There is a first time for everything! The first day of school, first dance, first kiss and…your first time to visit Walt Disney World. And like most first times, a visit to Walt Disney World can be very overwhelming. There are rides you have never heard of, things to learn to save you time and money and terms that no one else in the world but Disney uses. In this post, Your Mouse Expert (Authorized Disney Vacation Planner) will give you some definitions to make your visit to Walt Disney World just a little more magical.
These are the “keys to the kingdom” so to speak because they open your resort room door, admit you into the parks, act as your fast passes for rides and even allow you to charge merchandise to your room. If you are a Disney resort guest, they are complementary, if not, you can purchase them at various Disney venues throughout the park. As your authorized Disney Vacation Planner, it is one of the things that I make sure you will receive.
Those park guests who are staying at other resorts will be issued key cards with the purchase of park tickets. So if you see guest using cards as admittance into the park it is because they are not staying on a Disney property.
You can also reuse a Magic Band on subsequent trips. Your Magic Band will be linked to your My Disney Experience Account. If you have several Magic Bands you can deactivate those you are not using through that account.
My Disney Experience Website/APP
Your Disney Vacation Planner and general Mouse Expert set up your personal My Disney Experience Website and tell you where to download My Disney Experience App. From this website, you can manage your vacation. You will link your resort reservation, dining reservations, fast passes and even add a credit card to allow you to pay for merchandise. You can also link your party to your My Disney Experience and set up all your appointments as a group.
My Disney Experience also offers a convenient App that can be downloaded from App stores for most smartphones. It allows you to connect to your site and keep up with your schedule while out and about in the parks.
A Fast Pass is an appointment for an attraction. For a single theme park per day, you can make up to 3 FastPass selections in advance either online or by using the mobile app and you may change or cancel your selections any time. You can also get assistance from the Lobby Concierge at your Walt Disney World Resort hotel or at a FastPass+ kiosk in any of the parks.
Once you redeem your initial set of FastPass selections (or the last arrival window has passed), you can make another FastPass selection for the same day at an in-park kiosk or on your mobile device, up to park closing. After you redeem the additional FastPass+ pick, you can return to a kiosk to make more selections (one at a time), subject to availability.
Park Ticket Types
Disney offers several different options for tickets. There is the One Day/One Park option which is, as the name applies, good for one park per day only. You may come and go from that same park throughout the day, but only the park you started with that day.
The second option is the Park Hopper. Your Authorized Disney Vacation Planner and Mouse Expert enjoys this one, especially if you are at the parks for a short time. It is a great way to navigate crowds and get your money’s worth out of your trip. The Park Hopper allows you to go to as many parks as you wish in a day. You can catch “It’s a Small World” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” in the morning, have lunch at Epcot and catch “Soarin”, walk through the World Showcase and take a boat to Hollywood Studios for some Star Wars action and finish up the evening with dinner at Yak and Yeti and a Safari Ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Of course, you will need the help of a Disney Vacation Planner to put that together but with the Park Hopper Pass, you can do it.
If you love water parks and you are in the area in the summer months you will enjoy the Park Hopper Plus option because it gives you the option to enjoy Disney’s two water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon.
Special ticketed events
When planning your trip be sure to ask your Disney Vacation Planner what special ticketed events may be available at that time. These can range from Christmas or Halloween parties to special fireworks dessert parties. Many of these events afford visitors extra time in the parks when the parks are closed to other visitors. It makes rides more accessible and Disney always makes these events well worth the money.
Disney’s Magical Express is the transportation for guests who fly into the Orlando International airport. They pick up your luggage for you and take it directly to your room and you ride for free directly to your resort. Your Authorized Disney Vacation Planner can set this up for you as soon as you give her your flight info.
People are often confused by the various forms of transportation that Disney offers their guest. When guests stay at Disney Resorts, they have access to buses, steamboats or regular boats, and the Monorail system that can take them from resorts to the various parks. These are all free and run from early morning to park closing at about 20-minute intervals. This is extremely convenient because although non-Disney resorts may offer free transportation to the parks, it is usually once or twice in the morning and then not again until the evening.
Disney Dining Plan
The Disney Dining Plan is simply a way of prepaying for meals while visiting Walt Disney World. Plans vary from paying for Quick Service dining to Full-Service sit-down dining or a combination of both. For detailed information about how the Disney Dining plans work, visit this previous blog post.