Updated: Apr 19 2020
Are you planning a Disney World trip and you want the 411? Here is my blog post on What you need to know about Disney World. I sat down with my travel agents at Glam Escapes and went over a list of questions I’ve been asked over and over again. I’m about to give you all the insider tips and tricks right here in my blog post.
Why have a Disney travel agent?
1) It’s FREE. Disney pays them for their service.
2) Knowledge. You have access to Disney Experts. These agents have to attend the Disney College of Knowledge each year, which contains hours of training and testing. Seriously, they know everything.
3) Promotions- They are the first to know about promotions, which is very important when booking your trip. My family received a “free dining” the last time we went.
4) They know what is going on at the park. They know if the castle is under construction at Disneyland or if it’s LGBT week. Also, they know the crowd levels and if there is a cheer competition going on. Want to attend a food and wine festival? They know about that. You can even purchase special event tickets if that’s an option during your vacation.
With a travel agent, you will not miss out. You will know exactly what is going on and when it is going on at the park. Winging your trip will lead to a lot of missed experiences.
How do you pick a Disney travel agent?
Picking a Disney travel agent is an important decision. You want someone who will listen to what you’re looking for, give honest opinions about each destination, and provide excellent customer service when it matters most- on your trip! Most importantly find an agent who loves Disney just as much as you do if not even more!
How far in advance can I book a trip?
Online- A year in advance
Over the phone- 499 days in advance
I suggest booking 6 months to a year in advance, so you can score some really good deals.
What are the 4 parks, and how many days do I need at each?
Magic Kingdom– This is where you will find Cinderella’s castle. When you think of Disney, then you are thinking of Magic Kingdom. I suggest 1 to 2 days. This is the most magical park. Fun fact: This is the only park you can not buy an alcoholic beverage while walking around the park or at a quick service restaurant. You can only purchase alcohol at “sit-down restaurants”.
Hollywood Studios– This is where the Star Wars fans go to play. Toy Story and Marvel fans will love this park as well. I suggest 1 full day.
Animal Kingdom– No, this park is not just for only animal lovers. Although, if you love animals this park is for you too. This is where you will find the Yeti, Avatar, River Rapids, and Dinosaur rides. Also, this is where you can find the amazing Lion King performance. I suggest 1 day.
Epcot– This is an adult paradise. This is where you can drink around the world. Yes, you can still spend an entire day riding rides at this park with your kids too. I suggest an adult trip to this park and 1 day at the park with kids.
What is Disney Springs?
Disney Springs has outdoor shopping, restaurants, and entertainment. You can take a free Disney shuttle to Disney Springs.
Is Disney World and Disneyland the same place?
No! Disney World is located in Orlando, Florida & Disneyland is located in Anaheim, California. Disney World has 6 massive theme parks while Disneyland has 2 small theme parks.
How do I pick a hotel?
When picking a hotel, ask yourself “what is important?”, such as location, theme, or luxury.
For example, if you have small children who need naps, then I suggest hotels close to the park. Otherwise, you will spend most of your day shuttling around.
There are 3 levels.
Disney World Value Resorts– This is the lowest level. To be honest, this level reminds me of a luxury motel.
Disney World Moderate Resorts– This is my personal favorite level. If the hotels were like the 3 bears’ beds from Goldy Locks, then this one feels just right.
Disney World Deluxe Resorts– This level is all about luxury. Several of these hotels are the closest to the park.
What is club level?
It is usually located at the top level of the hotel. In order to get to the top floor you must scan your MagicBand in the elevator.
Club Level accommodations are available at all Deluxe Resorts.
Moderate Level- Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
Club Level Concierge Desk– Once on the top floor, your floor has it own concierge desk. The cast members will take care of everything for you, such as tickets, transportation, dining, fast passes, drinks, and help with MagicBands. Whatever you need they will take care of it.
Club Level Lounge
Free Complementary drinks all-day
Free Breakfast -7:00 am – 10:30 am
Free mid-day snacks- 11:30 am – 4:00 pm
Free Dinner- 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Free beer and wine- 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
How do I pay?
A $200 fully refundable deposit is due at the time of booking. Final payment is due 30 days prior to check-in.
What are Magic Bands and how do I get one?
These wristbands are your hotel key, credit card, park tickets, genie passes, and pool passes.
The bands are no longer FREE for Walt Disney annual pass holders and hotel guests. However, you can purchase them online at the Disney store. You can reuse these magic bands as many times as you want. Also, you can buy limited edition bands or a fancy Dooney & Bourke magic band. We just use the cheap $20 solid-color magic bands. It gets the job done.
Your magic bands come in a box with your name listed on the band.
If you are a crafty mom, then you can even decorate your bands.
If you are not staying at the park, you can still purchase the magic bands and use them for tickets, credit card, and genie pass.
What is my Disney Experience App?
This is where you book and manage your trip. You can select your genie passes, make dinner reservations, look for shows, princesses, and entertainment. This is where you find the map of the park with ride times.
What is the Disney Memory Maker?
It’s an unlimited digital Disney PhotoPass. The Disney photographers are located all over the park. Whenever you see an employee with a camera jump in line and have them scan your MagicBand for a great picture.
You will always find photographers of Disney characters and princesses.
Also, when you jump off a ride. Scan your MagicBand for more pictures.
Once scanned, it will upload pictures of you on the ride. Some rides even come with videos!
What are extra Magic Hours?
Extra Magic Hours are extended theme park hours available to Disney World Resort hotel guests and some non-Disney hotel guests. Our family loves extra Magic Hours. The park will empty out and it feels like you have the entire park to yourself. This is when we are able to ride our favorite rides over and over again without the lines.
Want to know if there will be extra Magic Hours during your stay? Check the Disney website before your trip or get with your travel agent.
Single rider and rider switch?
What if you want to ride a ride but your friend doesn’t? That’s where the single rider and rider switch comes in. You can skip the line by riding solo with someone who is needing a partner that is further in line or you can ride once with your kid and your spouse can ride with your kid once you are done. It gives both parents a chance to ride with their kids without standing in line twice.
How do dining reservations work?
Dining Reservations you can reserve 60 days out. You need to start booking reservations the day you are allowed because the best restaurants fill up fast.
Disney Reservations can be booked on the My Disney app and require a credit card. You can snag last-minute reservations the day you are at the park, but this should only be your last-minute resort. You may get in or you may not. It’s a gamble.
* You must have a park ticket in order to eat at the restaurant. Make sure you book your dinner reservations for the park you plan to attend for the day.
How does the Genie Pass system work?
Blog post coming soon.
How do I get from the Airport to the Disney World Hotels?
Disney no longer offers a FREE shuttle service called the Disney Magical Express. They used to provide a hotel with round-trip transportation. Now you can call an Uber or Mears Transportation, formally known as the Disney Magical Express.
If you have extra cash to spend, you can have an adorable “Minnie” Van from Walt Disney World pick you up.
How do hotel guests get to the Disney World parks?
Disney has a free on-site shuttle service that will take you to each of the parks. If you are staying at the hotel, there is no need for rental cars unless you plan on leaving Disney.
Do hotel guests have to pay for parking at the hotels at Disney World?
Yes, you have to pay for parking. Get with your travel agent or hotel for pricing.
How can I eat for cheap at Disney World?
1) Share your food. The portions are large.
2) Bring your own food. The food must be kept in soft coolers that are collapsable.
3) Bring your own water bottles. You can ask for cups of water from any concession stand or quick service station. When you need to refill your water bottle pour the cup of water into your water bottle.
4) Bring your own breakfast and eat it in your hotel room.
5) Amazon Delivery- We have a snack box delivered to our hotel.
Which Restaurants are your favorite at Disney World?
(All Require Reservations)
Cinderella Royal Table
Breakfast with the Princess
2- meal plan tickets
Be Our Guest
Royal dinner at Beast Castle
2- meal plan tickets
Breakfast with the Disney Junior characters
2- meal plan tickets
Yak & Yeti
2-meal plan tickets
2- meal plan tickets
1- meal plan ticket
1- meal plan ticket
The Boat House
2- meal plan tickets
Lunch or Dinner with Dinosaurs
2-meal plan tickets
California Grill at the Contemporary Hotel
What are your favorite quick-service restaurants at Disney World?
Flame Tree BBQ
The Lunch Box Tart
What parks sell alcoholic beverages?
You can buy alcohol at every park except Magic Kingdom. The best part about WDW is the drinks are strong. You will get your money’s worth!
What Disney World hotel has the best pool?
Hands down the Yacht Club. It has a lazy river and a sandy beach pool for the kids.
What is the Boardwalk?
It’s located across the street from the Yacht Club. It has small sections of games, entertainment, and restaurants. It only takes about an hour to complete.
Can I hire a photographer?
Get with your Disney travel agent. Our agent was able to set up an appointment with a Disney Photographer who came out to our hotel to take family pictures. Sadly, we all looked huge in the pictures. I’m not sure what lenses he used, but my husband is extremely skinny and he was even able to make him look overweight. Maybe you will score a better photographer.
Best places to buy Disney outfits?
#1- Hot Topic
#3- Disney Store
Should I rent a stroller?
Check out this blog post here:
Does Disney World have Water Parks?
Yes, they have two small water parks located at Disney World and are open during warmer months. Blizzard Beach Water Park & Typhoon Lagoon Water park. You can do both water parks in one day or stay two extra days and then do one park per day.
Mask policy at Disney World?
You are required to wear a mask in all indoor spaces and on rides. FYI- Gators are not allowed!!!!
What should you pack for Disney World?
Click here for the blog post. https://glamjourney.net/post/what-to-pack-for-disney-world-a-quick-guide-for-moms-on-what-to-bring/
Disney World is an exciting time for kids and adults alike. It’s a place where you can be your most adventurous, creative self. But like any vacation destination, it also has its challenges that come with the territory of being such a large tourist attraction. With that in mind, we’ve compiled this list of everything you need to know before going to Disney World so you have a fantastic time without worrying about anything else! Let Glam Escapes Travel Agency take care of all your travel needs from now on- just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let our team help plan your next family vacation!
Disney World what you need to know!