WDW Hints: A Hint of Education!!
We are NOT hosting a 2019 YES Trip. Unfortunately, the cost of YES tickets have increased so much, they are only a few dollars less than gate prices. Disney has also placed limitations on groups (such as only offering two ticket types), which makes it even harder to recruit participants – because families would rather choose the ticket type that best fits their plans (and we don’t blame you!)
The information below is from our 2016 trip… (good deals are now just a memory.)
Registration is CLOSED. But to get an idea of what’s going on, we’re leaving all information detailed below for your viewing pleasure.
Ticket Price: $295 – for each 4-day Premium Pass (that’s a savings of $152+ off gate prices) OR $350 for a 5-day Premium Pass (that’s a savings of $113+ off gate prices.)
2016 Trip Info
Class Dates: September 12th, 13th & 14th (2016) You choose your arrival & departure dates – vacation as long as you want! The only time we meet as a “group” is for your child’s assigned class date & time (classes generally last 3 hours.)
Please read this information completely before contacting us with questions.
What type of Trip is this?
“The Disney Youth Education Series Programs (Y.E.S.) transports your students (grades K – 12th grade) behind the scenes of Disney Theme Parks to showcase how principles they’re learning in the classroom make exciting things happen every day at Walt Disney World® Resort. Specially-trained Disney facilitators use captivating material and breathtaking experiences to get your students’ eyes wide open. Disney Y.E.S. field studies allows your group to do things it can’t do anywhere else in the world!”
Due to popular demand (and extensive research by us – yes, already tried and true!), WDW Hints invites you to join us at Walt Disney World in Orlando and part-take in the Y.E.S. Program!! We participated in the Y.E.S. Program in September 2014 & 2015 and it’s proven to be worthwhile, enjoyable and a great way to save money on Disney Admission tickets! September is the best time of the year to visit Disney as crowds are VERY low, the weather is great, and resort rates are low.
Check out our trip details from September 2015!
For students (and their families) to be eligible to attend, you must have at least one school-aged student (age 5 – 14). Each and every student (age 5 – 14) in your family must attend one Y.E.S. program to qualify for this trip. It is highly recommended that you have more students than adults attending or an equal number of students to adults attending.
Our group ratio of adults cannot exceed our group ratio of children. All adults can buy tickets at the discounted price as long as there are not more adults in our group than there are children. Priority for discounted tickets will go to the parents/guardians first and then additional relatives (grandparents, older siblings, etc.), and will be on a first come/first served basis. If the number of adults exceeds the number of children in your party, we will begin a Wait List and add adults when other families with more children (than adults) sign-up. This is a requirement set forth by Disney to maintain that this is an educational group attending and a group does not show up with more adults than children.
We must have a minimum of 10 students for each Y.E.S. program class. If one class doesn’t meet the minimum requirements, your student may be moved to the other class eligible for their age group.
Sign up early! Chaperon assignments, Y.E.S. program choices, and discounted tickets for additional adults will be decided on a first come/first serve basis.
Our suggested dates are to visit Disney between Sept. 11 and 17, but our tickets are valid from Sept. 4 through the 24th. You pick your arrival date, as well as your departure date – whatever works best for you. We only ask that you be present for your student’s YES class on the date specified at sign-up (Sept 12th, 13th or 14th – depending on the class assigned). Your child’s assigned class date should also NOT be your arrival or departure day.
- Worried about taking your kids out of school? Many schools will treat a Disney Youth Education Series class as an ‘excused absence’ for an Independent Study. Double-check with your school!
Which Y.E.S. Program will my child attend? WDW Hints has selected several exciting classes that your student will really enjoy!! (One class is included, per student, with each ticket purchase. Your student is only required to attend one class, but may choose to attend additional classes for $30/class.)
- How Things Move (Grades K – 2nd*) Tuesday, Sept. 13th @ 8:10 a.m. at Magic Kingdom.
Experience popular Magic Kingdom® Park attractions to understand how physics, magnetism and fuel are all applied to ride design.
- *This class requires that each student age 5 or 6 have 1 parent/guardian attend the class with them and remain with their child for the duration of the class. Children age 7+ may attend without a parent. Class will dismiss at 10:45 a.m.
- Read our review of How Things Move from our Sept. 2014 trip.
- Synergy in Science (Grades K – 3rd*) Weds, Sept. 14th @ 8:25 a.m. at EPCOT.
Investigate the synergy at work in Epcot® attractions, where creativity and technology merge to create world-class entertainment. Then learn to recognize synergy among the tools and systems that help us in our daily life.*This class requires that each student age 5 or 6 have 1 parent/guardian attend the class with them and remain with their child for the duration of the class. Children age 7+ may attend without a parent. Class will dismiss at 11:00 a.m.
- Discovering Marine Life Conservation (Grades 3 – 7) Weds, Sept. 14th @ 8:25 a.m. at EPCOT.
Explore diverse marine environments with educators from The Seas with Nemo & Friends and learn about marine conservation and what you can do to help protect ocean life.Class will dismiss at 11:30 a.m.
- Principles of Animal Behavior (Grades 3 – 6) Monday, Sept. 12 @ 8:25 a.m. at Animal Kingdom.
Explore the fascinating and surprising world of animal behavior. See exotic animals in their natural habitat and engage in hands-on activities to learn how they survive and thrive.Class will dismiss at 11:30 a.m.
We will keep friends & siblings together, and we recommend that you (the parent/guardian) visit the the same park where your child is attending their Y.E.S. Program that day as you’ll need to be present before and after the class (for drop-off & pick-up.)
FAQ about the Y.E.S. Program
- What day will we attend the Y.E.S. Program? Your student is required to attend just one YES class on Sept. 12, 13 or 14th. After you have registered, you will receive an email with your specific course name and date & time that it will be held. Please make sure you arrive in the Orlando area at least one day prior to your class date and please be sure your departure date occurs after the class date.
- Can adults attend Disney Y.E.S. Programs? Yes, but only a limited number of chaperones (parents*) are permitted to attend Disney Y.E.S. programs. A maximum of one chaperone for every five students may attend Disney Y.E.S. Programs. Chaperones will be assigned first come/first served, so sign up early!!! Priority will be given to families with a medical condition/special needs.
- *There is an exception to this 1:5 parent/student ratio for the ‘How Things Move’ class. That class entails riding 4 basic attractions and each child age 5 or 6 must have a parent/guardian with them for the duration of this class. Children age 7+ may attend this program without a parent.
- Chaperones cannot bring smaller children to the Y.E.S. class – even if they are nursing infants. Please leave smaller children with the non-chaperoning parent, or make other childcare arrangements.
- Does my 3 or 4-year-old have to attend a Y.E.S. program? No. Y.E.S. programs are for children ages 5 and up, but your 3 and/or 4 year old does count as a ‘student’ for ticket pricing even though there isn’t a class available for a child that young.
- Because this is an Educational Trip – we ask that there be at least one child ‘of age’ (grade K – 8th) within your party. For your family to qualify for this trip, at least one child must be 5 years of age by Sept. 1, 2016.
- How will we get to our assigned YES class? You are on your own for transportation and we request that you arrive at the parks 15 minutes before class is to begin. If you are staying on Disney property – you’re in luck! Disney Buses begin running at 6:30 a.m., as long as you’re at your resort bus stop at least one hour before your scheduled class time, you will make it to the park on-time. If you are staying off-property, you are on your own for transportation, however, we will provide you with a 1-day parking voucher (free parking) for the day of your scheduled class. Whether you drive yourself, or use a taxi service, this voucher can be used for both methods.
- Why isn’t there a class for high school-aged students? We tried! Unfortunately, we had less than the required amount of high school students interested. As of June 30th, we had to eliminate the high school class options due to Disney’s minimum requirements set forth.
Our tickets include admission to the 4 Disney Theme Parks, 2 Disney Water Parks, 2 Disney mini-golf courses, plus one behind-the-scenes educational Y.E.S. program. Tickets are valid from Sept 4 – 24th, and will expire after Sept. 24 even if you haven’t used all of your days. You do not have to use your tickets on consecutive days. *Important: Be sure to save at least one day of your tickets to attend the class at the designated park.
This year (for Sept. 2016), we are offering the 4 or 5-Day Premium Tickets. The 4-day Premium Ticket costs $295 per person, the 5-day Premium Ticket costs $350.00 per person* (ages 3 and up. This price includes tax). This Premium ticket allows you 4 or 5 days worth of Park Hopping, plus 4 or 5 visits to Disney’s two water parks: Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, Disney Quest and Disney’s Mini-golf courses (before 4 p.m.): Fantasia Gardens and Fairways and Winter Summerland Miniature Golf. (Want a comprehensive comparison between Disney’s two Water Parks? Check out this Definitive Guide to the Disney World Water Parks provided by Disney by Age!)
- A 5-day premium ticket allows you 5 days in the theme parks, plus 5 visits to the water parks or mini-golf courses… essentially, you could spend 10 days of fun if you save your ‘visits’ for individual days. Or you could use it all up within 5 days. A 4-day premium ticket allows you 4 days into the theme parks, plus 4 “fun” visits as described above… again, you could spend up to 8 days if you spread things out.
- A “visit” to a Water Park or Mini-Golf course is exactly just that. You could potentially visit both water parks and both mini-golf courses and use up 4 “visits” within 1 day.
- Here’s a “Sample Itinerary” showing the possible use of a 4-day premium ticket within a week:
- Sunday: Blizzard Beach (1 “fun visit” used)
- Monday: Animal Kingdom & Epcot (1 “Park Day” used)
- Tuesday: Magic Kingdom (2nd “Park Day” Used)
- Weds: Epcot & Hollywood Studios (3rd “Park Day” used)
- Thurs: Typhoon Lagoon & DisneyQuest (2nd & 3rd “fun visits” used)
- Friday: Hollywood Studios & Magic Kingdom (4th “Park Day” used)
- Saturday: Winter-Summerland Mini-Golf (4th “fun visit” used)
- Here’s a “Sample Itinerary” showing the possible use of a 4-day premium ticket within a week:
- The current 2016 price for a 5-day Premium ticket at the gate is: $463.28, and the price for a 4-day ticket at the gate is: $447.30.
- Therefore, through our YES group, your savings on a 4-day Premium ticket is $152.30 (per ticket).
- Likewise, your savings on a 5-day Premium ticket is $113.28 per ticket!
*This price includes your enrollment fee, ticket price plus taxes and Y.E.S. program enrollment. Please note you are receiving this discounted price because you are committing to your child attending the Y.E.S. program. Other groups have had problems in the past with people not showing up for the Y.E.S. Program which puts their ability to attend in future years in jeopardy – please only sign-up with your full intentions on having your child attend the educational program they are assigned to. Failure to attend the Y.E.S. Program on your assigned day will result in you paying the difference in price between Disney’s regular price and our discounted price for each member of your party. Attendance is taken!!
FAQ: You offered all sorts of different ticket options for the 2015 trip, why just the Premium ticket option now? For a variety of reasons:
- The Disney YES Program Group representatives have informed me that as of 2016, groups are only allowed to purchase a maximum of two (2) different ticket types for the group.
- The Premium Ticket is only $10 more than the Park Hopper Ticket – think of the savings!! Currently a 1-day pass to the water parks is $60 and a single mini-golf game costs $14… for just $10 you can experience 4 or 5 visits to these extra activities at just a fraction of the cost!
- The 4 and 5-day Premium ticket provides the best value for families wanting to vacation for a week, and for those that can’t stay for a week… keep in mind that a 3-day BASE ticket purchased at the gate costs $308.85, so if you were to purchase our 4-day Premium ticket for $295 – realize you’ve already gotten your monies-worth compared to regular guests when you’ve visited the parks after just 3 days… but yet you’ve received so much MORE… Park hopping, Water Parks & an extra day in the parks! It’s all BONUS!
Q: I really just want the Park Hopper ticket, not a premium with all the extra frills… Unfortunately, with the new rules Disney Youth Programs has released, we can only offer 2 ticket options. Again, with the new pricing structure for the YES Program tickets, our Premium tickets are only $10 more than Park Hopper tickets. So for $10 more why not try the Water Parks, Disney Quest and/or Mini Golf? I actually recommend the Premium ticket to anyone utilizing the YES program – the water parks are so enjoyable and a game of mini-golf away from the crowds is nice. Once you try a premium ticket, you won’t want to go back to a Hopper. ;o)
Q: We have Annual Passholder Tickets – Can my students join without buying a multi-day ticket? Yes! Annual Passholders can purchase a 1-day YES ticket and participate with us. Approval for Annual Passholder families to join us is on a case-by-case basis granted by Disney. Email Terri to find out pricing and details. ([email protected])
FAQ about Tickets
- When are the tickets valid? Tickets are valid one week prior to and one week following our scheduled week (valid Sept. 4 through Sept 24th). That gives you 21 days (3 weeks) to work with as long as your child attends the Y.E.S. program. You must have a park ticket to attend the Y.E.S. Program, so make sure to save one day’s worth of your tickets for that day. In order to get this price for the tickets, we have committed to attending the Y.E.S. Program. That is the only day you HAVE to be there.
- How will I get my tickets? WDW Hints will mail the tickets to you via traceable, insured, mailing at least two weeks before our arrival date (typically much sooner – aiming for 60+ days before arrival.)
- Does my 2-year-old have to have a ticket? No. Each guest age 3 and up must have a ticket. Children age 0 through 2 are free of charge.
- What are the Water Park/mini-golf fun visits? These are part of the Premium tickets. You’ll receive 4 or 5 ‘visits’ on your ticket. These can be used any time during your stay. They don’t have to be used during your park days either. So, for example, if you wanted to extend your vacation for as long as possible, you could use up your 5 park hopper days in the theme parks, then use one “Fun Visit” per day for 5 days… that’s 10 days of a fun-filled vacation! You could also use up 2 or more visits in a single day… For instance, if you go to both a water park and mini-golf in one day that will use up two of your visits.
- Does this price include hotel accommodations, food, or transportation? No. These prices are for tickets only, which only include your park admission and the Y.E.S. program.
Additional (Optional) Events
This year, Night of Joy occurs September 9 & 10th.
During our scheduled week, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party will occur September 8, 11, 13, 16, and 18th.
Your spot will be reserved once we have received your payment in-full.
Preferred Registration due: May 31, 2016 (this is to ensure you receive your ticket 60+ days in advance so that you may reserve your FP+ selections.)
Regular Registration due: June 30th, 2016 (tickets will be received 30+ days in advance.)
Last Chance Registration: July 25, 2016.
If you need to back out of the trip prior to July 1, your money will be refunded to you (less a $25 per person cancellation fee). No refunds will be issued after July 1.
The Magic Bands are not currently set-up for group tickets. You will receive an RFID ticket that will be used for park admission with which you can select 3 Fastpass+ attractions/shows at one park per day. If you are staying off-property, you can make your FP+ selections 30 days prior to your arrival day. If you are staying ON Disney property, you will receive a MagicBand tied to your room reservation which you can link to your ticket and you’ll be allowed to make your FP+ selections 60 days in advance! Your MagicBand will also serve as your room key, credit card (if you approve), PhotoPass, and theme park admission. We are securing discounted tickets for you only. We are not coordinating the Magic Bands.
You are on your own for booking your accommodations. You are free to stay off-property, on-property or even at a Disney Vacation Club Resort.
- Update (4/25/16): Disney has just released Room-Only discounts!! Combine a room-only discount with our deeply discounted YES tickets and get the most bang for your buck!! Here’s what’s offered for September:
- Save 20% on:
Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort — Family Suites Only
Disney’s Pop Century Resort
The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge — Savanna View/Club Level Rooms
Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village
Disney’s Beach Club Villas
The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Save 25% on:
The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
- Save 30%* on:
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Standard Room/Pool View Rooms
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
Disney’s Old Key West Resort
Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
*Renting DVC points (below) may save you more than this 30% offer.
- Save 20% on:
- If you would like to stay at one of Disney’s Vacation Club Resorts (Deluxe studio or villa), we recommend renting points through David’s Vacation Club Rentals, a DVC point rental company. This is a great way to save 40 – 60% on your accommodations at the deluxe level. Note: You cannot take advantage of the free dining special when taking advantage of a DVC room deal. You can purchase the dining plan though.
You are on your own for Transportation to the Walt Disney World Resort from your home. If you fly into the Orlando International Airport (and are staying at a Disney Resort) Disney offers FREE motorcoach transportation from the airport directly to your hotel, called Disney’s Magical Express. If you plan on staying at a Disney Resort, complimentary Transportation is offered from each Disney Resort to all 4 theme parks, 2 Water Parks and the Downtown Disney area.
Food is not included in the price of this trip. You will need to budget for your meals and snacks. You are allowed to bring your own snacks and drinks into the parks (no glass containers) and cups of ice water can be obtained at no charge at any quick-service location.
- Meal Plan – Can we purchase the meal plan with these tickets? Yes! If you’re staying at a Disney Resort, purchasing a meal plan and adding it to your reservation is certainly an option!
- Will “Free Dining” be offered this September? If so, can we take advantage of that promotion with these YES tickets?
- While Free Dining is occurring this Fall, it is not worth it… You have to pay full price for your room, plus full price for 2-day Park Hopper tickets in order to get ‘free food.’ Our YES tickets are considered ‘event’ tickets. They are separate from a package, therefore cannot be combined with a free dining promotion on their own. You will get the most bang for your buck by purchasing discounted YES tickets, and booking a ROOM-only reservation and applying the “Back to School” room discount promotion.
- Who exactly is running this trip? That would be me! (Terri Miller.) =) I’m the owner & operator of this very website you’re reading – WDW Hints. I also homeschool my children and work in the Children’s Ministry department at my church. If you have any questions about this trip, please feel free to send me an email, introduce yourself and ask all that you want: [email protected] ~ I’m happy to help!
- Is this trip meant just for homeschoolers? While many homeschooling families do take advantage of these Y.E.S. trips, our group trip is open to ALL students regardless of public, private, or home-schooled education. If your child wants to learn – they’re invited!!
- Can grandparents come at the same price? Our group ratio of adults cannot exceed our group ratio of children. All adults can buy tickets at the discounted price as long as there are not more adults in the group than there are children. Priority for discounted tickets will go to the parents and then grandparents/additional adults, and will be on a first come/first serve basis. A waitlist of adults (based on first come/first serve) will result if the number of adults begins to exceed the number of students. (Definition of group is the entire group of students – not the ratio of adults/children you are personally purchasing tickets for. In other words, if the entire group attending is 47 children, there cannot be more than 47 adults.)
- Can I invite my friends and/or family that do not homeschool? Yes ~ They are welcome to come!
- My 12th grader will have just recently graduated (in May/June), can they still attend? Yes! Students having just completed 12th grade, are still welcome to join in – even if they have already started college classes as a Freshman.
- Just double-checking… my family consists of two adults and two children (ages 6 and 4). While there is a program for the 6 year old, but not a class for the 4 year old… we still count as 2 adults and 2 students? Yes. Children ages 3 and 4 still qualify for “student status” offering all 4 of your family members the discounted ticket prices even though there won’t be any special program/class offered for your 4 year old. Only the 6 year old must attend their assigned class. (Please remember though, we need at least one child from every family registered to take a class. Families existing only of children age 4 and under will be asked to join us in the following years when at least 1 child is school-aged.)
- We’re a family of six – 2 adults and 4 children. All 4 of my kids qualify for attending a class, does that mean we can invite the Grandparents to join us and use the discounted ticket prices for them as well? Yes! Be sure to register your entire group together though – showing that you have 4 adults AND 4 children in your group. Otherwise, we’ll see that there are 2 extra adult tickets that can be given to adults on our wait list.
- We have more adults than children in our party – how can we call get discounted tickets? Register early! We’ll give you an equal amount of adult and child tickets, and put the remaining adults on our wait list. Chances are, the extra adults in your party will receive discounted tickets as other families with more children than adults sign-up. The wait list will be fulfilled in the order that requests were received – which is the importance of registering early!!
After you have read and understand ALL of the information explained above AND you are ready to pay in-full for your tickets, please complete this Registration Form. [Registration is now closed.]
- After you submit your Registration form, you will receive an automated email response letting you know we successfully received your Registration (please email Terri if you do not receive an email within 1 hour of registering.)
- Within 48 hours* of registering, you will receive a Waiver form & Ticket Invoice (PDF via email) from Terri detailing your ticket total and where to send your payment. Payment is DUE within one week of receiving this Invoice.
- *If you are put onto the Wait List due to having more adults in your party than children, Terri will notify you of your Wait List status, and then send the Ticket Invoice once you have been moved off the Wait List.
- Once we have received your payment, we’ll send a Program Confirmation Email.
- We will buy tickets in multiples of 40, so you may need to wait 6 – 8 weeks* before receiving your tickets. We will notify you via email when your tickets have been shipped and provide you with a tracking number. Tickets will be shipped to your home address.
- *We’ll buy tickets when we reach the minimum of 10 students for your selected class.
- In early August, we’ll send an email containing a class preparation document. This will include your scheduled time and place to meet, object lessons/experiments to try (optional) and discussion questions to prepare your child for their class.
- Arrive at WDW in September, vacation how you like, and be sure to bring your child to the assigned location! It’s highly recommended that you arrive 15 minutes early to the designated in-park meeting spot.
- Email communication will be our top priority in keeping you informed throughout the Registration process and with Trip Details.
If you have any additional questions that were not addressed here, please email Terri: [email protected]