Galaxy's Edge might be a trial run for a new style of fastpass. A virtual queue! You'll need something important though to participate.
You are going to need the most updated version of the My Disney Experience App. This is a pretty simple process, but like with everything new at Disney, might have a few kinks.
First, open our app once you've scanned your magicband or presented your ticket. Once you've gone through the gate, open the app, and enter the virtual queue for the Galaxy's Edge. You'll want to select "Join Boarding Group". When it gets time for your group to enter, you'll receive an alert from your app. Once you get that, you have up to two hours to get in line to ride.
A word of warning...just because you have a boarding pass doesn't mean that your group will be called, and also there are only so many boarding passes released each day. You'll want to try and get your boarding pass ASAP when walking into the park!
If this goes well, it's possible that Disney will expand the virtual queue to other rides! The great thing about this, is that you can work your touring plan, have a snack or jump in line for something else while waiting for your turn.
Every one of us has a secret weapon to make our Disney planning so much simpler, and it's completely free, easily available and something the whole family can enjoy participating in the excitement of planning.
YouTube is a treasure trove of Disney Magic, all waiting just a click away. You'll be able to find out most everything you need to whittle down that massive list of must do's when you have more to do than time, and this tool is especially helpful if you've never been, or don't visit often and want to see what's new. If you aren't sure how to plan with YouTube and all of the amazing things you can discover, keep reading!
Go on the rides
Are you unsure if Dinosaur is the kind of ride your six year old will like? What about Grandma Stevens, who doesn't like heights, will Peter Pan's Flight be too stressful for her? Whether you need to find out if something is too fast, too scary, to boring, or just something no one will like, YouTube is your play. Simply type in something like: "Animal Kingdom Rides" or "Kids Rides at Hollywood Studios" and see what pops up!
Preview the food
The best way, other than browsing menus online, is to check out what others are eating, and see how they like it. You'll be able to see portions, real opinions and get a "taste" of what might appeal to you on your own trip!
Watch the Shows
Is it really worth spending 20 minutes finding a spot before the castle preshow? What about the dance party over in Tomorrowland or the new Lightening McQueen show at Hollywood Studios? With YouTube, you can browse the shows, give yourself a preview and not only use someone else's vantage point to decide if that's where you want to stand, or if you'd rather go somewhere else.
Take a walk around
I tend to get lost easily. My kids joke the only place I can navigate around without getting lost is at Disney. I suppose, that's because I need landmarks to get myself from point A to B without getting turned around! Disney has loads of amazing points to navigate with, but if you aren't familiar with the area, and wonder how much walking you'll need to do, or just want to see the land not on a printed map, try a keyword search like: "Magic Kingdom Walkthrough" You could narrow it down, with "Frontierland Walkthrough". Enjoy the scenery, and take notes!
Check out the resorts
Who has the best pools? How far is it from the check in to the building you are assigned to? Is the theming better at this place, or that? By typing in the name of resorts, you'll find videos of the insides, the outsides, and all the little extras and unique parts that each resort has to offer!
Browse the stores
There is nothing like a Disney store to bring our your inner shopping spree personality. Young or old, Disney stores have something (times a hundred) for everyone! Motivate yourself and your children to save, by checking out the merchandise, and the prices! Need more tips? Go here to find some savings tips for adults, and then go here, for ways to help your kids to save!
Experience the nostalgia
Relive the old days! Rides no longer there, shows that have closed their curtain, and characters who don't appear often. This is not really something to help plan, but makes for a fun evening anyway!
Chances are, one evening won't be enough to do this! One video turns into five, turns into ten, turns into more things you want to see than you have time for! Before you worry that that's the problem you already had in the first place, more to do than time, jot down the things you are seeing that you want to cut from your list.
Hopefully some of these ideas will make planning for your next trip easier! Do you have some other planning tips, or a favorite thing to watch on YouTube about Disney?
While there is no bad time at all to visit a Disney Park, without a doubt one of the most popular times to visit is a holiday. There’s something special about holiday decorations, whether it’s for a Patriotic holiday, Halloween of Christmas. It adds a little extra Pixie Dust to that already magical experience.
If you are one of those planning out your visit to the Magic Kingdom or any other park for an upcoming holiday, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind.
Going to Disney during a holiday does mean more magic, but it also means higher crowds. In order to get the most magic, and the least frustration out of your trip, there’s a few things you’ll want to take into consideration!
If you are driving your own car, be prepared for a much longer walk to and from your parking space. Arrive as early as you can for the best parking space possible. There will also be longer lines or wait times to take the parking tram.
Because holidays, New Years, Thanksgiving and Christmas especially, are such popular times to visit, Magic Kingdom can reach capacity. What does this mean? A holiday at capacity happens in stages, so knowing those stages can make sure YOU get inside. Disney can change the way they do things at any time, but this is generally how it happens when it starts getting closer to capacity. Usually you’ll only need to worry about this a few days before, and after Christmas.
Guests with one day, single park tickets or those using cast member passes will not be allowed to park, they will be turned away at the toll plazas.
Any guest staying at a Disney Resort, even if they drive themselves, is allowed in. Also, anyone with a multi day ticket, or park hopper tickets, annual passholders, someone hopping in from another park, anyone arriving by Disney transportation or anyone with an existing in park reservation.
When the second stage occurs, the only ones allowed into the parking lots, or through the ticket turnstiles are:
Those staying at a Disney resort, annual passholders, those re-entering the park from earlier that day, those hopping from another park, those with in park reservations or those coming by Disney transportation.
Once it reaches the third stage (which isn’t too often, the second stage it the most common) the only ones allowed into the turnstiles, or the parking lot are:
Those staying at a Disney Resort, annual passholders, those with in park reservations.
The fourth stage, the park is entirely shut down, to all visitors. This has only happened once though, so it’s unlikely you will need to worry about it.
If you are visiting during a holiday, and NOT staying on property, you need to arrive at least an hour and a half early in order to make sure you get into the park. Remember, with the new opening procedure for the park, the hub is open an hour, sometimes earlier, than actual park opening. Once that is filled, and it will fill on a holiday, people will be stuck between the gates and the turnsiles, backing up to to the arrival areas and it will take much much longer to get inside of the park and get where you want to go. Holiday are NOT a time to get there late.
There will be crowds, but like any Disney crowd, common sense will see you through. If you’ve small children, keep them in the stroller or tightly hold their hands so they don’t get lost, or knocked over. It only takes the blink of an eye for your group to be separated when another group pushes past you, so something like matching hats or shirts can go a long way towards spotting each others.
First-timers- please note! You will NOT be able to hear your cell phone ringing, and the person you are trying to call will not be able to hear theirs! Even on a regular park day, it’s just too loud in the park to hear it, so plan to take frequent breaks to look to see if you’ve missed a call or text from another in your group.
If there was a sit down place you wanted to eat, or if your little princess wanted a makeover, I hope you’ve already got reservations. You can start booking your preferred restaurant 6 months in advance. Didn’t do that yet? It’s okay, and you might still be able to get a reservation, but the sooner you start checking, the better. As time draws closer to your trip, if you haven't been able to score a table, don’t give up. Things happen sometimes with the others who hold those reservations, and it’s not unlikely, or impossible to get the restaurant you’ve been longing for, a few days before your trip. The trick is to keep trying, and not stop. Check the odd times too. It doesn’t matter if it’s quick service or not, tables are filled more from 11:30am-1pm.
This really goes along with the crowds, but you know there will already be some longer crowds. While it’s a little harder to beat the crowds on a holiday, it’s not impossible to minimize your wait time if you have a plan. If you don’t know what you want to do, where you want to go and where you want to eat, the lines are going to get longer and longer and you are going to start feeling frustrated. Disney is such a great place to visit, don’t let your magical trip be ruined by something so small like an hour per park that you’ve made at least a general outline of what order you are going to do things.
Take advantage of the great service Disney offers that’s totally free! Have the shop send your purchases to the front of the park for pickup on your way out, or even better, back to your resort! Keep in mind though, if you are sending back to your resort, don’t send anything back in the last 24 hours of your trip because it might not get to you in time.
Holidays at Disney have some extra special photo opportunities, so be sure to take advantage! You’ll find Mickey and his friends in seasonal costumes, as well as characters you might not get to see during the rest of the year. There will be special parades, music, shows and of course, lot sof special treats to sample that you can only get during these special occasions.
Disney also offers special seasonal events, such as the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, and the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. These have special things like trick or treating, or cookie and cocoa stations throughout the park as well as other fun surprises.
Keep in mind that if you are visiting the park on a day where one of these parties is held, the park does close early to those who do not have tickets for these events. Tickets can sell out quickly, so it’s best to get yours the moment you know you will be there during a holiday. It is very unlikely that you will be able to buy a ticket the day of the event.
Patience, patience, patience
While this is a top tip, other than planning, for any Disney vacation, it’s needed more than ever during a Disney holiday. Have patience. Patience with the family who just cut in front of you, patience with that REALLY annoying family remember who keeps slowing you down, patience with your kid who had to stop for the 11th bathroom/pretzel/pin trading moment in the last hour and a half. Don’t forget to have patience with yourself, too. You might not get to do everything you want. That’s okay. Enjoy what you can!
Remember, a little prep, a little planning will go a long way towards making the most out of your vacation. It can be a little overwhelming to plan a Disney trip, but it’s far worse to be standing there in a panic as the lines get longer and longer and you’ve no idea what anyone wants to ride! Like the old adage, an ounce of prevention, is worth a pound of cure.
Stay sane, and have fun during your Disney holiday!
Want some more ideas?
Click here for a way to save HUNDREDS during your Disney vacation in just minutes
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Click here for a FREE touring plan to do 10 rides in just 3 hours at a Disney Park!
We talked a while back, about how there was very little that piglet sized kiddos can ride. In fact, they can ride almost everything! But what about the larger set? The pooh sized riders? The folks that are a little heavier? I've got good news for you as well! There is very little (if anything!) that you can't ride, too!!
Walt Disney World was created so that EVERYONE could enjoy the rides! At Walt Disney World, you will find many different styles of seats. Here's what you may run across.
You've got your bench style, like on It's A Small World, and Pirates of the Caribbean. those are the style seats that allow you to have enough room comfortable, without being put into a "seat"
A lap bar style seat is typically on a bench style seat, like Peter Pan's Flight, or The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, where a safety bar is pulled up towards you. This won't be a problem if riding with a companion of the same size, or alone, but use caution if a Piglet sized rider is with you, so that they don't slip out from under that restraint, say, when flying over Neverland.
Over the Shoulders
An over the shoulder restraint would be in a ride like Primeval Whirl. A restraint bar comes down over your shoulders, and locks, keeping you from falling on a ride that might be jerkier, or spinny.
On some rides, like Star Tours, you'll have a lap bet as your restraint. While you shouldn't have a problem, belt extenders are offered, so that everyone can enjoy the ride. The seats are usually wide enough, that we've never seen a rider leave, disappointed.
In some attractions, you'll be seated in movie theater style seats. These are usual size, so if you don't have a problem back home, it's unlikely you'll have a problem here.
Now this is the trickiest style seating. A very few rides have a slightly molded seat, that while you can still fit in, might not feel too comfortable on the tush. Seven Dwarves Mine Train is one. Still doable, and luckily the ride isn't too long, but just might not be the comfiest.
As you can see, there really isn't much at all you won't be able to do. Walt Disney World can easily accommodate you, so no matter your age, or size, go enough yourself! With so much to see and do, you're going to have an amazing trip!
Have you ever noticed how there's a trash can almost everywhere you look at Walt Disney World? That's because Walt Disney was very concerned about keeping the park clean. He wanted everyone to be able to enjoy the beauty of his theme park, without unsightly garbage everywhere. He wanted children to be able to play on the grass without wrappers and cups littering the ground. Doing his own research, he discovered that 30 feet was the magic number. 30 feet was the most someone would hold their trash before throwing it on the ground.
While the Spiderman bottle above was surly an accident, the cup was not. Someone threw it away. So what does that mean?
That means a cast member has to take time from something else, to go get it and throw it out. That means some of the wild life could accidentally ingest it before it's found. That means that instead of every guest coming through the gates that day and seeing the beauty of this area by the Swiss Family Tree-house, they see trash. And once your eye sees the trash, that's all you can see. Not the beauty of the rocks, the ferns, the rippling in the pool of water. The trash. With a trash can every 30 feet, that's what...15 or so steps for you? Why not throw it away, and help keep the park beautiful for everyone?