Come on. You know you have a question (or two) about Disney World!
Whether you’re curious about certain things in the parks or wondering why things are the way they are, we get it! We asked DFB readers, “What’s the ONE Disney World question you’ve always been afraid to ask?” We got a lot of questions and guess what — we have some answers!
Does an empty parking lot mean an empty park?
Let’s paint a picture. You drive into a Disney World parking lot and you notice that there aren’t many cars. In fact, you get a spot not far from the main entrance! Internally, you cheer, thinking that you were lucky to visit on a less busy day. But then, once you get inside the park, your heart sinks when you find nothing but high wait times. As Darth Vader would say, nooooooo!
One of our readers asked, “Why, when there is an empty parking lot, is there a 240 min standby for Rise?” It may seem strange but there’s actually a pretty simple answer — not everyone drives! Parking costs $25 at Disney World theme parks, and many people opt to use Disney World transportation or even go with ride-sharing options to save that $25 fee.
If you still want to drive, note that Annual Passholders get free parking at Disney World theme parks, but otherwise, you’ll probably want to build that $25 fee into your budget, and don’t bank on an empty parking lot meaning an empty theme park.
Why is there so little shade in Toy Story Land?
Toy Story Land is the Hollywood Studios land that transforms guests into teeny tiny toys owned by Andy, and there’s one notable feature missing from the land. One reader asked, “What’s with the awful no shade in Toy Story Land?” Disney strategically picked tall plants to resemble grass so that you really feel like a toy in Andy’s backyard, but that unfortunately means there are no shady trees anywhere.
There are some shade umbrellas throughout the land, however, and you might be able to get some shade over at Woody’s Lunch Box if you’re lucky enough to snag a table. You can also stop in Jessie’s Trading Post at the exit of Toy Story Mania, where you can get some shopping and air conditioning!
But if you’re still desperate for shade, you can walk over to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge for a bit more shady areas, such as the entrance gateway.
The upcoming Roundup Rodeo BBQ restaurant could also offer an opportunity for you to take a long break indoors in Toy Story Land when it opens in 2022, although it will require advance reservations. But if you strategize your day right, it might work out well!
Why aren’t restaurants open during Extended Evening Hours?
Extended Evening Hours give extra time in the parks to guests staying in deluxe-level Disney World hotels. These evenings occur on scheduled dates in select parks, usually on Mondays and Wednesdays. During the extra two hours in the park, guests have the opportunity to enjoy fewer crowds, shorter ride lines, and more. But one reader asked, “Why don’t the restaurants stay open late when the parks are open late for [Extended Evening Hours]?”
What you might not know is that Extended Evening Hours offer limited dining and ride options, and restaurants are not typically open. Instead, you can opt for snack spots or possibly a bar like Rose and Crown Pub in EPCOT. And if you’re only there for two hours during an excellent time to experience the park with less crowding, do you really want to spend that time in a restaurant?
Instead of using Extended Evening Hours for dining, we recommend taking advantage of the shorter ride wait times. And if this doesn’t sound like something you’re interested in, you don’t HAVE to go, and you might want to opt for a less pricey hotel instead.
Why is Magic Kingdom so DARK?
If you’ve ever been in Magic Kingdom after dark, you’ve probably noticed just how DARK it can get, particularly in Fantasyland and during the fireworks. In fact, it can get so dark that it’s difficult to even see the ground under your feet! Naturally, one reader asked, “Why is it so dark in [Magic Kingdom] at night? More lighting please.”
We often find ourselves asking this question as well! If you find yourself in Fantasyland at night, make sure you stay aware of your surroundings and try to get to a brighter area like Main Street, U.S.A. if it really bothers you. Also, you might want to visit Fantasyland during daylight, and stick to brighter areas at night!
What’s going on with the Disney Dining Plan?
The Disney Dining Plan has been suspended since 2020, but it previously offered guests a convenient way to budget for dining. Instead of purchasing all your means individually, the Disney Dining Plan would let you select a pre-purchased dining package that works for your budget, setting a number of counter service meals, table service meals, and snacks that you’re able to get.
One reader asked, “When is the dining plan coming back?” Unfortunately, the truth is that we don’t know, but back in 2021, Disney did say that the DDP would return. They just didn’t say when.
The DDP symbol and language have remained on Disney World menus since 2020, even at new restaurants, which suggests that Disney does eventually plan to re-introduce the DDP. But until then, we’re keeping our eyes and ears open for any updates.
Can I buy any of the magical smells of Disney World?
Nothing is quite like walking down Main Street, U.S.A. in Magic Kingdom, smelling all those incredible Disney scents, and wishing we could bottle it up and place it in our homes like a Glade plug-in. A reader asked, “Can I buy that magical bakery scent you pipe onto Main Street?”
Boy how we wish Disney would sell their scents! Sadly, they don’t, but we’ve found other ways to satisfy those good old olfactory senses, like these 8 candles from Amazon, or these 10 different candles we found at Jane!
Disney does sell other scented candles too, although they might not smell quite the same as your favorite Disney smells. There is, however, a Pandora — The World of Avatar candle that really does smell like Flight of Passage in Disney’s Animal Kingdom!
Where are the other Disney Princesses in Cinderella’s Royal Table?
Cinderella’s Royal Table is one of Disney World’s most popular restaurants, but it hasn’t been the same since 2020. Instead of featuring Disney Princesses that greet diners during their meal, the princesses are no longer there. Instead, Cinderella greets guests in the lobby of the restaurant, and then briefly walks through the restaurant.
A reader asked, “Why haven’t other princesses returned to [Cinderella’s Royal Table]?” Truthfully, we don’t know, but there are other opportunities to dine with princesses in Disney World. Recently, Akershus Royal Banquet Hall reopened in EPCOT, and you CAN visit with Disney Princesses there! The restaurant is open only for dinner, at this time, but hey, dining with Princesses? Yes, please!
If you’re a big Snow White fan, you can also eat at Story Book Dining at Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, where Snow White, Dopey, Grumpy, and the Evil Queen visit with diners.
We’ll be watching closely for any changes from Disney regarding characters at Cinderella’s Royal Table but for now, you might want to opt for an alternative restaurant where you can find princesses!
What time is the 3 o’clock parade?
Okay, this one is just for fun. So many of our readers had to add this joke! The truth is, the Festival of Fantasy Parade is at 3PM some days, and other days it might be 3:30PM! Make sure you double-check Disney World’s calendar before assuming.
And there you have it! All those burning questions from our readers. We have more too, like when will Annual Passes go for sale again (we don’t know!)?? In the meantime, we’re watching Disney closely for more updates, so keep following DFB for more Disney World planning tips and news!
Join the DFB Newsletter to get all the breaking news right in your inbox! Click here to Subscribe!
What are your biggest Disney World questions? Tell us in the comments!