August at Walt Disney World

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Let’s Look at August at Walt Disney World and Why it is the Best Time to Visit

The number one question I get as a travel agent is “when is the best time to visit?” It’s a loaded question, to be sure. People do have in their minds what they WANT to be the answer, and it very rarely syncs up with what the actual answer is. Technically, there really is no “down” season anymore. Especially post-COVID, it seems it’s busier than ever now! But I’m going to tell you why August at Walt Disney World is the BEST time to visit!

1. Lower Crowd Levels

August at Walt Disney World - Crowd Calendar

In general, the summer months are ACTUALLY the “slow season.” It seems unbelievable, because kids and school and whatnot, but no, May-September are the slowest months at Walt Disney World. BUT….August is THE slowest month of the year! This is usually when we visit every year for our “long” trips, and it’s honestly amazing. Florida usually goes back to school the first week of August. It’s hotter than the surface of the sun (we’ll get to that), so I’m sure that is also a contributing factor. If you’re lucky enough to have younger kids, or kids who start school later (our schools start at the end of August WOOHOO!), you’ll want to consider August at Walt Disney World.

2. Special events

August at Walt Disney World - Food & Wine
EPCOT Food & Wine

Walt Disney World has a ton of special events, from EPCOT Festivals, to Holiday celebrations, to After Hours Parties. The last 3-4 years, August at Walt Disney World has seen the Food & Wine Festival AND Halloween parties (Boo Bash or Mickey’s Not-So-Scary, depending on the year) have taken place in August. These options make your Disney vacation that much more magical, and provides more opportunities to have something special to remember.

August at Walt Disney World - Boo Bash

Fall at Walt Disney World is an amazing time to visit, and since the “fall” starts in the theme parks in August, why not experience all that there is to experience?! No one does holidays and Festivals like Disney!

3. Prices are Lower (READ: It’s Cheaper)

Price Comparison: August vs December
Price Comparison: August vs December

The prices are so much lower. The photo above should show you EXACTLY what I mean! 5 Nights at The Contemporary in a Theme Park View Room in August is almost $2,000 cheaper than the same room for 5-Nights in December. So like I said, August is cheaper!

4. Lower Crowds = Longer Trips with More Relaxation

When you have school-aged children, your vacation options become school vacations (crowded), long holiday weekends (crowded), or take your kids out of school. If you’re lucky enough to have a chance to go in August, you could plan a longer trip, which means you can plan more downtime and have lower crowds to get more done. Last year, on a Saturday morning in August, we had ridden Pirates, Big Thunder, Splash, and Seven Dwarfs at Magic Kingdom before 11:00am! ON A SATURDAY MORNING!!! This cannot be more of a no-brainer!

5. The Weather

“But you said it was hotter than the surface of the sun!” Yes, August is hot. BRUTALLY hot. You will sweat a ton. It is going to rain every single day. Personally, I’ve never been to Disney World when it wasn’t disgustingly hot. I know it happens, but it never happens when I’m there. And all of summer is going to be hot. And rainy. But, I’ve vacationed several times in June and July where it rained through my entire vacation. It is MUCH rainier in June and July. In August, you will likely get the daily afternoon thunderstorm. The lower crowds give you the chance to either go back to the resort and nap, or brave the rain and take advantage of the even SHORTER lines when everyone else leaves!

So when is the best time to visit Walt Disney World? I am Team August all the way! Are you ready to book your next vacation?! Contact me today!!

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Walt Disney World Resorts: The Contemporary

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Take a Closer Look at One of Walt Disney World’s ORIGINAL Resorts!

Let’s talk resorts, specifically, The Contemporary. If you’ve been to Walt Disney World and visited the Magic Kingdom, you have seen The Contemporary. It is literally the closest to the Magic Kingdom, just a 5-10 minute walk, depending on where your room is located. To many people, a stay at this resort is a pipe dream or a bucket list item. The ultimate dream is to wake up and walk on your balcony, only to be able to see INTO the Magic Kingdom! So let’s take a deeper look!

Walt Disney World - The Contemporary
The Contemporary

Room Categories

Over in the Main Tower, there are about 500 guest rooms. Half of them face the Magic Kingdom and, yes, you can see the Magic Kingdom directly from your balcony! Some of them even look into the park! As I said, staying at the Contemporary is a bucket list items for many fans and guests that visit Walt Disney World.

Walt Disney World
Contemporary Theme Park View Room

Obviously, Bay Lake Tower, which is a DVC property, is going to cost the most. It is also the closest hotel. Did you know you can stay in DVC rooms without being DVC members? As long as members haven’t booked the rooms and you’re willing to pay for it, I can book these rooms for you. We LOVE them for the washer and dryer alone!

Now back to the main tower, it is worth noting that some of these theme park view rooms also have views of the parking lot, the Magic Kingdom bus loops, and the roof of the convention center. These rooms are also pretty pricy and can get up to $1,000 per night, depending on the time of year. Like all rooms at The Contemporary, they sleep up to 5, with a pull-down daybed. They are incredibly nice rooms, and they were recently renovated with Incredibles themes. They look AWESOME and we cannot wait to stay here this summer!

A Theme Park View room for 5 nights, 6 days, with a 5-day park hopper and Memory Maker, for a family of 4 (2 kids under 9), will run you about $7,500. It’s not terrible, but the backside, with views of Bay Lake, is equally nice and pretty peaceful and quiet. They’re also cheaper and the same package for the same family would run about $1,000 cheaper, just for staying on the other side of the tower.

The Contemporary – Garden Wing

Walt Disney World has over 25 hotels, and the Contemporary is almost like 3 hotels in one! Bay Lake Tower, again, a DVC Property, the Main Tower, and there is also the Garden Wing option. The Garden Wing is also significantly cheaper. These rooms are detached from the main tower, right on Bay Lake and closer to the pool and the docks to catch a boat. It’s a slightly longer walk to the monorail, bus stops, and Magic Kingdom, but we’re talking like 10 minutes instead of 5. And, again, the serenity of lakefront accommodations can be pretty relaxing, as opposed to the hustle and bustle of the main tower.

Walt Disney World - Contemporary Garden Wing
Garden Wing 1 Bedroom Suite
Garden Wing Standard Room

The Garden Wing has both suites and standard rooms, with the biggest difference (other than price) being space. They offer the same amenities, sleep 5 guests (or 8 guests for the hospitality suite), but the suites are about double the size. The suites for the same family of 4 with a 5-day park hopper and Memory Maker will cost about $11,000 BUT the standard view Garden Wing room, with all the same options for this family of 4, is about $5,800. So plainly you can see, if you want the most affordable way to stay in the Contemporary, choose a Garden Wing room!

The Contemporary – Pools & Recreation

But what else does But what else does the Contemporary have to offer? Let’s start with pools! Florida is hot and what better way to cool off than to jump in the pool? The main pool has a 17-foot high swirling water slide. You can also rent a private poolside cabana!

If you hop over to the Bay Lake pool which is closer to the lake, you have a more quiet pool option, plus a water play area for the littlest guests. Bay Lake Tower has its own pool and waterslide as well. The main pool area has a hot tub and a poolside bar, for the adults to unwind and relax while the kiddies have a blast!

You can also play basketball, tennis, do lakeside yoga, rent boats, go fishing, and more. The Contemporary has many recreational options to take part in, so there’s sure to be something for everyone!

The Contemporary – Dining

Photo by Donald Fink.

Let’s talk FOOD! The Contemporary has a ton of great dining options. There are three full-service table service restaurants available. Chef Mickey’s, currently available for breakfast and dinner, is a family-style character meal, and one of the most popular character meals Disney has to offer. The California Grill, a fine dining restaurant that is incredibly popular, for both its food and it’s incredible views of the Magic Kingdom. It is located on the TOP FLOOR of the Resort, so it is incredibly popular to time dining reservations here with Magic Kingdom fireworks! And there is the all-new, FABULOUS, AMAZING, Steakhouse 71!!!

There are three quick service options, though two of them are poolside. The Contempo Cafe, located next to Chef Mickey’s, is one of the most popular quick service options on property. The Contemporary also has its own coffee bar in the lobby, offering unique options. You can also visit one of the lounges available. There are many food and drink options here, making this a great choice for families full of many different palettes.

Have you stayed at the Contemporary? Would you LIKE to stay at the Contemporary? Contact me today to get your free quote!!!

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Disney Photopass

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What to Know About Disney Photopass, Memory Maker, and Magic Shots

I’m going to tell you why you MUST consider adding Memory Maker to your vacation package! Memory Maker is a photo package available at Walt Disney World and, to a certain extent, Disnelyland. In simple terms, it is pre-ordering all of your Disney Photopass pictures. But first, let’s talk about what all these words mean, and the pros and cons!

Disney Photopass
Meeting Darth Vader at Disney’s Star Wars Launch Bay

Defining Photopass

Quite simply, Disney Photopass is simply the Disney Lingo for “photography.” It is the term used for not only the photographers with fancy cameras that you will find all over the park, but the ride photos, special photos, etc. PhotoPass itself is “free,” in that outside of private photography sessions, you don’t have to pay for the photographers to take your picture. But you DO have to pay for the photo itself. After you take your photo, the photographer will scan your magicband, plastic ticket, or magicmobile on your phone. You will then be able to open your MyDisneyExperience app and see the pictures. Simple as that. Now here is where things get confusing for guests.

You will not simply be able to look at your photos and download them for free. Disney is actually smarter than that. Unless you purchase Memory Maker or the photo itself, all of your photos, including ride photos, will have a watermark over them. You can purchase only the photos that you want to keep, but they can run about $15-$17 PER PHOTO. So if you like to have a lot of photos of your whole family, where one person isn’t constantly missing because they’re taking the photos, you may want to just go ahead and purchase Memory Maker.

Explaining Memory Maker

Memory Maker is a single purchase you make to get access to all of your photos for your entire trip. I mean ALL your photos. Ride photos, magic shots, special photo experiences, photos at iconic park locations, private photo session photos…ALL OF THEM. You will have access to them for 45 days from the date they are taken, and you can link up to 25 family members and you can all share the same Memory Maker. Everyone does not have to buy their own.

Disney Photopass
Memory Maker at Walt Disney World

Breaking it down, if for some reason, you are only able to go for one day, you can purchase a one day Memory Maker for $69. Now for the big one. Memory Maker is $199 UNLESS you purchase it at least 3 days in advance of your trip. Then you will only pay $169. But that isn’t saying much. Still seems like a lot of money, right? So then, breaking it down even FURTHER, on a trip I have had as many as 700 photos (we do not skip photographers!), and that makes it $.24 per photo. Here is just an example of some of the photos you can receive from your Memory Maker purchase.

Along with photos, there are ANIMATED photos and ride VIDEOS available, too!

Hollywood Tower of Terror
Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin

Should You Get Memory Maker Then?

So is the Memory Maker worth the purchase? ABSOLUTELY. I have received the most amazing photos of my daughter’s reactions to characters, photos of myself that AREN’T selfies, great ride photos (we constantly discuss what we are going to do on rides), and so many other irreplaceable photos. So yes, it is worth every single penny.

So what, then, is “Capture Your Moment?”

Disney now lets you book your OWN PRIVATE PHOTOPASS PHOTO SESSION. For $79, you get a 20-minute one-on-one photo session in a special location (location is chosen when you meet with your photographer). And with Memory Maker, you get all those photos included. This is a GREAT option for proposals, graduation announcements, senior pictures, pregnancy announcements, and more! These sessions are now available to book as part of Enchanting Extras at all 4 Walt Disney World Theme Parks!

Would you like to add Memory Maker to your package? Contact me today! Need to book your vacation? Get your Free Vacation Consultation or fill out this form to get your Free Vacation Quote!

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