PlanningThe ParksTips

Top 10 Disney Terms You Should Know

As you prepare for your Walt Disney World vacation, you might feel like you have to learn a whole new language. To help you feel more prepared, we have ten Disney terms that you should know.

Knowing these terms will help you navigate Walt Disney World more efficiently and prepare you for the magic. Let’s take a look at these top ten terms.

My Disney Experience App

10. My Disney Experience

My Disney Experience is the app and website that connects Guests to all the magic before and during their Walt Disney World vacation. My Disney Experience has various features that help throughout your vacation.

This is where Guests will make their Park Pass and dining reservations, view wait times, find bathrooms, book Genie+, and so much more. My Disney Experience, or MDE, is where Disney hosts all the information that Guests will need to be successful throughout their Disney vacation.

Disney Genie
Credit: Disney

9. Disney Genie

Disney Genie is one of the many features found on the My Disney Experience app. This is a free planning feature that Guests can use throughout their vacation. When using Disney Genie, Guests can select rides, shows, and experiences that are important to them. After that, Disney Genie will provide a suggested touring plan.

Disney Genie provides a general touring plan based on Guests’ preferences. This is a nice feature for those who don’t want to do a lot of preplanning for their Disney vacation. It will move Guests throughout the Disney Parks using projected wait times.

This feature is excellent as it is a great way to see projections and plan your strategy for the day in Disney Park.

credit: Inside the Magic

8. Lightning Lanes

Lightning Lane is a new term you must be aware of when heading to Walt Disney World. These are the physical queues that specific Guests can use. Guests that purchase Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lanes can use these entrances. The advantage of these entrances is that Guests can save time in line. Typically the wait for those in Lightning Lane is around 10-15 minutes long, usually a lot shorter than the regular standby line.


7. Genie+

Genie+ is a paid feature that Guests can add to their Walt Disney World ticket each morning of their vacation. Starting at midnight, Guests can add Genie+ to their tickets. This ranges from $15 to $30 per person per day.

By purchasing this feature, Guests are given access to over 40 Lightning Lanes throughout the four Disney Parks. As we mentioned, this allows Guests to skip the standby line and save time in line. Guests can start selecting their Genie+ experiences at 7:00 am.

Throughout the day, Guests can continue to book other Genie+ experiences after they use their original selection or after 2 hours from booking a Genie+. We have a lot of suggestions on how to use Genie+ on How to Disney. Use those for additional information.

Credit: Disney

6. Individual Lightning Lanes

Another paid feature of Disney Genie is Individual Lightning Lanes. These are rides that aren’t included with Genie+ but are purchased al-a-carte. Right now, there are four rides, one in each Disney Park, that are currently part of ILL:

  • Avatar: Flight of Passage (Disney’s Animal Kingdom)
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (Magic Kingdom)
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (Epcot)

These rides are the most popular in each of the four Parks. Because of this, they have the most extended lines throughout the day. Purchasing an Individual Lightning Lane can save hours of waiting in line.

steakhouse71 Disney

5. Advance Dining Reservations

You will need an advance dining reservation if you want to eat at one of Disney’s table-service restaurants. Guests can start booking their reservations starting at 60 days before check-in. Guests make these through their My Disney Experience account.

Although two months early might seem silly, many famous restaurants such as Ohana, Space 220, Chef Mickey’s, and Cinderella’s Royal Table book up at the 60-day mark. Make sure you know when your ADR day is, so you are up and ready to go.

mobile order
Credit: Disney

4. Mobile Ordering

Guests who don’t want a sit-down meal will choose from the many quick-service dining locations. These locations don’t need reservations; however, Guests can save time in line by using mobile orders to get food.

On My Disney Experience, a feature allows Guests to choose their quick service location, such as Casey’s Corner in Magic Kingdom, pick a return time, and then place their order. You will want to make sure you use this feature to save time.

Rope Drop Magic Kingdom

3. Rope Drop

Rope drop refers to Cast Members dropping a physical rope when the Park opens to Guests. This doesn’t happen at all Parks each morning now. When Guests refer to rope dropping a Disney Park, it means that they will be there when the Park opens. This is an excellent strategy for having lower wait times for popular rides.


2. MagicBands and MagicBand+

When heading to Walt Disney World, you can purchase a MagicBand or a MagicBand+. These bracelets allow Guests easy access to their Disney Resort, enter the Park, charge to their room, and even enter the Lightning Lanes.

With MagicBand+ you can interact with the golden statues throughout the four Disney Parks. They also react to nighttime shows such as Disney Enchantment and Harmonious. These aren’t needed, but they are incredibly convenient.

experience disney parks _ disney fanatic

1. Park Pass Reservations

Finally, a new term that Disney fans need to be aware of is Park Pass Reservations. Guests now need to have a valid Park Ticket as well as a Park Pads Reservation. This is when Guests head into My Disney Experience and select which of the four Disney Parks they will visit each day. This is extremely important as you aren’t allowed into a Disney Park without them, and we see the Parks become unavailable sometimes.

We highly recommend making your Park Pass reservation as soon as possible.

When heading to Walt Disney World for your vacation, there are some key terms that you will need to know. These ten terms are some of the top ones that will help you navigate your way to a wonderful vacation.

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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