Things That Happen in Walt Disney World but Not in Real Life

Walt Disney World exists in its own magical bubble, where Guests are instantly distanced from the cares and responsibilities of the real world.  The Disney Bubble has its own set of rules, as well as pros and cons, that distinguish it from life outside the Bubble.  Here are just a few things that regularly happen in WDW, but not in real life.

Using MagicBands 

This one is for all those Guests who have ever returned home from a WDW vacation reluctant to remove their MagicBand, who then try to unlock their apartment door and pay for groceries with it (spoiler: it doesn’t work).  

Sadly, the ease of using your MagicBand to pay for and gain entry into everything works only in Walt Disney World, not in real life.  Which renders your adorably customized MagicBand little more than a nostalgic accessory in the real world.  Sad face.

Legendary Customer Service

Among the perks of a Walt Disney World vacation is the legendary Disney level of service you’ll find throughout the property.  With very few exceptions, all of our interactions with Cast Members over the years have been exceptional.  

Credit: WDW Cast & Community Facebook

At WDW, every Cast Member from housekeeping to ride attendants to chefs are taught to exceed Guest expectations, turning customer service into an art.  If it’s reasonable, a Cast Member will make it happen – you really feel like anything is possible at Disney World.  

Outside of WDW, however, that’s not usually the case.  Ask to meet with a busy chef to customize a meal for you in the real world, for example, and you’ll quickly see the difference between Disney customer service and customer service everywhere else.

Fireworks Every Night

One of the best ways to end an evening at Walt Disney World, as every Guest knows, is by watching a nighttime spectacular.  Whether it’s the stunning new Disney Enchantment at Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom, or EPCOT’s Harmonious, one of the most elaborate spectaculars in WDW’s history, closing out a day in the Parks with fireworks is a beloved tradition of many Guests.  

Credit: Disney

Just don’t expect to find daily fireworks in the real world.  In fact, once you’re spoiled by watching Disney fireworks, you’ll never see real-world fireworks the same way again.  You may even find yourself turning to your family on the 4th of July lamenting, “That’s not how Disney does fireworks.”  Fair warning!

Being Called “Princess” or “Prince”

At Walt Disney World, every Guest is a Prince or Princess, regardless of age.  In fact, if a Cast Member addresses you, they may well use one of these monikers, eliciting inward giggles of delight (go ahead, admit it!).  It’s part of the magic of a WDW vacation: everyone is a child again, and everyone is a VIP.  

Credit: Disney

Unfortunately, that’s something that doesn’t extend beyond the borders of WDW property.  In real life, if you walk around expecting to be called “Prince” or “Princess”, or treated like royalty, you’ll be sadly disappointed (unless, of course, you actually happen to be royalty, in which case, as you were).

Make Dining Reservations Months in Advance

Walt Disney World is full of fabulous table service restaurants offering excellent food and theming for the perfect dining experience.  But you’ll need to make dining reservations far in advance to enjoy the most of these restaurants.  

Credit: Disney Photo Snapper

Currently, Guests can make advanced dining reservations 60 days out (previously, Guests staying in a WDW Resort Hotel could book 180 days in advance).  Have you ever tried making a dining reservation in the real world several months in advance?  Nope, neither have I, and luckily, outside of WDW, you probably won’t have to!

Free Transportation

Once a Guest is on the property, transportation to and from Disney Resort Hotels, Theme Parks and Disney Springs is a breeze!  What’s more, it’s completely free. 

Disney Skyliner

Whether you choose to take to the skies in a Disney Skyliner gondola, or hop aboard the beloved WDW Monorail, or cruise down the river in a water taxi, or simply go with a classic bus ride, you’ll never pay a penny for the privilege of using Disney Transport.  

Of course, in the real world, riding the subway, or bus, or ferry, or train, or using any other method of transportation other than your own two feet, will cost you.  

Lines. For. Everything.

Like all amazing things, even at Walt Disney World, there is the odd negative.  One is waiting in lines.  Lines to get into the Parks.  Lines for rides.  Lines for food.  Lines to buy merchandise.  Lines for the bus.  Lines to use the washroom.  The list goes on.  As anyone who has ridden Avatar Flight of Passage can confirm, sometimes these lines can even be hours long.  

Luckily, in real life, there’s rarely an instance where you’ll need to line up for hours for anything, so if you find yourself on a Disney vacation with line fatigue (it’s a real thing), take comfort in the fact that this is one thing you won’t have to deal with outside of WDW!

Bottom Line

There’s no place like Walt Disney World, and that’s what keeps us coming back year after year: all of the fabulous things that only happen here.  After all, if the real world lived by the same magical rules as WDW, there’d be no point in vacationing at the most magical place on Earth!

About Stacy Milford

Stacy has lived in 4 countries on 3 continents, and travels whenever humanly possible. Passionate about music theatre, dessert, and adventure in the great wide somewhere, she visits Walt Disney World every year, usually during Halloween! Stacy currently divides her time between writing and teaching English as a second language to children in China, and is pretty sure growing up is over-rated.