Thursday, March 19, 2015

Disney World Tips

Yes, this is suppose to be a blog about my business and fiber related items.  I don't know where else to put this since I still have Disney on the brain.  We went to Disneyland in 2010 and after that trip we decided that we wanted to try for Disney World in 2015.  We managed to make it happen.  Now I'm a big planner so we had decided to do the trip in 2014 and booked it July 2014.  I had been reading all kinds of hints and tips on Instagram before our trip (even more so a few months before our trip).

A few things we learned from Disneyland that we made sure we did before hand for Disney World.  First of all, train for it!!  We ended up doing 6 - 9 miles each day.  We racked up over 40 miles by the end of the trip.  There is LOTS of walking and walking getting you faster then taking some of the transportation.  Second, pack a knapsack with water bottles.  I ended up being the pack mule and carrying all our empty water bottles.  Not this trip, I had everyone carry a backpack and carry their own Brita filter water bottles (we just refilled empty water bottles last time).  The filtered water made a HUGE difference.  I didn't care for the Florida tap water.  This way you can fill it up pretty much any where and not have to go to a water fountain.

Disneyland didn't have the merchandise delivery that they have now if you stay at a Disney hotel.  We love the fact that we could shop and then NOT have to carry bags around with us all day.  It was hard getting our small backpacks into the "bag holders" on the roller coasters.  We saw many people lugging many bags around the parks.  We LOVE the Magic Bands.  It was nice that everyone to access their room with their band, enter the parks with it and pay for stuff & meals with it.  Not all the dining was on the Magic Band system.  It work just like charging stuff to your room at a hotel (not directly to your credit card which someone at Disney Call Center told me).  It was nice to not have to worry about a room key and credit card while you are down by the pool.

Have a plan.  I had to plan out our days because of the fast passes.  You book them 3 months ahead of your trip and you are only allow 3 per day. Generally we only used 2 of our fast passes.  Why?  We got up early (5AM or 6AM) and headed out to the park.  Since we usually got there when the park opened or before the general public on Magic Hour days, we usually did all our fast pass rides before the time the passes worked.  It best if you get there about 30 min before the park opens.  Later on the parks would fill up fast and shows would make walking around hard to do.  The best fast passes were the ones we got due to the fact we couldn't get into DisneyQuest in Downtown Disney.  My suggestion avoid Downtown Disney.  In Disneyland you can't avoid it because you walk through it to get to the parks.  In Disney World its out of the way (about 30 min on the bus) and not much to see or do there.  The fast passes we got were what is called instant ones.  You didn't have to book a time.  We just walked up to the Fast Pass line and got on.  We only got 3 though for 2 days.  I wish Disney would changed the Fast Pass to instant ones.

We also made great use of the Park Hopper since we never did spend an entire day in one park.  We stayed on site so it was really nice to be able to go back to the hotel to take a break and then head out again.

Dining.  Disneyland doesn't really have a dining plan.  There are dining plans at Disney World.  We were going to go for the deluxe plan (which means you can have a sit down meal for breakfast, lunch & dinner).  I figured out that we had to spend $2628.72 or $154.63 per meal.  We ended up spending less then $2,000 for meals AND souvenirs!  We only booked 3 meals before the trip.  I didn't want to have to be at a certain place for meals.  If you want to sit down for meals though you do have to book ahead.  There is no way to just walk in and get a table for Be Our Guest or the famous Victoria & Albert's.  We did end up booking some meals for the next day.  You also need to keep track of your meals and snacks on the meal plan.  Often problems while waiting in line was due to people trying to make sure the got things on the meal plan and paid out of pocket for things they couldn't get.  A sit down meal is appetizer, entrée and dessert.  We had pretty much whatever we wanted and spent less.  One thing I couldn't get over in both Disneyland and Disney World is the lack of real eggs.  Often you got powder eggs which I don't care for.

Memory Maker.  I would highly suggest that you get it.  It's $30 cheaper if you get it before you get to Disney World.  At Disneyland they only have Photopass but its better now then in 2010.  Photopass was free but then you had to pay per picture (like $15 each).  We ended up getting a calendar to get most of the pictures they took at the parks.  I took over 1,000 pictures but often I'm not in them.  With Memory Maker, you get nice spots and a photographer to take your picture.  The cool thing is in some of them they will put extra (Stitch and Tinker Bell showed up in a couple of our pictures).  You can put neat borders and stickers on your photos from the site.  The really AWESOME thing was getting the ride pictures.  We even got a short video of our Seven Drawfs Mine Train ride!  The pictures are transferred onto your Magic Band and usually at the end of the day you can see them on the My Disney Experience site.  You get ALL the pictures of the one price.  I downloaded all of them and then went back to add borders and downloaded those.

After going to both Disneyland (twice) and Disney World (once), I have to say I like Disneyland better.  I guess because everything seems more structured in Disney World.  Characters wandered in Disneyland while they were in set spots at set times in Disney World.  There seems to be more rides/attractions in a smaller area then spread out in Disney World.  It seems that a lot of time was spent just getting to a ride/attraction.
I would recommend you get the Epcot passport.  I didn't get it for my girls but for me.  I went to get it signed in all the countries.  Some were very brief.  Others like the guy from UK was a paragraph and a UK Mickey!  The passport is $8.95 which includes stickers and a big button.  It's a very nice souvenir.

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