Goin’ To DisneyWorld….
That said, my cousin, who interned down at the happiest and humid-ist (sp? Is that even a word) place on Earth, passed on some great recos. So good, I think I should share with the world. If you like, don’t praise me, praise her:
Oh Disney, Disney, Disney. Pretty much my favorite place on earth.
Just a few general hints or tips. Keep in mind I have no idea when the last time any of you were there so please dont take offense to any of my suggestions, just letting you know from my experience.
–Bring small snacks to munch on throughout the day. Snacks are expensive and its more worth it to spend your money on a big meal at dinner in my opinion.
–All lines will be long because summer season picks up in June usually. However, GUEST RELATIONS IS YOUR BEST FRIEND! I am fairly certain you can get a guest assistance pass that will allow you to skip all lines. You will definitely want to check into this. Guest relations is located at the front of all parks and they really can do a lot of things that most people just ignore. It never hurts to ask, trust me.
–If you plan on eating at any restaurant at any park, you must have reservations. You can put your on the waitlist (sometimes cant) but it will always be a multiple hour wait. Guarenteed. I would call asap to make reservations if that is the way you want to go. And always show up early. You are NOT guarenteed to have a table waiting for you at your reservation time but you will have perfered status. Most places are really good about getting you in asap though.
–All restaurants on property have gluten free options on hand, you just have to ask for them. It is not necessary to call ahead to set up meals for gluten issues, but if there are allergy issues, you must call early and speak with a Chef. If you do this, make sure to call in the morning the day of the reservation to verify that they havent forgotten or misplaced the order. Im sure you all are very good at this process, Im just giving it as a reminder because I worked in and around many chefs and restaurants across property and I know how these things work and what they tend to do.
–Water is expensive. Which is nuts to me. I suggest taking water bottles and filling them up at the hotel before you leave. The fountains are not always too tasty.
–Also, they took away soda in bottles and only sell cups with lids at the popcorn carts now so if you are a bottle person, sorry! (Yes, I met many a specifically bottle person who was quite upset over this)
–Disney offers Meal Plans which are sometimes an awesome thing and sometimes a hassle. I suggest at least looking into it if you think you are going to do a lot of eating in the Parks. Most plans offer snack, quick-service, and table service meal points so basically you just hand them the card and everything is paid for. When you go that route though you are limited on what you can get based on your plan. Certain times in the year when you book you actually get a free meal plan so you might want to look into when that is and see if its during your stay.
–If you want to see any shows, always arrive at least a half an hour early. Not even joking.
–Take advantage of Fast Passes if you dont get the Guest Assistance Pass, or if not all of you get one. If you play the fast passes right, it saves you tons of time and hassle of lines.
–If you want to see a parade, its advised to line up as soon as you see them start to bring out the ropes, usually 45 mins to an hour prior. Line up along the rope so noone gets in front of you.
–Disney offeres a Magical Express Shuttle from the airport which delivers your bags to the hotel room for you and drops you off as well. I highly suggest looking into it unless you are renting a car, in which case never mind.
–If you are staying on property then you can take advantage of Extra Magic Hours also known as EMH. Every park has them, sometimes an hour before park opens or two or three hours after park closes. It used to be you needed to get a wrist band for them to be allowed to stay in the park but now all you have to do is show your room key at the enterance of the rides to go on them. It used to be that all other guests were kicked out of the park and only those staying on property were allowed to stay sort of making it an exclusive type deal but they dont do that any more. Its still fun to stay later and the lines usually get shorter.
–Let me know if and where you are staying on property and im sure I know some special things about it as well.
–Every resort offers mugs that you can refill infinitely while you stay there but they are not good in the parks only at the resort. They are around 15 bucks but if you arent going to hang around the hotel a lot, not too worth it in my opinion unless you like to collect mugs, which lots do.
Here is my list of must dos according to park.
–Newest ride Toy Story Mania. Absolutely must. Its awesome and its brand new.
–Block Party Bash the 3 oclock Parade. So much fun and so cool. Its brand new as well and features Pixar characters. Best place to see this is in the area to the left of the Mickey Hat near the American Idol theatre.
–FANTASMIC NIGHT SHOW!!! This is an absolute must. However, it is only shown twice a week now. Make sure you ask which days it is showing when you are there and you have to go. They usually have two shows and the second is always less crowded. Sometimes based on attendence they will add an additional show so make sure to ask throughout the day to see if thats the case. In any case you will absolutely need to go at least an hour early to get good seats. They give a warning that it might scare little kids because it features a large dragon and some loud noises, just FYI. I was in charge of the food vendors and the concessions stands as a part of my job when I was working there.
–Not a lot for kids to do here but they recently just added a Kim Possible adventure game to get kids into the park which kids run around collecting clues and what not to complete a mission using a niffty cell phone.
–Their fireworks show at 9pm is called Illuminations and is one of my favorite but not too interesting for kids. If you go, get as close to the water as possible because a lot of things happen on the lake that you cant see too well from far away.
–Soaring is an awesome ride that came from California and is over in the Land area of Epcot and is a must as well. If you go, ask to sit in the top row to get the best experience. This ride is a simulation of flying over california and features a lot of popular sights as well as smells. You do get a little bit of that feeling in your stomach so sometimes kids do get a little freaked out.
–The Nemo ride is a cute ride as well and features the largest cue line in the park (incase you were wondering).
–They have a new 3 O’clock and day parade that are both pretty colorful and fun.
–They always have the best fireworks. Their goodnight fireworks titled WISHES is really neat and def worth hanging around for.
–They mostly have all the classic rides and not much new.
–I always have to have a hot dog and fries from Caseys Corner, but thats just me.
–Expedition Everest is so cool. Most super rollercoaster people will say its dumb, but i love it. It goes backwards in the dark.
–Nemo the Musical is pretty neat, but once is enough in my opinion. Again, must get there EARLY to get a good seat.
–Festival of the Lion King is my FAVORITE show at any park. I see it every time I go.
–Its Tough Being a Bug is a really cute 3-d show at the base of the Tree of Life.
–Dinosaur is a really awesome ride, but I always get scared at the end. Every single time even though I know whats coming. Not always a good one for kids. Its loud and rough.
–Near the Nemo Musical theatre is a carnival type area. There is a crazy spinning old fashioned carnival ride that looks like its a little kids ride but its actually quite fun and spins and jerks you around a lot with three or four small drops but its so much fun.
–The Safari ride is hit or miss. Sometimes there are tons of animals out and they get really close to you and sometimes they are all hiding or sleeping and its really boring. I still suggest doing it though because its a neat experience regardless.
I think that is about all I can think of at the moment. If you have any other questions feel free to shoot them back. Im full of lots of useless knowledge about Disney.
Oh! Ps…Downtown Disney is mostly just shopping and dining, but still worth checking out. There is a lego store with giant lego sculptures, a stage where they have music playing and a guy teaches you how to do the dances to them, usually a big hit with kids and youll even see a lot of parents bopping to the beat. They also have a new feature that was in the works when I was there in March that will be open by the time you go. It is a hot air balloon that is teathered to the ground, takes 30 people at a time 150 feet in the air and you can see all over Disney property. It sounds really neat.
Anyway, Im sure thats more than you wanted but there ya go!