PlanningThe ParksTips

5 Disney Secrets You’ll Want To Know Before You Go

Walt Disney World is magical but it is also big and sometimes hard to navigate.  As you plan out your Walt Disney World vacation, we have some secrets you will want to know before you arrive.  These will hopefully help you have a wonderful and magical time.

5.  Left is Best

I continue to be shocked each time I visit Walt Disney World that this secret remains true and that is to head left.  For some reason, most Guests head to the right.  This is for security, for touchpoints, for getting food, etc.  If you come up to a crowd and there are choices, head to the left.  These lines tend to be the shortest.

cast member id
credit: Disney

4.  Cast Members Are the Best

This shouldn’t be a secret, but some people just aren’t aware of how magical Disney Cast Members are at Walt Disney World.  We have two reasons we want to bring this secret up.  First, make sure that you are nice to Cast Members.  They work so hard and are truly what makes the magic happen for Guests each and every day.

Our second reason for bringing this up is because if you need something, reach out and ask a Disney Cast Member.  This might be a simple bandaid or something major like you have a sick kiddo.  Disney Cast Members are trained to make sure that Guests are safe.  They will know how to help you out and make sure that your needs are met.

We love the Disney Cast Members and are grateful for all the magic they bring each day to Walt Disney World.

mobile order
Credit: Disney

3.  Make it Mobile

Before heading to Walt Disney World make sure that you know all the hidden gems found on Disney’s app My Disney Experience.  This app is truly essential to a successful Walt Disney World vacation.

Two features that can save Guests a lot of time are mobile ordering and mobile checkout.  Guests that are wishing to eat at one of Disney’s quick-service locations such as Flame Tree Barbecue in Disney’s Animal Kingdom or Woody’s Lunch Box at Disney’s Hollywood Studios can place an order through the app.

Mobile ordering allows Guests to choose their dining location, select a return window, and place their order.  Once their return window comes up, they can press the “Prepare My Order” button giving Disney Cast Members the notice they can begin preparing their meal.

This feature is a fantastic way to save time in line; however, there are limited spots available at each dining location so make sure that you don’t wait until everyone is hungry to place your order.

The other mobile feature that a lot of Guests don’t know about is mobile checkout.  This option is available at select retail stores throughout Walt Disney World.  It allows Guests to shop and check out all on their own.  Once they have done so, they show a designated Cast Member and are on their way.  This is another great way to save time in line.

It is surprising how many Guests aren’t aware of these features and therefore doesn’t take advantage of them during their Walt Disney World vacation.  Now that you know the secret, make sure you utilize them during your trip to save time.

Chef Mickey's
Credit: Disney

2.  Breakfast is Cheaper

Character meals are a magical way to meet some beloved Disney characters while having a wonderful meal.  The issue might become the cost of these magical meals.  It isn’t cheap to enjoy a meal with Mickey and friends.

If this is something that is important to your family, then consider booking a breakfast character meal.  There are some wonderful options such as Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Topolino’s Terrace at Disney’s Riviera Resort, Hollywood and Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Tusker House at Disney’s Animal Kingdom are just a few of the meals that you can meet characters during.

By booking a breakfast for these locations, you can still enjoy these meals but at a lower price point.  Another good secret is to book the last breakfast meal.  By doing this at some locations such as Tusker House, you often will be able to enjoy both breakfast and lunch options.

Character meals are wonderful, but we don’t always think that the cost is.  To help with this, we lean towards having breakfasts where the cost is slightly cheaper, but the character interaction is just as magical.


1. Early is Better

This is a hard secret to get the family to be on board with, but it is an important one.  Early to the Disney Parks is better.  Although we don’t always like setting our alarm during a vacation, doing so at Walt Disney World can make a big difference for the whole day.

By getting the Disney Park before it opens, you are in place to head to your favorite ride right when the Park does open.  This puts you ahead of the crowd not only for the first ride of the day but often for multiple rides.  Doing so can save you a lot of time waiting in line throughout the day.

The other reason that early is better is that it is cooler in the morning.  The heat and humidity at Walt Disney World are tough.  Being there early on in the morning allows you to experience a Disney Park when it is slightly cooler.  By getting ahead of the crowd, you are able to accomplish more giving you the opportunity to take that much-needed afternoon break as well.

There is a lot that goes into planning a Walt Disney World vacation.  We hope that these secrets will help you as you plan and set you up for a magical trip.


Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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