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Allison and Terri

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Confessions of a first time Disney Mom.

Confessions of a first time Disney Mom.

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My family is going to Disney next month. It is the first time that my children will have graced the property, it is one of many many times that I have visited, it will be my husband’s 2nd time. His first time left him with scars, he fell asleep, sick,  in Tomorrowland while his dad and sister rode Space Mountain.

While I am not a newbie by any stretch of the imagination it sure feels like it is a whole new Disney to me. The last time I visited I had just graduated from high school, so while that has only been just a *few* years ago things have changed. Big time!

Beyond that, during all of the visits to see the mouse, my family never stayed on Disney property because my great aunt lived in Orlando, just minutes from the parks.

Here is some of what has changed since the last time I was there.

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Magic Bands:

When I visited, we had paper tickets and had to stand in line and had to keep track of our wallets etc while we were there! Things have changed so very much with the introduction of magic bands.

The magic bands like you see in the picture are sent to your home when you book your Disney trip at least 10 days prior to your visit. If you book a trip with 9 days or less they will be waiting for you upon arrival.

*side note* Can you imagine what a fun job packaging up the magic bands must be? If I had that job I would be picturing all of the families having the time of their lives together!

Your magic band also serves as a room key, fast pass reservations, and payment method, if you so choose. If you loose your magic band don’t worry, a special PIN is assigned for payment so you won’t have to worry about extra charges.

Someone I know was telling me that their son had racked up over $500 in charges using his magic band while at the park. Panicked I started Googling this thinking that if was the case I would be the keeper of the magic band. The payment method I discovered, can be turned off and you have to give the PIN to your kid to be able to use it. So…do with that information what you will.

Each magic band comes with 3 fast pass reservations for popular attractions like Splash Mountain, Space Mountain and all of the rides that basically have a gigantic wait have fast past abilities. These reservations can be made up to 60 days before you check into a Disney Property or 30 days before a trip without a onsite stay.

Let me just say, folks are serious about their reservations! So, get on early and make the reservations dining or otherwise!

Disney Dining:Confessions of a first time Disney Mom.

Ok there are lots of mixed feelings about the dining plans. Some people think that they are worth it because basically you pay in advance for 2 meals and 1 snack for each day you are at the parks. This is connected to your Magic band and you just present your band at the check out of the restaurant.

Other people feel that after they did the math they either broke even on the package or ended up spending more. I don’t have much of a thought on this because I haven’t actually ever experienced the dining plans. If you want to learn more you can read more about it on Disney’s site.

PhotoPass:

This is a feature that I am still on the fence about. For $149 you get digital access to pictures that are taken of you and your family while you are in the park. They stay up on the memory maker site for 30 days and you are allowed to download them during that time period.
For me I am intrigued because I could actually be in the picture with my family. Often it is just my husband and kids in the picture because I am the one taking it. On the one hand, do I want a bunch of pictures of my family and I on various rides? Not particularly. On the other hand do I want a super awesome picture of the 4 of us in front of Cinderella’s castle? Sure! But it is worth $149? Probably not.

I have presented a lot of information, and I can’t wait to share from a different perspective when we return! Planning for Disney can be very daunting with all of the different choices that need to be made.

5 Comments

  • samantha

    March 21, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    I’ve always wanted to go to Disney World, the magic bands make it look so fun! How exciting that they send them to you ahead of time so you can plan. I wish they had that feature at Disneyland too.

    Thank you for joining the Family Joy linky party! 🙂

    Reply
    • Allison

      March 23, 2016 at 1:18 pm

      You don’t get magic bands if you just buy tickets at the gate. But, if you are wanting to have the benefits of the fast passes, there are kiosks and you can use the mobile app to reserve your time slot.

      Reply
  • Kristen

    March 31, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    The photopass is absolutely worth it! You don’t have to pull your phone/camera out repeatedly, you get to be in all the pictures, they include extra scenery photos taken without guests in the shot, they take tons of shots so you can actually get a good one! If you split up you can even get pictures in both places so you don’t miss anything.

    Reply

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