Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Disney World Series Part 2: Navigating Tips

Thought this post would be best done in Q and A format. Keep in mind that our group consisted of kids ranging from age 2 to 5.

Q: How many days should I spend per kingdom?
A: Magic Kingdom is the largest kingdom in terms of things to do for both little kids and adults alike, so you can definitely spend at least 2 to 3 days here.
Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot could all be a 1 day excursion. But if you have more days on your schedule, there is enough to do at these kingdoms that you could spend another half a day or another full day there.
Got even more time in your schedule? It is actually a good idea to take a break between your excursions to the kingdoms because you will be tired and it would be nice to have time to relax and recharge.

Q: How does Fast Pass work?
A: Few things to know about Fast Pass, a) the kiosks to get Fast Pass for any particular ride or show is never located where the ride/show is, b) you are only allowed to get 1 Fast Pass every 2 hours, c) totally worth it for super popular rides.
With these few things in mind, here are some strategies for using Fast Pass. Find out what ride your group really wants to go on that usually has the longest wait time. Send 1 person in your group along with everyone's tickets to get the Fast Pass for that ride. Everyone else in your group could line up for another ride at the same time to save on time. Have a plan as to what other ride you would like to Fast Pass, so when your 2 hour freeze is up, you could go get the next one.
Usually rides that only take a few riders at a time will most likely have a longer wait time, logically this makes sense right? Say for example, at Magic Kingdom the Peter Pan ride takes only about 3 riders per pirate ship and the It's A Small World ride takes over 20 people per boat, so obviously Peter Pan usually has a longer wait time.

Q: How much is parking? 
A: Parking is $15 at all kingdoms. Once you pay for parking it is good for the whole day at all the kingdoms. Just remember to keep your stub.
*Parking tip: remember to snap a pic of the row and location sign to help you remember where you parked.

Q: Where did you buy your Disney World tickets?
A: Eva's family bought their tickets through her husband's workplace and Zi's family bought it through tickets2you.com. The prices were pretty comparable,both had buy 3 days get 2 days for free offers, with tickets2you.com being slightly cheaper by a few dollars per ticket.

E2 favorite princess-Snow White, signing her book.
Q: Where is the best place to meet characters?
A: Each kingdom has designated spots where you can meet specific characters. The more popular characters will most likely have the longest lines. So if there is a specific character your child absolutely HAS to see, find out where you can see them and we would recommend going there first to beat the crowd. For example, there is a "Princess Fairytale Hall" where you can meet Snow White and Rapunzel at one side and Cinderella and Aurora on another. Rapunzel being the newest princess was more popular, and on our first day at Magic Kingdom had a 2 hour wait. So the 2nd day we went to Magic Kingdom, we decided that we would go there first and had a 30 minute wait instead which was much more tolerable with little children.

Q: How did you get to Florida?
A: Of course this is all dependent on where you are coming from. We were going down to Florida from Pennsylvania so both our families decided to drive. It is about a 15-16 hour drive from where we live. With at least 2 drivers it is totally possible to make it in one straight shot. But on the way down, Zi's family made a couple of stops in Raleigh, NC and Savannah, GA and Eva's family stopped in Savannah, GA. On the way back, both families did a straight shot back through the night. Driving through the night makes it a little easier in the sense that the kids slept for most of the trip. But can be difficult for the drivers since they have spent a full week at Disney =)

Questions we didn't answer here? Feel free to ask in comments.



  1. Did you have the option for FastPass+? We did and it was wonderful. No getting tickets at the kiosks and we just made selections of the rides we want to ride online. It was a total time saver. I also agree with you on the number of days at each park. MK deserves 2-3 days, especially with little kids. Can't wait for the next post to come.

    1. We did not. Will have to check that out for next time.

  2. Disney is definitely on my list of places to go once our baby gets a bit older. I'm already dreading all the traveling and expenses, but I know it'll be worth it. Thanks for these great tips!

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

    1. I know you will have a great time there with baby when the time comes!

  3. Great tips, especially how to use your time wisely for Fast Pass waiting. Driving must have been crazy but at least you stopped. Our friends take the train every year, with their car on board too. We wanna do that so badly :).

  4. We actually looked into the train thing but it wasn't exactly cheap, especially with a family of 6 since you still have to pay per person not per car. So we figured driving was still the most economical for us. But it would be fun to go on a long train ride sometime with the kids.