Reserving the Magic: Tips for Scheduling your Advanced Dining Reservations (ADR’s)

You have chosen your resort, tickets, and booked your package. Now you are ready to relax and daydream about your upcoming vacation to Walt Disney World. But then your travel agent says “It’s time to make your advanced Dining Reservations” and you have a mini freak-out. Sound familiar? Don’t worry -It happens all the time. I am the first to admit I dislike making decisions. So when there are hundreds of amazing options and all sound wonderful I tend to get overwhelmed. But let’s focus on the positive; Walt Disney World offers TONS of amazing dining options- a foodie’s dream come true! So, whether you have planned multiple Disney vacations or are in the midst of planning your first trip, think about these tips for scheduling your dining and enjoy the bountiful options.

Are you a Morning Person? If you wake up before the sun and enjoy being out and about in the morning consider breakfasts and lunches.

· BREAKFAST: Consider making some breakfast reservations for restaurants inside your favorite parks. Some take reservations before the park even opens. This will get you in before the majority of vacationers are stirring. Eat, enjoy some characters (character breakfasts are FUN, and be ready to experience many of the best attractions with low wait times.)

· LUNCH: Another option for early risers is to eat a quick breakfast in your hotel room (or while waiting for the bus) and get to the park before it opens. Being there for the opening is always fun and again, you will probably have the shortest waits and lowest crowds of the day. Just as you are getting hungry for an early lunch, the crowds will be coming in and you can sit and relax at a lunch reservation. You might even hop to another resort for your meal and enjoy walking around in a quiet area away from the parks.

Morning People

Night Owls-Have no fear! Walt Disney World is even more magical at night!

· I recommend making at least one dinner reservation at Epcot during Illuminations or at Magic Kingdom during Wishes. Many restaurants with viewing areas of these nighttime shows will dim the lights and pipe in the music during the show. Some of my favorites are California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, and La Hacienda de San Angel at Epcot. Other options are available-tell your travel agent if you want to book during the fireworks or other nighttime shows.

· Restaurants are open pretty late at most locations so if you like to linger over dinner and relax in the evening there are plenty of great options in each park. I especially enjoy being in one of the pavilions at World Showcase in Epcot for dinner. The light, sounds, smells all take you right into the culture and atmosphere of the country you are “visiting”.

Night Owls

Families with Children

· I have 2 words for you: Character. Meals. These are a hit with kids and give you some forced downtime. Plus you get personal one on one interaction with characters and some really great photo opportunities. If you are on the dining plan they are a great deal! Many character meals only require one table service credit!

· If your kids are on a schedule think about keeping them on that schedule. There is nothing worse than a tired, hungry child on vacation. So try to schedule your meal times for times they are used to. And remember you can bring snacks into the park! Aim for scheduled meal times but always have some back up.

· One of the best tips I have is to get to the parks early in the morning, take a long afternoon break (when the parks are the most crowded and the weather is usually the hottest) and then go back to the parks in the evening. With this schedule a long lunch or an early dinner could fit right in without taking away from your time in the parks.

For the Spontaneous . In my daily life I appreciate (need) routine and structure. But when I am on vacation I do not want to have any plans. I don’t personally like the idea of being tied down to specific meal times each day. If that sounds familiar-read on!

· Schedule your Advanced Dining Reservations for breakfast every day. That way it forces you to get up (for you sleepy heads) , you get a good hearty breakfast, and then the rest of the day can be spontaneous! Try it-you might like it!

· If you are on the dining plan, consider trying some of the Signature restaurants. They take 2 table service credits and are top notch dining experiences. This will give you some very special meals to look forward to. I would recommend scheduling them for the beginning and or end of your trip-think of them as a celebration of the start or end of an amazing vacation.

· Look at the days you arrive and depart. If you do not plan on going to the parks one both of those days these can be great times to plan meals that won’t take time away from the parks.

 

food!

 

General Tips for All

Where to eat?

· Ask your friends who have been where they like to eat. You should get good, honest feedback that you will trust (you really have to take some on-line reviews with a grain of salt). Pose the question on your Facebook or twitter-you should get plenty of responses/opinions

· Talk to your travel agent. If you have a good one, they can recommend some dining experiences based on personal experience. Tell your travel agent about your family, dietary restrictions likes and dislikes. We will give you as much info as you need to make the best decision.

· Ask your travel agent for descriptions and sample menus of the dining locations you are interested in.

Consider the Park Hopper

· Your travel agent can give you info about park hours and crowd levels for each day of your vacation. Look at the info and try to anticipate where you might like to be on a certain day. But remember, things can change (especially if you like to be spontaneous on your vacation). So a park hopper can save the day when your plans change! You may find yourself at one park in the morning and another in the evening, but oh no!-your dining reservation is in a different park! If you have a park hopper just hop on over to the right place and enjoy your meal.


Plan Early and Be Flexible

· Advanced Dining Reservations can be made 180 days before check in. Do not wait till the last minute to decide what you want-plan ahead so you or your travel agent can make your reservations on the first day they are available.

· You may not always get the exact time you want for each restaurant. List some alternate times/locations for your travel agent in case your top choices are not available.

So, maybe you are still overwhelmed at all this info. Don’t worry! “Keep Calm and Call your Travel Agent!” That is why we are here. Thinking about these tips and what some of your preferences are will help your travel agent to help YOU have the best dining experiences for your family.

Do you need help planning your next Disney trip? Contact me today-I would love to help you.

“See Ya Real Soon!”

Aleshia Sokoloski

1-800-670-4312 ext 139
Aleshia@travelwiththemagic.com
Find me on Facebook
Pin with me on Pinterest

Walt Disney World’s Tomorrowland

“Tomorrow can be a wonderful age. Our scientists today are opening the doors of the Space Age to achievements that will benefit our children and generations to come. The Tomorrowland attractions have been designed to give you an opportunity to participate in adventures that are a living blueprint of our future.” – Walt Disney

This was Walt Disney’s vision for Tomorrowland at Disneyland and one that carried over when Walt Disney World was built in 1971. Of all of the lands at Walt Disney World, Tomorrowland is probably the most challenging for Imagineers in keeping with Walt’s vision. After all, our world is changing quickly and by the time a redesign is rolled out it’s not so futuristic anymore. So, in the mid 1990’s a redesign to Tomorrowland was debuted that didn’t focus so much on our realistic view of the future, but a more science fiction view where you might find Flash Gordon battling aliens.

Metallic palm trees, neon lights, synthesized music and kinetic (moving) elements are all used by Imagineers to set the atmosphere of this world of tomorrow.

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The largest kinetic element is the Tomorrowland Transportation Authority Peoplemover (TTA) which glides above the land and through some attractions. If it’s your first visit to Tomorrowland hop on this attraction first as it will provide you with a great overview and lay of the land. The TTA departs and returns to Rocket Tower Plaza in the middle of Tomorrowland. This 10 minute ride will take you inside Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin for a sneak peak. You’ll also get a view of the original model of Walt Disney’s vision of a futuristic city. This model was on display at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York and was Walt’s early vision for Epcot.

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Want to help Buzz Lightyear save the galaxy from the Evil Emperor Zurg? Hop on over to Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin and grab an astro blaster and start blasting. You’ll be racking up the points in this ultimate interactive video game as you move through different rooms. Want to hit the point jackpot? In the room with the large orange robot watch HIS right eye. When it begins blinking with an X fire away – each hit is worth 100,000 points. There are other mega targets as well but I’ll let you find those on your own!

The centerpiece of Tomorrowland has and will continue to be Space Mountain. This was the first ever thrill ride at Walt Disney World and while the attraction has gone through several updates over the years it remains the classic trip into outer space. What makes Space Mountain so thrilling is that the entire attraction is in the dark. You would probably be surprised to know that the maximum speed the trains go is around 27 miles per hour – hardly a high speed roller coaster – but the darkness and sharp turns continue to make Space Mountain one of the most beloved attractions in all of Walt Disney World.

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Another Disney classic is located a short distance from Space Mountain. Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress dates back to the 1964 World’s Fair and was created by Walt Disney himself. This attraction was originally located at Disneyland until it was moved to Walt Disney World in 1975. The Carousel of Progress really is a carousel. Guest sit in a theater that then rotates around 4 different scenes depicting the life of the American family from the beginning of the 20th century. You’ll hear some famous voices to the audio animatronics including the voice of the father (Jean Shepherd) and Cousin Orville (Mel Blanc). The music was written by the award winning Sherman Brothers. When visiting the last scene (Christmas morning) keep an eye out for several hidden Mickeys. While the storyline has been updated throughout the years to keep up with the times, the overall attraction has stayed true to Walt’s original Carousel of Progress.

There are many other attractions to check out in Tomorrowland – all giving a different taste of a Disney tomorrow.

Tomorrowland Fun Facts:

The exterior design of Space Mountain uses “forced perspective” to make the mountain appear taller than it actually is. After all, Space Mountain couldn’t be taller than the castle but it still needed to look like an intergalactic mountain. While the structure looks huge it’s actually 6 feet shorter than Cinderella’s Castle.

When you are walking around the area make sure to keep an eye out for a wandering trash can! PUSH will come mingle with guests around Mickey’s Star Traders several times a day.

The Tomorrowland Transportation Authority vehicles move by linear induction. Magnets under the track push and pull the cars. This is the ultimate in clean energy.

The only area from inside the park that guests can see the Contemporary Resort is Tomorrowland. This is also the only resort that can be seen from inside. The Imagineers felt the contemporary A framed hotel fit nicely in the backdrop of Tomorrowland so there was no need to hide it.

Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress was Walt Disney’s personal favorite attraction and it holds the record for the longest running stage show in the history of American theater.

Space Mountain is Florida’s oldest roller coaster.

This land takes on a whole different look and feel at night. Be sure to stop by after dark!

It’s details like this that make Walt Disney World such a special and unique place. My name is Susan Heidenrich and I am a travel professional with Travel with the Magic. I’ve visited Walt Disney World over 20 times and I would love to help you plan your next Disney vacation. Email me at SusanH@travelwiththemagic.com and follow me on facebook for tips, tricks and information on all things Disney!

Harmony Barber Shop, First Haircut Package

barber shop my 1st haircut ears (2)

If you are planning a trip to Disney World and want a special place to get your child’s first haircut I would strongly suggest making an appointment at the Harmony Barber Shop. Harmony Barber Shop is located at Magic Kingdom, no other place than on Main Street USA. As you you pass under the train station, look to your left and you’ll see City Hall, the Fire Station and Harmony Barber Shop with it’s red and white striped pole out front.

barber shop

They provide the following services:

Adult Hair Cut $19

Child Hair Cut (12 and under) $15

My 1st Haircut Package $18

Gel and pixie dust (colored gel not being offered at this time) $5

barber shop exterior sign

I had been anxiously awaiting for my daughter to get her first haircut (she just turned 3!) and decided Harmony Barber Shop would be the perfect spot. I made my reservation over the phone at (407) WDW-PLAY prior to arrival. They do accept walk-ins but I noticed quite a few guests walking in and being told they were full so I would strongly encourage calling ahead of time to be on the safe side. They are open daily from 9AM-5PM.

barber shop inside

As you enter the Harmony Barber Shop, the first thing you’ll probably notice is it’s very tiny. There’s not a whole lot of room with only 3 chairs with 3 barbers. It has old fashioned charm to it complete with black and white flooring, tile ceiling and ornately carved wooden mirrors.

My daughter was seated in the chair soon after we arrived and she wasn’t too sure about what was about to happen. I could see her lip start to tremble and tears welling up in her eyes. Diane who was cutting her hair had it all under control. She was calm and patient and began putting Mickey stickers on my daughter’s dress and blankie to distract her and then gave her a bottle of bubbles. Bubbles always make my daughter smile so any fear she had was forgotten in no time.

barber shop henley bubbles

While my daughter was getting her first haircut, my son had mentioned he wanted to get his hair styled with gel as he had seen some kids sporting at the parks previously. They were no longer offering colored gel but he did get a pretty funky “do” with regular gel and “pixie dust”.

Barber Shop Banks hair

Once my daughter’s hair had been cut, Diane handed us her freshly cut locks which were placed in a white mesh bag complete with sparkles sealed with a Mickey sticker. She was also given a certificate proclaiming that her first haircut was at the Harmony Barber Shop and an adorable Mickey Ear Hat with “My 1st Haircut” embroidered on the back. Cutest first haircut keepsake ever!

barber shop certificate

I highly recommend a visit to the Harmony Barber Shop, particularly for a child’s first haircut. It will be an experience you won’t forget and you’ll get to take home some cute souvenirs from the occasion.

barber shop first locks

*It is important to note that the Harmony Barber Shop is unable to accept tips using credit cards so please bring cash.

Barber Shop Henley with ears

If you are planning a trip to Disney World, I’d love be of assistance! Please feel free to email me at corby@travelwiththemagic.com.

The Importance of “Down Time” for Kids at Disney

When we take a family vacation to Walt Disney World, we make sure to leave a “park-free” day in the middle of our trip. We sleep late, have leisurely meals, maybe go for a swim. And it’s wonderful to recharge before hitting the parks again.

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But it’s also important to have some “down time” for the kids DURING the park days, too!

Lots of people will suggest taking a break to go back to the hotel in the middle of the day, but for my family, I’ve found that taking a break IN the park works just as well, without the travel time! We just plan some time to unplug from the hustle of going from one attraction to another, and the rigors of following the lines. There are places in each park where you can relax a bit, and let the kids run off some steam or just do some exploring.

At Magic Kingdom, you can ride a raft over to Tom Sawyer’s Island to spend an hour or so. The kids can wander the island, explore the caves, use their imaginations in the fort, try the different bridges, or just chill on the dock for a game of checkers.

Disneycheckers

At Animal Kingdom, there’s a great playground called The Boneyard. It has lots of climbing places and slides. Kids can pretend they are archaeologists unearthing dinosaur bones in the gravel pit, too. And there are some shady spots where parents can hang out and enjoy the breeze from the fans in there!

There’s also a really neat playground area at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and if your kids have seen “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”, it’s sure to be an especially big hit. All the play areas look like larger-than-life items the movie kids found in their yard!

There are many fun things for your family to do at Walt Disney World, and you can try them all! Let me or one of our other agents start planning a trip for you, and remember our services are always FREE!

Brenda@travelwiththemagic.com – (800) 670-4312 x 140

Beat the Heat! Indoor attractions to cool you off on your Summer trip

Indoor attractions at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort to cool you off on your Summer trip

Title pic for pinterest

Summer in Florida and California can get HOT. VERY HOT! But you can still enjoy your trip by planning out some cool off zones in each park. Finding a spot to cool off doesn’t mean you have to be bored or waste time away from the attractions. There are TONS of things you can do at any of the parks that do not require standing in the heat. Below are some of my favorites:

Animation Academy: (Hollywood Studios and California Adventure Park)
Take an art class from a Disney Animator! This is An Animation Experiencethat you won’t soon forget. The class lasts 20-30 minutes and there is even more to see and do inside the Disney Animation building at Disneyland and Animation Hall at Hollywood Studios. Plan to spend at least an hour cooling off here!

Animation

Turtle Talk with Crush: (Epcot and California Adventure Park)
This show is geared toward kids but with or without children this is a must see. Crush is live and interacts with audience members which make each show unique. Everyone will laugh and you will remember why Crush stole the show in Finding Nemo. Turtle Talk is located inside The Seas with Nemo and Friends at Epcot and inside the Disney Animation building in Disneyland. Both locations offer more indoor activities besides turtle talk so this could also easily be an hour or more of cool off time.

Turtle Talk

3D movies: (All Parks)
Even before you get into the theater to see the movie you get to wait inside for a little while and still be entertained. This maximizes the cool off time and gets everyone rested up and cooled off before the show. Each park has 3D movies available including Captain EO a resurrected classic featuring Michael Jackson (Disneyland and Epcot), MuppetVision 3D at Hollywood Studios and California Adventure), Its Tough to be a Bug featuring your favorite critters from It’s a Bug’s Life (at Animal Kingdom), and my favorite, Mickey’s Philharmagic at Magic Kingdom. Make time for the 3D movies and you will be refreshed and entertained, ready for your next walk in heat!

Live Stage Shows: (California Adventure, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios)
If you do not typically take the time to see the live shows you are really missing out! Not only will you get to sit down and cool off but you will get to experience Broadway quality shows that are unique to the Disney Parks. Some of my favorites include Festival of the Lion King (Animal Kingdom) which is an interactive musical and dance show that is non-stop thrills and fun the entire time. Finding Nemo-the Musical (Animal Kingdom), Beauty and the Beast-Live on Stage (Hollywood Studios), and Aladdin-a Musical Spectacular (California Adventure) are wonderful retellings of your favorite stories with live actors, music, and some great special effects.

Aladdin

Festival

Nemo

Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor: (Magic Kingdom)
Like Turtle Talk, this show is always unique because of the audience participation and interaction with the animated characters from Monster’s Inc. Text your joke to a number you will see in the lobby before your show and they might use your joke in the show. Be ready to be a part of the show and the laughter when you enter the Laugh Floor. This is one I could do over and over again.

These are just a few of my favorites but of course I need to at LEAST mention some runners up, Kali River Rapids (California Adventure and Animal Kingdom), The Enchanted Tiki Room (Disneyland and Magic Kingdom), Innoventions (Epcot), and of course all the great movies and shows in the pavilions of Epcot’s World Showcase.

There are MANY more tips for keeping your cool during your summer vacation to a Disney Park. And don’t forget to add the Water Park Fun + More option to your tickets so you can cool off at the Water Parks and indoors at Downtown Disney’s DisneyQuest! For more info and help planning the perfect trip for YOUR family give me a call or shoot me an email, I would LOVE to help you book and plan your next magical vacation.

See ya real soon,

Aleshia

Aleshia Sokoloski, Travel with the Magic
~ 1-800-670-4312 ext. 139 ~ aleshia@travelwiththemagic.com ~Find me on Facebook ~

Fall into Fun at Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney World may be located in an area best known for its sunshine and palm trees, but when the summer season comes to an end, The Magic Kingdom becomes a wonderland filled with the sights, sounds, and smells of fall. Over a three day period, an army of cast members brings the season of fall to life and introduces a cornucopia of decorations, treats, and merchandise that make fall a truly beautiful time to visit The Magic Kingdom

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Fall is in the air from the moment visitors arrive at The Magic Kingdom. Candy corn-esque banners, pumpkins, and scarecrows welcome guests as they arrive at the park. Once guests step onto Main Street, they feel transported to a hometown fall that includes wreaths of fall leaves and pumpkins that look like everyone’s favorite mouse. Every lamp post, garden, and building on Main Street is adorned with fabulous fall colors. Even some of the characters are dressed for the season. Duffy Bear, a favorite of many visitors, can often be seen this time of year wearing his adorable pumpkin costume.

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The beautiful decorations are not the only sign that fall has arrived at The Magic Kingdom. Fall and Halloween treats are plentiful this time of year. For many people, the fall holiday season is more about treats than tricks, and The Magic Kingdom provides a spellbinding mix of holiday treats that will satisfy even the most discerning sweet tooth. Specialty apples that look like Mickey jack-o-lanterns, Mickey Mouse Rice Krispie treats decorated in candy corn colors, and cookies and cupcakes with Halloween decorations are just a few of the mouth watering snacks guests can find during the fall holiday season. Halloween themed popcorn containers hold one of The Magic Kingdom’s most delicious snacks and can be used later as adorable trick-or-treat buckets. The glory of fall is evident in bounty of fall snacks available at The Magic Kingdom.

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Non-edible fall treats are also available throughout the park. Fall themed mugs, glow sticks, and trick-or-treat bags are available, as well as Halloween themed t-shirts and pins. Even the mouse ears get a special fall theme to match the season. Guests can take a little bit of the fall magic home with them when they purchase these holiday themed items.

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Fall is a time of beauty and celebration, and there is no better place in the world to enjoy this season than The Magic Kingdom!

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Contact me TammyC@Travelwiththemagic.com to help you book your next fall trip.

California Grill-A great place for WISHES!

California Grill is a top spot for foodies at Walt Disney World. Perched atop the Contemporary Resort, this Signature Dining experience provides breathtaking views of the Magic Kingdom and Seven Seas Lagoon. And the food? Don’t even get me started on the food…because this is not a restaurant review. But, I will tell you the food is fantastic. It’s fresh, its tasty, its one of a kind recipes prepared by some of the best chefs in the world. And the sushi is to die for.

CG Collage

But, like I said, this is not a restaurant review. This is a plea for you to experience one of the most magical (and romantic) evenings at Walt Disney World. California Grill is a great date place or family place. If you decide to dine here, take my advice and tell your travel agent you would like to dine during the fireworks. We will do our best to get you in so that you can experience the Magic Kingdom Fireworks show, Wishes, from the top of Walt Disney World. Whether you eat before, during, or after the fireworks, you want to be there at this time!

FROM HERE…..
CR

YOU CAN SEE THIS…..
Fireworks and text

Your server will let you know before you order when the fireworks will be and when you can go to the observation deck. You will be able to let them know if you prefer to go ahead and get your food or wait until the show is over. You may even time it just right and come back to your table to find your dessert waiting for you.

About 10 minutes before the show starts the lights will dim and you can make your way to the outside observation deck with unobstructed views of Cinderella’s castle. The music from the show is piped in so you don’t miss a thing. The ambiance is really magical, even watching from afar. I promise this will be the highlight of your trip!

fireworks collage

Remember you can make advanced dining reservations 180 days ahead of time. Please note that California Grill is currently closed for a refurbishment. The web is a buzz with excitement for the updated décor and the updated menu. Their famous sushi chef has retired but she left a protégé behind who is preparing new ideas even as we speak! And the other chefs are updating favorite dishes as they also create brand new recipes to debut when they open back up in late Summer. A specific re-opening date has not yet been announced but be sure to sign up for the Travel with the Magic Newsletter to stay up to date on all the latest news-Including the California Grill refurbishment.

I would love to help you plan your next Disney Vacation and especially a magical experience like watching Wishes from the California Grill. Contact me today for a free quote or to answer your questions! See ya real soon, Aleshia aleshia@travelwiththemagic.com

Sorcerer of the Magic Kingdom

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Does defeating Disney villains sound like fun to you?  Well, Sorcerer of the Magic Kingdom might just be the game for you.  The first thing you need to do is head on over to the Firehouse on Main Street, USA in the Magic Kingdom park and get your very own sorcerer training.  You will receive a master key card, a map, and a pack of five cards.  A cast member will then show you what a portal is and demonstrate what to do.  When your card is scanned, Merlin from The Sword and the Stone will accompany you along your way in this interactive game.  He will ask you to cast spells to defeat villains at various portals throughout Magic Kingdom.  You will hold up one of your spell cards in front of the portal and be on your way to becoming a Master Sorcerer.  When you are finished at a portal, it will show you which portal to go to next.  You will be able to locate the portals on your map.  There are about 10 evildoers to defeat on your journey.  How much does this game cost?  It is FREE!  Each day you return to Magic Kingdom make sure you go by the Firehouse and pick up another pack of cards.  There are about 70 different cards to collect for use in this game.  You might even meet up with some of your fellow Sorcerers and do a little card trading.  I hope you have a blast with this amazing experience!

Michelle Terry

MichelleT@travelwiththemagic.com

1-866-Hi-Miki-2

The Walt Disney World Monorail System

A guide to using Walt Disney World’s monorail.

Disney’s monorail system (affectionately known by Disney lovers as the “Highway in the Sky”) has been moving guests at Walt Disney World since opening day in 1971.  For many of us the monorail is as much a symbol of Walt Disney World as the castle with its own t-shirts, toy sets, figurines and other products.  Each train is identified by a uniquely colored stripe running down its side.  When my sister and I were little our dad would pay us 25 cents if we could guess the next color monorail that would pull into the station at the Polynesian Resort.  These days the tradition continues with my children as we all pick colors on the Magical Express bus and whichever person picks the correct color of the first monorail we see wins.

new monorail1

But the monorail is so much more than a fun game of guess the color.  It is the workhorse of the Disney transportation system moving approximately 50 million guests a year over its almost 15 miles of track.

The monorail system runs 3 different routes using 12 trains.  The number of trains in service on any given day depends on the crowd levels. You do not need a park pass to use the monorail.

Resort Route ~ This is a circle that runs from the Magic Kingdom all the way around Seven Seas Lagoon stopping at the three resorts located on the monorail line along with the Ticket and Transportation Center.  These resorts are (in order of the stops) the Contemporary Resort, the Ticket and Transportation Center, the Polynesian Resort and the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and then back to the Magic Kingdom.  This line is primarily for those staying or dining at one of the three resorts although there are no restrictions as to who can use these trains.

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Express Route ~ This route runs the opposite direction of the resort route and only stops at the Ticket and Transportation Center and the Magic Kingdom.  The trains do go by the three resorts along the track however they do not stop.  This route is designed for those parking or being dropped off by bus at the Ticket and Transportation Center.  It’s also used by guests “hopping” from the Magic Kingdom to Epcot and vice versa as they change trains at the Ticket and Transportation Center to catch the monorail to Epcot/Magic Kingdom.

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Epcot Route ~ This route runs from the Ticket and Transportation Center to Epcot and back.  When you pick up the train at the Ticket and Transportation Center you will be treated to a pleasant 10-15 minute ride that will end with a quick pass through Future World at Epcot.  This is a great way to get an overview of the park and check out the crowds.

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You don’t have to be staying at a monorail resort or visiting a park to ride on the monorail so next time you are at Walt Disney World treat yourself to a round trip ride on the “Highway in the Sky”!

 My name is Susan Heidenrich and I am a Disney Destination Specialist affiliated with Travel with the Magic.  I would love to help you plan your next Disney vacation.  Contact me at SusanH@travelwiththemagic.com or on Facebook and we’ll get started!

Walt Disney World’s Park Hopper Option

The park hopper option can be added to any Walt Disney World base ticket and is good for the length of your stay.  This option allows you to visit more than one park in a day.  For example you could spend the morning at Magic Kingdom then “hop” over to Epcot in the afternoon. The park hopper option is an additional $35 per person to add to a one day ticket or $57 per person to add to a 2 day or longer ticket.  This cost is not per day, it is the total price per person excluding tax.

While park hopping can be useful for any length of stay, if you have 5 day or longer park passes then I highly suggest adding the hopping option.  Once you’ve experienced all four theme parks, hopping allows you to go back and hit the highlights at each park again without having to devote an entire day to one park.  This is great when you may only want to ride a couple of attractions or eat a meal in any one location.  You could spend the morning at Animal Kingdom which tends to be the first park that closes for the day and then hop over to the Magic Kingdom for dinner and fireworks.  Or spend the day at the Hollywood Studios and then hop over to Epcot Illuminations that evening.  Or use the hopping option to bounce over to another park for evening Extra Magic Hours.  The possibilities are endless with park hopping and this feature allows you the flexibility to go where you want, when you want, and experience what you want.

 

For the ultimate in park hopping visit all 4 parks in one day and experience at least one attraction in each!

 

Whether you choose to park hop or not it’s important to have a good itinerary with a solid plan of action.  This is where I come in!  One of my complementary services is to work with you to prepare a touring plan that fits your style and make sure you have ample time at each park to experience those things important to you.  I’d love to help you get started with a wonderful Disney Destination vacation.  My name is Susan Heidenrich and I am a Disney Destination Specialist affiliated with Travel with the Magic.  Contact me at SusanH@travelwiththemagic.com.  You can also follow me on facebook at www.facebook.com/SusanHeidenrichTravelwiththeMagic.com for information, specials and tips and tricks on Disney vacations.