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Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2018

Below are the latest updates we have for the 2018 book:

D23 News

The 2018 Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World had already gone to press when Disney made several major announcements including:

Please check back for updates to our touring plans, FastPass+ recommendations, and maps. The touring plans on our site for subscribers reflect the current status off all attractions.

Part 1 - Planning Before You Leave Home

Page 35 - In the section titled 60 Days Before Your Trip, note that Disney resort guests can make FastPass+ reservations beginning at 7 a.m. Eastern. (The text says midnight.)

Page 36 - In the section titled 30 Days Before Your Trip, note that day guests can make FastPass+ reservations beginning at 7 a.m. Eastern. (The text says midnight.)

Page 40 - The My Disney Experience app has been updated. Along with the website, Disney offers a companion app on iTunes, Google Play, and the Amazon Appstore for Android (search for “My Disney Experience”). It includes park hours, attraction operating hours and descriptions, restaurant hours with descriptions and menus, the ability to make FastPass+ and dining reservations online, GPS-based directions, counter-service meal ordering, and more. My Disney Experience is optimized for the latest phones and tablets, so some features may not be available on all devices.

Page 51 - In the section titled April, Easter's date in 2018 should be listed as April 1, 2018.

Page 54 - Epcot's "Holidays Around the World" has been renamed. It is now called "Epcot International Festival of the Holidays." The slightly reimagined event will include food booths offering seasonal dishes, a holiday scavenger hunt with Chip and Dale, and an addition to the nighttime spectacular, in addition to the usual World Showcase storytellers and the Candlelight Processional.

Part 2 - Making the Most of Your Time and Money

Page 75 - The Express Bus Transportation service has been discontinued.

Part 3 - Accommodations

Page 136 - The nightly rate for extra adults at WDW hotels has changed. For any extra adults in the room (more than two), the nightly surcharge for each extra adult is now $15 at the Value resorts, $25 at the Moderates, and $35 at the Deluxes, plus tax.

Part 4 - Dining In and Around the World

Page 340 - Satu'il Canteen is now open

Page 357 - Yak & Yeti Local Cafe now serves breakfast.

Part 5 - Walt Disney World with Kids

Page 454 - Lilo’s Playhouse at the Polynesian is now open for guests of all WDW resort hotels from 10:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. You must stay with your child during this time (it’s not babysitting), but it can be a nice way to check out the facilities or to acclimate your child if you’re thinking of doing evening drop-off. There is no fee to stay and play, but there may be fees for individual craft activities and the like. Be sure to call the club to confirm hours and availability.

Page 455 - The Wilderness Lodge & Boulder Ridge child-care center has been permanently closed.

Part 7 - Arriving and Getting Around

Page 496 - The Express Bus Transportation service has been discontinued.

Page 501 - Disney launched its own ride-sharing service in summer 2017. Called "Minnie Vans", it's a fleet of 27 Chevrolet Traverse minivans painted in Minnie's distinctive red and white polka dots. Two of the vans are equipped to handle ECVs and wheelchairs plus 4 other passengers; the other 25 vans hold 6 passengers. All vans have two child seats.  Fares are a flat $20 and the vans only travel within Walt Disney World (so you can't take them to an off-site hotel or restaurant). That's 75-100% more expensive than most UberX fares over the same distance. Also, you have to use the Lyft ride-sharing app, and ask a member of a Disney hotel bell service staff to text your cellphone a special code to enable the Disney service within the Lyft app. If all of that sounds like an expensive hassle, here's where it makes sense: If you've got 5 or 6 people; or a wheelchair; or you need a car seat, the fares are competitive with Uber. Also, the Minnie Vans drop off and pick up at the Magic Kingdom entrance, allowing you to bypass the monorail. And if you're headed to the Hoop Dee Doo Revue, they'll drop off and pick up right at Pioneer Hall, saving you at least two bus rides.

Page 503 - The new gondola system is called Skyliner.

Part 8 - Bare Necessities

Page 512 - Update locker locations and pricing. Lockers are located at the right side of the entrance to the Magic Kingdom, to the right of Spaceship Earth in Epcot, at Epcot’s International Gateway, to the right of the entrance at DHS, and to the left of the entrance at Animal Kingdom. The cost is $7 per day for small lockers and $10 per day for large lockers at the theme parks and both water parks. There are jumbo lockers at Epcot and Magic Kingdom only, for $15 per day.

Part 10 - Epcot

Page 572. Map item #25 Ellen’s Energy Adventure (Universe of Energy) is now permanently closed.

Page 574 - Not to be Missed at Epcot chart lists Frozen Ever After as in Future World. It is in World Showcase.

Page 580 - Ellen's Energy Adventure has closed permanently.

Page 581 - The height requirement for Mission: SPACE is now 40 inches.

Page 582 - Mission: SPACE got a new "Green team" ride film in mid-2017, featuring an orbital flight around the Earth. It's a relatively smooth experience, mild enough for first-time astronauts.

Part 12 - Disney's Hollywood Studios

Page 642 - Map item #7 The Great Movie Ride is now permanently closed.

Page 642 - Map item #21 Walt Disney: One Man's Dream has been renamed. It is now called Walt Disney Presents.

Page 644 - The name for the new Star Wars land has been announced. It is Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.

Page 649 - The Great Movie Ride has closed permanently. It will be replaced by Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway. No opening date has been set, and we expect that to happen after 2018.

Page 663 - Walt Disney Presents (formerly Walt Disney: One Man's Dream) includes model art for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and Toy Story Land and concept art for the Mickey’s and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad (which is replacing the now shuttered Great Movie Ride).

Universal Orlando and SeaWorld

Page 676 - Map item #7 Dragon Challenge is now permanently closed.

Page 685 - Dragon Challenge is now permanently closed.

Part 15 - Behind the Scenes and VIP Tours at WDW

Page 742-43 and 745 - There is an Backstage tour at Animal Kingdom: Ultimate Nights of Adventure VIP Tour. Tour length: 4 hours. Cost: $249 per person. Focus: Thrill rides and nighttime experiences at AK. Days available: Thurs, Sat, Sun, with some blackout dates. The Ultimate Nights of Adventure VIP Tour allows guests to cut the line at some of the Animal Kingdom’s most popular attractions, including Expedition Everest, Kilimanjaro Safari, Dinosaur, and both Pandora rides. Additional perks include reserved seating for Rivers of Light, special snacks and beverages (both soft drinks and alcoholic items), a souvenir lanyard, and other swag.

Prt 16 - Disney Springs, Universal Citywalk, Shopping, and Nightlife

Page 749 Map. - The Characters in Flight balloon ride (item BB) has had a name change. It is now called Aerophile.

Page 749 Map. Item 33 Marketplace Fun Finds has closed. That location is now called Star Wars Trading Post.

Touring Plans and Clip-Out Section

Page 829 - Epcot two-day early riser touring plan. Eliminate Ellen’s Energy Adventure step and map designation.

Page 831 - Hollywood Studios one-day touring plan. Eliminate Great Movie Ride step and map designation.

Page 832 - Hollywood Studios one-day touring plan when Toy Story Land opens. Eliminate Great Movie Ride step and map designation.

Page 846 - In the section titled "Good Places to Rest in Disney's Hollywood Studios," the name of the Toluca Legs Turkey Co. has changed to Sunshine Days Cafe.

Last updated on September 18, 2017

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