If you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World, you might feel overwhelmed by all the tips and suggestions. From blogs to your coworker, everyone seems to know what you should do on your Disney trip to have the most magical time.
Here at How to Disney, we want narrow down all those tips into fifteen of the best, most important ones. These tips will have the most significant impact on your trip. As you prepare and plan, if you can focus on these fifteen things, you will be ready for a magical time at Walt Disney World.
Use My Disney Experience
Before heading to Walt Disney World, download the My Disney Experience app. This is the official app of Walt Disney World. Through this app, you will stay connected and in the know during your trip.
There is a lot of essential and helpful information on My Disney Experience that can help make your trip easier. If you wait until you arrive at Walt Disney World to open the app, you will probably find it more frustrating than helpful.
Instead, take some time before your trip to navigate the different features My Disney Experience offers. This will make you more comfortable with it and ready to use it throughout your vacation.
Purchase a Portable Charger
Because you will use the My Disney Experience app throughout your trip, ensure you have purchased a portable charger. Your phone will be essential to your trip, which means that you will want to ensure that it remains charged.
Disney has FuelRod Stations throughout the Park and at a few Resorts if you need to remember yours; however, bringing your own from home is much easier and less stressful. Check out Amazon for the top options.
Prepare for Rain
We would love to tell you that each day at Walt Disney World is a magical 70-degree day with sun, but that isn’t reality. Even in the Magic Kingdom, rain does happen. Don’t get caught in the rain during your vacation. Pack those umbrellas and ponchos each day so you can enjoy the Parks even if it rains.
There are a lot of experiences that can still be enjoyed in the Parks, even in the rain. Know what those are ahead of time. Preparing for the shower will allow you to continue enjoying the magic.
No matter when you are visiting Walt Disney World, make sure you bring layers. Even in the middle of the hot and humid summer months, it is nice to have a light jacket or sweatshirt to toss on.
Buses, shops, and restaurants tend to get chilly as Disney blasts the air conditioning. Although we appreciate having places to cool off when hot, sometimes it can be slightly too cold. Having a light cardigan or long sleeve shirt to toss on can make the experience so much more enjoyable.
Comfortable Shoes are Key
One of the most essential items to pack for a Walt Disney World vacation is comfortable shoes. Walt Disney World is huge, which means each day is spent walking a lot. If you don’t have comfortable shoes, time in the Park can quickly become miserable.
Before you arrive at Walt Disney World, break in your shoes to ensure they will hold up to all the miles. We even recommend having two pairs. This makes it easy to switch out if one team gets rained on or starts to cause problems.
Genie+ is a paid feature that Guests can add to their Walt Disney World day. It allows them to bypass the standby lines at various attractions at the four Disney Parks. It is essential to understand how Genie+ works before you arrive. This can allow you to decide whether Genie+ is a good investment for your Park day.
We often recommend Genie+ for Magic Kingdom but think with a good touring plan; it can be skipped at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Do some research and learn if Genie+ will be suitable for your Walt Disney World vacation.
Related: Genie+ The Good, Bad, and Ugly
How to Enter a Virtual Queue
At Walt Disney World, two rides do not have a standby option. To experience either TRON Lightcyle/Run in Magic Kingdom or Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in EPCOT, Guests will need to purchase an Individual Lightning Lane or join the virtual queue.
Starting at 7:00 a.m., via the My Disney Experience app, Guests can try for a virtual queue for these two E-ticket attractions. Guests are given a boarding group and an estimated return time if they can join. Once their boarding group is called, Guests have an hour to return to the ride experience.
The virtual queue is not a Lightning Lane. This means that once Guests return to the ride, they should still expect to have a wait before boarding. Both rides have a second “drop” at 1:00 pm for those Guests who couldn’t join in the morning.
Mobile Ordering is Fantastic
If you plan on eating at the quick service locations throughout Walt Disney World, make sure you know about mobile ordering. Guests can choose a specific return time and place meal orders via the app. Once their window is available, they can have Disney Cast Members prepare their order.
Once it is ready, Guests receive a notification and can pick up their food at a mobile order window. This is a fantastic way to bypass the long lines that tend to build during mealtime.
Disney Restaurants Have Waitlists
A new feature recently added this year is the walk-up waitlist. Guests can join the walk-up waitlist at many of Disney’s sit-down restaurants. This is a great way to experience some of Disney’s great restaurants even when you didn’t have a reservation beforehand.
If this is something you want to do, ensure you are in the area when the restaurant opens. This gives you the best opportunity to snag an open seat.
Use Mobile Check-out
Another great feature found in the My Disney Experience app is mobile checkout. If you shop at one of Disney’s big stores, such as the Emporium at Magic Kingdom, consider using the mobile checkout option.
This allows Guests to check out via the app on their own. Once paid, they stop by a designated Cast Member on their way out of the store and then are on their way.
When you panic because your little one needs to use the bathroom, know the My Disney Experience app will show you the nearest bathroom. This can be a lifesaver in the moment!
Our biggest tip is the hardest one to stick to and slow down. Walt Disney World is so magical, but we often miss the magic because we are rushing to get everything done. Take time during your trip to slow down and enjoy.
Have ice cream on the hub grass together, walk around and see all the animals in Animal Kingdom, and have a nice meal. Don’t get so wrapped up in everything you think you have to get done that you miss all the magic.