Disney World is home to dozens upon dozens of attractions ranging from live shows to classic dark rides to motion simulators to high speed roller coasters! There's a lot of variety, which is awesome, but there are also an elite group of attractions which seemed to draw more crowds than anywhere else; and when we visit WDW, those are the attractions we want to get FastPasses for!
But how do you know which attractions are FastPass worthy? Do all of the popular rides have long, packed lines?
Wonder no longer, we got this! Today, we are going to list which Disney attractions you should definitely get a FastPass for, along with a few conditions so don't end up wasting those valuable FastPasses and your valuable time.
Space Mountain-A very popular ride whose line tends to move slower than most. Unless you head to this attraction right when the park opens, or visit late in the evening, you are definitely going to need a FastPass.
Splash Mountain-Again, except for early in the morning or late at night, Splash Mountain's line is usually pretty long. However, the line for this ride tends to move pretty quickly and the scenery and upbeat music help to make the wait enjoyable; but unless you have time to spare, a FastPass is a good idea.
Peter Pan's Flight-This classic dark ride has created long waits since opening day back in 1971! This ride is a must-do and one that came from mind of Walt Disney himself. The line is very boring with little to see and is located inside of a bottleneck of crowds. The only time this ride doesn't have a wait is when the park opens. The rest of the time, a Peter Pan's Flight FastPass is at the top of our list.
Other popular rides at the Magic Kingdom, such as the Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin do produce long waits; but short waits are common throughout the day too. If there's a long line when you drop by, come back later, especially once the sun goes down!
Test Track-Epcot doesn't have many big ticket attractions, so everyone seems to head for the same popular attractions leading to long, long waits so FastPasses are pretty much a requirement when riding Epcot's best rides. Test Track has always filled up the lines; and now that it has been revamped and updated, we don't expect that to change any time soon! The automotive theme is always popular; and the fact that it's a thrill ride without drops and inversions makes it family friendly.
Soarin'-Of all the rides at WDW, Soarin' is one of the most popular and is infamous for the long, long, but well worth it, wait times. It's probably the closest you will ever get to flying, but is tame enough for everyone, as well as absolutely beautiful. With all of these qualities, no wonder people flock through its gates! The best chance you have of riding Soarin' without waiting about an hour in line to head here first thing when the park opens; and sometimes, you can catch a quick ride near closing. However, a FastPass is still one of your best bets.
Rock n' Roller Coaster-WDW's only coaster that features inversions is every thrill junkie's go-to ride! Plus, the limo style ride vehicle is equipped with an awesome sound system that lets you rock out while riding; and if that wasn't all, the ride begins with a 0 to 60 launch in under three seconds! No wonder this ride is so popular! We recommend heading here when the park first opens, or stopping by before closing.
Toy Story Midway Mania-Next to Soarin', this ride is the most infamous for long waits and it's FastPass machines are known to run out around lunchtime! I've rarely seen the wait under 45 minutes, so be sure not only to go here first after rope drop, but to also get a FastPass as soon as you can! It's well worth it!
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror-This monster of an attraction is one of Disney's best rides of all time and can produce long waits. However, we've noticed that there have been times during the day that the wait time becomes relatively reasonable and, to be honest, wandering through the hotel garden and the lobby itself is really awesome and only adds to the ride experience! So if it's a busy day at Hollywood Studios, go ahead and grab a FastPass. If not, we bet the line will get shorter.
Expedition Everest-This thrill ride takes guests up into Mount Everest, where the legendary Yeti lives, before sending you backwards in the dark and then forwards as you rocket down and around and through the mountain to get away from the yeti! It's awesome! But since this is one of the few thrill rides at this park, and amazing in its own right, the queues fill up quick! So get here early to ride this giant! Although, if don't have time for a FastPass, the line itself is an experience and usually moves at a decent pace.
Kilimanjaro Safaris-One of WDW's most amazing rides ever is Kilimanjaro Safaris, where you board a safari vehicle and actually drive through a preserve where real African wildlife wander free! It's pretty much like being in Africa on a real safari and can be enjoyed by everyone in the family. Because of this, long waits are common; and this outdoor, rather boring, line is not fun, especially when it's really hot. Therefore, we highly suggest a FastPass ASAP.
Don't use FastPasses for shows! Disney theaters are so big that you really don't need them; and most of the time, the only waiting you will have is waiting for the next show to begin. So save your FastPasses for the rides, not the shows.
The more FastPasses that are distributed, the more time you have to wait for your ride time. Sometimes, you can get a FastPass at 11 a.m., but you won't be able to ride until 9 o'clock at night! Make sure you look at the return time on the sign above the FastPass distribution time if you have plans for later in the day. For example, you don't want to waste a FastPass for a Hollywood Studios ride when you have dining reservations at Epcot at the same time as your return time.
So these are the rides we suggest you save your FastPasses for when at WDW. We hope this FastPass wisdom will help you maximize your valuable vacation time!
There are tons of guide books, blogs, articles, and videos to tell you all about Walt Disney World and the Disney Vacation experience; but there are some little truths that you come to know for yourself when you visit.
Here are some of the Disney World truths we've discovered over the years; and we are wondering whether you've come to find these truths too!
1.) Epcot is exhausting! For one, the park is huge and there's so much ground to cover. For example, World Showcase alone is over a mile long! So yeah, prepare to fall asleep on the bus on the way back to your resort.
2.) Animal Kingdom is like ten degrees hotter than anywhere else on property. It's true! Maybe it's because most of everything at this park is outdoors, or because the terrain is hilly, or whatever; but hydrate, hydrate, hydrate and then go fall in your resort pool later that day.
3.) Running for the Bus Stop is like living an action movie-When you see your resort bus is about to pull away from the curb and you don't want to wait another 20 minutes for the next one, or Illuminations has just ended and you are trying to beat the masses to your resort stop, running for your bus stop can make even the most tired member of your family sprint like Jack Sparrow being chased by cannibals.
4.) When walking through the Pixar section of Hollywood Studios, have a travel buddy-This section of the park is really cool. It's actually themed after the actual Pixar Studios in California and it's home to really creative Toy Story decor, live Toy Story Green Army Men, and one of the most popular rides on property, Toy Story Midway Mania! But this area is a bit of a bottletleneck. So don't get lost like of an Andy's toys, grab a travel buddy and forge ahead!
6.) Disney Buses are always cold-It's a rule. Great for when you're hot and sweaty, not so much after a soaking from Splash Mountain or a day at Blizzard Beach.
7.) Sunset Boulevard is a Disney Thrill Junkie's Paradise-Sunset Boulevard is a street in Hollywood Studios which is home to both Rock n' Roller Coaster and the Twilight Zone tower of Terror. These attractions are right next door to each other and screams and adrenaline are never in short supply. Your hair may never be the same after spending a few hours on this street.
8.) You can squeeze a surprising amount of people on a sidewalk curb-Anyone who is on Main Street USA for the 3 o'clock parade or in the evening for the Main Street Electrical Parade will come to discover this. Stand your ground, fellow Mouseketeers!
9.) No one likes Stitch's Great Escape-It's too scary for little ones, not thrilling enough for teens and adults, and just really doesn't work. Once you've done it, you probably won't do it again.
10.) Fantasyland is stroller city-This Magic Kingdom land is the most popular for families with young kids; and thus, there is usually a sea of strollers stretching in front of you. In short, this is not where you want to be texting.
11.) Almost every ride ends in a gift shop-It's a marketing strategy, and a very effective one. I'm looking at you Tatooine Traders!
Disney Resorts let the Disney magic continue long after you've left the parks, but they are also incredible in regards to their theming, design, dining, shopping, and pools! Yes, every Disney Resort features a variety of pools for even more fun in the sun!
There are many awesome pools at WDW; and so today, we are sharing with you some of our favorite Disney Resort Pool Tips so you will be prepared to splash and until your heart's content!
1. Pool Parties-Many Disney Resort pools host pool parties for kids and families at certain times during the day! There's usually music, games, beach balls, and more hosted by several Disney Cast Members. It's some extra Disney magic that the kids particularly enjoy!
2. Wear Flip-Flops-Be sure to wear flip-flops or some sort of shoe when walking to your resort pool. The concrete near the pool area can get blistering hot!
3. Swim with the Ducks-Silver Creek Springs Pool at Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort is a beautiful pool with a great water slide; but one of the best things about this pool is that the ducks that live nearby often go for a swim as they make their way across the resort! They will jump right in the pool along with you, it's really cute! Especially for kids!
4. Watch the Fireworks-The Polynesian's pool, which offers a cool volcano slide, faces the Magic Kingdom; and at night, you can watch the fireworks high in the sky while you swim!
5. You Can't Pool Hop-This is a frequently asked question among Disney guests: can I pool hop to other resort pools? Unfortunately, in most cases, the answer is no. This is especially true of the pool that everyone wants to visit, Yacht and Beach Club's Stormalong Bay. You actually have to show your Key to the World Card to gain entry!
6. They're Heated-All of the Disney Resort Pools are heated! This doesn't mean that we suggest jumping in during mid-January, but if it's a little chilly or springtime when you can visit, you don't have to worry about freezing!
7. Do Your Laundry While You Swim-Most of the resort Laundromats are typically located near the pool areas! With this arrangement, you can start laundry and then get in some pool time or watch the kids splash while you wait!
8. Use the Quiet Pools-Every Disney Resort has a main pool which offer the best views, water slides, and décor; but these pools can fill up pretty quick, especially during the summer months. However, Disney Resorts also have smaller pools tucked throughout the grounds which rarely have crowds. In fact, you may find that you have these pools all too yourself! If you're looking for some peace and quiet, or less people, head to these pools.
9. Big Blue Pool-Disney's newest resort, the Big Blue Pool, has a Finding Nemo theme, along with some extra features! This pool features underwater speakers so you can actually hear music and some Finding Nemo characters while you swim! Cool, right?
10. Large Pool Toys Are Not Allowed-Some small pool toys are accepted at the Disney Resort pools; but large pool toys, such as rafts, are not.
11. Towels-Usually Disney Resorts have towel stations near the pool area for you to use, but you should return the towel when you're done. If you don't want to do this, or freeze on your way back to your room, bring your own. We especially suggest a beach towel for this situation so you don't have to waste your resort room towels.
12. Bring a Camera-Before your trip, purchase a waterproof camera to bring with you to the pools! Many families miss capturing the unforgettable memories that take place in the pool because they don't want to ruin their camera; but with a waterproof camera, you won't and you can get some really unique, candid photos too!
1. Don't Study-Disney World is literally a "world!" In short, this is most definitely NOT a typical theme park experience. So if you don't want to spend half of your vacation wandering around or not sure what bus to take or what resort is where, you need to study up on WDW. But don't worry, this kind of studying is fun, will grant you more peace of mind, and even generate a
greater appreciation for the magic and detail of WDW.
2. Head to the Parks after 10 o'clock-Don't do this! The park is at its most crowded from this time until dinner time which means bottlenecks, frustration, long waits for attractions, and extreme heat if you're visiting during the summer months.
Instead, arrive when the park opens and take advantage of short lines and cool temperatures in the morning; and then return in the evening hours for more short lines and cool temperatures, as well as experiencing the park all lit up at night!
3. Uncomfortable Shoes-Guests visiting WDW usually walk several miles per day during their vacation, so don't wear those new shoes you just bought, or worse, heels! Wear a comfortable pair of broken-in sneakers so that you can fully enjoy your day without pain, discomfort, and blisters.
4. No Reservations-If you want to enjoy a nice, sit down meal, or a character meal, while visiting Walt Disney World, then you need to make reservations in advance. These are often referred to as ADRs in the Disney universe, meaning Advanced Dining Reservations. For a table at the most popular restaurants, you need to book as far in advance as possible either by phone or online; and even if you don't think the restaurant you have chosen will be very popular, we still recommend reserving a table anyway.
5. Schedules-It's pretty much impossible to keep to a schedule at WDW for a number of reasons; and if you try, you and your family will spend your time at the parks running from here to there, meeting dead ends, and running into delays. So we say don't schedule, but rather plan! Have a plan of attack for what you want to do that day, but leave plenty of room for whatever you
might encounter. Being relaxed is how you will enjoy the magic of Walt Disney Word; and some of the best moments you will remember won't be found on a schedule, but by just letting things happen!
6. No Budget-Disney prices are probably a lot more expensive than you're used to. Even bottled water is more expensive! Plus, you will probably find yourself wanting to take home the Disney gift shops; and if you don't, your
kids will! Therefore, so you don't go home upset with how much you spent, you need to set a budget. Peace of mind only contributes to the Disney magic!
7. Don't Take Advantage of Special Offers-Disney often offers Special Offers and Discounts throughout the year which can really cut down on your vacation costs, especially if they're are offering Free Dining! Be sure to take advantage of these offers if you can; however, if you're booking through Disney, unless you plan your vacation through the Special Offers link, Disney will not include it in your package! So pay close attention that you don't miss these offers! Tip: Don't buy discounted tickets! Most of them are scams or may not work when you reach the park. The only place we trust for discounted tickets is Undercover Tourist.
8. Ticket Options-There are different kinds of tickets to purchase for your vacation, the two most common being the Base Ticket or the Park Hopper ticket. The base allows you to only visit one park per day, while the Park Hopper enables you to visit as many parks as many times a day as you want! Make sure you know the different when you book. Secondly. don't buy a ticket for the day you check out unless you plan on visiting the parks that day. For example, when you enter how many days you are vacationing on the Disney site, they will automatically give you a ticket for the day you are checking out on; and Disney requires you to check out of your Disney resort in the morning. So if you don't plan on going to the parks after checking out, don't get a ticket for that day. Tip: The longer you stay, the less you pay for tickets.
10. Parades-Almost every Disney park features a daily parade; and the Magic Kingdom offers two! However, guests begin lining up for the parades nearly an hour in advance! Plan ahead and stake out a spot on the parade route, which is shown in your park map, early!
11. Not Prepared-Always have your camera ready, have an autograph book and pen handy if characters come along, pack a rain poncho for those sudden downpours, have sun tan lotion and sunglasses, have your cell phone, know what times you have to return for your FastPasses and reservations, and plan about an hour for transportation time between parks and resorts!
12. Don't Overpack-While you need to be prepared, be sure not to overpack! Hauling around a heavy backpack while walking several miles in the Florida heat is anything but magical; and if you have pre-teen kids and above, you really won't need much. Also, DO NOT take those refillable mugs to the parks! They spill way too easy and you can't get free refills anywhere but the resorts. Also, you will have to go through a back check at the entrance of every Disney park; and there is no place to store a large back if you are going on a ride except between your feet. Tip: Waterproof bags are best, just in case it rains or you want to ride a water ride like Splash Mountain; however, even so, we suggest putting your wallet, camera, and phone into a ziplock bag to prevent water damage.
The Magic Kingdom is home to many of WDW's most popular attractions and magical experiences; and therefore, guests almost always have to contend with crowds and long waits. This is especially true of the Magic Kingdom's New Fantasyland, which recently opened this past December!
In addition to the Magic Kingdom's Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Cinderella Castle, and Pirates of the Caribbean, guests can now a revamped Dumbo attraction housed in an adorable circus themed area and a new Little Mermaid dark ride and meet n' greet area. Also, Beauty and the Beast has come home to Fantasyland in the form of Maurice's Cottage, where you will be transported from Belle's home to the Enchanted Castle via magic mirror! Also, guests can dine inside the castle at the Be Our Guest Restaurant in the grand ballroom, the forbidden West Wing, or a rose themed dining room. Lastly, guests can drop by Gaston's Tavern for a snack!
So how can you beat the crowds and enjoy all that the Magic Kingdom has to offer? We have a few strategies!
1. Book An Early Breakfast-Cinderella's Royal Table and the Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom actually open earlier than the park does! There is a special entrance for guests who have these early reservations. Walking into an empty Magic Kingdom is an experience within itself; but our strategy is to eat quickly and then head out into the park to wait for the different lands to open! This way, you will be first in line to hop aboard some of the park's most popular rides; and in our experience, the crowd levels are very low for the first hour or two. This strategy could definitely pay off if you plan on visiting the New Fantasyland these days.
2. Use MyMagic + & FastPasses-My Magic + is a new system being initiated at the Magic Kingdom where guests are given wristbands that work as their park and resort tickets, reservations, and even their FastPasses! In fact, with MyMagic+, guests can reserve their FastPasses in advance! But while this system is still in its early stages, you can enjoy reserving FastPasses with MyMagic+ and using the traditional route. What this means is that you can have several FastPasses at one time, perfect for avoiding long waits and beating the crowds!
3. Visit at Night-While we think that everyone should experience the Main Street Electrical Parade and Wishes during a WDW vacation, we also know that wait times really drop during these events. Sometimes, the park will offer the parade and fireworks display twice in one night! If you know this is going to happen, catch the first showings and then head to the lands to enjoy the shorter wait times. If you've already seen these nighttime displays, then just go straight for the rides!
4. Strategize with Your FastPasses-Is there a member of your family that doesn't want to brave Space Mountain? Use their ticket for an extra FastPass for you! Traveling with young children who don't quite meet the height requirement, you can still use their tickets for FastPasses too! Strategize to stretch your FastPasses as much as you can for minimum waits.
5. Visit on Week Days-WDW is almost always more crowded on the weekends than it is during the week. The best days are usually Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Therefore, we recommend you visit the Magic Kingdom on one of these days if possible for an easier experience.
6. Be Smart with Your FastPasses-If a wait time for an attraction is under 30 minutes, don't get a FastPass. Just wait in line. It's smarter to save your FastPasses for attractions with the really long waits. Also, never get a FastPass for a show. For example, don't get one for Mickey's Philharmagic. While it's popular and rightly so, the theater can accommodate large crowds; and the only wait is for the previous show to end and yours to begin, which you will have to do deal with anyway whether you have a FastPass or not.
7. Be There Early-If you don't have an early reservation, you still need to arrive at the park before it opens. Many suggest 30 minutes early. As soon as the park opens, immediately head to some of the park's most popular attractions, such as the new Fantasyland attractions, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, or Peter Pan's Flight.
So these are our strategies for beating the Magic Kingdom crowds! What do you think? Do you use these strategies at the park?
Pictures and Disney World just go together. If you take a minute to look around when you visit the parks, you will find that almost everyone is either taking a picture or has a camera in hand!
This is true about us, and we bet it's true about you too! After all, with Walt Disney World being one of the top family vacation destinations in the world, and with so many amazing things to see and do everywhere you look, you're going to want to capture every beautiful, magical moment!
But are you tired of those cliche shots? Do you wish you could snap a pic that doesn't take ten minutes in order to arrange your kids for just the right shot? Do you want to bring home photos that are unique and different from those hundreds of other vacation pics that you still have saved in your digital camera from last trip? If so, then check out our Top 5 Disney World Photography Tips!
5. It's All About Angle-Everyone has those standard shots of the front of the castle, their favorite attraction, or Disney character; but instead, focus on capturing the castle, a sign, or even your kids at an angle to capture depth, detail, and for a professional look!
4. Take Photos From Behind-Photos of kids, family members, and characters look great when photographed from behind, especially when they are stationary and with a great background behind them! For example, think of a little girl in her princess dress walking towards Cinderella Castle! Plus, with a photo from behind, you don't have to worry about squinting eyes or getting them to look at the camera!
3. Mix Up the Family Combinations-It's easy to get into a rut when taking pictures of family. Usually one person is always left out, the primary photographer, or you tend to take photos with the same people in it. Instead, make sure you mix up who's in your photos. For example, have a photo with Dad and the kids, then just the kids, then Dad and Mom, and then a parent with each of the kids, and so on throughout your trip!
2. Personalize-Don't just take photos of the kids and family in front of the standard park icons, like the castle, Spaceship Earth, and so on. While those are great, especially if it's your first time, focus on personalizing your photos by taking pictures of your kids in front of the ride sign for their favorite attraction, with their favorite snack, or in front of a shelf at the Disney Store that holds their favorite stuffed Disney plush!
1. Be Spontaneous-Don't stage and arrange all your photos, but rather focus on capturing those special, spontaneous moments! Snap a pic of your kids reaction during the fireworks, your spouse trying on that Goofy hat at the gift shop, the family asleep on the bus, or the kids jumping on your resort bed! Those are the ones you will be talking about later anyway.
Did you find these tips helpful? Do you have tips to share with our reader?
Have you ever had dinner at Liberty Square's Liberty Tree Tavern and discovered that the line to the bathroom extended down the stairs? Have you ever wondered why Disney would offer such a small bathroom at one of their major restaurants, or why you don't see a sign for a bathroom when walking through this part of the Magic Kingdom?
All good questions! But the answer may surprise you! Are you ready? Liberty Square has no bathrooms, (except for the minimum required for a working restaurant.) Why? Because back in the colonial days, there was no indoor plumbing; and Walt and the Imagineers insisted on the themed land being as historically accurate as possible, even down to the existence of bathrooms.
So if you are looking for a bathroom during your day at the Magic Kingdom, we suggest that you look elsewhere because even Cast Members say that there are no bathrooms at Liberty Square. However, this land is also one of the best places to go to the bathroom.
Confused yet? Stay with us, we can explain!
Columbia Harbor House's Hidden Bathroom
Okay, here's why. In Liberty Square's Columbia Harbor House restaurant, venture up the stairs to the second floor. Since many guests don't realize that there is an upstairs, the bathrooms up here are usually clean and empty! Perfect!
But how can this be seeing how there are supposedly no bathrooms in this land? Well, this section of Columbia Harbor House's second floor is technically located in Fantasyland, so it's within the rules!
Therefore, as you can see, strategy was used in designing this part of the park; and strategy is needed when you need to use the restroom in this part of the park! But hey, you have to admit, it's kind of cool to see how important accuracy was to Disney when designing LIberty Square; and for that, I can take a little confusion!
While we are big fans of Star Wars Weekends, we know that some guests visiting Walt Disney World are not; but they still want to enjoy what Hollywood Studios has to offer. So how do you see the best of Hollywood Studios with the heavy crowds armed with lightsabers and Darth Vader masks? Let us help with our Star Wars Weekends Manuevers!
1. Arrive at Rope Drop
-Star Wars fans are known to camp out hours before the park opens to be first in line for autographs; but if you arrive before park opening, you can head straight to the popular attractions to ride without the wait. First of all, we recommend heading straight for Toy Story Midway Mania or Rock n' Roller Coaster, as these two attractions are incredibly popular and known for long waits. Also, if you are wanting to ride Star Tours, we recommend you do so ASAP as the line will get long quick!
-Since the park will be packed, we recommend you get a FastPass for the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror instead of heading here at rope drop. Why? While it is incredibly popular, its line tends to move faster than other popular attractions at Hollywood Studios. If you choose not to, then we recommend you grab a FastPass for a major attraction you didn't get to ride at rope drop or for another you want to ride again!
-Counter Service restaurants at Hollywood Studios will naturally be swamped at lunch and dinner. To avoid this, and escape from the crowds, book a reservation in advance for Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, 50s Prime Time Cafe, Hollywood and Vine, or Mama Melroses. If this doesn't interest you, then hop aboard one of the Friendship Boats near the exit and sail over to one of the Disney Resorts for a break from the masses!
-Many of Hollywood Studios' shows offer lots of seating. Therefore, if you there when the open the theater, you most likely will get a seat without a wait! Be sure to arrive at either Beauty and the Beast - Live on Stage, Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show, Muppet Vision 3-D, or Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular about ten to fifteen minutes before showtime; and when you enter the park, grab a Times Guide as some of these shows are only offered several times a day.
5. Use the Parade
-Star Wars Weekends offers the Legends of the Force parade for Star Wars fans; and if this isn't for you, use the parade to your advantage! Since most guests will be lining the streets, you can enjoy many of the parks other attractions with a shorter wait! We suggest you hop aboard the Great Movie Ride or Voyage of the Little Mermaid, or some of the other shows you haven't seen just yet. This may also be a good time to use your FastPass!
-Are the crowds and heat getting to you? Run away to the Magic of Disney Animation, where you can enjoy an amusing show that teaches guests about the animation process, hosted by both a live animator and Mushu from Mulan! Afterwards, take your time enjoying an air-conditioned area offering character meet-and-greets and interactive stations where you can take personality quizzes. There is also a free art class available here! Wanna skip the show? Enter through Art of Disney store located next door to enjoy the other activities. Also check out Walt Disney One Man's Dream, an indoor mini-museum that is entertaining and informative for kids and adults. It's actually one of our favorite things at Hollywood Studios.
7. Hyperspace Hoopla
-In the evening, the grand finale of each day at Star Wars Weekends is the hilarious Hyperspace Hoopla show located right in front of the giant Sorcerer's Hat. This is a great time to ride and see attractions that you didn't experience early in the day.
-After Hyperspace Hoopla, the Star Wars crowds tend to die down. Take advantage of the few hours you have before closing, and the cooler temperatures, to enjoy other attractions and shows you missed or do some shopping without fighting the crowds.
While we hope this post will help you enjoy Hollywood Studios during Star Wars Weekends, we encourage you, if possible, to visit this park during the week for less crowds and mayhem. Also be aware that following a schedule in a crowded park, especially with kids and hot temperatures, can be extremely difficult. So to keep it simple, check out our list of Hollywood Studios Priorities!
Star Tours: The Adventure Continues is the ultimate ride for Star Wars fans; and this new, updated versions offers an entertaining queue and numerous versions of the ride featuring different characters and places from all six films! Even if you're not a Star Wars fan, this is still an entertaining ride; and so when you are ready to jump to lightspeed, we have some tips to create a smooth trip to a galaxy far far away!
~Unless the wait is really long, we don't recommend getting a FastPass. The line moves rather quickly considering the ride vehicles can hold a large number of people; and the majority of the queue is air conditioned and entertaining, especially for Star Wars fans!
~The holding area you are sent to right before you board the ride vehicle has several lines. Those in the line farthest to the left are typically those who will be sitting on the front row.
~Be sure to watch the droid moving luggage through the x-ray machine. The contents of the suitcases are entertaining!
~Your Star Tours ride vehicle doesn't actually leave the building or even go anywhere! It tilts, shakes, and moves with the screen to make you feel as if you are speeding through space or in a pod race on Tatooine. However, that doesn't mean that this ride isn't thrilling or intense. Also, there are some light effects going on inside the ride vehicle to add to the realism.
~There is a net under your seat to hold your stuff; and unlike some storage areas located on Disney ride vehicles, this one is surprisingly spacious!
~Do you remember the original pilot of the original Star Tours attraction? Keep your eyes open for him in the queue!
~Because this attraction offers mild thrills, and doesnt actually leave the building, it's a great opportunity to test how your younger kids handle thrill rides.
~Many claim that the seats towards the back of the ride vehicle offers the roughest ride. If this is a problem for you, ask a Cast Member. They will usually accomodate you.
~In addition to a seatbelt, there is an arm rest for guests to hold on to; however, you will be sharing this arm rest with the rider next to unless you are seated at the end of the row. Young kids can be wary about this set-up, so be aware of this possibility.
~Have a Star Wars fan in your family? Set aside some money in your souvenir budget for the Star Wars gift shop, Tatooine Traders, located at the exit of the attraction. You will find lightsabers, t-shirts, action figures, plush toys, books, and soon a station where you can build your own droids!
~Across from Star Tours, you will find a speederbike in front of an Endor background from Return of the Jedi, a popular photo-op spot for guests!
~Will you be the Rebel Spy? During your ride, someone's face will appear on the screen labeled as the "Rebel Spy" who the Empire is after. Who knows, it just might be you!
~While this ride isn't as intense as some, it does offer a rough ride! Be aware of this is if you have health problems or if this doesn't appeal to you.
~Star Tours, and the surrounding area, is definitely going to be more crowded during Star Wars Weekends. Therefore, if you want a spin on this attraction, we recommend heading here first thing in the morning or grabbing a FastPass early.
~At Animal Kingdom Lodge, balloons are not allowed in the lobby; but are kept and returned when you depart. Keep this in my mind if you buy a Mickey balloon on Main Street U.S.A.!
~A common question is whether or not you can visit other Disney resort pools. Disney discourages this practice; and at Disney's Yacht and Beach Club's popular Stormalong Bay pool, you have to show your room key to gain access.
~Many guests make "Thank You" cards for MouseKeeping along with a tip. It's a great way to spread a little Disney magic of your own!
~Wilderness Lodge offers a free tour of the lobby and its historical artifacts!
~Preferred/Premium Rooms, in our experience, are overpriced and unpredictable at times. For guests who truly need to be closer to the lobby, it may be a good investment; but if you don't have health problems, we recommend saving that extra cash.
~Have your kids leave their stuffed animals in clear view when you leave your Disney Resort room. Mouskeeping sometimes arranges them in your window or on your bed for fun!
~Some Disney Resorts show Disney movies on a screen outdoors for guests to watch! See if your resort does!
~Some guests don't know that you can visit all of the Disney Resorts, even if you are not a guest there.
~Several resorts, particularly the Deluxe Resorts, have extra forms of entertainment going on for guests! Look into taking advantage of these opportunities when you receive your check-in packet or ask for the times at the front desk.
~Check to see if your Disney Resort offers a Hidden Mickey list, so you can do a little Hidden Mickey hunting during your stay.
~The Disney Deluxe Resorts sometimes offer more than one gift shop and tend to offer different merchandise that you would find throughout the rest of Walt Disney World. So for all of you shoppers, be sure to do a little resort hopping during your stay!
~If you choose to stay at the Yacht and Beach Club Resort, you will have a gorgeous view of the Boardwalk and easy access to its dining, shopping, and entertainment opportunities!
~If you happen to lose your "Key to the World," visit your resort's front desk. They can make a replacement!