New at Disney

What’s new at Walt Disney World ?

This is going to be a great year to take a Walt Disney World Vacation and I am excited to tell you why! January through March, guests can enjoy Disney After Hours at the Magic Kingdom®.  This is a great time to take advantage of little to no wait times for over 25 rides and attractions.  For adults or adults with teenagers who stay up late into the night, this is a great opportunity to take advantage of some family bonding time.  The Magic Kingdom® is usually open until 2am and to keep you going through the night, snacks and bottled beverages are provided.  This event is an extra ticketed event, so be prepared to pay around $149 per person. 


For the last four years Disney has been hinting at a whole new land in the Animal Kingdom® theme park and we have all seen the renderings, but it looks like it is finally to go open this summer.  Pandora – The World of Avatar will have several new attractions including Na’vi River Journey.  This ride puts you into a canoe like boat that takes you down a river with the exotic glowing plants and interesting creatures.  If you are looking for more of a thrill, then try Avatar Flight of the Passage which will allow you to experience flying with banshees. 


Even though the new Star Wars themed land at Hollywood Studios isn’t open yet, that doesn’t mean Disney isn’t taking advantage of adding in new characters from the latest Star Wars Movie.  Advanced Weapons Research or AWR are now part of a new scene in the “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away” show.  There are also new props from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story movie at the Star Wars Launch Bay, and new footage of the behind the scenes of the movie.  I was going to talk about this in my next newsletter but I am too excited so I am going to share it now!!  Are you ready, this is so exciting?!?  If you are a Star Wars super fan, there is now a 7-hour guided tour led by a Star Wars “all-in the know” tour guide!!  This tour includes front of the line access to Star Tours, an in-depth tour of the new Launch Bay, Jedi training (ages 4 -12), Star Wars themed menu items from the Backlot Express, and to end it all off, prime seating with sweets and specialty beverages for the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party.  The number of people on the tour is limited so I highly recommend making reservations in advance. 


If you had been to WDW in 2016 you may have been surprised that Hollywood Studio® was half the park it used to be.  Don’t worry, all good changes are on their way with new and exciting rides and attractions.  They also have recently opened PizzeRizzo, a two-story eatery that serves fresh salads and personal sized pizzas.  If you have always been a big fan of Rizzo, like myself, then this is must stop quick service restaurant.  A quick note, all quick-service dining plans have removed the dessert from the meal.  In return they have added an extra snack to the plan so now everyone on the plan will receive 2 snacks per night of stay. 



The Muppets are jumping theme parks!  They will still be in Hollywood Studios® entertaining people with their quirky MuppetsVision®, but they now have their own show that plays several times a day in the Magic Kingdom® in front of the Hall of Presidents.  Get ready for Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and The Great Gonzo in “The Muppets Presents…Great Moments in American History” where they put their spin on the what they believe were the greatest moments in history.  This is a live show so you never know what is going to happen. 


Epcot is the theme park to go to for their festivals.  They host the Food and Wine Festival and the Flower and Garden Festival to name a few.  This winter for the first time, Epcot will be hosting the Festival of the Arts which combines visual, culinary, and performing arts all in one place.  For six weeks only, you can take art classes, watch Broadway Style singing shows, and feast on delicious creations that, of course in Disney style, look too good to eat!   They are only running these special exhibits for six weeks and on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday’s only. 


MagicBands are now part of your everyday wardrobe when you are at Walt Disney World, and I still truly believe have revolutionized the efficiency of how Disney can handle so many people.  I am surprised in the last 4 years that Disney hasn’t redesigned the MagicBand to make it sleeker looking, and easy to wear, but wait they have!  They have redesigned the look a bit so that it is more flat to your wrist and a bit wider.  You will still have all the amazing benefits that the MagicBand had in the past, but now with a cool design. 


Walt Disney World has so many changes coming up that I just want to help book everyone an amazing family Disney vacation.  Make sure to contact me to book your next Disney vacation because you never know what new changes are coming or have been made!!



P.S. Call me this year to plan your AMAZING Disney vacation.  I always recommend to start planning your Walt Disney World vacation 8 to 12 months in advance so we can start planning everything out for you. 

Fill out the form below to get started planning your next European Vacation.  Looking for a motor coach tour, self-drive, or private tour, we can easily put together the perfect European vacation for you and your family’s needs. 

When you book your vacation with a member of the Life is Better Traveling Team, you are supporting local families and business.  Thank you to everyone who has supported us over the past 4 years, we have become an AMAZING travel agency due to your support!

Ready to Use Your Magic Bands?

Walt Disney created Disneyland so one could be in the past, present, and future all in one park while letting your imagination run wild.  He created what has become the most magical places on earth including Walt Disney World.  Since 1971 when the Magic Kingdom opened, Disney employees have tried to make sure that their guests have the best experiences possible.  However, with so many people wanting this experience and the increased popularity of a Disney vacation, overcrowded parks had become a problem.  Disney decided something had to change. They took a big risk and decided to incorporate new technology in this decision and came up with the idea for the Magicband, an all-inclusive wristband.  This was a huge risk has paid off nicely for Disney and goes perfectly with a quote Mr. Walt Disney has said “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”


What is a Magicband?  Magicbands are bracelets that you wear around your wrist and have a Radio Frequency Identifiable Device (RFID) in each band.  RFIDs are a great way to store information that can be quickly used later and by the end of this article you will see why they are a perfect way to get around the parks.  Let’s get back to exactly what the Disney Magicband is.  It is a bracelet or wristband with a RFID in it that contains all the information of your entire Disney reservations.  It will have which resort you are staying at, dining plan, Fastpasses, restaurant reservations, and of course your credit card information that is on file.  Now, having my credit card information on a device that is readable is a bit scary to me but when you check into the resort you must enter a unique four digit pin that is linked to your band.  Each person has a unique pin for their band.  You need this four digit pin to make any type of purchase on your band so if your band gets lost a person won’t be able to charge anything to your account.  The other great thing about the bands is that there are no identifiable markers on the outside to let someone know which resort you are staying at.  You may have your first name engraved on the back of the wristband so if your party is large and multiple people have the same color wristbands, you know which belongs to whom.  Also, if you lose your band you simply go to guest services and they quickly deactivate it for you.


How do you get a wristband and where do you use it?   For anyone who is staying on Disney property you will get a wristband.  In your My Disney Experience you will have the opportunity to select colors for each member of your party and any names you would like to have engraved on the inner part of the band.  The bands are simple in construction with a Mickey Mouse head imprinted on the top.  If you don’t like your jewelry simple, like me, don’t worry, you can add bling.  Small trinkets are available for purchase at several stores on Disney property.   Now, your wristbands will be mailed to your house or you will receive them at time of check in at the resort.  Once the band is on your wrist it is now the key to your room.   Simply place the Mickey Mouse on the wristband to the Mickey Mouse on the door knob, and you are in your room.  When you are ready to enter the parks you will place the Mickey Mouse on the wristband to the Mickey Mouse on the entrance pole and place your finger on the reader and you are in.  When you are ready to get your check after dining or check out at quick service, simply place the Mickey Mouse against the reader, enter your four digit pin, and everything is paid.  When your Fastpass time has arrived, simply place the Mickey Mouse against the Mickey Mouse FastPass pole and enter the ride.  I think we have a pattern going here: simply place the Mickey Mouse on your wristband to the reader and you are in!

The wristband has revolutionized how easy it has made families to plan their vacation and get around the parks.  You don’t have a room key, a park ticket, a FastPass ticket, and a Disney voucher to carry around anymore.  It is all now on your wrist.  The band is waterproof so if you go to the pool or one of the water parks you don’t have to worry about getting it wet.  It is a bit difficult to get on and off so they recommend that you keep it on for the length of your stay. 


Now comes the question of how does all that information get onto the band?  I briefly discussed the My Disney Experience application for choosing your color bands and what you want engraved on the inside. The My Disney Experience application can easily download this onto any phone from the Android or Apple store or by using your computer going to  Once you have made your reservation, make an account here and put in your reservation number.  All of your information will show up including where you are staying, dining information, park tickets, etc.  Set up your profiles for those traveling in your party and you can make yourself a fun Disney character, I am personally Goofy.   You can link tickets to each person accordingly especially if you are going to a special event tickets.  Once you have the profiles set up you can look at the restaurants that are available all over Disney.  On the 180th day from the start of your reservation you can start making dining reservations and linking them to each person.  Once you hit the 60 day mark you can start adding FastPasses to each person to ensure you get on the rides you want at the times you want.   You can add Memory Maker and link that to one person, preferably the ring leader.  All of this information is going to be right on your Magicband.    


Now once you get home, that information is still in your My Disney Experience and you can also look at your pictures.  The great thing about the Magicbands is that you can reuse them if you would like or you can always order new ones for your next Disney vacation.  I have to say that, I really enjoyed my experience with the Magicbands and I hope that you have or will too.

On a side note.  Our agency now offers day by day planning for those who do not want to or have the time to plan their entire Disney experience.  We have put together itineraries to fit all families and we will even put together your my Disney experience.  We do charge an extra fee for this service but this will alleviate even more of your stress of planning an amazing Disney experience.


Have a Great Week!

Fill out the form below to get started planning your next European Vacation.  Looking for a motor coach tour, self-drive, or private tour, we can easily put together the perfect European vacation for you and your family’s needs. 

When you book your vacation with a member of the Life is Better Traveling Team, you are supporting local families and business.  Thank you to everyone who has supported us over the past 4 years, we have become an AMAZING travel agency due to your support!