PlanningThe ParksTips

Critical Tips For Preparing for Walt Disney World

A trip to Walt Disney World is a vast undertaking. There is so much to think about before and during your trip. To help you process all of this information, we have some critical tips to help you navigate these decisions. These will help you have a magical time at Walt Disney World.

two kids with daisy, donald, goofy plushes

Process Park Hopping

Before purchasing your Disney Theme Park Tickets, you will need to consider if Park Hopping is a feature that will benefit your travel party. Park Hopping is an additional cost that Guests can choose to add to their regular Disney Park Ticket.

By purchasing the Park Hopper feature, Guests can move between the four Disney Parks starting at 2:00 pm. This can be a great way to see more Walt Disney World in a shorter period.

Before adding this additional cost, make sure that you think about if your travel group will use it. Park Hopping is not the most effective for those who head to bed early. Or, if you like to sleep in and hit the Parks later in the day, Park hopping might be optional.

Think about your touring plan before you go ahead and add the Park Hopper. Moving between Disney Parks does take some time, so think about if it is the best use of your visit to Walt Disney World.

Early Entry and Extended Evening Hours

When staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, you can take advantage of additional time in Disney Parks. This can be a great way to get ahead of the crowds and enjoy lower wait times.

Guests staying at any Walt Disney World Resort hotel can enter the four Disney Parks 30 minutes before the posted opening time. Although 30 minutes might seem like a bit of time, it can be a great way to get ahead of the crowd.

You can take advantage of extended evening hours for those staying at one of Disney’s Deluxe Resorts or Deluxe Villa Resorts. These are only available at either EPCOT or Magic Kingdom on specific days. This gives these Guests additional time in the Park following Park closing.

Before you leave for Walt Disney World, make sure you take time to think about these offerings. When could you take advantage of them to have lower wait times and get more done in a shorter amount of time?


Disney Genie, Genie+, Individual Lightning Lanes

My Disney Experience is the official planning app for Walt Disney World. It is through this app that Guests will be connected to all things Disney while on their vacation. Disney Genie is a new feature recently added to My Disney Experience. This new feature is a free planning service that can help Guests navigate their day in a Disney Park by providing tips and suggestions.

It is critical to understand what is offered with Disney Genie, even if you aren’t planning on using it during your trip. Genie+ is one of the paid features found within Disney Genie. Guests can add this option starting at midnight. Cost fluctuates based on the day, with a starting price of $15 per person and the highest we have seen, reaching $29 per person.

By purchasing Genie+, Guests can use the Lightning Lanes for specific rides and attractions throughout the four Disney Parks. This is a great way to bypass long standby lines.

Guests can also purchase Individual Lightning Lanes for specific rides that aren’t included with Genie+. These are typically the top rides in the Park, such as Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and Star Wars: Rise of Resistance. If Guests wish to use the Lightning Lanes for these rides, they need to purchase them separately or individually.

When heading to Walt Disney World, it is essential to know about these features if you don’t plan on using them. Learning about them will allow you to make the best decision for your group and better understand your options for experiencing Disney rides.

mobile order
Credit: Disney

Mobile Ordering

Another essential feature found within the My Disney Experience app that you need to know about is Mobile Ordering. This allows you to order food from quick service locations throughout Disney Parks and Disney Resorts.

You must know this tip before heading to Walt Disney World. Through mobile ordering, you can avoid long lines when getting food. It can be frustrating to arrive at a quick service location to find long lines. You can ensure that you skip those long lines by placing mobile orders ahead of time.

You can get familiar with mobile ordering before you arrive at Walt Disney World. This is a fantastic way to see menus and figure out how the system works. You don’t want to wait to navigate mobile ordering for the first time when everyone is hungry.

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Credit: Disneydining

Dining Waitlist for Table Service Dining

Don’t give up if you can’t book your table service restaurant before your vacation. Disney has added a waitlist option on the My Disney Experience app. This allows Guests to add their name to a waitlist via the app if available.

If restaurants have tables available, you can add your name to the list, giving you an approximate time when you will be seated. This is good for Nomad Lounge in Disney’s Animal Kingdom as it fills up quickly.

Checking the waitlist can be a great way to experience some of Disney’s best restaurants at the last minute.

Some critical tips help you prepare for your Walt Disney World vacation. Knowing about these vital tips before you arrive at Walt Disney World can help you feel better prepared to experience the magic.

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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