Im from Ireland and I have been travelling to America since 2001 and to Disneyland California since 2010. Im a member of an American Disney forum and here are some tips for Walt Disney World that I have picked up from them
1. Star Wars Land called Galaxys Edge is due to open in Walt Disney World November / December 2019. This is by far the the biggest thing to hit both Disneyland California and Walt Disney World. Crowds are expected to be astronomical and even though you will be there 5 months after it opens, people are predicting the huge crowds to last for at least the first year if not longer.
2. Walt Disney World has Magic Bands and Fastpas ++. This is an electronic tracking system for park tickets and Fastpasses.Fastpasses
1. Are booked in advance online through My Disney Experience App
2. You can also get electronic Fastpasses at kiosks in the park
3. You can change or modify Fastpasses through the App online, on your phone or at the Fatspass kiosks in the park
4. If you stay at a Disney Resort you can book Fastpasses 60 days out from the first night of your stay
5. If you stay at a non Disney Resort you can book Fastpasses 30 days out from the first night of your stay
6. It is advisable to know when either your 60 day or 30 day time is. There is a huge demand for Fastpasses and many people will be online at the exact time their 60 or 30 day window starts, even if it is the middle of the night in their timezone.
7. The My Disney Experience App is set for the Orlando timezone.The Fastpass booking becomes available at 7am Orlando time.
8. When you do the 60 / 30 day advance Fastpass booking you can only book 3 Fastpasses per person per day
9. The 3 Fastpasses must be at a single park
10. Rides are tiered for Fastpasses, Tier 1, the most popular rides and Tier 2 everything else.
11. You can only have 1 Tier 1 Fastpass when you do the advance booking
12. Once you have used all your prebooked Fastpasses, you can then obtain another Fastpass through the App or at the kiosks. Once you use the 4th Fastpass you can obtain another one and so on. However all this depends on the availability of Fastpasses.
This is a great blog which really explains the whole Fastpass process https://www.mousehacking.com/blog/disney-world-fastpass-strategyAdvance Restaurant Reservations
1. Table Service Restaurants and Dinner / shows in Walt Disney World are very popular and many are themed.
2. Dining Plans are also very popular and as a result it is really advisable to make restaurant reservations in advance.
3. Many restaurants will not have walk up on the day availability.
4. All Disney guests can make Advance Dining Reservations from 180 days in advance.
5. Dining reservations can be made online through My Disney Experience
6. Make sure to know when your 180 day window starts
7. Restaurant Reservations are available from 6am Orlando time
8. Many people are online at 6am Orlando time even if it is the middle of the night in their time zone.
9. Many restaurants will book out fast and you may find no reservations available for your stay if you leave it too near your arrival date
This is a great blog which fully explains about the restaurants in Walt Disney World https://www.mousesavers.com/advance-dining-reservations-system-at-walt-disney-world/Transatlantic Flights
1. I usually book my flights direct with the airlines. This is a great fight comparison website www.skyscanner.com
2. In general direct flights are more expensive. Flights with 1 or 2 stops are cheaper.
3. Check out the airlines before you book a flight. Like with our European airlines, there are both budget and national airlines.
4. In general the national airlines will have in flight food, in flight entertainment, checked bags etc included in the price. Some transatlantic budget airlines do not
5. In general checked luggage weight is 20kg or 23 kg and 1 checked bag is included in the price
6. It is recommended that you arrive at the airport 3 hours in advance
7. There can be up to 300 people on the transatlantic flights and boarding usually starts about 1 hour before departure
8. It might be a good idea to bring sleep mask, earplugs and travel pillow for the flightTourist Visa For America
The tourist Visa for America is called E
ystem for T
This is for people whose country is part of the Visa Waiver Scheme. To make sure you are eligible for ESTA check here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_Waiver_Program#Eligible_countries
You get your ESTA online here https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/
It costs $14, if you are quoted more than that, you are not on the official website / being overcharged
ESTA is valid for 2 years
With ESTA you can stay a maximum of 90 consecutive days in America
Make sure to print out and keep a record of your ESTA application number
You need to apply for ESTA no later than 72 hours before departureGetting Your Passport Stamped When You Land in America
Once your flight lands and you leave the plane, you will go through security checks BEFORE retrieving your checked luggage.
You hand your passport to the security officer and you will be asked questions about your visit, the purpose of your visit, your travel companions etc etc. You will get an eye scan and a fingerprint scan. Once the security officer is happy with your answers, they stamp your passport and you go to baggage reclaim. American airport security take their job seriously and can be intimidating. This is not the time to joke or be funny.