Language? What language? Yep – there’s plenty of Disney lingo you need to know before you go to have the best experience in Disney. While we love Disney as a vacation destination, we have to say it’s not the easiest place to understand if you’ve never been. With so many transportation options, parks, resorts, acronyms, and “if you know, you know” phrases, planning the perfect Disney vacation can be overwhelming. We’re here to break down those first-timer barriers by sharing all of the acronyms and commonly used phrases that are not only helpful but essential to know while planning, booking, and exploring Disney World and Disneyland.

(This guide is only in reference to the American Disney parks. Disney Cruise Line and international Disney Parks are a whole other different story!)


In Walt Disney World:WDW – Walt Disney World
  • MK – Magic Kingdom
  • AK – Animal Kingdom
  • HS – Hollywood Studios
  • DS – Disney Springs
In Disneyland:
  • DL – Disneyland
  • DCA – Disney California Adventure
  • DD – Downtown Disney
In both Walt Disney World & Disneyland:
  • DVC – Disney Vacation Club
  • AP – Annual Passholder
  • ADR – Advanced Dining Reservation
  • LL – Lightning Lane
  • ILL – Individual Lightning Lane
  • CM – Cast Member
  • DCP – Disney College Program
  • EMH – Extra Magic Hours


My Disney Experience App – the official WDW Mobile App. Download this before you leave as it’s absolutely essential for navigating almost everything in Disney World.

Disneyland App – the official Disneyland & Disney California Adventure mobile App. Download this before you leave as it’s absolutely essential for navigating almost everything in DL & DCA.

Genie – This app feature is found in both WDW & DL park apps. The blue guy from Aladdin now acts as an itinerary suggestion in your My Disney Experience mobile app. Feel free to accept or ignore any of his suggestions. He’s just there to help you navigate your park day.

Genie+ Lightning Lane – This app feature is found in both WDW & DL park apps. Not to be confused with Genie, Genie+ is a paid for service that lets you make reservations to skip-the-line for various attractions throughout the day. We know this gets confusing. Read this for more details.

Individual Lightning Lane – This app feature is found in both WDW & DL park apps. Also not to be confused with the Genie+ Lightning Lane, an Individual Lightning Lane is a one time purchase to skip one of the most major rides in the park. You can purchase two of these per day, and the price is date dependent.

Magic Band – Exclusive to Walt Disney World, this watch-like band which can, because of it’s chip technology, can serve as your park pass, payment system, and hotel room key.

Disney Dining

Advanced Dining Reservation – Dining reservations you need to make to eat at the most coveted spots in and around the parks. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made 60 days in advance online, on the Disney mobile app, or by phone.

Table Service – Like any restaurant with a waitstaff. You’ll need ADR for most Table Service restaurants, and tipping is required.

Quick Service – Like fast food or fast casual restaurants where you order on the app or at the counter, sit anywhere, and don’t have to tip since there is no dedicated waitstaff to come check on your table.

Character Dining – Means your Table Service dining experience will feature characters which will make appearances throughout your dining time. Most will often come by table to table and greet you.

POG Juice – POG stands for passion fruit, orange, and guava. You’ll find POG juice by itself or as a jointly listed ingredient in many Disney drinks.


Cast Member – Any Disney parks and retail employee. You’ll hear this in reference to any and all persons who work for Disney parks and stores.

Earning My Ears – If a Disney cast member is currently in training, you might be told or see a button that the person is “earning my ears!”

Fab 5 – Refers to the original Disney characters of Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto.

Imagineers – Refers to Disney engineers, artists, architects, and many more. You won’t often see them in the parks, but you’ll hear other Cast Members refer to the creative imagineers who developed almost everything you see in the parks.


Extra Magic Hours – A perk offered only to those resort guests staying on property. Typically, this means you can get into a park thirty minutes before it opens to the general public.

Extended Evening Hours – Just like EMH, but even more speciality. Extended Evening Hours are only open to guests staying in deluxe properties. (More on that in the next section!)

Cavalcade – A small Disney parade that feels impromptu but is actually scheduled. These are more of a “pop by” experience to view instead of waiting for the longer, more epic parade. These are great ways to quickly and easily see characters as you continue through the parks.

Single Rider Line – An awesome lane that lets you zoom past the families, groups, and long wait times if you’re willing to ride an attraction by yourself. You’ll be assigned a seat beside a stranger, but you’ll get to ride in no time!

Rope Drop – Park opening times posted aren’t when guests can enter the park, rather when the rides open. Parks will open the gates early to allows guests to enter, but guests are restricted to certain areas, rides, or lands by a rope which blocks guests from entering until the official opening. When it’s finally time, cast members drop the rope, and you’re allowed to rush in towards your desired ride or area along with the rest of the early birds. By arriving early, you can be one of the first in line to ride the most popular attractions before the crowds arrive. Get to the park at least 30 mins before opening if you want to rope drop a specific ride!

“Rope Drop to Fireworks” – In addition to “rope dropping”, you will also often hear people making plans to do “Rope Drop to Fireworks” – meaning they plan to be in the parks from right before Rope Drop until the very end of the night after the fireworks shows are over. .

Park Hopper – Appropriately named, this add-on expense to your regular ticket allows you to go back and forth between WDW Parks as many times as you wish after 2 p.m. (This ticket type isn’t required, but we prefer to buy the park hopper because we like the flexibility!)

Drinking Around the World – Many Disney Adults will reference this as a challenge to tackle in EPCOT in Disney World. The idea is to try a drink in each of the 11 country pavilions by the end of the park day.

Skyliner – Disney’s gondola transport system which takes guests to and from the EPCOT and Hollywood Studios parks as well as Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Pop Century, Art of Animation, and Riviera Resort.

The Disney Bubble – Commonly referred to as a term of endearment for the Walt Disney World Resort property in its entirety.


Disney Vacation Club – Disney’s version of a timeshare.

Good Neighbor Hotels – Hotels and resorts not owned or operated by Disney, but are in very close vicinity to the parks, are AAA approved, and live up to Disney’s high standards.

On Property – Refers to any property located in “The Disney Bubble.” This includes every official Walt Disney World Resort Hotel as well as the Good Neighbor Hotels.

Off Property – Refers to any hotel or resort near Disney, but not owned or operated by Disney or one of their Good Neighbor Hotels.

Value Resorts – Exclusive to WDW, these are Disney-run and owned resorts which are the most budget-friendly hotel options on property. These resorts are All-Star Sports, All-Star Music, All-Star Movies, Pop Century, and Art of Animation.

Moderate Resorts – Exclusive to WDW, these are Disney owned and operated resorts which offer more mid-tier pricing for more elevated rooms and resort amenities. These resorts are Caribbean Beach, Coronado Springs, Port Orleans — French Quarter, Port Orleans — Riverside, and the Cabins at Fort Wilderness.

Deluxe Resorts – Exclusive to WDW, these are Disney-run and owned resorts which offer luxury and premium experiences at a higher price point than other Disney resorts. These resorts are Animal Kingdom Lodge, Yacht & Beach Club, BoardWalk Inn, Contemporary, Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Polynesian Village Resort, Wilderness Lodge.

Disneyland Resort Hotels – Exclusive to DL and DCA, there are only three Disney-owned and operated hotels “on property” in California. These are the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Paradise Pier Hotel, and the Disneyland Hotel.