PlanningThe ParksTips

Essential Disney Words You NEED To Know For Success

Walt Disney World might feel like a new world with its language as you start planning.  Before you head to Walt Disney World, there is so much to know and determine.  From determining where you want to stay, which Disney Parks to visit each day, and which rides and shows you want, ensure you experience. There are so many decisions to make.

As you begin planning, you should be aware of a handful of Disney phrases.  Knowing about these phrases will help you be better prepared to navigate your Disney vacation successfully.

We have what these key phrases are so you can feel like a Disney Prio when you arrive at Walt Disney World.

My Disney Experience App

My Disney Experience (MDE)

The first essential Disney vocabulary that you need to be aware of is My Disney Experience. This is going to be your key to all things Disney. This is the free planning app for Walt Disney World. It is your lifeline to the magic.

It is through the app that Guests can see wait times at all the Disney Parks, mobile order (more on this soon), see show times, and even find bathrooms. The app provides essential information such as Park hours, bus times, and more to help you plan your day.

We recommend downloading the app before heading to Walt Disney World. Get signed in and start messing around with all it has to offer. Here are some suggestions on How to Disney to help you get started.

Disney Animal Kingdom
Credit: Jennifer Retzlaff

Park Pass Reservations and Park Tickets

To visit a Walt Disney World Park, you need a valid Theme Park ticket and a Park Pass reservation. When you book your Disney World vacation package, this includes your Park ticket. This is your paid admission into one of the four Disney theme parks. You can choose from a single theme Park admission or a Park Hopper option that would allow you to move between parks after 2 pm.  

After you have paid for your Park ticket, you need to go into your My Disney Experience account and book your Park passes. These are reservations at a specific theme Park for each day of your Disney trip. 

It would be best if you had BOTH a Park ticket (paid admission) as well as Park pass (Park reservation) to get into the theme Park.

Disney Genie
Credit: Disney

Disney Genie, Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes

Disney language is a new part of Disney, Genie+, and Individual Lightning Lanes. These features have recently been added to My Disney Experience to help Guests navigate the Disney Parks more easily.

To have a successful Disney vacation, it is essential to know what each feature offers.  We have a more in-depth look HERE that can help, but let’s do a quick breakdown.

Disney Genie is the free planning app that all Guests can use while visiting a Disney Park. It provides tips and suggestions for rides, shows, and dining as Guests move throughout the Disney Parks.

Genie+ is a paid feature that Guests can choose to add for an additional $15 per day per person. By adding this to their day, Guests are given access to the Lightning Lanes and can bypass the long standby lines.

Individual Lightning Lanes are the specific rides in each of the four Disney Parks that aren’t included with the purchase of Genie+. These rides Guests have to purchase individually (pricing ranging from $7 to $17 per ride per person) to have access to the Lightning Lanes.

Even if you choose not to use these features, it is essential to be aware of them as you are heading to Walt Disney World.

MagicBands and MagicBand+

You might see posts and information about MagicBands and MagicBand+ as you prepare for your upcoming Walt Disney World vacation. These are fun accessories that Guests can choose to purchase through My Disney Experience or when they arrive at Walt Disney World.

These allow them to enter the Park, open their Resort door, tap in for Genie+ selections, and so much more. Disney doesn’t require these, but they are fun and do make it easier than digging out a ticket each time.

MagicBand+ is the new upgraded version that is coming to Walt Disney World. These new bands will be even more interactive throughout the Disney Parks. Guests can interact with the Fab 50 gold statues and play a game in Batuu.  Learn more about MagicBand+ HERE.

Caseys Corner Magic Kingdom
Credit: Disney

Quick Service, Counter Service, Table Service

There are two main options for eating at Disney Theme Parks and Disney Resorts. Quick-service (often referred to as counter service) refers to any stand kiosk or dining location that gives you food right away. These don’t need a dining reservation, and typically Guests can get their food quickly.  

Table service locations are those that Guests typically need a dining reservation for ahead of time.  These locations are higher-priced experiences with a server and they take longer.  At a table service location, you are waited on throughout the dining experience.

California Grill Fireworks
With sweeping views of Magic Kingdom fireworks from atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the re-imagined California Grill also features a new design inspired by mid-century modern California, and a new menu showcasing seasonal ingredients and a lighter touch. Known for its stellar wine list, the restaurant now boasts about 250 wine selections, 80 by the glass, an expanded sake list, eight kinds of craft beers and ciders and signature cocktails created by staff mixologists. Disney’s Contemporary Resort is located at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kent Phillips, photographer)

Advance Dining Reservations (ADR)

In order to eat at most table service locations, Guests need to make advanced dining reservations (ADR).  These can be made up to 60 days ahead of checking in thus the advanced part of the name.  These are just like those reservations you make at your local fine dining options at home except you are planning way ahead.  You can do these through the app.

mobile order
Credit: Disney

Mobile Ordering

Also located in the My Disney Experience app is mobile ordering.  Disney Guests who wish to eat at a quick service location such as Casey’s Corner or Flame Tree Barbecue will need to use the mobile ordering aspect of My Disney Experience.   

This feature is easy to use and allows Guests to easily place a food order on their smartphones from anywhere in the Park.  It is a great way to pass time in line as you prepare for lunch or dinner.  

The app allows you to customize your orders as well.  Make sure if you are there during heavier crowds to book your mobile order early.  There are limited pickup windows (time slots) so you will want to snag yours early.

It might feel like Disney is truly a whole new world as you prepare for your Disney vacation.  We hope that knowing these essential Disney words will help have a successful trip and feel more confident.

Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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