I am back from the sunny state of Florida. My trip was out of this world and pure magic. As many of you may or may not know, I grew up going to Disney World because it was much closer than going to California. In fact, I did not visit Disneyland until 2005! But that is a different post for a different time. So in many ways, visiting WDW was like going “home” for me.
I know on this blog, we tend to focus on Disneyland. However, many of you have asked that I give a trip report and my thoughts on Disney World. I will do a series of post that focuses on each park and my personal thoughts on it. It is okay if people do not agree with my opinions; because that is the beauty of the internet- we can all share and discuss ideas.
To start off, I want to discuss the general ideas of Walt Disney World and things to know it advance.
- Magic Bands- these are unique to Disney World and are actually very helpful, when they work. I loved not having to fumble around with cards when trying to pay for something or access my room. I also love that I don’t have to keep up with a fastpass ticket or my own ticket. Everything I need is on my wrist. (This did not include my ID, which would have been ideal for buying alcohol). However the only downside is that when there is fluke in the system, your entire experience it put on hold. More than once we had to contact Guest Services or our hotel to fix our magic band. I believe this was not due to magic band error, but Cast Members. Cast Members not setting a credit card limit or messing with the reservation- which in return messed with our bands while in the park. Overall, I really enjoyed this technology and would like to see a magic band option come to Disneyland. (If you just scoffed at me, don’t knock it till you try it. It really is so easy).
- Fast Pass +- Such a love hate relationship with this. But, I have come to the conclusion that it’s very helpful if utilized correctly. When booking a month before my trip, I was annoyed that I couldn’t have the freedom to wander around and take a FP when I wanted. However, upon arrival to the park, I realized it minimized a lot of stress about getting on certain attractions. Not knowing when I’ll be back to FL, I wanted to make sure we got on certain rides, such as the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. This system is very useful and I realized that I get more FP in a day at WDW than I would at DL. However, my biggest complaint is that once you book each park, you cannot book more until you use your first day. For example, I was able to book 4 days of my vacation, but had to wait to book more after I used the first day. This provided a lot of frustration, because there were certain days I wanted to repeat or do another park and wanted a FP for a different attraction, such as fireworks or the parade. Another frustration is not being able to make FP in other parks. There were mornings that we wanted to do something in Magic Kingdom and end up our evening at Epcot. I found this annoying, because with paper FP this was never a problem. My last issue was after you use your 3 FP, you can only make a reservation for one more FP. Perhaps I am just being greedy, but I wish I could have made additional fast passes, not just one more. In regards to FP+ being used at Disneyland, I think this would be great for people who are actually visiting and not Annual Passholders. This would guarantee that “out of towners”, get on that attraction they really want. This does take away the spontaneity of Disneyland, but I think if utilized correctly it would be really good- especially since FP+ goes beyond the “E ticket” and popular attractions. This could reduce a lot of stress for many guests, who only visit Disneyland for 1 day.
- My Disney Experience- This is the app that you use to book your FP+ and Dining Reservations. On the surface, this was a great idea. It’s wonderful to be in line for something and be able to change your FP time or search for a dining opening. However, this app is hard to use and can be very glitchy. When it glitches, it’s terrifying because your whole vacation is put on hold. So my recommendation is to take screenshots of all fast passes and dining reservations. Just in case the system goes down, you get locked out of your account, or something happens. This way you do have a backup of your itinerary. I assume that once things get further down the road, all the glitches will be taken care of. Overall, I really enjoyed the convenience of the app.
- Dining Plans- Either you love this idea or you hate it. I found myself once again, going back and forth on this. We had the basic plan that included 1 snack, 1 quick service, and 1 table service. It was nice not to think about what we had to budget for food and to have a variety of snack options. However, every quick service and table service comes with dessert. I found myself wishing I could trade the dessert for an appetizer or perhaps a fruit cup. The first few days, it was exciting to get dessert, but by the end of the trip- I was really tired of sugar. Some venues you only have a cupcake option, which gets really old. I also found myself thinking it was a lot of food. The great news about WDW is that the food is really good, even the burgers and fries. In fact, Disneyland needs to take some food tips from WDW. I would honestly have a hard time eating that much food at Disneyland, because I find the food can be hit or miss (different post for a different time). I really liked the dining plan, I wish there was a way to tweak it. I was there during the Flower and Garden Show, which is a mini food and wine festival. There are a lot of booths, where you can try different foods. However, those foods count as snacks and we preferred to save those for breakfast. I wish there was a conversion system that allowed us to eat more snacks instead of meals.
These are just some of my thoughts on the things that made up a majority of my trip. I had a great time and I look forward to sharing pictures with you. As well as, giving an in depth looks at Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot.
As always, thanks for reading!