Is Theme park preferred parking worth it?

man standing on parking lot
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Legoland, Universal Studios Florida, and now Disney World offer “preferred parking”. It seems like a needless expense, but it depends on how long you stay in the park and how stubborn you are. I like to stay all day at a park because I refuse to waste money on those park tickets. However, I’m too frugal for parking upgrades. I’m remorseful on my way out of the park when I’m having to walk those extra 5 miles to my vehicle. I’m not a fan of waiting on the parking lot tram and the extra 10 minutes it takes for the “final” boarding call as people climb on top of the tram like it’s an escape from a war zone. The real war zone is free bus transportation.

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New Disney FastPass Ideas

No need for a FastPass if you want to watch concrete set at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. I’ll come back in seven years to check on it. Not everything has a FastPass at Walt Disney World, but some spots should. Here are a few ideas.

Bathrooms – Sometimes the sphincter muscles will not hold diarrhea at the doorstep. Some people would gladly exchange their Seven Dwarfs Mine Train pass for a luxury stall with Cottonelle wipes. Yes, you magic band would unlock the stall door.

Monorail – After a long day, nothing is more discouraging than waiting in a long cattle corral to get on a bacteria tube. Of course, if you have a motorized cart, you get an automatic FastPass, but you don’t want to fake an illness.

 

Coolest rides at Disney’s Magic Kingdom

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When I say coolest rides, I mean rides that you can sit down and cool off. These are not necessarily fun rides, but rides when you need a  break from the heat and crowds and want to relax a bit. Here are my go-to rides that have relatively low wait to ride ratios.

Carousel of Progress

Large air-conditioned theater, low lights, and a nice view of the evolution of technology for the upper-middle-class family. I have noticed that people will get up in the middle of the ride and exit, which will prompt the PA announcer to bellow out hateful instructions to park their can in the seat. But this is my go-to ride on when I’m exhausted, it’s the most comfortable.

Haunted Mansion

Again, cold and dark, but a bit funky smelling. One portion of the ride even reclines so that you can stretch out a bit. Very relaxing until that hitchhiker at the end removes your noggin.

People Mover

It’s air-conditioned the old fashioned way, wind! Pretty comfortable and they will let you stay on if it’s not to busy. Sit back, put your feet up and don’t forget to WOOO! when you enter Space Mountain.

Hall of Presidents

Another great show with some history, ignore the massive revisionist history. Just enjoy the show and the people booing Barack Obama and Donald Trump robots.

Disney World Railroad

Best if you ride in the evening and get some more of that wind air conditioning. You can ride as long as you like and it makes a nice alternative from walking from Frontier Land to Main Street at the end of the day.

An Introverts Disney World Survival Guide

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Walt showing you the way out!

Well, the title can be misleading, as a recovering introvert, you will be exposed to more people than you will ever experience in your entire existence. You will have to set aside your need for quiet, conformity and perfectionism. This will be messy, but here are my best tips.

Stay on Property

I don’t care how much it costs, don’t be a cheap-wad. Staying on property is worth every penny. You get a fantastic themed room, great bus service, and free parking if you get tired of someone’s butt in your face after you’ve raced to get a seat on the transport. Just don’t stay until the park closes, otherwise, you will be waiting in one of those cattle corrals for about an hour.

Take a small bag, but only one.

Dads, haul the bag through security and let your family browse the overpriced items near the entrance. It’s a bad idea to have everyone bring a bag. Your wife will thank you for leaving her purse in the car. I use a small sling pack that can hold tons of stuff. What to put in the bag? Keep reading. You don’t need much.

Bring a refillable water bottle.

Preferably one that is vacuum sealed so it keeps ice all day. Most places will give you ice and you can fill up your bottle at any number of water fountains.

Bring sunscreen

Just a small refillable applicator and face stick. You will get burned in more than one way

Camera with zoom.

Preferably an SLR with longer optical zoom. It’s a little extra weight, but worth the pain because of the quality of the photos. The photographers there will even use your fancy pants camera because they appreciate your effort. Plus you can get photo tips from them as well. Just don’t take that big camera every day, just on those days when you plan out your iconic photos. If you can get a deal on the Disney photo pass, DO IT, I regret not just forking over the dough and getting all those great shots.

Enjoy the park food

Pack only a few snacks for when you or your family gets hangry. Beef Jerky, Slim Jims, Nuts, Granola bars something with protein, stuff that won’t melt. Enjoy the food in the park as much as you can. Again don’t be cheap, eat and enjoy the park food. Book a nice sit-down restaurant too.

Fast passes

No brainer, get them for later in the day and head for the rides you want first as soon as the gates open. For instance, hit the Seven Dwarfs mine train first and then use your fast pass later. Or just visit all the other rides while people pile on the most popular. Staying on the property will get you a 60-day head start on getting fast passes.

Stay at least 4 days

Spend at least an entire day at each park. Most people skimp on the Animal Kingdom, but there is plenty to do there. It’s not all about thrill rides. Thrill your brain and learn some stuff. Also, try to visit during Christmas time, the Magic Kingdom is way better when all the sights, sounds and music of Christmas are up and running.

Get the park hopper option

We end up going to the Magic Kingdom every evening after we’ve exhausted our time at other parks. There is nothing quite like the Magic Kingdom at night.

Take care of your feet!

I can’t stress this enough, you will be walking miles per day. My personal best is 14 miles in a single day. Wear proper fitting and breathable shoes. Wear anti-friction socks and let them air out when you get back to the hotel. I managed to remain blister free on my last two trips. Leave the flip-flop and slides at the hotel for the pool.

Also, if you have small children, don’t ride the haunted mansion first.

 

 

How to get a fast pass for the fast pass line.

IMG_1059Sometimes you need a FastPass for the FastPass kiosk so you can get more FastPasses. That is probably the number one phrase I hear at Disney, “I’m so glad we got a FastPass”. Really? who doesn’t want a FastPass? Why would anyone say, “I’m so glad I get to wait in this 90-minute line for a 1 minute and 30-second ride. Of course, you can use the app or book ahead of time. However, it’s not beneficial unless you are staying at WDW resort and can get the FP+ for the Mine Train at 8 pm because you still don’t have the inside track on bookings. I recently visited the Magic Kingdom and I felt like I needed to get a FastPass for the trashcans, water fountains, toilet, and even to exit the park.

Fastpass helps and it’s far from perfect, but what you really need for maximum Disney enjoyment is to become super rich and take one of those guided tours where they shuffle you in and out of rides and give you all access to the underbelly of Disney. It might be easier to fake a horrible disease, but I’m sure Disney will vet you thoroughly via DNA scans and you can get your super cool Fastpass.

Disney Theme park guest stereotypes

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Walt telling you to leave

Rules don’t apply Guy

Selfie stick is banned? No problem, I’ll shove it up my butt if I have to sneak it in. Guy can even sneak in a cooler with lunch for his whole crew.

Line skipper Skip

This person will come to the front of the line when it’s time to ride. How do they accomplish this? They let someone else wait for them. Whether it be a grandmother in a scooter or a wife with a stroller he manages to let others do the waiting. Always uses the phrase. “So sorry, just catching up with my family”.

Stroller steam roller Sally

She has the biggest stroller you’ve ever seen and it’s her weapon to make a path through the park. Your ankles will be destroyed. It will be your fault if you are hit.

Bassackwards Bruce

He’s related to Debbie and Patty, but he will reverse course in an instant. He will at least wait until you are right behind him and carrying a beverage so that it dumps over both of you.

Single Rider Abusing Bobby

Bobby will use the single rider line with his family of 12 leaving his younger children to fend for themselves either in line with strangers at the gift shop.

Never Hungry Hugh

He’s always munching on something. Turkey legs, popcorn, ice cream, and he’s never hungry. Not necessarily a fat person, but a person with deep pockets.

Flashy Frida

Frida like to use her flash on a dark ride, during fireworks, or to locate someone with the strobe effect on her phone. Frida doesn’t care if the ride is supposed to be dark and spooky. She’s the only person riding.

Body Oder Bo

BO Bo likes to sweat it up all day at the park while smelling like a tub of french onion dip. The tactic works as it frees up space around him and sometimes will make people leave the line because they will start craving wavy potato chips.

Dead Stop Debbie

She will be walking in front of you and then come to a complete stop to check for wait times. Keep a safe following distance to allow her to stop and clear a path for any Sally’s nearby.

Path Blocking Patty

She’s at the exit of a ride looking at her one of many hundreds of selfies from the previous ride. She’s could be waiting for the rest of her party at the Fastpass entrance. She doesn’t want you to experience the ride before her so she pleads for you to wait so her family can all ride together.

Fastpass Freddie

Always has a FastPass no matter what. Somehow he’s got a friend on the inside or is using the FastPass that he booked for his 2-year-old or wife who gets motion sick.

 

Small Business Saturday, Shop Local!

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Photo by Kaique Rocha on Pexels.com

I think it’s a neat idea to shop local, but not for long. I think that all customer service reps, or anyone that is responsible for answering phones, need to take acting classes. If you are having a bad day and use a sarcastic tone or interrupt the person calling then your superiors need to know about how you are ruining their business. Local shops won’t last much longer, you can’t compete with robots that take your orders and ship things to your door in 2 days.