Disney World Lingo – What Does It All Mean?!

I am Disney obsessed. No surprise there. However, I didn’t realize how much Disney specific language I used until my family pointed it out to me. When I talk about Disney World the terms often seem like a foreign language to others. Now that my family mentioned it I notice how much Disney World lingo is used, but rarely defined. To help you better understand some of these Disney World terms I have written a quick reference guide with definitions.

Advanced Dining Reservations

Often referred to as ADRs, these are dining reservations made at a Disney property. You may make advanced dining reservations 60 days in advance of a Disney World and Disneyland trip.

Want to know more about Disney World dining? Trust me you do – read my complete guide to dining reservations at Disney World.

Cast Member

A Disney employee.

Character Dining

This is a meal that includes character interaction as a part of your dining experience. Disney World character meals provide the convenience of meeting characters while you eat.

At most character dining venues the characters make their way through the dining area and stop near each table to visit with your group. Some examples are Chef Mickey’s and Cinderella’s Royal Table. Check here for a complete list of character dining options at Disney World.

Disney Genie+ 

Disney Genie+ is a new add on option at Disney World. For $15 per person per day, Genie+ lets guests choose a one hour Lightning Lane attraction return time similar to old FastPasses.

Please note: not all attractions are included in Disney Genie+ Lightning Lanes.

If you arrive at an attraction during your scheduled Lightning Lane window (say 10:30am-11:30am) you skip the regular line. You will instead enter through the Lightning Lane and wait a shorter time to experience the attraction.

Individual Lightning Lane

Lightning Lane attractions are included in Disney Genie+, but Individual Lightning Lane attractions are different. These Individual Lightning Lanes are paid on a sliding scale per attraction per person. For example, Rise of the Resistance costs about $15 per person via Individual Lightning Lane access.


These handy devices are specific to Disney World. A MagicBand is a bracelet (similar to a watch or fitness tracker) available for purchase at Disney World Resort. These bands act as a room key, ticket to the parks (once the ticket is linked to band), and can be used to make purchases across the resort.

Does it seem like people are speaking a foreign language when talking about Disney World? Let me help you understand key Disney World lingo!

MagicBands are a great convenience and keep you from fumbling around looking for tickets, room keys and even your FastPasses. We love them, but be careful – it makes it too easy to spend money since you never reach for your wallet!


MemoryMaker is a photo package you can purchase that includes all of your digital images taken by a PhotoPass photographer and some taken on rides during your visit. If you purchase this package in advance there is usually a discount. Not sure what PhotoPass is? I define it below.

Does it seem like people are speaking a foreign language when talking about Disney World? Let me help you understand key Disney World lingo!
Thanks MemoryMaker!

Disney After Hours Boo Bash

A not so spooky event, Disney After Hours Boo Bash provides some fun Halloween experiences and short attraction wait times in exchange for an expensive event ticket. Boo Bash takes place at Magic Kingdom on select nights and generally runs from 9pm until midnight.

Disney After Hours Boo Bash is one of the rare times adults may wear costumes at the park and everyone is free to trick or treat. Find out more about Boo Bash in our full review.

Disney Very Merriest After Hours

Does it seem like people are speaking a foreign language when talking about Disney World? Let me help you understand key Disney World lingo!

Also a separate ticketed event, Disney’s Very Merriest After Hours runs certain nights around the Christmas season. It too takes place at Magic Kingdom and runs from 9 pm until 1am most nights.

Only certain rides operate during the the after hours events, but those that do generally have low wait times. Buying a Disney Very Merriest After Hours ticket means you can see two Magic Kingdom fireworks shows in one night plus a special Christmas themed parade.

My Disney Experience

Does it seem like people are speaking a foreign language when talking about Disney World? Let me help you understand key Disney World lingo!

My Disney Experience is a Disney World app and also a section on the Disney World website. This app (or website) is your go-to spot to make and view all of your hotel, Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane selections, and dining reservations for your upcoming trip. You can also check current wait times for attractions at the parks, today’s showtimes, and park hours.

Park Hopper

An add-on option to your basic park ticket for a price. This “park hopper” allows you to visit more than one theme park in a day. If you have a traditional ticket you may only enter one park per day on that ticket.

Park Hopper Plus

This is much like the add-on option of the “Park Hopper” to your ticket. The difference is this option allows you to move between Disney World theme and water parks on the same day.

Park Pass Reservation

After reopening, Disney World and Disneyland have instituted a Park Pass reservation system. Guests must have a valid theme park ticket PLUS a reservation for their first theme park of the day.

Use this article to learn all about Disney World’s Park Pass reservation system and confirm park availability before booking your trip.


This service places Disney photographers around the park and with certain character interactions to make sure everyone can be in the picture.

Each time you have your photo taken by a PhotoPass photographer scan your My Disney Experience qr code or your MagicBand. If you have the photographer scan your code or MagicBand these fun photos show up in your Disney account. You may then purchase individual prints/digital images or purchase all of the images from your trip by buying a MemoryMaker package.

Park Bag

Does it seem like people are speaking a foreign language when talking about Disney World? Let me help you understand key Disney World lingo!

This is a bag with all of your essentials for your day at the park. See what 19 things I always pack when we head to the theme park.

Pixie Dust

A general term used anytime cast members do something special during your Disney vacation. For example, a cast member pixie dusted my daughter with a fresh treat when she accidentally dropped hers as a toddler.

Rider Switch (a.k.a. Rider Swap)

If certain members of your group are too small or not interested in riding certain attractions Rider Switch may be for you. This service at some attractions at Disney World is most commonly utilized by families with young children.

When the time comes to ride parent 1 and child go on the ride. Then when parent 1 and child return parent 2 can ride the attraction with the same child. Find out more about Rider Switch here.

Rope Drop

This popular technique encourages Disney guests to arrive before park opening for short ride wait times. Guests who “rope drop” arrive to Disney theme parks about an hour before park opening.

Security screenings are done before the park opens and guests can enter some areas of the theme parks. Often rides begin operation a little before official park opening. This means guests who rope drop can ride popular attractions with less waiting than those who arrive later.

Did I forget anything? If so, let me know and I can add it to help others!

Do you need more help planning your Disney World trip? Check out other Disney World tips and tricks in my Disney World Guides.


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