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Things You Should Know Before Heading to Disney World Resort

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A vacation to Disney World is quite unlike a vacation somewhere else.  There isn’t a basis for comparison, so it is in your best interest to do some research and be aware of what a trip to Disney World entails.  Between getting to your resort from the airport, traveling around property, and experiencing all that there is to do, the vocabulary and functioning of the Walt Disney World Resort is unique — here is what you need to know before heading to Disney World!

Magic Bands

MagicBands

These colorful bracelets are part of your vacation package if you are staying in one of Disney’s on-property resorts.  Guests use the MagicBands to access many facets of their vacation.  First, the MagicBand is your resort room key — guests only need to touch the Mickey Mouse icon to the icon on the door to gain access.  Second, guests can link their park tickets to the MagicBand allowing them entry to the four theme parks, as well as the water parks.  Additionally, guests who have the Disney Dining Plan use their MagicBand to redeem snack and meal credits at the kiosks and restaurants throughout the parks.  Lastly, guests do have the ability to set a PIN for their MagicBand so they can use them for charging purchases throughout the parks!

World Premiere Food Court
Photo credit Disney

Advanced Dining Reservations (ADR's)

One would expect that a resort the size of a city and with over twenty resorts that finding a place to eat would be a easy task.  Unfortunately, with the sheer number of guests who visit Walt Disney World every year, guests are highly encouraged to make advanced dining reservations for meals at table service restaurants.  Depending on the scope of your vacation, guests can begin making ADRs 180 days in advance.  Some of the restaurants on property are quite popular, so making a reservation six months in advance is necessary!

FastPass

FastPass+

This service allows and encourages guests to make reservations for a spot in line for some of their favorite attractions or invites them to discover something new!  Guests staying on property can make their FastPass+ reservations 60 days prior to arrival on property, while guests staying off-property can make their reservations 30 days in advance.  The system allows guests to reserve a spot in line at three attractions each day during their vacation.  Each reservation entitles guests to use the FastPass+ line during the hour of the reservation (pro-tip:  you can actually get in line 5 minutes before your window opens and up to 15 minutes after your period expires).  No one enjoys waiting in line, so using your FastPass+ selections are a great way to add enjoyment to your vacation!

PhotoPass – scattered throughout the parks, guests will encounter photographers in front of popular buildings, attractions, or partnered with characters so guests can pose for photos as souvenirs of their trip.  Guests can purchase Memory Maker that allows unlimited downloads and editing of the photos taken by these photographers pay a la carte for the photos they want.  Guests with annual passes can also download their photos as PhotoPass is included as a perk with their annual passes.



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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 Disney travel deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!