Important Changes to the VISA Waiver Programme

Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA)

US Customs and Border Protection and the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have introduced ESTA, allowing nationals of eligible VWP countries to apply for advance authorisation to travel to the United States. With effect from 12th January 2009, all VWP travellers will be required to obtain an electronic travel authorisation through ESTA, prior to boarding a carrier to travel by air or sea to the United States.

ESTA is a web based system and will replace the paper I-94W form (green card). ESTA applications must be submitted no later than 72 hours prior to travel and, in most cases, applicants will be provided with an immediate response.

Approved travel authorisation via ESTA is required for all VWP travellers and is valid for up to two years, or until the expiry of the travellers passport (whichever comes first). The authorisation will be vaild for multiple entries into the United States.

After 12th January 2009, any VWP traveller who has not applied for, and received, authorisation via ESTA may be denied boarding, experience delayed processing or be denied admission at a US port of entry.

As of the 9th September 2010, the US Government will be charging passengers to apply for their ESTA, currently the charge will be  $14 per person. Once you have obtained the ESTA, it is valid for 2 years.

If you cannot obtain authorisation via ESTA, you will be required to obtain a nonimmigrant visa at a US Embassy or Consulate prior to travel.

Eligible Countries

Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom

ESTA will enhance the security of the VWP and enable the United States to maintain and expand participation in the program. If your country is not listed above, please check the ESTA website to check the current status.

Websites

Additional Information:  www.cbp.gov/esta and www.CBP.gov

Applications: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov

Information supplied by the US Government under CBP Publication No. 0000-0717; June 2008. All information is subject to change by the US Government

Planning your DisneyWorld Visit

There are many ways to prepare your DisneyWorld visit from using online busy period checkers to planning your way around the parks to see and do as much as possible. 

The most essential tool you will require is the My Disney Experience app.(for IOS and android). The app allows you to do pretty much anything Disney related during and way before your visit. You can view the park maps and see exactly where you are using your phones GPS, book and manage restaurant table bookings, see wait times on the rides and see showtimes. We recommend you plan your days way before your holiday! Even restaurant bookings in the parks can become unavailable weeks in advance.

Most of the popular rides have FastPass+,  which is best used on the app. This allows you to skip the queues on up to 3 popular attractions per day at time slots you choose. Once you have linked you park tickets with your Disney account on the app you are able to plan your FastPass up to30 days in advance. So, pre-planning your park days can be quite important before you even arrive in Florida. A great tool to help you which parks are best to visit on certain days is the Crowd CalendarUse this to see which parks are quietest during the duration of your stay, so you can make the most of the park you are visiting. You will then be able to book restaurants and plan your FastPasses for the day of your visit.

Disneyworld has a FREE WIFI network inside all of their parks and Disney areas which is ideal for using the app wherever you are and for downloading the app in park if you haven’t already. It also means you will be able to contact your group easily if you lose them and even video call your family and friends whilst waiting in ride queues.

Other ways you can use the app are to view any official Disney photos that may have been taken, check character meeting times, and share your daily itinerary with all the members of your group.