The Beauty of FastPass+

If you’re a frequent Disney World visitor or follower, you know exactly what FastPass+ is and all of the benefits associated with it. However, I’m still mind blown by the amount of people who still don’t know FastPass+ exists OR how to use it to the best of their ability. FastPass+ is a tool that can make your vacation that much more perfect by avoiding some of those unnecessary long lines we all know and (don’t) love. Below are my favorite tips and tricks to make FastPass+ your best friend on your next Disney World vacation.

First and foremost, it’s important to know how FastPass works and when you’re able to book yours. FastPass is a way for you to schedule a time to ride a certain ride at a park, check in during your scheduled time, and skip the majority of the long line rather than wait in stand by. You are able to book up to 3 FastPasses at one park per day you have a ticket for. Whether you’re setting aside one park per day or park hopping your way around Disney World, it’s important to remember that you CANNOT combine your 3 rides into different parks to begin with. My first bit of advice for you is to schedule your FastPasses at the park that you are starting your day at.

How far in advance are you able to book FastPasses? If you’re staying on Disney World property, you will be able to book your FastPasses 60 days before the first night of your trip. If you are not staying on Disney World property, you will be able to book your FastPasses 30 days before. I have heard rumors that certain Deluxe hotels have offered 90 days in advance for staying at Club Level, but I have not personally done so to comment on that. Comment below if you have! On the day of your FastPass booking, you will be allowed to book at 7:00 AM EST (Disney World time) so make sure you know how that time converts to your own time zone!

Planning 101: You should start planning your FastPasses as soon as you land on which parks you plan to visit which days of your trip. It doesn’t ever hurt to start planning sooner rather than later. The only way it might affect you is getting you really excited and then having to wait another month before you can even start your booking (aka if you’re me.) Once you’ve settled on the parks you plan to visit each day, go ahead and start planning out your FastPass choices per day. Like I said before, I would recommend booking at the park you are going to start your day at. Even if you are only spending half a day at a park, book there. Why? Well, once you have used your 3 pre-booked FastPasses for the day, you can move on a book one at a time for the rest of the day at ANY park. For example, if you are splitting a day between Hollywood Studios in the morning and Epcot in the evening, book your 3 FastPasses for Hollywood Studios. Once you’ve used those 3, you can book a 4th for a ride at Epcot that evening. Once you use your 4th, you can book a 5th, and so on and so forth.

In your planning process, try not to worry about booking any FastPasses until at least 1.5 hours after the park opens. This first 1.5 hours the park is open will be a lot lighter as far as crowds and lines go. Don’t waste your “skip the line” pass when there is hardly any line to skip! However, keep in mind the 3 FastPass rules as well. While you shouldn’t book super early in the morning, don’t wait to have your first FastPass start in the afternoon. If you do that, you won’t be able to book your 4th FastPass until the evening, and you will have much less to choose from. Keep in mind that when booking a FastPass, it will always give you a one hour “window” rather that a specific time. Since this is the case, you will not be able to schedule FastPasses any less than one hour apart.

My advice here? Plan to have your first FastPass about 1.5-2 hours before park opening. Then, schedule each of the following FastPasses immediately after the others window ends. For example, if you have Space Mountain at 10:45, plan to book Peter Pan at 11:45 and Jungle Cruise at 12:45. Come 12:45, you will be done with your 3 FastPasses and able to book one at a time from there. Throughout your planning, as well, keep in mind the layout of the park. In the above example, we started in Tomorrowland, followed the map around to Fantasy Land then went to the other side of the park to Adventure Land. This is a lot smoother of a plan than if we has flipped Peter Pan and Jungle Cruise. We would have to start in Tomorrowland, hike to the other side of the park to Adventure Land, then come back to the Fantasy Land side of the park. This won’t always work out perfectly, because it will depend on what is available and at what times, but having it planned and prepared beforehand is key.

FastPass at each park is a little bit different. At Magic Kindgom, you can choose any 3 attractions and plan to book those. Magic Kingdom has the easiest system because it is the park with the most attractions, and people’s preferences will absolutely vary depending on your parties age range and interests. Each of the other three parks now has a tiered FastPass system. Animal Kingdom is the most straightforward of them all. The Avatar rides are tier 1 and the rest of the rides at tier 2. You can only pick one Tier 1 FastPass and the other two will be tier 2. So, basically, you’re picking one Avatar ride and two of anything else. Or, of course, if you’re not interested, you can pick all three as tier 2. The same will go for the other two parks as well. At Epcot, the tier 1 attractions are Frozen Ever After, Test Track, and Soarin’. The rest of the rides are considered tier 2. The same booking applies as Animal Kingdom. Hollywood Studios is the most recent change and, let me tell you, it’s a killer. Tier 1 attractions are all of the Toy Story Land rides, Rock n’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror. Tier 2 is Star Tours and all of the other shows. Therefore, you can only book one of the rides between Toy Story, Rock n’ Roller Coaster, and Tower of Terror and two of the other options. This is all important to keep in mind, and an extra reason why you should really plan out your strategy.

Now you’re at the morning of booking. You login to My Disney Experience at 7:00 AM Disney World time and you’re ready to go. Do not be alarmed if some of the more popular attractions are no longer available when you book. Even at 60 days out, we could not find FastPasses for Slinky Dog Dash or Flight of Passage. Also be warned that there are a lot of people booking FastPasses at the same time as you. We logged on before 6:00 AM (cst) and refreshed the page every minute as we got closer to 6:00 AM. Even being that diligent, we were frozen on the loading screen for a good 10 minutes before we were able to get on to book our FastPasses. That’s going to happen, but you just can’t let it ruin your planning process. There are still ways to snag those holy grail FastPasses, and I’ll go over that later.

Start with the most difficult rides first. My list of the rides to book ASAP goes as follows: Flight of Passage, Slinky Dog, Seven Dwarfs. After that, most rides should be pretty attainable. Start with your tier 1 attractions first. Most, if not all, of your tier 2 should be really easy to snag. This is why it’s important to not just go in order of your trip when it comes to booking. Get those difficult, tier 1 attractions done first and then go back to book the rest. Prepare yourself to have it not go perfectly. I can almost guarantee you will not find every single ride you want at the exact time you want it, but going in with a plan, with backup options, and with the general knowledge you’ll gain from planning will greatly help you when you have to make changes.

Now, your FastPasses are booked, your pretty happy, but there’s just one ride you really wish you would’ve gotten. Don’t be alarmed! If you booked 60 days out, here’s a little tip for you. Check the FastPass availability every day, but especially around the 30-35 days out mark. 30 days in advance is the last time people are able to cancel or change their vacation without financial penalty. That being said, you may have families canceling last minute or changing last minute, and those FastPasses will become available to the public! Also, I can’t guarantee that this is true, but a little part of me believes that Disney may hold out some FastPass times for those super popular rides to release around the 30 day out mark for those 30 day in advance people. I may just be speculating, but I have read a lot of posts and blogs who say that they’re still able to snag Slinky Dog or Flight of Passage at 30 days out, even when it was completely booked up after 10 minutes on our 60 days out day. Anyway, just keep a close eye on this as much as you can! About 30 days before our trip in January, I found a FastPass for Flight of Passage at the EXACT time we had already booked for Navi River Journey. It was super easy to just make the switch to Flight of Passage online.

You’re there. You’ve officially arrived in Disney World for your vacation. Day one, you’re hitting Hollywood Studios. You just scanned your magic band for your third FastPass of the day. Get out your phone! If there is any sort of line that you have to wait in before you ride your FastPass ride or watch your FastPass show, get to booking that fourth FastPass! If there is anything available in a nearby time slot for a ride you’re interested in, go ahead and book it. The sooner you book, the more likely you are to have some options. It may seem silly, but even waiting until you’re off the ride or the show ends could limit the available options. While I’m not a super big fan of the tiered FastPass system, I will say it seems to be doing it’s job, especially at Hollywood Studios. I’m a frequent checker of the “available FastPass+” tab on my TouringPlans app. Today, September 23 at 11:45 am Disney time, Hollywood Studios has quite a few FastPasses available for Alien Swirling Saucers, Rock n’ Roller Coaster, Toy Story Mania, Tower of Terror, and more! With the former tiered system, I can tell you there were not this many day of FastPasses available. Forcing people to choose one options between Slinky Dog, Toy Story Mania, Alien Swirling Saucers, Tower of Terror and Rock n’ Roller Coaster does leave a lot of time slots available day of.

FastPass+ involves a decent amount of planning, being prepared for disappointment, and some getting used to. But I’m not kidding when I say that it can and will become your best friend if you use it properly. It still amazes me that people are either unaware or unsure of the FastPass process. As much as it would benefit me not to share my tips and tricks with you all (and leave more FastPasses for myself) I wouldn’t feel right not sharing it with others. Get that FastPass+ planning started!

RIP EPCOT’s Future World

If you didn’t know already, Disney’s well known D23 convention took place this past weekend in Anaheim, California. D23 is a convention that happens every two years and is where the Walt Disney Company announces a lot of their upcoming plans for resorts, theme parks, TV, movies, etc. The biggest takeaway from this year’s D23, you ask? The complete and total overhaul of Disney World’s EPCOT.

If you have visited EPCOT at all since it’s opening in 1982, you will recall that the theme park was split into two distinct lands; Future World and World Showcase. Future World was painted as a land to celebrate technology and innovation while World Showcase was a place to teach guests about other countries history and culture. While World Showcase has held true and strong since opening day over 35 years, Future World has naturally become outdated. Those of us who once visited places like Innoventions and marveled at the exhibits inside are now uninterested in the outdated technology.

EPCOT is changing the Future World area and dividing it into three different sections; World Nature, World Celebration and World Discovery. World Nature will take over the area containing the Land and the Sea pavilions. Naturally (pun definitely intended) this takes over to celebrate the beauty of nature and teach guests the importance of nature in the world. Also in this World Nature land will be a brand new attraction themed to Disney’s Moana. If you have not seen Moana, it is an absolute must-see Disney animated movie for me. It rivals Frozen, and even for some wins out completely, as the best modern day Disney animated movie. This attraction fits perfectly with the Land and the Sea pavilions and fulfills Disney’s need for a Moana themed attraction. I’m sure a lot of Moana fans have been patiently waiting for their day to celebrate a Moana attraction, and today is finally their day!

World Celebration will be housed in the central portion of EPCOT’s current (soon to be former) Future World. World celebration seems to be somewhat of a prequel to what guests will experience in World Showcase. The main attraction in World Celebration will be EPCOT’s famous Spaceship Earth, which we all know and love as EPCOT’s iconic attraction. However, the Spaceship Earth we all currently know and love will be no more. Disney will be changing scenes and altering the ride to give guests a look at storytelling and how that has shaped our history and culture. As usual, this will not be a popular opinion among all Disney World fans. However, like I discussed earlier, Spaceship Earth has already outdated itself. Spaceship Earth is meant to be about the rise of communication. But communication has already largely surpasses where Spaceship Earth ends, and keeping up on the continued progression of technology and communication in this day and age is very difficult. At this rate, Spaceship Earth would have to change it’s scenes every few years to truly keep up with the constant progression of communication and technology. Change isn’t always easy, folks. But not everything can last forever, and I trust Disney World with keeping the nostalgia of Spaceship Earth while updating it to fit the theming of World Celebration.

Lastly, World Discovery will take place of the last piece of Future World. This will include current attractions like Test Track and Mission Space as well as future attractions like the new Guardians of the Galaxy Roller Coaster. I have to say, when we really got to hearing more about the Guardians coaster, my head did kind of tilt and wonder how exactly Guardians fits into “Future World.” For those of you who may not be hardcore Marvel fans (let alone someone like me who considers both Guardians 1 and 2 in her top 5 favorite Marvel movies) you may not know that Guardians is not set in the future. All Marvel movies are set in the current time, unless otherwise indicated. So while the movie is set in space and does seem futuristic, this isn’t completely accurate to the future at all. Guardians, Mission Space, and Test Track, along with the new Space themed restaurant, will make a perfect home in World Discovery.

Change is quite difficult to grasp and hang on to, especially when it is coming with such full force. Other additions coming to EPCOT include a new entrance, new firework show, Ratatouille attraction in the France Pavilion, new circle vision 360 movies in both China and Canada, and a Mary Poppins attraction in the UK pavilion. EPCOT is really changing, and with so many big changes likely comes some big concerns as to how this will affect the Disney World we know and love. How I choose to rationalize is that 1) Change has to happen. For those people who visited Disney World back on opening day, Magic Kingdom is nothing like what it is today. And I’m sure those initial changes did not come as a popular choice for Disney World fans of the 70’s. However, that “new” Magic Kingdom is now the Magic Kingdom I grew to love. Disney’s Hollywood Studios has changed incredibly since I first grew to love Disney (beyond just changing the name a million times.) What used to be a look into movie making has now become guests way into the movies themselves. The Back Lot Tour and Great Movie Ride’s that gave guests a look into movie making have now turned into Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land, making guests feel like they are a part of the movies themselves. This change has been fantastic and something I can definitely get behind, and I believe the same will hold true with the EPCOT changes.

I’m glad I have all of my childhood (and recent) memories of the Disney World I grew up with, but I am excited to see what they continue to do in the future to improve the parks, resorts, and experiences. Change is hard, but change is a great thing.

Why EPCOT and Animal Kingdom Are Such Important Disney Theme Parks

When I think of Disney World, I admittedly picture Cinderella Castle, the iconic landmark at the heard of Magic Kingdom. Disney World, however, is so much more than the castle and fantasy that Magic Kingdom provides. EPCOT and Animal Kingdom are two of the most important Disney theme parks, arguably across the world. Why you ask? Let me explain.

If you have never visited Disney World, it’s important to explain what makes these two parks unique. EPCOT houses the World Showcase, a section of the park filled with 11 different Country “pavilions.” These countries include Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, American Adventure, Japan, Morocco, France, UK, and Canada. Each of these countries is modeled to resemble the country itself, houses unique dining and experiences in line with the country, and introduces cast members who are native to the countries to interact with the guests. Having 11 different countries to explore in a day is an important interaction that shouldn’t be dismissed. Allowing guests to fully immerse in the different cultures of these countries provide a well rounded, education experience that would lack in that area with another theme park.

Travel west of EPCOT and you will hit Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the newest of the four Disney World theme parks. Similar to EPCOT’s World Showcase, Animal Kingdom is split up into individual lands to immerse the guests in a unique experience. Here, guests can visit the Africa area and the Asia area. Like EPCOT, these two sections of the park truly involve the guests in the culture of these continents and are home to cast members from these locations. The music, entertainment, food, and overall style of these two sections of the park truly make guests feel as if they are a part of the culture.

The importance of these two parks really can’t go unnoticed or underappreciated. While this experience is important for kids and adults alike, families are especially lucky for this experience within the parks. A family with kids is unlikely to have the financial ability to visit the various countries represented, and I imagine overseas trips with kids to a brand new country comes with a handful of difficulties. But in Disney World, any child can get the chance to experience new cultures and then meet Minnie Mouse and Mickey Mouse in the same day. Sprinkling in the chance to learn about other countries and experience them within Disney World is a great way to keep kids attention and promote learning in a fun, friendly, exciting environment.

I know that there is no comparison to traveling the world. The France Pavilion in EPCOT cannot compare to taking a trip to France and visiting the landmarks, speaking with the people, and learning about the history. But, for those of us who simply cannot afford to visit a different country each year, the importance of the Disney World parks including a world traveling type of experience is one that truly makes EPCOT and Animal Kingdom two of the most important and special Disney parks.

Disney World is Changing: What’s to come before 2021

If you’re an avid Disney World fan like me, then you know that there are quite a few changes coming to Disney World in the new few years. The big reason? Disney World’s 50th anniversary will take place in the year 2021, and they are gearing up for large crowds, passionate fans, and visitors from all over the world stepping foot on the property. Disney wants to make sure it is in the best position come 2021 to provide a special memory for us all.

Some of Disney World’s most monumental changes are actually coming sooner than some may think. This August, Disney World’s version of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be opening up in Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park. If you’ve seen the pictures from Disneyland, you know how huge this is going to be for the resort. It will draw massive crowds and further Disney’s already great relationship with Lucas Films. Galaxy’s Edge will be bring two new attractions to Hollywood Studios; Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run opening on the day the land opens and Rise of the Resistance opening in very early December. This brand new land will bring much needed attractions, food, and immersion into Hollywood Studios, a once easy to look past park.

Shortly after Galaxy’s Edge opens, Disney World will unveil a new form of transportation. As far as I know, there has not been a new way to travel between resorts/parks in quite some time, so this is a huge step in a forward direction for Disney World. The Disney World Skyliner will be available for use this September and will travel between Pop Century/Art of Animation Resorts, Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT. These advanced gondola-like vehicles will cruise over top the Disney World property to transport it’s guests between these 5 locations. Personally, I couldn’t be happier about this addition. A new way to get directly between two Disney theme parks and an additional form of transportation to my go-to Value Resort? Sign me up!

Other changes coming throughout 2020 and 2021 include new attractions, restaurants, and aesthetic changes. The process of upgrading the remainder of the rooms at Disney’s three All Star Resorts is currently underway. On my last post, I linked the updated All Star Movies rooms, so feel free to check that out if you’re interested! These aesthetic changes to Disney’s cheapest hotels will be huge for them to garner more interest in visitors having interest in staying at these hotels on property rather than a similarly priced (maybe formerly nicer) hotel off property.

Other aesthetic changes are coming to EPCOT as well. Those of you who have been visiting Disney World for a while know that those large, triangular looking stones have been the face of the entrance of EPCOT for as long as we can remember. Finally, Disney World is moving those out of the way to make for a new, more visually pleasing entrance into the park. Spaceship Earth is such a beautiful, well known monument for EPCOT, and it’s always been clouded by the, some would call tombstones, planted in front of it. With a new look to the entrance of the park, I believe guests will feel much more welcomed as they walk in.

Beyond aesthetics, Disney World is going to have plenty of new attractions to finish before the 2021 celebration. Starting at Magic Kingdom, if you’ve visited recently you may have noticed some major construction there behind Space Mountain. That’s because, coming to Disney World is the Tron roller coaster, an exact copy of the ride that is currently in Shanghai Disney. This coaster is going to be a MASSIVE draw for crowds and really helps Magic Kingdom bump up their capacity.

Moving on to EPCOT, the park that I would say is coming with the most changes the next few years, there will be two brand new attractions in store before the 2021 anniversary. The Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster is going in near where Ellen’s Energy Adventure once lived. If you’re a Marvel fan like me, you’re thrilled to see some Marvel characters finally able to seep their way into Disney World. If you don’t know the story behind why Marvel cannot be in Disney World, it’s a confusing one but I’m more than willing to explain to the best of my knowledge. Just let me know! Beyond that, the France Pavilion will be home to a Ratatouille ride that can currently be found in Disneyland Paris. World Showcase has been lacking in attractions since it’s opening, so it’s exciting to see new rides pop up!

Hollywood Studios may already have Galaxy’s Edge to lean on, but that’s not all that’s coming. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will be taking to former home of The Great Movie Ride. Not much has been released as far as details go for this attraction, but we’re interested to see what it’s all about. The Great Movie Ride is already very missed by Disney World fans, so I’m sure the Imagineers are working hard to create the perfect attraction to take it’s place. This will also be Disney Worlds first ever attraction to be directly based on Mickey and Minnie. I know, I was shocked too when I first realized that we have no Mickey and Minnie based attractions throughout 4 theme parks, but it’s true!

All of these changes will, no doubt, bring larger crowds to Disney World in the next few years. But, if you are able to avoid those busy Summer and holiday months, I still believe you will be able to visit Disney World and not have to wait 60+ minutes for every single attraction on property. The benefit of all this? Changes and new attractions mean more things for visitors to do. Hollywood Studios, at one point, only housed 4 attractions; Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n Roller Coaster, Star Tours, and Toy Story Mania. Even if the crowds were slightly lower, the attention was only dispersed through 4 attractions (and a handful of shows.) Once Mickey and Minnie Runaway Railway opens, Hollywood Studios will be home to 9 attractions plus shows. That’s over double. So, unless the crowds double, you can expect that increasing attraction offerings will spread the crowd thinner.

Is there anything new that you’re looking forward to the most? Let me know in the comments!

Disney World Money Saving Tips

We all know that Disney World can cost you an arm and a leg as a vacation destination. So how do so many people afford to visit year after year? The more you research Disney World and learn about vacation planning at the Happiest Place on Earth, the more you come across tips and tricks to save money for your Disney vacation.

As a 25 year old, these money saving tips were a little bit more of a necessity than a preference for me. As much as I loved visiting the Wilderness Resort as a kid and staying in club level (one time) it’s just not something I can afford right now. But every single part of me wants to continue to visit Disney World at least annually, so finding ways to save was big for me to be able to continue to do that.

The first tip I have for any fellow Disney World vacationers on a budget is to not look past the Value Resorts. Gone are the days of the 90’s looking carpers and bedding, wallpaper lining the tops of the room, and lesser amenities. If you haven’t seen the newly remolded Pop Century or All Star Movies rooms, I encourage you to click these links and take a look. Pop Century, All Star Movies. These renovations, which will be spreading through the remaining All Star Resorts as well, really give an upgraded look for such lost cost hotels. For someone like me who can only visit Disney World once a year with my current budget, I spend the majority of my time out at the parks anyway. So having a super fancy resort is not at the top of my priority list. However, these renovations make staying at a Value Resort feel much more high-end than the cost shows.

Another save money is always to book my trip during the window of a room or package discount period. Now, I know that it’s important to book your vacations far in advance to ensure that you get the hotel you want on the days you want. However, I have found a lot more success in having 3-4 different weeks that work within my schedule and seeing what is available for me when those room discounts come up. For a Value Resort, you can save (usually) 10-15% off the room price during those discount periods. Typically, they will be available about 4 months in advance, so that’s still plenty of time to book your airfare (if needed), plan out your days and fastpasses, and prepare for you upcoming trip!

While this isn’t necessarily a money saving tip, I love to have gift cards on hand prior to my Disney World vacation. Each time that I have a little bit extra money to spare after a paycheck, I will go ahead and purchase a Disney gift card for that amount. By prepaying on Disney gift cards, I don’t have to worry about spending as much during the trip. This also helps keep me to a stricter budget as I will only allow myself to spend what we have in Disney gift cards on food and drinks.

Last, but certainly not least, if you are not an Annual Passholder, consider looking at dropping your Park Hopper tickets and doing 1-park per day tickets instead. This has been a really hard thing for me to let go of recently as I have always been a Park Hopper person. However, seeing the cost difference between Park Hopper and 1-park per day is enough to lead me to looking into the latter option for the future. It requires a bit more planning to ensure you hit all of the things you would like during your trip, but it’s better to only be able to attend 1-park per day than to not be able to afford your trip at all!

Disney World is getting pricier and pricier as the years go on. As that continues, it’s important that those of us who are constantly researching and learning more about Disney World and the costs associated with it share our tips with others! Do you have any money saving tips I didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments!

The Angry Disney Reviewer and The New York Post: My Response

There has been something in the air lately that has been making everyone hate on millennials who love Disney. If you haven’t seen what the angry reviewer said, I can sum it up nicely for you. Basically, if you are an adult without kids, you should be BANNED from Disney. Disney is a place only for parents and their children and everyone else should not be allowed in. She also may have used some rude, derogatory language to describe a young woman who got a pretzel, but I’ll leave that out of this for now.

This review, albeit funny to read, has lead to quite a few outlets standing up for young adults and their right to visit Disney if they want to. However, one Johnny Oleksinski of the New York Post decided to write up this article. He has every right to do so, and I have every right to tell him why he’s wrong. Let’s begin:

First of all, Johnny made a nice little claim that all of us born between the years of 1981 and 1996 remain constant 12 year olds. Because planning a week (or more) long vacation, strategically scheduling out your time and how to make the most of your trip, budgeting yourself for months beforehand, and traveling alone to a destination all while working full time, some of us working more than one job to pay off all that fun college debt, is something that 12 year olds frequently do. Things must have really changed since I was 12.

Johnny then rants that we should be spending our time seeing non-Disney movies in the theaters, and that’s such an irrelevant point that I don’t even need to get into it. However, he follows that with talking about how a trip to Europe is the same price as a trip to Disney World, and we should explore meeting people that are different from ourselves. Johnny must not know much about Disney World at all if he thinks that there is no single person there that isn’t from the United States. Not only is Disney World one of the most popular theme park destinations in the world, but Disney World has made a name for themselves with how they incorporate people from other countries into their parks and resorts. Does Johnny know that all of the countries in EPCOT have cast members from that country representing? Does Johnny know that you can speak directly with people from those countries to learn about the culture and history of where they’re from? Does Johnny know that, instead of having to take 11 trips to different countries to speak with people about their experiences there, they can just walk into EPCOT and experience it that way? Not to mention that you can head over to Animal Kingdom and speak with even more cast members from Africa and Asia?

I appreciate what Johnny is trying to say here. It’s important for people to gain experiences outside of what we know and are used to. But having little to no knowledge on the Disney World parks and the opportunities for experiences they have there is not the best look.

Johnny continues to go on about how much a Disney World vacation costs and how us non-parent millennials should choose to branch out and visit other countries instead of Disney World. Because, as usual, millennials are KILLING international’s travel!!!! Millennials kill everything these days, so just add that to the list, Johnny.

I choose to visit Disney World because it’s a place where I made memories with my family as a kid. Just because I’m 25 without kids doesn’t mean that it’s wrong for my to enjoy visiting and reliving my childhood memories. Disney World is a place where I can go, walk around and explore and remember moments with people that I no longer have here in my life. Why that’s so offensive to people is something I’ll never know.

Disney World’s innovation in their attractions, resorts, experiences and more also fascinates me. To me, there is something so special and interesting about a company that puts so much though into each and every thing that they do. Yes, people like Johnny will roll their eyes at this, but it’s true. When Disney World was creating the Morocco pavilion in EPCOT’s World Showcase, Morocco’s emperor sent his personal architect to Florida to help with the creation of the buildings and scenery. When Disney World decided to build Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom, the Disney Imagineers flew to Nepal and spent time with the people there to get accurate ideas of what the Himalayan mountains really looked like, what the local villages looked like, and spoke with believers of the Yeti to determine what natives believe that creature actually is. That is a level of attention to detail that shouldn’t be disregarded.

Disney makes me happy. Disney makes a lot of us childless millennials happy. The fact that people doing things that make them happy is such a problems is really mind blowing to me. But, you can all keep ranting and raving about how millennials are running everything. I’ll be riding Space Mountain and having the time of my life in Disney World. Thanks!

I’m Back! And I’m Here to Talk Pin Trading

It’s been quite some time since I’ve hopped on the blogging train. There’s been a lot going on in the Disney universe, and I have been admittedly distracted. What could possibly distract me from blogging about my favorite place in the entire world? Pin trading.

For those of you who don’t know, pin trading is a real experience for Disney lovers. Disney creates a LOT of different pins. Limited Edition, Limited Release, Mystery Collections, Box Sets, you name it, Disney has probably released it. And the best thing about Disney pins is that you have the ability to trade them with other pin traders. If there’s a pin you don’t like or a pin that you already have, there may be (and probably are) others out there searching for that exact pin to complete their collection or sets.

If you’ve never pin traded before, here’s a little background. In the parks, most cast members in the shops and around the parks will have a little lanyard or apron where they hold a handful of pins. These are pins you can trade for if you have a certified Disney Trading pin to trade with. The benefit of trading with cast members is they have to say yes to any trade you want to make, even if they don’t want the pin that you’re interested in trading. Trading with cast members is a really good way to find pins you like to add to your collection.

If you want a little more of an experience, you can also find other guests who are interested in pin trading. There are certain areas of the parks where pin traders typically meet to trade, but you can also reach out to someone if you see them wearing a lanyard with pins on it. Now, with other guests, they do NOT have to say yes to your trade. You are a lot more likely to get shot down in these situations because pin traders can be very particular about what they want/need. Most pin traders are looking to complete pin sets or they have a certain interested in one character or movie and they only want pins that fit those categories. But, you never know what you can find or what pins you may have that may spark an interest from a fellow pin trading guest.

Now, if you’re like me, you may not live near Disney or be able to visit as often as you wish you could. When you only visit Disney once a year or so, you may be itching to pin trade in your day to day life. Don’t be discouraged, because you can! How you choose to online pin trade is really up to you. For me, I was able to join a pin trading group on Facebook. The biggest up side to these groups is that they are usually monitored by hosts and moderators. If for some reason you don’t receive a pin you traded for or if it comes bent or in a different condition than the picture you received, you can reach out to the page hosts to try to get the situation rectified. Most members of these groups do NOT want to risk getting kicked out of the group, and they will get the situation handled in order to prevent that.

If you don’t want to join a group, you are obviously welcome to pin trade via social media. For me, I have a Disney dedicated Instagram page (@all.about.the.ears if you’re interested!) If I wanted to, I could easily post my traders (pins I want to trade) to my Instagram Story or post it on my feed to see if any of my followers are interested in the pins I have up for trade. You can reach a lot of people this way, but you also don’t have any moderators if a trade goes wrong.

If you’re interested in the pin trading world, step 1 is obviously getting some pins! Again, if you can’t make it to Disney do not be alarmed. You can purchase pins online. There are a variety of different websites where pins can be purchased. Obviously Shop Disney is a very easy go to. They will have mystery sets, exclusive pins, and much more available to purchase! However, do your research. There are some reputable websites and sellers where you can purchase some pin sets for a cheaper price than you will find on Shop Disney. Make sure you do A LOT of research, though. If you are finding a seller who is selling a pin lot of unpackaged pins for a small amount of money, there is a good chance those pins are not authentic. However, you are usually safe if you find a seller with good feedback who is selling pins that are packaged and, while cheaper, not ridiculously and unbelievably cheap.

I’m biased to mystery collections. There is something so exciting about not knowing the pins that you are about to receive. And the work it entails to complete a mystery collection is a lot of fun. This also can make building your trader collection easier, as well. If you’re always purchasing pins that you KNOW you will like and don’t have, your trader collection will never grow. Purchasing multiple mystery packs will likely lead to some duplicates, and that’s the best way to grow a collection of traders.

If you’re interested in pin trading, get yourself started! Join a group, purchase some pins, pick what you want to collect, and have yourself a ball! Everyone needs a little Disney magic and fun in their daily life, and pin trading is a great way to do so!