2018 Best Times to Visit Disney World

cinderella castle

Cinderella Castle in the morning, February 2018

The Best Times to Visit Disney World 2018 are:

Weekdays in January (minus the week of New Year’s Day and the days around MLK Day, Jan 15th)

Weekdays in February (minus the days around President’s Day, Feb 19th )

The first two weeks in March

Weekdays the second half of April after Easter (Sunday, April 1)

Weekdays in May before Memorial Day weekend (Monday, May 28)

Weekdays the first week of June

The first half of September after Labor Day (Monday, Sept 3); weekdays for the remainder of September and October, avoid Columbus Day weekend (Monday, October 8)

Weekdays in early and mid-November (minus the week of Thanksgiving, Nov 22rd)

Weekdays during the first two weeks of December

summer crowd 2018 (2)

There are good days to visit WDW (green dots) and very BAD days to visit WDW (red dots). Don’t waste your time and money visiting on red dot days!!!

crowds (2)

Easter Week, 8am: Guests pouring into MK and struggling to get down Main Street USA.

spring break 2018

Spring Break 2018: Fantasyland is packed. Extremely long wait times for all rides.

The Worst Times to Visit Disney World in 2018:  Listen Up People!!!

MLK weekend: Jan. 13 – 15, 2018

President’s Day weekend: Feb. 17 – Feb. 19, 2018

Spring Break : March 10 – March 30, 2018

Easter Weeks:  March 24 – April 8, 2018

Memorial Day weekend:  May 26 – 28, 2018

Week around June 30th:  New Toy Story Land opens at DHS

Summer: June 4 – August 31, 2018

4th of July week:  July 1 – 8, 2018

Labor Day weekend: Sept. 1 – Sept. 3, 2018

Columbus Day weekend: Oct. 6 – Oct. 8, 2018

Halloween week: Oct. 27 – Nov. 4, 2018

Veteran’s Day weekend: Nov. 9 – Nov. 12, 2018

Thanksgiving week: Nov. 17 – 25, 2018

Christmas week through the first week of the New Year: Dec. 22, 2018 – Jan. 6, 2019

***

New official link to check on blockout dates at all Disney Parks including all four Disney World Parks:  https://blockoutdates.disney.com/

During blockout days, you can’t use your Disney Guest Passes to swipe friends and family into the park for free.  Also, Disney limits the number of rooms available for CMs to use their cast member hotel discount.

***

Magic Kingdom:  Used to have to most Blockout Days, but now its Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

MK

MK: No blockout days are currently scheduled for using your guest passes.

mk

Only 1 blockout day is currently scheduled at MK and it’s blocked for both self admission and guest passes, July 4th.

mk

No planned blockout days at MK!!! Enjoy!!

MK

The Magic Kingdom is blocked out for using self admission and guest passes Dec 23 – Dec 31, 2018.

Epcot:  Epcot has the fewest planned Blockout Days in 2018!

epcot

Epcot is a huge park and rarely has blockout days.

Epcot

Epcot just has a few upcoming block out days.

epcot

Only New Years Eve – December 31st – is blocked out for self admission and guest passes.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom have MANY, MANY planned Blockout Days in 2018!  Plan ahead!  The new Toy Story Land at DHS opens June 30th.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

dak

DAK: Palm Sunday is March 25th, so Easter Week is March 24th – April 1, 2018.  Expect heavy, heavy crowds and long wait times at Pandora!

dak

Lots of upcoming blockout days for using your guest passes at DAK.

DAK

Self-Admission Passes are also blocked at DAK December 25 – 30, 2018.

DAK1

Self admission is blocked Christmas week at DAK.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios: You won’t be able to use your guest passes at all this summer at DHS!

dhs

DHS

dhs

DHS is still a 1/2 day park until Toy Story Land opens June 30th. The entire month of July is blocked out for using guest passes!

dhs

Some of the planned upcoming blockout days for using your guest passes at DHS.

DHS

No upcoming blockout days at DHS!

***************************************

two disney sisters

Two Disney Sisters at Disneyland

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

*****

Guest Passes for Disney Cast Members

castle evening (2)

Walt Disney World at sunset

On January 1, 2016, the distribution of guests passes for seasonal or temporary cast members (like CPs) changed.

chip

The new complimentary guest passes are called ‘Chip & Dale’ passes…you can see why! They are park hopper tickets, valued at over $100.

CPs used to get 6 park hopper passes loaded with 3 passes each (18 total) about two weeks after Traditions.

chip

Two weeks after working 150 hours, three One Day Park Hopper Passes will be mailed to you.

Now, CPs must work a certain number of hours in a calendar year to earn guest passes:

150 hours worked = 3 x 1 day park hopper passes      (3 total)

300 hours worked = 3 more 1 day park hopper passes  (6 total)

600 hours worked = 3 more 1 day park hopper passes   (9 total)

Basically, the number of guest passes dropped in half from 18 park hopper passes down to 9 park hopper passes.

If CPs don’t maintain at least a 30 hour workweek, they will never earn the final 3 guests passes.

selfadmission(1)

All CPs were mailed this letter explaining the new pass system.

Always check if there are any blockouts in effective for self-admission/guests passes before trying to use them, especially at the Magic Kingdom!

Blockout Dates for Guest Passes

pass

January 1, 2016:  The new Self Admission Pass which replaced the old blue Main Gate Pass.

You can not just give the Guest Passes to family/friends and have them use them. When visiting a WDW theme park with a guest(s), you must touch your new Self Admission Pass to the Mickey touch point first, then immediately your guest(s) must touch their Guest Pass to the touch point.

After that first use, you don’t have to stay with them (i.e., you can go to work) and they can use their Guest Pass to park hop without you being there. But, you are responsible for their behavior – and any misbehavior – so use your Guest Passes wisely!

There have definitely been stories of family members freaking out and expecting special treatment in the parks and this bad behavior can even be enough to fire the cast member.

Remember, for CPs your Blue Main Gate Pass is now only good at US Disney Theme Park locations:

Disney World:  All 4 theme Parks
Disneyland:  Both theme parks

pass2 (2)

NEW! As of January 1, 2016, CPs can no longer use their passes for free Disney Park admission abroad.

disney

The subsidiaries of the Walt Disney Company.  They all get different park pass benefits!

pass1 (2)

Regular cast members can still use their company IDs for free entrance into Disney Theme Parks worldwide.

CPs also have opportunities to receive additional free Park guest passes through volunteering with Disney VoluntEARS and at other company events.  The Family Holiday Celebration Booklet passes given out in the fall (usually third Monday October) are for 1 day/1 guest entrance.

And, don’t forget, you get free parking at WDW by showing your company ID (currently at $20 at WDW).

passes (2)

More info from the Disney Programs Blog.

***************************************

dole whip

Two Disney Sisters

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:   Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

book***

 

2020 Disney Cast Member Guest Passes

****

pass

Disney Cast Member Self Admission Pass

comp-tickets

Earning Guest Passes has changed for DCP cast members!  

For more info: The HUB>>Quick Links>>Complimentary Admission.

You must complete a certain number of service hours to earn guest passes:

150 Hours Worked = 3 One Day Park Hopper Passes  (3)

300 Hours Worked = 3 More One Day Park Hopper Passes (3+3=6)

600 Hours Worked = 3 More One Day Park Hopper Passes (3+3+3=9)

CPs can now only earn up to 9 One Day Park Hopper Passes in a calendar year.

chip

The new One Day Park Hopper guest passes are referred to as the ‘Chip & Dale’ passes…you can see why!

Note that most CPs will work about 30 hours per week in a normal, non-holiday week.

This means that for most CPs, they will have to work 5 weeks to receive the first 3 guest passes.  Unless you extend your program, you probably will not work 600 hours during your program, especially the Spring Program CPs.  The passes are mailed to you about 10 days after completing each 150 hour work period.

But, CPs will still have opportunities to receive additional free Park guest passes through volunteering with Disney VoluntEARS and at other company-sponsored events. The Family Holiday Celebration passes that are issued during the Fall DCP Program are for 1 day/1 guest entrance.

You can not just give the Guest Passes to family/friends and have them use them. When visiting a WDW theme park with a guest(s), you must touch your Blue Main Gate Pass to the Mickey touch point first, then immediately your guest(s) must touch their Guest Pass to the touch point.

After that first use, you don’t have to stay with your guests (i.e., you can go to work) and they can use their Guest Pass to park hop without you being there. But, you are responsible for their behavior – and any misbehavior – so use your Guest Passes wisely!

There have definitely been stories of family members freaking out and expecting special treatment in the parks and this bad behavior can even be enough to ‘term’ i.e., fire the cast member!

Trouble with your passes:  Talk to your manager or call Global Human Resources Operations at  (321) 939-7000 if you need to update your address.

chip

The new complimentary ‘Chip & Dale’ passes.  These are park hopper tickets, valued at over $100 each.

Remember, your Self Entrance Pass is good for you and your guests at US-Based Disney Parks:
Disney World  (FL)
Disneyland  (CA)

But not:

Disneyland Paris
Hong Kong Disneyland
Tokyo Disneyland
Shanghai Disneyland

self admission

Cast members in the DCP program are considered Temporary Employees.

And, don’t forget, you get free parking at WDW and DLR by showing your company ID (currently at $25/day).

For more info and current black-out dates: The HUB>>Quick Links>>Complimentary Admission

2020 Disney World Blockout Dates

2020 Disneyland Blockout Dates

*******

magic kingdom balloonsWe thought we would post the upcoming blockout dates for using your Disney guest passes for all four WDW theme parks for the next few months in case family and friends are planning a visit to Orlando to see you!

New official link for cast members to check on blockout dates at all Disney Parks: https://blockoutdates.disney.com/

February 2020 – April 2020:  The blockout dates for the 4 WDW parks are below.

Magic Kingdom:

mk

There are no scheduled upcoming blockout days for self admission at the Magic Kingdom.

mk1

Several upcoming block-out days are scheduled for using your guest passes at MK.

mk2

The Disney Family Holiday Passes expire on February 13, 2020.

Epcot:

mk

There are no scheduled upcoming blockout days for self admission at Epcot.

epcot1

There are no scheduled upcoming blockout days for Guest Passes at Epcot.

epcot3

The Disney Family Holiday Passes expire on February 13, 2020.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

mk

There are no scheduled upcoming blockout days for self admission at DAK.

dak1

There is currently only 1 scheduled block-out day for using your guest passes at DAK.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

NOTE:  Disney’s Hollywood Studios:  Star Wars:  Galaxy’s Edge opened August 29th and Rise of the Resistance opened December 5, 2019!  Both main gate and guest passes are still blocked out all spring!

dak

DHS is totally blocked out for using any passes through Spring/Easter Break.

star wars2 Rise of the Resistance

Phase 2: Rise of the Resistance opened December 5, 2019. Guests LOVE the new ride!!!

star wars6

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge  14 acres of fun!

Millennium falcon Star Wars

Shhhh….There’s a small hidden Millennium Falcon in the wing of the Millennium Falcon at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge!    Have you seen it???

********

holiday0

The Holiday Celebration – and 40% merch discount ends February 13, 2020!

The 2019-2020 Disney Family Holiday Celebration ends February 13, 2020!
40% off merchandise discount is still in effect until then! Whoo-hoo!

**********

blizzard

We love Blizzard Beach! ❤

Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon:  Free Admission for Cast Members!

Update:  Typhoon Lagoon is currently closed for refurbishment and will not reopen until March 2020.

Both of Disney’s water parks are refurbished annually, typically between October to March. The refurbishment schedule is staggered so guests can enjoy at least one water park experience year-round.

Comments about the Disney Water Parks: Cast members can get into the Disney water parks for free ($69 value).  You can also buy 1/2 price tickets ($34.50) for family and friends at the gate. Cast members must be present with their guests.

Please note that the water parks close when the temperature falls below 65 degrees (the water is not heated) or if thunderstorms/lightning are nearby.

water park tickets 2020

Next blockout dates coming up are April 5th – 19th, 2020 (Easter holiday weeks).

*****************************

company d1

Company D

Discounted (10% off) ticket rates: Discounted Tickets for Cast Members

Remember, CMs can buy discounted park tickets for their guests at the Company D store to use on blocked out days.

discounted ticket prices1

Prices good through 12/31/2020. Note CM discount is only available for Flexible Date tickets.

7 day Fast Passes

You can book Fast Passes at least 7 days out.

*****

25a

Car parking is now $25 a day.

Parking at all the theme parks is currently $25/day. 

Remember, cast members get free parking. Just show your ID badge at the gate.

They are now more consistently checking Annual Pass Holders IDs for free parking at the entrance gate.  And the guards at the resorts are questioning all guests if they have a resort or dining reservation at the resort before allowing guests to park.

Read more here:  Disney Increase Parking Fees to $25 a Day

*****

*****************

two disney sisters1

Cheers to the new year! #2020

We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

#TwoDisneySisters

two-disney-sisters

Two Disney Sisters

****

Two girls wall

Once upon a time…

Two Disney Sisters

Yes, we did!!! 🙂 #TwoDisneyPrincesses

****

castle

Magic Kingdom Wishable

epcot

Epcot Wishable

tree1

Tree of Life Wishable

2020 Disney World Cast Member Blockout Dates

****

cinderella castle

How much we love this place! ❤

We thought we would post the upcoming blockout dates for using your Disney guest passes for all four WDW theme parks for the next few months in case family and friends are planning a visit to Orlando to see you!

New official link for cast members to check on blockout dates at all Disney Parks: https://blockoutdates.disney.com/

February 2020 – April 2020:  The blockout dates for the 4 WDW parks are below.

Magic Kingdom:

mk

There are no scheduled upcoming blockout days for self admission at the Magic Kingdom.

mk1

Several upcoming block-out days are scheduled for using your guest passes at MK.

mk2

The Disney Family Holiday Passes expire on February 13, 2020.

Epcot:

mk

There are no scheduled upcoming blockout days for self admission at Epcot.

epcot1

There are no scheduled upcoming blockout days for Guest Passes at Epcot.

epcot3

The Disney Family Holiday Passes expire on February 13, 2020.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

mk

There are no scheduled upcoming blockout days for self admission at DAK.

dak1

There is currently only 1 scheduled block-out day for using your guest passes at DAK.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

NOTE:  Disney’s Hollywood Studios:  Star Wars:  Galaxy’s Edge opened August 29th and Rise of the Resistance opened December 5, 2019!  Both main gate and guest passes are still blocked out all spring!

dak

DHS is totally blocked out for using any passes through Spring/Easter Break.

star wars2 Rise of the Resistance

Phase 2: Rise of the Resistance opened December 5, 2019. Guests LOVE the new ride!!!

star wars6

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge  14 acres of fun!

Millennium falcon Star Wars

Shhhh….There’s a small hidden Millennium Falcon in the wing of the Millennium Falcon at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge!    Have you seen it???

********

holiday0

The Holiday Celebration – and 40% merch discount ends February 13, 2020!

The 2019-2020 Disney Family Holiday Celebration ends February 13, 2020!
40% off merchandise discount is still in effect until then! Whoo-hoo!

**********

blizzard

We love Blizzard Beach! ❤

Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon:  Free Admission for Cast Members!

Update:  Typhoon Lagoon is currently closed for refurbishment and will not reopen until March 2020.

Both of Disney’s water parks are refurbished annually, typically between October to March. The refurbishment schedule is staggered so guests can enjoy at least one water park experience year-round.

Comments about the Disney Water Parks: Cast members can get into the Disney water parks for free ($69 value).  You can also buy 1/2 price tickets ($34.50) for family and friends at the gate. Cast members must be present with their guests.

Please note that the water parks close when the temperature falls below 65 degrees (the water is not heated) or if thunderstorms/lightning are nearby.

water park tickets 2020

Next blockout dates coming up are April 5th – 19th, 2020 (Easter holiday weeks).

*****************************

company d1

Company D

Discounted (10% off) ticket rates: Discounted Tickets for Cast Members

Remember, CMs can buy discounted park tickets for their guests at the Company D store to use on blocked out days.

discounted ticket prices1

Prices good through 12/31/2020. Note CM discount is only available for Flexible Date tickets.

7 day Fast Passes

You can book Fast Passes at least 7 days out.

*****

25a

Car parking is now $25 a day.

Parking at all the theme parks is currently $25/day. 

Remember, cast members get free parking. Just show your ID badge at the gate.

They are now more consistently checking Annual Pass Holders IDs for free parking at the entrance gate.  And the guards at the resorts are questioning all guests if they have a resort or dining reservation at the resort before allowing guests to park.

Read more here:  Disney Increase Parking Fees to $25 a Day

*****

*****************

two disney sisters1

Cheers to the new year! #2020

We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

#TwoDisneySisters

two-disney-sisters

Two Disney Sisters

****

Two girls wall

Once upon a time…

Two Disney Sisters

Yes, we did!!! 🙂 #TwoDisneyPrincesses

****

castle

Magic Kingdom Wishable

epcot

Epcot Wishable

tree1

Tree of Life Wishable

2020 Disney Blue Main Gate/Self Admission Pass Blackout Dates

****

Plaza Ice Cream Parlor Castle

Cinderella Castle views from the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor!

We thought we would post the upcoming blockout dates for using your Disney guest passes for all four WDW theme parks for the next few months in case family and friends are planning a visit to Orlando to see you!

New official link for cast members to check on blockout dates at all Disney Parks: https://blockoutdates.disney.com/

February 2020 – April 2020:  The blockout dates for the 4 WDW parks are below.

February 2020 – April 2020:  The blockout dates for the 4 WDW parks are below.

Magic Kingdom:

mk

There are no scheduled upcoming blockout days for self admission at the Magic Kingdom.

mk1

Several upcoming block-out days are scheduled for using your guest passes at MK.

mk2

The Disney Family Holiday Passes expire on February 13, 2020.

Epcot:

mk

There are no scheduled upcoming blockout days for self admission at Epcot.

epcot1

There are no scheduled upcoming blockout days for Guest Passes at Epcot.

epcot3

The Disney Family Holiday Passes expire on February 13, 2020.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

mk

There are no scheduled upcoming blockout days for self admission at DAK.

dak1

There is currently only 1 scheduled block-out day for using your guest passes at DAK.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

NOTE:  Disney’s Hollywood Studios:  Star Wars:  Galaxy’s Edge opened August 29th and Rise of the Resistance opened December 5, 2019!  Both main gate and guest passes are still blocked out all spring!

dak

DHS is totally blocked out for using any passes through Spring/Easter Break.

star wars2 Rise of the Resistance

Phase 2: Rise of the Resistance opened December 5, 2019. Guests LOVE the new ride!!!

star wars6

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge  14 acres of fun!

Millennium falcon Star Wars

Shhhh….There’s a small hidden Millennium Falcon in the wing of the Millennium Falcon at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge!    Have you seen it???

********

holiday0

The Holiday Celebration – and 40% merch discount ends February 13, 2020!

The 2019-2020 Disney Family Holiday Celebration ends February 13, 2020!
40% off merchandise discount is still in effect until then! Whoo-hoo!

**********

blizzard

We love Blizzard Beach! ❤

Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon:  Free Admission for Cast Members!

Update:  Typhoon Lagoon is currently closed for refurbishment and will not reopen until March 2020.

Both of Disney’s water parks are refurbished annually, typically between October to March. The refurbishment schedule is staggered so guests can enjoy at least one water park experience year-round.

Comments about the Disney Water Parks: Cast members can get into the Disney water parks for free ($69 value).  You can also buy 1/2 price tickets ($34.50) for family and friends at the gate. Cast members must be present with their guests.

Please note that the water parks close when the temperature falls below 65 degrees (the water is not heated) or if thunderstorms/lightning are nearby.

water park tickets 2020

Next blockout dates coming up are April 5th – 19th, 2020 (Easter holiday weeks).

*****************************

company d1

Company D

Discounted (10% off) ticket rates: Discounted Tickets for Cast Members

Remember, CMs can buy discounted park tickets for their guests at the Company D store to use on blocked out days.

discounted ticket prices1

Prices good through 12/31/2020. Note CM discount is only available for Flexible Date tickets.

7 day Fast Passes

You can book Fast Passes at least 7 days out.

*****

25a

Car parking is now $25 a day.

Parking at all the theme parks is currently $25/day. 

Remember, cast members get free parking. Just show your ID badge at the gate.

They are now more consistently checking Annual Pass Holders IDs for free parking at the entrance gate.  And the guards at the resorts are questioning all guests if they have a resort or dining reservation at the resort before allowing guests to park.

Read more here:  Disney Increase Parking Fees to $25 a Day

*****

*****************

two disney sisters1

Cheers to the new year! #2020

We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover

Adventures in the Animal Kingdom

book Two Girls

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

#TwoDisneySisters

two-disney-sisters

Two Disney Sisters

****

Two girls wall

Once upon a time…

Two Disney Sisters

Yes, we did!!! 🙂 #TwoDisneyPrincesses

****

castle

Magic Kingdom Wishable

epcot

Epcot Wishable

tree1

Tree of Life Wishable