ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

Disney World – 5 ways to improve your Disney experience

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

The most magical place on the earth, people are patient and polite. Or maybe they are just like me, hiding it because we can’t believe we agreed to go. While in Florida this past winter, we made a stop to experience Disney World; Magic Kingdom and Epcot. When it came to the Magic Kingdom, deep down I had no idea on what to expect. I truly thought it was going to be about Mickey and more like a museum and the creation of Mickey. Turns out it was an amusement park with lots of kids, rides and long lines. I have to confess two personal items about me: one I have no patience for long lines and secondly, I’m afraid of most rides. I worry the ride will go off its tracks and I’ll be making CBS Evening News.

Here are 5 steps to improve your Disney experience to truly make it magical.

Avoid waiting in line.

This will consume 90% of your time at the park. Just to prove my point, I wrote 90% of this blog while waiting in line at the Magic Kingdom. Ride waiting times varied from 1 to 3 hours – no joke! Say you plan to ride 6 rides, that’s at least 6 hours waiting in lines. What a waste of your time while on vacation. What gets me, people including myself were willing to pay for this. We purchased our tickets and the Express Pass, but not until the night before we went to the park. My advice is to purchase your tickets 60 days before you go and at least sign up for the Express Pass and make your reservations 60 days out for the 3 key rides you’d like to go on. This will save you a ton of time.

You spend so much time in lines, you truly need to spend multiple days at the park to see everything you want to see. What a great marketing ploy for the parks.

Better yet, just go all in on the VIP pass. You get a private escort to rides and meals all throughout the park and you don’t have to wait in lines. If I ever return to Disney, which will be against my will, I will be doing this. Now, this isn’t cheap, but waiting in line stinks!

Disney app – use it.

You can see in real time wait times and to schedule your Express Pass times. It helps you plan your day as you are physically in the park.

Shows

If you are going the Express Pass route, do not use your pass for their shows. Just show up 15 minutes early and you’ll get in.

Don’t pay for water.

You can walk up to any the restaurant pick-up windows and ask for a glass of water. Plus, we brought our own water bottles.

Clothing

Nowhere else in the world can you go somewhere and get away with matching Mickey or Mini t-shirts. Plan ahead for a look-alikes and adults wearing Mickey’s ears. So many families had matching and personalized clothing.

Disney offers great people watching, in many ways it reminds me of the Minnesota State Fair; just a lot more expensive and cleaner. Mickey has a way of bringing people of different colors, sizes, nationalities, and attire together for one common cause; making memories with your family. Let’s avoid making those memories about standing in line 90% of the time. Our vacations are just too darn short.

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