Do You Speak Disney? 15 Disney World Terms and What They Mean

Disney is a world of its own. It makes sense then that this “world” has its own language and terminology. Disney insiders are fluent in this Disney language. Here’s a quick guide to help you understand “Disney Speak”. After you read this, you’ll be fluent in this magical language!


15. ADRs

This is an acronym for “Advanced Dining Reservations”. These are critical for stress-free dining during your Disney Vacation. If you are staying on Disney property, ADR’s may be booked 180 days before you check-in!

14. Backstage

Any area of Disney that is off-limits to guests. There are however some “backstage” areas that can be viewed during certain “Backstage” tours.

13. Cast Member

Any Disney employee of any sorts – from transportation, costumed-performer, retail, or food service.

Cast Members Plaza Restaurant

12. Counter-Service

Any restaurant in Disney that makes use of an ordering counter or kiosk. At a few select counter service restaurants, you may order at a counter but then have food brought to your table by waitstaff.

11. DVC

Acronym for Disney Vacation Club. This is a “prepaid vacation plan” that allows guests to purchase points that can be exchanged for certain Disney Resort Hotel accommodations.

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10. Extra Magic Hours or “EMH”

Certain theme parks have extended hours on certain days of the week. These hours can be in the morning prior to the official opening time or in the evening, after the official park closing time. Extra Magic Hours are only available to guests of official Walt Disney World Resort hotels. Disney also offers the option to purchase access to Extra Magic Hours, this is in addition to your regular ticket costs.

Castle Sunrise

9. Fastpass+

The FastPass+ system allows guests to reserve an arrival time for some of Disney’s most popular rides up to 60 days in advance of their vacation.

8. Memory Maker

This photo package can be added onto your Disney vacation reservations. Those who purchase Memory Maker will have online access to any photos taken by a Disney PhotoPass Photographer throughout their trip. They can also view attraction photos and video. Memory Maker is slightly less expensive if purchased in advance of your Disney vacation, but it can be added at any point during your trip.

7. MagicBand

These colorful, all-in-one bracelets function as a Disney guest’s park tickets, hotel room key, Fastpass+ check-in device, and can be associated with a credit card to charge food and merchandise throughout the Walt Disney World Resort. They are waterproof and meant to be worn all of the time.

6. Magical Express

Bus transportation between Orlando International Airport and the Walt Disney World Resort. This is a free service offered by Disney to any official Walt Disney World Resort hotel.

5. Mousekeeping

Disney speak for “housekeeping” at Resort hotels.

4. On Stage

Any area of Disney that is visible to guests.

3. Rope Drop

This is the term used to describe the official opening time of any theme park.

2. Table-Service

Any restaurant in Disney that utilizes waitstaff to both take your order AND bring your food to your table.

San Angel Inn Restaurant

1. Utilidors

Corridors that run beneath the Magic Kingdom theme park. These tunnels make it possible for Cast Members to move from place to place without being seen by guests. It was important to Walt Disney that Cast Members were never seen “out of place”. Cast Members are costumed according to the area of the Magic Kingdom where they work. Walt did not want guests to see a Cast Member from one area to be seen by guests as they were going to or from their area. This area also makes it possible to move garbage, maintenance equipment, costumes, etc, out of view of the general public at all hours.

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About Jessica Brosnan

Jessica is a mother of one and an elementary school teacher in New Jersey. She enjoys musical theater and loves to cook. Jessica is a Disney Vacation Club member and is perpetually planning her next Disney vacation.