I worked at Disney World for over 3 years. Here are answers to 8 questions guests are too embarrassed to ask.

I worked at Disney World for three years at some of the merchandise locations and attractions across the property.

Disney is constantly changing and expanding — heck, the company is currently investing $60 billion in its global theme parks and cruise lines, including a major Magic Kingdom expansion. It can be hard to keep up, so it's common for guests to have questions, even if they're not first-time visitors.

Here are my answers to some of the questions I think guests are too scared or embarrassed to ask.

Do you have any tips for visiting Universal Studios?

People near Hogwarts Castle at The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando.
I love the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal. Solarisys/Shutterstock

A lot of people think that because Universal Studios is Disney's "competition," they can't ask park employees about it.

Although I probably wouldn't know how to answer very specific questions about the nearby theme parks, there's no harm in asking things like, "What's the best way to get there?"

Believe it or not, many Disney employees frequently visit Universal Studios — some even work for both companies — so don't be afraid to ask them for recommendations if they're up for it.

When I worked at Coronado Springs Resort, I often asked guests about their days when I saw them return to the hotel with Universal Studios bags. As a big "Harry Potter" fan, I enjoy talking about those parks as much as Disney.

Is this ride worth the wait?

sofia posing for a photo in costume in the france pavilion at epcot in disney world
I worked at Remy's Ratatouille Adventure in Epcot. Sofía Olivar

I worked at Remy's Ratatouille Adventure in Epcot, and since the ride only opened in 2021, it's one of the most popular attractions in the park.

This means it often had very long wait times throughout the day.

Sometimes guests would ask me if it was worth the wait, and I was more than happy to give them some context about the long wait times and share my thoughts. As long as you're nice and respectful about the question, most employees are probably willing to give their honest opinions.

I think it's best to prioritize other activities and rides if the wait time is over an hour — unless someone in the group is a "Ratatouille" superfan.

What's the difference between Genie+ and Lightning Lane?

lightning lane sign in front of goofys barnstormer at magic kingdom in disney world
Lightning Lanes are expedited lines for rides. Terri Peters

A lot has changed since the Disney World parks reopened after the 2020 COVID-19 closure. One of the biggest changes was switching from the old free FastPass system to a paid Genie+ service.

The service, which typically starts around $25 per person a day, allows guests to make Lightning Lane (expedited line) reservations at several attractions, among other vacation-planning services.

Understanding Genie+ can seem daunting. For example, some popular rides don't appear on the service but can still be booked by purchasing a separate Individual Lightning Lane fee.

Feel free to ask park employees any questions you have. They'll walk you through the whole process — and even help you book reservations if needed.

How do I get a special button?

hand holding up a green "im celebrating" button at disney world
There's even a generic "I'm Celebrating" pin you can get. Sofía Olivar

When you visit the parks, you'll likely see some guests wearing celebration buttons announcing things like first visits, birthdays, anniversaries, or family reunions.

If you and your friends or family are celebrating a special occasion, just ask an employee for a corresponding button so everyone in the parks knows it. Workers, characters, and sometimes even other guests may congratulate you throughout your trip.

They're free and typically available at any merchandise location, hotel front desk, and guest services.

Can adults take pictures with characters?

sofia and friends taking a photo with Donald duck in the Mexico pavilion at epcot
I love doing character meet and greets in the parks. Sofía Olivar

Walt Disney created the parks with people of all ages in mind.

Although certain attractions are targeted toward younger audiences, adults interacting and taking pictures with characters is certainly allowed — and even encouraged. Just be respectful and don't ruin the magic for any kids nearby.

When I visit the parks, I never skip meet and greets. They're some of my favorite experiences, especially when I play along with the characters' antics.

What else can I do at the parks if I don’t like roller coasters?

view of happily ever after fireworks show over cinderella castle at magic kingdom in disney world
The Disney World fireworks shows are very impressive. Sofía Olivar

Disney World is an immersive experience, no matter what you end up doing in the parks.

If you don't like roller coasters or thrill rides, there are dozens of milder rides the entire family can enjoy, like the Haunted Mansion or Frozen Ever After.

Parades, cavalcades, character meet and greets, and shows are also fun. And make sure not to miss any of the parks' nighttime spectaculars, like "Happily Ever After" and "Fantasmic."

What do I do if I lose something?

sofia getting an autograph from launchpad mcquaks at disney world
I've lost my autograph book at Disney World before. Sofía Olivar

If you lose something on a ride, in the parks, or at a resort, know that you're certainly not the only one. Hundreds of missing items are collected every day.

You might not be able to get something back right away if it fell out on a ride, especially if employees have to stop the whole attraction to retrieve it for you. But just let someone near the front know, and they should be able to help.

Regardless of where you lost something, employees are trained to gather any lost items they find and drop them off at guest relations. Stopping by that office, typically near the park entrance, is going to be your best bet.

If they haven't found your item yet, you can fill out a request form with all your information so they can contact you if and when they do. I left my autograph book in a store once, and a couple of days later, Disney contacted me and told me where I could pick it up.

Do you have any recommendations?

hand holding up a bowl from satu'li canteen in animal kingdom at disney world
I love the bowls at Satu'li Canteen in Animal Kingdom.Sofía Olivar

Squeezing every activity, restaurant, ride, and show into your Disney World vacation is nearly impossible, so don't be scared to ask for help.

If you're looking for the best recommendations, the employees know the area very well, and they'll likely have lots of tips for you.

One of my favorite recommendations is to grab a meal at Satu'li Canteen in Animal Kingdom. The quick-service spot in the Pandora area of the park is open for lunch and dinner, and I love the bowls.

My favorite is the smoked chimichurri-braised beef with noodles.

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