Emotional Experience Awaits you at Avatar – Flight of Passage

Do you ever ride a ride or roller coaster at a theme park that truly blows your mind? I have rides that I love, rides that I don’t mind waiting in line for, and rides that I will remember for the rest of my life. That said, what I experienced the first time that I got to ride Avatar – Flight of Passage was close to life changing.  I know that sounds a bit extreme, but once you ride it, you will see what I mean.

How Realistic is Avatar – Flight of Passage?

What you see as you approach Avatar: Flight of Passage

You may be asking, why is everyone making such a big deal about this ride? Well, it all starts with the theming. As you walk into Pandora – The World of Avatar, you will feel like you have been transformed into a whole new world. From the ground, to the foliage, to the top of the mountains, not one detail was left out. As you go through the process of getting to the ride, all your senses will be triggered, and you start to feel like you have been transported to somewhere you have never been before.

Becoming an Avatar

Once you make it through all the lines and queues, you will enter a room where you will be matched to your avatar so that you will be able to board your Mountain Banshee.  From there, you will be led into another viewing room where you will learn how to get on the ride to prepare for flight.  There are also back-stores told during both rooms. Once you are fully educated on the importance of banshees to the World of Pandora, you are now ready to put on your glasses and board your banshee.

An Emotional and Physical Experience

Getting on to your banshee, you might be feeling a little weird. You climb onto what feels like a stationary motorcycle. Once in place, the seat closes in on your back and tightens up around your calves. The ride starts out by bringing your ride out into the sky on your banshee as you enter the Valley of the Mo’ara. From here, you will begin your flight through what will most likely be one of the most exhilarating rides you have ever experienced.  Everything is so life-like as you swoop down into valleys and mountains, enter caves, hover over the ocean, and react with the other mountain banshees. You will feel the banshee breathing throughout your body, you will feel the rising and falling, and you will smell the scents of the caves, ocean, and animals that you encounter throughout your flight through the Valley of Mo’ara. As the ride comes to an end, your heart and mind will be filled with joy and excitement as you just experienced something that can only be seen in movies.

The Line for Avatar – Flight of Passage

How do we start. Let’s talk about the wait time. I have seen this ride have a wait of four hours or more.  While I do love this ride, with two little girls, I do not believe that I could stand in line this long, nor do I believe that would even be possible. So, how do we get around this?

Pandora – World of Avatar

Fast Passes for Avatar – Flight of Passage

On our last Disney adventure, I was up at 5:00am to book our fast passes for our vacation that was 60 days out.  I logged in only to find that there were no fast passes available. Ugh. Checking every day became a habit until one day, I finally lucked out an was able to score the fast passes.  This is by far the quickest way to get on the ride but be aware that like many other fast pass experiences, you will miss out on a lot of the theming and experiences that are present in the traditional line queue.  But, when the lines are four hours long, this is something that I am willing to give up!

Rope Drop for Avatar – Flight of Passage


Waiting in line for Avatar – Flight of Passage

In my opinion, this is the best option.  Of course, you will have to wake up early, and get to the park an hour or more before the gates officially open, but hey, you are on vacation at the most magical place on earth, so you can sleep when you get home! Like I said, you will need to be there at least an hour or more before the park opens, so grab a snack and a drink and head up the Animal Kingdom and get comfortable in line. The cast members will do a great job of leading a pack of people to Pandora – World of Avatar. There is no running, and you are lined up as you make your way to the ride. In doing this, I can say that it is my favorite way as I was able to get into the park, see everything that the line queue had to offer, ride the ride, and be on my way to enjoy the rest of the Animal Kingdom before most people were even arriving at the park.  For the next two to three hours, lines for everything else in the park were almost non-existent, so take advantage of this time!

Wait in Line for Avatar – Flight of Passage

While I would not recommend this, it is still an option, and for many people, this will be their only way to experience the magic of Avatar – Flight of Passage.  If you are not in the park as the gates open, you will see that the lines for this ride can fluctuate throughout the day, so just keep an eye on your app and make your move when you see the time going down.  Best chances are going to be during lunch when people are starting to take breaks, and then as the day ends, the lines will slowly start dying down.  I would recommend this time as you will get to experience Pandora at night which is a whole separate post on its own.

Pandora – World of Avatar

I hope that you enjoyed my thoughts on Pandora – World of Avatar and Avatar – Flight of passage. Please let me know how you felt about this ride, or if you have not tried it yet, let me know what you are most excited about. Please don’t forget to like and share with your friends!

Oh yeah, did we mention that we have an amazing community of Disney World Fanatics in our Facebook Group – Disney World Questions and Answers?  If you want to hang out with us and thousands of other Disney World Fanatics that are there to get all of your Disney World vacation questions answered, click here to join our FREE private Facebook Group!

How to Avoid the Lines at Walt Disney World

In today’s society, we’re totally about doing things fast and convenient. Walt Disney World has given the people what they’re looking for. At Walt Disney World, every guest receives at least three fast passes per guest, per day.  If you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort (“on property”) then you can log in to your online log in that you create at Disney’s website and reserve your fast passes 60 days in advance. If you are staying at resorts outside of Disney’s resorts (“off property”), then you can reserve fast passes 30 days in advance.

What is a Fast Pass?

A Fast Pass is like the key to the kingdom- well, really, it is a way to go through a faster, shorter line, instead of waiting in the typical line queue.

How do you get your Fast Passes?

When you book your Walt Disney World vacation, you create a user name and password at Disney’s website. Whether on a desk top or using the My Disney Experience app (we recommend the full website version for initial booking) you’ll be able to search time slots for your favorite and most popular attractions. If you just buy tickets, and do not have a vacation package, you can still book fast passes because your ticket has RFID technology and you can link the passes to your daily tickets.

Get Them!

Trust Me, you want to reserve them as quick as you can. Once the day comes along that you can pick your fast passes, jump online and book them quick. Popular attractions can book up within minutes, and you might be left without a fast pass for your desired ride. Also, try to book your fast passes early in the day. Why? Guess What?? Disney is so awesome, that as soon as you are finished scanning your third fast pass, you can jump on your app or visit a kiosk in the park to search for additional fast passes. There is no limit to the number of fast passes you can use, as long as they are available, up to park closing.

Take Advantage of the Fast Pass system

The last time we went to Disney, in November 2018, we had up to 7 or 8 fast passes in one day when rides became available throughout the afternoon and evening.

Some of the most popular attractions for Fast Passes are the following:

My Disney Experience App for Fast Passes

Magic Kingdom – Think anything “Mountain” – Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain… also for the smaller kids, Peter Pan’s Flight is a top attraction to reserve for Fast Pass

Hollywood Studios – Rockin’ Rollercoaster, Star Tours, Slinky Dog, Tower of Terror (Coming late 2019 – the new rides inside Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge)

Animal Kingdom- Flight of Passage, Navi River Journey, the Safari, Everest, and Dinosaur

Epcot – Frozen Ever After, Test Track, and Soarin’

Tiered Fast Pass System

Right now, there is a tier system for fast passes for all parks except Magic Kingdom. More than likely, Magic Kingdom will move to the tier system when the new Tron Coaster is up and ready (This is slated for possibly 2021- just in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary).

How do I use the fast pass?

If you have a magic band, the fast passes are loaded onto your magic band. If you get a fast pass for 1:00pm-2:00pm for Soarin’ at Epcot, for example, you can show up at the fast pass line 5 minutes before your time, and up to 15 minutes after your time slot. Just hold your band up to the mickey ears, and once it turns green at the turn style, you are on your way into the fast pass line.

Remember- as you soon as you swipe your third and final fast pass, begin looking on the My Disney Experience app for additional fast passes throughout the day.

This is a sure way to make sure that you do NOT stand in line at Disney?

What if you have little ones that cannot ride because of height restrictions?

Have no fear! There is Parent -Swap!! What? This is amazing.  The best way for me to share how this works, is to provide an example of what my family did.

Little one was too young to ride 🙁

Our party is a party of 4, consisting of myself, my husband, and my two daughters who are 9 and 3 years old. Of course, my 3-year-old was too short for anything over 38 inches.  What we would do is visit a cast member at the line queue and let them know we want to do parent swap. We informed them that myself and my 3-year-old would wait for them while my husband and 9-year-old rode Test Track. The cast member would scan my bracelet and my 9-year old’s (because you can take up to 3 people with you when you are the person waiting) and that loaded a parent swap pass on to my magic band. As soon as my husband and 9-year-old walked out of the ride, I would immediately get into the fast pass line with my 9-year-old and ride it. My oldest daughter had a blast because she basically got to ride every big thrill ride two times in a row.

Take Advantage of the Swap!

What is even more amazing? You can use the parent swap if you are guest standing in the regular line, or if you have a fast pass. It really works out when you also have the fast pass, because in the situation with my 9-year-old, she was able to basically get two fast passes in a row- talk about magical!

Other Ways to not wait in line at Walt Disney World

Other ways to not wait in line at Walt Disney World are to be at the parks early-like before they open. This is referred to as “Rope Drop.” A lot of parks will offer Magic Hours for guests staying “on-property” – this can in the morning from 8:00am-9:00am or late at night from 9:00pm-11:00pm. There are other times available as well. We visited Animal Kingdom on my birthday last year for “Early Morning Magic Hours” from 8:00am-9:00am. So the park was available to be open at 8:00am for Resort guests only. We showed up at the park to get in line at 7:15am.

ROPE DROP!

They let us in the park at 7:45 am and we walked back to Pandora to visit our favorite ride – Flight of Passage- because we didn’t have a fast pass. There was a mass line of people flooding to this area of the park, but the good thing was that as all those people funneled through the long line queue, we ended up only waiting around 25 minutes total for the ride. We were off the ride and on to our next adventure before the park even opened for regular park guests.

Single Rider!

Last, but not least, there are also some attractions that offer single rider lines.

These attractions are:

Rocking Roller Coaster

Epcot – Test Track

Hollywood Studios – Rockin’ Roller Coaster

Animal Kingdom – Everest

These attractions are very popular, and Walt Disney World aims to keep the line moving. They can fill up a ride vehicle with a single rider line, to combine with groups who have odd number of people. This helps guests who don’t mind riding with a stranger, get onto the ride much faster, and it also ensures that Disney maximizes their space in their ride vehicles.

Do you have any other tips and tricks for not waiting in line? Let us know in the comments below.

Oh yeah, did we mention that we have an amazing community of Disney World Fanatics in our Facebook Group – Disney World Questions and Answers?  If you want to hang out with us and thousands of other Disney World Fanatics that are there to get all of your Disney World vacation questions answered, click here to join our FREE private Facebook Group!

Packing for Your Walt Disney World Vacation

If you are like me, you want to plan for everything! That means possibly over-packing. I admit, for every time I’ve gone to Disney, I’ve usually packed things that I did not end up using and didn’t pack things that I wished I had brought.  Over our many Walt Disney World Vacations, we’ve learned a thing or two about packing some essentials.

First of all – The Weather at Disney World

The weather in Florida is hot & humid most of the time. There is also a lot of rain that happens in Florida as well. Pack items that will help you in both situations. This would include sunscreen, cooling towels, water bottles, hats, sunglasses, and ponchos. I also ended up bringing extra socks and band-aids, because you do walk an average of 7-14 miles a day. You will be surprised how many miles you walk during your Walt Disney World Vacation!

It was March, so we only packed 1 long sleeve shirt each. Had to wear them multiple times because a cold front came through on our first day!

Depending on the time of year that you travel, most of the time you’ll be comfortable in shorts and short sleeves, but during December-early March the nights are cool. Packing long sleeve shirts, sweatshirts or light jacket, pants or jeans, and maybe even bringing gloves is a smart idea during these months. Again – this is few and far between because most of the year it is a sweat fest.

Pack a few pairs of comfortable shoes – even your best tennis shoes might need a breather.

Packing for the Family and the Kids

For those with young children, snacks are essential. Walt Disney World is great at letting you bring your own drinks and snacks into the park. Surprising huh? Packing things like oranges, squeezable apple sauces, trail mix, and Gold Fish, are great ways to save money on snacks, save your snack credits for larger, more delectable snacks, and keep all the young ones happy if waiting in line. You can even bring an approved cooler into the park as well (I’ve seen many a family with a full packed lunch inside their cooler- props to them) throughout your Walt Disney World Vacation. Snacks and drinks in the room, after you finish at the parks, is a great idea a well for those late night munchies.

Bringing Electronics?

Chargers for cell phones and cameras are a must. You will take lots of pictures and videos, as well as use your My Disney Experience app on your phone, which will use your battery.  They make great wireless cell phone and camera charges to keep you going all day long. Walt Disney World Resort also has something called a Fuel Rod Station where you can buy a fuel-rod for $30.00 and recycle it once the battery has died and be supplied with another one- sort of like a cell phone charger vending machine.

Back packs are a necessity!

Germs, over-eating, and cuts and scrapes

Lastly, I have also brought my own small medicine bag with things like Tylenol, Pepto, band-aids, neosporin, etc. If someone does become ill, items like that are super expensive at the Disney World Resort gift shops. Having these on hand ensure that you can get the help you need quick, as well as save money.

What are your essentials when packing for your Walt Disney World Vacation? Let us know in the comments below and we look forward to adding to our list in the future!

Oh yeah, did we mention that we have an amazing community of Disney World Fanatics in our Facebook Group – Disney World Questions and Answers?  If you want to hang out with us and thousands of other Disney World Fanatics that are there to get all of your Disney World vacation questions answered, click here to join our FREE private Facebook Group!

7 Important Tips to Enjoy Your First Disney World Vacation

Does the thought of a Disney Vacation excite you, but also overwhelm you at the same time? My first few times to Disney were full of excitement and wonder, but also felt overwhelmed with the fear of missing out on something (FOMO!). How was I going to fit it all in a one-week vacation? Rest Assure – here are some great tips & tricks to stay calm and enjoy your Disney Vacation.

Plan Ahead for your Disney Vacation

A great Vacation should not feel overly planned or have an itinerary scheduled for every second of every day, but at Disney, a great plan goes a long way- especially in terms of what park, what restaurants, what meet-n-greets, etc. This will make more sense as we get into scheduling fast-pass & restaurant reservations. You don’t want to be at Animal Kingdom with a fast pass for Flight of Passage and an hour later need to be at Magic Kingdom at Be Our Guest!

Don’t try to do it all!

Someone forced their kids to try and do it all in one trip!

Especially if you are just staying the average 3-7 days at Disney, you just cannot possibly fit everything in. There is so much to see and do- but that is by design. Disney offers something for everyone. Pick what is important to you and your travel companions and focus on how to fit those items in. Maybe someone wants to see a great parade or fireworks at the end of the night, and another person is all about discovering Disney Food, and the others could ride attractions from park open to park close. Make sure that everyone in your party has a “must-do” item and try to plan around those types of events.

Take Breaks!

This goes with the point described above. There is so much to see and do, therefore, people will get tired. Don’t forget to plan for breaks. There will be plenty of walking at Disney. The average day in the parks, people walk between 7 and 14 miles. Great walking shoes, if you don’t already have them, are a must. Skip the cute or stylish sandals, flip-flops, or dare I say it – heels! No way, not at Disney. Drink plenty of water while you are in the parks as well. Hydrating up at the beginning of the day will help you as you get into those dreadful Florida afternoons – especially in the summer. Great ways to take breaks, outside of going back to your hotel room for a few hours, are to enjoy the pool at the hotel, or even grab an indoor show with great air conditioning!

A Disney Vacation should always include a Disney Resort stay

Loved the Port Orleans – French Quarter

Staying at a Walt Disney World Hotel provides you additional perks and incentives, instead of staying off property. Even though the hotels might be more expensive, the incentives are worth the price. You get access to Disney transportation – this is so important since Disney is its own little city. Travel by Magical Express from the airport directly to your hotel, and jump on a bus, ferry, or monorail to your favorite park or hotel. The transportation is included in the price. You also get access to the best thing ever which is Fast Passes! What does this mean? You get access to three fast passes initially per person in your party. You can split your fast passes up between guests if you have smaller ones that do not meet height requirements.

Use the My Disney Experience App

Disney has designed an all-inclusive app where you can keep up with your reservations for hotels, fast passes, and restaurants. You also have a live update on ride wait times. This will allow you to maximize where you are in the park at any given moment.

Mobile Ordering!!! Don’t you just love to mobile order your coffee in the morning? This allows you to skip the hectic line when everyone else in the park is starving and standing in line. You can be meeting with your favorite Disney Princess and five minutes later be ordering your food to be picked up at the time you designate. We used this during a past trip to Disney, and it took the stress out of our wait since I have a 9 and 3-year-old who do not like to stand in a line when they are starving. (Which is all the time, right parents?)

Check into one of the Disney Dining Plans for your next Disney Vacation

Great times at the Crystal Palace!

Is the Dining Plan right for everyone? Not always- it depends on how much your family eats and what type of food you wish to have. However, there are three unique Dining Plans – the Quick Service Plan – the Disney Dining Plan- and the Deluxe Dining Plan. (More info in the Dining Plan section). This allows you to pre-pay for a certain number of meal and snack credits in advance. This takes the thinking out of how much you want to spend or how much you’ve already spent in each day. We love the Dining plan and have used all three versions of the plan in various locations. As I said, every family is different, and you will want to pick out the plan that is right for you. (Extra Hint- Disney releases “free dining plan” time frames throughout the year. In 2019, the free Disney Dining is July-September, if you book by February 10, 2019.

Book and use every Fast Pass for EVERY Disney Vacation!

So sad that these are gone 🙁

For every day that you have ticket purchased, you can book up to three Fast Passes that can be used on that day in that park. If you are staying on-property, you can book your fast passes 60 days before your first day in the parks (and I believe that you can start this at 5:00 AM Disney Time). If you are staying off-property, you can still book Fast Passes, but you will need to wait until you get to 30 days out from your first days in the park. I suggest you set an alarm to get up and book them, as there are many guest favorites that will book up within minutes of being able to book them (think anything Avatar, anything Toy Story, anything Mountain). My one suggestion is to book all three in the first part of the day that you will be visiting the park.  Once you use up all three, you can then begin to book on at a time until the park closes. We go into the ins-and-outs of this in this post – Prioritizing Your Disney World Vacation Fast Pass Selections, but booking your Fast Passes is a must if you are visiting Disney World!

Well, I think that about sums up a good portion of what you REALLY need to know when you are planning your next trip to Disney World.  If we forgot anything in this post, please leave us a message and let us know.  Obviously, things change daily, so we will try our best to update you as things happen, so please follow our page, like us on Facebook and Twitter, and join our Newsletter to stay up to date with things as they are happening.

Oh yeah, did we mention that we have an amazing community of Disney World Fanatics in our Facebook Group – Disney World Questions and Answers?  If you want to hang out with us and thousands of other Disney World Fanatics that are there to get all of your Disney World vacation questions answered, click here to join our FREE private Facebook Group!