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First time at Disney: ALL you need to know

January 9, 2019

If we all dream of going to Disney at least once in our lives and it’s normal, I’m sure that if you’re reading this you have a friend or family member who went to Disney and told you how good it is and how many things there are that don’t exist here

Well, here I’m going to tell you everything you need to know to be prepared and also to help you decide which park to go to, which is the most difficult decision when you’re going for the first time, or at least it was for me.

This is going to be a long post, so you know, a cup of coffee, a muffin (of blueberries) and read, let’s go by sections and at the end I’m going to make a block of frequently asked questions of the type “If it rains opens?”, “Minors pay?” and other things that I’m always asked in my Instagram:

Contents

  1. 1 First impression
  2. 2 Disney Theme Parks, one by one
  3. 2.1 Magic Kingdom
  4. 2.2 Epcot
  5. 2.3 Animal Kingdom
  6. 2.4 Hollywood Studios
  7. 2.5 Disney Springs
  8. 3 Which park to choose
  9. 4 Prices and types of tickets
  10. 4.1 Modalities
  11. 4.2 What you should know
  12. 4.3 Normal input
  13. 4.4 Park Hooper input
  14. 4.5 Park Hooper Plus input
  15. 4.6 Other entry types
  16. 5 Hotel: inside or outside?
  17. 5.1 Advantages
  18. 5.2 Disadvantages
  19. 6 What are FastPass+
  20. 6.1 How to use them
  21. 6.2 Tips
  22. 7 How much is spent per day
  23. 8 Where to buy tickets
  24. 9 Disney World Curiosities
  25. 10 Frequently Asked Questions

First printing

WikimediaEntering Disney World

Some things almost nobody says:

  • Inside the park everything is VERY expensive , if you want to bring food you can do it
  • They are going to walk a lot, it is necessary to go with comfortable clothes
  • Probably get wet in some game
  • There are lockers to store things in all games that require it, are free for one hour
  • There are parking lots for baby carts (you’re going to see more baby carts per square meter in a single park than you’ve ever seen in your entire life) and moms leave wallets, nursing bottles, purses and everything there without anyone taking care of it, and no one steals anything
  • .

  • Each park has something special and is aimed at a specific audience, there are special parks to go with children and others to go with teenagers and adults
  • All over the park there is background music playing constantly that you don’t know where it sounds, the speakers are hidden in posts, garbage cans and walls, to create an atmosphere and create an atmosphere of fantasy
  • In the parks you can eat the Turkey Leg , a turkey leg that looks like it came out of the movies, costs 11 dollars and they need several liters of water to lower it
    .
    Turkey Leg or Turkey Leg
  • If they go in summer (from there) they have to carry a lot of water , dehydration is imminent after each step walked
  • .

  • The exit once the park is closed is complicated , thousands of people wanting to go out at once, if someone waits outside I recommend going out a while earlier
  • There are maps in Spanish and free Wifi in the whole park
  • It is highly recommended to install the Disney World app on the phone , in addition to serving as a map, you can load your ticket and use the Fast Pass
  • .

  • They may walk through the park and find themselves with a parade, like this from nowhere
  • There are games that can have up to an hour and a half of queue to climb (that’s when the fast pass becomes a piece of gold, I’ll give you recommendations to avoid them anyway below)
  • If you’re going to Universal parks on the same trip, first go to Disney , believe me, it’s better this way

Disney theme parks, one by one

Disney has 4 parks not counting the water parks, some larger than others, in general it is done one per day but if you follow my advice you may get to do at least two in a day.

Magic Kingdom

Welt Disney and Mickey Mouse statue at the Magic Kingdom entrance

The most famous is where the castle that appears in the movies is and part of its charm is that all the essence of Disney is there: princesses, mythical characters like Mickey, Minnie, Donald (duck, no trump) and so on are there.

This park is directed for the smallest, the ambience is very fantasy and the games are not good for the big ones, little action and adrenaline, the boys are going to enjoy it, the big ones quite less.

There is a 4D cinema, few roller coasters and almost all the remaining games are boat rides on the water with animatronic robots on the sides .

Magic Kingdom Fireworks Show

The most beautiful of all is the fireworks show at night just before closing, lasts about 20 minutes and is the recreation of the Disney movie intros where you see the castle, you have to stay until 21hs to see it, but it’s worth it (it’s the best of the park).

Epcot

Epcc. ball alt=” />Epc. ball..jpg’src=”https://www.turismocasual.com/thumbs/728x0_0_1_0/136-2017-06-24-4-16-53-first-time-in-disney-everything-that-knows-0.jpg” alt=” />Epc. ball.

This is the park of the giant ball, this one is oriented to boys but not so boys as Magic Kingdom, here already they are going to enjoy it more the boys of 12 years in ahead.

There is something very interesting for the big ones, a walk through all the cultures of the world where you can buy typical food from each place and there are also quite good giftshops.

Epcot is not as big as Magic Kingdom, to tell you the truth halfway through the day had already had lunch and had gone through everything, if you go only adults can do Epcot and Magic Kingdom the same day (they need a ticket with park hooper, later I explain the types of entry that there are).

Here is a space simulator that according to them was manufactured with the help of NASA, the truth is that it is very good and I assure you that you leave dizzy, if you go to Epcot save a Fast Pass for this game.

Animal Kingdom

WikimediaTree of life in Animal Kingdom

Here the protagonists are the animals, this park has games for the little ones and for the bigger ones too, in this park is where the famous “tree of life” is.

Set “a lo tarzan” this park I find quite more entertaining than Epcot for example.

Hollywood Studios

WikimediaChina Theater at Disney World Hollywood Studios

This is for the older ones, here is a tour of Disney movies (including Star Wars) and I think it’s the most worthwhile of the 4, if you go as a couple without children or in a group with other adults this is the ideal park.

There are copies of Chinese theatre and other mythical places in Hollywood (Los Angeles), everything is set with Hollywood theme.

Disney Springs

It’s not a park but you can spend some time there, is a kind of open-air shopping mall quite interesting, you can go to buy gifts, eat or see a show, in Disney Springs there is a Cirque Du Soleil show called “La Nouba”.

Which park to choose

Unless you can visit the 4 parks, you are going to have to choose which one to visit, so I am going to make recommendations according to the age and characteristics of each one :

  • Magic Kingdom : ideal for children, few roller coasters, many games that are like animatronic rides, princesses, fairies, classic characters and the famous castles, it is not ideal for big people unless they have grown up watching Disney drawings, in that case maybe it brings them a lot of nostalgia.
  • Epcot : few fun games, not very big, this is fine if they go grandchildren and grandparents, not ideal for children under 8 years (has few games for them), if possible visit it with the park hooper entrance. There are free shows on the stages, food stalls from different parts of the world and a slightly more futuristic atmosphere.
  • Animal Kingdom : Ideal for teenagers and adults, here are some roller coasters a little stronger, teenagers and adults are going to have a better time in this park than in the previous two.
  • Hollywood Studios : I think this is the ideal one for adults, they are going to feel more comfortable and the games and attractions will make them have a great time, children and teenagers will also have a great time because there are obviously games for everyone but I think that just having a Star Wars attraction and the newly released Avatar attraction (a recreation of Pandora, the planet of the blue protagonists) is reason enough to go.

My personal recommendation is to visit the last two , although if being your first time you have to visit Magic Kingdom, it is the main park and the fireworks show is worth it.

Prices and types of tickets

Choosing the type of ticket is complicated because prices vary quite a bit (explained below) and the first time you go you don’t understand much, broadly speaking these are the tickets that any tourist can buy.

Modalities

There are two input modes to choose from:

  • Magic Band : the bracelet allows you to load money and fast pass into it, then use it to buy products inside the parks, this bracelet has an extra cost but makes everything much easier, gives them freedom to leave their wallet and money at the hotel.
  • Card : it’s the classic modality, there’s no extra cost, when you buy your ticket you’ll be given a card that you’ll use to upload to all the games, if you lose it you’ll get a headache.

Both modes can be connected to the Disney World app on the cell phone to manage fast passes.

What you should know

  • All entries include a minimum of 3 fast pass
  • Children under 3 years old do not pay entrance fee and from 3 to 9 inclusive pay reduced price
  • All tickets allow you to stay all day in the theme park of your choice and give you the right to ride all the games as many times as you want
  • .

  • The price of tickets varies depending on whether it is high or low season, the high season is in the summer from there, from June to September .

Normal input

This is the classic park entrance type.

The price of this ticket is USD119 dollars in high season (+ taxes, ends up costing USD124 dollars) but always you can get cheaper if you buy packs for 2, 3 or 4 days .

Entrance Park Hooper

This ticket allows you to visit the 4 parks on the same day, it is ideal for adults without children, I recommend you to take one of these to visit Magic Kingdom and Epcot on the same day (go early!).

The price of a Park Hooper daily pass is USD185.31 in high season with taxes included.

Park Hooper Plus Ticket

Same as above but in addition to the 4 theme parks also allows you to visit the water parks on the same day, to tell the truth is very complicated to get to visit a theme park and also a water park but if they want to try can do so.

To buy a Park Hooper Plus ticket at the above price only you have to add USD15 .

Other entry types

The ones I just mentioned are the most common for tourists but there are also others for Florida residents and also some passes for special events, but that depends on each event so if just for the date you are going there is a special event you can ask right there how much it costs and see if it is convenient for you to go or not.

Hotel: inside or outside?

Disney World has several hotels within its parks and there are advantages and disadvantages of staying in them, let’s see:

Advantages

  • It’s more comfortable, you don’t have to go through the city to get there
  • Less time is wasted, they get up and are already in the park (a distance air train)
  • You have 1 extra hour just for you , all the parks have the “magic hour” in which only the guests of your hotels open, so you can enter the park and enjoy the games without queues
  • .

  • MagicBand free , the bracelet I mentioned above is given free if you stay in a hotel within Disney, in fact this will be the key to enter your room

Disadvantages

  • It is generally more expensive, there is an economical, normal and luxury option, but the economic option is more expensive than contracting a package with a travel agency in a hotel in Orlando (with transportation included)
  • .

  • If you want to go to the city you will have to pay some means of transport and it is expensive, Disney World is far from the city
  • Not a comfortable option if you also want to visit Universal’s parks, unless you rent a car
  • .

Those are the advantages and disadvantages that occur to me at this time, if I can think of more I will add them in future updates of the post.

My recommendation : hire a package with hotel and transportation included outside Disney, so you can visit the city and also save, it’s much cheaper, is what I did (but do it with a company other than Orlando Adventure Tours, read my experience).

If you don’t know what package to buy and you plan to go to Miami, I recommend this tour that includes tickets to the parks + hotel with breakfast + transportation from Miami to Orlando from USD420 per person.

What are FastPass+

All entries come with at least 3 FastPass+, with them you will be able to reserve a place in the row without having to be there .

How to use them

Its operation is simple, once you associate your ticket to your My Disney Experience account in the Disney app (is for Android and iOS) you will see the FastPass+ they have available for use and the steps are simple:

  1. Search for the game they want
  2. Activate FastPass for that game, the system will tell you the exact time to go to the game
  3. When it’s time they go and pass by the row that says “FastPass+” (has a margin of 10 minutes)
  4. Ready

All games have rows “FastPass” for those who use this system, you must know how to manage these fast passes very well, I’m not going to tell you what game to spend them but if I give you a tip: use them in those who have more waiting time (they have so much waiting for something).

Tips

There are games and attractions that are very crowded, for example, the new “Avatar World” that opened recently will probably have several days waiting for FastPass.

Once you have your Disney tickets you can start using your FastPass+