Category Archives: Walt Disney World

Disney Pin Trading 101

Pin Trading at Disney World: An Overview

This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click on a link.

Probably the most popular Disney activity is Pin Trading. If you visit Disney World, you will see many guests walking around the parks with lanyards full on pins weighing them down. Each pin with a different story of how the guest got it. Disney Pin trading started in the 1990s, and while it’s not an official disney activity it has become the most popular. It is also one that Disney supports having many cast members trading pins with guests.

The great thing about Pin trading is that you can make it what you want. Disney has so many different pins for you to collect and you can go about collecting them however you desire. If you are a fan of Star Wars, Disney Princesses, Lion King there are plenty of pins for you to collect. You can go about building your collection by simply buying the pins you want. Or you can make it a little more interesting and trade pins with other people to get your desired pins.

What is it

Pin Trading is what the name implies. You take a Disney Pin you have and trade it with another person for a pin they have that you want.   It’s really as simple as that. However it can get complicated when you are trying to decide what Pin you want to give away or what pin you are looking for. There are so many types of pins you can collect. You can collect different series of pins, favorite characters, limited edition pins, the list could go on. 

How to get started Pin Trading

In order to get started with trading, you must first have a pin you are willing to trade. The best way to get started with pin trading it so purchase a starter pack of pins. This pack will include 3-5 pins and a lanyard for you to place them on. You can either keep these pins for yourself or use them to trade for ones you see with somebody else. 

In addition to getting a starter pack, buying mystery packs are another great way to start your pin collection. In these packs you will usually get two pins. You can keep one and trade one. Once you have purchased several boxes of the same mystery set you will begin to get duplicate pins. These are the pins you want to trade.

Where to get pins

If you are looking to purchase Disney Trading Pins, you can get them almost anywhere at Disney. Most of the stores will have Disney Pins for sale. There are also designed Pin stands at the parks and Disney Springs dedicated to Pins. You can also find Pins at the Disney Outlets in Orlando and the Disney store in the Orlando Airport. 

It is possible to find Disney Pins online for purchase. If you decide to purchase them online be very careful, especially if you are wanting to use these pins for trading with other people. Without going into a lot of details about it, as it is an article in itself, many pins that you see on Amazon or EBay in large sets are almost always fake or scrapper pins.

How to trade

So how that you have your pins that you are willing to trade. You know what pins you want to add to your collection. Let the Pin Trading begin.

How does trading work. Pin Trading is very simple, just walk around the parks, resorts and even Disney Springs and look at other people wearing lanyards with Pins. If you see a person wearing a lanyard with Pins, there’s a good chance they are willing to trade them. Walk up to the person and politely ask them if they are wiling to trade pins with you. If they say yes, awesome you are off to a great start. Tell them which pin of yours you would like and show them which pins you are willing to give up. 

When trading trading with another guest you want to let them pick the pin from your collection they want. There could be a chance you have one they want. Or if they are a serious collector they will want one of equal value. There are differences between Pin Trading with guests and cast members, we will break them down in the next section. 

One important thing to remember when trading pins, is to make sure you are polite with the other person. There is no need to get upset if they don’t want to give away a particular pin.

It is good practice to make sure you have authentic pins that you are trading. If you walk up to a serious trader they will look over your pin very carefully and may reject if if they don’t find it to be authentic. With so many pins out in circulation, there is always a chance you may end up with a fake Disney Pin.

Pin Trading with Cast Members vs. Guests

There are two groups of people you can trade pins with Cast Members and Guests. Each group has different standards for trading pins.

Cast Members

Cast members throughout the parks wear lanyards with Disney pins. Certain cast members will have a pin board set up somewhere which a bunch of pins to trade with guests throughout the day. You are allowed to trade up to two pins with a cast member per day. Tell the cast member which pin of theirs you would like, they will take it off for you. Meanwhile you can take the pin you are willing to give them. Then just swap pins. Cast members normally do not inspect the pins you are giving them.

Guest

While its relatively easy to trade pins with a cast member, trading Disney pins with other guests can get complicated. While its relatively easy to walk up to a cast member, walking up to a complete stranger may be harder. Most people that are wearing the Disney lanyard with Pins on them willing to trade them. So if you see a guest with a large stash of pins on their lanyard they are probably pin traders.

Walk up to them and simply ask them if they are a pin trader and tell them you would like to trade a pin with them. Here are some rules to remember when trading pins with other guests

Disney Pins

Don’t assume they are willing to trade any pin. Tell them what Pin you are interested in and show them what pins you have to offer. There is a lot of though that can go into which pin a person is willing to accept from you in return for the pin they are giving you.  The two biggest things are what the collector is collecting and the value of the pin. A serious trader won’t accept an $9 pin for a $30 pin.

Rules of Pin trading with other Guests

  • Don’t touch their pin without asking for permission.
  • If they aren’t willing to trade, simply walk away don’t force it.
  • Understand everybody’s time is precious. 
  • Strike up a conversation about the pins, it may help make the trade easy.
  • Enjoy trading pins. 

(Insert sample Dialogue)

My recommendation is to put the pins you are willing to trade on one lanyard and your collection on another lanyard or another display. 

Cast Member Pin Board locations

You need a good eye to spot a pin on a lanyard of person walking around Disney World. However there are Cast Members throughout Disney World who have pin boards with a large variety of pins. If you are new to trading and looking for new pins, these are a great way to get some exposer trading pins.

Easiest place to find these Pin Boards are the resorts.

How to display pins

Now that you are growing your collection, you can initially display them on a lanyard. Unfortunately overtime your lanyard will run out of room and become very heavy. At some point you will have to find another way to display your amazing collection of Pins.

If you are displaying your Pins on a lanyard. I recommend you get locking back for them. You would hate to lose your favorite one.

The most common way pin traders display their pins are in Pin binders. These binders consists of heavy duty page inserts which hold your pins and allows you to carry them around. 

You can create unique display boards to hang on the wall. Pinterest has a ton of ideas on how you can display your Pin.

Costs of Pin Trading

Probably the one bugging question you have as you start your collection is how much will it cost me. The answer lies within how you want to collect pins and how large you plan to grow your collection. If you are starting out, I would tell you to expect to pay somewhere around $50 to really get started. 

Disney Pins at the Character Warehouse

A Pin Starter set will run you approximately $30 dollars and you will get a lanyard with 3-5 pins. This unfortunately isn’t enough to really begin trading. You will need to purchase some more pins. The standard pins you see around the parks will run you between $8.99 to $15.99. Speciality and limited edition pins can easy double these prices. 

One way to save some money on pins you want to trade is to purchase pins from the Disney Character Warehouses in Orlando. Here you can get guanine pins from a fraction of the price at the Parks. 

2019 Christmas Tree Trail

One of our favorite Christmas traditions is the Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs. Enjoy the perfectly decorated Christmas Trees with various themes down the trail.

Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast
Fantasia
Fantasia Christmas Tree
The Lion King
The Lion King
Mary Poppins
Mary Poppins
Peter Pan
Peter Pan
Cinderalla
Cinderalla
Pinocchio
Pinocchio
Villains
Villains
Haunted Mansion
Haunted Mansion
Toy Story
Toy Story
Mulan
Mulan
Frozen
Frozen
The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid
Aladdin
Aladdin
The Princess and the Frog
The Princess and the Frog
Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty
  • Dumbo
  • Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse
  • Robin Hood
  • Snow White
  • Star Wars
  • Tangled
  • Theme Parks
Galaxy's Edge

Galaxy’s Edge: Hit or Miss?

So we finally were able to get around to visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios new Galaxy ‘s Edge land, a few months ago. Since it’s opening there has been a lot of of controversy over it. Some guests love the land. Some say it’s to much. There is speculation that it did not draw in the crowds that Disney World was hoping for.

I am not a diehard Star Wars fan, but I have watched most of the series. From my perspective, Disney World imagineers did an excellent job recreating the land to represent what was depicted from the movies.

If you enter Galaxy Edge through the tunnel from Grand Avenue, you will notice an instant transformation into the galaxy. However, when entering from Toy Story Land, you will feel a sense of being taken into a different world. The Imagineers did an excellent job transitioning between the lands, especially when entering from Toy Story Land. You will be drawn away from one world and into Galaxy’s Edge.

It has been said by many fans that they have submerged you so well into the land that you can forget you are at Disney.

Disney World has been improving their immersive experiences for their various lands around the parks. I do have to agree with the statement above and say that the Imagineers did an excellent job in immersing the guests into the Galaxy. Everything from the design of the structures, the attractions, displays, and cast members draw you into the Galaxy and you can forget that you are Hollywood Studios.

My first observation in the immersive experience are the cast members. They were all dressed to fit the roll. Even the managers that walk around the parks where dressed in Star Wars themed clothing. The cast members would speak to you in the native galaxy language and are more interactive in character than you sometimes notice in other parts of the parks.

Galaxy Edge at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Crowds

The one hot button issue with Galaxy’s Edge are the crowd levels. Experts have said that the land did not bring in the crowds they are had anticipated. While there were large crowds from the opening of Star Wars, with 100s of visitors lining up the night prior to opening. It appears that they crowds have not maintained the high level Disney World was expecting.

When we visited the land last month the overall crowd levels were relatively low throughout most of the parks. We never saw unusually long wait times for rides and I would say that Star Wars wasn’t any different. While this part of the park had the most crowds, I would still say the crowds weren’t unbearable. I was able to easily walk around the galaxy with a stroller and not worry about running into other guests.

Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run wait time during our visit to the galaxy hovered around a 60 minute wait time. This isn’t a long wait time when you compare it to Slinky Dog and Frozen. Both of these attractions have been open for well over a year and almost always have a wait time greater than 60 minutes.

With Rise of the Resistance opening last Thursday, the crowd levels have definitely increased. The real question is whether or not the crowd levels will continue after the initial hype wears off. Boarding passes for Rise of the Resistance have been sold out before noon, everyday since opening.

What’s in the Land

Currently, there is 2 attraction, 5 dining options, and 2 interactive building stations and several stores. There are a couple store attractions which allow visitors to buy and build either a light saber or a droid. Outside of the two attractions, everything else costs money in Galaxy’s Edge. Leaving your average Disney goer wondering what is there for me to do here.

Rise of the Resistance

The newest attraction in Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This has been the attraction everybody has been waiting for. The one that has been said to turn Disney World around. The first week for this attraction has overall been a success. While it has had its hiccups initially, the crowds continue to show up in droves for this attraction.

Is it a ride, show, or what. Rise of the Resistance, combines multiple elements to create this attraction, which lasts almost 15 minutes. You will first start in a virtual 3-D ride, then you thrown into an interactive walk-through area and finally you board a craft for the third part of your adventure trying to escape the First World Order.

There are a lot of moving parts with this attraction, if any one part goes down it will easily mess up the entire attraction for everyone else. This will ultimately affect a large number of guests, as this attraction can easily handle a large crowd at once.

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

Choose your crew and step into the cockpit of a Millennium Falcon for a daring flight. The success of the mission is up to you and your crew. You will be racing through the galaxy fighting your way through, so make sure you have a top notch crew to be successful.

Build a droid.

Probably the most expensive attraction in Galaxy’s Edge, you have the ability to build a custom droid. You walk into the warehouse and select custom parts to the droid. Once you have all the pieces you will assemble th droid at a workstation. Once it’s assembled you can purchase various accessories for your droid. One of these accessories is a computer chip which will give the droid a personality. It will be able to move around on its own and even interact with other droids. The cost to build a droid can run you around $99.

Handbuilt Lightsaber

Head over to Black Spire Outpost and get ushered into Savi’s Workshop to build your own Lightsaber. Choose 1 of 4 themes for your saber. Collect the components and walkout with a fully assembled lightsaber battle ready. This experience is expensive and will run you $199 for one fully constructed lightsaber.

Galaxy's Edge at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Food Options

Oga’s Cantina- This lounge is where all the locals hangout to refuel, conduct meetings and enjoy local music. Oga’s Cantina specializes in creating drinks with ingredients from all over the galaxy. The only downside to visiting the Cantina is the limited food option. They only have 1 snack option, the Bantu Bits.

It is recommended that you make reservations at Oga’s Cantina if you are looking to dine there.

Docking Bay 7– Is the place to go for food in Galaxy’s Edge. This is a Quick Service restaurant, with Mobile Ordering.

Milk Stand– Looking to taste the popular drink of the locals. Grab a blue or green milk.

Ronto Roasters– Another quick service option with delicious grilled meat from around the galaxy.

Kat Saka’s Kettle– Enjoy sweet and savory popcorn. $6.49.

Most of Disney Plus

Making the most of Disney+

It’s been a little over two weeks since the launch of Disney+. If you have not taken the plunge and have tried Disney+, what are you waiting for? While Disney+ had its growing pains the first week. Many of the bugs have been worked out and everything seems to be running. Have you been making the most of Disney+

If you are one of the over 10 million subscribers are you taking full advantage of everything Disney+ has to offer you? Chances are you have scrolled through and have found countless Disney classics you grew up on. Or maybe you have become hooked on The Imagineering Story or The Mandalorian.

Follow these tips to take full advantage of Disney+

Profiles

Create a profile for every member of your family. You can create up to 7 unique profiles with tons of avatars to choose from.

disney+ avatars

Multiple Devices

You can access Disney+ on up to 10 devices. A great way to keep the kids entertained on those long car rides.

Streaming

Alright so you have just downloaded the Disney+ App on all your kids devices. Disney+ will allow you to stream on up to 4 devices at a time.

Unlimited Downloads

Download movies and series until your tablet stops you. You can download as much content as your device can hold. There is no limit to what you can download.

Combine Services

In order to save money take advantage of annual billing or bundle option. Save $13.89 by selecting the annual billing option. Bundle Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99 a month.

Gift Disney+

Not sure what to get somebody? Sign up and pay for a subscription to Disney+ for them. There is no formal gift option. However you can use their email to sign them up. Only downside, they will find out immediately when they receive the Welcome Email.

Watch Popular Movies

Many of our favorite movies are now on Disney Plus. Have you always wanted to binge watch the Star Wars Series or the Marvel Series. Disney+ is the perfect place.

Look no further. TechRadar has the Star War movies listed in chronological order for you.

Disney World Fun Facts

Fun Facts of Disney World

There is so much more to Disney World than Cinderella’s Castle and Magic Kingdom. Unfortunately there is still a large number of people who don’t know that there is a lot more to Disney World than Magic Kingdom. It’s amazing the number of people who will show up to Disney World, still thinking its just the one park. There are 100s of Disney World Facts. Here are the top 12 fun facts you will want to know before your next vacation

Walt Disney World in Orlando consist of 4 theme parks, (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom), 2 water parks, (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon), Disney Springs, 2 miniature golf courses, 4 golf courses, ESPN Wide World of Sports and 25 plus resorts.

With all that Disney has to offer there are a lot of things to know and learn about Disney World. Here are 12 fun facts that help you realize how large Disney World in Orlando is.

1. Disney World Size

Photo showing all of Disney Worlds property

Disney World Orlando covers approximately 40 square miles, with a 1/3 of the land being designated as conservation land. When you look at a large scale map of the property you can see all the empty land around the parks and resorts. Because, Disney World was built on wetlands, Disney had to take extra care to preserve the wetlands.

2. Disney Wilderness Preserve

This is an 11,000 acre nature preserve located in Kissimmee Florida approximately 25 miles southeast of Disney. The wilderness preserve is not included in the 40 square miles classified as Disney World. There are roughly 7 miles of trails and a lot of wildlife for you to explore out here.

3. Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the largest of the parks at Disney, covering approximately 500 acres of land. This is large for an amusement park, but still a small portion of Disney World. It only covers a little over 1% of Disney’s Property. Kilimanjaro Safari takes up the majority of Animal Kingdom cover approximately 110 area.

Photo showing the size of Animal Kingdom

4. Disney has its own Cities

Walt Disney World created two new cities in Florida, Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista to which it has built all of its attractions on.

5. The Ready Creek Improvement District (RCID)

RCID was developed by Walt Disney World to avoid the headaches of having to deal with two different counties during the construction. The RCID created the Epcot Builidng code, which has been known to be some of the strictest building standards in Florida.

6. No structure is taller than 200 feet.

The tallest structure at Disney is Mount Everest which is inches shy of the 200 ft mark. Any structures taller than 200ft are required to have an aviation red beacon. We all know how hard Disney works at hard preserving the look and feel of every aspect of Disney World, and having red aviation beacons all over the park would definitely take away from the look and feel Disney has and wants for many of their attractions at night.

Mount Everest

7. The Magic Kingdom parking lot

Also know as the Ticket and Transportation Center is the 4th largest parking lot in the world with approximately 11,000 parking spots. Better make sure you write down what row you are in. It will be easy to forget at the end of a long day at the parks.

Magic Kingdom Parking Lot

8. Disney’s Transportation

Disney has the 3rd largest bus fleet in Florida with more than 350 buses. Jacksonville and Miami are the only two fleets that are larger than Disney. In additional to a large bus fleet, Disney has a large fleet of boats, monorails, trams and gondolas to transport people around Walt Disney World. The best part, its all free for guests traveling around Disney World

9. Epcot Aquarium

The aquarium in Epcot has over 5.7 million gallons of water, making it the 2nd largest aquarium in the U.S. The aquarium is home to The Seas with Nemo and Friends

10. Number of Attractions

10. Between the 4 parks there are over 40 rides and many other attractions and experiences for guests to enjoy while at Disney World.

11. Celebration Disney’s Residential City

Walt Disney had a residential city known as Celebration developed just south of Disney World. The Walt Disney company is still the largest landowner entity in Celebration.

12. Disney hardly ever closes

In the 50 years Disney has been around, they have only ever closed for a full day 5 times.

  • Sept 15, 1999 hurricanes Floyd
  • Aug 14, 2004 hurricanes Charley *Not all parks where closed
  • Sept 26, 2004 hurricane Jeanne
  • Oct 7, 2016- hurricane Matthew
  • Sept 10 and 11, 2017- hurricane Irma.

What is your favorite fun facts about Disney World?

Christmas Gift Ideas

Disney Christmas Gift Ideas

This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click on a link.

Christmas is getting closer and the stresses of finishing your Christmas shopping is increasing. Christmas shopping in your family is becoming more difficult as we all seem to have everything we need. Do you know have somebody like that in your family? Or are people bugging you for gift ideas. I know for me, coming up with Christmas Gift Ideas is difficult. After a recent trip through the shops of Main Street, I realized the amount of gifts right in front of me.

Is there a person on your Christmas shopping list who loves Disney? Chances are there is at least one person on your list who enjoys Disney to some extent. There are so much Disney related merchandise it can be overwhelming trying to know what to get that Disney person on your Christmas list.

Are you looking for some deals for Black Friday. ShopDisney has deals up to 50% off merchandise.

Source: ShopDisney

Here are the top Disney Gift Ideas for that Disney fanatic on your Christmas shopping list.

Clothing

Most people probably aren’t to thrilled about getting clothes for Christmas. This is not the case for your Disney fanatic. Most Disney fan will tell you they do not have enough Disney clothing.

Shirts are the most common purchase, but there are many other clothing options. Shorts, Pants, Jackets, Socks, Shoes, etc. One of my favorite non shirt items I have gotten from Disney World are a pair of flip flops. I forgot to pack flip flops for the pool on a trip to Disney, so I bought myself a pair and I always find myself wearing them all the time.

Jewelry

For the ladies on your list, Jewelry is always an excellent gift idea. There is a wide variety of jewelry you can gift. If you have ever walked into a store at Disney World, you will have seen jewelry of some sorts available for sale. Disney has a large collection of jewelry available including necklaces, bracelets, earrings, etc. You can purchase jewelry that screams Disney World. Or you can find jewelry that have only subtle touches of Disney, giving you an elegant piece but also has the Disney touch to.

A lot of designers have teamed with Disney World and have created unique collections such as Pandora or Alex n’ Ani. If you are looking for Jewelry, make sure you head over to Disney Springs. There are lots of jewelry options at Disney Springs.

An excellent gift idea for the girls will be to purchase a charm bracket. This will let the girls add charms to their bracelet every time they visit Disney World.

MagicBands

Do you know people that are preparing for an upcoming trip to Disney World or who are new annual passholders? You can get them a specialty MagicBand.

MagicBands probably won’t be a good gift idea for Disney fans who have already been going for years as they probably already have a dozen magicBands. However if you can get a limited edition MagicBand you will probably be alright.

The price of Magic Bands begins at $14.99 and goes up. The average price for specialty Magic Bands ranges around $24.99

Backpack

Any person that spends any time at Disney World will need a backpack or bag to carry items around while exploring Disney World. Having a backpack is a great way to carry the essentials for a trip to Disney World. When picking out a backpack make sure you get them a Disney themed backpack. There are 100s of designs to choose from.

Want to take the backpack a step further, go ahead and fill it up with all the essentials needed for a day at the parks.

Games

Do your kids love playing games, why not get them a game depicting their favorite Disney characters. Many of our favorite classic games, have a Disney twist and make for an Christmas gift.

Gift Cards

OK, most people don’t like getting gift cards for Christmas. They aren’t very fun. But they are however a good idea for people who are planning a trip to Disney. With the costs of visiting Disney World so expensive people will be grateful to have gift cards to use throughout the parks and resorts.

gift cards at Sam's club

If you are going to go and purchase Gift cards, make sure you check out Sam’s Club or similar store and get discounts on your gift cards. Here you save a few dollars on the Gift cards. At Sam’s club you can buy $75 dollar worth of gift cards for $71.98 plus tax.

Mickey Ears/Mickey Ear Hats

Your little girls heading to Disney World will love having Mickey Ears to wear on their next adventure to Disney World. Disney has a large variety of different Mickey Ears to choose from. So you can’t go wrong with purchasing Mickey Ears.

Mickey Ear hats are a perfect alternative to the mickey ears for little boys. Mickey Ear hats, are very similar to the Mickey Ears we see all over the parks. They just have a solid hat on which the ears will be on. These can easily be customized with the child’s name on it.

Park Tickets

If you know people that are planning a trip to Disney World, or would like to take a trip to Disney World. Why not go ahead and purchase park tickets for them. If you purchase the tickets online, just select “This Order will be a Gift”

For those us that have annual passes, a renewal would be a awesome gift. Disney makes it possible check out how to give an annual pass.

Disney Trading Pins

Trading Pins are a popular collector items for Disney Fans and can be a great stocking stuffer. There are hundreds of different pins to choose from. Disney World is always changing and creating new pins, so it will be easy to get trading pins they don’t have in their collection. Pins will range in price from $8 to $30.

In addition to the the pins themselves you can get lanyards and organizing binders. There are endless options when it comes to designs on the lanyards. Don’t worry your Pin collector will not be mad for getting more lanyards. They will need them as they expand their collection.

Kitchen and Home Accessories

Getting one or two accessories for the person on your Christmas list will suffice the average person. However we all have that one friend who has Disney everywhere in their house. Or maybe they are a camper, and need accessories for their RV. Disney World has a large collection of Kitchen and Home Accessories.

Kitchen Accessories

Walk into a store at Disney World and you can find almost everything you need for a kitchen. You will be able to find everything you need for your kitchen except for the appliances themselves. That’s what your silhouette is for.

Some of the most common kitchen accessories are:

  • Cooking Utensils
  • Waffle Makers
  • Mickey Shaped Cutters
  • Aprons
  • Cookware. You can find all sorts of different cookware throughout Disney World
  • Kitchen Towels

Home Accessories

While home accessories are not as common and popular as kitchen accessories there still a large selection. Disney makes it easy to bring Disney into you home.

Picture frames, clocks and blankets are probably the top 3 Disney home accessories people will have.

Souvenirs

  • Beach Towel
  • Crocs
  • Stuffed Animals
  • Autograph Booking
  • Keychains
  • Ornaments

What is one Disney themed Christmas Gift you would want to have this year for Christmas?

Must have Disney Apps

Must have Apps for Disney World

This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click on a link.

Everywhere you walk today you always see people with their heads down looking at their phone screens playing on some sort of app. Not paying attention to what’s going on around them. This gets very annoying when trying to navigate the crowds at Disney World. It amazes me how many people will be walking around the parks but will have their head down staring at their phone’s screen.

However there are excellent excuses to be looking at your phone while at Disney World, but it shouldn’t be constantly. You do not want to miss out on a magical moment your child will have while at Disney World.

There are hundreds of apps to make your trip at Disney World more magical. These apps will help you plan your trip, navigate around everywhere, take photos, keep notes, etc. No need to pull out the spiral notebook to plan out your entire trip.

If you are preparing for your next adventure to Disney World and are packing your smartphone, we have several apps that will help you plan your vacation, navigate the parks and keep the kids entertained while standing in line to meet Mickey and Minnie.

We know that storage and memory on your phone is always at a premium so we will tell you which apps you need before and during your stay, so you can maintain plenty of storage for all those photos you want to take while at Disney.

If you happen to be worried about using your data, don’t worry you can get access to free WiFi’s all over Walt Disney World.

6 Must Have Apps

1. MyDisneyExperience App

Official Disney App. Available on Apple and Android

This is the must have app for anyone going to Disney World. Over the years, Disney has done an excellent improving and expanding this app and now eliminates the need for several other apps.

Once you have booked and paid for your vacation. The My Disney Experience app will become your best friend. With this app you can check-in for your resort, book dining reservations, FastPasses, purchase park and special event tickets, order food, check out attraction wait times, view MemoryMaker. About the only thing you can’t do with this app is book your resort rooms.

The My Disney Experience App is only for Walt Disney World Orlando. If you are going to any of the other Properties you will need their app.

2. Disney Countdown Apps

You have just booked your Magical Vacation and the countdown has begun. Why not download and have an app that tracks how many days, hours and minutes left until your vacation.

There are various countdown apps available on Apple and Android that you can download. Two of our favorites are:

Countdown for Disney by Bit3 Computing

DIO Countdown by IMRlabs

Once you get to Disney for your vacation, you can delete this app and free up the space on your phone.

3. Play Disney Parks

Play Disney

Official Disney App. Available on Apple and Android.

The Play Disney app is an excellent app to have for waiting in those long lines to get on the attractions. Many of the attractions have games that your kids can play on while waiting for the rides.

Download this App once you get to your resort or park for your vacation to save room on your phone.

4. Shop Disney

Official Disney App. Available of Apple and Android

Looking to purchase some Disney merchandise before, during or after your trip then you will need the Shop Disney App. In this app you can purchase all sorts of merchandise including Park specific merchandise.

The one downside we have noticed with this app is not having the ability to find where merchandise is located at in the Parks. Before Disney World upgraded this app early this year, They also had an app known as Shop Disney Parks, which would allow you to search for merchandise and find out where it is located at around Disney.

If you plan to do a lot of shopping at Disney World, download this app. Otherwise you may be able to get away without it.

5. Magic Guides

Non-Official Disney App. Available on Apple of Android

While the MyDisneyExperience has almost everything you would need during your magical vacation, many people will download and use other third-party apps. Out of these various apps this one is my favorite due to the simplicity. If you haven’t been able to mess around with the MyDisneyExperience App, it can be a little confusing.

The Magic Guides uses a very simple list interface which provides wait times, show times, dining and park hours. If you purchase their premium app you can get access to a bathroom finder at Disney World.

You can wait and download this app once you arrive at Disney World for you vacation.

6. Disney World Lines (TP)

Non official Disney App. Available on Apple and Android.

This app has many of the same features as other apps. The features include wait times and park hours. We like this app because it offers a crowd level estimate. For people that visit Disney a lot knowing the crowd levels is important.

These are the 6 must have apps any guest visiting Disney World will need to have to make their trip more enjoyable. What is your must have app for your trip to Disney?


Other great apps to make your trip easier.

Weather Apps

While at Disney you will want to be able to check on the weather during your stay. This will help you better plan your visit. There are hundreds of various downloadable weather apps from free apps to paid apps.

Our family uses the Weather Channel app and Storm Radar to keep an eye on the weather.

Waze

If you are driving down for your vacation. Waze is an excellent traffic and GPS app you should use for your drive down to Disney. Orlando is a busy city navigate through and the roads and signs are sometimes confusing. Waze will help you easily navigate to your destination and help avoid traffic jams.

Lyft

If you are staying on property you will have access to all of Disneys transportation at no cost to you. Sometimes the wait for a bus or monorail can take a while and you may be cramped in the bus for the 30 minute ride back to your hotel. If you don’t want to wait around for the Bus to get to your dinner reservations, you can use Disney’s Minnie Van Service.

Disney has partnered with Lyft and created the Minnie Van service, which provides Lyft service between select Disney resorts and other attractions around Disney World. The best part of the Minnie Van’s is they are operated by Disney Castmembers, so you know you will be getting a well maintained vehicle and professional driver.

I personally feel that the quality of drivers for Lyft are better than Uber. Whenever I need a ride, Lyft seems to almost always have some sort of deal going on.

Friend Tracker

Keeping track of a large party can be difficult when you choose to divide and conquer the parks and/or resorts. A friend tracking app comes in handy for checking in on everyone’s location (especially those teens who never text you back). A little bit of time before heading to the parks to make sure everyone is sharing their locations within the app is helpful. 


Disney+

Disney+ App

Official Disney App. Available on Apple and Android.

This is the newest must have Disney App. With the release on Disney+ back on Nov 12th. You can now have access to a ton of Disney related movies and TV shows.

Radio Disney

Radio Disney

Official Disney App. Available on Apple and Android. Cost: Free.

Who doesn’t enjoy listening to music? When Disney music is mentioned most people will think of songs such as “Let it Go” or “Circle of Life.” However with Disney’s reach, their collection on music stretches much farther than you may think. Check out Radio Disney to listen to all the greatest songs.

Radio stations on Radio Disney

Sorcerer Radio

Sorcerer Radio

Available on Apple and Android. Cost: Free

Do you enjoy the music that is played around Disney World? The Sorcerer Radio app is an excellent choice. While the app doesn’t have a lot of flexibility in terms of selecting the music choices. It does play through a wide variety of the music around the parks and resorts.

Hidden Mickey

Hidden Mickey Challenge

Non-Official Disney App. Available on Apple and Android. Cost $7.99

If you enjoy searching Disney World for Hidden Mickey’s this app is a must for you. While it doesn’t give away the exact location of every hidden mickey around Disney World. The app does help narrow down their location and help you keep track of which hidden mickey’s you have found.

WDW Today Channel

Available on Apple and Android. Cost: Free

WDW Today Channel

Have you stayed at Disney? The WDW Today Channel has become our son’s favorite channel while staying on property at Disney World. In the resorts the Today Channel, gives guests details of all the daily resort activities and park activities. Unfortunately, the app won’t give you resort specific details. the App will play the wonderful background music and give you the daily activities of the parks.


There are 100s of potentially great apps to use for your next magical vacation to Disney World. These are our go to Disney apps and ones that we always seem to go back to and use for every trip to Disney World. What is your favorite app to use while at Disney World?

New Attractions coming to Disney World

New Attractions at Disney World

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Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary is coming up on October 1, 2021. Disney has been getting busy preparing for this event. Disney is always updating and adjusting our experiences at Disney World. We will see a lot of new attractions when the 50th Anniversary in October 2021 occurs. Epcot will probaby see the most changes. If it has been a while since you have visited, expect the parks to be a lot different than what you remember.

We are excited for all these changes coming to Disney World. Disney will be introducing new attractions, restaurants and experiences for guests of all ages. There are currently over 20 new attractions and/or attraction renovations in preparation for the 50th anniversary. Who knows how many other renovations will be accomplished before October 20212. 

Hollywood Studios recently added Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge. Magic Kingdom is finishing up some large renovations of the moat around Cinderella’s castle. Animal Kingdom’s Rafiki’s Planet Watch reopened during the summer of 2019 after being closed for renovations. 

Below is the current list of construction projects that we know about happening around Walt Disney World. It seems to be that Disney World is currently focusing the majority of their renovations on Epcot presently. However, the 50th Anniversary is still 2 years away, so they can easily add other projects. 

Magic Kingdom

New Attractions Disney World
  • Tron Coaster- (Magic Kingdom, Opening 2021)- This attraction is based on a park favorite Tron Lightcycle Power Run at the Shanghai Park. Guest will ride a two-wheeled Lightcycle in a thrilling race. 

Epcot

  • Epcot Forever (Epcot World Showcase Set to debut on October 1, 2019 at 9p. This nighttime spectacular will replace Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, while Imagineers work on the newest firework show at the World’s showcase. Epcot Forever will take viewers through the story of Epcot and its journey. The show will lead us through an epic night time journey of everything we love about Epcot and everything that is coming of Epcot. 
  • Space 2020 (Epcot, Opening Winter 2019)- The Mission Space pavilion is getting a new culinary experience, which will transport guests from earth to 220 miles into space. A special elevator will transport you up to the space station for dinner. Along the way you will be able to enjoy daytime and nighttime views of earth from 220 miles up. 
  • Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue (Epcot, Opening Late 2019/Spring 2020). This new location is going to be a modern smokehouse, giving BBQ lovers all the familiar sights and smells they love when they think of BBQ. Regal Eagle Smokehouse will replace the Liberty Inn Restaurant. 
  • Land’s Pavilion’s film “Awesome Planet”- (Epcot, Opening January 17, 2020)- A new film which will feature a dynastic story of our planet.
  • Beauty and the Beast Sing-along (Epcot World Showcase, Opening January 17, 2020). This is the first of many new attractions heading to the World showcase, this is the first of 3 new attractions heading to the France Pavilion.
  • Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360 (Epcot World Showcase, Opening January 17, 2020). Not a lot of details have been released regarding this show. However, it will replace the current Canada show. 
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventures- (Epcot World Showcase, Opening Summer 2020)- Is expected to be very similar to the one at Disneyland. Where guests shrink down to the size of Chef Remy and race through Gusteau’s restaurant on a wild adventure.
  • Le Creperie de Paris restaurant- (Epcot World Showcase, Opening Summer 2020)- This new Restaurant in the French pavilion of the world showcase will offer table and quick service featuring menu from chef Jerome Bocuse.
  • HarmonioUS- (Epcot World Showcase, Late 2020/Spring 2021). When HarmonioUS debuts at the World Showcase it will be the largest nighttime spectacular ever created. Celebrate how the music of Disney inspires people of the world. The show will feature massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics, lasers and more.
  • Journey of Water, inspired by “Moana” (Epcot, Opening 2021) This experience is the first experience inspired by Walt Disney Animation Studio film in which guests will be able to interact with the living water in an inspiring setting. 
  • Guardian of Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind- (Epcot, Opening Summer 2021). When this attraction opens in the Summer of 2021, it will be one of the largest fully enclosed roller coasters and will be Disney’s first reverse launch roller coaster.
  • Play Pavilion (Epcot, Opening Fall 2021)- This new pavilion is taking a note out of the original concept for Epcot. The Play Pavilion will be a space devoted to features that you would expect to see in an innovative city. The pavilion’s city will be a digital metropolis, be an interactive city with games, activities and experiences that connect with beloved Disney characters. The Play Pavilion will be repacking the the Wonder of Life pavilion. 
  • Mary Poppinn inspired attraction (Epcot World Showcase, Opening Unknown). Cherry Tree lane will join the United Kingdom Pavilion, as a new neighborhood. Take a step down Cherry Tree Lane past Admiral Boom’s House, Enter house #17 where the adventure begins.
  • Spaceship earth (Epcot, Opening Unknown)- new narration and new musical score moments and ideas that define our story. 
  • Dreamers Point (Epcot, Opening Unknown). As you exit Spaceship earth, guests will discover breathtaking views of World Showcase.
  • New Event Pavilion (Epcot, Opening Unknown). The new pavilion will be constructed where the current World Showcase Plaza is located. This new pavilion will be the new home base for all of Epcot’s signature festivals. This pavilion will be a three story structure and is said to provide stunning views of the World Showcase.

Hollywood Studios

  • Star Wars: Rise of Resistance (Hollywood Studios, Opening Dec 5, 2019). With the recent opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Disney is putting the finishing touches on the 2nd ride for this area of Hollywood Studios. According to Disney World, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will be a massive, multi-platform, attraction that is like nothing we have experienced. When you step onto this ride you will be accepting a mission from the Resistance to fight the First Order, who are desperate to eliminate the Resistance.
  • Mickey and Minnie Railways (Hollywood Studios, March 4, 2020)- Guests will step into the Chinese Theatre and be thrown directly into the cartoon world for a Goofy adventure aboard Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railroad. This attraction will be inspired by the Mickey Mouse cartoon. 
  • Roundup Rodeo BBQ Table Service Restaurant (Hollywood Studios, Opening Late 2020/Early 2021).  The restaurant be based on rodeo festivities. This restaurant will provide much needed seating and indoor space in the new Toy Story land. 

Animal Kingdom

  • None

Resorts

  • Disney Rivera Hotel (Opening December 2019). The newest Disney Vacation Club Resort will provide a European feel with its castles and fairy-tale villages.
  • Star Wars: Galactic Starcruise- One of Disney’s latest resort concepts, providing guests a unique experience into the Star Wars. This hotel experience will be unlike any other hotels around. Will require a minimum of a 2 night stay in which guests will be transported into a Galactic starcruiser.
  • Reflection- A disney lakeside village (Opening 2022). Another Disney Vacation Club resort is being constructed near Disney Ft Wilderness Campground. 

Disney Springs

  • Ron Jon Surf Shop- (Disney Springs, Opening Fall 2019)- The newest store to Disney Springs is Ron Jon Surf shop in Town Center. This store will provide all your beach essentials.
  • Ample HIll Cremery- Ice cream for the Northerners in the South. Even tons of uniquely flavored ice cream. Many flavors inspired by the local surrounding.
  • Beatrix- Replacing the former Bongos Restaurant. Beatrix will bring a flair of local flair with a good mix of healthy options. The restaurant will include a bakery and a full service bar.

With all these upcoming attractions and changes to various attractions around Disney World. We will see many of our favorite attractions closing. It may be a temporary closure or a permanent closure to allow for a new attraction.

Closing Attractions

  • No Attractions scheduled to permanently close at this time

Make sure you follow us on Facebook and checkout our photos of the various construction projects happening around Walt Disney World.

What is your favorite upcoming attraction to Disney World? What attraction are you sad to see go?

Free activities at disney world

Free Activities at Disney World

This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click on a link.

You have just spent a ton of money on your magical vacation to Disney World. You are trying to do everything you can to make it special for your kids and have them enjoy it. Searching Pinterest you can find all sorts of activities to do around Disney World. You may be surprised at the number of free activities for you and the family around Disney World.

Some of the free activities do require a park ticket. Once you get into the parks, it will be easy to spend a lot of money making your kids happy. Disney offers a lot of extra activities for a cost. However, there are a lot of free activities available to you during your visit.

There are free activities available at the parks, resorts and Disney Springs, so you don’t necessarily need a ticket to a park to enjoy these free activities. Some activities will however be better enjoyed while in the parks.

Disney World has a ton of activities available to your and your family. Here is our list of the Top free activities to enjoy while at Disney World.

Top Free Activities at Disney World

Hidden Mickey

Hidden Mickey’s are probably everybody’s favorite activity while exploring Disney World. Disney is know for creating speculator displays and decorations around the parks and resorts. Imagineers took this one step further and have hidden mickey heads or silhouettes throughout many of the attractions and resort.

Hidden Mickey Challenge
Can you find the Hidden Mickey in this picture?

Hidden Mickey’s are mickey heads that are created into various elements around Disney World. You can spot hidden mickey’s in the gardens, throughout attractions, in the chandeliers around resorts. There are 1000s of hidden mickey’s for you to search for. You purchase books online to help you track down all the hidden mickey’s around the world.

Hidden Mickey Challenge
Track the number of Hidden Mickey’s you find throughout the parks. Download our free Hidden Mickey tracker. Print it out on card-stock paper and have fun finding hidden mickeys.

Resort Hoping

Resort hoping
Photo Credit: MagicGuides.com

Resort Hoping is a favorite activity of many passholders and guests who are looking for a good time at Disney World without spending time inside the parks. With more than 20 resorts around Disney World. Each being themed differently, having different restaurants, shops, and activities for your entire family. Best part is that you don’t have to be a resort guest to guest hop. Resort hoping during the holidays is one of our favorite activities. Due to the fact that each resort is decorated different and many have special activities and displays for us to enjoy. Holidays at Disney World!

Movies

The resorts will have movie night out on the lawn. Check with your resort as its not every night for all resorts. If you are looking for an evening activity with your kids, this is a great way to end your day.

Check here for the current movies playing at the various resorts. They are always changing. Unfortunately they only publish the movie list at the beginning of the month.

Fireworks

One thing Disney does well are their evening firework shows. Disney has firework shows at 3 of the 4 parks. Many people think that you can only get fireworks at the parks. However you can get excellent views of the firework shows throughout Disney property without having to be in a park. The Magic Kingdom evening fireworks shows can be seen from the Contemporary Resort and the beach at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground. We have even watched the Fireworks from our car in the parking lot.

Parades

In addition to the fireworks, Disney World has awesome parades in the parks. Every day there are several parades for guests throughout the parks. There is only one parade that does not require a park ticket to watch. The Electric Light parade is the only parade that does not require a park admission. This parade goes around the 7 Seas Lagoon and can be viewed from the Dock at the Wilderness Lodge or the beach of Ft. Wilderness Campground.

Concerts

Who doesn’t love listening to live music. Disney World has several amphitheater’s around the property which almost always have a concert going on. The most popular amphitheater is the America Garden Theater in Epcot’s World Showcase. This amphitheater hosts the annual Eat to the Beat, Candlelight Processional and many other concerts. A park ticket is required to get into Epcot for these. If you are looking to attend a concert at Disney without buying a park ticket head over to Disney Springs. Not only do they have concerts at the Marketplace Stage or the House of Blues, but there are always live street entertainers throughout Disney Springs.

Disney Springs

Image of Disney Springs

You do not have to be a resort guest or have a park ticket to go and enjoy Disney Springs. Disney Springs has a lot to offer. Many of the activities are free but there are also many activities which require an admission fee.

Disney’s Boardwalk

Ok we have already mentioned resort hopping as an excellent free activity. Boardwalk has a lot of extra activities, that you can’t find at other resorts. Disney’s Boardwalk has several live entertainment venues, several dining options. Enjoy the street performers around the Boardwalk or even head over to the Atlantic Dance Hall.

Kidcot Crafts

Kidcot Location

Disney provides kid activities at each of the pavilions around the world at Epcot known as Kidcot Crafts. These stations are called Kidcot Crafts and offer supplies so you can color, draw and collect activity cards at each pavilion.

Sorcerer at Magic Kingdom

Sorcerer at Magic Kingdom

Are you looking to save Magic Kingdom? Grab your Sorcerer cards at the Fire station on Main Street and help defeat the villains and save Magic Kingdom. Players will find portals located throughout Magic Kingdom in which players tap their magic bands and follow the screens to play the game.

Wilderness Explorer

Grab a wilderness explorer handbook and go on a self guided exploration around Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Wilderness guides throughout the park will help orient you so you can accomplish different tasks throughout the parks. Make sure you grab your badge after you complete each task. Don’t worry you will not have to complete the entire handbook in one visit.

Agent P’s Adventures

Become a secret agent and help Perry in his quest to prevent world domination around Epcot’s World showcase. All you need is a phone and you can begin your mission. Use the Play Disney Parks app to play. Your phone will provide you you clues to help solve each mission as you travel around the world. Your progress will only be saved for the day. So if you do not complete it in one day, you will have to start over.

Finding Hidden Mickey’s and Resort Hoping are our two favorite free activities to do while at Disney World. What is your favorite activity while at Disney World?

Free activities at Walt Disney World