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Top Terms All Disney Guests Should Know

By June 16, 2017 April 8th, 2019 No Comments

If you were traveling to a Spanish speaking nation, you’d want to learn that “Where is the bathroom?” is “Donde esta el bano?” Now, that is an extreme example but you’ll want to know basic terms and words so that you know the proper questions to ask the natives. In the same way with Disney, there are certain terms, words and phrases you need to learn before you go.

Welcome to Believe Vacations Top 10 where today, we’ll take a look at the Top 10 Terms Every Disney Guest Must Know. While there are many abbreviations and terminologies in Disney’s made-up language, knowing the basics may save an hour in line, help you get that dining reservation or even make you as smart as a Believe Vacation Authorized Disney Travel Agent. So if I told you “I got your table-service booked in the 180+ window and now I’ll get the Magical Express to carry you to rope drop via My Disney Experience to meet your 8:30 am FP+ before it closes for refurbishment,” would you have a clue? Well let’s dive right in!

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10) 180+ – Time-window prior to your official Disney arrival day that allows you to book dining reservations, recreation inside and outside of the parks, etc.
180 is a very important number at Disney. It’s a significant milestone saying that in less than half a year’s time, you’ll be at the Happiest Place on Earth. For that reason, 6 months away is a great time for you to start claiming your extracurricular activities and grab those much coveted dining reservations. Once you get to this benchmark, you’re halfway home with your planning. Speaking of planning dining reservations…

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9) ADR, Counter-Service, Table-Service, Character Meal – Various terms to describe the atmosphere and serving style of the restaurant/food stand at which you will dine.
ADR (Advanced Dining Reservations) are maybe more important to plan than rides (oops, wrong word, see #3). ADR is open 180 days prior to arrival where other bookings happen closerto arrival. You’ll have your choices of:
Counter Service Meals – No reservations needed; Walk-up, order at the counter snack stands
Table Service Meals – Reservations highly recommended; traditional seating and waited on style with menus to choose from
Character Meals – The most popular (and hardest to get ADRs) restaurants on property; Dine from menu choices or buffets with your favorite characters which are specific to each location available.

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8) EMH – (Extra Magic Hours) that let all Disney resort guests access to parks 1 to several hours before or after official park opening or closing.
One of the reasons a Believe Vacations Authorized Disney Travel Agent is beneficial to your trip is our ability to plan your day(s) using EMH as our guide. Wouldn’t you like to enjoy the parks when crowds are lightest? Even if you are only enjoying it for 1 hour, you’ll be thankful you got in 3-5 more rides (Oops, I did it again, see #3) before the rest of the crowd shuffles in.

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7) Memory Maker – An add-on service that provides you and your family unlimited photos taken by Disney Cast Members throughout your stay.
One of the best investments you can make at Disney is to purchase Memory Maker. With photographers located throughout the parks, resorts and Disney grounds, you’ll never worry about leaving your camera at home. Some photos may include your family in an awkward pose. Why? Well through some Disney magic, a character may appear in your photo when you go to look at them later. And don’t worry about capturing your faces on your favorite rides. Memory Maker includes those too!

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6) Rope Drop – When a Disney park actually opens.
If you listen to any advice about Disney Parks, heed the one that says “Get there at Rope Drop.” This is different from EMH as Rope Drop is when the park of your choice opens to all guests. So why not “Opening?” Well, in some cases, a rope is used to keep everyone back until the minute of the opening.  Naturally, it’s caught on with Disney fans. Regardless, be there and you’ll beat the rest of the crowd by an hour or two.

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5) Refurbishment – When something is closed due to renovation, maintenance, updating, etc.
Sometimes, you just need to update. Thankfully, Disney gives their guests (skip a bit further for this term) ample heads up time for most refurbishments. If you are planning a trip and know that you REALLY need to ride Space Mountain, you best check that refurbishment schedule and make sure it’s still up and running in 6 months when you visit. Not knowing something has to be updated is a bummer once you stand in front of said something and it has a big sign saying “Closed.”

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4) Cast Member – A Disney employee
Disney policy tells its employees that every day is a show. As a Cast Member, you play a part in that show with the guest (just a bit further for this term) being the audience. In fact, as a Cast Member, you have an important role and must play your part to the best you can. Your job is to entertain the audience and make them wanting more. It also helps if the audience shows the proper gratitude and thanks towards the wonderful cast who give you the show of a lifetime.

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3) Attraction – A Disney ride, show or experience designed to excite or thrill guests
Rides are what you get on at the county fairs; Attractions are designed specifically to give you memories. And Disney attractions are second to none when it comes to entertainment. From kid rides to conquering the thrilling mountains, from educational exhibits to live action shows, all senses and feelings will be pushed to the limit as you hop from one attraction to the next!

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2) FP+ – (Fast Pass Plus) allows you to reserve an hour window to put you closer to the front of the line and by-passing the stand-by wait time of an attraction
No one likes to wait in line and Fast Pass Plus is the perfect solution for that. As you make reservations before your trip, the window of time from 60 days out will allow you to pick 3 rides within one of the parks. You decide what times you want to ride 3 attractions and confirm them on the My Disney Experience App. During the time window you reserved, simply walk up to the Fast Pass Entrance for that particular attraction and you’ll be escorted to a queue (line) that will bring you as close to the front of the attraction as possible. Just be prepared for the mean looks you get from people waiting 2 hours for the same attraction!

Honorable Mention:
Mousekeeping – Housekeeping with a Disney twist
Magical Express – The bus line that transports you and your luggage to your Walt Disney World Resort from the Orlando International Airport
My Disney Experience – The one-stop app on your mobile device that links your reservations, credit cards, dining reservations, Fast Pass times, wait times, entertainment schedules and much more.

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1) Guest – You!
There is a reason “Be our Guest” is one of the most popular songs in Disney’s catalog. You are visiting a new place and our hosts (the wonderful Cast Members) want you to feel at home. As a Guest, you will be treated fairly, graciously, and every one of your questions will try to be answered to the fullest and quickest. And now, we invite you to relax, let us pull up a chair….you know the rest!

Did we miss anything? Is there a Disney term you’ve heard or seen and need to know what it means? Let us know in the comments section and as always, there’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow!

Brian Pavlick

Brian Pavlick

Brian Pavlick is a husband and father residing in Maylene, AL. His love of Disney goes back to his early memories of watching the New Disney Channel on cable, occasional vacations to Orlando Florida and attending Disney Institute Management Training classes. He keeps up with Disney news and updates by reading numerous websites, experiencing attractions by watching YouTube videos and introducing his family to classic and timeless Disney movies, attractions and songs.