Planning a trip to Walt Disney World and feeling overwhelmed with all the decisions you have to make? Planning a Disney vacation can often feel like a full-time (or at least part-time) job. Our goal here at How to Disney is to provide tips, tricks, and strategies for navigating your Walt Disney World Resort trip like a Disney pro while enjoying the magic and pixie dust.
Today we want to share some Disney touring tips that will help you as you navigate your way around the four major Walt Disney World Parks. These tips might be ones you already know or might be ones you have never heard of before. We want them so you can have a fantastic time at Walt Disney World during your next magical trip.
Have a Plan
Our first tip for touring a Disney Park is to arrive with a plan. Not everyone will show up with laminated schedules (don’t judge people), but we think everyone should show up to Disney Park with an overall plan.
This means you have discussed what rides, shows, attractions, experiences, snacks, etc., are the most important to those traveling with you. As you make those plans, you take time to look at the map of the Park to see how you might navigate your way to those must-do attractions.
By taking time before your trip to make an overall plan, you will show up in the Parks with a good basic strategy. This can help prevent a lot of crisscrossing of the Parks or meltdowns because you forgot to ride a unique must-do attraction.
Figure out the best strategy for your family so you can jump right into the magic when you get to Disney Parks.
Get There Early
We know that setting that alarm isn’t fun during what is supposed to be a vacation, but we promise it will be well worth it. If you can get to the Park within the first hours it is opened, you can get a lot down with lower crowds.
For the best touring tip, we suggest staying at one of Disney’s excellent Resorts and taking advantage of the early entry benefit. This allows Guests to enter any of the four Disney Parks thirty minutes before a posted opening. These thirty minutes can make a massive difference in the day.
During this time, Guests will be able to navigate the Park with lower crowds and get a couple of top attractions done. Once the Park opens to day Guests, you are already ahead of them in your overall plan for the day.
If you aren’t an early riser or have kids that won’t get up, consider staying at the Parks late. As the evening progresses, the crowds thin out. If you are a big fan of nights at the Parks, look into the extended evening hours offered.
Guests staying at a Deluxe Disney Resort can experience extended hours at EPCOT and Magic Kingdom on select evenings. If that will work well for your family, consider looking it for a short stay at a Deluxe Resort to use this extra time in the Parks.
An extensive touring tip that is easy but so many of us aren’t doing in the Parks is to be aware of our surroundings. It is easy to follow the crowd when we get in line. Take time to look around to see if there are shorter tap points or lines that no one uses.
It is very easy just to follow the crowds when in a big Theme Park like Magic Kingdom. The key to a good touring plan is to do the opposite of the crowd. Be aware that there are probable tap points not being used when you arrive at a Park or that there are two sides when ordering at a quick service location.
By being aware of your surroundings, you will be able to save time and navigate the Parks much easier.
Use My Disney Experience
As you try to tour the Disney Parks, take time to use the My Disney Experience app. This app is filled with information to help you have a great time. Use it to see wait times, show times, parade times, and so much more.
Using the app will save you the frustration of missing out on a show time or showing up for a ride that is down. The app is live, with up-to-date information that can be a big help when navigating around the Parks.
We also like to use the app to find the best path between our two points. There are often hidden paths off the main road, which can be much less crowded. The app will have these, making it easy to navigate and avoiding bottleneck areas in the Parks.
Our final big touring tip for your Disney vacation is to take breaks. No one will enjoy themselves if they are tried and worn down. Allow everyone time to relax and refresh throughout the day.
This might mean heading back to your Disney Resort for naps or swimming. It could mean leaving the Park to have a nice meal at a nearby Disney Resort. Or it could mean enjoying some of the slower attractions, such as Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress.
No matter what type of break works best for your family, we recommend slowing down and relaxing. Doing this will make you more refreshed when touring Disney Parks.
Those are some of the top touring tips for Walt Disney World. We hope they will help you as you plan your magical trip to Walt Disney World.