15 Disney Park Hacks To Make Your Experience More Magical

15 Ways To Make Your Disney World Experience Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

Even Disney World itself has life hacks to follow.

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I absolutely love Disney World. It's a place where I feel like I can be a kid again and all of my worries disappear. I'm always sad to leave because I know once I get on that plane back to North Carolina, my daily life must resume once more. Everyone should leave Disney World feeling like they have had the most magical experience of their life and none of their wishes are left unfulfilled. However, for some, their Disney experience isn't as magical as they would've hoped and leave wondering what they could have differently. Since I went during Spring Break, I decided to share with everyone my "life hack" tips for hacking Disney World and having the most magical experience of their life.

1. Make a plan before you get there

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It's easy to get overwhelmed is Disney World with multiple parks and how massive they are. It's a good idea to have a plan about what you're going to do each day before you get there.

2. Plan your fast passes in advance

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When you buy a Disney park ticket, you will have 30 days before your trip to reserve your fast passes before you get there. You can pick up to three attractions for each day and once you use them up you can get more passes after that.

3. Don't use your fast passes on attractions that do not need them

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Attractions such as shows that use big theatre's really don't need a fast pass. Use your passes on rides such as Big Thunder Mountain, Tower of Terror, Space Mountain, Rock 'n' Rollercoaster, Haunted Mansion, and Test Track, just to name a few.

4. Get a My Disney Experience and app before you go.

https://www.google.com/search?q=my+disney+experience+app&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjBg7GFv__gAhWEl-AKHZreDf4Q_AUIECgD&biw=1440&bih=659#imgrc=9dkWTJwmpOvaWM:

I used this app the entire time on my trip. You can see your upcoming fast pass times, make/ cancel dining reservations, check wait times, see the bus schedule, and much, much more.

5. Utilize Disney's transportation system

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While Uber and Lyft's are fast, Disney's transportation system will always be much faster when going back and forth from parks to hotels.

6. Make your dining reservations in advance

Moms Panel Monday: Disney Dining Plans | Disney Parks Blog

Make your dining reservations in advance as trying to plan them when you get there will be nearly impossible unless you happen to get lucky if someone cancels.

6. Make breakfast or lunch reservations

Top 10 Table Service Restaurants at Walt Disney World

You'll find more options available during breakfast and lunch hours, plus having a lunch reservation is a nice way to get out of the Florida heat.

8. Get there at rope drop

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If you don't have a fast pass for one of your favorite rides, get there at rope drop and head straight to it for shorter wait times.

9. Utilize the single rider option

How Single Rider Works at Universal Orlando and Disney World - Go ...

If you can't get a fast pass or get there at rope drop, use the single rider experience if it is an option. This will cut your wait time in half and while you won't sit next to your friend, there's a good chance you'll still be on the ride at the same time.

10. Know not every souvenir is available everywhere

Connect With a Banshee at The Rookery inside Windtraders in Pandora ...

For example, the Pandora world souvenir's you won't find anywhere else in the parks except for Animal Kingdom. If you see something you really want, I would suggest going ahead and getting it for safe measure.

11. Know every park has unique food and drinks to offer

Night Blossom from Pandora in Animal Kingdom | Disney Theme Park ...

I actually ended up getting two Night Blossom drinks from Pandora because they were so good. Other parks offer unique food and drinks to try. Epcot is a big one that offers the chance to eat and drink around the world.

12. Get MagicBands

12 Most Important Things to Know about Disney's MagicBands ...

MagicBands are not only a unique and fun Disney experience, they're also super helpful and convenient. Your fast passes will be on there as well as serve as your room key. You can also use your MagicBand as a credit card that will be charged back to your room.

13. Go to the night shows

How Much Cash Does It Really Take To Put On A Disney Firework ...

Disney parks offer beautiful firework displays at night in most of their parks. My favorite was the one at Magic Kingdom, but I don't want to give away too much and ruin the surprise for anyone going.

14. Document your adventure

This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Rare Characters, More Pirates & a ...

Don't forget to take photos of your trip to look back on when you're sad or if it's a rainy day. I loved getting to look at my photos as I made this article, reminiscing on how much fun it is and how I'm currently scheming on making my return soon.

15. Lastly, go visit Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure for a nice change

25 Best Rides at Universal Studios Orlando Theme Parks | TravelPulse

Okay I couldn't help myself I had to through this in here. While I love Disney, I love Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure even more. They offer a lot of thrill rides for older kids, teens, and adults. Also, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is awesome, and so is the Incredible Hulk Rollercoaster.

There's probably even more Disney park hacks but these were the ones that I came up with. If you are going on a Disney trip soon, I hope you have a magical experience!

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11 Must-Go To Day Trips In North Carolina

For the wanderers and curious...
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It's finally summer, classes are out! There are so many things to do in this beautiful state. There are many small towns to visit. These towns are perfect day trips. From the mountains to the beach and everything in between, there is something for everyone! Pack your car up and get ready for a summer of adventure.

1. NoDa

This is a small hipster district right outside of Uptown Charlotte. Music and art paint this town and it has a very creative energy flow. Amelie's Bakery, a 24/7 french bakery, is located in this district. There is always something fun and new to try in this cute, artistic town!

2. Asheville


This town is known for the beautiful scenery and historic importance. The Biltmore Estate is located here, and it is open for tours every day of the year. It is the biggest estate in America. The downtown area is very artistic, and the mountains make for a gorgeous hike. This is definitely an adventure you don't want to miss.

3. Boone

This small town has a lot of outdoor activities. It is perfect for hiking and whitewater rafting. If you love nature, this is a must see. It is a college town where Appalachian State University is located. The downtown area is very old school and for modern hipsters.

4. Crowders Mountain

This is located in Gaston County. Once you reach the Pinnacle, the peak of the trail, with clear skies you can see for miles. It is a quick four-mile hike for the short one, the view is amazing.

5. Wilmington

This city is known for the beachfront. It makes a perfect day to hit the waves. There are many beach fronts to visit, such as Carolina Beach. Cape Fear Ocean runs through this city. White sand, waves and the boardwalk. If you are a fan of One Tree Hill, it was filmed here.The small restaurants and characteristics give this town a vibrant energy.

6. Serendipity House

This house is from the movie Nights In Rodanthe located on a beach in Avon, North Carolina. It has been remodeled, but the amazing characteristics of this make it a sight to see.

7. Linville Falls

This is located in Linville, North Carolina. Attractions close by are also the Blue Ridge Mountain. To get to the main fall, it is about a mile hike.

8. Outer Banks

Small beaches on the outer banks of North Carolina have wild horses. Corolla Wild Ponies run free, and you can even take a ride on them in the water.

9. Sliding Rock

Located in Brevard, this rock is actually naturally made from a small waterfall. You can actually go sliding down it. It is in Pisgah National Forest also near Asheville.

10. Devil's Tramping Ground

This is located near Bennett. It is a 40-foot circle that cannot grow life. If you leave something or sleep in the circle, the rumor is it will be outside of the circle the next day.

11. Land of Oz Theme park

Located in Beech Mountain, this theme park that was once full of life is now closed and for the most part abandoned. It comes alive for one night a year for an event. This is definitely a place to take a night adventure to...

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Abroad 'Grew' Me

Change can not even begin to describe it

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"Abroad changed me."

It's the cliche, all-encompassing, slightly asshole-ish phrase that any student returning from a study abroad experience is bound to let slip at least once. As ironic and annoying as it may sound, especially when repeated 100 times, it's definitely not false. However, I believe it best gets its point across when modified slightly.

The one slight correction that can be made to this statement is the word "changed". I know for a fact that my study abroad experience opened my eyes to new cultures, new perspectives, and new possibilities. I was able to branch out and pursue areas of interest I had never imagined. However, I am still me. I did not morph into a new person or lose anything I once had before I boarded that plane. If anything the correct phrase (although not grammatically proper) should be "Abroad grew me". The path I followed in my experience, every twist, turn, and bump that hit me along the journey, helped me to become something more of myself.

My problem-solving, communication and overall interpersonal skills have become so much stronger than those which I left JFK Airport within early September. All of this combined, my confidence has grown tenfold. In terms of my self-confidence, I have never felt more validated or reassured of who I am, what my values are, and what I want out of this life. All of these things are due to the situation I was put into, but I would not call them changes. Because the word "change" insinuates I never had any of these skills or characteristics before.

Being brave, for example, is not something I typically would label myself as. But when you are lost in the streets of Morocco, frantically running in circles to find a blue building (in what is known as the "Blue City") when your bus is leaving in under 5 minutes, the act of going up to a complete stranger and getting your Spanish to somehow coincide with their Arabic is not just a show of bravery, but a necessity. It is how you survive. Although I quickly learned that after a few too many travel fiascos, I also came to realize how much better life can become when you let this bravery into other aspects of your life - not just the emergencies. The little parts like trying new foods, volunteering to make a fool of yourself and flamenco dance, stopping at the street corner to converse with the woman selling flowers, these are the small things that shaped my entire experience. And these are the biggest things that helped me to grow. This bravery was something that I always had, just never to the extent at which I tapped into during my time abroad.

Yes, coming back from studying abroad I feel like the world around me and my normal life have changed. I never could have expected it to stand still just because I was absent. However, I do not feel that I have "changed" from who I was before. A desire for a challenge is what led me to go abroad in the first place and I am extremely blessed to be able to say that my wish was fulfilled. With each new experience, I expanded my horizons, and piece by piece I watched myself morph into what I would now call a confident and well-rounded individual. This growth has brought me to where I am today, but it is only the starting point on my adventure to further explore cultures, the world, and where my place is in it all.

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