First Timer’s Corner
The key to a successful Walt Disney World trip is planning ahead—picking your Resorts and dining months ahead, and your Fastpass+ 30 or 60 days prior to your trip (depending on where you are staying).
However, the time between when you make your initial choices and when you actually get to Walt Disney World means that things can change—mostly for updating and renewal, called “refurb” in the Disney fan community.
Resorts, restaurants, and rides can be different (i.e. closed, re-opened, newly opened, or just plain different) than what you’d expected when you’d initially planned them, and you need a way to keep up with these differences in case you might need to, or want to, make changes.
Moreover, especially for Resorts, deals may come out after you booked them. Disney won’t re-book you into these deals automatically—you need to do this yourself, and to do it, you need to know about it.
Note that one of the best reasons to use a travel agent is that the good ones will keep track of these changes for you, and let you know what’s happening and what your best options are.
Otherwise there’s no one single reliable source for keeping you completely up to date. However, here are some good starting points:
If your favorite WDW site has a “sign up for news” option, go for it. Since you are a WDW Magazine reader, you already get emails from WDW Magazine. Other sites like Dad’s Guide to WDW and Touringplans.com also offer features like this.
Routinely check in on general WDW planning sites like mine, yourfirstvisit.net, WDW Magazine publisher, Carl’s Dad’s Guide to WDW, and Josh’s easywdw.com (Josh and I co-author the book, The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit.) Also “like” or join whatever Facebook presence these might have for updates on your newsfeed.
Be sure to visit Mousesavers.com for any new deals that Disney may have out and might not get onto the more general sites—or that you may have just missed.
Read the official Disney Parks Blog every now and then, especially for attraction news.
For your Resort, subscribe to a dedicated thread about it on a high-traffic Walt Disney World forum. I most commonly look at the Resort threads on Disboards.com. For a few Resorts, there are exceptional dedicated websites—for example, Steve’s Tikimanpages.com on The Polynesian, Andre’s Portorleans.org for Port Orleans French Quarter and Port Orleans Riverside, and Mario’s Coronado Springs site at https://buzz2k1.wixsite.com/coronado.
It’s a little annoying that there’s no one single place to get all the key info. But if you check in on a general site, along with Mousesavers.com, the Disney Parks blog, and a high-traffic thread or website devoted to your Resort at least once a week, you’ll be in great shape!