Monday, November 19, 2012

All things Disney {From Here to There}

Heather knows her Disney. This is a great entry to read if you are planning a visit in the near future. Check out her blog and let her know what you like about Disney or what you want to check out. (comments turned off here)

Hi there! My name is Piglet! Oh, just kidding! I'm the lucky girl getting a sweet kiss from Piglet in that picture!  My name is Heather and I blog over at {From Here to There...} and I have agreed to write a blog post for Allana about DISNEY!  See, this past January I went to Disney and did the College Program.  I just moved back to my home town in August.  I was stationed at the Boardwalk Resort in Housekeeping.  The job sucked A LOT, but the parks were so much fun.  I had never been to Disney until I moved there in January so I learned a lot and I learned fast.  My boyfriend and his family are Disney freaks and so they were so excited when I got the job there.  They planned their trip for Spring Break so I had a lot to learn until then.  I'm going to give you a few pointers on how to Vacation at Disney and how to get the most out of your money!
Arrive before the park opens and don't leave until it closes
You want to get there before it's too busy because at that time you can fit in all the spectacular rides that have up to 2 hour waiting times the rest of the day.  If you go ahead and fit in these big rides right when you arrive, then you'll get so much out of your day.  I'm going to list all the important rides that have super long waits usually and these are the ones you want to RUN (yes, I meant RUN) to.  Also if you stay until it gets close to closing time, you can usually go back to these really great rides and ride them again. 
 *One time, a friend and I went to Animal Kingdom at 7pm and they closed at 8pm and we were able to ride Mount Everest (my FAVORITE ride) 6 times in a row! There was no wait!*
Magic Kingdom:
Space Mountain
Splash Mountain
Thunder Mountain
Animal Kingdom:
Mount Everest
Kali River Rapids
Hollywood Studios:
Tower of Terror
Rockin' Roller Coaster
Toy Story
Do Character Meet and Greets
I didn't take advantage of this until a few months into my program and now I wish I had of.  They really do create special memories and as long as the lines aren't too long and don't eat into your day too much, then take advantage of it.  I know when my boyfriend and I go back in January for vacation, I'm going to want us to take Character pictures! 
*one hint: At Hollywood Studios they have a "special" character location.  It's back past the Little Mermaid Show, but they have characters come out around 5pm I believe who aren't on the schedule and they are usually pretty cool.  I didn't get a chance to take advanatage of that, but it's the secret I heard*
I'll give you a glance into my character Meet and greet album!
-Sweet Tink-
-Evil Stepmother and Stepsisters-
-Pooh Bear-
-Tigger and Eeyore-
Pack snacks
Unlike most theme parks, Disney allows you to bring drinks and snacks into the park.  To save money and time standing in line, I suggest eating Breakfast before heading out to the parks, then taking snacks and a lunch to hold you over until dinner (remember that with all the running around and the heat, you'll eat more than normal, so bring plenty of snacks).  Then I suggest spoiling yourself for dinner.  Try out a fancy restaurant, splurge a little and enjoy!  There are so many interesting places to eat at Disney World. 
*One time, we had dinner at the Mexican restaurant at Epcot and were able to watch the Illuminations show while we ate, it was magical!*
Try to fit in the following things
While I was there, I realized that there are some things so much worth while than others and if you absolutely CANNOT make it to everything, then make sure you at least experience the following things!
Festival of the Lion King Show in Animal Kingdom (Shows every hour)
Cirque De Soleil in Downtown Disney (it costs money, but totally worth it!)
Stunt Show in Hollywood Studios
Illuminations in Epcot (shows every night at 9pm)
Staying at a Disney hotel is best if you're only going to Disney
If you plan on just using your trip for Disney (no Universal, no Sea World) then it's definitely best to stay at a Disney Hotel mainly because of Transportation!  You don't have to pay to park and you have transportation anywhere you need to go.  It may still be worth it to stay at a Disney hotel even if you do plan on going to Universal or Sea World
Check out Orlando!
Maybe this won't be as cool for everyone, I don't come from a really big city with a lot going on, so living in a big city was exciting for me.  I really loved living in Orlando, it's a fun city and there is a lot to do, so if you get the chance, check out the outlet malls, walk around Downtown Disney, go to the CSI Crime Scene thing (that I never went to), and the Mystery theatre (that I never went to), and I would even suggest going to Downtown Disney and doing the dine-in theatre where you can eat dinner while watching your movie.
I hope this was helpful and if you have any other questions about Disney, my experience working there or living there, or if you have any other specific items you want suggestions on when planning your Disney vacation, feel free to contact me!