Disney Planning Tools From the MouseQuest

Since this wild cast of characters came together in late 2012 to create the MouseQuest we have imparted lots of great information on planning practically perfect Disney vacations. So to help everyone starting their 2017  vacation planning here is a listing of the best Disney planning tools from the MouseQuest which we have posted over the last four years. So where do we start? At the beginning, of course:

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Most Sentimental Attractions in the Disney Parks

A couple weeks ago we offered a collaborative post of the Best Website for Planning a Walt Disney World Vacation. It was so much fun gathering members the cast members of the MouseQuest around the virtual table that we decided to do it again. This time we are going to talk about our most sentimental attractions in the Disney Parks. These are the attractions you have to experience EVERY SINGLE TIME you are in the parks. As you will see, they mean something different to each of us for many different reasons such as, family memories, the legacy of Walt Disney, etc. Enjoy!

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Best Websites for Planning a Walt Disney World Vacation

Written by Sue Nowicki

Whenever I plan a Disney vacation I have several go-to websites I visit to do my research every time. This led me to wonder, what are some of the websites my fellow MouseQuesters use when planning their own Disney adventures. So I put a call out to the MouseQuest team and asked them what are the best websites for planning a Walt Disney World vacation.Disney Websites

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Planning Special Occasions at Walt Disney World

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you purchase a recommended item a small commission is received to help keep the MouseQuest running. 

There isn’t a more magical place on Earth to celebrate a special occasion than Walt Disney World. From dawn to dusk you can immerse yourself in pixie dust as you commemorate any type of occasion… birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and much more. Here are some ideas you can use to make planning special occasions at Walt Disney World the most memorable celebration ever.

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Episode 115: What to Pack – In the Parks

Welcome to the MouseQuest Podcast- Your guide in the quest for the perfect Disney vacation. This is episode number 115. Today we are going be continuing our ‘What to Pack’ series and discuss what we think are the most important items you need to have in your bag when visiting the Disney parks. I’m sure some of you (including Dave) like to pack as little as possible, so we’re going to keep our choice of items to 10 or less. So whether you prefer the hottest Disney Dooney, or a fanny pack we think these items are definitely worth taking along.

Appearing this week are Amy Bechtol, Dawn Gosdin, Rich Grady, and Marci Smith.

Connect with us!

MouseQuest on Twitter: @MQPodcast

Amy Bechtol on Twitter: @uccats97

Dawn Gosdin on Twitter: @logpey Blog: Dawn’s Dorky Diary

Rich Grady on Twitter: @michigansahd

To submit a question for the show, please go to the MouseQuest Podcast website, or send an email to question@mqpodcast.com.

Tips for Touring Magic Kingdom Park in One Day

Written by Amy Bechtol

Magic Kingdom

Adventure, fantasy, the wild frontier; just a few words to describe the lands of the most magical place on Earth. Magic Kingdom Park has so much to discover! Rides, attractions, shows, parades, and fireworks, oh my! With so many choices, having a plan to make the most of your time is the way to go.

My favorite park is Magic Kingdom. My family ends up visiting it multiple times during our vacations. I realize that not everyone has the time to visit multiple days. Today, I am going to share with you some tips to efficiently tour in only one day.

  1. Get there early! It’s best to arrive at the gate about 30-45 minutes before the park is scheduled to open. The wait times at headliner attractions are among the lowest during the first two hours of operation and you’ll get to experience the Magic Kingdom Welcome Show to start your day off with a touch of pixie dust.
  2. Use the My Disney Experience app. This magical little tool gives you access to wait times for attractions, allows you to view and make changes to your FastPass+ selections and time, provides dining locations complete with menus, and so much more. Check it out!
  3. Make your FastPass+ selections for the afternoon hours. Aiming for experience times of 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. work well. This allows time for lunch prior to the first return time and after the prime time morning hours. I always try to make FastPass+ selections for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
  4. Visit headliners that you don’t have FastPass+ selections for early. Ride Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Jungle Cruise during the first hour. Lines at these rides build quickly so it’s best to visit them first thing.
  5. Hit the high capacity rides in the second hour. Haunted Mansion, “it’s a small world”, and Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid are good options.
  6. Catch the Festival of Fantasy parade at 3:00 p.m. The porch in front of the Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade is a great viewing spot. A FastPass+ selection for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad for 2:30-3:30 is great to use immediately following the parade.
  7. Visit a FastPass+ kiosk as soon as your third FastPass+ selection has been used. Kiosks are currently located near the Diamond Horseshoe and Jungle Cruise in Adventureland, near Mickey’s Philharmagic in Fantasyland, and near Stitch’s Great Escape in Tomorrowland. You can get a 4th FastPass+ selection once the initial three are used. The same goes for a 5th, 6th, and so on. These additional FastPass+ selections are great to use for meeting characters like Mickey Mouse and TinkerBell at Town Square Theater.
  8. Spend the afternoon hours inside in the air conditioning. Attractions like Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, The Hall of Presidents, Country Bear Jamboree, and Pirates of the Caribbean are all great options to get out of the sun and relax for a while.
  9. Enjoy the evening entertainment. Finding a comfortable spot and viewing the three nighttime shows is a great way to slow down and relax. Main Street Electrical Parade, Celebrate the Magic castle projection show, and Wishes nighttime spectacular fireworks display are sure to end your evening with a bang!

Experiencing Magic Kingdom Park is a must do on every Walt Disney World Resort vacation. Being prepared, pacing yourself, and packing your patience will help you soar through the park like Peter Pan. Following these tips will help make your visit practically perfect in every way!

Amy is a wife and mom of four kids, who loves all things Disney. She is a regular on the weekly episodes of the MouseQuest Podcast. Follow her on Twitter @uccats97.

Other posts by Amy:
Expedition Everest Challenge 2015: The Final Race
Friday the 13th Villains #DisneySide @Home Celebration
A Ten Mile Run Through the Twilight Zone
Running Disney: Packing Tips and Ideas

Disney Lingo for Newbies

Written by Dawn Gosdin – Updated 3/22/2017

This post contains affiliate links. If you chose to buy a recommended product, the MouseQuest will receive a small comission. 

Disney Acronyms

Being a Disney Parks fan means you will come across MANY abbreviations and acronyms which you may, or may not, understand. Here is a comprehensive list of these Disney-related abbreviations which everyone planning any type of Disney vacation needs to know.


ABD – Adventures By Disney
ARS – Aulani Resort & Spa
DCL – Disney Cruise Line
DLP – Disneyland Paris
DLR – Disneyland Resort
DVC – Disney Vacation Club
HH – Hilton Head
VB – Vero Beach
WDW – Walt Disney World


AKL – Animal Kingdom Lodge
AKV – Animal Kingdom Villas (DVC)
AOA – Art of Animation
ASMu – All Star Music
ASMo – All Star Movies
AS – All Star Sports
BC – Beach Club
BCV – Beach Club Villas (DVC)
BLT – Bay Lake Tower (DVC)
BRV – Boulder Ridge Villas (DVC)
BWI – Boardwalk Inn
BWV-Boardwalk Villas (DVC)
CBR – Caribbean Beach Resort
CCV – Copper Creek Villas (DVC)
CSR – Coronado Springs Resort
CR – Contemporary Resort
FW – Fort Wilderness
GF – Grand Floridian
KV – Kidani Village (section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge)
OKW – Old Key West
PC – Pop Century
POR – Port Orleans Riverside
POFQ – Port Orleans French Quarter
POLY – Polynesian
SSR – Saratoga Springs Resort
SOG – Shades of Green (Military Resort onsite)
S&D – Swan & Dolphin Resort
THV – Treehouse Villas (at Saratoga Springs) (DVC)
VGF – Grand Floridian Villas (DVC)
VWL – Wilderness Lodge Villas (DVC)
WL – Wilderness Lodge
YC – Yacht Club

DLH – Disneyland Hotel
GCH – Grand Californian
PPH – Paradise Pier


AK – Animal Kingdom
BB – Blizzard Beach
DHS – Disney Hollywood Studios
DTD/DS – Downtown Disney/Disney Springs
EP – Epcot
MK – Magic Kingdom
TL – Typhoon Lagoon
WWOS – Wide World of Sports (Sports Complex)


7DMT – Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
BTMR – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
FoF – Festival of Fantasy parade
FoP – Flight of Passage
HEA – Happily Ever After Nighttime Spectacular
HM – Haunted Mansion
HoP – Hall of Presidents
IaSM – It’s a Small World
POTC – Pirates of the Caribbean
ROL – Rivers of Light
RnR – Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster
TSMM – Toy Story Midway Mania
ToT – Tower of Terror
TT – Test Track
TTA – Tomorrowland Transit Authority


DCA – Disney’s California Adventure
LAX – Los Angeles International Airport
LGB – Long Beach Airport
MHP – Mickey’s Halloween Party
ROA – Rivers of America
SNA – John Wayne Airport/Orange County
WoC – World of Color


ADR – Advanced Dining Reservation
B&C – Beaches & Cream
BOG – Be Our Guest
CG – California Grill
CM – Chef Mickeys
CP – Crystal Palace (sometimes also the abbreviation for the Candlelight Processional)
CRT – Cinderella’s Royal Table
DDP – Disney Dining Plan
HDDR – Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue
H&V – Hollywood & Vine
OOP – Out-of-Pocket
QS – Quick Service
TIW – Tables in Wonderland (previously DDE – Disney Dining Experience)
TS – Table Service
V&A – Victoria & Albert’s


AP – Animator’s Palate
CC – Castaway Cay
FE – Fish Extender (DCL Family Gift Exchange)
GTY – Guarantee
IGT – Inside Guarantee
OGT – Oceanview Guarantee
PC – Port Canaveral
VGT – Verandah Guarantee


FP+ – FastPass+
MB – MagicBand
MDE – My Disney Experience
MYW – Magic Your Way (Park Ticket)
MM – Memory Maker
PH – Park Hopper
WPF&M – Water Park Fun & More ticket option


AP – Annual Pass
APR – Annual Pass Rate
CM – Cast Member
DME – Disney Magical Express
DRC – Disney Reservation Center
ECV – Electric Convenience Vehicle
EMH – Extra Magic Hour
EWP – Electrical Water Pageant
F&G – Epcot Flower & Garden Festival
F&W – Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
IG – International Gateway (Entrance to EPCOT from Boardwalk)
KTTW – Key to the World Card (not used much anymore at WDW due to invention of MagicBands – still used on DCL)
TTC – Transportation & Ticket Center
MCO – Orlando International Airport
MNSSHP – Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (seasonal extra purchase)
MVMCP – Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (seasonal extra Purchase)
PAP – Premium Annual Pass
SWW – Star Wars Weekend
WS – World Showcase


BIL – Brother in law
DBF – Disney Boyfriend
DF – Disney Fiancé
DGF – Disney Girlfriend
DH – Disney Husband
DW – Disney Wife
DD – Disney Daughter
DS – Disney Son
FIL – Father in Law
MIL – Mother in Law
SIL – Sister in Law

Previously published on ~ http://www.disneygals.com/ and http://theadultsideofdisney.com/.

Dawn is married to her BFF Ryan and is privileged to be a stay-at -ome Mom/Writer/Blogger to her seventeen-year-old daughter Princess Peyton and future Imagineer son fifteen-year-old Logan. In their eyes a family that Disney’s together, stays together. They have enjoyed Walt Disney World many times, including the breathtaking Aulani Resort & Spa on the beautiful island of Oahu.

Other posts by this author:
Child Safety While at Walt Disney World
Epcot After Hours Wind Down
Important Facts About Disney Cruise Line

Disney Lingo for Newbies

Episode 112: What to Expect When Expecting at Disney

Welcome to the MouseQuest Podcast- Your guide in the quest for the perfect Disney vacation. This is episode number 112. In this episode we’re going to be talking about visiting Walt Disney world during pregnancy. You may remember that we did do a show on this topic way back in Episode 63, but we wanted to revisit it. Each year, Thousands of families come to the Disney Parks, and many of them are moms-to-be. We’re excited to share tips for these special ladies and their families, and hope our personal experiences help make your next Disney vacation the best one yet! Questions this week include:

  • I know you have visited the Disney parks while pregnant, and I think a lot of guests what to know ‘what to expect when they’re expecting’ – are there ‘safe’ rides for them? are there areas where they can rest?
  • What tips can you share about staying comfortable and healthy while making the most out of a Disney vacation? What should someone do if they start to feel sick or have health concerns?
  • What is the number one tip you can give for fathers-to-be?
  • What is your number one thing you think a mom-to-be should know before traveling?

Appearing this week are Amy Bechtol, Rich Grady, Linda Scruggs, and Marci Smith.

Connect with us!

MouseQuest on Twitter: @MQPodcast

Amy Bechtol on Twitter: @uccats97

Dawn Gosdin on Twitter: @logpey Blog: Dawn’s Dorky Diary

Rich Grady on Twitter: @michigansahd

To submit a question for the show, please go to the MouseQuest Podcast website, or send an email to question@mqpodcast.com.

Walt Disney World Resort® ~ A Very British Holiday

EDITOR’S NOTE: We are pleased to have the one and only British Disney Diva Jane Duckworth guest posting this week for the MouseQuest. Her experience in planning trans-Atlantic Disney holidays is unmatched. She is here to give us the ins and out of planning a Disney trip across the pond.

Written by Jane Duckworth

For many Brits this love affair with the Sunshine State has gone even deeper by purchasing private vacation villas or investing in time share properties such as the popular Disney Vacation Club; after all the USA as a whole has many positives for lazy British travellers like me because it’s English speaking plus it’s safe to drink the tap water!

For some a trip to Walt Disney World Resort® is a once in a lifetime event and for others it’s a well-trodden path, but for everyone it takes a fair bit of thought and planning!

Do I need any documents to travel to the USA?

04-21-2015 British Holiday2To enable travel for up to 90 days to the United States of America, a British tourist needs a valid passport and an ESTA which stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorisation. ESTA’s are part of the visa waiver program and should be purchased from the United States Government website at least 72 hours before travel and will last for up to 2 years as long as there are no changes to your personal circumstances.

Beware of all the websites that will claim to obtain an ESTA for you at a greatly inflated price! Only apply online via the US Government website (as in my previous link) where currently the charge is around £9/$14

Even though you are provided with an email confirmation of your ESTA acceptance I always print out our ESTAs and put them with our passports – just in case… although to date I’ve never been asked to produce them.

Begin planning before leaving home…

To help start planning the magic of a Walt Disney World Resort® holiday the 1st thing I recommend is signing up for a My Disney Experience account.

This practically perfect account is where is all begins…

My Disney Experience and My Disney Experience Mobile App will seamlessly link up with your Disney Resort reservation, Disney’s Ultimate Theme Park Tickets, MagicBands, Memory Maker, FastPass+ selections, Advanced Dining Reservations, enable charging of purchases to your Resort room (via a previously linked credit card)…. plus when you are enjoying the Disney Parks My Disney Experience Mobile App acts as an interactive guide map.

What’s a MagicBand?

All Guests staying in a Walt Disney World owned and run resort receive complimentary MagicBands as part of their holiday package.

MagicBands contain all the information that you input to your My Disney Experience and will even act as your Resort room access key!

All Guests can, and definitely should, customise their MagicBands with a name and choose a favourite colour- currently Red, Blue, Grey, Green, Pink, Orange & Yellow – which should be completed at least 10 days prior to check-in.

Currently, MagicBands are not shipped to the United Kingdom which means us Brits have to wait patiently until Resort check-in to be issued with ours.

Top Tips for British Travellers

  • Disney’s Ultimate Tickets – Be sure to purchase these UK exclusive and super value for the money Disney theme park tickets BEFORE leaving home.
  • Comfortable footwear – It is estimated that Guests walk upwards of 8 miles per day when visiting a Disney Theme Park & to quote my Mum, if your feet hurt, it shows on your face!
  • 04-21-2015 British Holiday3High factor sun block – The rays from the Florida sun are much more powerful than what us Brits are used to; stay sun safe!
  • Wear a hat & shades – Even if you don’t normally wear a hat at home, wearing one in Florida really does help keep the suns glare out of your eyes.
  • Don’t over pack suitcases – Florida is a shoppers paradise, so remember to leave plenty of room for souvenirs.
  • Invest in some baggage scales – Don’t be caught out by your airlines excess baggage allowances, with your own scales you’ll know when to stop shopping!

Hello, my name is Jane Duckworth and I’m so very pleased to meet you. I’ve lived all my life in the beautiful peninsula County of Cornwall in the United Kingdom where I am a wife and stay-at-home, cooking-obsessed Mum of 4.

There’s nothing I enjoy more than a new challenge or project to really get passionate about and I can often be found writing articles, product reviews or sharing recipes for my blog Jane’s World or penning resort & restaurant reviews and travel articles as British Diva for Tips from the Disney Diva plus I’ve also written guest articles for The Adult Side of Disney, DisTherapy and Magical DIStractions to mention but a few…

A Very British Disney Holiday