Some questions for a Disney world newbie ;)


Earning My Ears
Mar 4, 2007
we are Disneyland veterans who have only been to Disney world once about 5 years ago for my daughters cheerleading worlds competition. We have decided to go spend time at Disney world and universal for Christmas time and I have a few questions!
1. we can book our fast passes early?? This just sounds so weird to me! How do we know what we will want to go on on what day and time? Is this how you plan your days there now? You just make your fast passes and have to go with that? Any recommendations on what fast passes are way popular and we will for sure need? I guess I should tell you that my family consists on my husband and I and our 3 grown children (23,20,18) and also my daughters boyfriend (21). We have a 5 day park hopper ticket. None of us are way into star wars but we wouldn’t mind checking out the land.

2. I have no idea where to make any dining reservations. What’s good? I know it’s all very subjective but I would like to know what’s good and popular. Our favorite food would be Mexican food though.

3. my daughters boyfriend is planning on proposing during this trip! Probably in front of the castle, or is there a romantic spot anywhere someone can recommend? My daughter has been obsessed with Donald Duck since she was 3! What are the chances that her boyfriend MIGHT get a character involved with this proposal?? If Donald could be part of it somehow my daughter would probably explode lol. Is it worth looking into?

thank you for any info you can give me! We are getting very excited. We rented a house in Davenport so I hope it will be okay for driving to universal for two days and Disney for 5. It looks like there may be a Costco close by also which would be fantastic!


DIS Veteran
Mar 5, 2015
1. Must get FP is Flights of Passage in Animal KIngdom. It is the closest you will come to the feeling of flying without leaving the ground. All others will depend on what you want to be sure to ride while there. Make your FP for early in the day. Once you use your 3, you can make another. Use that 4th one and you can make another, etc, etc, etc.

2. There are so many choices for food. You should spend time looking through the menus to pick what you want to try. As far as Mexican goes: Inside Magic Kingdom is Pecos Bills. This is a good quick service option. Avoid the San Angel Inn in the Epcot Mexican Pavilion.

3. The de facto standard is in front of the castle. But you could do the meet and greet with Donald. While she is hugging Donald, He could get down on one knee behind her and surprise her as she turns around.
Places you can find donald and his dress:
Magic Kingdom - Pete's Silly Side Show - Wizard Outfit
Epcot - Mexico Pavillion - Traditional outfit but with Sombrero
Animal Kingdom - Dinoland - Explorer outfit
Hollywood Studios - Near park entrance on Sid's porch - Traditional outfit


Mouse Commando
Aug 23, 2019
1. First things first. Do not sweat it if you do not make fastpasses (FP) in advance. While they will make it easier to ride more during your time in the park, as you said, your whims may change from day to day. It is entirely possible to get FP the same day while in the parks and even change FP's if you decide that you can't make that 11:30am Dumbo because you forgot about your 11:35am dining reservation. For must do's the list typically goes as follows:
  • Animal Kingdom
    • Flight of Passage (FoP)
    • Kilimanjaro Safari
    • Expedition Everest
    • Test Track
    • Soarin'
    • Frozen Ever After (This on is more debatable given the age of your party, but everyone is a kid at Disney :D)
  • Hollywood Studios (This one gets really tough due to their 'Tier 1' system which only allows you to pick one of their big name ones for your first 3 FP's. So this one will really come down to availability and preference for thrill)
    • Rock 'n Roll Coaster (Only coaster with inversions at Disney World) (Tier 1)
    • Tower of Terror (Drop ride) (Tier 1)
    • Slinky Dog Dash (Decent kiddie coaster with some banks that are steeper than you'd expect for a coaster more tailored to kids) (Tier 1)
    • Toy Story Mania
  • Magic Kingdom
    • Space Mountain
    • Seven Dwarves Mine Train
    • Big Thunder Mountain
    • Splash Mountain
    • Haunted Mansion
2. Dining is so varied and it also really depends on where you are looking to eat. While the parks have some decent places to eat, the best places to eat actually tend to be outside the parks (i.e. at the resorts and Disney Springs/Downtown Disney)
  • Animal Kingdom
    • Tusker House (Character meal in Africa, does include Donald 😉 )
    • Yak and Yeti (Quick Service and Table are both good in Asia)
    • Monsieur Paul (France)
    • La Hacienda de San Angel (Mexico, outside of the Pavilion)
    • Takumi Tei (Japan)
    • Teppan Edo (Japan)
    • Spice Road Table (Morocco)
    • Garden Grill (Land Pavillion, character meal)
  • Hollywood Studios
    • Brown Derby
  • Magic Kingdom
    • Skipper Canteen
  • Disney Springs
    • Jaleo (Spanish/Mediterranean, as in Spain)
    • Homecomin'
    • Raglan Road
    • Wine Bar George
  • Resorts
    • Wilderness Lodge
      • Whispering Canyons
    • Grand Floridian
      • Narcoose's
      • Victoria and Albert's
    • Animal Kingdom Lodge
      • Boma's
      • Sanaa
      • Jiko
    • Contemporary
      • California Grill
Not completely exhaustive but it's a start.

3. The Cast Members love special moments like that. Highly recommend distracting her briefly (before you guys possibly get in the character queue) while someone from your party goes and quietly gets the attention of the character keeper and ask if it would be possible to get some help from the character with a proposal. If they agree, just bring her and your group around and into the queue as if you are just going to meet the character and the magic should happen.
The castle is a classic with there being some sidepaths where you can step off for things like that. Given that it is Christmas though, things may be a bit tight/busy, especially around the castle hub. If he is alright with something just elegant, the Victoria Garden in Canada is a gorgeous spot that tends to have very little traffic.
  • Starport Seven-Five

    Aug 16, 2019
    1. You can make fast pass reservations 60 days in advance if staying on site and 30 days in advance if staying off site. A couple are difficult to get even at the 60 day window so you will want to do those early as you can.

    You can book additional fast passes after you use your 3rd so our general idea is to book them during the morning and then see what is available after the 3rd.


    Sep 20, 2018
    1: for FPs I agree with booking your first 3 early in the day, and modifying as you go. Also, totally agree about not stressing about them. My most recent trip we had 5 day hoppers and thought I had everything planned out. There was one night of EMH at MK where I had planned to get some rides in. My kids ended up tired and asking to go back to the room, so my plan was out. The following day we had FPs for AK, but since we left MK early we decided to go back the next day as we were staying close to MK and it has the most rides for my kids ages. Needless to say I lost all of my AK FPs but I checked very early in the morning and was able to grab some in MK.

    2: For dining I would definitely check out the dining board as there is a lot of information from people on recent experiences and places to eat. Also think about if you will want a sit down restaurant every day or prefer something quick. We did one TS a day last trip and I think that was too much for us. I was antsy at times while waiting for the check or while waiting to be seated. Your ADR time does not mean you be will be seated at that time.

    3: How exciting! The castle can get very busy with people even early in the morning. You could do something on the side of the castle on one of the bridges. That sometimes is more quiet. Last week there was a photopass Photographer on the bridge closer to Tomorrowland and new fantasyland and there was not a sole in sight. We were able to get a great pic in the AM without any lines or other people.

    For Donald you could definitely ask the handler while the rest of your group stands in line. In AK the line for Donald was not very long and I think it snakes around towards the side of him so they wouldn’t see if someone said they had to run to the restroom or into a store nearby. Donald in AK when we went was especially animated. I can see that being a really fun proposal especially with a photopass photographer there.

    Enjoy planning! For me the planning was part of the fun!


    DIS Veteran
    Jan 5, 2000
    Re proposal sites: there’s a pathway between Cosmic Ray’s and the Castle, on the Fantasyland side of the moat. Snow White’s wishing fountain used to be there - I haven’t been along that path for a couple of years though so not 100% sure it’s still there. But if it is, it’s a little more private and quieter than directly in front of the castle but still a great place for photos.


    When it comes to havoc, nobody wreaks like me!
    Oct 28, 2009
    1. There is an exhaustive fastpass sticky with a ton of information including suggested priorities.

    2 & 3. There are a handful of restaurants where Donald comes to your table. This is mostly for restaurants. They don't make a great backdrop for photos. We like Tusker House at AK and Cape May at Beach Club. Donald at the Mexico Pavillion in Epcot is a nice photo backdrop and I think they are selling little stuffed Mexico Donalds there, which would then be a nice souvenir.
  • ShadowCross

    Sep 5, 2018
    My fiance was told when he asked about proposing to me while we met Jack that Jack can't be part of the proposal. That being said, what he was able to do was pull me in and keep my back to the exit, where my (now) fiance was waiting with his whole setup. Then Jack asked me a few leading questions and then turned me to see my fiance down on one knee. Now, since Donald can't talk, that might not work out the same way. But I bet he could hug her and keep her one direction. Just know that technically there's a rule I guess, but of course don't we all know about the magic of Disney? I hope it is perfect! Also, the bonus of doing it with a photographer there means all the pics are professionally captured of the moment. Congratulations! I hope you'll update us on how it goes when you get back!


    Earning My Ears
    Dec 1, 2018
    Since everyone kind of answered the first question, I'll answer the last two.

    The Mexican food really is the best whenever you're over at Epcot and in the land. Pecos in MK is alright, definitely not bad but not really my favorite.

    As for the thing about just kind of depends on the moment. You can try to ask at concierge whenever you get to your resort or while booking and whatnot to see if they can make some magical arrangements. If not it'll be a spur of the moment thing, maybe have one member of the family ask the helping Cast Member if Donald can help. Otherwise THE spot is in front of the castle...though it's not necessarily the most "romantic".

    Right now there's a lot of Christmas decorations up, tons of lights and whatnot -I'd wait until night and then propose by some of the trees and lights. Literally anywhere in Hollywood Studios is beautiful right now actually.


    Aug 29, 2019
    In the boat ride in Mexico at Epcot with the Tres Caballeros right there. C’mon.


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