• Misty D

Disney World- What you need to know.

Updated: Apr 20

Are you planning a Disney World trip and you want the 411? I sat down with my travel agents, "Withdrawls Disney Planning Vacation Service", 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.


Here are the questions I will answer in this Disney World blog post:


Why have a Disney travel agent?

How do you pick a Disney travel agent?

How far in advance can I book a trip?

What are the 4 parks and how many days do I need at each park?

What is Disney Springs?

How do I pick a hotel?

What is club level?

What are Magic Bands and how do I get one?

What is the Disney Memory Maker?

What are extra Magic Hours?

How do I pay?

How far in advance can I book fast passes and dining reservations?

How to work the fast pass system?

How do I get from the Airport to Hotel?

How do hotel guests get to the Disney parks?

Do hotel guest have to pay for parking at the hotel?

How can I eat for cheap at Disney World?

Which Restaurants are your favorite at Disney World?

What are your favorite quick-service restaurants?

What parks sell alcoholic beverages?

What hotel has the best pool?

What is the Boardwalk?

Can I hire a photographer?

Best places to buy Disney outfits?

Should I rent a stroller?



We vacation with our Disney Travel agent.

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 a Disney College Program 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" 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 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?


I am told they are all good. They are Disney travel agents because they love Disney. It's their passion not just a job. They all have to undergo training through the Disney College Program. I suggest just finding someone whom you feel you can relate to; someone who fits your personality.



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 the castle. When you think of Disney, then you are thinking of Magic Kingdom. I suggest 1 to 2 days.


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.



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.




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.


Extra Fast Passes- You can purchase 3 additional fast passes per day.


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 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, fast passes, and pool passes.


The bands are FREE for Walt Disney annual pass holders and hotel guests.

A month before your trip you will receive a box.


If you are a crafty mom, then you can even decorate your bands.


If you are annual season pass holders and plan to regularly attend the park, then I suggest getting these adorable character Disney Magic Bands at the Disney Store for $24.99.



If you are not staying at the park, you can purchases Disney Magic bands at the Disney Store or you can buy new Disney Bands on Poshmark. Buying used is against WDW policy.




What is the Disney Memory Maker?


It's 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 by the 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.



How far in advance can I book fast passes and dining reservations?



Fast Passes


Staying on-site: 60 days


Staying off-site: 30 days


Dinning Reservation- 180 days out




How to work the fast pass system?


Make sure you have the Disney World App on your phone so you have access to ride wait times, and you can set up your next fast pass. Once you use your first two fast passes, then you can keep using one fast pass at time. Once you are at the ride and scan in, then it will open up your next fast pass opportunity. **IMPORTANT** If you can not find the ride you want, then keep refreshing your Disney World Phone App until the ride you want is available. Fast pass opportunities are literally refreshing every second. We never stood in line for any rides. We used fast passes all day.




How do I get from the Airport to Hotel?


Disney offers a FREE shuttle service called the Disney Express. They will provide you with round trip transportation.

If you have extra cash to spend, you can have an adorable Minnie Van from Walt Disney World pick you up.





How do hotel guest get to the Disney parks?


Disney has 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 hotel?


Yes, you have to pay for parking. Get with your travel agent or hotel for pricing.



How can I eat for cheap at Disney?


1) Share your food. The portions are large.


2) Bring your own food. The food must be kept in soft coolers that are collapseable.


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)

Hollywood Vine

Magic Kingdom


Breakfast

Cinderella Royal Table

Breakfast with the Princess

2- meal plan tickets


Dinner

Be Our Guest

Royal dinner at Beast Castle

2- meal plan tickets



Hollywood Studios


Breakfast Buffet

Hollywood Vine

Breakfast with the Disney Junior characters

2- meal plan tickets


Animal Kingdom


Dinner

Yak & Yeti

Asian Feast

2-meal plan tickets


Dinner

Tiffins

African Food

2- meal plan tickets


Epcot


Dinner

Coral Reef

Seafood

1- meal plan ticket


Dinner

Akershus

Princess Dinner

1- meal plan ticket


Disney Springs


The Boat House

Seafood

2- meal plan tickets


T-Rex Cafe

Lunch or Dinner with Dinosaurs

2-meal plan tickets


Date Night


California Grill at the Contemporary Hotel




What are your favorite quick-service restaurants?



Magic Kingdom

Pecos Bill

Casey Corners


Epcot

Tangerine Cafe


Animal Kingdom

Flame Tree BBQ

Restaurantosaurus


Hollywood Studios

Woods Lunchbox

The Lunch Box Tart

PizzeRizzo (seasonal)



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 moneys worth!


What hotel has the best pool?


Hands down the Yacht Club. It has a lazy river and 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

#2- Etsy

#3- Disney Store

#4- Ross

#5- Target



Should I rent a stroller?


Check out this blog post here:


I hope I was able to answer any questions, you may have. Comment below if you want me to answer your Disney questions.





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