Saturday, August 03, 2013

Counting Down to the Mouse!

Wheee!  The day is quickly coming when Hannah and I will board a plane and fly to the Happiest Place on Earth!  It’s no surprise that we’re ‘Disney Freaks’ and we enjoy the family time visiting Walt Disney World offers us.IMG_2785

This is a busy year for family and friends to visit Disney and we’re in the first group of many who will be headed south through the months of August and September.  During our trip Nana will be there with her grandkids Tor, Josh and her nephew Daniel.  Neither of the boys have ever been before and to say they’re excited would be an understatement! 

When the upcoming free dining offer was opened up I helped 7 families book trips.  I think I know what I want to do when I retire!  Truly, it would be wonderful to help people book Disney trips as a profession.  Something to look into anyway as retirement eligibility can now be counted on my fingers!  (Yes, I started working as a toddler!  Smile)

I found out 2 weeks ago (Thanks Bridge!!!) that our 2 groups have been chosen to test drive Disney’s new MyMagic+ system.  SOOO excited about this!!  I’ve read about others experiences with this and am super excited to be a part of it!  (OK, maybe we weren’t exactly ‘chosen’ since everyone staying at our resort in August was ‘chosen’ but still…we’re in! )

The first thing I did after downloading the ‘My Disney Experience’ app onto the iPod is personalized our MagicBands.

Hannah and I both chose pink bands that will have our names imprinted on the back.

After that we were able to select 3 FastPasses for each of the 10 days of our trip!  FastPasses have been available for years at the Disney parks but the FastPass+ (FP+) program offers guests the ability to select their FastPasses up to 90 days before their visit.  Some people are not too excited about the change but we’re embracing it and running with it!  I’m a planner when it comes to our trips and I’ve known for months what park we plan to be at each day of our visit.  I check the anticipated crowds using touringplans to do this and coordinate it with our dining reservations. 

When I was given the option to select FastPasses I went in and selected our favourites rides or character meet ‘n greets.  I couldn’t get any parades or fireworks this trip.  The FP+ option is already working in our favour.  Hannah’s chosen first ride of our vacation is ‘The Pop Pop Ride’ which is known as Toy Story Midway Mania to the rest of the world.  Normally this would have meant a lengthy wait as DHS is anticipated to be a crowd of 9/10 that day and we won’t get to the park until sometime in the afternoon.  With the FP+ option we will be able to arrive at the ride anytime during our 1 hour window booked for later in the afternoon and bypass the majority of the line.    Soon this option will be available for all but for the month of August it is limited to visitors at 4 of the Disney resorts and one of them is our resort.  Yay!

I’ll be sure to post my experiences using FastPass+ and how it goes.  So far the only challenge I had was adding Hannah’s Annual Pass to our account but a call to Disney IT and working with one of the call centre staff fixed the problem eventually.  It was worth the hour+ we were on the phone to know that Hannah has all the same FP+ booked as Mommy.

So, our countdown to the Mouse is officially on and we can’t wait!IMG_2783


  1. We told Chloe that we will take her when she is 5 and so we have about a year to start planning. Can't wait to read about your experiences! I have not been since 1999 and I am sure a lot has changed!

  2. Love, love, love your chain! Too cute! I am totally going to connect with you to learn all the tricks and shortcuts etc. when I'm ready to take Keira to Disney. Love reading your Disney posts... I'm always amazed by what you know!

  3. I am so interested in hearing how the fast pass ++ works! We are going to take Briana in Feb (shhhh!) LOL! I'm so excited!

  4. Oh no! I don't know why I didn't know about this! We are going in November, but don't have our tickets yet. We are staying off park. We've been to Disney several times, both off park & on park resorts, so I thought we knew what to expect. Are we already doomed to not get any FastPasses?! Help!

    1. NO! Not at all!! What we're taking part in is purely in test mode right now and nobody really knows when the full roll out will take place or how the program will look like at that time. It may be similar to what we're participating in or it might be a little different.

      Right now during the testing period there will still be normal FastPasses available to everyone who is not part of the test group.

      It is anticipated that once the program is fully implemented they will stop the current FP offerings but that's still to be determined. I'm sure Disney will announce when the FP system is fully implemented and I'll try to post something here too.

      Your November trip will be wonderful! Happy planning!

  5. Whew! Ok, thank you Catherine for calming me down! Please do post here about your experience using the new system in August! Your Disney trips with Hannah made us brave enough to take Marin at 3 & 1/2. We loved it so much we went back 3 months later! So, he will be 4 & 1/2 for trip number 3! This is such a great age for Disney!

  6. And how cute is that chain?????

    Happy anticipating!


  7. Love the chain! We are going in November - will they still be testing? Which resort? Have fun!!!!

    1. It's all still a mystery when it comes to timing right now. The intent is to eventually roll this out to all so dare we dream its fully implemented by November? Time will tell!


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