It might seem like Walt Disney World has a language all of its own and in some ways that is true. As you are planning where to stay, what to eat, which Disney Parks to visit, you are probably coming across all sorts of words and phrases that you aren’t sure what they are or what they mean.
Don’t Worry! We have you covered! We are going to walk through some of the top words and phrases you need to know for your Walt Disney World vacation. We hope that breaking them down will help you be able to speak the Disney language a little bit easier.
My Disney Experience (MDE)
The first one you absolutely need to be familiar with is My Disney Experience. My Disney Experience or MDE is Disney’s official app for Walt Disney World. This is your key to magic!
Through the app Guests will be able to enter the Theme Parks, open their Disney Resort door, see wait times, find bathrooms, order food and so much more.
As soon as you book a vacation to Walt Disney World, you will want to make a My Disney Experience account and link up your reservations. This will allow you to dig into the app and see all the amazing features it has to offer.
We have a whole post about the specific features in MDE that you will want to make sure you are aware of prior to your vacation. Check it out HERE.
Park Pass vs Park Ticket
Since reopening, Walt Disney World has implemented a new park pass reservation system. Guests first need to purchase valid Theme Park Tickets to Walt Disney World. This is where you pick how many days you want to visit the Disney Parks and if you want a Park Hopper or not.
Once you have purchased your Disney Park tickets (admission) either al-a-carte or through a package, you then need to head into your My Disney Experience account and make your Park Pass Reservations.
The Park Pass Reservations ask Guests to choose which of the four Walt Disney World Theme Parks they are going to visit on specific days. Guests will go into their account and choose either Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom or Disney’s Hollywood Studios for each specific day of their ticket.
Guests need to have both a Theme Park ticket (admission) as well as a Park Pass (reservation) in order to enter into a Disney Park.
Even though we are seeing more availability at the Theme Parks when it comes to the Park Passes, we highly recommend booking these as soon as possible to ensure that you can get into the Disney Park of your choice each day.
Disney Genie, Genie+ and Lightning Lanes
These are new vocabulary phrases that Disney has added in the last six months. We have a lot of articles on these features that we will link, but let’s do a quick rundown of each of these.
Disney Genie is the new, free planning service located within My Disney Experience. Guests can choose to use Disney Genie to get suggested touring plans, dining options and even see projected wait times throughout the day.
Guests can set up their favorites with Disney Genie ahead of their trip to give the most accurate and helpful suggestions throughout the day.
Genie+ is a paid feature that Guests can choose to add for $15/day/person and it gives them access to the Lightning Lanes (think entrance) to over 40 attractions throughout the four Disney Theme Parks saving time in line throughout the day.
We have some tips HERE about which rides should be the top choices when it comes to getting the most out of Genie+.
Finally, Individual Attraction Selections are specific rides in each of the four Theme Parks that aren’t included in Genie+. In order to use the Lightning Lanes (entrance) for these rides Guests need to purchase them individually.
The pricing for these rides are date based and range from $7 to $15 per person per ride. Rides included in this feature are Rise of the Resistance, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway Avatar Flight of Passage, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and Frozen Ever After.
These features are all found on My Disney Experience and are ways to make your trip easier.
Quick Service, Counter Service, Table Service
Food is a big part of the Walt Disney World vacation experience. Disney has two major dining options for Guests during their vacation.
First is quick service or counter service locations. These locations 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.
Both offer excellent food choices and the ability to either get food quickly or choose a slower, laid back experience.
Advance Dining Reservations
If you are wanting to enjoy a table service meal while in Walt Disney World you are going to want to make ADRs or advance dining reservations starting at 60 days prior to your check in date.
This might seem extreme, but many extremely popular dining locations such as O’hana, Chef Mickey’s and Cinderella’s Royal Table book up within the day.
If these dining experiences are important to you, you will want to make those ADRs right at the 60 day mark.
If Guests aren’t able to get their favorite dining option for 60 days, they still have the opportunity to use the mobile walk up feature. In the My Disney Experience app, there is now a walk up feature that allows Guests to add their names to a waitlist for different restaurants.
This is a great feature that allows those that forgot to make reservations or want to sit down for a while to experience one of Disney’s dining locations. The waitlist doesn’t guarantee a spot but puts Guests into a list for the chance.
Finally, once you are able to make your ADRs, you will use the mobile check-in feature in the My Disney Experience app to check into your reservations. This allows you to check in with the restaurant without having to wait to see a Cast Member.
Once your table is ready, you will be notified by text to head to the front to get seated. This is a fantastic way to get checked in easily and then be notified via text when a table is ready.
Another important phrase to know for your Walt Disney World vacation is mobile ordering. If you choose to dine at quick-service locations, you will need to use mobile ordering in My Disney Experience.
This feature allows Guests to choose their dining location, choose a time, and place an order all within the app. Guests then can click “prepare my order” once they are ready to eat and it is within their pick up window.
This again is a way to lessen waiting in line to talk to a Cast Member. Be aware though that there are limited time slots available so if your kids have to eat at noon, you might want to be on the app early in the morning to snag those dining times before they fill up.
Walt Disney World does have a language all of its own, but hopefully this list helped you become a little more comfortable with some of the big words and phrases you will need to know while in Walt Disney World.