Although I had visited Walt Disney World as a child, it wasn’t until I was an adult with children of my own that I was able to make it back. I thought that because I had been there before, I had a “leg up” on the other Guests that had never been before.
But, you know what, I was so lost. So much had changed that planning my first Disney trip as an adult was just as difficult as trying to learn a new language.
And really, that’s exactly what I was doing. I had to learn to “speak Disney” in order to understand what I was planning.
So, I’m going back to the basics today and giving you the “Cliff-notes” version of Learning Disney Lingo (the Walt Disney World edition) – see below for a link on Disneyland Lingo.
This is where I would get the most confused. I knew what WDW (Walt Disney World) and DLR (Disneyland Resort) meant, but there seemed to be a whole other language of abbreviations that everyone, but me, seemed to understand.
Most Commonly Used
- Fastpass+ – These are those passes that everyone talks about booking 30-60 days ahead of time in order to shorten your time spent waiting in line for certain attractions.
- Related Post: Fastpass+ – Updated for Toy Story Land
- Advanced Dining Reservations – Many Table Service Restaurants (sit down restaurants where you have a waiter/waitress) recommend booking a Reservation. You are allowed to reserve a table up to 180 days in advance.
- Disney Dining Plan – When you book a Disney Package, you have to option to add a pre-paid Dining Plan to your package. When you get to Walt Disney World, you don’t have to worry about paying any extra money for food (except tipping).
- There are 2 types of Restaurants – QS – Quick Service or Counter Service (fast-food type restaurant) and TS – Table Service (sit-down restaurant)
- My Disney Experience – An incredibly helpful tool that helps you keep track of everything, including current wait times in the Parks. You can find My Disney Experience online and in their Free App.
- Be sure to check out the My Disney Experience link for an in-depth look at why this tool is so important to your planning.
- Disney’s Magical Express – Often confused for the abbreviation above, Disney’s Magical Express is that magical ride to and from Orlando International Airport (MCO).
- Be sure to check out the Disney’s Magical Express link for an in-depth look into this completely free shuttle – including how to book yours.
- Extra Magic Hours – A perk given to Guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort that extends the hours you are allowed to be in the Parks (varies between before opening and after closing – check MDE to see which Park is having Extra Magic Hours)
- Disney Vacation Club – This is Disney’s Timeshare. When you start researching Resorts, you’ll most likely run into this term a lot.
- Transportation and Ticket Center – A large parking lot between Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Since there is no parking lot at Magic Kingdom, this the lot that you will need to park at, if you’re driving.
- If you are taking the monorail between Magic Kingdom and Epcot, this is the stop where you will need to transfer to the other monorail to continue your journey to the other Park. When in doubt, just follow the crowds, who are most likely doing the same exact thing.
- Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party – Separate ticket available for select nights between August and Halloween Night, in Magic Kingdom.
- Related Post: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party – Tips and FAQ
- Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – Separate ticket available for select nights between early November and Christmas, in Magic Kingdom.
Theme Parks, Water Parks, and Sports Complex on Property
- AK – Animal Kingdom
- DHS – Disney’s Hollywood Studios – (Not to be confused with Universal Studios)
- MK – Magic Kingdom
- EP – Epcot
- BB – Blizzard Beach (Water Park)
- DS – Disney Springs (Shopping District)
- TL – Typhoon Lagoon (Water Park)
- WWOS – Wide World of Sports (Sports Complex)
Common Words and Phrases
- Cast Members – Disney employees. This includes everyone from the bus drivers, to performers, to cashiers.
- MagicBand – This refers to the colored bracelet that “magically” holds all of your information, including theme park tickets, meal credits, and hotel key.
- ParkHopping / ParkHopper – Visiting or “hopping” to more than one Disney Park in one day. If this appeals to you, then you can upgrade your Park Ticket to a Parkhopper ticket, so you are able to Hop to as many Parks in one day as you would like.
- Be sure to check out Park Hopping -Finding Your Way Around Without Getting Lost for a more in-depth look into maneuvering around Walt Disney World.
- Park Hopper Plus Ticket – This ticket allows you to “hop” between all 4 Theme Parks in a single day AND gives you access to the 2 Water Parks (equal to the number of days you purchased).
- Be sure to check out How We Did Typhoon Lagoon In 2 Hours!
- Child Swap / Rider Switch – When you have multiple adults that want to ride an attraction, but you have little ones that can’t ride because they’re too little, you can use Child Swap. The first group rides the attraction while the second group waits with the little ones. Once the first group is done, they take over watching the little ones and the second group gets to ride.
- Everyone must show up and show a Cast Member that you have little ones with you in order to be allowed to use this.
- This is especially great for other kids in the family who do ride the attraction since they will be allowed to ride with both groups.
- PhotoPass / MagicMaker – A photo package that can be purchased to capture unlimited photos. This includes on-ride photos, character- dining, and every other photo that is taken by a Disney PhotoPass photographer.
- Magic Shot – A PhotoPass photographer may ask you to pose a certain way. These poses will add a magical addition to your photos, such as a character or other fun props.
- Rope Drop – The opening of the Park. Historically, Cast Members used to hold a physical rope that was dropped to signify the start of a new day in the parks. Technology has changed things, but the term still remains.
- Stand-by Line/Queue – This is the line that Guests, who do not hold a Fastpass, stand in. While longer, these lines tend to be better themed and sometimes include interactive games for Guests to play with while waiting.
- Single Rider Line – A few rides give lone riders the chance to enter a different line, serving as “seat fillers” for the empty seats left by groups of Guests with odd numbers (this is why you rarely see any empty seats on popular rides at Disney). Oftentimes (but not always), this also results in shorter waits than the Standby line. Guests who choose to enter the Single Rider Line with family/friends will be separated once they get to the front of the line.
Want to learn Disneyland Lingo? Check out our other post dedicated to Disneyland. Don’t think it’ll be different than Walt Disney World’s list? You’ll be surprised just how different the two Resorts really are.
Related Post: Walt Disney World vs Disneyland
If you think of any other words or abbreviations that are not listed, please let me know so I can add them to the list!
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