Wishes And Pixie Dust

Follow the journey of a Wisconsin family of 4 who relocated to the Walt Disney World area in July 2011

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Using DAS and Fastpass+ Together


Recently we were chosen to be among the first Annual Passholders to test MagicBands (MBs) and MyMagic+ (MM+), including the ability to schedule our Fastpass+ (FP+) times in advance.  We wanted to share our experience and some advice.

First, some quick background.  Recently we had some issues with using our DAS card and miscommunications we had with Disney.  We sent an email to Disability Relations at Walt Disney World and received a call from a Disability Relations representative and had a very nice call with her for almost an hour one afternoon.  She asked about our experiences overall with the entire DAS process and then what happened to cause our concern.  She was shocked at how we had heard so many different stories about the program.  What it all boils down to is that the only people who will know about any changes are people at her level and above working directly with the DAS program and that none had been planned or discussed back to Guest Relations (GR) or to those who staff the DAS help line; and that includes their Supervisors and Managers.  So, if anyone at that line or at GR tells anyone that there are ‘changes’ in place, planned or coming, that’s not true.  They won’t find out about any changes until they are ready to roll out and that’s not happening.  Right now and for the future the DAS works as always, 1 return time at a time with no limit per day or per the 14-day period.  Accommodations are the same as they were always meant to be.  They are on a guest by guest, day by day and Park by Park basis.  The only change is that there should be no notes in the files anymore “guaranteeing” a certain accommodation.  It all depends on how busy any Park is on any given day, how many attractions that Park has available and how much those accommodations are needed by that particular Guest.  And she stressed that no Cast Member should ever be saying that there is nothing they can do, and if you hear that, ask to speak to a Manager immediately, as there is always something they can do.  It might be re-admission tickets (paper Fastpasses), and they are allowed to give up to 3 sets at a time.  Or it may be as simple as giving you your first return time while at the GR desk if the Park isn’t busy.  How she put it to me is to simply state that you are using your Fastpasses and using your DAS but it just isn’t enough and you’d like just something extra to help with your day.  She did say that they take the feedback they get from guests like us to a weekly DAS committee meeting and they use that meeting to plan for the future.  So, send those emails in with your feedback.  The two biggest pieces of feedback they have right now is the ability to use a single return time for multiple rides and being able to have multiple return times at a time.  Email WDW.Guest.Communications@disneyworld.com, copying the email to Disability.Services@DisneyParks.com and specify that it for a DAS concern and give a phone number to call.

Some basic background on Fastpass+ may be needed.  As of today (and the program is subject to change), each guest is allowed 3 FP+ ‘reservations’ per day and they must be all at a single Park.  Epcot and Hollywood Studios (DHS) use a tier system which allows one FP+ for Tier 1 and 2 from Tier 2; the Magic Kingdom (MK) and the Animal Kingdom (DAK) have no tiers in place at this time.  A full list of all available FP+ attractions is at the end of this article for your reference.  If needed you can change your FP+ times and/or attractions at any time using the My Disney Experience (MDE) app on your phone, computer or at any of the FP+ kiosks available throughout the Parks.

And for some background on the DAS program, please visit our November article on this at this link: Our Experience With Disney’s DAS Card.  We also wrote on our general experiences at this link: Autism in the Parks.

We have now used our scheduled FP+ at all 4 Parks.  In order to test successfully, we chose to use only the DAS card itself and no additional accommodations.  Our first Park was DAK, where we had FP+ scheduled for Kilimanjaro Safari, Dinosaur and Finding Nemo – The Musical.   We started out by riding Kilimanjaro Safari.  Afterwards, on the way to Dinosaur, we stopped to get a DAS return time for Expedition Everest.  After riding Dinosaur we headed back to use our Everest return time.  We then headed back to get a DAS time for Primeval Whirl before going to watch Finding Nemo; afterwards going back to use the Primeval Whirl time.  There was a little more ‘back and forth’ and planning here, but it was reasonable and do-able; and we were able to successfully spend a good afternoon with little stress.

Our second Park was DHS.  Here we chose FP+ times for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster (RNR), Tower of Terror (ToT) and Star Tours.  On our way to Star Tours, we stopped for a DAS return time for Toy Story Mania (TSM).  Let me mention that for a day at DHS, we would suggest getting one FP+ time for TSM due to the always high return times.  The available times this day were outside our visit range so we adapted.  After Star Tours we stopped and watched Muppet*Vision 3D before returning to Toy Story for our return time ride.  We then went to Tower of Terror and rode and headed for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.  The coaster was down at this point and we later learned that Disney had sent an email to our registered MDE email letting us know that it was down and allowing us to use our FP+ at any time that day at DHS on any attraction.  If an attraction is down during any of your FP+ times, check your MDE or at a FP+ kiosk for the options you’re given in exchange.  We did ride the Great Movie Ride before heading out this day.  My thoughts on DHS are to FP+ TSM and if you plan to ride both ToT and RNR, to FP+ ToT and get a DAS time for RNR first.  That will allow you to hit both rides fairly easily with little back and forth.

Our third Park was Epcot.  For this visit we chose Test Track, The Seas with Nemo and Friends and Spaceship Earth.  We first headed to The Land where we got a return time for Soarin’ and then rode Living with the Land and a quick rest stop at Sunshine Seasons before riding Soarin’.  Soarin’ is a good choice for using your DAS instead of FP+ only because you do have some options within The Land to spend your wait time (Living with the Land, Circle of Life, a meal or snack at Sunshine Seasons).  We then rode Nemo and Friends and visited the manatee rescue station before heading over to Test Track, riding with our FP+.  We then ended our visit with a Spaceship Earth ride.  If following our method, you could also stop and get a return time at Mission: Space before riding Test Track and can also use Universe of Energy to spend wait time.  Maelstrom can easily use a DAS return time with a stroll around the surrounding Pavilions to pass time.


Finally our tests brought us to the Magic Kingdom.  For this particular visit we chose Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (BTMR), Under the Sea and Space Ranger Spin.  On the way to BTMR we stopped for a return time for Haunted Mansion, rode BTMR and then returned to Haunted Mansion to ride.  We got a return time for Pirates of the Caribbean and went to get Dole Whips to pass the wait time.  We returned to Pirates and then headed to Fantasyland.  There we got a return time for Winnie the Pooh, watched Mickey’s PhilharMagic and then went back to ride Pooh.  We then went to Under the Sea for our FP+ time (we would have gotten a return time for Peter Pan’s Flight but that was down at the time.  After Under the Sea we stopped at Space Mountain for a return time before riding Buzz and the PeopleMover.  We then used the return time on Space Mountain (well, the kids did) before heading out for the day.
We did a second trip to the Magic Kingdom this past Saturday, starting earlier than usual (we arrived around 10am whereas we normally start our Park days between 1:30pm and 2:30pm).  We were able to walk on Haunted Mansion, PhilharMagic, Country Bears, Carousel of Progress and PeopleMover that day while using FP+ for Big Thunder, Mickey Mouse Meet and Tomorrowland Speedway and DAS return times for Pooh, Buzz, Space Mountain and Peter Pan.  Our son did comment that this was the best day he had at Disney since the GAC changed to the DAS.

Our overall experience was positive.  If planning accordingly, you can balance FP+ and DAS return times along with shows, snack/meal breaks and “quiet time” periods successfully.  We would highly recommend consulting a Park map as you plan FP+ times so that you can work them well together with DAS return times without doing more ‘back and forth’ travelling than is needed and to plan DAS return times for attractions where there are some low wait time attractions or shows nearby to help you pass wait times.  A good example, based on our experience, is to get a FP+ for BTMR given how far it is from other attractions (especially when Splash Mountain is closed); so you won’t have to trek to the back of the Park to do this as a DAS return.  We would also suggest that if you have a child who would like to ride something more than once to get a FP+ time, but get a DAS return time before boarding at your FP+ time.  This will allow for a quicker re-boarding for a second ride.  Finally, we suggest that if you eat a meal, get a DAS return time before you go to the meal, as we did with Haunted Mansion when eating at Columbia Harbor House.

Please also take the time to listen to the wonderful Special Mouse Podcast, I was a guest on a recent episode that you can listen to on iTunes, Stitcher or at this link: Beta Testing the DAS Card with Fast Pass+ at Walt Disney World.


Animal Kingdom Fastpass+ Attractions

Expedition Everest
Festival of the Lion King
Finding Nemo – The Musical
It’s Tough to Be a Bug!
Kali River Rapids
Kilimanjaro Safaris
Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost
Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade
Primeval Whirl

Magic Kingdom Fastpass+ Attractions

Ariel’s Grotto
The Barnstormer
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Festival of Fantasy Parade
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Enchanted Tales with Belle
The Haunted Mansion
it’s a small world
Jungle Cruise
Mad Tea Party
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
Main Street Electrical Parade
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Mickey’s PhilharMagic
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
Peter Pan’s Flight
Pirates of the Caribbean
Princess Fairytale Hall: Meet Cinderella and a Visiting Princess
Princess Fairytale Hall: Meet Rapunzel and a Visiting Princess
Princess Fairytale Hall: Meet Anna and Elsa from Frozen
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Space Mountain
Splash Mountain
Tomorrowland Speedway
Town Square Theater Mickey Mouse Meet and Greet
Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid
Wishes Nighttime Spectacular

Epcot Fastpass+ Attractions

Group A (Choose 1)

Epcot Character Spot
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
Test Track

Group B (Choose 2)

Captain EO
Journey Into Imagination With Figment
Living with the Land
Mission: SPACE (Green or Orange)
Spaceship Earth
The Seas with Nemo & Friends
Turtle Talk with Crush

Hollywood Studios Fastpass+ Attractions

Group A (Choose 1)

Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
Toy Story Mania!

Group B (Choose 2)

Disney Junior – Live on Stage!
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!
Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show
Muppet*Vision 3D
Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
The American Idol Experience
The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special (Seasonal)
The Great Movie Ride
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Voyage of the Little Mermaid


A Day At LEGOLAND® Florida

Legoland Entrance

A Day At LEGOLAND® Florida by Mark and Jen Vitek

On Monday, April 15th, Jen and I took Ben and Catie to LEGOLAND as part of their Homeschool Days.  Ben has been waiting since before we moved to go, even though it didn’t open until October, 2011.  🙂  LEGOLAND is in Winter Haven, FL on the site of the old Cypress Gardens and is conveniently located 45 minutes from Orlando and Tampa.  Here’s our experience.

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We decided to arrive at park opening so that we could see and do as much as possible.  This time of year, LEGOLAND is open 9:30am to 6:00pm most days; but those hours vary by the season.  We were surprised by some of the differences to our usual days at Disney or SeaWorld.  First, we parked within just a short parking distance of the entrance.  There are no bag security checks, but there are also no carry-ins (except for water bottles).  And the turnstiles were very quick and easy with no finger scan.  Then we were in.

The park wasn’t very busy this day, mainly as this was a day for Homeschooled students and their families to come and enjoy the park.  So we had very little (if any) wait for any of the rides that we went on.  There is no fast pass type system here, so all of the queues are together; but most rides do have a quiet area where children can sit, wait and build with LEGOs while the parents wait in the lines.  LEGOLAND Florida is the largest LEGOLAND Park in the world, but it isn’t too big to enjoy in one day.


You start your park adventure walking through The Beginning, the entrance area.  Here you’ll find Guest Services, the Annual Pass Center (and they do have a dedicated AP office as they take your picture which is on the AP), The Big Shop (their LEGO Store), the Market Restaurant (an indoor ‘food court’ that serves a variety of food items) and the Island In The Sky (a 150 foot high platform that gives you a view of LEGOLAND and the area).

Once you leave The Beginning you can branch out in various directions.  We entered into Fu
n Town.  Fun Town lives up to its name with tons of LEGO fun.  Here you’ll experience a simulated LEGO Factory Tour, The Grand Carousel (a double decker carousel featuring LEGO horses), a Florida Greenhouse, several shops (including a ‘Pick-a-Brick’ shop ($8.49 for a ¼ pound bag of Lego pieces), a LEGO Friends shop and LEGO Studios – dedicated to LEGOs from TV and Movies), the Wells Fargo 4D Theater where you can see 3 different 4D movies (we saw Spellbreakers and LEGO Racers, both awesome!), 3 snack shops (Ice Cream, Slushies and Granny’s Apple Fries) and the Pizza & Pasta Buffet (a sit-down buffet restaurant).  We had a lot of fun touring Fun Town.  We did stop for ice cream at Sunny’s Ice Cream Shop; and the scoops there are very big.  So, unless you’re very hungry or really love a lot of ice cream, one scoop may be plenty.  🙂

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From here you can enter Miniland USA, the heart of LEGOLAND.  Plan to spend at least an hour of your day here, this is just the most amazing area.  We’d also recommend visiting here toward the start or end of your day while the sun isn’t directly overhead as there is little shade as you walk through.  Here you visit Florida in general, Daytona International Speedway, the Kennedy Space Center, Pirate Shores, California (LA, San Francisco and Hollywood), Washington DC, Las Vegas, New York City and, the newest addition, LEGO Star Wars Miniland.  You walk through and the details are amazing!  In several areas, stop and push the buttons and watch (and listen) for the surprising actions that take place.  This was one of our favourite parts of the entire day (and I particularly enjoyed the Star Wars area – too bad you can’t take things with you).

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Next we went into LEGO City.  This is a child’s paradise.  You can drive your own boat at Boating School, earn your LEGO driver license at Ford Driving School (ages 6-13) or Ford Junior Driving School (ages 3-5), take a flight on an inverted rollercoaster in the Flying School or compete against other families to put out a fire in the Rescue Academy.  The ‘Big Test Live Show’ is here, watch as the Fun Town Fire Department teaches you about fire safety during this funny show featuring acrobatics and comedy.  There is LEGO City merchandise at the City Shop and you can enjoy a fried chicken dinner at the Fried Chicken Co. restaurant.  This area also has the entrance to the LEGO Waterpark, but we didn’t make use of that on this visit.

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From here, move into the LEGO Technic area.  The Aquazone Wave Racers are a fantastic ride as you zoom around on your own ‘jet ski’ carousel while dodging water cannons.  On the Technicycle, you fly higher the faster that you pedal and the Project X Technic Test Track rollercoaster is a high-speed thrill ride.  You can shop in the Extreme Zone which features ‘extreme’ LEGO products, Florida-themed merchandise and many clearance items.  You can eat indoors at the Lakeside Sandwich Co. which features pre-made sandwiches, wraps and bakery goods or outdoors at the Drivin’ Drive-in where you can grab a hot dog and chips.

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Next up is Pirate’s Cove.  Here you’ll see the water ski and action show, The Battle for Brickbeard’s Bounty.  And you can grab a burger at Cap’n Brickbeard’s Burgers.  This is an outdoor eating area, but there is a covered area with picnic tables and fans; and with a view of Cypress Gardens across the waterway.  This is where we ate lunch and these burgers were excellent.  There is also a chicken sandwich available.  Take a moment here to look into the bordering waterway and you’ll see many wild turtles and the occasional alligator.  But watch your food, the birds here are “burger hunters”.  One landed on Ben’s burger (luckily he had finished) and then flew off and grabbed another child’s burger right off his plate.  🙂

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Cypress Gardens is next, a quiet area which kept the garden atmosphere of the park’s predecessor, Cypress Gardens Park.  You can enjoy a leisurely stroll through the gardens and watch for the LEGO Southern Belles and the 74-year old Banyan tree.

From here you can enter the Imagination Zone, an area devoted to using your…imagination.  Enter past the giant LEGO Albert Einstein and let the fun begin.  You can build and program your own LEGO Mindstorms robot, build and test a LEGO race car, play and build with the LEGO Hero Factory and try the latest LEGO videogames in the WB Games Zone.  Enjoy the Kids Power Towers, where you pull yourself up a 30-foot tower and then ‘free fall’ back down.  You can grab lunch and get a pressed sandwich at the I-Zone Panini restaurant.


Moving on you enter the Land of Adventure.  You’ll enjoy Safari Trek, a LEGO jeep trip through Africa featuring many LEGO animals.  You can thrill on Coastersaurus, a dinosaur themed old-time wooden rollercoaster, enjoy a bouncing ride on Beetle Bounce and explore the maze of the Pharaoh’s Revenge.  We loved the Lost Kingdom Adventure, a dark ride through Egypt firing your lasers at targets to earn points and defeat Sam Sinister.  You can snack on Waffle Spears (warm chocolate-covered waffles) and have lunch at the BBQ Pit which features a Barbecue Pulled Pork sandwich on pita bread.

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Next is LEGO Kingdoms, where you visit medieval times and the LEGOLAND Castle.  The main attraction here is The Dragon, an awesome dragon-themed rollercoaster that travels through the castle before launching you on an exciting coaster ride.  We were able to ride this back-to-back; jumping off and then right back on.  LEGO Kingdoms also features the Royal Joust for kids to age 12 ride horses through scenes where they will joust with targets along the way, The Forestman’s Hangout – a tree and rope-climb area and Merlin’s Challenge – a high-speed rambler-type ride.  You can shop at the King’s Market and enjoy lunch at Castle Burger; which serves the same menu as Cap’n Brickbeard’s with the substitution of a chicken salad for the chicken sandwich.  This is another outdoor eating area but not as shaded and quiet as Cap’n Brickbeard’s.

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The final area, and one we didn’t visit, is DUPLO Village; a play area for toddlers.  Most of the rides here are temporarily closed while the expansion ‘World of Chima’ area is constructed – to open this summer.  There are still play areas open here now, primarily DUPLO Farm, and this area also features an area for new mothers to nurse their babies.

The newest area, The World of Chima, is under construction and is scheduled to open this summer.  This area will feature rides based on the new LEGO product line and TV show, The Legends of Chima, as well as characters from the show.

We found LEGOLAND to be very fun and we do plan on going back.  This isn’t a park just for children as some might say, we had plenty of fun as adults.  But if you have kids, they will absolutely love this!  I’ve added some information and links for you below and below that are some photos and videos to enjoy.  Please let us know what you think of LEGOLAND if you’ve been and we hope we’ve given you enough information so that you can plan your visit soon.


Official LEGOLAND® Florida App
This is an extremely helpful app, available for both iPhone and Android.  It helps with planning, buying tickets, finding places to eat and it even has a function that locates your car in the parking lot.

LEGOLAND® Florida App – Android

LEGOLAND® Florida App – iPhone


LEGOLAND Florida Preview Video


More LEGOLAND Photos


LEGOLAND Florida Homepage


Homeschool Days (Every Monday 5/6/13 to 12/23/13, except for 5/27 and 9/2)
Includes admission and water park, parking fee is separate.

Homeschool Students – $8
Accompanying Family/Friends – $25



Ticket Prices (Current as of 4/19/13)

LEGOLAND – PICK-A-DATE (Book 2 days in advance and pick a specific date)

Adult (13+)                Child (3-12) / Senior (60+)
1 Day  $64                             $56
2 Day  $79                             $71

LEGOLAND + Water Park Combo Tickets – PICK-A-DATE (Book 2 days in advance and pick a specific date)

Adult (13+)                Child (3-12) / Senior (60+)
1 Day  $79                             $71
2 Day  $94                             $86


Adult (13+)                Child (3-12) / Senior (60+)
1 Day  $79                             $71
2 Day  $94                             $86

LEGOLAND + Water Park Combo Tickets

Adult (13+)                Child (3-12) / Senior (60+)
1 Day  $94                             $86
2 Day  $109                           $101


Annual Passes (FL Resident passes include free parking and water park admission)

FL Resident              Regular Adult           Regular Child/Senior
$99                             $129                           $99