First time in DLR


#1

I am a grandma preparing to take the family (includes 7.5 yr old twins) to DLR (2 days) & DCA (1 day) March 18-22, with a 1 day break to the beach. We will stay within walking distance at Best Western Park Place and will have a reserved parking spot, so we will be able to use the car to go someplace close but more reasonable than DLR. Two questions:

How difficult is to get back around 5pm if we decide to take a break around noon, go to lunch and sleep for a good hour? Do we have to wait in long lines for re-entry?

Is it worth the exorbitant price to make a dinner reservation for a place that has reserved standing for Fantasmic? If the weather doesn’t cooperate and they cancel the show one cannot cancel, there is no refund.

Also is there a place where these acronyms everyone is using are spelled out? I can guess some but not many.

Thanks in advance.


#2

Here’s a link to a master thread on abbreviations etc. - many are for Disney World but a lot apply to both:

I can’t speak for March, but when we went in August it was no trouble to get back in. There’s a security check to get into the area and then just scanning your ticket at the gate of the park you’re entering. Around 5 PM shouldn’t be very busy to get back in so it should be rather simple to do.

If you definitely want to see Fantasmic! then I’d probably say yes. One of the highlights of our trip was eating at the Blue Bayou (w/o the Fantasmic! pass) so adding the pass likely wouldn’t be that much more, at least if your group is eating expensive entrees (we all had the Filet).


#3

Thanks, Damavs. I should have not asked for the acronyms :):). Unbelievable what a list. We are really not into gourmet dining, particularly not at Disney where everything is so expensive, so I will see.


#4

If you’re not into gourmet dining, doing the Blue Bayou Fantasmic! package likely doesn’t make that much sense then - it was an excellent meal, but it is pricey. You can still get a paper Fast Pass for Fantasmic! and that would be your best bet to guarantee seating without spending big $ on food. For whatever reason as of now they don’t allow Fantasmic FP’s via MaxPass.


#5

We take midday breaks for the majority of our days & even if there is a long re-entry line it is well worth it for the chance to have a meal outside the park (ie away from the Disney prices) and a nap or at least the peace & quiet of our hotel room. And no matter what, we’ve never seen re-entry lines as bad as they are right close to park opening & usually we walk right through security & straight into a turnstile.

I feel like Fantasmic is completely worth it, especially with the Blue Bayou package. The meal I had there was one of the best I’ve had in a Disney park, food-wise and the atmosphere was lovely but my favorite part was the non-hassle for the spots to see the show. I do understand it’s not for everyone though & it is quite a hefty price so if the food & experience won’t be something you love, then you can use that money to go towards another aspect of the trip that you will love.

And lastly, if ever there’s an acronym you just can’t figure out, don’t hesitate to ask! I remember feeling so lost when I first discovered the online Disney acronym speak & so I try to keep away from them unless someone else is already using them, but I’ve gotten so used to using them now that I sometimes forget I’m even doing it & they just come out. But I’m always happy to stop & explain of them!


#6

Thanks for the helpful answers.

I was reading that restaurants that offer a dinner/Fastpass combination for Fantastic have a “special” standing area, but one cannot watch the show sitting someplace… Is this true for Blue Bayou too? Also if Fantasmic is canceled, one cannot get a refund from the restaurant.

I don’t believe that we will be in the 8 am crowds (or sooner) because if we wake up the kids so early (to make time for breakfast too - at the hotel), they would be too tired to really enjoy the day. I know that if you are not at the gate at least 40 min before opening time you pay the price for it, but sometimes one cannot have everything. I guess we will endure longer lines…

I will try to use the planning tool to see what a 9-9:30 start means, assuming that the tool can be trusted.

Our first 2 days at DLR will be March 18 (Sunday) and March 19 (Monday). Then we have a 3rd day for DCA.

Knowing that it is (almost) spring break time, is Monday usually just as crowded as the preceding Sunday?


#7

You’re welcome!

For Blue Bayou Fantasmic dining the section is front & center, but it’s actually a seated (on the ground) section. The River Belle non-premium dining package is also seated on the ground while the on the go Hungry Bear package is a standing section. The rest of the fastpass sections are also standing. The only way to reserve a seat is to do the 8pm River Belle Premium Dining package where you eat dinner on the patio at River Belle that faces to the Rivers of America & you get to stay in your seat for the show as you wrap up dinner. We’ve done it once & while it was a lovely experience, not all the tables are against the rail & those that aren’t against the rail have a very poor view of the show, in my opinion. Also, you can’t request a rail table or show up early to guarantee a rail table, you get what you get & you’re grateful for it. Now while I employ that attitude in many aspects of my life, when I’m paying for premium dining experience such as this, I don’t like to gamble with the possibility of having a poor view so we would not do it again. Also, the show is best seen close-up to appreciate the scale of the effects.

I have found that mostly my kids are up & ready to go out of excitement but yes, they do get tuckered out which is why we almost always midday break so we can get some rest & come back with energy to get us to closing. It really gives us the best of both worlds to do it that way. The way I look at it, is it’s only a few days & usually the adrenaline of being so excited carries them through. That being said, if they are getting too tired to enjoy it really does make things so hard, so completely get allowing them to get their rest. You’ll just have to rely on FastPasses for attractions that have it to help minimize waiting.

And then as for Monday, they are often some of the most crowded as you get a lot of carryover from people extending their weekends plus people beginning their 5 days after arriving on Sunday. The lines into the DL gates on a Monday always seem to be incredibly long. Your plan to do DCA on a Monday is good one though, because the people who are starting & ending their trips are more likely to be in DL, especially at the beginning of the day.