Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2020 – Quick Overview

Wecome to Epcot! - Epcot Walt Disney World

The Epcot International Festival of the Arts kicks off this month, running through February 24th. I wanted to give just a brief overview of the festival here, should you be on the fence as to whether to take time out of your busy vacation time to make this a priority.

Epcot International Festival of the arts 2020 - Epcot Walt Disney World

You’ll be greeted at Epcot with artwork welcoming you to this event, both here at the entrance to the park…

Figment welcome - Epcot Walt Disney World

…and at the entrance to World Showcase.

Continue reading “Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2020 – Quick Overview”

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IMPORTANT REMINDER: Reservations for Disneyland’s Galaxy’s Edge Open TOMORROW, May 2nd!

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open May 31, 2019 at Disneyland, and Aug. 29, 2019 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. (Photos courtesy of Disney.)

This post is a quick reminder that if you plan to visit Disneyland between May 31st and June 23rd, YOU WILL NEED A RESERVATION if you plan to visit the new Star Wars land, aka, Galaxy’s Edge.

Just as important, RESERVATIONS OPEN TOMORROW, MAY 2nd!

Given the anticipation for this new addition to Disneyland, our guess is that these reservations will sell out within minutes of becoming available. So be sure to act quickly if you’re visiting during this date range. The registration site will open on May 2nd at 8:00am PDT, and the site will start accepting reservations at 10:00am. You can read all about it on Disney’s site here.

If you plan to try and take advantage of this, be sure to set up your Disney account in advance. It also isn’t clear from their FAQ, but if you don’t yet have park tickets for your visit, we’d suggest buying them in advance via the Disney website or app, just in case you need an actual ticket number to secure your reservation.

Millennium Falcon is pictured under development for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run at Stars Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

For those of you using RideMax to plan your trip to Disneyland on these dates, given that your access to Star Wars Land (as it often seems to be called) will be restricted to a certain time slot, we recommend setting up a “break” in your RideMax plan to cover the time of your reservation. Just set the break location to “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge,” and make the duration long enough to cover the time you expect to spend there.

Of course, if you plan to visit Disneyland after June 23rd, you don’t need to worry about reservations — you’ll just need to plan to arrive REALLY early in the morning if you want to visit Galaxy’s Edge. (This is a topic for another post!)

I hope this helps… and when it comes time to actually get those reservations, may your fingers be quick, and may the force be with you!

(Sorry — I couldn’t resist.)

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Riding Avatar Flight of Passage Without the Huge Line – 2019 Edition

Avatar Flight of Passage - Disney's Animal Kingdom

Next month brings us the second anniversary of the opening of Avatar Flight of Passage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and it still sees the highest wait times of any Walt Disney World attraction — even higher than the newer attractions in Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios.

I thought it might be worth doing a short YouTube video describing my current best thoughts on how to visit Flight of Passage without a huge line if you aren’t able to get a FastPass — which is still likely to be the case in 2019. I also share a few “bonus tips” to help you navigate your way to the attraction if you’re visiting at rope drop, as well as on how to enjoy the ride a bit better once you’re actually there.

Enjoy!

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Major Adjustments to RideMax Wait Estimates for New Toy Story Land Attractions

Slinky Dog Dash at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Just a quick note here to let everyone know that today we’ve made some major adjustments to the RideMax estimates for the two new Toy Story Land attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios — Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers.

I mostly mention this to let any RideMax customers know that if you’ve created RideMax plans which include these attractions, I’d strongly encourage you to create new plans instead.

I know this is a bit of a hassle, but we’ve had the chance to look at the wait times for these attractions for a couple of weeks now, and the good news is that, on average, the actual waits are coming in well below our initial estimates.

So, re-run those Hollywood Studios RideMax plans — and have a great trip!

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Animal Kingdom RideMax Plans? It’s Time to Recalculate!

Disney's Animal Kingdom - Tree of Life at Night

Disney has updated the Animal Kingdom’s park hours to include early morning Extra Magic Hours (EMH) for most dates from April 28th through June 30th, and we’ve just updated RideMax (and our park recommendations calendar) to reflect this change.

Unfortunately, this also calls for a re-run of any Animal Kingdom RideMax plans for the affected dates, so if this includes you, hopefully this gives you ample notice to get that done before your visit.

Just attempting some brief armchair analysis here, this is an interesting move on Disney’s part. With the huge crowds in Pandora since its opening, I can see how Disney might think this will help to reduce the overall wait there, and they’re probably right. Think about it: There will now be one hour almost every day of the week where guests can get in the standby line and not be slowed down by FastPass+ guests — provided they’re staying at a Disney hotel, of course.

If a lot of Disney hotel guests take advantage of this, it should also help reduce pressure on the ride during normal operating hours as well, so hopefully non-hotel guests will benefit too, even if not to the same degree as will those who are eligible for EMH.

We may also make some tweaks to the RideMax standby estimates for the Pandora attractions once we see the daily EMH in operation, so stay tuned for that as well.

Happy planning!

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