Hi! Welcome...

WDW 101 WDW 101 provides basic information for Walt Disney World first timers, and those who may have been before, but need to refresh their Disney World knowledge. We are constantly updating our information, with new information for planning your perfect Disney World vacation.

19 January 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Disney World Extra Magic Hours

Over the past few years, Walt Disney World has tried to differentiate themselves from surrounding resorts by adding special perks for Disney resort guests, not available to those who choose to stay off of Disney property. These perks range from the Magical Express to Disney Dining Plans to Extra Magic Hours. These are fantastic, valuable inclusions available to all Disney resorts guests, regardless whether they are staying in a value or deluxe resort.

Extra Magic Hours are special park hours only accessible to those staying in a Disney resort. Disney World offers two different kinds of Extra Magic Hours, morning and evening. The morning Extra Magic Hours are one hour in duration, while the evening ones are three hours. So, if a theme park is normally open 9 – 9, morning Extra Magic Hours would give Disney resort guests access to the park from 8 – 9 in addition to the normal hours, while evening hours would give those same guest access to the park from 9 – midnight.

Now, one thing to understand is that each park does not have morning and evening Extra Magic Hours each day. During a typical week, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom may have one day that has morning hours and one night that has evening hours. Magic Kingdom may have considerably more, depending on the week. During the summer or other busy months, the Magic Kingdom may have as many as three morning and three evening days available. Parks never have morning and evening hours the same day. During summer months, the water parks often have a few days a week of morning Extra Magic Hours, don’t miss them!

So, how do you find out when Extra Magic Hour are? Just head over to the Walt Disney World Park Hours Calendar, put in your arrival date, and Disney will list all park hours for the next 10 days after your arrival, including all Extra Magic Hours.

WDW101 Insight – Morning Extra Magic Hours are great, as very few people make the effort to be at a park by 8AM, so the parks are often dead for the first few hours they are open, a great way to hit many of the popular rides. Evening Extra Magic Hours are very popular, and many people who do not have the park hopper option head to the park with the evening hours for the entire day, making that park unusually crowded. If you have the hopping option, hit another park during they day, then head over to the park with the evening Extra Magic Hours in the afternoon or evening to enjoy the extra 3 hours.

Continue Reading

15 December 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Disney World Magical Express

Disney's Magical Express

So, what exactly is the Magical Express? In one sentence: Free round trip airport transportation provided by Disney between Orlando International and the Disney World resort hotels.

Originally announced in December, 2004, and service started in May, 2005, as part of the 50th anniversary celebration. The service was originally announced as a free service for Disney resort guests, though no indication has been given that it will remain free. Up until this point, there has been no charge for the service, and that looks to continue in the near future, as it has become a fantastic benefit for staying on Disney property.

WDW101 Insight – The Magical Express is efficient and trustworthy. Get off of your plane, and head straight to the Magical Express desk. Your luggage will be found and taken directly to your resort. Rarely, if ever, does anything get lost. Make sure you have anything important you may need for a few hours in your carry on luggage, such as medications, cell phones or swim suits for the kids.

Continue Reading

13 August 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Disney World FastPass

Disney's FastPass

Walt Disney World introduced the FastPass system in 1999, as a way to shorten lines on many of the popular rides in their theme parks. Think of the FastPass akin to showing up at a busy restaurant with a long wait, but being able to put your name on the list, and come back after a certain time, and your table will be ready. No waiting in long lines, and it fits to your schedule.

One of the most important things to understand about Walt Disney World is how to use the FastPass system. Once you figure it out, it will allow you to ride more rides during the day, and stand in fewer lines.

Here is how the FastPass works:

  1. Walk up to a ride that offers the FastPass
  2. Find the FastPass distribution Center near the entrance of the ride
  3. Notice the current time, along with the return time listed on the FastPass sign
  4. If the return time is not too far away, insert each of your park passes into the FastPass machines
  5. You will receive one FastPass for each ticket you insert (children under 3 do not need a FastPass to ride the ride)
  6. Look at the return times printed on the tickets, you will not be allowed to ride the ride until that time.
  7. Go fill your wait time with other rides, food or relaxing while others foolishly wait in line

FastPasses are free to all theme park guests, they are not limited to Disney resort guests or anyone else.  Not only are they free, there is not way to purchase them, and they do not come as part of a Disney resort package, you can only get them in the theme parks with your tickets

WDW101 Insight – Make sure to note your return time, and also the time listed when you can get your next FastPass, usually one hour after the FastPass was issued. Get another FastPass as soon as you can, and keep doing so throughout the day. Also, even though you have a one hour window to return to ride the ride, Cast Members will allow you in after your one hour has past, so don’t worry about getting back in time.

Do not be afraid of the FastPass system, it is free to use, and really makes your vacation just that much better.

Continue Reading

31 July 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Disney World Ride Height Restrictions

Disney Height Restrictions

For the most part, kids of all ages can enjoy all of the rides at Walt Disney World. However, whether due to thrills or chills, some rides have height restrictions. It is good to know in advance which rides your little ones will not be able to ride, so you can plan around them.

WDW101 Insight – Admit it, you really want to ride all those big kid rides, even with the little ones in tow. Consider the child swap option. This allows one adult to ride the ride with the big kids, and then the other adult to go to the front of the line with the same kids, while you swap places watching the little ones.

Continue Reading