Tag Archives: Fastpass
Many people like to relax, take it easy, and sleep in on vacation. I am all for relaxation, but when I am vacationing at Walt Disney World, I personally prefer to get up early and make the most of my days at the Parks. My favorite Park by far is the Magic Kingdom, and I think in part because it’s a very accommodating Park for those of us who like to get an early start to our day!
So why should you wake up early for the Magic Kingdom? Well, here are the top 5 reasons:
Rope Drop – Every morning before the Park opens, guests are greeted by the Mayor and citizens of Main Street, and even some characters too – including Mickey himself! It’s a nice little presentation that is entertaining and a magical way to start your day at WDW
Photo ops – This is one of the BEST times to get unobstructed photos of Cinderella’s Castle and other Main Street photos too! Utilizing the Photopass at this early time is easy – no wait and great group photos (without other people’s heads in them!). Other spots like the Walt and Mickey and Roy and Minnie statues are usually pretty vacant at this time, so get your photos in of these iconic statues at this time too. Photos are one of the best trip souvenirs, and any chance to get good ones is worth taking!
Have I mentioned lately how much I absolutely love Walt Disney World? There’s nothing in this world like walking down Main Street, U.S.A. with Cinderella Castle looming in the distance, the beautiful sounds of the Mainstreet vehicles, clop clop clop of the horse’s hooves, meeting and greeting the Mayor and his wife, oh and the sweet heavenly scents wafting from the Main Street Bakery.
I do love Disney, really, I do. You could even call me twitterpated, but sometimes it makes me want to punch someone in the throat. I’m not a violent person, not at all. I love sweet furry little critters, especially my three that walk on two legs. I mean, I gave birth to them, so they do tug at my heart-strings. I wave at folks passing by on the Ferry, I will hold the door open for a mum or dad struggling to juggle a stroller and a toddler, I’ll even give away awesome FastPasses for rides like Soarin’ or Toy Story Midway Mania (the horror!). I’m not entirely heartless. Sometimes, though, I need a wall at Disney World, just to bang my head against.
Let’s see what Wikipedia has to say about the words “pet peeve”:
A pet peeve (or pet hate) is a minor annoyance that an individual identifies as particularly annoying to them, to a greater degree than others may find it.
When I was young, my dad spent large amounts of time planning our Walt Disney World trips, and a huge part of that was finding out where characters would be and then planning our days around that (and this was back before the internet, so it was no small task!). Nowadays, Disney has made it easy to find your favorite characters, with their character spots – one in the Magic Kingdom, and another in Epcot, where the same characters appear daily for autographs, hugs, and photos with their many fans!
You’ve just booked your first trip to Walt Disney World! Yay! Congratulations! Feel the excitement rush through your veins! Bask in that after-booking glory. But…then what?
Well, don’t you fret, dearies! I have compiled a short list of my top ten tips for anyone visiting Disney World for the first, or fiftieth, time.
- Arrive early. When using Disney Transportation, you need to give yourself at least an hour to get to your destination. I strongly suggest arriving 20 minutes prior to park opening. You will never believe the amount of touring you can get done in the three hours before most everyone else gets out of bed and decides where they’re going for the day. Not only do you beat the crowd, but during the hotter months, you can beat the heat as well.
- Use both sides. When you’re standing in line for the turnstiles, at bag check or at a quick service restaurant, most people do not realize that there are lines on both the right and left side of the cast member.
- Gum. You cannot purchase gum at any of the four major theme parks. However, a very little known fact is the Clubhouse Shop at ESPN Wide World of Sports does carry a very limited amount of gum. If you’re in desperation, hop a bus to one of the All-Star resorts and head on over to the WWoS to satisfy that gum craving. Please be aware that this shop is not open 365 days a year. Check with the front desk of your hotel to determine whether it’s open or closed.
- Fastpasses. Fastpasses are free. Learn about them. Utilize them. A fastpass can save a substantial amount of time in peak season.
- Smartphones. If you have a smartphone, download Disney’s Mobile Magic app to keep an eye on wait times, have a map readily available and and review important information of attraction when you are inside a Disney Park.
- Transportation. Disney offers a variety of free transportation options. Yes, you read that correctly. Free. If you don’t have a car, you don’t have to rent one. Once on property, you have several choices of how to get around. There are buses, boats and monorails. What’s available depends on where you’re coming from and where you’re going. Inquire at the front desk if you’re reading this from your hotel. If you’re still at home, Chip & Company can help you by clicking here.
- Love Coca Cola. Open Happiness. There are no Pepsi products to be found while on Disney property. If you absolutely must have Pepsi, bring it from home. Don’t forget to try Club Cool!
- YouTube. If you have little ones, you can pump up their excitement or gauge their timidness of some of the attractions by looking them up on YouTube.
- Park Hoppers. If you plan on visiting more than one park per day, you must purchase a Park Hopper, you cannot use another day on your ticket to enter a second park on the same day.
- Times Guide/Park Maps. So you’re not really a planner, eh? No sweat, just be sure to grab a Park Map and a Times Guide (or download the app mentioned in #5) and quickly go over it to see what you’re interested in doing. Grab a nearby Cast Member and ask what the most popular attraction is and head there first to either ride or grab a Fastpass. From there, just begin working your way around the park and enjoy the spontaneity of your vacation!
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are entire books devoted to helping you have the best Disney vacation possible. What tips can you offer someone visiting a Disney Park for the first time? Can you offer some insight on what to do/not do on a Disney vacation?
- Disney World Quick Tips: Don’t Miss the Sponteneity (chipandco.com)
- Disney to Begin Testing Next Generation FASTPASS System (chipandco.com)
This past April, my parents, husband and I made a trip to Walt Disney World during Spring Break (the week of Easter), and even though we used to go every year at this time when I was a kid, I was still concerned about the crowds. I was worried that it would be so crowded that we wouldn’t even be able to move, much less actually ride or do anything!
Since I knew it would be busy, I did my research, and came up with some some ways to deal with the crowds. You can’t prevent the Parks from being overcrowded, but you CAN have a strategy for dealing with it, and it should incorporate at least some of these:
Extra Magic Hours – This is a huge perk of staying on WDW property (Read about more of those perks here), and it basically boils down to more Park time for you, as certain Parks will open early/stay open late on specific days, and these extra hours are only open to guests staying at the WDW Resort Hotels. I personally prefer morning Extra Magic Hours to evening ones, as I can get there early right when the park opens, and it’s nice and empty, and I can ride all my favorite rides (sometimes multiple times in a row!) without much wait at all. I highly recommend utilizing the Extra Magic Hours whenever possible!