With summer break looming, many of you might be looking to plan a Disney vacation. Planning a Disney vacation can seem overwhelming, especially with all the acronyms and new vocabulary being thrown about. As a seasoned Disney traveler, I am guilty of speaking in such Disney shorthand. Here is a guide to some important words that you might hear as you plan your Walt Disney World Vacation in Florida.
The one with the castle. Chances are if someone is talking about Disney World, they are speaking exclusively of this park (but don’t realize it).
Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow. Composed of Future World and World Showcase. Referred to as the park with that golf ball (Spaceship Earth) or the place where you can drink around the world.
The home of well, ummmmmm, lots of construction. If people are talking about it, then they mostly are asking when the Star Wars section will open (hold your horses people, not until 2018)
The one with all the animals.
The place with all the shopping.
Staying at a Disney resort. These resorts are either owned by Disney or affiliated (like the Swan and Dolphin). These resorts are connected to the four theme parks via monorail, boat, and/or bus. Resorts have extra perks, like booking FP+ further ahead (see below) and close proximity to the parks.
Non Disney resort. Feels very far away. Tears.
My Disney Experience.
The app that you can dowload to book FP+ (see below) and ADRs (see below). Also, provides maps of the parks and wait times for attractions/rides. Basically, you don’t have this app, your vacation is not so magical.
Advanced Dining Reservations. If you want to eat at the Beast’s castle (Be Our Guest), or hang out with Mickey (Chef’s Mickey’s), you are going to need a dining reservation. Reservations are free to book and are available 180 days prior to your arrival. Don’t have one, not getting seated.
FastPass Plus (FP+).
Disney’s front of the line program. Everyone who has a ticket gets three front of the line passes. You pick the time and the attraction; once three are used, go back to the My Disney Experience app and add another. If you are staying on Disney property, this means that you can book your attractions 60 days in advance. If you are staying elsewhere, 30 days before your vacation.
The bracelet that stores theme park tickets, credit card, FP+ reservations, and more (looks kind of like a fitbit). It is the reason that It’s a Small World now says goodbye to you. Yes, rides are adding a personal (sometimes creepy) touch, thanks to all your information being readily available on a magicband. These comes free when you stay on Disney property, or can be purchased on the parks.
Just what Disney is branding all this new technology: FastPass+, Magicbands, and My Disney Experience app. Phrase rarely used, except in guidebooks or when a CM (see below) is checking in a new guest.
Cast Member. Someone who works for Disney at the parks or resorts. Please be nice to them. It is not their fault that Anna and Elsa have a 120 minute wait.
Rope Drop. Being at the front gates right when the park opens. Best way to beat long lines, since most people don’t get to the parks until after 10 a.m. This ensures getting on more rides before the Florida sun turns you into a puddle. A crabby puddle.
By the way, what does FP+ for 7DMT mean? It means booking a fastpass for the seven dwarves mine train.
Which is always a good ideaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!
So, now that you feel a little more comfortable with the vernacular, here are some great resources the Des Plaines Library provides to help plan that vacation.
This is the only official guide to Walt Disney World. Issued each year by Birnbaum Guides.
All around the Disney Parks, hidden mickeys (just the silhouette of Mickey's head) can be found. These have been hidden by Disney Imagineers in every place imaginable: on the ground, in bathrooms, and on rides themselves. This book details where you can find these hidden mickeys, and other surprises.