Monday, August 26, 2013

15 Things I didn't Know About Walt Disney World The First Time I went!

As a travel agent I try to make every clients trip magical, after all that is what our business name stands for RMH Travel ~Where the Real Magic Happens. With that said, Walt Disney World is one of the most magical places on Earth, but it can also be the most overwhelming place on earth. So, I have asked friends, family, and clients, what was something you didn't know about Walt Disney World before you left that you wished you had known. Now some of the tips were personal, and some of the tips were long, I complied the top 15, and have given short answers about them. For more information, you can comment here, or e-mail us, we will answer your questions, help you out, all with no obligation and NO PRESSURE!

1.      If you're in the Park celebrating a special occasion and would like everyone to know what you're celebrating, stop by the Vacation Planning Booths to pick up a complimentary Celebration button and wear it proudly throughout the day. Check out the photo above for complete list of buttons you can pick up, and wait for the congratulations to pour in; whether it’s your birthday, first time going or wedding anniversary, Disney has you covered.

2.      FASTPASS- FASTPASS are free to all Disney guests. Here are some facts you may not know about them, and what attractions utilize their FASTPASS services, as only the most popular rides and attractions have FASTPASS.
a.      To get a FASTPASS, look for the “FASTPASS distribution” sing near the enterance of an attraction. You insert your park admission ticket into a FASTPASS machine
b.      You are assigned a one hour window in which to return to the ride to get in a FASTPASS line which is much shorter than the regular line, you can only use the passes during the window of time.
c.       Your FASTPASS will have printed on it the next time you can get another FASTPASS.
Magic Kingdom Theme Park
·         Barnstormer starring the Great Goofini
·         Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
·         Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
·         Dumbo the Flying Elephant
·         Jungle Cruise
·         The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
·         Peter Pan’s Flight
·         Space Mountain
·         Splash Mountain
·         Under the Sea~Journey of the Little Mermaid
Disney’s Hollywood Studios Theme Park
·         Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
·         Star Tours-The Adventure Continue
·         Toy Story Mania!
·         The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Epcot Theme Park
·         Captain EO Starring Michael Jackson
·         Living with the Land
·         Maelstrom
·         Mission:SPACE Pavilion
·         Soarin’
·         Test Track
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
·         DINOSAUR
·         Expedition Everest
·         Kali River Rapids
·         Kilmanjaro Safaris
·         Primeval Whirl

3.      Parent Swap – Is your child too short for a ride you would like to experience? Are they too afraid to ride? Then you might want to take advantage of Disney’s Child Swap program. When you enter the queue area, have the child that cannot ride the ride with you and inform the Cast Member you’d like to do a Child Swap. This allows for the first adult to ride the ride with everyone else in the party while the second adult stays with all the children that do not or cannot ride the ride. Then the second adult along with a second rider can ride without waiting in the long line. (Often you are put in the FASTPASS line unless there is no FASTPASS then you are guided to the front of the line and are able to ride the ride quickly.)
4.      Single Rider Line – if everyone in your party is over the age of 7 and don’t mind that you might not ride together you can enjoy shorter wait times by utilizing the single rider line.
·         Expedition Everest (Animal kingdom)
·         Test Track (Epcot)

5.      Advantages of staying on Property. Often people will say they can find a cheaper hotel off site, but when you add into the saving you get by staying on site, often a family of 4 can stay on site cheaper than staying off site. One advantage is the bus system, once you enter Disney you don’t have to drive anywhere. But if you don’t like the bus system you can still drive your car and park for free, plus get Extra Magic Hours, it can all add up. And if you travel in September you can get free dining.

What is Extra Magic Hours? Extra Magic Hours offer a rare and unique opportunity to enjoy additional time in Walt Disney World Parks-above and beyond the standard operating schedule-at no extra charge.
Each day, one of the 4 Walt Disney World theme parks opens one hour early or mains open up to 2 hours after regular closing time. Additionally, Disney Water Parks offer Extra Magic Hours during select time of the year. 

6.      PhotoPass service And PhotoPass +- There are Photographers walking around Disney Parks and standing with Disney Characters to capture the Disney Magic.  Select Photographers can add Disney Characters and other fun surprises to your photos.  If you purchase the PhotoPass  up to 14 days before your vacation you can get a discount and every photo taken by the photographers will be included in the CD, along with all the copy rights to print them. Disney just started offering PhotoPass+ allows you to capture all your vacation memories-including all Disney PhotoPass pictures, plus select attraction and Character Dining photos-within a 14-day visit to the Disney Parks, for just one price. 

7.      Baby Center – Want a nice quiet place to change your baby, or even feed your baby. The baby center is a great place to stop off at. With change tables and toddler bathrooms, simi-private rooms with rocking chairs to nurse your child, high chairs and of course any and all baby items you might need to purchase because you ran out. (Each of the 4 parks have a Baby Center)

8.      You will get Wet! Most of the year Florida has scattered showers, a poncho is a great investment. Also, there are splash play areas at Magic Kingdom that children will love to play in, but Disney (because of the health codes) requires that all guests that can walk are wearing shoes and shirts at all times including while playing in the splash zone. With this said make sure the shoes your children are wearing can get wet without hurting their feet, if you still have a stroller I recommend having a change of shoes for everyone, so they can change their shoes whenever they go on a water ride, or play in a splash zone.
9.      Dining Reservations-Disney World sit down restaurants fill up fast, especially the popular restaurants; you can make dining reservations up to 180 days before your vacation. You can make a reservation on-line or by calling 407-WDW-DINE.  Walt Disney World also has a dining plan that you can get if you stay on property for more information check out

10.  Pin and Vinylmation trading.  A popular and fun thing to do is to buy and trade Pins and Vinylmations. You can trade pins with any cast member wearing a lanyard, and you can trade Vinylmation. What is a Vinylmation? Vinylmation is is essentially a blank, three dimensional canvas (at Disney the canvas toy is Mickey) that is then painted and given a unique design by various artists.
11.  My Disney Experience is a new interactive app that lets you plan your trip before you go. You can keep everything in one place once you link your tickets and reservations to your account, your Disney Resort hotel and dining reservations appear in your plans. You can even add your own reminder notes for rides, and stuff. You can view day-by-day plans including your Disney Resort hotel, dining reservations, wish list items and reminder notes.  Manage your plan on line or on your smart phone.

12.  Nothing to do at Epcot for little ones- not true!

Kidscot Fun Stop-Most people thinks there is nothing for young ones to do at Epcot, but Walt Disney makes it fun for them. With Kidscot Fun Stops, at each country children can make cute crafts. See the Cast Members at any Kidcot Fun Stop to get a complimentary cardboard Duffy the Disney Bear for your child to decorate and personalize with the supplies provided at each station. Your friendly Cast Member will share insights about his or her native land, such as how to say “hello,” and give your child a stamp of Duffy in each country. Visit each Kidcot Fun Stop to collect them all!

Have an older child? Check out Disney Phineas and Ferb: Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure. Join Agent P and help solve clues to thwart some of Dr. Doofenshmirtz’s most daringly evil plots. Visit a recruitment center at Odyssey Bridge, Norway Pavilion, Italy Pavilion or near the International Gateway to receive your assignment and pick up an interactive handheld device that will guide you on your mission. 

13.  Package pick-up- You are in the back of the park, you spot something you really like, it’s the start of the day, you don’t know if you really want to carry this item all day long but you want it! Well don’t worry, you can buy the product and they will hold on to the item and in fact they will deliver them to a store near the front of the park for you to pick up as you are leaving. Staying on site? Then you can have the packages delivered to your hotel the next day. (You will have to pick them up at the store at your hotel unless you are staying in concierge level.) Packages can also be shipped to your house for an additional fee, with delicate items this might be a smart move as then the items are insured and if they break, Disney will pay to replace them. 

14.  Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is a magical beauty salon where any little girl can make her dream of becoming a princess come true. There are two locations at Walt Disney World, one in Down Town Disney and one in the Magic Kingdom.  (they have a Knight package for the boys)

Don’t want to be a Prince?  Check out the Pirate League at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Get “decked out” like a pirate and get sworn in, as a true pirate.  (there is a pirate princess deal for the girls too)

15.  Downtown Disney and the BoardWalk

Downtown Disney is free to visit- with world-class restaurants, dazzling entertainment and unique shops line the waterfront at Downtown Disney area. They have a splash zone, World’s Largest Disney store, bowling, and much much more.

Experience the timeless charm of Disney’s BoardWalk, a quarter-mile promenade of exquisite dining, unique shops and exciting nightlife. Stroll along the water’s edge, play afternoon midway games and discover evening street performers. Free of charge, Disney’s BoardWalk is a short stroll to Epcot and a breezy boat ride to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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