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Insider Tips for Navigating Disney Parks like a Pro

We are here to help you navigate the Walt Disney World Parks like a pro with a few insider tips. These are meant to help you have an even better vacation. From big to small, these tips are what the Disney Pros use for having a great time at Walt Disney World.

Family planning for Disney

Research is Key

To navigate the Disney Parks like a pro, you must research before you arrive. Listen to podcasts, read blogs, watch vlogs, and get familiar with Walt Disney World.

Understanding the four Disney Parks, your Disney Resort, and what is available at each can make a huge difference when you arrive. The Disney Parks and Resorts are huge. Knowing the general layout for each will save time trying to navigate your way around.

Pros know where rides, dining, meet and greets, and shows are before they enter a Disney Park. This allows them to navigate the Park with fewer steps and less time zig-zagging around.


Have a Plan of Attack

An essential tip for navigating the Parks successfully is ensuring you have a plan before arriving. Now that you know where things are because of your research, you can create a plan of attack.

Before you arrive at Walt Disney World, take time to create a general goal for each day. What rides are a must-do? Does everyone want to hit the pool for a night swim? Knowing these goals ahead of time can help guide your days.

Having a general plan for the day can help you navigate the Parks a lot easier. Know where you are heading when you arrive, and use your plan to move around the Park.

My Disney Experience App

Use My Disney Experience

Even after doing research and having a plan, there will still be times when you need some help while in one of the four Disney Parks. Don’t walk around lost; use the fantastic My Disney Experience app instead.

My Disney Experience (MDE) is Disney’s official app that Guests need during their vacation. Through the app, Guests can get into their Resort rooms, see wait times at a Disney Park, order and pay for food, find bathrooms, and use Disney Genie.

Walt Disney World Pros not only know about MDE before they arrive, but they have also played around with it, so they are familiar with all it offers.

There are a lot of different features that go into the app, which can be overwhelming at first. Taking time to look it over and figure out how to see wait times, where to get Disney Genie etc., can be a huge help when finally on vacation.

Even though it would be great to step away from our phones while on vacation, a trip to Walt Disney World is the vacation where that is going to happen.

Mickey Mouse with Kids
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Go Early

A big tip for navigating the crowds at Walt Disney World is to go early. Many Guests don’t want to set that alarm while on vacation. This means those first few hours in the Parks will be less crowded.

If you stay at a Disney Resort, you can also take advantage of early entry. This will get you into the Park thirty minutes before opening. You can get a lot done during that time and stay ahead of the crowd all morning.

Set that alarm to get to the Parks early and head out when they get hot and crowded.

Magic Kingdom at Night
Magic Kingdom at Night

Stay Late

Another way to navigate Disney Parks like a pro is by staying late. If there is a nighttime show, most Guests will head out afterward. This means long lines in the bus areas. Enjoy a quieter Park by hanging out after the fireworks or nighttime show.

Deluxe Disney Resort Guests can enjoy extended evening hours. This allows them to enjoy up to three additional hours in a specific Disney Park after it has closed to regular-day Guests. Not only are the Parks a lot cooler during this time, but they are also a lot less crowded.

You might not be able to convince everyone to get up early, but if you can stay out after the sun goes down, you can also navigate the Parks much easier.

Adults at Disney, Magic Kingdom
Credit: Inside the Magic

Adjust Your Plan

Having a plan is essential for navigating the Parks successfully; however, so is tossing the plan out the window. Pros know there will be times throughout the day when the plan needs to be adjusted, changed, or deleted. 

Pros take in the magic all around them as they navigate the Parks. They enjoy the moments before them instead of rushing from attraction to attraction. Be willing to do the same with your plan when needed.

Yacht Club Resort
Photo Credit: Disney

Take Breaks

Finally, it would help if you took breaks to navigate the Disney Parks like a pro. Guests walk miles each day at Walt Disney World. This is a lot for your body to handle. Make sure you can enjoy your Disney vacation length by taking breaks.

Disney Pros know that having some rest time back at the pool or enjoying a meal can make a big difference in their day. Giving everyone time to rest, reset, and refresh is enormous.

Breaks don’t always have to be back at your Disney Resort. Consider visiting a nearby Resort to take in some new sights. Scheduled a sit-down meal out of the sun or enjoy some indoor shows. 

If you keep navigating around the Park, you must take some downtime along the way.

Those are some insider tips for navigating Disney Parks like a pro. Use them during your next Walt Disney World vacation to be a Disney Pro.

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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