Hi folks, I’m A Becky Lee, Debs G’s younger sister. I share the Owls Well Blog with Debs. Debs and I have vastly different touring styles, so whenever the two of us take a mutual vacation, I’ll be writing about my experiences on this blog. You can find out a little more about me here.
Since the both Debs and I are born in December, we decided to really enjoy ourselves on an American vacation, which means one thing. WE GOTTA GO TO DISNEYWORLD!
So, we did!We had a pretty fun time and the vacation was fairly relaxing. Still, visiting Disneyworld in December, even early in December, is no easy feat, as the park was already moderately crowded in the lead up to the Christmas season. I know this because I spent a lot of time chatting up Disney cast members and guests for sweet sweet Disney information (more on this later).
So, here are my top five tips for Disneyworld visiting:
1. Fastpass+ is your BEST friend.
I cannot stress this enough. Fastpass+ is your best friend. Make your bookings as early as possible because the tickets sell out extremely quickly. The Disneyworld website is notoriously buggy as well, so if you’re planning to coordinate several different groups on several different rides and attractions (as we did), be prepared to spend a minimum of 1 hour working everything out.
Top Tip: Do your research on queue times, as some rides aren’t even worth fastpassing. As the Disneyworld website is buggy as all heck no matter what browser you’re using, I would recommend using Touring Plans as a guide to the rides, as they also have reviews from previous guests.
2. First in, best dressed.
With the new ticketing system, checking into the parks is now super-fast. That being said, you should still aim to turn up at the parks as soon as they open because queue times are comparitively short in the mornings.
Pro Tip from Disney Cast Member: To take the best advantage of this, you should try and book all your Fastpass+ for the afternoon. I know that Disneyworld technically gives people 3 new Fastpass bookings if they use up all their Fastpasses in the morning, but by the time you’re able to cash in on this, the queues to the Fastpass kiosks are mega-long and most of the rides are already booked out.
3. Get the Disney Experience App on ALL Your Phones.
If you don’t already have an account on the Disneyworld website, GET ONE. Not only will this allow you to access the Fastpass+ system, but you can also share these Fastpass plans with other members in your party, which is absolutely crucial if you’re planning to split up to do different things.
The My Disney Experience app is much more versatile. It allows you to make a schedule of the days events, designate different meeting points throughout the day and rebook Fastpasses on the go if your plans go sour. The app comes with a built in map of the Disney parks and does basic pathfinding so that you don’t get lost. Disneyworld actually has some pretty reliable WiFi, so you won’t have to worry about using precious roaming minutes either!
Top Tip from Pro Disney Guest: Aurasma is another good app to download, as there are plenty of places within the park that makes use of the Augmented Reality to place extra characters. You can meet Sven the reindeer in Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post!
If you’re celebrating any special occasion while you’re at the park, go and get a badge from the guest services centre located near the entrance to each park. Celebrating a birthday? Get a badge. First time at the park ever? Get a badge! Anniversary or Engagement? Get a badge! There’s a badge for everything!
Badges are a very good way to get free stuff or even the occasional magical moment at Disneyworld. The Boobook and I managed to score some free funnelcakes when the guy spotted our “Just Engaged” badges. Plus, on my birthday, they let me through the fast pass queue at Ariel’s Grotto.
But… don’t be a jerk and wear a badge when you don’t actually have anything to celebrate. Also, be mindful that having a badge doesn’t entitle you to free stuff, it just makes the getting of free stuff easier. I’ve noticed that the free stuff tends to come in when you least expect it.
Pro Tip from Disney Cast Member: Disney takes really good care of their cast. If you’re being obnoxious and rude, you’re less likely to be looked after than if you’re being kind and gracious. You might get one thing that you want one time if you’re rude, but the cast members actually have a system of identifying difficult and rude families, then blocking them out from receiving extra special treats.
5. Don’t Stress and Have Fun!
Seriously, there’s stuff going on at Disneyworld everywhere all the time, so don’t fret about having to wait in long queues and try not to rush about. Relax. Take in the atmosphere and breathe.
If you keep your ears open, you may even catch cast members talking about preparations for this or that unexpected treat!
WARNING: Link is somewhat crass, containing cussing, some scary bits and references to drug use.