By Ray Fleckles
Winter has its icy grip upon us and many families are starting to plan their Spring and Summer vacations. This time of year many people’s thoughts turn to Florida, the warm weather, sandy beaches and of course Walt Disney World.
If you’ve been paying attention lately you may have noticed that something has changed in the Magic Kingdom. No, not the new attractions. Not the refurbishment of several of the resorts. I’m talking about Disney’s new MyMagic+ system. As I look over the posts from several Disney World Facebook posts I’m met with confusion and consternation as people try to figure out this new system. No longer do you wait until you get to the parks to book your Fastpasses. No longer do you show up at a restaurant and just sit down for a meal. Now Disney World requires planning!
Restaurant reservations are now made up to 180 days before your visit. Restaurants such as Cinderella’s Royal Table (and most character meals for that matter) may require persistence and luck to secure a table. Ride Fastpasses can be booked up to 60 days in advance, but only up to three per day. After you’ve used all three you can get another Fastpass, but only one at a time and only at kiosks in the parks.
There’s even an app now (Android and iOS) that you can use to keep track of your reservations and Fastpasses. You can even make additional reservations (if available).
Also gone are the wandering characters, barring a very few. They now have fixed locations and of course the attendant long lines. Of course, you can get Fastpasses for those now too. If your little ones really want to meet the princesses, or Anna and Elsa make sure you book those Fastpasses early as they do run out! The same holds true for some of the newer or more popular rides.
Disney World has gone from one of the simplest vacations for a person to book, to one of the most involved. Rivalling even some international travel for its complexity and frustration.
Of course, all is not lost. Because of this newfound complexity many travel agencies are offering their services for free to assist people with their planning if you book through them.
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