At the end of a long day of park touring, sometimes the only thing you have the energy for is kicking back and watching a movie. Sure you can do that in your hotel room on the TV or your trusty iPad, but it can feel a bit more vacationy to watch a movie under the stars. And wouldn’t you know, Disney has you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about outdoor movie viewing at Walt Disney World.
Toy Story 3 poolside at All Star Music. (Not shown: me crying hysterically in the back row.)
Does every Disney hotel show outdoor movies?
In general, yes. There may be situations where construction or refurbishment temporarily halts the movies at that particular hotel.
There is one case where sister resorts, the Yacht & Beach Clubs, share a movie location. One resort, the Animal Kingdom Lodge, has two movie locations.
Is there a charge for the outdoor movies?
Nope, the cost is included with your resort stay.
Do I have to stay for the whole movie? Is it weird to leave in the middle?
Not at all. Since most of the movies are near the pools, guest will often pop in and out of viewing, alternating a few minutes of screen time with a few minutes of swim time.
I will often stop and watch just a few minutes of a film if I pass one while walking back to my hotel room in the evening.
Are movies shown every night?
Usually yes. Some resorts have experimented with twice-a-week movies in the off season, but for the most part you can expect that your hotel will show an outdoor movie every night, weather permitting.
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We’ve been going a little MyMagic crazy here at TouringPlans. I’ve shared some of my MyMagic+ test experiences and given you the basics about MagicBands, Kristina Murphy has explored the world of MyDisneyExperience, and Brian McNichols has given you the scoop on how to make the best use of FastPass+ with your own Touring Plan.
Make your FP+ selections electronically
What we’ve missed so far, and what I’m now here to give you, is a basic rundown of the features of FastPass+ which when paired with a MagicBand, is the crown jewel of Disney’s next-gen in park technology. Here’s what you need to know:
What exactly is a FastPass+?
A FastPass+ is a reservation for a ride or other Walt Disney World attraction. You can make reservations days, weeks, or even months in advance of your Walt Disney World visit.
What’s the difference between FASTPASS and FastPass+?
If you’ve been to Walt Disney World in the past decade or so, chances are you’ve seen or used the old FASTPASS system. (Which Disney is now calling “legacy FastPass.”) With the old FastPass system, you put your park ticket into an on-site kiosk machine (like an ATM) and the machine spit out a paper ticket telling you at what time to return later that same day to enjoy the ride with little or no wait.
With FastPass+ you can make reservations for rides from locations other than Walt Disney World via a computer, tablet or smartphone (assuming that you have an account with Disney and the appropriate app). There are also centralized locations at the WDW parks where you can make/organize FP+ reservations; you do not need to go to the attraction itself. You do not get a paper ticket, instead you enter the ride FastPass return queue using either an RFID enabled card or a MagicBand.
With legacy FP, you had no choice about when your return time was, you simply took what the system spit out, regardless of whether that time worked for your meal/nap schedule. With FP+, you can control your return time, allowing you to avoid returns which interfere with your other plans.
With legacy FP, once you got a paper ticket, you were stuck with that return time, with no way to modify your FastPass. With FP+, you can change your FastPass attraction or attraction return time, while you’re on the go in the parks.
With legacy FP, anyone could use the paper ticket. You could give the entire family’s allotment of FP to one child, or you could gift unused FastPasses to other guests on your way out of the park. With FP+, the FastPasses are non-transferrable.
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