Everything to Know BEFORE You Head to Disney World

Everything to Know BEFORE You Head to Disney World

WRITING A TRAVEL GUIDE TO DISNEY WORLD is like trying to write a concise summary of planet Earth for extraterrestrials: genuinely staggering in scope. With four parks, 50 hotels, 40,000 hotel rooms, hundreds of restaurants, several dwarfs, and 43 square miles of happiness, it’s hard to put into words the utter majesty of the world’s most-visited theme park. But, we will give you the best details.

Disney World truly is the Most Magical and Excitement Place on Planet. Even if you think it’s just for small kids and children, the wonderland and awe will sweep you upon you—particularly magic blends nostalgia, profuse amounts of sugar, and drinks. 

Whenever that happiness clicks for you, whether after a romp through Pirates of the Caribbean, it’s sure to take hold like a tight grip on your heart, so to achieve the maximum excitement, we put together the everything about the Disney World so that you can become a planner and experience all the fun, excitement, food, and unforgettable magic the House of Mouse has to offer.

Spend less time and effort getting lost in the extended details and more time whizzing through the rider line for Test Track and collecting Hidden Mickey pins. Not sure what either of those is? 

Kindly read till the end to feel and experience the incredible journey of Disney Land. This article says everything about the Disney Land.


The Walt Disney World attractions operate two lines: a standby line for visitors, and a FastPass+ line, allowing visitors with a reservation to enter the attraction more quickly. Each party member needs to have a time-specific reservation for the individual ride. Each day, up to 3 reservations can be made for each Walt Disney World ticket holder, regardless of ticket type. 

FastPass+ reservations are free, and select rides offer FastPass+. Walt Disney World’s ticketing system allows visitors to reserve a FastPass+ 60 days before visiting the wonderland. For example, if staying at a Walt Disney World resort hotel 30 days in advance with general park admission, visitors can make additional selections in the My Disney Experience mobile app.


The umbrella term for Walt Disney World’s technologically enhanced booking options includes MagicBands, FastPass+, and My Disney Experience.

Disney Springs

The area formerly known as Downtown Disney has gone through a multi-year transformation to become an entertainment, dining district, and shopping with four “neighborhoods” offering live music, nightlife, interactive experiences, and kid-friendly activities. West Side hosts entertainment options like Splitsville Luxury Lanes, House of Blues, and a 25-screen AMC theater. Marketplace boasts a range of Disney-affiliated stores. Town Center contains a collection of shops from famous designers and brands. Finally, the Landing’s upscale waterfront area is the place to find many of Disney’s newest restaurants and signature nightlife.

Times Guide

Upon entering, a rectangular billfold is available at the front of the park that delivers park hours, entertainment times, ride closures, and parade details weekly.

Early Morning Magic

Ticketed morning events give guests early and private access to attractions within Toy Story Land or Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland at Disney’s Hollywood Studios before park guests arrive, with a hot breakfast included.

Extra Magic Hours (EMH)

Additional park entrance hours are added in the morning or evening, exclusively for visitors of Walt Disney World resort hotels. Extra Magic Hours change regularly, but morning EMH allows for early park admission and ride access. Evening EMH restricts ride access to resort guests, allowing non-resort guests to exit the park at their leisure. Park guests must scan their MagicBand or display an Extra Magic Hours from participating hotels to prove eligibility to enter an attraction during Extra Magic Hours.

Disney After Hours

Ticketed late-night events give guests unmatched access to rides and experiences with minimum wait times once a park has closed to the public, with complimentary delicious ice cream, bottled drinks, and popcorn.

Cast Member

The proper term for Walt Disney World park employees, regardless of the job specification.

Magic Moments

Denotes an unofficial and surprise gesture upon a visitor from a cast member entirely at random. A Magic Moment could be as small as receiving a ride photograph without any cost and the Mad Hatter joining a guest for a spin on the Mad Tea Party.

Hidden Mickey

An homage to Mickey Mouse, often in the circular shape of his head with ears that are slightly big and often incorporated into the construction of buildings, facades, and attractions. They are hidden everywhere, from hotel carpeting patterns and sidewalk imprints to ride signs throughout Walt Disney World.

Magic Your Way

A Disney vacation package that allows visitors to book hotel stays, purchase park tickets, and choose a Disney Dining Plan as one reservation.


A property-wide service offers official photographers throughout the parks at Disney Springs. PhotoPass official photographers can be spotted in beige vests and scan guests’ MagicBands after taking photographs so images can be easily accessed on Disney’s PhotoPass website or the My Disney Experience mobile app instantly. In addition, specific photo locations allow for enhanced Magic Shots, which automatically insert Disney characters and effects into images. Guests can purchase individual photos and photo gifts inside the parks or on the Disney PhotoPass website; the purchase of Memory Maker enables unlimited downloads of guest images and family and friends.

Memory Maker

A digital package unlocks the download of every PhotoPass photo, attraction photo or video, and any images on account of friends and family traveling with the guest for one fixed price. As of early 2019, Memory Maker costs $170 approx when purchased in advance (which does not include photos taken three days prior) and nearly $200 when purchased during vacation.

Pin Trading

The activity of park guests trading official Disney pins with cast members across Walt Disney property. Disney pins are colorful with designs referencing a character, experience, or attraction within the parks and often come in small collectible sets.

Visitors can trade any official Disney pin for another official Disney pin on a cast member’s lanyard, an authorized Disney Pin Trading board, or inside a Disney Pin Trading book, which is located at shops, hotel desks, guest services counters, and other locations. Cast members will not refuse a trade based on the rarity; they will only decline a business if the pin is not an official Disney pin design or when the guest has accomplished a maximum of two trades per individual cast member that day. Because many pins can be pricey and are collectibles, guests often trade “starter pins” instead, which come in more affordable multi-packs. Hidden Mickey pins are not sold and can only be obtained by trading with a Walt Disney World cast member.

Rider Switch

If some group members want to ride an attraction and others do not, Rider Switch gives everyone a turn while also preventing younger visitors from waiting unsupervised. When entering the line, guests must inquire with a cast member about Rider Switch. Then, some of the group will enter the line, and the rest of the party — typically a child who is not riding and any adults supervising them — will wait in a specific area. When the first group finishes, they take over supervision, and any party members who stay and would like to ride can board without waiting in line. 

Shop Disney Parks

A standalone mobile app that makes navigating on-site shops much more comfortable. By utilizing the app, guests can locate additional clothing sizes, check stock of items at different gift shops, locate medicine and other necessary toiletries, and find packaged food and beverage items, searching for sundries more seamlessly.

Single Rider Line

A separate and somewhat under-the-radar line is offered on multiple attractions at Walt Disney World for individual guests. Single Rider Lines are currently operating on three rides: Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Test Track at Epcot.

Advance Dining Reservations (ADRs)

Reservations can be made at WDW restaurants up to six months or 180 days before arrival. In-demand locations like character breakfasts at Cinderella’s Royal Table and the wildly popular Be Our Guest restaurant in Magic Kingdom tend to be crowd-pulling, so booking well in advance is necessary. 

Note: If you are staying in a WDW resort hotel, you have a slight advantage: you can book six months from the beginning of a trip, providing up to a nine-day head start on prime seating times.

Tables In Wonderland

A dining discount program offers 20percent off food and drinks (including alcohol) at over 100+ restaurants throughout the Walt Disney World Resort and complimentary parking for dining purposes. Membership is limited to Florida residents, annual and seasonal pass holders, and Disney Vacation Club members.

Disney Dining Plan (DDP)

The Disney Dining Plan allows visitors booking Walt Disney World vacations to pre-pay for their meals in exchange for credits redeemable at many restaurants and most food service locations across the WDW property. The allotment varies depending on whether the Disney Dining or Deluxe Dining plan is purchased. Still, it is most helpful for families preferring to pre-pay for most of their vacation.

Mobile Ordering

The process by which visitors can pre-select meals at dining destinations throughout Walt Disney World. 

Note: Food is not prepared in advance.

Walt Disney World Transportation

The complementary system of buses, monorails, and boats transports guests from all Walt Disney World hotel resorts. They drop you to the five parks, two water parks, and entertainment facilities across the vast property. Each Walt Disney World hotel resort operates at least a solo bus station, the primary form of transportation to the parks. WDW buses arrive approximately 20-25 minutes, and only select properties offer boat and monorail access.

Note: WDW Transportation does not operate directly between resorts. If you plan to visit a hotel other than your own, it is recommended to leave for up to 90 minutes to transfer to a park location.

Disney’s Magical Express (DME)

A complimentary coach bus service is offered to Walt Disney World resort hotel guests. This coach bus service is between Orlando International Airport and their lodging location. DME must be booked in advance for all parties traveling together. 

Note: Pick-up time for departing flights can be up to four hours before actual flight time, affecting some guests’ plans.

Minnie Vans

A fleet of polka-dotted minivans operated by Disney cast members and bookable through the Lyft rideshare app. Minnie Vans can travel between areas within Walt Disney World or between the resort and Orlando International Airport. This can be booked in advance as well.

Disney bounding

Made famous by a blog of the same name. This concept refers to park guests dressing like Disney characters using colors instead of costumes. 


Refers to Disney-operated distance events that are hosted at multiple parks. For example, Walt Disney World currently hosts four events:

  • the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend in January,
  • Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend in February,
  • Star Wars Half Marathon in April, and
  • Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend in November. 

Note: RunDisney events often cause parks to become crowded and limit hotel availability. Check the dates of future events before booking or planning your trip.

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