Amazing Disney Park Tips You Might not Know
No matter whether your next Disney trip is your first or your fiftieth, you still have something to learn about a park visit. Disney’s gates are ever-changing, and their technologies get updated so often that you’ll struggle to keep up. Don’t worry! That’s why we’re here! We want to pass along everything that we learn along the way. Here are a few Disney park tips that you may not know.
A Broken Ride Can Be a Good Thing
Do you hate that sinking feeling when you pull up an attraction’s wait-time, only to see that it’s down for maintenance? The frustration is that much worse when you have a FastPass for the ride. You may worry that you’ve wasted one of your precious FastPass selections.
I have good news. One of my favorite Disney park tips is that Disney wouldn’t hang anybody out to dry like that. The company is in the magic-making business. The FastPass system includes contingencies to avoid these potential frustrations for customers. Should your FastPass attraction close down, Disney will replace it automatically.
You’ll receive an email notification of which ride is unavailable. The same message will display a list of options for replacements. Generally, your options include most of the rides in the park. In such situations, a broken-down attraction actually helps you!
You’ll get a “blank” FastPass listed as Multiple Experiences. It will provide you the option of several different attractions to replace the one that you missed with your FastPass. Sometimes, the options are for rides with much longer wait-times than the one currently receiving maintenance. If you really want to ride your original FastPass, that will be an option, too. Simply keep an eye on the My Disney Experience app and pick whatever suits your needs.
Be Alert about Your Blank FastPass
I want to alert you to a potential problem with your Multiple Experiences FastPass. You could accidentally use it! Let’s say that Pirates of the Caribbean is down for maintenance. You receive the opportunity to use a FastPass for Splash Mountain instead.
While you’re in Adventureland, you may have a FastPass for Jungle Cruise, too. Your natural thought process is to walk over to that ride since Pirates isn’t in operation. Oddly, this could work out poorly for you.
Each of your FastPass selections has a window of an hour. For example, your Jungle Cruise FastPass could be good from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Since you didn’t ride Pirates, you’re running a bit ahead of schedule. Should you arrive at Jungle Cruise at 1:28 p.m. and use your FastPass, well, I have bad news.
The system will recognize your Multiple Experiences FastPass and presume you’re using that one instead. Your 1:30 p.m. FastPass won’t execute since it’s not quite in the window. You’ve just wasted your blank FastPass!
Don’t worry. This mistake is easy to avoid. When you have a Multiple Experiences FastPass, simply remember to use your other FastPasses within their specific time windows. As long as you do that, you’ll keep the super-mega-valuable blank FastPass until you’re ready to use it!
An Important Ride Photo Tip…
One of my favorite parts of the Disney theme park experience is getting ride photos. It’s a reason why I always have PhotoPass activated during my Disney vacations. I know that each time I board an attraction that snaps my picture, Disney will capture that memory forever in my PhotoPass archive.
The system is simple enough. On some rides like Splash Mountain and Test Track, Disney’s set up automatic picture spots. When your ride cart passes a set point, a camera takes a photograph. Ostensibly, when you exit the ride, Disney uploads the image to your My Disney Experience account.
There’s a small catch, though. Some rides don’t automatically upload the videos. Disney wasn’t able to add this technology to some of their older attractions. I know that Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is one because my wife noticed that the pictures from it weren’t in our account one day. Disney confirmed that this is the case.
The fix for this issue is simple, and it’s one you should practice on each participating attraction. When you exit rides that have onboard photos, you’ll see a picture on one of the nearby monitors. Disney has these screens up to entice people to buy the images or, better yet, the full PhotoPass package.
What you may not have noticed is the Magic Band touchpads beneath the images. These buttons are akin to the ones for FastPass rides. You press your Magic Band against the pad to signal the system.
For attractions, you’re verifying that you have the requisite FastPass. For ride photos, something ingenious occurs. By tapping your Magic Band, you signal that you want a copy of the applicable image.
Get in the habit of using your Magic Band for every possible ride photo. That way, you’ll guarantee that your images always propagate to My Disney Experience. It only takes five extra seconds to walk over to the ride photo kiosk and tap your Magic Band. The benefit is the potential of a truly great picture not being lost forever!
Here’s a Way to Save Money on Pin Trading
Are you addicted to pin trading? I previously listed pins as one of the impulse buys to avoid on a Disney vacation. I also knew as I posted it that I was screaming into the abyss. Pin trading is huuuuuge business for Disney. The merchandise costs little to manufacture, and guests are hopelessly obsessed with adding to their collections.
Look, I’m not judging you. I have far too many Stitch stuffed animals in plain sight to cast any stones here. Instead, I’m here to help. From one fellow collectibles addict to another, here’s some advice on how to save a bit of cash.
Some cast members are willing to trade pins. In fact, the practice is so popular that I swear it has its own sub-entry on Wikipedia. You can and should take advantage of this act of benevolence. You can even maximize your return.
Pin trading ain’t cheap, and you may not be able to afford all the best pins, especially not while you’re on a Disney vacation. You can save all of that money by planning ahead, though! Pin trading rules state that cast members will trade one of theirs for one of yours.
What happens when you’re attached to your pins, though? Believe it or not, you can use eBay or a similar service to get a bunch of pins at once! eBay has listings for lots of Disney pins. And by lots, I mean that some sellers list 25-lot, 50-lot, or 100-lot pin auctions!
Some pins cost $10+ on their own. On eBay, you can oftentimes purchase a set of 50 non-duplicate Disney pins for less than $30. Once you get to the park, you can then exchange some of those pins for ones that you covet!
There you have it…some of the best Disney park tips you may not have known. Good luck utilizing these tips on your next Disney vacation!