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Glossary

When planning your Disney vacation, you will across some Disney lingo that may sound foreign. In this glossary, we help define all your need-to-know Disney terms.

1. Advanced Dining Reservations (ADR’s)

The reservation that holds your place at Table Service restaurants (see below). You’ll most commonly see the abbreviation ADR’s. ADR’s can be made up to 180 days in advance, and they are highly recommended, especially for popular venues. Use My Disney Experience (see below), call Disney guest services, or log in to your account online to make your ADR’s.

2. Back Stage 

The area of Walt Disney World that is only accessible to Cast Members (see below).

3. Cast Member

The term for any Walt Disney World employee. This title refers to the high emphasis on guest entertainment, as well as the fact that Walt often used theatrical analogies regarding park operations.

4. Counter Service (or Quick Service)

A type of restaurant at Walt Disney World where you order and pay for your food at a register and the meal is delivered to you at a walk up counter. At Counter/Quick Service establishments, you choose your own seating and bring your meal to the table on a tray.

5. Disney Dining Plan (DDP)

An optional prepaid meal credit system for guests staying at Walt Disney Resorts. There are three different levels to choose from: regular Disney Dining Plan, Quick Service Dining Plan, and Deluxe Dining Plan.

6. Disney’s Magical Express

The complimentary shuttle bus from the Orlando International Airport to any Walt Disney World Resort. For resort guests only, of course. You must reserve your pick up time.

7. Disney PhotoPass

The system used to access any photos taken by Disney photographers. PhotoPass is connected to your ticket card, MagicBand (see below), or will be give to you on a tile card to access online. You may purchase individual photos from PhotoPass or opt for Memory Maker (see below).

8. Disney Vacation Club (DVC)

Disney’s version of a vacation points ownership system, similar to a timeshare. Often you’ll hear references to renting DVC points from owners, which can be a great way to save money on your trip.

9. Express Transportation

A park-to-park transportation service available to guests with a Park Hopper option on their tickets for an additional fee. Express Transportation saves considerable time because there are no additional bus stops and you do not have to cross through security lines again.

10. Extra Magic Hours (EMH)

An Extra Magic Hour is an hour where the park is only open for guests staying on Walt Disney World property. WDW Resort guests should plan their itinerary to best utilize EMH’s, since those hours are usually less crowded.

11. FastPass+

The system of reservations that allows you access to special, speedier lines on popular attractions. You may choose three initial Fast Passes per person, per day, in one park, for one hour windows (you must arrive at the attraction sometime within that hour). FastPass+ can be accessed through My Disney Experience or through the Walt Disney World website.

12. MagicBand

The wristband given to you when you book your Walt Disney World vacation or become a Walt Disney World Annual Passholder. The MagicBand acts as your room key, park ticket, PhotoPass keeper, Dining Plan credits, Fast Pass access, and can be programmed as a payment method as well.

13. Memory Maker

A plan for purchase that includes digital access to all photos taken by photographers or ride cameras at Walt Disney World. Memory Maker eliminates the need to purchase individual photos.

14. Mousekeeping (Mousekeeper)

A special term for the housekeeping staff of Walt Disney World Resorts and Disney Cruise Line. Tipping of Mousekeepers is recommended at $1 per person per day.

15. My Disney Experience (MDE)

The ultimate Disney planning app for your smartphone or tablet. MDE allows you to make ADR’s, reserve Fast Passes, see up-to-date wait times, locate restrooms, view showtimes, locate merchandise, find eateries, and more. It’s pretty much the best thing ever.

16. On Stage

The areas of Walt Disney World that are accessible to guests.

17. Park Hopper

An optional add-on to your Walt Disney World ticket that allows you to visit (or “hop” to) more than one park on the same day. When adding Park Hopper, you may want to consider Express Transportation (see above).

18. Tables In Wonderland

A club that offers members a 20% discount on almost all food and beverage purchases along with valet parking for dining purposes. Available to Florida residents, DVC members (see above), and Annual Passholders.   

19. Table Service

A restaurant where you are seated by a host, order from a menu, and brought your meal by a server. ADR’s (see above) are highly recommended for all Table Service restaurants.