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The Disney World Park Reservation System – A DVC Duo Guide

The Disney World Park Reservation System – A DVC Duo Guide

Ready, set, let’s reserve! We’re back with another one of our infamous DVC Duo guides. This time around we’re walking through the new Disney World Park Reservation System. It’s the system every Disneyphile has waiting to learn more about. On June 22, 2020, Disney launched the new system for guests with Disney Resort reservations and park tickets through September 2021. When the parks reopen in mid-July there will be a variety of changes, with the biggest one being the Disney Park Reservation System. For more details around the other changes, we recommend checking our reopening guide. Next up, our DVC Duo guide to the new Disney World Park Reservation System!

The Essentials

Be prepared, right Scar? With the new Disney World Park Reservation System, it’s all about dotting the “I’s” and crossing those “T’s”. Prior to making a park reservation you’ll want to make the following is complete.

  • Create a My Disney Experience account – for more on that, please reference the following.
  • Link your Disney Resort Reservation and Park Tickets – (if you have Disney Resort reservations, no required)
  • Make sure everyone in your group is linked within My Disney Experience under Family and Friends

At the time of writing Disney has stated the following for availability of the new system as it related to when guests can begin reserveing entrance to the parks.

  • June 22, 2020 – Guests with confirmed Disney resort reservations and park tickets
  • June 26, 2020 – Annual Passholders without Disney resort reservations
  • June 28, 2020 – Existing ticket holders without Disney resort reservations

It should be noted that Disney has said a Disney resort reservation does not guarantee entry into the parks. At this time, Disney World Annual Passholder can do one or the other, not both:

  • Make Park Reservations in conjunction with their Walt Disney World Resort Stay
  • Make Park Reservations as just an Annual Passholder (max of 3 days at one-time)
Splash screen for My Disney Experience

The Set-Up

Here is what we used to login to the Disney World Park Reservation System. Through our laptop with used the incognito option within Chrome. Disney has stated at the initial launch of the new system the only option would be the desktop version of My Disney Experience. We have heard through a variety of sources that Disney did say the app version of My Disney Experience will have the new Disney World Park Reservation System as well. Additionally, we received confirmation from a variety of Disney certified travel agents that they received the same information from Disney during their training. At this time, we don’t have an exact date to when the app option will be launched.

Step By Step

Here are the exact steps we took to in using the Disney World Park Reservation System. There is more than one way to access the system, either through My Plans within My Disney Experience or Disney Park Reservation home page. We found it successful to use the My Plans option.

My Disney Experience Drop Down menu

1.) Click on My Plans under the My Disney Experience dropdown menu

2.) Enter your username and password

The pink castle from the Disney World Park Reservation System

3. You may receive a pink castle load screen (do not refresh or click back, just wait) – This may or may not happen

entering the Disney World Park Reservation System

4. You will see the following screen. Click on view availability.

Waiting room for Disney World Park Reservation System

5. Next you may see the following hold screen. You will want to wait here. Do not click back or refresh the screen. – This may not happen

create your party on the Disney World Park Reservation System

6. Next, you will see the create your party screen. You’ll want to select all guests you would like to make a reservation for. It should be noted that all guests will need a valid park ticket linked to My Disney Experience. Select your party then click Next.

calendar for Disney World Park Reservation System

7. Your next screen will be where you can select the day and park you would like to make a reservation at. Select your days, then click Next.

confirmation screen from the Disney World Park Reservation System

8. The last screen will be a confirmation screen where you will be asked to check off the COVID-19 waiver. Click confirm, and you’re all set.

Our Thoughts

Once you’re in, it works very smoothly. On the first day of the Disney World Park Reservation System Disney faced many challenges based on the overall demand on the platform and technology glitches. Must have of Vaneloppe von Schweetz, otherwise known as the glitch. Our biggest recommendation is making sure everything is set-up correctly in My Disney Experience. It took us a lot of tries to get through, but once we did we were able to make our reservations in a matter of minutes. We will continue to provide updates on the Disney World Park Reservation System as they are available.

Best Magic Kingdom Souvenirs Under $15 – A Main Street USA Edition

Best Magic Kingdom Souvenirs Under $15 – A Main Street USA Edition

It’s a stroll down memory lane! In the DVC Duo house, our favorite souvenirs always brings back wonderful memories of past trips and experiences. You know what we’re talking about, it’s those souvenirs you look at and are immediately transported back to a moment from a trip. Hidden within Main Street USA are some of the best Magic Kingdom souvenirs you’ll find for under $15. The time has come to seek out our top 3 best Magic Kingdom souvenirs within Main Street USA. Strap on your Magicbands and let’s go shopping!

It’s Like Magic

You remember that card game right? Magic the card game? Oh no, we may be showing our age. Let’s try that again, you know Sorcerer Mickey, right? Of course, you do, we all know him! Well, our first stop on our tour of the best Magic Kingdom souvenirs on Main Street USA brings us to the Firehouse. Located on the left-hand side when entering the park, next to Town Hall is the Firehouse and where you can pick your free souvenir. That’s right we said free. Serving as the kick-off spot for Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, the Firehouse is where you can pick up Disney inspired playing cards. Each day, the pack of cards is different, so you never know which characters you’re going to get.

To get the playing cards all you need to do is head into the Firehouse and ask to play Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. A cast member will hand you a pack of playing cards and you begin the game right there. It takes about 5 minutes to complete the first stop of the game. From there you can decide if you would like to continue playing throughout your day in the Magic Kingdom or just enjoy the playing cards.

Passholder Insights: Playing Sorcerers of Magic Kingdom is a fun way to take a break from the rides and discover different areas of the parks.

Mail Time

Who doesn’t like to get mail? You know we do. Our next stop on the best Magic Kingdom souvenirs on Main Street USA (wow, say that 5 times fast. The highest of high fives if you did!) is hop, skip, and jump away from our first stop. Just outside the Firehouse is a mailbox on the light pole. And, it’s more than just amazing themeing. That’s right, it’s a fully functional mailbox. Every night a Disney cast member collects the mail from within the mailbox and sends it off to the United States Postal Service.

A great souvenir is to pick up a postcard from the Emporium and mail it to yourself, postmarked Main Street USA. To make this happen you’ll want to do the following steps. Step one, pick up a postcard. Step two, head over to Town Hall, which is next to the Firehouse. Step three, ask the member to purchase a stamp and for the postcard to be stamped. Step four, mail it out via the light pole mailbox. For us, this is more than just a postcard as it’s the overall experience within the park and a great reminder of your trip when you get the postcard in the mail. We’ve also been known to mailout family member’s birthday cards and even Christmas cards from the parks.

Passholder Insights: In our experience, it can take up to three weeks for a card to arrive at its destination. If you’re mailing anything time sensitive you’ll want take this into consideration.

the silhouette cart is one of the best Magic Kingdom Souvenirs

Scissor Please!

Scissors? What do scissors have to do with souvenirs? Everything! Our last stop on our best Magic Kingdom souvenirs on Main Street USA is a classic. How classic? This spot has been part of the parks since the early days. Walking up Main Street USA towards the castle you’ll see a little alleyway off to your right. Within this alley is a cart that specializes in hand-cut silhouettes. For $12 an artist will create a silhouette in matter seconds. Ok, maybe more like minutes, but it’s definitely faster than you would expect.

This Disney tradition has been carried on for years and is so popular that Disney has expanded the experience beyond Main Street USA to Liberty Square, as well as, Disney Springs. For us, what makes the experience so memorable is the location and the memories watching the artist create silhouette right in front of you. Nate has one from when he was a child and it still hangs in his parent’s house. It is definitely a timeless souvenir!

Passholder Insights: The hand cut silhouettes are not limited to just one person, as their are options for multiple people as well. It’s a great way to mark a special trip or occasion.

Our Thoughts

Traditionally the souvenirs that get the most attention are high priced headliners. Whether it limited edition Mickey ears or one of kinds crystal reproductions of the castle. Don’t get us wrong these souvenirs are amazing. Have you seen those hipster Mickey ears? For us, it always about the memories we create and how they transport us back to the trip. Anything can be a souvenir. We may or may not have a few coasters from Trader Sams! Alright, best Main Street USA souvenirs list is now complete, next stop? Hmm…should we go right to Tomorrowland or left to Adventureland? I think we’re going to let the suspense build!

The Reopening Of Disney World – A DVC Duo Guide

The Reopening Of Disney World – A DVC Duo Guide

Open the gates! It’s the moment every Disneyphile around the world has been waiting for, the reopening of Disney World. On March 16, 2020, Walt Disney World officially closed due to the global crisis. While the world and, we included, attended to more pressing matters, the burning question in the back every Disneyphiles mind became, when will we see the reopening of Disney World? On Wednesday, May 27, 2020, we got our answer. In this DVC Duo guide, we’re taking a look at everything we know about the reopening of Disney World. A quick read before walking through the gates!

The Dates

Yes, there’s more than one date. While the parks up the road reopened everything on June 5, 2020, Walt Disney World is taking a different approach. Some may say a more deliberate approach to reopening all the facets of the parks, resorts, and Disney extras. Below is a breakdown of the opening dates for parks and resorts.

  • June 22, 2020 – Disney Vacation Club Resorts at Walt Disney World Reopen, as well as the Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
  • July 11, 2020 – The Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom
  • July 15, 2020 – Epcot and Hollywood Studios
  • July 10, 2020 – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • July 29, 2020 – Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • August 12, 2020 – Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
  • August 24, 2020 – Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts
  • September 21, 2020 – Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • October 1, 2020 – Disney’s BoardWalk Resort
  • October 14, 2020 – Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

At the time of writing Disney has not confirmed reopening dates for the following areas of Disney World:

  • Blizzard Beach
  • Typhoon Lagoon
  • Swan and Dolphin Resorts – reservations have been canceled through July 29, 2020.

Disney Springs officially reopened on May 20, 2020, with a select number of shops and restaurants. Additional Disney owned shops and restaurants opened on May 27, 2020, with more shops and restaurants reopening each week. For a full list of what’s open, we recommend checking out the following up to date list from Blog Mickey.

UPDATE: On July 27, 2020, Disney announced changes to the reopening dates for the following resorts. 

  • October 4, 2020 – Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort (delayed from August 12)
  • November 1, 2020 – Disney’s Art of Animation Resort (delayed from August 12)

It should be noted that Disney’s Boardwalk Inn and Disney’s Beach Club Resort have been taken off the list of Disney resorts that are reopening. At this time we do not have an expected opening date for either resort. 

Hotel And Ticket Reservations

When Disney announced the reopening of Disney World one of the key pieces discussed was hotel reservations and park tickets. At this time Disney has paused the making of new hotel reservations (outside of Disney Vacation Club) and selling of new park tickets. Additionally, guests are not able to modify a reservation, unless the reservation is between now and June 21st. Guests can call Guest Services (407) 934-7639 to modify their reservation. If a guest chooses to modify their reservation they can only book at Disney Vacation Club Deluxe Villas or the Fort Wilderness Cabins, and a difference in cost may need to be paid.

If a guest takes no action prior to June 21, 2020, their reservation will be automatically canceled and refunded. All reservations after June 21, 2020 can be canceled at a guest’s requests and refunded.

Disney has not announced when the booking of hotel rooms or purchasing of new park tickets will reopen for 2020. They have stated they are attending to current reservations. Disney has announced the following special event tickets for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, has been canceled, guests who purchased tickets will receive a refund.

UPDATE: On June 28, 2020, Walt Disney World resumed the selling of new park tickets for 2021. At the moment, all ticket types except for Annual Passes are now available through Disney’s website and Disney certified travel agents.

UPDATE: Disney World has opened up the sales of park tickets and room reservations for the remainder of 2020. At the moment the only tickets not available are Annual Passes. Additionally, Disney has created two new Florida Resident ticket options. The first called the Flex Pass. It is a 4-day park ticket that can be used on nonconsecutive days. The second is a 40% off on a 4-day ticket or 30% on a 3-day ticket. This ticket must be used on consecutive days. For more details on the Florida Resident ticket options please reference this link.

room cleaning for the reopening of Disney World

Resort Guidelines

Once open the Disney Resorts will have a variety of new guidelines for guests. First and foremost, is Walt Disney World will be following all advisories and restrictions set by the state of Florida. Details around the advisories and restrictions continually change or as we like to say, they’re fluid. Please reference the following link before heading to Florida, as different areas around the globe have different restrictions for arrival. LINK.

Prior to arrival to a Disney World Resort, a guest must have either have a confirmed room reservation or a confirmed dining reservation at the resort. When entering the resort all guests 2 years of age or older will be required to wear a face-covering in all public areas unless they are dining or swimming.

For guests arriving at Orlando International Airport, Disney World will be offering the Magical Express for transportation to and from the Disney resorts. Guests traveling by car will be able to self-park. Valet services will not available, with the exception being for guests who may require assistance.

When it comes to rooms Disney World is modifying there Mousekeeping (housekeeping) procedures. Prior to arrival, all guest rooms will go through an in-depth cleaning with high attention to the “high-touch” areas like TV remotes and door handles (the image above highlights all the high touch areas). All floors will be steamed cleaned and vacuumed. Between servicing different guest rooms, all housekeeping tools will be cleaned.

After checking-in your room will be serviced every other day for trash removal and used towels. Any amenities or towels that need refreshing will be replenished and wiping of counter surfaces and vanities will occur. To manage the lighter cleaning service, Disney will be adding extra linens, towels, glassware, and pillows to the rooms. All these items will be wrapped for single use. It should be noted guests staying at Disney Vacation Club will receive service on the 4th and 8th days of your stay.

Resort amenities may be modified or unavailable when the resorts first open. The following changes have already been made:

  • Bell Services – Will be able to bring luggage to your room, but the cast member will not escort the guest
  • Club-Level – All club level service will be temporarily suspended
  • Deliveries – Will only be made to occupied rooms, as cast members will not enter your room
  • Dry-Cleaning/Laundry Services – Will be temporarily stopped, self-service will be available
  • In-room Celebrations – Will not be available, as cast members will not enter your room
  • Resort Airline Check-In – Could be temporarily unavailable but subject to change
  • Shipping Services – Will not be available

Additionally, the following services around the resort will be temporarily unavailable; arcades, campfires, dog parks, fun runs, firework cruises, hula lessons, in-room childcare, marina rentals, mermaid school, playgrounds, spas and salons including Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, and special classes.

At the resorts, both the pools and fitness centers will be available for the guests staying at the respective resort. Feature pools (main pool areas) will operate under reduced hours and reduced capacity. Quiet pools will be open 24-hours a day. The only resort pool that will not open on the first day will be Stormalong Bay at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club. Similar to the feature pools, the resort fitness centers may operate under reduced hours and capacity. All instructor-led classes will be temporarily suspended.

All guests will be encouraged to use the online check-in feature within My Disney Experience. Guests using the online check-in will receive a text message when their room is ready and will be able to open the door either through the app or their Magicband. When your checkout day arrives you will be automatically checked out of your room.

On June 22, 2020, Disney will be launching a new service for guests staying at a Disney resort. The new service will enable guests to chat with a Disney cast member through the My Disney Experience app regarding anything about their resort stay. Disney is recommending the use of the new service to help with minimizing the number of guests at the front desk.

Heading To The Parks

Do you have a reservation? The biggest change guests will see with the reopening of Disney World will be the introduction of a new reservation system. It is unknown what the initial capacity will be for each of the Walt Disney World parks, but early estimates believe the parks will start around 15% capacity. This is a similar approach Disney used with the reopening of Shanghai Disneyland. To help with managing crowds Disney will require guests to have a park reservation in order to enter any of the theme parks.

What is known at the moment is guests who have purchased park tickets, that are linked to their My Disney Experience accounts, will be able to book which park they would like to go to through September 2021. For a full breakdown on how to reserve park entry please see the following guide. Priority will be given to Club 33 members, Golden Oaks residence, Disney Vacation Club Members, Annual Passholders and guests staying at a Disney World Resort. Disney has stated that a Disney hotel reservation will not guarantee access to the parks. Additionally, Disney has stated the Annual Passholders may be limited to how many days they can make park reservations in a given time period.

What is unknown is where or not guests will be able to park hop or go from one park to another. Right now it is rumored that park hopping may not be available. Disney has not confirmed or announced anything saying it won’t allow park hopping, at this time. We should learn more when Disney officially releases the new park reservation system. CONFIRMED: Parking hopping will not be an option when the parks first reopen. Disney has said they hope to bring back park hopping in the near term.

Walt Disney World bus with new Toy Story wrap

Off To The Park

Transportation to and from a Disney resort to the parks and Disney Springs will be available. Disney announced the bus services will reopen, with social distancing measures in place to transport guests around. On the buses, Disney has outlined certain areas where guests can sit in order to keep social distancing. It’s one area per group with a max of 6 people per group. The one thing to take into account is Disney expressed there could be delays, as the buses will be operating at a reduced capacity. This is something to keep in mind when traveling to the parks, as you may want to factor in some extra travel time.

What we do not know yet is if other transportation options beyond the buses will available. Disney has not stated if the boats, monorail, or the Skyliner will be part of the initial reopening of Disney World. We do know Minnie Vans will not available at reopening.

UPDATE: On July 1, 2020, we received the following information regarding reopening of the other Disney transportation options:

  • Magic Kingdom Monorail to reopen on July 11, 2020.
  • Disney Skyliner to reopen on July 15, 2020.
  • Resort boats from the Polynesian and Wilderness Lodge to reopen on July 11, 2020.

There has no announcement regarding the reopening of the Friendship Boats in the Epcot resort area or the Epcot Monorail.

Upon first opening, Disney will be staggering the park hours for each park for a variety of reasons. The main reason is to lessen the crowds at the resort bus stops and shift operating efficiency, as the buses will have lower capacities.

Example of new signage for the reopening of Disney World

Entering A Park Procedures

When the Walt Disney World parks reopen there will be a variety of requirements to enter the parks. As we like to say this is a fluid process that we’re sure Disney will continue to update and adjust both leading up to the reopening of Disney World, as well as after it reopens.

Face Coverings All guests 2 years of age and older will be required to wear a face-covering. The face-covering should be secured to your face covering your nose and mouth. It can be either disposable or reusable. All guests and cast members will be required to wear a face-covering at all times, except for dining or swimming. The mask should not be a costume mask.

UPDATE: Disney World has updated its mask policy to include the following changes. Gaiters and bandanas or anything similar are no longer acceptable as a face-coverings. Guests should have a mask the fits tight around their nose and mouth. Additionally, face-coverings should remain on at all -times outside of eating or drink. If a guest is eating or drinking they must be stationary.

UPDATE: On July 26, 2020, Walt Disney World announced an update to their face mask policy. The new update bans the use of a face mask that has valves on it. Below is the official announcement:

“At this time, neck gaiters, open-chin triangle bandanas, and face coverings containing valves, mesh material or holes of any kind are not acceptable face coverings. Face coverings are intended to reduce the transfer of respiratory droplets, and exhalation valves and materials with holes do not adequately filter air that is exhaled.”

Temperature signage for the reopening of Disney World

Temperature Screenings – All guests will go through a touchless temperature screening before entering a park or Disney Springs. Any guests exhibiting a temperature of 100.4F or above will be directed to a location for rescreening. If the guest once again has a temperature above 100.4F at the rescreening they will be asked to leave, along with everyone within their party.

Social distance signage for the reopening of Disney World

Social Distancing – Signage will be added to all areas of Walt Disney World to mark direction and spacing as it relates to social distancing measures and the recommended spacing of 6 feet (3 meters) between parties. Physical barriers will be in place where social distancing is not possible, for example, cashiers or Guest Relations.

Outside of the procedures, Disney will be installing portable hand washing stations throughout the parks. Additionally, there will be a Social Distancing Squad within the parks to promote the social distancing between guests. Disney has stated they will be launching a “Know Before You Go” campaign that will be set guests prior to arrival at the parks around what to expect.

FastPass?

A few days after Disney announced the reopening of Disney World, they made another major announcement. No FastPass selections or Single Rider lines for the rest of 2020. Disney has canceled all guests FastPass selections as they will be using the FastPass entrances to aid in social distancing within the attraction queues. Disney has not announced it yet but in the DVC Duo house, we’re expecting them to announce virtual queues. With a reduction in the guest capacity, we should not see the wait times heavily impacted by the removal of FastPass. Early indicators from the parks up the road are wait times equal, if not less, even with the new cleaning and social distancing measures in place.

The one attraction with a virtual queue will be Rise of the Resistance at Hollywood Studios. For a full breakdown of how to get a boarding pass please see the following article.

It should be noted that Disney has stated when the parks initially reopen park-hopping will not an option. Guests are able to come and go as they please for the park they have a reservation at for the day. Disney has said they hope to offer park-hopping soon. Guests with reservations and park tickets that include the park hopper option are able to get a refund.

In conjunction with FastPass selections, and Extra Magic Hours will be unavailable to guests staying at a Walt Disney World resort. Disney will be using the extra time for deeper cleanings of the parks.

Mickey Premium is a Snack on the Disney Dining Plan

Dining

Our favorite topic. You know us, we’re all about the food. Similar to FastPass selections, Disney announced all advanced dining reservations (ADR) through 2020 would be canceled and ADR’s would move to a 60-day reservation window. Additionally, they announced the Disney Dining Plan would be suspended until September 2021. The move to the 60-day reservation window is to accommodate for lower restaurant capacity and allow for social distancing within the dining locations. Disney did state if a guest has a dining reservation at a park, they will also need a park reservation. A dining reservation will not guarantee entry into the park. For dining at a Disney resort, non-resort guests will need a reservation prior to arrival.

When the Disney restaurants reopen we could see some variations in the menus out of the gate. With current limitations in the food supply chain in the United States, Disney restaurants may have to adjust their menus accordingly. To help with cleanliness Disney will be moving to scannable codes at a variety of locations for digital menus. For guests without smartphones, paper menus should be available.

At the initial opening, not all dining options will be reopening. The following type of dining experiences have been temporarily suspended; dinner shows, private dining, in-room delivery, and character dining. There will be one character dining experience at Topolino’s Terrace in a modified format.

Disney is encouraging cashless payments either through debit or credit cards, Magicbands, Disney Gift Cards, or mobile wallets. Additionally, at quick-service locations, they are recommending Mobile Ordering where ever possible. Any self-service area will no longer be self-serve but instead, to be served by a cast member, things like soda fountains.

UPDATE: On June 30, 2020, The Walt Disney World Advance Dining Reservation system will open for guest at a Disney Resort who previously had dining reservations schedule prior to September 2, 2020 that were cancelled on May 28, 2020.

Reservations will be made over the phone by calling one of the following options:

  • Disney Reservation Center at (407) 824-1391 – for all guests
  • Disney Vacation Club Member Services at (800) 800-9800 – for Disney Vacation Club Members only

It should be noted that the Disney Reservation Center phone line will open at 7 am EST.

Additionally, advanced dining reservations can be made through the website version of My Disney Experience.

Shop Til We Drop!

We’re here for the merch. Shopping around Walt Disney World will have a few adjustments with the reopening. The big one is Disney Park exclusives. Traditionally, Disney would launch in-park exclusive of certain merchandise items. With guest capacity lowered and few people having the opportunity to make into the parks, Disney will move the exclusives to ShopDisney only. For guests in the parks, Disney will temporarily suspend the shipping of purchased items to either the front of the park or your resort. However, you will be able to ship packages homes.

A couple other changes are dressing rooms not being available, however guests can return items in-person.

Calling all Pin Traders! Pin trading will still be available, however in a new way. Cast members will not longer directly trade pins with guests, but instead, use a pinboard to make the exchanges.

What Will Not Be Open?

Not everything is included with the reopening of Disney World. When the parks reopen, we will see certain attractions and experiences reopen at a future time. Upon the initial phase of reopening the following will not be included:

  • Nighttime Fireworks or Shows
  • Parades
  • Indoor shows
  • Character Meet ‘n Greets – the characters will be in the parks but not directly meeting guests
  • World Showcase Ambassadors – regular cast members will be operating the World Showcase Countries through 2020
  • Stage Shows
  • Tours – for example, the Behind the Magic Tour
  • Electrical Water Pageant

Many of these items could change over time as we approach the reopening of Disney World. As we’ve seen with Shanghai Disneyland indoor shows returned within the first month. The safe thing to say is everything is fluid at the moment.

Our Thoughts

A lot of changes. In the DVC Duo house, we’re okay with any changes if it means the parks and resorts can reopen in a safe way for all guests. As time progresses we’re sure Disney will continue to adjust all the new aspects of the guest experience. Our best piece of advice is if you’re heading to Walt Disney World keep checking back this will be a fluid process and we could see changes from day-to-day. We will continue to add links to this article as updates come out. With that said we’re excited to see Disney taking the first steps in the reopening of Disney World.

Disney Dining Update: We’re taking a look at the updates to dining when the resorts first open. From reservations to arriving at the restaurant. Full article here.

Disney World Park Reservation System: We’re sharing our step by step guide on how to navigate the new Disney World Park Reservation System to reserve your park day. Full guide here.

 

Capturing The Moment! – Best Disney World Ride Photos – Our Top 3

Capturing The Moment! – Best Disney World Ride Photos – Our Top 3

Blink and you may miss it! Miss what? One of the best Disney World ride photos. Every Disney World vacation is packed with great picture moments. From the quintessential photo in front of Cinderella’s Castle to capturing evidence that you saw the fast hunk of junk, and of course when you meet the mouse himself. In the DVC Duo house, some of our all-time Disney World photos are the on-ride photos. It got us thinking, what are our top three best Disney World ride photos? Let’s brush our teeth, so we can flash the pearly whites for the camera!

What Are On-Ride Photos?

It’s complicated (#sarcasm)! They’re photos taken of you while you’re on a ride. Select attractions around Walt Disney World have cameras hidden within the attraction to capture your instant reaction. Where the magic really happens is how Disney automatically (on-select attractions) links the photos to your My Disney Experience account via your Magicband and if you have Memory Maker you’re able to download and share your photos.

Passholder Insights: If you do not have a Magicband you can use your admission ticket to tap the touchpoint below on your photo at the attractions exit to link it to your My Disney Experience account.

Photo from Tower of Terror via Memory Maker

Photo Drop

Similar to a mic drop, a photo drop also involves falling. Kicking-off our best Disney World ride photos is a towering attraction at the end of Sunset Boulevard. We’re sure you can guess it, we’re of course talking about the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. What makes the Tower of Terror one of our best Disney World ride photos is the moment it captures. Not to spoil the ride, the photo captures the first few seconds of your thirteen-story plunge.

Brining the Tower of Terror photo to the next level is Memory Maker. In conjunction with the photo, Disney uses your on-ride photo to create a unique video of your experience. The video is available within My Disney Experience when you have the Memory Maker option.

Passholder Insights: Definitely keep your eyes open on the Tower of Terror. At the top of the attraction you get a fantastic view of Hollywood Studios.

Flash Finish

More like flash beginning, but that does not roll-off the tongue as easily. Around the corner from our first stop is our second attraction making our best Disney World ride photos list. Let’s count it down together (in a Steven Tyler voice of course), 5…4…3…2…1…Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster. We love this on ride photo for one reason and one reason alone, Serena’s reaction! No matter how many times we ride Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster, Serena’s expression is same every time. It has us wonder if Disney is photoshopping her reaction each time. Hmm…

For us, the on-ride photo for Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster accomplishes two things. First and foremost, it captures the “take-off” moment and rush of adrenaline everyone experiences. Second is the flash itself. The flash serves the purpose of taking your photo, but also makes this indoor dark coaster even darker. That flash of bright light makes the rest of ride seem pitch black.

Passholder Insights: Keep an eye out for the hidden Mickey at the end of the ride. You can see if while you wait to exit the ride vehicle.

Count It Down

You can’t take a picture without a count down, right? While topping our best Disney World ride photos use to have “countdown” in its name. What ride are we talking about? We’re talking about the ride formerly known as Countdown to Extinction, now better known as Dinosaur. It’s one of our favorite Animal Kingdom attractions. What makes the Dinosaur on-ride photo so great is the faces you can make. Yes, we are those people who pose for the photo!

In the DVC Duo house, our all-time favorite Dinosaur photo came when Serena surprised everyone with her pose of “fake scared”. After years of photos of her being scared, it’s a moment we’ll never forget. We could not stop laughing when the photo came up.

Passholder Insights: The shortest way to Expedition Everest is to take the bridge through Dinoland USA and stay to the left and head pass Finding Nemo the Musical.

Our Thoughts

There are tons of great on-ride photos that were not mentioned. We are looking at you Expedition Everest and Splash Mountain. For us, the on-ride photos are what make our Disney World vacation so great. We’re always pulling them up and remembering our adventures. Alright, best Disney World ride photos list complete! We’re off to think of our next great pose for Dinosaur!

Our Top 3 Best Disney Resort Lobbies – A DVC Resort Edition

Our Top 3 Best Disney Resort Lobbies – A DVC Resort Edition

What are the best Disney resort lobbies? An even better question, what are the best Disney resort lobbies related to the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) properties? Now, we’re talking! A resort’s lobby could be the most important aspect of the guest experience. It’s the first thing a guest will experience, well, after the Magical Express of course, when arriving at Walt Disney World. As we like to say, it sets the mood for the entire trip. Alright, it’s time slide into our flip flops, step through the doors, and walk into a few DVC resorts!

What Makes A Great Lobby?

It’s all about that moment. You know the moment, the one where your eyes get big, and you think to yourself “Oh my god”. You can’t 100% put your finger on it, but you know it just feels right. For us, what makes a great lobby is everything from the visuals to the smells, and by far the mood you feel when you enter the space. Now that we have a baseline to evaluate our best Disney lobbies at DVC properties, let’s find our top three!

Passholder Insights: At all Disney Resorts you’re able to check-in your via My Disney Experience. During the check-in process, you can make up to two different requests, from floor level to location.

Welcome to Shore

Jersey shore that is. The first stop of our DVC edition of the best Disney resort lobbies brings us to the Boardwalk Resort. Stepping through doors you’re immediately transported to the 1940s and the whimsical charm of the most famous boardwalk around. The Boardwalk Resort lobby is quaint and charming in its style. Everywhere you look there is a new detail to discover. By far, one of the most impressive details the carrousel style horse chandelier hanging as you first enter the resort. Covered is gold, the chandelier represents both the opulence of the time period and playfulness of the Jersey Boardwalk.

One of the most overlooked details of Boardwalk’s lobby is the deck off the back. Most of the time people are exiting the lobby and heading down the stairs to either walk the Boardwalk or head to Epcot or Hollywood Studios. Just before the stairs is a variety of rocking chairs. It’s the perfect spot to pull up a seat and take a few minutes rest. With grand views of Crescent Lake and the Yacht Club in the distance, it’s a people-watching paradise. The best part is the cool A/C breeze you get every time someone exits the lobby!

Passholder Insights: At Christmas time the Boardwalk Resort lobby has a variety of the gingerbread displays and also sells gingerbread cookies. Nothing beats the smell of fresh gingerbread during the holidays!

More Than A Creek

It’s the whole wilderness! Our next stop on our DVC edition of the best Disney resort lobbies takes us deep in the woods. Who brought the bug spray? Who are kidding, Disney magic takes care of that. Whether you’re a fan of creeks or boulders, the Wilderness Lodge is home to two DVC resorts in Copper Creek and Boulder Ridge. Both resorts share the same lobby, and a magnificent lobby it is. When stepping into the Wilderness Lodge for the first time make sure to not trip on your jaw as it drops. Yes, it’s that awe-inspiring!

Immediately our eyes go up as they lock on the 82-foot tall stone fireplace. Yes, 82-feet. Surrounded by post and beam architecture, the 7-story tall lobby takes you directly into wilderness style cabin we’ve all pictured at one time. The lobby is more than just grandeur, tucked away towards the back is a small wooden bridge with a spring feeding a creek that travels from within the lobby to the pool. No detail is too small in this lobby, it even smells like the woods. Pine to be exact.

What makes the Wilderness Lodge lobby one of our favorites is the views. Whether it’s pulling up a rocking chair and gazing the massive fireplace or looking out at Bay Lake through the seven-story tall windows, the lobby makes you forget you’re at Walt Disney World. In all the best ways possible.

Passholder Insights: In between the pool and Bay Lake you’ll find a bubbling geyser. Keep an eye on it, as throughout the day the geyser will erupt.

Surprise, Surprise

Ok, maybe not a surprise. More like predictable! What we are talking about? We’re talking about our top choice. Topping off our DVC edition of the best Disney resort lobbies is the Polynesian Resort. The moment you step-off the Magical Express and cross the bridge into the lobby of the Polynesian Resort you can feel every worry or concern just go away. As a Disney cast member welcomes you to the resort with a lai, you smell the tropical air and that hint of pineapple. You think to yourself are we at Walt Disney World? Then you turn to look out the back of the lobby and see Cinderella’s Castle in the distance, yes, yes you are at Walt Disney World.

The centerpiece of the lobby is the Tiki God, welcoming you home. If you’re like us, you can’t help back want to take a selfie with him. Murals are spread throughout the lobby depicting an array of tiki culture. A few even have hints to Disney attractions like It’s A Small World.

What makes the Polynesian Resort lobby our favorite is the nostalgia. It’s original Disney in its finest form. When we picture a Disney resort, for us what comes to mind is the Polynesian Resort. We have tons of wonderful memories tied to resort and stepping through doors brings them back every time.

Passholder Insights: In order to get the grand views of Cinderella’s Castle from the Polynesian Resort lobby, Disney had to love the main pool 10 feet to the right.

Our Thoughts

Every resort lobby at Walt Disney World is uniquely special in its own way. For us what makes up the best Disney resort lobbies is the feeling and emotion you get when walk through the doors. Whether it’s the rush of that “wow” moment or reminder of our fondest memories, each one invokes a different reaction for each of us. On our trips to Walt Disney World we like to bounce from resort to resort to explore the different lobbies. It’s one our ways to take a break from crowds, especially during the holidays. Alright all that’s left to do is decide which lobby should we walk into first. Who are kidding, Tiki God we’ll see you real soon!