I had a chance to visit Walt Disney World last week for a few days of research and work. Yes, I know, I went to Disney to work. Really. I did! While I was there, I had the chance to check out and explore a number of things that were new since I was last there, and in the process, learned a few things that I didn’t know, and experienced a few things that I hadn’t experienced before. (I also learned a few things from other Guests too.) And I was reminded of a few things that I already knew as well. Of course I can’t keep all of that info to myself, so today’s post includes my Top Ten tips from my trip (in no particular order):
- ALWAYS check weather before you leave and pack accordingly. Sometimes it rains in Florida for more than just a few minutes…sometimes it rains/pours the entire day. If you want to keep going, you need some kind of raingear. If you don’t bring it from home, you will need to buy it there. And then once you buy something….remember to bring it with you each day: I can’t tell you how many people I heard say that they forgot the ponchos they just bought and had to buy ANOTHER set at the parks again!
- Like it or not, Frozen is not going anywhere. Little girls wearing Elsa/Anna dresses by FAR outnumbered every other princess dress I saw in the parks. The Frozen Singalong was a huge hit, Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post and Snowground was packed, and even during the Celebrate the Magic castle projection show at Magic Kingdom, people (adults and children) spontaneously (and enthusiastically) sang “Let it Go” at the appropriate part. People at the parks want Frozen. Now I know that many feel that folks are just reacting to Disney’s marketing machine, while others think Disney is reacting to demand….but in my opinion, at this point it doesn’t matter, it’s like asking which came first, the chicken or the egg. Frozen is a big deal at the Disney parks and I suspect is here to stay for a very long while.
- I went to the Polynesian one evening to eat at the new Captain Cook’s and to check out the construction there. If you have a stay planned at this popular monorail resort in the coming months, you need to be prepared for things to look/be quite different. Much of the Great Ceremonial hall is walled off and you need to pay attention to the signage as to how to get around, it’s not always obvious. The resort is still functioning quite well and ‘Ohana and Kona Café look to still be quite busy, but it is quite evident that there is a lot of building going on there. So if visiting the Polynesian, just be prepared.
- Magic Bands accessories are very popular, far more so than I would have expected. I saw many folks wearing sliders and “Bandits” on their Magic Bands…and Disney is devoting more and more space in the shops for Magic Band items. I would expect that the assortment of Magic Bands “stuff” is going to grow quite a bit in the coming months.
- The Epcot Food and Wine continues to be an awesome way to explore the “world” through food and drink. Be sure to plan lots of time, as you don’t want to rush through this! Plan accordingly when it comes to dining reservations as well: this is the day to maybe eat light the rest of the day (or two, so that you have enough time to get to everything!).
- If one of your FastPass selections is down during your scheduled time, you will receive an email alert letting you know that you can choose an alternate or try for that one again later that day. So be sure to check those emails or MDE app, so you don’t miss out!
- If you haven’t ever done this before, check out the New Fantasyland attractions during the evening parade. It’s practically empty then, and wait times for the most popular attractions were very low!
- The Marketplace Co Op at Downtown Disney is a cool place with lots of “different” types of Disney items that is a “testing ground” for specialty Disney merchandise. These 6 mini-stores are temporary set-ups for Disney merchandise concepts…either the expansion of existing lines or introduction of new ones. So basically, this means that every time you visit, this area can (and probably will) be new and different! On this visit, the current areas are Beautifully Disney, Cherry Tree Lane (Disney Vera Bradley anyone?), Zoey and Pickles, The Trophy Room, Disney Centerpiece with lots of home products and the one that I found the most fascinating, D-Tech on Demand where you can design your own Disney phone case. This is definitely worth the time to visit.
- World Showcase needs more shady spots. (See above re: Food and Wine)
- Seven Dwarfs Mine train rocks (literally and figuratively) and even this Ride Wimp loved it! Make it a “Must Do” for your list!
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