future ahead and the best part is that we’ve only just begun to dream.”

Walt Disney World has introduced updates to its FastPass+ service aimed at reducing abuse of the service.

If a FastPass+ reservation is made in a timeframe that is dependent on a resort reservation, and that resort reservation is cancelled, so is the FastPass+.

Some guests have been abusing the system by making a resort reservation, then making FastPass+ reservations using the resort guest 60 day pre-arrival window, and then cancelling the resort reservation. This will no longer be possible.

If you do have FastPass+ selections that are dependent on a resort reservation and you cancel, you will have a 2 day grace period to create another booking to retain those FastPass+ selections.

Another change effective this week limits resort hotel guests using the 60 day pre arrival booking window to a FastPass+ period as long as their resort stay. If you have a ticket longer than your resort stay, you will need to wait until the 30 day pre arrival booking window to make additional FastPass+ reservations. With a 14 day ticket being the longest available and using a 60 day pre arrival booking window, this puts the maximum FastPass+ window at 74 days out. Exceptions to this are guests taking part in the chargeable Theme Park Extra plan, which has a 90 day pre arrival booking window.


Looking to plan your next trip to Walt Disney World? Contact the agents at Kingdom Konsultant Travel to help you plan your dream vacation. Email vacations@kingdomkonsultant.com for a free quote today.

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