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Happy Tuesday! Seriously cannot even believe that January is almost over!! From Christmas to Mark’s ACL surgery and then straight to Orlando for a Shaw Floors’ Convention and trip to Disney World, this month has absolutely flown by! Two weeks ago Friday I left for Orlando for a seven day work/play trip with my two girls, my mom and my sister. My sis only stayed until Sunday but my mom came to help me and vacation with us the entire week. And we had THE BEST TIME. I am certain that mid-January is the best time to go because the weather was amazing and the crowds were super low. Although I am the picture taking queen on most days, I decided to lay low and truly enjoy this extra time with my girls. I will share the few that I took but these were it!
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As I mentioned in my Disney World post last January, we are self-described Disney fanatics. And if you read that post, some of this may sound a bit familiar because for the first time in FORever not TOO terribly much has changed with their processes. Their technology has been updated which was actually pretty amazing. And as I mentioned last time, each and every year I get the sarcastic yet appreciative nickname the Fast Pass Queen. Yep folks, I have mastered the art of the Fast Pass. We hardly ever wait in lines and even during the busiest of Disney seasons, we manage a relatively stress free trip to the Happiest Place on Earth. Although this year the lines were a good bit shorter than years past. Which was AMAZING! So now I am going to share ALL of my tips and tricks with you! Oh and if you keep on scrolling TO THE VERY BOTTOM OF THIS POST I will be sharing some cute and cozy outfit ideas for Disney bound moms too!
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First things first, let’s chat fast passes. If you have been to Disney World in the last several years, you may be somewhat or even a lot familiar with the wonderful yet sometimes frustrating Fast Pass. Originally they were acquired only at stations throughout the park then they were available online and NOW they are available at both of those as well as on their new app! If you are Disney bound anytime soon, you MUST download the “My Disney Experience” app. It has everything from park maps to fast passes to dining reservations. So before I get super detailed on you, let me make one quick disclaimer. Although I’d love to be the queen of money saving Disney tips, these are simply time saving and kid/husband breakdown saving tips. Here’s my little secrets one by one…
1. Buy your tickets in advance. Yes, it may be less expensive at a pit stop along the way but the only way to book advance fast passes now is to buy your tickets in advance. Here’s the link… DISNEY TICKETS. We even managed to get a cheaper rate for a 4-Day Ticket than a 3-Day Ticket with a deal they have going on until March 5, 2017.
Once you’ve purchased your tickets and set up a login, it’s time to create your “My Disney Experience”! Here you can book fast passes, dining reservations and other entertainment plans. You can also now do this through the app I mentioned above. I initially created our trip on my laptop but then updated and added more fast passes while at the parks through my app.
2. Book fast passes! Fast passes allow you to skip right past the long lines into much and in some cases, much much MUCH shorter lines for most all rides and attractions at all of the Disney World theme parks. Here’s the link… FAST PASSES
This is where it gets tricky but I will attempt to make it short and sweet…
A. Up to 30 days in advance (and up to 60 days in advance for Disney Resort hotel guests) you can start booking fast passes.
MY TRANSLATION: Purchase your tickets and book fast passes as close to 30-60 days in advance as possible. Some attractions book VERY quickly. For us, I booked very last minute so a couple of the newest rides were already booked. In advance, you can book up to 3 fast passes per day and then additional ones once you are at the park AND have used all three advance passes. You can now book or even modify those WITH THE NEW APP or at the Fast Pass Kiosks! I literally booked the next one in line right after we scanned the last one.
B. You must use ALL THREE Fast Passes BEFORE you secure additional ones at the park!
MY TRANSLATION: Book three advance fast passes each day as early in the day as possible! You cannot obtain any extra ones at the park until ALL THREE have been used. For us, we booked them all before 1pm so we were able to get an additional 3-4 fast passes after 1pm which equated to 6-7 rides per day with little to NO wait times!
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3. The Disney SECRET: I want to let you all in on a little “secret”. This is something we learned last year and it worked VERY much to our advantage. It is called a Baby Swap Pass. If you are like us and most other Disney enthusiasts, you have little ones who are too small to ride most all major rides. For us, we have one too small and another daughter who loves them all! In years past, my husband Mark and I would switch off who rode each ride with Addison and the other parent missed out completely on the ride. With the baby swap pass, you simply all go up to the attraction line, tell the attendant that you and your little one are sitting out while the older child and parent are riding and the attendant will provide you with a fast pass for up to THREE people to ride that ride anytime that day.
MY TRANSLATION (this is from my previous Disney post because Winnie was old enough and tall enough this year!): On our trip last year, I booked an advance fast pass for Mark and Addison (my older daughter) to ride an attraction with a height requirement. I then also booked an advance fast pass for Winter (my two year old) and myself to ride a “baby ride”. When it was time to use the fast passes, Winter and I would first go with Mark and Addie to their ride and get a baby swap pass. Then they would ride the height requirement ride with their fast passes and Winter and I would ride the baby ride with our fast passes. Once we all rode our rides, Addison and I would ride the height requirement ride AGAIN with our baby swap pass! Addison said having a baby sister at Disney World was the best thing ever because she got to ride everything two times!
4. If you are staying at a Walt Disney World resort, TAKE ADVANTAGE of the Magic Hours! Each day a different park offers earlier opening times and later closing times for guests staying at any Disney resort.
MY TRANSLATION (from our last trip when we stayed at a Disney park): For us, we arrived at Magic Kingdom at 7am (gasp!) and ran to the Elsa/Anna meet and greet line. We had been unable to get a fast pass for this attraction and we had heard rumors of wait times running 3-4 hours long! We were able to wait just thirty minutes and we had two happy little campers!
5. If you have a little princess wanting to fill her autograph book, book character dining! Once again, I will remind you that this is NOT a money saving tip, LOL! When Addison was almost four years old, we visited Disney World and she was in full princess mode. We waited in 45 minute lines ALL. DAY. LONG. for her to get pictures and autographs with Ariel, Snow White, Belle, etc. We’ve since learned that this is THE BEST way to kill an entire day at the Magic Kingdom. And tickets are not cheap!
MY TRANSLATION: This trip, we booked a Mickey character dining at Chef Mickey’s in the Contemporary Resort. Addison and Winter got their pictures and autographs with five Mickey characters while enjoying lunch! MUCH less stressful and enjoyable 🙂
Winnie was a wee bit excited 😉
SO here’s a look at some cozy and cute outfit ideas for spending the day at Disney!
Oh but first, let me share my FAVORITE long layering tank EVER!!! I wore my white or black one almost every day to make my tops longer. Especially when I wore them with leggings…
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XOXO, Brittany Hayes