Disney World is an experience like no other! That being said, if you’re new to Disney parks, there are a few things about this unique place that you may find a bit odd. We’re here to help…
9. Lack of Clear Signage – You’ll be hard pressed to find signs pointing to all the attractions in Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. (Animal Kingdom and Epcot have more obvious signage.) Perhaps Disney prefers that the aesthetics not be marred by signs or perhaps they just feel that the parks are mostly self-explanatory, but compared to some other theme parks you may find it odd that you cannot rely on signs for directions.
Tip: Paper guide maps are available at the entrance or a digital version is at your fingertips on the My Disney Experience app.
8. People Getting in Before Park Opening – If you show up at the scheduled park opening time expecting to be one of the first to enter, you may find it odd if you see a mass of people already inside. Where did these people come from and how did they get these VIP privileges? Guests staying on Disney property enjoy “Extra Magic Hours” where they have access to a certain park when it would otherwise be closed.
Tip: Reserve a room at a Disney resort for VIP status!
7. No Cup Tops – If you order a beverage at any counter service place in Animal Kingdom, you may find it odd that there are no lids or straws included. This is a conscious decision on the part of conservation experts that are looking out for the safety of the animals. Similarly, no balloons are sold at Animal Kingdom.
Tip: Bring a bottle from home and pour drinks into it if you are worried about spillage.
6. People Holding Cards Up to Walls – In Magic Kingdom, you may notice people walking up to walls or windows and holding up some kind of playing card. Don’t worry, they’re not odd; they are just playing an incredibly fun game called Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom where those cards open virtual portals to defeat Disney villains.
Tip: Stop by the Firehouse on Main Street to pick up cards of your own and receive Sorcerer training.
5. No Rain Checks – Some other theme parks will offer a rain check, particularly those known for roller coasters. However, Disney parks do not regularly offer rain checks for inclement weather. (Sometimes Disney water parks will offer rain checks during heavy thunderstorms, but it is not guaranteed.) There’s actually a lot to do during the rain, though, and the crowds tend to thin out.
Tip: Put on a poncho and head for an indoor attraction. Consult your My Disney Experience app if you’re unsure which experiences are available—they update in real time.
4. Tape on the Sidewalks – In an otherwise pristine park, you may find it odd to see lines of masking tape show up on the sidewalks during the afternoon and evening. Cast members lay these lines to help control parade traffic and create spaces for viewers to sit.
Tip: When you see the tape, grab an ice cream bar and scope out a shady spot to watch the upcoming parade.
3. People Not Paying for Food – As you approach snack carts and counter service restaurants, you may notice that some people don’t pay a dime for their food items! Or at least that’s how it seems. Actually what you’re probably witnessing is guests utilizing their Disney Dining Plan. There are several levels of Dining Plans that are pre-paid, which eases lots of stress during vacation (and often yields a great deal overall).
Tip: Type “Dining Plan” into the search engine on our site for loads of tips about the Disney Dining Plan and how it can work best for your party.
2. Fast Passes for Shows – When choosing your Fast Passes, you may notice that in addition to rides, you have the option to choose shows such as Disney Junior Live or IllumiNations. That’s odd – what kind of line is a Fast Pass skipping at a timed show? Well, if you choose a Fast Pass for a timed show, you actually get first right of entry (that’s why the time on your Fast Pass will be before the show starts) and/or a special seating section. A show Fast Pass ensures that you get a good seat and also that the venue doesn’t reach capacity before you get inside.
Tip: For must-see shows during peak times, a show Fast Pass can be a wise choice.
1. People Doing Weird Photo Poses – Disney photographers will sometimes tell people to hold their hands palm-up or look in different directions or point and act surprised. It looks odd. But if they have a Memory Maker photo plan, their images will be digitally enhanced with characters in their palms, on their shoulders, or flying nearby. The result is pretty cute!
Tip: Memory Maker is a good choice for some people, especially if you don’t want to keep up with a camera. Type “Memory Maker” in our search engine to help you decide if Memory Maker is worth it for you.
Hopefully these tips will help you avoid any Disney “oddities” and leave you feeling like a Disney pro! Enjoy the magic!
BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!
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