A stay at Walt Disney World in Orlando has always been expensive. Today, almost everything that used to be offered for free has to be paid for, and the many changes over the last few years have contributed to the increase in price. Does the magic still work? Yes, but it’s better to get up early to fully enjoy it. And use the application on his smartphone.
Posted yesterday at 11:30am
My daughter Alyssa and I share the same fever as we enter Walt Disney World (WDW). The hours of sleep count little as there is so much to see and do. This was our tenth stay together in this particular universe, the last being in January 2020. We reserved our place in advance in each of the parks that we planned to visit each day. It was clear that we would return to the Magic Kingdom first, to once again feel the incomparable atmosphere that reigns there.
For us, the Park Hopper option, which allows you to visit multiple parks in the same day, was worth the rather high additional cost (about $65-$85 depending on the number of days and period of travel). ). ‘Year). We have multiplied visits to Epcot, rich in culinary experiences in the vast space dedicated to different countries of the world, World Showcase. Getting there was by monorail (from Magic Kingdom), bus (from Animal Kingdom), or Skyliner boat or gondola (from Hollywood Studios). In the latter case, we could have walked there as well.
First observation: the employees, called cast members (members of the distributor, like in the cinema), are always so considerate. They smile and are extremely friendly whether they are in the parks, at the hotel, or on the bus ride. You really feel in a special place.
Second comment: we were right not to worry about restaurant reservations. Before leaving, we had made two for a five night stay, knowing we would be eating mostly fast food meals at the hotel and parks. The easy-to-use Genie system, which is built into the WDW application for free, has proved very useful in managing our reservations. Unless you’re keen on going to a specific location, like Cinderella’s Royal Table in Magic Kingdom, the choice of last-minute dining options is varied, as reservations can be canceled free of charge up to two hours before the scheduled time.
We need to talk about Genie+
Instead of the old FastPass, there are three options for you to skip the lines. To take advantage of this, staying at a hotel in WDW means you need to be at the summit by 7am, phone in hand, to make sure you’re making the rides that matter to you. Those staying elsewhere will have to wait for the parks to open at 9am. For buffs like us who didn’t plan to sleep late, this challenge was fun.
What is the famous Genie+ system implemented in October 2021? This is accessible in the WDW app for a fee that ranges from $15 to $29 per person per day, depending on the time of year. Each morning, Genie+ directs you to the Lightning Lanes, which allow you to complete most rides in just a few minutes by selecting them one at a time. However, the most popular rides are out of the reach of Genie+.
You’ll have to pay an individual supplement (from $11 to $25 depending on the trip and time of year, whether you opt for Genie+ or not) to avoid the long lines, which can reach 200 minutes on the sensational Avatar flight of passage at Animal Kingdom and the spectacular Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Hollywood Studios. In order to play the brand new and exciting Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind for free at Epcot, you must sign up for a virtual “queue” to be part of a later convened party. You must do it promptly at 7am or 1pm once you have entered the park.
Very helpful service
We ran various tests to conclude that for enthusiasts like us it’s worth buying Genie+ daily, which allowed us to do at least five super popular rides a day (at two different parks) without spending 45 hours each time to have to wait. , 60 or 85 minutes. We were actually able to choose a new attraction every two hours. The $25 daily surcharge (while we were there) was $5 per trip. But we were there from when the parks opened until they closed. The WDW website is more cautious, stating that Genie+ offers quick access to two or three trips a day.
By also checking the WDW app for ride wait times, we adjusted our strategy over time to get as much done as possible.
As for the custom bounty required to bypass the queues for the most popular rides, we changed our minds after doing Avatar Flight of Passage in Animal Kingdom. We especially like this carousel where we flee a dragon attack by flying over Pandora on the back of a banshee. We were amazed because after a short detour we ended up right in the hallway that led to the room where we were paired with our avatar to temporarily become Na’vi. It was… too fast.
We realized how queuing, designed to distract us, prepares us mentally and enriches the experience. After that, we patiently waited to do for the first time the hilarious Remy’s Ratatouille adventure at Epcot and one of our favorite rides in the Magic Kingdom, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
Too bad if the waiting time exceeds 80 minutes. That too is part of the fun of being at Walt Disney World.
Transportation to Orlando was provided free of charge by Air Transat, which did not exercise any right to view this report.
Our guide to a successful experience at Walt Disney World
It’s more important than ever to prepare before entering Walt Disney World. Here are some tips that could prove very useful to get the most out of the experience.
The Mears Connect bus service has replaced Disney’s Magical Express, which shuttled free between Orlando Airport and WDW hotels. We charge US$16 per adult and US$13.50 per child between the ages of 3 and 9 round trip. Depending on group size, a taxi or Lyft or Uber service may be beneficial. A car seat is not guaranteed.
If possible, visit WDW outside of school vacations and American holidays and Thanksgiving. The prices are lower and there are fewer people.
Check park opening times, which are posted in advance on the WDW website, to make a wise choice. Special evenings are regularly organized at the Magic Kingdom, which shorten the length of a normal day.
The cheapest are the hotels in the “Value” category at WDW. Watch out for deals that drastically lower prices.
Bring your Magic Band from a previous trip if it is not your first trip. It is important as it allows you to enter the parks and make purchases without having any money on you, but it is no longer provided for free.
Don’t take the Park Hopper option if it’s a first time stay. Each park has a lot to offer. Disney Springs, a fabulous center for entertainment, dining and shopping, is also worth a visit after a busy day.
When the parks open, don’t go to the more popular rides, which fill up. Instead, wait about ten minutes before the parks close to get online. The waiting time will be much shorter.
Use the free transportation system in WDW. There are many ways to get to the parks, hotels and Disney Springs by bus, boat, plane on the Skyliner and on foot. You just have to be resourceful to get there.
No need to buy bottled water. Ask for a glass of water when ordering your meal or snack.
Pack Mickey and Minnie sweaters. The cost is much lower than buying locally. It’s also time to put those princess dresses you bought for Halloween to good use.