Good Morning to everyone except people who drink decaf coffee. (Just kidding!)
This post is a little different from the normal murder mystery. While most of my interests in writing lie with the theme I’ve chosen for this blog, I have another obsession: Disney World! My boyfriend, Johnny, and I became Annual Passholders for 2018 and we are getting ready for our second trip of the year over Valentine’s Day weekend. Johnny is helping me write this article to ensure that I don’t leave anything out and to make it even more helpful!
When we went in March of 2017 (the trip that spawned the idea to gift each other these passes) we had no idea what Fast Passes are and we had no idea how a few simple adjustments could make your trip SO much less stressful and more enjoyable. For the love of Disney and your sanity, I thought I would share some tips on how to make the most out of your trip. I know when I was first researching all things Disney, I felt like I kept having to go to separate blogs to get information I needed. My hope is that this will be a comprehensive post.
Securing Fast Passes should be your top priority when planning your trip to Disney World. Without fast passes you will spend precious park time in lines that you can avoid with a little preparation. Remember, “Those who fail to prepare, prepare to fail,” and while Benjamin Franklin is not in the Hall of Presidents, his advice will allow you to eat a Turkey Leg in Adventure Land instead of sitting in a line for three hours to ride Space Mountain.
Each park is different in regards to fast passes, but I will break it down by park so that it’s much clearer to understand. For fast passes, you have a window of time that you can visit that specific ride or attraction and go in the short line with little wait. For example your window could be 10:00 am-11:00 am. You cannot go early and you cannot go late, it must be within the window.
Magic Kingdom: You can choose any 3 fast pass experiences that you wish. Once all three of these are used, you can pick three more. You have to use the first three before you can make more selections though. I would recommend using your first three fast passes on rides that typically have a long wait such as: Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. While “it’s a Small World,” “Carousel of Progress,” and other timeless classics provide a fun experience and a short line, they are a waste of a Fast Pass.
Disney’s other parks, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom, are different in how their fast passes work. The attractions at these Parks are separated into groups. In the first group you can only choose one attraction out of the first group of rides and then two out of the lower level of rides and attractions. For example: In Epcot, Frozen Ever After, Illuminations Reflection of the Earth, Soarin‘, and Test Track are in the first group. While you can get three fast passes to Epcot, you can only choose one of those rides from Tier 1 at a time and two other fast passes out of Tier 2.
When you plan ahead and reserve your fast passes before your trip, you can only do three fast passes per day at first. So, if you are park hopping and starting at Magic Kingdom and going to Hollywood Studios, you cannot do two fast passes at Magic and one at Hollywood Studios. You must do three at Magic Kingdom, and when you use those Fast Passes, you can get the three more at Hollywood Studios.
Fast Passes are harder to get for the newer rides, especially the new Avatar attractions in Animal Kingdom, but it is possible to do. You can get your fast passes 30 days before your day at the park, and if you’re staying on site that window opens to 60 days before your park day. If you plan ahead, you can ride any ride in Disney World!
MOST UNDERRATED ATTRACTIONS AT DISNEY
Some rides, attractions, and restaurants get overlooked after being at Disney for a while, getting less publicity, and simply not being the thrilling rides that some of the attractions at Disney are. Johnny and I were surprised at some of the things we enjoyed doing that tend to get overlooked at Disney.
Primeval Whirl is a really fun ride in the tucked away part of Animal Kingdom. That area has a carnival feel to it, and it is different from other parts of Animal Kingdom, but we had a great time on the ride. It is more of an old school roller coaster than the other ride types, but it was so fast and fun and it is easy to get a fast pass for.
50’s Prime Time Café is the cutest place to get lunch. It is decorated in 50’s decor and the waitresses are really good about sticking to the era when they talk. Not only is it esthetically identical to the 50s, the food is AMAZING. It was easy to get a reservation, even at one of the busiest times of year, and the wait was not bad (yes, you do still have to wait sometimes to eat even when you have a reservation).
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor is a great place to go and either cool down or rest your feet, while laughing at Mike Wazowski. It was very interactive and it had people of all ages laughing and joining in. I highly recommend checking it out.
The Country Bear Jamboree was a lifesaver for us on our last trip. When we went on NYE weekend, it was very cold. We had brought jackets, but it was still so cold that we were miserable. We were waiting on our dinner reservations in Liberty Square and had a lot of time to kill, so we watched this attraction at least three or four times. It’s adorable and funny, and I was a huge fan of this movie growing up, so I enjoyed it. The lines were short and it was a good way to warm up (or more likely cool down on future trips).
BEING A PASSHOLDER
Being a passholder has a lot of perks. Not only do you get to go to Disney World an unlimited amount of times in that full year, you also get great discounts on things such as food, merchandise, and staying at the hotels on site. In some cases it is up to 20% off. Parking is also FREE at all parks with an annual pass!
The upfront cost of the pass can be a lot to swallow, but even if you were only to go to Disney World twice during that year for a full week each time, it has more than paid itself off.
Being a passholder also puts you in a separate line to get into parks and you have your same magic band all year (which I highly recommend a magic band for convenience) so you don’t have to worry about getting a new one when you enter the parks at the beginning of your trip. You can just go in.
Passholders also get priority in a lot of situations. For example, we had a reservation at Epcot on New Years Eve and we were worried that the park would reach capacity before we could leave Hollywood Studios and get there. However, one of the cast members told us that people with reservations are always let in, as well as passholders get priority.
I definitely never thought I would be a “Disney” person, especially as an adult. I went once as a child and while I love Disney movies and the characters, I was never obsessed with the idea of going to Disney World. For this year though, Johnny and I are so excited to be kids again and enjoy everything Disney has to offer us.