The Land of Oz: Surviving Disney, Part II - The Mouse Strikes Back
Some people are not fortunate enough (or unfortunate enough, depending on your point of view) to ever get to visit the happiest place on earth. Significantly fewer people get to experience it twice. Me and the missus made a pact when we returned from the first trip that one excursion to Fairytale Land was absolutely enough.
But when the lady of the house got word that she would be transported to a two-day work conference in beautiful Orlando, Florida, we figured, “What the heck.”
Here’s what happened: the second attempt at securing eternal child happiness went remarkably better than the first. It seems that every time you visit the Mouse Monstrosity, you learn from your previous mistakes – which makes your future experiences much more enjoyable. But again, not everybody gets to do that.
So, herein is part two of “Unofficial Disney World Maneuvering” advice. Combine it with my first article a few years ago on the same topic, and you’ve got a pretty good guideline to follow. As always, please consult other reputable sources before implementation.
Make sure you FP: The Fast Pass is essential, because Disney crams as many people as they can into their parks – with no concern regarding how long you must wait in line to ride the rides. The FP is almost your only weapon. If you stay in a Disney Resort, you can schedule your FP 60 days in advance – 30 days if you stay outside the resort. And don't wait to do it, either. The rides in high demand will fill up the first day they are made available to you.
Get there early: Here is the other weapon. A lot of people will get there to run in when the doors open … but most of them won’t. If riding the most rides you can is your motive, this is of the utmost importance. The hottest ride at the time of this writing is “Flight of Passage” – also known as the Avatar ride. The average wait time is running around three hours. But we arrived at the Animal Kingdom an hour before it opened (8 a.m.) and got on the ride at 9:15. By the time we got done, the wait was two and half hours.
Use ride-sharing apps: Unless you drive down or rent a car, you are going to be at the mercy of the Disney shuttles to go between parks. And I can’t recommend them. Many of them have multiple stops on a route, and you can spend hours on the road (which is exactly what happened our first trip). This time, we used Lyft, and it probably saved us two hours per day, at least. Every park has a drop-off except for the Magic Kingdom, which drops you at a monorail station to finish the trip. And that’s just as good.