Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Disney Tips

I want to share some tips/observations that my husband and I made on a recent trip to Walt Disney World.

General Tips:
- Take advantage of the Fast Passes. It will bring your wait in line down to 20 minutes (on a busy day) or less.
- Fast Passes are only given out once an hour per park ticket. For example, if you get a fast pass for Tower of Terror, you will have to wait an hour to get the fast pass for Rock N Rollercoaster
- Send someone else ahead to the ride you want Fast Passes for with all of the park tickets (they are needed to get Fast Passes). This way you can go do something else while one of the adults gets the Fast Passes, so you're not standing in yet another line to get the pass with a bunch of cranky kids.
- If you MUST take a double stroller to the park, be courteous. We were nearly run over or pushed aside by many a double and even single stroller.
- If you're at a park and there is a ride-time board... CHECK it! It will save tons of time by not walking to each ride to see what the wait is.
- Eat small meals (like appetizer size) throughout the day especially on hot days. It helps you not to feel so worn down and give you a break to sit and relax.
- Water, water, water.... bring it with you to the park (it's okay), purchase it... whatever. Otherwise you will be miserable.
- More on water.... we bought bottled water at Walmart before we headed to our resort. It was worth it since bottled water at the park is $2.50 each. It's okay to bring it in the park, we brought a 12 pack with us one day and weren't questioned.
- Sunscreen up before you leave for the park.

Magic Kingdom:
- Transportation to and from the Magic Kingdom can get a little crazy with the choices of monorail, ferry and buses. Be prepared to wait regardless.
- Avoid doing the Magic Kingdom on a Monday. We noticed it was ridiculously busy by late morning.
- Have breakfast at the Main Street Bakery at the park. It's a great deal. I purchased a cinnamon roll the size of a softball for $2.59. Plus if you get a table outside, you can relax for a few before hitting the park.
- If you are a resort guest, take advantage of the extra magic hours at this park. We walked right on to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and had only a 20 minute wait for both Splash Mountain and Thunder Mountain Railroad.

- Hit Epcot on a Monday. Most people are at the Magic Kingdom that day and so this park is less crowded. It did get considerably more crowded on Tuesday.
- Do the Spaceship Earth ride later in the day rather than first. It is usually very busy in the mornings, early afternoon. If you time it right, you can usually just walk right on. This ride is one that anyone can do and it's actually quite fun.
- Visit China. They have a great quick service menu and the tables in that area are SPOTLESS.
- There is a new Kim Possible World Showcase Mission "game". You get a ticket to meet at a designated spot, receive your communicator and then complete a mission within one of the World Showcase countries. We did this twice and had an absolute blast.
- If you can get reservations, go to the Rose & Crown Pub for dinner after 7pm since they have a 2 hour time limit for seating. If you speak with the host/hostess, see if they can get you seating for the fireworks out on the deck. It's WORTH it!!!
- For a quiet, shady retreat, go to the gardens behind the Tea Caddy in UK. When the Beatles tribute band isn't playing it's a nice little place with benches and shade.
- The Innovations section of Epcot is a great place to go get some A/C and also education for the kiddies. It's also a good place to go for the freak thunderstorm that Florida gets in the summer afternoons.

Hollywood Studios:
- Just a little FYI... if you go for the Star Wars weekend expect insane crowds and SW geeks galore
- If your little Jedi need a light saber, consider buying a prefab one. They have a make-your-own light saber section, but it's much more expensive than a premade one.

Animal Kingdom:
- Go to Animal Kingdom if it's a Star Wars weekend. We headed over to this park after the madness at Hollywood Studios. We had a short wait for Expedition Everest and walked right on to Kilimanjaro Safaris.

Disney Resort Guests:
- Get the refillable mug at the resort. It costs around $12.95, but you end up saving money on buying pop (or soda, whatever you call it), coffee, etc.
- You pay for what you get for when it comes to resort to park transportation. We stayed in one of the "value" resorts and since we were paying less, a lot of the time the buses didn't seem as frequent or made multiple stops. If you want direct access via monorail to Magic Kingdom or Epcot, stay at the Contemporary, Polynesian or Grand Floridian resorts.
- If you stay a resort, take advantage of the package pick-up in the park gift shops. They will send your package to your resort's gift shop and you can pick it up usually the following day after 1pm.
- The Disney Dining Plan seems like a good idea, but in reality causes a lot of confusion. We did not have the dining plan but ended up behind someone in line who did and had no clue what they were doing. It seemed like more of a hassle than what the savings are.
- There are no mini fridges in the All-Star Resorts. Stop at Walmart (if you're renting a car) in Kissimmee and purchase a $2 foam cooler. There are ice machines in each section of the hotel.
- If you need a microwave, there is one in the dining area for the All-Star resorts.

And this post wouldn't be complete without a recent Disney project I completed with my new Mickey ears punch:

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