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Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2017

Below are the latest updates we have for the 2017 book:

If you pre-ordered

Please read this article about the first printed copies of the Unofficial Guide. Any questions should go to the publisher of the Unofficial Guides through their contact page. TouringPlans has no additional information about the new copies.

Part 1 - Planning Before You Leave Home

P 28 Planning videos for Walt Disney World are only available for online viewing. Physical discs are no longer mailed out.

P 37 My Disney Experience Mobile App section. Disney has added location information for park photographers.

P. 49 In the "When to Go to Walt Disney World" calendar, in June, remove the reference to Star Wars Weekends. The Star Wars Weekends event has been discontinued.

P. 49 Add information to the February entry.

New in 2017 is the addition of the Epcot International Festival of the Arts, taking place over six weeks in January and February. The Festival features art seminars, special merchandise, performances of Disney-related showtunes by Disney on Broadway veterans, as well as the now ubiquitous food booths scattered along the World Showcase walkway.

P. 49 Add information to the April entry. If you're interested in a fancy-dress visit to Walt Disney World, keep an eye out for information on "Dapper Days" a fan organized event where guests come to the parks wearing period costumes from the 1920s-1960s. This event may also take place in November.

P. 49 Add information to the end of the September entry. A new fan organized event, "Spooky Day" takes plans in September and involves the wearing of "wicked" costumes along with VIP events and special shopping opportunities.

P. 51 Add information to the December entry.

In 2016, Disney introduced Seasonal Tastes (taking place from November 25-December 30), as part of the Epcot Holidays Around the World celebration. Seasonal tastes will feature food and beverage sales booths scattered around the World Showcase area, offering festive holiday-themed tasting portions of food and drink.

P. 52 Add information to the December entry.

Holidays at Disney Springs. In an effort to funnel some of the holiday guest traffic out of the theme parks, Disney is introducing a new nighttime holiday show at Disney Springs. "Starbright Holidays - An Intel Collaboration" features drones flying in formation to form light sculptures depicting trees, stars, and other holiday symbols. This is in addition to more low-key holiday themeing such as a traditional Santa greeting station, musicians playing carols, and a “Christmas Tree Trail” of photo ops and merriment.

Part 2 - Making the Most of Your Time and Money

PP. 60-68 As of February 12, 2017, ticket prices have increased. For updated pricing see:

P. 65 Add a paragraph in the ticket section.

4-Park Magic Tickets Disney has begun to tinker with its standard ticket offerings, introducing a new ticket type called 4-Park Magic Ticket. This ticket allows guests four days of park admittance, one day to each of the four primary theme parks, with no park hopping allowed. In other words, with the 4-Park Magic Ticket, guest can visit Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Magic Kingdom for one day each. Tickets are priced at $279 plus tax for guests age 10 and up, and $259 for children ages 3-9, compared to $325 for adults and $305 for traditional tickets of the same duration. The ticket comes with a number of caveats, including a use-by date and holiday season black-out dates, which makes them unsuitable for many guests. However, if the available dates and part visit structure work for you, this new ticket can provide considerable savings.

P 65 Annual pass section. ADD a sentence to the end of this section. Annual pass holders should be sure to periodically check the passholder mailing and website for updates to benefits. One unexpected addition in mid-2017 was the ability for passholders to purchase Express Bus Service at a flat rate for the entire summer.

P. 66 In the Tickets, Biometrics, Wristbands and RFID section, add the following information:

Beginning in the summer of 2016, Disney began asking for biometric finger scans for children ages 3-9, as well as for adults and children ages 10+. Younger kids may have a parent or other adult provide their scans, or Disney may ask to photograph the child for admission verification purposes.

P 70. Add information to the MagicBand section. In late 2016, Disney introduced the first style update to the MagicBand. New bands allow users to detach the reader chip from the bracelet band, so that it can be positioned elsewhere or attached to a lanyard. This may make MagicBand usage easier for some guests.

P. 71 Add new subsection: Disney and the Upcharge:

During the past year, Disney has experimented with adding a number of products and events that involve a fee or service charge above and beyond the normal cost of a Disney theme park visit. Some of the upcharges are similar to previous park offerings. For example, the new Star Wars Guided tour (p XREF) at $121 per person, is a pretty standard variation on the many backstage tours offered at the parks, and the Epcot Illuminations Dessert party at $49 per adult, is a variation on the Wishes dessert party long offered at the Magic Kingdom.

On the other end of the spectrum are experimental add-ons that some have found shocking. During the fall 2016/winter 2017 season, the Magic Kingdom offered $650 private cabanas located in Tomorrowland, $20 private water taxi rides to/from points around Bay Lake, evening after hours Magic Kingdom park access (initially tried at $150 per person, now listing at $120 per person), $19 per day Express bus transportation between the theme parks for guests with Park Hopper tickets, an “Ice Cream Social" on board the Liberty Belle River Boat ($49 per adult), and many more.

Some of these experiments have already been discontinued (bye bye for now, cabanas) and others are likely to have short lifespans, but some will certainly stick around. We haven’t yet found one new upcharge item that we’d say is a 100% must-do or absolute game changer. You can certainly avoid spending money on these extras and still have a stellar vacation. However, we are concerned about whether these add-ons will begin to have a significant negative impact on regular guests. The Tomorrowland cabanas, as executed in their test run, were unsightly white tents assembled near Space Mountain; their shanty-like appearance was out of place for the environment and were just plain ugly. The Ice Cream Social onboard the Liberty Belle takes that attraction off line for regular guests for about three hours every afternoon. That’s a real loss for some.

If you’re looking for ways to add convenience or excitement to your vacation, and you’re willing to pay for it, Disney now has you covered in spades. But we’ll continue to monitor whether Disney’s formerly passive class stratification for guests is on its way to becoming an active nuisance.

P 72 ADD a new subsection between the “Operating Hours” and “Official Opening Vs Real Opening” sections.

Park Security Screening.

Over the past several years, Disney has been gradually increasing guest security screenings for park entry. In addition to full bag searches for all guests, there are now also walk-through metal detectors like you’d find at an airport. These increased screenings had created lengthy and frustrating backlogs at the park entrance gates. In an effort to decrease crowding at the entrance gate area, in spring 2017 Disney began experimenting with moving security screenings of guests to other areas of the resort, away from the park gates. For example, guests boarding the Magic Kingdom-bound ferry will be screened at the Transportation and Ticket Center. Guests approaching the Magic Kingdom may be screened at the resorts along the monorail loop. Some guests may have their security screening at their resort bus stop. Expect changes to occur as Disney works out the specifics of their procedures. It may be prudent to bake an extra 15-20 minutes into your park entry plan as Disney tinkers with their procedures.

P. 76 Please be aware that La Nouba is permanently closing on December 31, 2017.

P. 109 - Cheetah Hunt is not the longest roller coaster in Florida; it has been surpassed by Mako at SeaWorld.

Part 3 - Accomodations

P. 113 The tax rate for Osceola County is now 13.5%.

P. 164 There is a new hybrid quick service restaurant and bar at the Wilderness Lodge, Geyser Point Grill.

P. 186 Disney has announced plans to create a new waterfront dining and shopping area at the Caribbean Beach resort. This will be constructed in a central location to improve guest access to services and dining. The existing restaurant experiences at Caribbean Beach are closing, to be replaced with temporary grab-and-go stands. Expect construction to begin soon and be finished sometime in 2019.

P. 200 ADD an Unofficial Tip: The Animal Kingdom Lodge is home to three of our Reader Survey’s top five restaurants in all of Walt Disney World. Foodies looking for convenient eats may want to consider this when choosing a hotel.

P. 205 Disney has begun construction on an expansion to the Coronado Springs resort. The main component of the expansion, which is expected to be completed in 2019, is the building of a 15-story tower with 500 guest rooms, including suites and a concierge experience. Expect the percentage of guests here that are conference attendees to increase.

P. 226-235 Disney Ticket prices increased. See: Also, Disney Dining Plan prices are increasing. See:

P. 226 Disney has begun to experiment with a dining-inclusive package for area hotels not owned by Disney itself. Booking for this experimental package is available until Dec. 1, 2017 for travel dates through Dec. 31, 2017. The "Quick Service Dining Gift Card Package" is available for guests staying at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels, Four Seasons Resort Orlando, and some Disney Springs resort area hotels, with a minimum 3-day ticket theme park ticket. Guests of these properties may add on a discounted pre-paid gift card which may be used for dining at Quick-Service Restaurant locations or food carts in Walt Disney World. For each theme park admission ticket day, adult guests will be charged $35, but will receive a $40 dining card credit. Child (ages 3-9) guests will be charged $12.50, but will receive a $15 dining card credit. This is a 12.5% discount for adults and a 16.7% discount for children. Guests should be aware that using less than the full value of the discount card will effectively result in a smaller discount, or even a possible overcharge, for quick service meals.

P. 234 ADD new Disney Dining Plan subsection:

DINING PLAN VARIATIONS MAY BE AVAILABLE Disney has begun experimenting with variations on the its long-standing dining plan offerings. In early 2017, they tested a plan called “Dine-on-the-Go,” which was essentially a on-day quick service plan for Magic Kingdom visitors. For $29 for guests 10 and up ($12 for kids 3-9), guests received one counter service lunch meal, available for use until 4:00 p.m. and one counter service dinner meal, available after 4:00 p.m. Unlike the regular dining plans, this option was available to all guests, not just those staying at Disney resort hotels. Additional tests may be offered. Stay tuned.

P. 302 Paddlefish, Frontera Cocina, Chef Art Smith's Homecomin' [formerly known as Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Shine Bar], and D-Luxe Burger are all now open.

Part 4 - Dining in and Around Walt Disney World

P. 310 Fast Casual section. Remove reference to Starring Rolls Café. Restaurant now closed.

Fast Food in the Theme Parks Section. ADD a subsection. MOBILE ORDERING. Debuting with the new Satu’li Canteen at the Animal Kingdom’s Pandora, Disney is now offering “mobile ordering” at several of its counter service dining venues. Mobile ordering functions somewhat like Mobile Order & Pay at Starbucks. Through the My Disney Experience App, you have the opportunity to place an order and pay for your meal online, picking it up at the restaurant when you’re ready. As of press time, this was available for just a handful of restaurants at the Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom, but more venues are expected to be added throughout the year. Be sure to update your app just prior to your visit to see all the latest offerings.

P. 314 Remove reference to Portobello at Disney Springs. Restaurant closed April 2017 to undergo extensive retheming and refurbishment. Will reopen late 2017 with a new concept.

P 324 DHS section. Last paragraph. Remove reference to Starring Rolls Café. Restaurant now closed.

P. 313 Paddlefish is now open

P. 330 Casey’s now offers a limited breakfast menu of croissant donuts, muffins, and a sanity-defying “breakfast hot dog” featuring a foot-long dog topped with hash browns, cheddar cheese, bacon, onion straws and ranch dressing.

Add quick service restaurant. Plaza Ice Cream Parlor. Quality: Good. Value: B. Portion: Medium: Location: Main Street USA. Reader-Survey Responses: 97+ 3-. Disney Dining Plan?: Yes. Selections: Breakfast options include Mickey waffle plate, doughnuts and muffins, cold cereal, or a doughnut sundae. All-day dessert of ice cream cones, floats, and sundaes.

P 332 Add quick service restaurant. Sleepy Hollow. Quality: Good. Value: B. Portion: Medium. Location: Liberty Square. Reader-Survey Responses: 95+ 5-. Disney Dining Plan? Yes. Selections: Funnel cake with a selection of toppings. Sausage and cheddar stuffed pretzel. Sweet and savory waffles include a fresh fruit waffle sandwich with Nutella, a sweet and spicy chicken waffle sandwich, and a breakfast waffle with ham, egg, and tomato. Soft drinks and coffee-based based beverages.

P. 337 Restaurantosaurus may serve breakfast during peak seasons.

P. 337 Add new restaurant (opening May 27, 2017)

Satu’li Canteen. Selections: The signature item is the customizable "bowl." Start with a base of quinoa and vegetable salad, red and sweet potato hash, whole-grain and rice, or romaine and kale salad. Then add in grilled chicken, roasted beef, fish, or chili-spiced fried tofu, and finish with a variety of dressings. The menu also offers steamed “pods” – bao buns with either cheeseburger or vegetable curry filling and served with root vegetable chips and crunchy vegetable slaw. The children's menu includes items for both the adventurous and traditional palates. Comments: Located in the new Pandora section of the Animal Kingdom, Satu'li Canteen is the first WDW eatery to offer "Mobile Order," a new system which allows guests to order and pay for meals by app, bypassing all lines at the restaurant itself.

P. 338 PizzeRizzo is now open.

P. 339 Remove Starring Rolls Café entry. Restaurant now closed.

P. 341 The Disney Springs restaurants Frontera Cocina and Chef Art Smith's Homecomin' (a name change since the previously announced Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine) are both now open. Replace the current entries with the following:

Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming

Reservations: Recommended. When to Go: Lunch or dinner. Cost range: $16-$41 (child $9-$12). Service: Too new to rate.Friendliness: Too new to rate. Parking: Disney Springs garage. Bar: Full service. Wine selection: modest. Dress: Casual. Disabled access: Yes. Customers: Disney guests; locals. Lunch and dinner: Sun-Thurs 11:00 a.m – midnight, Fri-Sat 11:00 a.m.-1:00 a.m. Location: Disney Springs. Phone: 407-560-0100.

Setting and atmosphere: Florida farm-style décor with a reclaimed wood and mason jar vibe. Dining rooms chairs are covered in faux burlap sacks. Florida born and raised, Art Smith is Oprah Winfrey’s former private chef and is well known for his appearances on Top Chef Masters and Iron Chef America.

House specialties: The 200-seat Homecoming focuses on Smith’s takes on traditional Southern cooking, highlighting Florida’s produce and seafood bounty with dishes he’s known for: pimento cheese, deviled eggs, Lowcountry shrimp and grits, biscuits and sawmill gravy, and chicken and dumplings. Sweets from his bakery will be shipped in daily. Cocktails feature artisanal moonshine.

Other recommendations: Our kryptonite is the “Fried Chicken and Doughnuts” (yes, you read that right), a platter of fried chicken served with house-made sugar doughnuts and KC Greens.

Summary and comments: There’s some menu overlap with the nearby House of Blues restaurant. We’d eat here for the calmer atmosphere and fresher food.

Frontera Cocina

Reservations: Recommended. When to Go: Lunch or dinner. Cost range: $14-34 (children $9). Service: Too new to rate. Friendliness: Too new to rate. Parking: Disney Springs garage. Bar: Full service. Wine selection: modest. Dress: Casual. Disabled access: Yes. Customers: Disney guests; locals. Lunch and dinner: Sun-Wed 11:00 a.m –10:00 p.m., Thurs-Sat t 11:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m. Location: Disney Springs. Phone: 407-560-9197.

Setting and atmosphere: Though the exterior presents with muted beige walls and white accents in meant to evoke classic Florida waterfront architecture, bright pops of color from the centerpiece chandelier and bar accents highlight the sleek and modern eatery’s interior, made casual by exposed duct work and cozy dark wood furnishings. The open show kitchen and "Wall of Fame" shelves packed with specialty liquors and wines are bathed in natural sunlight from the large windows on nearly every wall, showcasing the springs and outdoor patio from the back dining room of the restaurant.

House specialties: Traditional Yucatecan sikil pak pumpkin seed dip, familiar build-your-own Carne Asada tacos, Cocina ancho-marinated half chicken served with highly-lauded queso añejo mashed potatoes, Frontera margarita and specialty agave flights, as well as the pecan pie bar (a family recipe from Chef Rick Bayless’ grandmother).

Other recommendations: House-made-to-order guacamole, Shrimp and bay scallop Coctel verde, mushroom torta with chipotle-garlic mojo, carnitas, red chile chicken enchiladas, Mexican “Cola” (Avión blanco tequila, tamarind, Ancho Reyes chili liqueur, with a black ant salt rim), and coconut lime quatro leches cake. The dessert menu is small; kids may be happier with a dessert from the nearby Sprinkles cupcake shop.

Summary and comments: If you want Frontera Cocina food on the go, there’s a take-away window offering chips and guac, two kinds of tacos, soft drinks, beer, and margaritas.

P. 344 Remove reference to Portobello at Disney Springs. Restaurant closed April 2017 to undergo extensive retheming and refurbishment. Will reopen late 2017 with a new concept.

P 350 Bongos. Reader-Survey Responses: 67%+, 33%-.

P 351 California Grill now hosts and event on Sunday evenings called “Celebration at the Top – Savor, Sip, and Sparkle.” Guests will enjoy tasting-size plates of several of the restaurants’ offerings while watching the fireworks display. A selection of beer, wine, and cordials is included. The cost of this event is $99 plus gratuity and tax per person. Complimentary valet parking is included with this event. Reservations can be made by calling (407) WDW-DINE.

P. 353 Cinderella's Royal Table now serves a limited selection of champagne and sparkling wines.

P. 357 Flying Fish has been re-opened. Revise the restaurant's entry.

Flying Fish

Reservations: Recommended. When to Go: Dinner. Cost range: $37-64 (child $13-17). Service: Too new to rate. Friendliness: Too new to rate. Bar: Full service. Wine selection: Extensive. Parking: Valet ($25) or Boardwalk hotel lot. Dress: Dressy casual. Disabled access: yes. Customers: Hotel guests, locals. Dinner: 5:30 -10:00 pm Sun-Thurs, 5:30-10:30 pm Fri-Sat.

Setting and atmosphere: A palette of blues and golds, along with many bubble- and fish-shaped lighting fixtures, provides a tasteful under-the-sea atmosphere.

House specialties: Appetizers include corn-encrusted wild Gulf shrimp and “A Tour of the Coast,” featuring rock shrimp, Florida Coast Grouper Cheek, blue mussels, and local middleneck clams. Entrees include a daily special fish, wild Alaska coho salmon, and lobster pasta. If you’re not in the mood for seafood, try the Wagyu filet mignon or bison strip loin.

Other recommendations: Flying Fish offers a five-course Chef’s Table meal that is popular with guests celebrating special occasions. The dessert menu is light and imaginative, get one to share.

Summary and comments: Flying Fish reopened in August 2016, following a lengthy refurbishment. Both the interior design and the menu saw extensive overhauls. The most important change was a change in the lead chef, now Tim Majoras. The emphasis on seasonal seafood remains, with a modern flair. A new companion bar, AbracadaBar, offers specialty cocktails served with a side of magic, literally. The premise is that this was a watering hole for magicians and their lovely assistants, until they all mysteriously vanished one evening long ago. Waitstaff perform illusions and the décor includes vintage magicians’ props. Signature drink names evoke a magical past including: The Conjurita, The Parlor Trick, Elixir, and our favorite, Pepper’s Ghost, named for the illusion used in the Haunted Mansion attractions dining room scene.

P 359 ADD a new restaurant, Geyser Point Bar and Grill.

Geyser Point Bar and Grill

American. Moderate. Quality 3.5. Value 3. Reader Survey, too new to rate. DDP yes. Wilderness Lodge. Phone TBD. Reservations, not accepted. DDP, accepted on some items. When to go, any time. Cost range: breakfast $7-12 (child $5), lunch and dinner $9-15 (child $7). Service, 3.5. Friendliness, 4. Parking, valet ($25) self service free. Bar, full bar. Customers, hotel guests. Wine selection, fair. Breakfast 7:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m. Lunch/dinner 11:00 a.m. – midnight.

Setting and Atmosphere: Picturesque views of the resort’s geyser and pool area along with Bay Lake. Geyser Point is a hybrid quick service and table service lounge venue, with both sharing the same lovely seating area. The main food offerings are counter service, but there is a substantial bar menu with imaginative drinks and hearty snacks.

House Specialties: A step up from most standard quick service fare, lighter lunch and dinner options include a grilled salmon BLT and a veggie-packed grilled portabella mushroom salad. While a regular burger is available for those in search of classic flavors, the upgraded bison cheeseburger with Tillamook cheddar and marionberry barbecue sauce impresses without being stuffy or overpriced.

Other Recommendations: Crab cakes feature on the menu all day, with an adventurous crab cake eggs benedict at breakfast and served on a hearty sandwich with Canadian bacon and spicy cabbage-carrot slaw at lunch/dinner. For dessert, sample a rich chocolate mousse brownie or a seasonally-appropriate fruit pie. Summary and Comments: Though portions are not always overwhelming in size, the quality of the food at Geyser Point and the view of the resort area from any given table combine to create a more upscale-than-normal quick service dining experience. Best of all – guests don’t have to fuss with paper plates and trays of food in the busy dining area; ordered food is delivered to guests at their chosen tables on real dishes with non-plastic silverware (or neatly packaged in to-go containers, if so desired).

P 360 Hollywood & Vine entry. Replace Summary and Comments with: It’s family-friendly, so expect lots of noisy kids. The previously experimental holiday themed character meals will be a permanent fixture beginning in late spring 2017. For lunch and dinner expect to find “Minnie’s Seasonal Dine” where she and other classic characters will wear garb related to the closest seasonal holiday.

P. 363 Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen now serves a limited selection of beer and wine.

P. 364 Liberty Tree Tavern now serves a limited selection of beer, wine, and hard cider.

P. 370 Planet Hollywood Observatory opens February 2017. Replace House Specialties with "Chicken tenders with mustard sauce are an appetizer big enough for a meal. The Hollywood Bowl is a Cobb salad variation. Lasagne. Several varieties of over-adorned burgers, including Fieri's Bacon Mac 'n Cheese burger with Applewood-smoked bacon, six cheese mac-n-cheese cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, crispy onion straws and donkey sauce on a garlic-buttered brioche bun. Sandwiches such as pulled pork and grilled cheese stuffed with mac 'n cheese. BBQ ribs, filet mignon, sesame ginger salmon. Desserts include cheesecake in a jar, key lime pie in a jar, and banana pudding in a jar."

P. 370 The Polite Pig BBQ opens April 10, 2017 at Disney Springs.

P. 371 The Plaza now only accepts reservations from 11:00 a.m. until noon. The rest of the day, the restaurant will serve walk-up guests only.

P. 371 Portobello. Restaurant closed April 2017 to undergo extensive retheming and refurbishment. Will reopen late 2017 with a new concept. Current entry is no longer valid.

P. 374 Sanaa now serves breakfast from 7:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Breakfast is quick service, not the full table service available at lunch and dinner. Offerings include hot food such as eggs, waffles, and bacon, as well as a small section of grab-and-go cold foods.

P 377 STK Orlando. ADD Reader Response info: 60%+ 40%-. ADD information to the Summary and Comments section: For our first Reader Response survey that included STK, the restaurant garnered only 60% positive response, putting it in 899th place among all 909 ranked restaurants at WDW. This is among the lowest we’ve ever seen for a new upscale dining venue at WDW and may be a predictor of future changes at the venue.

P. 378 Tiffins. ADD Reader Response info: 93%+, 7%-. Add information to the summary and comments section: Tiffins is a fairly new addition to Walt Disney World, but it is fast becoming a favorite. With both Tiffins and its companion bar, Nomad Lounge, garnering 93% positive reader response, our advice is to book a reservation soon, because once the Animal Kingdom’s Pandora section starts to bring more foot traffic to the area, it will become a challenge to dine here.

P. 380 Tony's Town Square now serves a limited selection of beer and wine.

P 382 Trattoria Al Forno entry. Add a second paragraph to the Setting and Atmosphere section: Beginning spring 2017, Trattoria Al Forno becomes the first new WDW character dining experience in several years. The meal features “royal couples” included Rapunzel & Flynn Rider and Ariel & Prince Eric.

P 386 Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe is closing August 1, 2017.

Part 5 - Walt Disney World With Kids

P. 428-429 Add Trattoria Al Forno to the Character Meal Hit Parade. Location: Boardwalk. Meal Served: Breakfast. Setting: ***. Characters: Rapunzel & Flynn Rider, Ariel & Prince Eric. Other information TBD.

Part 7 - Arriving and Getting Around

P. 474 In the Transportation Time chart, the current “#” footnote should be deleted. Replace with: Prior to 4:00 p.m. all transportation between the theme parks and Disney Springs requires a transfer at a nearby resort. After 4:00 p.m., buses run directly from the theme parks to Disney Springs. There are no buses from Disney Springs directly to the theme parks.

P 463 ADD information to Bullet2 - Paying to Park: The daily parking rate for motorcycles and standard cars is $20. There is also now a preferred parking option, with spots closer to the park entrances, available for $35 per day. Resort guests and annual pass holders continue to receive free regular parking, but will incur an upcharge for preferred parking.

P. 472 Add information about new express bus service.

In December 2016, Disney introduced its first fee-based inter-park transportation service. Express Transportation is an add-on that can purchased by Guests who have purchased park hopper tickets. For single-day service, Express Transportation can be added for $19 per person. For multi-day service, it is $29 per person which is valid for up to seven consecutive days from the day of sale. Annual Passholders can chose to add on the single-day option, but not the multi-day version. The express bus will shuttle guests from inside one theme park straight into a different theme park, traveling between backstage locations. This means that guests will not have to go through security screening at the second park, a possibly substantial time savings during busy times of year. Pick up locations will be found near the exit of Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom, east of Spaceship Earth at Epcot, near Rock n’ Roller Coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and near Kilimanjaro Safaris entrance at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Express Transportation is available from 10:00 a.m. until park close. Pick up will occur every 30 minutes.

P. 476 In the second reader quote on this page, there is a typo. It should read "we had to wait a half-hour...," not "half-mile."

P. 478 In our chart of boat routes, Magic Kingdom is misspelled on the Grand Floridian-Polynesian-Magic Kingdom route.

Part 9 - The Magic Kingdom

P. 508 The Hall of Presidents attraction will be shut down for the first half of 2017 to make room for the animatronic Donald Trump. No word yet on whether Disney will be making additional alterations to the script or other aspects of the presentation. The inspirational, patriotic tone is a constant. For that reason, foreign visitors rate the show lower than Americans.

P. 518 Princess Fairytale Hall. There have been some shake-ups in the princess contingent in residence at Fairytale Hall. In November 2016, Princess Elena of Avalor (a new Disney Channel character) has supplanted Sleeping Beauty in the greeting rotation. This follows the summer 2016 relocation of Frozen’s Anna and Elsa to the new Royal Sommerhus meet and greet at Epcot’s Norway pavilion. The lines are now shorter than they were a year ago, but they can still be substantial. If your kids love princesses, even B-list ones, get Fairytale Hall out of the way first thing, or use FastPass+.

P. 524 Stitch's Great Escape is now open seasonally. Expect it to be operational only during holidays and high crowd times.

P 527 DELETE the Celebrate the Magic section. This show was discontinued on 11/4/16.

P 527 In the Castle Forecourt live entertainment section. ADD a new show.

Let the Magic Begin” 2 stars. This five-minute-long show takes place just prior to the official park opening time. A town crier, Mickey Mouse, the Fairy Godmother, officially open the Magic Kingdom for the day. Most of the characters that greet guests in the park appear on stage for about two minutes, but they only wave. There is no song, dance, or other show element. It’s a cute diversion if you happen to be there, but it’s entirely skipable if you don’t sacrifice your position near the front of the pack to enter the main lands of the park.

P 527 In the Castle Forecourt live entertainment section. ADD a new show.

The Royal Welcome of Princess Elena of Avalor. *** [three stars]. This quick six-minute show is performed several times per day on the Castle Forecourt stage. Cinderella and Prince Charming introduce Crown Princess Elena of Avalor to the Magic Kingdom. Elena, the star of the Disney Channel series “Elena of Avalor,” is Disney’s first Latina princess. During this performance, Elena chats with Cindy and Charming, using both English and Spanish, and sings her signature song, “My Time.” If your kids are fans of the Elena TV show, then it may be worth stopping to watch, otherwise it’s an easy thing to skip. Check the daily Times Guide for show times.

P. 527 Live Entertainment in the Magic Kingdom. DELETE the Celebrate the Magic section. This show was discontinued on 11/4/16.

P. 527 Live Entertainment in the Magic Kingdom. ADD a new offering, The Muppets Present ... Great Moments in American History.

THE MUPPETS PRESENT … GREAT MOMENTS IN AMERICAN HISTORY This oddball take on American History is hosted by James "J.J." Jefferson--the town crier of Liberty Square--and Sam the Eagle, the most patriotic of Muppets. Joined by Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, and Gonzo, the show is performed several times daily. There are multiple versions of the show, some include singing, some storytelling, but all contain the Muppets' famous humor. The Muppets Present...Great Moments in American History is performed outside, near The Hall of Presidents.

P. 527 In the Live Entertainment in the Magic Kingdom. ADD a new show, Once Upon a Time.

Like its predecessor, Celebrate the Magic, Once Upon a Time uses projection mapping technology to cover every nook and cranny of Cinderella Castle in vibrant images that appear almost three-dimensional. The heartwarming show features Beauty and the Beast's Mrs. Potts sharing bedtime stories with Chip. Here, Guests go on a magical adventure through favorite Disney movies, including flying over London to Never Land with Peter Pan, watching Winnie the Pooh fly towards the top of the Castle with a colorful balloon, enjoying a whimsical tea party with the Mad Hatter, and more. The show culminates with classic scenes from Beauty and the Beast, including Belle waltzing with Beast, Beast’s duel with Gaston, and Gaston's turning back into a Prince. The conclusion includes a grand finale of additional appearances by beloved Disney characters.

P. 528 The Wishes Fireworks show is being discontinued. A new evening fireworks program "Happily Ever After" will debut on May 12, 2017. The dessert party and fireworks cruise are expected to continue, likely with different names. For preliminary thoughts on the new fireworks show see -

P. 530 Disney discontinued its popular regular evening parade, the Main Street Electrical Parade, in October 2016. No word yet on a replacement. There are still evening parades during special events and parties such as Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

Part 10 - Epcot

P. 552-553 The only currently functioning attraction in Innoventions is Colortopia by the paint company, Glidden. Colortopia has interactive kiosks where you can see how the rooms in your house look with different color schemes. A preview is available at

P. 553 Remove the entire Sum of All Thrills section. This attraction has been discontinued.

P. 567 Strike the word "First" in the 2nd paragraph of the Frozen Ever After Description. It should read:

(The former unloading area is now also used to load, and the old post-show area became a beautifully detailed village queue, complete with Wandering Oaken's shop to walk through.) There's a short, mild section where you're propelled backwards for a few seconds as Elsa entreats you to "Let It Go," followed by a short downhill and small splash that most kids should take in stride.

P. 573 The flag corps is no longer performing in the Italy pavilion.

P. 575 DELETE the last 2 sentences of the first full paragraph.

Part 11 - Disney's Animal Kingdom

P. 584 Animal Kingdom map. The Africa FP+ kiosk location has moved from the Dawa Bar area, closer to the Kilimanjaro Safari attraction.

P. 590 Rivers of Light opened on Feb 17, 2017.

P. 590 Pandora opens on May 27, 2017.

P. 590 Avatar: Flight of Passage and Na'Vi River Journey are both FastPass+ attractions. Guests may choose one, but not both, Pandora attractions in their first 3 FP+ selections, which are now available for booking. In a situation similar to the "tiered" FastPasses at Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios, the two Pandora attractions are now the Animal Kingdom's "Tier "1 attractions. All the other previous FP+ attractions at the Animal Kingdom are "Tier 2" attractions. (See for the full list.) In what may be a glitch, currently, guests wishing to book three FP+ for Animal Kingdom, must make one of those FP+ selections for a Pandora attraction. This penalizes guests who may not be interested in seeing Pandora. For a one-day Animal Kingdom Touring Plan which includes Pandora, see

P 598 Conservation Station. Description and Comments. Add a sentence: There are also character greeting in the main building, including daily visits from the Disney Channel’s Doc McStuffins.

P. 603 The Jungle Book show, mentioned in the Rivers of Light entry, has been discontinued. Rivers of Light opened Feb 17, 2017.

P. 604 Rivers of Light Touring Tips. If the Animal Kingdom is running two Rivers of Light shows in one evening, the second show is likely to be less crowded.

P. 608 The height requirement for Avatar: Flight of Passage is 44 inches. The attraction officially opens May 27, 2017.

P. 608 We've now seen Pandora and experienced Avatar: Flight of Passage and Na'Vi River Journey. For our impressions see -

P. 609 There is no height requirement for Na'Vi River Journey. The attraction officially opens May 27, 2017.

Part 12 - Disney's Hollywood Studios

P. 613 Disney has announced a summer 2019 opening for Star Wars Land. Star Wars land will depict an entirely new planet in the Star Wars universe, one that has existed for eons, but that we have not yet visited. The new land will include fully immersive experiences. For example, if you choose a First Order or Resistance identity for a game or ride, that identity will follow you to other attractions. Your experiences in the park will be modified based on your completion of tasks or sequencing of decisions. We don't know exactly what this means, but we're excited to find out.

P. 617 ADD a paragraph to the end of the Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the Evening section: During summer 2017, Disney added a temporary attraction “The Music of Pixar LIVE! A Symphony of Characters.” This show will be performed three times nightly on the Theater of the Stars stages (the daytime home of the Beauty and the Beast show). A live orchestra will play along with scenes from favorite Pixar films and Pixar characters will join in the fun as well.

P. 623 Fantasmic Dining Packages are now available for breakfast. Guests booking a package breakfast at Hollywood and Vine ($41.54 for guests ages 10 and up, $25.63 for guests ages 3-9) can receive a voucher for reserved seating at Fantasmic.

P. 624 New entry: Disney Movie Magic (too new to rate) / On the Front of the Chinese Theater What it is: Movie clips projected onto a central building. Scope and scale: Minor attraction. When to go: evenings. Special comments: May or may not be listed on the Times Guide. Often shown 30 minutes prior to the Star Wars Galactic Spectacular. Duration: About 10 minutes. Author’s rating: Good. Preshow entertainment: None, this is pre-show entertainment, but is also entertaining on its own. When to arrive: 10-20 minutes before showtime, or an 40-50 minutes before the Star Wars Spectacular. Description and comments: Select clips from the Disney film catalogue. There is some classic animation, along with loads of live action content running through current Marvel offerings. Music and lighting effects enhance the presentation. Touring tips: Guests stand during the show. Viewing angles may be challenging for small children. Some of the older live action clips may be mystifying to younger viewers unfamiliar with the Kurt Russell era Disney films like That Darn Cat or The Apple Dumpling Gang.

P 625 New entry: Theater of the Stars / The Music of Pixar Live (too new to rate) What it is: Film clips and character appearances accompanied by a live orchestra. Scope and scale: Major attraction. When to go: evenings. Special comments: check your Time Guide for schedule updates. May run seasonally. Author’s rating: Good. Duration: 45 minutes. Preshow entertainment: None. When to arrive: 20-30 minutes before showtime. Description and comments: A full orchestra accompanies clips from Pixar films. A great demonstration of the importance of music in the film viewing experience. Characters come on stage periodically. The show ends with a rousing Sing Along of “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.” Touring Tips: The show takes place in an open amphitheater. There are overhead fans, but it can still be sweltering, even after the sun goes down. If you’re heat sensitive, go on a cooler evening. Dining packages, similar to the Fantasmic Dining packages are available.

P. 632 Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream entry. ADD a sentence to the end of Touring Tips. There are occasional character greeting help in the back of the One Man’s Dream building. Summer 2017 character greetings include Baby Groot and Star-Lord from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. Keep an eye out for unique photo ops here.

P. 633 Create new section "Live Entertainment in Disney's Hollywood Studios

In addition to the many stage show attractions (Beauty and the Beast, Disney Jr. Live, For the First Time in Forever, Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular, Voyage of the Little Mermaid), there are a number of other live entertainment opportunities at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Currently, the focus is on Star Wars related experiences. The March of the First Order is a minor parade/stage show hybrid. Captain Phasma and a legion of Stormtroopers walk in formation from the park entrance area to the Great Movie Ride, and make a few proclamations from the stage. The “show” is quite minimal; it’s mostly about the Empire marching around. The Stormtroopers’ blasters and full body uniforms are a thrill for Star Wars geeks, but could be quite intimidating for a skittish child.

Also focused on Star Wars is Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away, in which newer characters such as Kylo Ren and BB-8 join Darth Maul and Chewbacca in reenactments of scenes from the film franchise.

The Hollywood Studios evening show is Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. This laser and fireworks presentation projects images and video from the Star Wars films onto a backdrop of the Chinese Theater. The real thrill is listening to John Williams’ soaring score while fireworks blast above you.

If you’re in a more down to earth mood, keep an eye out for the Citizens of Hollywood. These “Streetmosphere” players wander the park and engage guests in interactive performances related to the glamour days of Hollywood.

Part 13 - Universal Orlando

P. 638 Universal Orlando ticket prices have increased. See chart here for updated pricing:

Part 17 - The Water Parks

P 714 Add attraction to Typhoon Lagoon chart. Miss Adventure Falls. Any height. Twisty family raft ride. Pass by some of the first water park audio animatronics.

P 714 Delete the current paragraph starting “A family raft ride with an elevated flume …” Replace with a new paragraph: A new family raft ride “Miss Adventure Falls” opened in spring 2017. Take a circular raft up a long conveyer belt, passing Disney’s first water park audioanimatronics. This two minute long ride, the longest ride at either of the Disney water parks, takes you and your family on a rolling slide ride meant to simulate low level white water rapids.

P 714 ADD a paragraph to the end of the Typhoon Lagoon general info section. In spring 2017, Disney began testing a “virtual queue” system for some of the attractions at Typhoon Lagoon, allowing guests to avoid a long wait and instead arrive during an assigned 15-minute window. Guests wishing to ride Typhoon Lagoon’s Downhill Double Dipper, or Slush Gusher will receive a waterproof card attached to a wristband indicating their return time. This is somewhat akin to the old paper FastPass system. Stay tuned for updates as Disney tinkers with the process.

PP. 713-716 The Shark Reef attraction at Typhoon Lagoon is now permanently closed.

Part 18 - Behind-the-Scenes and VIP Tours at Walt Disney World

P 730. Add a new tour to the chart. Star Wars Guided Tour. Length = 7 hours. Cost = $121, all ages. Minimum age = TBD. Focus = All things Star Wars. Days available = Mondays and Saturdays.

P 731 Add a new tour to the chart. Caring for the Giants. Length = 1 hour. Cost = $30, all ages. Minimum age = 4. Focus = Learn about the Animal Kingdom elephants. Days available = Daily 10:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m..

P 732 Add new section. Behind the Scenes at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

A new Star Wars Guided Tour is now being offered at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This is a seven-hour experience that will include A Star Wars “all-in-the-know” tour guide, priority boarding for Star Tours – The Adventures Continue; an opportunity to participate in Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple (for guests age 4-12); an in-depth guided exploration of Star Wars Launch Bay, a screening of “Star Wars: Path of the Jedi”, dinner at the Backlot Express (with Star Wars themed food!); the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party; fireworks viewing and more. Priced at $121 per person, tours are Mondays and Saturdays throughout 2017.

P 733 Behind the Scenes at Disney’s Animal Kingdom section. Add a paragraph to the end of this section.

Caring for the Giants is a 60-minute long tour focusing on the care of the park’s elephant herd. Led by an animal care specialist, guest will learn about the elephants’ habit and feeding, as well as about conservation of wild populations. Tours occur daily between 10:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Guests must be at least 4 years or older to participate. The cost is $30 per person (tax included) and park admission is required, but not included.

P. 734 Add paragraph to the end of the VIP tour section: Aimed at families with younger children, the Ultimate Classics VIP Tour (4 hours, $199 per person) includes rides on up to 10 Magic Kingdom park attractions that have no height requirement. A private meet and greet with Mickey is part of the experience. The tour is offered on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, pending availability. Park admission is required, but not included in the cost of the tour.

Part 19 - Disney Springs, Universal Citywalk, Etc.

P. 738 Add paragraph to the end of the Disney Springs intro section: If you happen to be dripping with cash and also overwhelmed by the idea of shopping, Disney now offers Personal Shopping Sessions to help you target your spending. Personal Shoppers offer a one-on-one consultation with a fashion advisor, beauty and skincare advice, and special access to Disney Springs retailers. The cost is $250 per hour. To book call 321-377-1337.

P. 738-739 DisneyQuest is scheduled to close on July 3, 2017. No word yet on when the replacement attraction, The NBA Experience, will open.

P. 741 The World of Coke store is now open.

P. 741 The Landing and Town Center. Add Blaze Fast Fired Pizza to the list of notable specialty food and beverage.

P. 751 Please be aware that Cirque du Soleil La Nouba is permanently closing on December 31, 2017.

Clip Out Touring Plans

PP. 812-819 Remove Touring Plan steps referencing an evening parade. There is no longer an evening parade during regular Magic Kingdom operations (Evening parades during special events such as Mickey's No So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party still exist.)

PP. 813 and 820-824 Remove Touring Plan steps referencing The Sum of All Thrills. The Sum of All Thrills is now permanently closed.

Last updated on July 28, 2017

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