How to Conquer a Disney Park

How to Conquer a Disney Park

"Just like every boy scout you should always be prepared"
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Even with me being the huge Disney fan I am, every time I go to the parks I always want to know what I can do to get the most out of my trip. Which I am sure is also what a lot of people want as well out of their vacation. With Disney being the way it is, it is constantly finding ways to be innovative to make your experience as a guest easier. However, sometimes it almost feels like as a guest you are left in the dark about these innovations to make your experience truly magical.Here are some helpful tips on how to make your vacation the best it can be at either the Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World.

Do your research

Just like Walt said himself "Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world". Which means that if you haven't visited a Disney park in about 10 years, most likely things have changed. Depending on the person, these changes can either be bad or good but it's never fun to go in blind. The parks are a bit overwhelming if you've never been to one before so my advice is to study up beforehand. There are so many resources out there that tell you what each of the parks entail, that by the time you finally get to your vacation you'll have at least a little bit of an idea of what's going on to give you the best vacation ever!

Helpful links:

My previous article- 5 Podcasts that Will Help Prepare You For Walt Disney World(all of these podcasts also talk about planning Disneyland trips as well)

Disneyland's and Disney World's Official Thing's to Do pages: Disneyland/Disneyworld

Plan Ahead

Just like every boy scout you should always be prepared. Never assume when it comes to going on a Disney trip. If you want to eat dinner at one of their sit down full service restaurants I suggest calling in a reservation before your trip just so that it is guaranteed. Attractions wise, once you've done the research, map out what you want to do and make those top rides that hold your interest your first priority of what you are going to do for the day. The main thing is to have a schedule almost to accomplish your Disney Trip Bucket List.

Helpful Links:

Maps- Disneyland, Walt Disney World

Advanced Dining Reservations Phone Number for Walt Disney World- (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463.

Advanced Dining Reservations Phone Number for Disneyland: (714) 781-DINE or (714) 781-3463.

Fastpass/Single Rider lines all the way

Fastpass is one of the best ways of accomplishing the things you want to get done at Disney parks. Basically the idea is that you get a fastpass that is a ticket to let you skip a part of the normal standby line at a designated time. Now Disneyland and Walt Disney World have both very different systems but they are both very helpful. Here is how they work;

Walt Disney World- They have the fastpass+ system where you can set up about three fastpasses for the day before you even get to the park. Once you complete those three fastpasses you can then begin to do one fastpass at a time for the rest of the day. However, here is something fun about the system once you've made your first three fastpasses for the day you can actually change them to something else if you have interest in a different ride halfway through the day.
Disneyland- They use the paper fastpass system where you receive a paper ticket with your a lotted return time. With this you can get as many fastpasses you want for the day as long as they don't occur at the same time as a fastpass you already have. With this you can get really lucky sometimes. Let's say you get a fastpass for Haunted Mansion that starts at 9:30-10:30 am and then you run to Space Mountain and see they have fastpasses going from 8:25-9:25 that means you can basically skip the line on almost two rides in a row!

When it comes to getting a hold of fastpasses the best idea is to use them for what is probably going to be the most popular rides or the rides you really really want to ride. Grab them when you first get into the park so you know there is a definite chance you will get on a ride.

However, let's say you aren't able to get a fastpass and the ride you really want to ride has a really long wait. This is where the single rider line comes into play. Although it is fun to ride an attraction with your family you also probably want to do more with your day than just wait in line. The single rider line is a line where you are basically a seat filler. If a cart on a ride holds four and a family of three get's on someone from the single rider line get's placed on the spot. It usually is a shorter wait time then the normal stand by but don't expect to immediately get on.

Helpful Links:

More info on fastpasses: Disneyland/ Walt Disney World

Which ride's have single rider lines at Disneyland?: link

Ask for a cast member's opinion.

Don't be afraid to ask cast members for suggestions. The people who work at the parks have a lot of knowledge usually, of where they work. As an ex cast member I can say that I visited the parks a lot and when I was working I loved getting asked for suggestions of what people should do with their. Not to mention that sometimes us cast members have little tidbits of knowledge or Disney history we would love to share with guests.

Don't forget to have fun though and wander around.

With all this planning and researching to forget that you are the happiest place on earth and to have fun!


Cover Image Credit: Lovemarks.com

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19 Signs You're From South Jersey

South Jersey breeds a unique type of human, and it will always be our home.
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If you are from South Jersey, you are a unique breed of human who has been blessed with Wawa, pork roll, Philadelphia, beach trips, all-service gas stations, hoagies, water ice, and more. The population of South Jersians can relate to so many things that everyone else in the country can't- this list is just to name a few.

1. It is pork roll, not Taylor Ham.

Let's get this one out of the way first. Every South Jersian knows that “pork roll” is the product — the meat — and “Taylor” is the brand. We don’t refer to bacon as “Oscar Meyer.” It is literally not even ham, and the word “ham” actually appears nowhere on the Taylor brand packaging. That’s all I have to say about that.

2. Wawa is the beloved, convenient, delicious, and sacred place that we worship.

Easily our most common go-to. In fact, you can typically find 4 different Wawa’s within 5 miles of you at all times. If anyone closed their eyes and dreamed of the best convenient store possible, it would be Wawa.

3. NYC is cool, but Philly is your city.

Spruce Street Harbor Park, Independence Mall, Magic Gardens, Center City Sips, cheesesteaks, Graffiti Pier, and endlessly more — Philly gives you everything you could need for a beautiful night and only we know how underrated it is.

4. You probably do not know how to pump gas.

If you have driven out of state, you may have had to figure it out by now, but for the most part, we have the luxury of not needing to know this skill. Fill it up regular, please!

5. A day trip to the beach is your bliss.

If you’re from South Jersey, you have a long list of beach options — and you most likely have a favorite. Between LBI, Ocean City, Wildwood, Seaside, Avalon, Sea Isle, Atlantic City, and more- we are certainly spoiled.

6. Our slang is different.

For whatever reason, our vocabulary is quite unique — even compared to North Jersey. Especially among teenagers, we have an abundance of special jargon.

7. It’s a hoagie. Not a "sub." It will always be a hoagie.

We all love our Wawa Hoagiefest. No one can ever tell us differently — a sub is a submarine boat and Subway is an underground railway system.

8. And people call them “jimmies,” not sprinkles. Oh, and it’s "water ice" not Italian ice.

Clearly, we like having our own South Jersian language.

9. You learned to drive with pretty awful road rage.

You are surrounded by road rage here, especially if heading toward Philly or New York. It’s the land of honking, cutting off and middle fingers. The lovely picture above is from the New Jersey Turnpike.

10. Honestly, you probably dislike North Jersey.

For some reason, Jersey has pretty much segregated itself into two different states. Or three, I guess, if you’re someone who counts Central Jersey. The rivalry is real — in fact, any North Jersian reading this has probably physically cringed multiple times by now.

11. Your accent is subtle, but yet pretty distinct.

We tend to have an accent on words such as cawfee, wooter, and begel. We certainly do not have a “joisey” accent, but something is still a little off.

12. There is no “New” in New Jersey.

Ok, obviously there is, but as you can tell already within this article, we really do not often use the “New” part. Too much inconvenience for us I assume.

13. You probably make a trip (or five) to BB&T Pavilion every summer.

Or “Susquehanna” as the more original concert-goers will still refer to it as- the lawn is basically the best place to be (except when you lose all your friends and have no service). It’s also usually a high school reunion to see all your hometown friends on break.

14. You have everything you could want within driving distance.

Philly one way, or the beach the other way, or NYC another way, or even the Poconos when you need some mountains and skiing. We’ve got everything.

15. The weather is dramatic and bipolar.

One day could be sunny and 75, and the next it could be snowing. The concept of specific seasons is iffy.

16. You probably describe where you live in reference to Philly or Cherry Hill.

When an out-of-stater asks you where in Jersey you are from, you most likely give a response along the lines of “just outside of Cherry Hill,” or “about half an hour from Philly.”

17. You live within 20 minutes of multiple different malls.

You will be able to find multiple decent shopping malls anywhere you are in South Jersey- a real convenient blessing.

18. You most likely know at least 10 people that go to Rutgers.

Being our biggest and most popular state school- you are guaranteed to know a good handful of people that found their way there after high school.

19. Lastly, you are proud of our little “armpit” corner of the country.

As much as we may talk bad about it and complain about wanting to leave, we know it’ll always be home. South Jersey breeds a special type of person.

SEE ALSO: The Garden State Guide To Essential Jersey Slang

Cover Image Credit: https://twitter.com/wawa/status/718019343544684544

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10 Places For On-Campus Students At Cleveland State To Go In Cleveland Over The Weekend

Because being stuck on-campus with nothing to do is the actual worst.

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I love Cleveland State, but because the majority of the students commute, the university is practically dead over the weekend. The Inner Link is (typically) locked down, the only places to eat on-campus are the Viking Marketplace and Chili's (and neither is really the best), there's nothing happening on campus, and practically everyone goes home for the weekend.

Now, I usually don't go home for the weekend because home is two and a half hours away. And trust me, there's absolutely nothing worse than being stuck in the dorm all weekend with nothing to do. So, here's a list of nine things you can do in Cleveland over the weekend so you're not bored out of your mind.

1. Go to the Rec Center 

All Cleveland State students get into the Rec Center for free, so take advantage of this awesome perk as much as you can to stay active and in shape. There’s so much you can do.

The Rec Center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

2. Explore Cleveland on the RTA 

This is literally the easiest thing you could do. With your RTA U-Pass, you get unlimited rides on any RTA vehicle in Cuyahoga County for the whole semester. And the Healthline goes right through campus, giving you access to University Circle and Downtown. (Just please do not hop on random buses without knowing where they’re going first. Granted, all buses do end up back where they started, but please use common sense and don’t just get on a random bus with an unknown destination).

You can find a list of all bus routes on the RTA's website.

3. Go to a museum 

Like I said, the Healthline runs right through campus and the East 24th Street station is literally right across the street from the dorms. You'll have to do a little bit of walking, but if you get off at Stokes/Sterns, Adelbert, or Cornell stations, you can get to the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History easily.

The Cleveland Museum of Art is completely free (except for their special exhibitions, but you can get a discount with your student I.D.) and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History gives you a discount if you present your Viking Card.

4. Attend a service at Trinity Cathedral 

Trinity is the Episcopal church across the street from Main Classroom (I will literally never call it “Berkman Hall”). It is an extremely inclusive community and all are more than welcome to attend.

Services are 8 a.m., 9 a.m., and 11 a.m.

5. Spend a day at the Cleveland Public Library — Main Branch 

Located right in Public Square, the Cleveland Public Library is literally the best library I’ve ever been in. When I went, they were having a Superman exhibition with literally every single piece of Superman memorabilia in existence. It was super cool.

The Cleveland Public Library is closed on Sunday, but on Saturday, it’s open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

6. Spend the day in Public Square 

Public Square was named one of 15 "Great Places in America," and it's not hard to see why. Even though it's a transit hub, it's a really relaxing place to be. You can always see the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. In the late spring, summer, and early fall, its the perfect place to sit outside and relax (add there's a super cool water fountain). And in the winter, they have some amazing Christmas lights and ice skating.

And Tower City is literally right there. Plus, there are a bunch of restaurants, Quicken Loans Arena, and Progressive Field in walking distance. And if you get on the Waterfront Line, you can head over to the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame, Great Lakes Science Center, and First Energy Stadium (if you want to watch the Browns lose in person). And the Red Line will take you to Little Italy, Ohio City, the West Side Market, and Cleveland Hopkins Airport.

Plus, did I mention there's free wi-fi?

7. See a show in Playhouse Square 

Playhouse Square is the second biggest theater district in the United States and it’s literally right next door. There’s always so many shows going on, and Cleveland State’s “The City Is Our Campus” program sometimes sells tickets to shows at discounted prices. So if you want to go do something fun with your friends, seeing a show in Playhouse Square is a great option!

8. Go to Barrio

I like to joke that Ohio State has Raising Kane’s and Cleveland State has Barrio (and Barrio’s the way better option, in my opinion). I mean, you can get a whole meal for $6 in Downtown Cleveland, and the food is actually great. No wonder Cleveland State students love it so much.

So hop on the Healthline, get off at East 6th Street, and walk down East 4th to Barrio.

9. Go to Heinen’s and get some groceries 

Literally Heinen’s is like the best grocery store to walk into. How many other grocery stores do you know of with a glass dome as a ceiling?

So run down and get some snacks, unless you want to always be stuck with the super overpriced food on-campus.

10. Literally go anywhere except Lake Erie

Lake Erie is super gross and boring. Just.... Just don't go there. Trust me, you're not missing much. Did I mention how seriously gross it is with all it’s algae blooms, dead fish, and pollution?

There's literally so much more you can do. Like, I didn't even mention going to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (because I have no idea how to get there using the RTA).

So get out and explore the Land, my fellow Vikings!

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