Theme Parks, Orlando
If you are a guest staying at one of the Disney owned resorts you are eligible to benefit from the Extra Magic Hours for the theme parks. On certain days on of the theme parks has extra magic hours. This means that if a park is scheduled to open at 9am, you can start your day at the park at 8am. If there is evening extra magic hours you will have to see a cast member to obtain a wristband to identify you as a Disney resort guest in order to stay for the later hours.
Photo Pass is a nice way to get pictures taken of your whole family. There are roaming Disney photographers in every park. Ask them to take your picture and you are handed a plastic card with an ID number on the back. Each time you want a picture taken, hand the card to the photographer. At the end of your trip you can view your pics at any of the Disney Phot Centers or find them online at http://www.disneyphotopass.com. You can edit your photos, share them with friends and family and order prints.
Two 4x6: $12.95
4 wallet sized: $19.95
Lockers are available to rent at every Disney Theme Park. The locker rentals ar $5 for a small and $7 for a large. We saw many people using the lockers and they fill up fast. We utilized the locker rentals only when we visited Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard beach. We had to put our wallet and park passes somewhere dry.
In today's world security checkpoints are a must everywhere. All Disney Parks have security check points right at the entrances. If you have a bag or backpack you must submit them to search. If you are bagless then there is a separate line to skip the checkpoint. I don't mind this as would rather be safe than sorry.
Walt Disney World began FastPass+ in 2013. Disney resort guests can select three FastPass+ attractions and/or entertainment experiences per day (all in the same park) through the My Disney Experience website and mobile app. This can be done before leaving home, or after you've arrived at Walt Disney World; you can make changes and adjustments while at the park as well. Guests are also able to reserve firework and parade viewing areas, shows, Disney character greetings and more.
We love arranging our Fast pass ahead of time to avoid the long lines for our favorite attractions. This is an awesome option and perk for Disney guests.
We also love the Ride Wait Times app that allows us to see all the ride wait times for every Disney Park.
Almost everywhere you go, you will be attacked by camera-wielding crazed photographers. Be nice. Just stop and smile for them. Most of them are paid per picture taken, not per picture sold. It only takes a few seconds if you cooperate and it makes their days much happier too.
Here are some of my personal tips for optimizing your stay at the Walt Disney World. I hope you'd find it useful:-
Please DO PLAN AHEAD.
The WDW theme parks are HUGE and if you don't know your way around, you'd be spending all your time searching for your favorite ride instead of enjoying it. Arm yourself with a MAP of that particular theme park before you even arrive at the gates.
(You can get it FREE at all WDW hotels). Then head straight for the attractions that you like most.
Dress for comfort!
You'll be doing a lot of walking, believe me(!!) and waiting in line so wearing well fitted and COMFORTABLE shoes are a must.
Have a BIG breakfast.
Yes, have a good breakfast and you won't get hungry as quickly once inside the park and, can have a late lunch after the lunch time crowds have cleared the many top restaurants/ eateries. I'm sure the last thing on your mind is to stand in line (again!). :-)
Buy your WDW tickets ahead of time!
You can buy these tickets from your hotel concierge, from The Disney Store and at the Orlando (MCO) Airport. This method will save you TIME. Walk right by the ticket booth line and spend more time having fun instead!
Plan to arrive EARLY.
Getting to a popular ride or attraction before a huge line forms can save you hours later on. So, plan to be there at least 1 hour before the official park opening times.
Don't try and do it everything within a day.
Plan to stay longer here instead. This way, you'd enjoy your visit to the theme parks better.
Orlando Loch Haven Park covers 45 acres and serves as the region's premier cultural park. With the many museums or theatre groups located in the park, there is always something new to see or do. One of Central Florida?s oldest and largest oak trees, "The Mayor", grows in the park near Orlando's Mennello Museum of American Folk Art.
For Orlando itself, the main annual event is the Silver Spring Rodeo which at 50,000 spectators is the largest rodeo in the Eastern US. Every day is festival day at Walt Disney World with the addition of the Oldsmobile Scramble and Classic for amateur and professional golfers held in October.
Discover the wonders of outer space here at the Kennedy Space Center. See a Moon Rock and get up close to Apollo capsules, rocket engines and a lunar module. Admission includes bus tours around the massive complex, with narrations about the various displays, and the IMAX Theater where you'll soar into the starry skies on a screen five stories high. Next, wander the Rocket Garden where you'll see eight massive rockets from past eras.
After our second full day at SeaWorld shooting travelogue videos, this was our last venue. My camcorder quit 10 minutes into the Luau ceremonial dancing. As the performers enter the stage area through the large audience doors, they sing in a unified Polynesian voice and carry banners. Once onstage a ceremony hosted by the Kahuna and the Polynesian Queen is introduced. The fire dance required spreading a spark netting in front of the stage to prevent those in the first sections from being burned. Both female and male dancers performed, including children, and the style and costume were authentic although not outdoors. The Seafire Restaurant is in the Italian Village overlooking the Shamu Stadium Harbor. The peak season was over, and the weather turns cooler at night, but the outside air was not cold. While an outdoor setting and staging would have been a polynesian charm, both my wife and I enjoyed the family-style service and the cultural presentation.
I [Kevin] thought Zingaro dancing referred to 'Feet of Flames' but that male dancer with flaming torches danced without scorching his bare body. That was the real Zingaro!
In Orlando you have to be a lover of attractionparks and (American) entertainment. But not only as some parks also have a moralistic or (scientific) view-widening intention. The main thing however is spectacular action and enchanting environment. A dream or science fiction world that might be, because let's face it ... if it can excist here, why can't it then excist anywhere? But do not go completely blind by it's commercial background as sadly enough, also here everything is about money.
Picture: The Blues Brothers in Universal Studios.
It might be a small world but it doesn't mean I want to hear a bunch of dolls dressed in so-called local costumes singing about it. Makes me wish I believed in being armed.
Park Maps and Guides are available at every DIsney Park, Resort and in the Marketplace. Guides provide information regarding events happening during your stay as well as park times and ride closures.