Survival Tips: Disney World

Disney World is the most magical place in the world, right? Well, IT CAN BE if you follow our survival tips on how to survive – and ENJOY – Disney World and all its magicalness!

#001 Come Prepared

I’m talking EVERYTHING. The last thing you want is to need to buy something while at Disney (other than souvenirs, of course) because it is expensive and you don’t want to waste time in the line-ups. The essentials you should bring are:

  • Reusable water bottles (they have fountains at the park)
  • Sunscreen & a hat (protect yo self! Florida sun is HOT)
  • A lunch/snacks
  • Camera or smartphone w/ camera (NOTE: No selfie sticks allowed!)
  • Magic band (I recommend getting these, makes everything way easier, I’ll explain later)
  • A change of clothes (if going on Splash Mountain or wet rides)

#002 Bring Your Own Food

You can either bring a cooler and keep it in a locker to go back to at lunchtime or just bring some snacks and sandwiches in your backpack along with you. You are allowed to bring outside food into the park so long as you don’t have any knives, glass or alcohol. You can save a huge amount of money and also save time by not needing to wait in lines. Also, bring your own reusable water bottle to save money, time and save the planet! We only splurged on two days, one in Magic Kingdom when Marco got a huge Turkey Leg (pictured) and in Epcot when we got some German Beer!

#003 Take Your Own Pictures

Honestly, most people do this anyways nowadays but seriously, take your own! The photo-pass at Disney is $99 USD per DAY! Guys, that’s an extra $100 per day on top of your already $100-something admission ticket. The pictures are pretty nice, but save yourself some cash and buy yourself something nice. Unless you’re a die-hard Disney fan, can’t take nice pictures or just REALLY like the pictures they take of you, it’s not worth it in our opinion.

#004 Get The Magic Band

A magic band is essentially the entrance card you get where you can tap to get into the park, get your photo-pass pictures and get into your fast-pass selections. It’s incredibly more efficient to have the magic band (I think they cost about $13 USD) for a number of reasons. One, it’s hard to lose something attached to your wrist (Marco lost his card on the second day of Disney so we decided to get the magic bands, LOL live and learn!). Two, all you do is tap your wrist and you’re in! No need to search your bag or pockets for the pass. Quick and easy!

#005 Get Your Fast-Passes WAY Ahead of Time

So, a little fun fact that we didn’t before going – Fast-Passes are now done entirely on Disney’s Mobile App and ticket-holders can select their Fast-Passes up to 3 months in advance – crazy, right? We did not know this, so learn from our mistakes! It was tricky to get fast-passes for rides that we wanted because we literally waited until the day-of to get them. If you know which park you are going to on which day of your trip than try to plan your fast-passes out as soon as you can. This way, you can enjoy all your favorite rides without the crazy wait times (Rockin’ Rollercoaster was a 120-minute wait when we went, and it was raining that day!).

#006 Take Breaks If You Need To

There is a LOT to see in one Disney park – and there are several! Your passes include in-and-out privileges meaning that you can leave the park and come back within the same day with no issues. I recommend arriving for opening, staying until lunchtime or whenever you can, leaving and taking a break and then returning several hours before close to get more rides and meet-ups in and to watch their fireworks/light shows (they have one every night at every park except Animal Kingdom). This helps prevent people from getting cranky, moody, tired, etc. and can improve your Disney World experience.

 

Disney World: Hollywood Studios

This post will conclude our Disney World trilogy of posts. Hollywood Studios was our third and final day at the Disney World parks and the weather was, well, iffy. The morning was sunny-ish and very hot, but the afternoon quickly turned grey and it started to rain. First lightly and then torrential downpour (yuck!). BUT – rain = less wait times for the rides so we took advantage of the crappy weather and had some fun!

The Park

The Hollywood Studios park is themed as – you guessed it – Hollywood! It has Sunset Boulevard and everything. The little shops, boutiques, restaurants and old-style theming really bring it to life and make you feel like you’re in the mini-real-deal. I cannot stress enough how well Disney theme’s their parks, rides, cue lines – everything! It really makes it special.

The Rides

To be honest, there isn’t a whole lot of rides here. There are two REALLY awesome rides, the Rockin’ Roller Coaster and the Tower of Terror – but that’s about it. The other rides are more geared for children. With the exception of the Star Wars simulator ride, the other rides are pretty boring if the thrill is what you’re going for. That being said, the theme of the park, the atmosphere, and those two rides are worth the entrance fee.

The Scenery

A big part about going to Hollywood Studios is the gorgeous scenery, old-time style of the shops and the workers/actors & actresses that entertain there and just the feeling that you’re in Hollywood! They are working on new sections and new rides in the Toy Story area which should be completed sometime next year – so that may amp up this park a little bit, but other than the lack of thrill rides here, it’s an amazing park.

Side note: I wore pants in the morning in the first pic above because the bottom of my legs were sunburnt and I didn’t want to expose them to more sun – but it was so hot and humid I couldn’t stand it in my pants anymore and had to change into shorts!

 

 

 

Disney World: EPCOT

DID YOU KNOW: EPCOT stands for Experimental Prototype City Of Tomorrow? It was initially supposed to be a real experimental city where new technology would be tested and people would actually reside there, but when Walt died the idea was scrapped and here we are with beautiful EPCOT theme park!

The Park

This park is hands-down my all-time fave Disney Park. Why? There is SO much to see that the World Showcase itself is worth the money. As you walk between the pavilions showcasing numerous countries around the world you almost feel submerged in the countries culture, music, food, and atmosphere. Another fun fact: Anyone working in the pavilions in EPCOT must be from the actual country itself. Here is a break-down of our fave pavilions:

Mexico

With Spanish music playing, Mexican food being served and the gorgeous scenery, you almost feel as if you’re in Mexico (except the pyramids are a LOT bigger IRL). Here they have little shops and restaurants as well as a meet and greet spot where you can snap a pic with Donald Duck in a Sombrero!

China

Again, the architecture, music and food is outstanding and they really do a great job at keeping it as realistic as possible. We didn’t spend a whole lot of time in the Chinese pavilion, but you can grab a pic with Mulan here and sight-see around some of the buildings!

Japan

Gorgeous architecture, really yummy food and traditional music bring the Japanese pavilion to life. It’s very inspiring and makes me want to travel to go see the real deal! This pavilion has some shops and restaurants you can check out too!

Germany

You guessed it – BEER HEAVEN! The architecture was incredible, the music was beautiful and the beer was SO TASTY. Not-so-fun-fact: They asked us for our passports as a form of ID while buying drinks here, I’ve never had that happen anywhere else as usually our Drivers License is sufficient. Here you can meet Snow White or enjoy a German Buffet and Yodeler!

Other Sites

EPCOT is incredibly beautiful. They have some great rides too, like Test Track, Soarin’, and the new Frozen ride. They also seasonally have gorgeous garden hedges sculpted into your favorite Disney Characters and decorated with colorful flowers. The monorail can also be spotted transporting people to and from parks and resorts which gives EPCOT a cool futuristic vibe.