When you are at Disney, or planning out a Disney experience for the first time, you might hear some phrases you aren't familiar with. We've got a list of those phrases, along with an every day sort of person explanation! Once you remember that Disney is meant to be a "show" it makes a lot more sense how they talk! This is not a complete list, but has a lot of the common "Disney words" used.
Cast Member -- A Disney employee
Guest -- Anyone visiting Disney
On Stage -- Something that Guests can see, the roads and rides for example
Off Stage -- Things the Guests cannot see, employee only areas
Face Character -- Snow White, Rapunzel and Gaston are all examples of Face Characters
Fur Character -- Mickey, Donald and Minnie are all examples of Fur Characters
Extra Magic Hours -- Resort Guest only Park times, either before the Parks open, or close
Attraction -- A ride, or show
Costume -- A Cast Member's uniform
Dark Ride -- A ride like Peter Pan, all indoors
Rope Drop- Getting to the Park and through security before the Park opens
Day Guest -- Someone not staying at a Disney Resort
Hidden Mickey -- Mickey's silhouette of his head hidden in an ordinary object
In Rehersal -- Something that's coming soon, but it's ready for the Guests to see or ride
Pre Show -- Something that happens before the main attraction. Jokes, lights, etc
Soft Opening -- An attraction that might open intermittently before it's scheduled date
Resort -- A Disney hotel property, like Pop Century
Hopefully those help you out a little next time you run across some unfamiliar Disney terms!
I might be in the minority, but I don't really mind going through Disney's security lines, maybe it's because we usually get through quickly. It CAN be stressful if you're late for a dining reservation, or the park just opened, or you are about to miss a parade, something like that, but with these 10 tips, you'll be breezing through the security lines faster than you can sing Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
1. Give yourself plenty of time
You can't arrive at Disney security at 9 AM and expect to walk right in for your 9:05 Breakfast reservation. That's not going to happen. Always show up at least 30 - 45 minutes earlier than you need to be there, to give yourself time to get through security, show your ticket and make your way to your reservation, or fast pass.
2. Don't bring a bag.
(Like that will EVER happen with me!) But the fastest way to get through security, is to go bagless. Those without bags have their own, much faster line. If that doesn't apply to you, and it never will, me, keep reading!
3. Don't just follow the crowd
Have you ever noticed that when a crowd forms to get in somewhere, people just sort of fall into line and shuffle along? That's not the right way to approach the security lines at Disney! Scan the lines as you are walking up, and go to the one that looks shortest, or if they are all about the same, pick the one that doesn't have a family with a stroller, cooler and nineteen bags to be searched.
4. Unzip and open your bags ahead of time
While you are waiting for your bag to be checked, make it easier, and faster for security! Unzip ALL areas, before you get to the security officer, pull out anything bulky you've stuck inside like a jacket and a fast check may be all you need.
5. Consider a bag without a lot of pockets
I love the backpacks with all the little areas to hold out different things, but those extra pockets do take extra time to search, because each area must be checked. Either do #3, and unzip all the areas ahead of time, or consider a bag with only one main area, and one or two smaller pouches.
6. Don't bring in restricted items, or try to sneak them in!
There's a big list of items you can't take to Disney Parks. If they are found while searching your stuff, they will be confiscated, and there's also a chance you'll be pulled aside for some extra security or even refused entrance to the Park! You can check that list by clicking here, and save yourself a LOT of time and hassle by reading it before you head to Disney!
7. Consider sending just one person through the bag check
If you've just got a cooler, and a backpack or two, maybe a stroller with a child who can walk, consider sending just one person through the bag check, and the others in the no bag security area, with a plan to meet at the park entrance. This works great when you've got smaller kids, or are a group who is able to share one bag for the 4 of you. (I tip my hat to those of you who can do that, because that won't ever be me!)
8. Line up left AND right
Just like the line forms on both sides of a quick service ordering area, it does at security too. If your whole family is on the left side, don't be surprised when one of your bags is checked, then the bag of the person on the right, then back to you. The bags go in order, so either push all yours up right away, or half of your party go on one side, and half on the other.
9. Step out of the way once you get through the bag check
It's so easy to stop, and wait for the rest of your party, or stand, zipping up your backpack, that's human nature, you know? But that actually causes the lines behind you to back up, or people to push past you, maybe knocking your unzipped bag all over the ground! Move forward, step to the side, or zip while walking!
10. Be patient
This is one of the most important tips. Everyone wants to get inside of whatever Disney park they are queued up for, and sometimes you will get pushed, or someone will step on your foot. Just shrug it off, smile, and be polite to those around you, including the security officer who might be taking a while to check your bag. It's important that they do their job to keep everyone safe, so that your day can be as magical as can be!
Do you have any tips for getting through Disney security quicker? Are you able to go bag-less, or do you carry it all but the kitchen sink?
One of my favorite things to tell people is best said in a rhyme!
Under three, at Disney, kids are free!
That means, up til the time your little person turns three, they can enter the Disney parks for FREE, eat off of your plate, or their own at a buffet, for FREE and don't force your family of 5 immediately into a suite because they can stay for FREE as well. If you've booked a package and are getting Magic Bands, they will also get one, for FREE!
I know the Disney fans are pretty split on if you should take your toddler into Disney or not, and this isn't the post for that, but my reasoning is if they can get in for free, why not enjoy those (also free!) priceless memories that are going to be made while there?
We went twice with a toddler, and didn't regret a single second, and if I can be honest here...it was almost EASIER with a toddler who wanted naps, because then we rested mid day too! It's also fun to see things through their eyes!
Have you ever taken advantage of this under three, gets in free policy?
There are a few people who are so inspiring, that no mater how many times you hear their story, you never get tired of it. Walt Disney is one of those for me, and as many times as I hear his story, I always learn something new, some interesting story I'd not heard.
Despite the odds of life against him from an early age he was a man who never gave up, never stopped dreaming, and never stopped planning. Even his final hours were spent pointing to various parts on the ceiling, telling his brother just how he wanted EPCOT laid out. He never wasted his time, stopped working or reaching for his goals. Pluck, determination and imagination were his guides, just like it is for the characters in his films and perhaps that's what draws us over and over to these beloved stories, no matter how old they, or we are.
If you've never read a Walt Disney biography, I encourage you to, but if you have a few minutes to spare, watch this short film about Walt, narrated by Julie Andrews, that was played in Hollywood Studios at One Man's Dream. I've always found it inspiring, and hope it gets brought back to the parks one day.
A few weeks back we shared a great tip for getting rides faster, even without a fastpass. Today we’re going to explain one more way, and that’s the Single Rider line.
While only offered on a few of the headliner attractions, the single rider line is a huge time saver and is pretty self explanatory. A single rider line is for a single person.
There are some rides that even have a totally separate line, just for the park goer who is solo and wants to ride, or is in a group doesn't care they might be split up from their friends or family.
Since many of Disney’s rides accommodate more than one rider, either by a bench seat or a stadium style seat, it only makes sense for Cast Members to get as many riders on as possible to keep the line moving quickly.
Single Riders have their own separate line, from the regular Standby of Fastpass lines. It's usually nearby, but if you miss the sign, just ask someone, you can point you there.
The way these lines work, is you enter the line, and when there’s a seat, you get sent through.
It’s a great way to ride quickly, and even make a new friend or two, if you freak out and start clinging to the rider next to you!
So what places have this single rider line? Here’s a list for you!
Test Track at Epcot
Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom
Rocking Rollercoaster at Hollywood Studios
Disney is always experimenting with ways to make things better, so don't be surprised if in the future other rides are added to the list!