When you visit Disney World, you may hear a LOT of phrases that you don’t understand!
Disney fans use jargon that is completely unique to the parks, filled with acronyms and fancy words that don’t mean anything to the outsider or the first-time guest. As you become more acquainted with the parks, you’ll start to learn more about “Disney speak,” but today we’re giving you a crash course!
- E-Ticket is a term that dates back to the opening of Disneyland Park. E-ticket rides and attractions were the ones that were most popular and cost more to experience.
- Imagineer is the name used for Disney’s engineers and creatives that make the parks come to life. The Walt Disney Imagineering department designs the parks and experiences around the world from the ground up.
- Rope Drop means arriving at a Disney park before it opens, usually in order to jump on the rides before the crowds arrive and the wait times increase.
- Cast Members are Disney employees. The Disney parks are supposed to be like a “show,” so it’s only fitting that the employees are given a title to match.
- Sippers are special souvenir cups that are made to look like Disney characters or other Disney icons. They’re usually sold along with a beverage and new designs often come out for special occasions or holidays. Warning, they’re incredibly difficult to clean!
- Park Icons are the giant focal points of each Disney park that are often used to identify the park. At Disney World, they are Cinderella Castle, Spaceship Earth, Tower of Terror, and the Tree of Life. Fun fact, Walt Disney used to refer to the park icons as “weenies.”
- Weenies, as we said above, are what Walt Disney called the park icons. Walt used this term when trying to explain how to get guests to go in certain directions to Imagineers. So next time you walk by one of the icons, you’ll know what they were originally called!
- FastPass is Disney World’s free skip-the-line system. When available, guests can book FastPasses in advance, then return to their selected attractions during the specified time window. You’ll be required to scan your ticket at the entrance, then you’ll be directed through the FastPass line, which usually has a much shorter wait than the standby line.
- Kiss Goodnight is the name for a short “show” on Cinderella Castle that happens after the park closes. The lighting on the castle changes and guests are thanked for visiting Magic Kingdom. This is unadvertised when it happens and a special treat for lingering guests.
- Attractions are the shows, rides, and activities in Disney World. It’s a term that Disney can use to encompass nearly everything!
- Refillable Mugs can be purchased at Disney World Resort hotels. These cups can be used at your resort’s soda fountains and refilled throughout your trip.
- Quick Service restaurants are the places where you can get “fast food.” At these places, you’ll typically order at a kiosk (or through Mobile Order) then pick your food up at a window and seat yourself at a table. This is sometimes interchangeably referred to as Counter Service.
- Table Service is the word used for Disney’s “sit-down” restaurants. We typically recommend getting reservations for these places, although they sometimes have walk-up availability.
- Dining Plans are a way to prepay for your food at Disney World. You purchase your chosen dining plan category ahead of your trip, and then you’re given “credits” to spend on food during your vacation. Prior to the closures, Disney World typically offered a Free Dining Plan Offer as a booking incentive at least once a year.
- Snack Credits come with the Disney Dining Plan and are what you use to buy snacks around the parks and resorts. Depending on the price, some items are more worth using your snack credits than others. You can spot the snack credit logo (a little purple and white box) on many menus.
- Tables in Wonderland is a discount dining program available to Florida Residents, Annual Passholders, and DVC Members. It provides a 20% discount on food and beverages at more than 100 restaurants around Disney World.
- Mobile Order is how you can pre-order your quick service meals before you head to the restaurant. The whole process is available through the My Disney Experience app.
- Animatronic is the term used to describe the lifelike robots used in rides, shows, and other attractions. They’re often made to look like specific characters, animals, or people. This term audio-animatronics was coined by Disney back in the 1960s, and it’s one that you’ll hear a lot in the theme park community.
- Dark Rides are, as the name implies, in the dark. Many use blacklight technology to highlight specific elements of the ride, while hiding others from guests’ view. These rides propel guests through a storyline during the ride experience and don’t have to be entirely in the dark.
- Backstage/On-Stage are the terms that Cast Members use to describe specific areas of the parks. “Backstage” is the areas of the parks that guests can’t see or typically visit, while “on-stage” is the section of the park that they do.
- Costumes are what Disney calls any uniform that a Cast Member wears, not just the outfits worn by Disney characters.
- Enhancements is the term that Disney uses to describe the extras and add-ons for Walt Disney World packages and tickets.
- Resort Hopping is what it’s called when guests visit multiple Disney Resort hotels to check out the shopping, dining, and scenery.
- Nighttime Spectacular is what Disney calls their evening fireworks shows.
- Cavalcades are the short mini-parades with Disney characters that have been showing periodically in the parks since reopening.
- Refurbishment means that a ride, attraction, or experience is closed for a short amount of time for maintenance and touch-ups. Refurbishments occasionally bring big changes to the rides, but most of the time they’re just sorting out minor technical issues or getting a refresh.
Those are some of the basic terms that will be helpful to know for your Walt Disney World vacation! You’re basically a total pro now, right?? Stay tuned to DFB for more Disney planning advice and tips for your upcoming trip, as well as all the news from the parks!
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How many of these terms did you know? Tell us in the comments!