Friday, June 7, 2013

Making the Most of Your Family's WDW Visit, Part 2

In today's blog, we will continue discussing helpful tips for making the most of your trip to the World.  If you missed part 1, you can find it under the post from June 4.

Tip #4: Take Advantage of Extra Magic Hours

Extra Magic Hours (EMH) are available to guests who are staying on property, and they are a huge benefit!  Each day, one of the four parks either opens one hour early or stays open for up to 3 hours after normal closing time.  Speaking from experience, EMH can really maximize your time.  Imagine getting to the Magic Kingdom right at 8 AM and being able to enjoy Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, and even Peter Pan's Flight without a wait! These queues can often post waits of 45 minutes or more.  Not a morning person?  Stay late into the evening and enjoy thinner crowds and cooler temperatures.  EMH make it much easier to heed the advice of Tip #3.  Note, that not every attraction is open during the morning hours, but most are open in the evening.   

Tip #5: Ask a Cast Member

Ask them what? Well, basically anything.  If there is something you need to make your experience more magical, they will happily do their best to accommodate you.  For example, did you know that there is a "child-swap" option available on most attractions?  If you have a small child who can't/won't ride a particular attraction, both parents can still enjoy that ride without waiting in line twice.  Simply ask the cast members!  Want to know more about a particular attraction (hidden Mickeys, backstory information, etc.)?  The cast members are great about sharing ... and they often do so in character!  

Tip #6: Make the Queue Part of the Experience

We tend to think of queues in a negative sense - biding our time until we get to the "good part".  But the Disney Imagineers have even found a way to make this seemingly mundane part of the theme park experience fun!  Many attractions now feature interactive queues, providing hands-on, visually stimulating, and fun experiences that help to pass the time until the attraction itself.  The Haunted Mansion interactive queue is one of my favorites; I still am not tired of playing the ghostly "Ravenscroft" organ.  Even "non-interactive" queues are themed so perfectly that there is no shortage of interesting scenery along the way.  By immersing yourself in the full experience, you'll find your enjoyment of the attractions greatly enhanced -- and you may just notice some details you would otherwise have missed!  Have little ones? Finding Hidden Mickeys is another wonderful way to pass the time. 

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