Today was our first full day at Disney World and for the first time, ever, we chose to visit Hollywood Studios rather than the Magic Kingdom to begin our park visits. I have to say that I’m really glad everyone agreed to my suggestion because in many ways the Magic Kingdom can be quite overwhelming, whereas Hollywood Studios is much smaller and easily doable in just one day. We even managed to ride a few attractions more than once, which can partially be credited to the several hours of rain that fell on the Sunshine State. While I don’t particularly enjoy walking around a theme park in the rain, I was most disappointed to miss Fantasmic, which was canceled due to the weather. It was a really huge bummer because Fantasmic is truly a spectacular show and should not be missed if you are ever visiting Hollywood Studios.
Our first stop was Guest Services where we had a really easy time getting Cody the new Disability Access Service Card, which only took a few minutes with a cast member who listened and showed compassion and understanding as I explained Cody’s specific challenges and needs while at the parks. I’ll admit, I was really nervous about the new process, but on this particular day it went really well for us. After we’ve had a chance to use the card at all of the parks I plan to share specifics about our experience, but for now I’ll just say it’s going to take a little getting used to, but with a great deal of planning it can be beneficial to many families with special needs loved ones.
Another new system that we tried out for the first time today was Disney’s FastPass+ along with our Magic Bands. These are two of the biggest game changers I’ve ever seen at Disney World and using both has been time-saving and unbelievably convenient. Seriously, everyone wears their MagicBand at all times and it can be used for everything from paying for meals to opening the door of your resort guest room and at FastPass entrances throughout all of the Disney theme parks. That whole opening your resort room door perk alone is insanely awesome because I can’t tell you what a pain it used to be to go digging around to make sure we had our room keys (cards) every time we left our room or if we separated as a group and someone didn’t have a room key. Now your room key is literally wrapped around your wrist and can even be used if your hands are full because it just takes a simple swipe of your MagicBand and you are in! I will share more about this little gem later, but in the meantime I’d just like to make one suggestion to Disney. Please add a watch function to the MagicBand because, you know, it doesn’t serve enough purposes already. Plus, I’m sure I’m not the only one who kept looking at it all day long when I needed to know the time. No really, I cannot be the only one.