Visiting Walt Disney World is an experience you and your family/friends will treasure forever! There are so many ways to tackle the parks and other experiences at WDW Resort that it’s sometimes hard to know how to squeeze every lost drop of fun out of your days at the most magical place on earth. Here are our top 10 secrets for doing Disney right.
Whether you’re visiting Disney for 1 day or 10 days, setting an itinerary is of paramount importance. Advanced dining reservations, FastPass+, Extra Magic Hours, park hours, ticketed events – considering each of these items will help you craft your schedule for each day. Take some time while you’re still at home to peruse park hours and Extra Magic Hours (hours that a park is only open to those guests staying at a WDW Resort) for each park. If you’re not staying on site at Disney, you definitely DO NOT want to visit a park on the day it has Extra Magic Hours because it will most likely be busier than other days in the week.
9. My Disney Experience
This Disney app is free to download and will help you keep track of all aspects of your trip planning from tickets to FastPasses – Dining and Resort reservations to park maps and hours. It is simply the single most important tool to keep all the important details of your trip right at your finger tips! Check out “9 Things You Absolutely Must Know About The My Disney Experience App.”
8. Dining Delights
If you’re attempting to score a coveted dining reservation at Cinderella’s Royal Table or another highly sought after dining experience, you’d better plan ahead. If you are staying in a WDW Resort, then you’ll have first crack at making reservations 180 days before the day of your check in, plus up to 10 days of their vacation stay. Everybody else can book 180 days in advance so make sure you jump right on the dining reservations STAT. For an extra injection of Disney magic, schedule meals at restaurants that have Disney characters. You may also like “10 Most Difficult Dining Reservations to Make at Walt Disney World And How To Get Them.”
Standing in line is part of the Disney experience and is unavoidable. But one of the best ways to get around the biggest lines at Disney parks is to book FastPass+ for attractions that are particularly popular. The catch is you can only book 3 FastPasses per day. But fear not! Once you’ve used your 3 passes, you can book 3 more!
A MagicBand is your key to the kingdom! It opens your Disney resort room door, lets you in Disney Parks, lets you pay for meals and souvenirs (if you are staying on-site at Disney) and access the FastPass+ line for rides and attractions. If you’re an annual passholder or you’re staying on-site at a Disney resort, you’ll receive your MagicBands at no additional charge. If not, you’ll need to order your MagicBands via the Disney Store online or at one of many locations at WDW.
5. Pack Smart
Make sure you pack all of life’s little necessities in a bag that you either carry with you or leave in a locker inside the park entrance. Among the most important items you should have are sunblock, tylenol or Ibuprophen, a change of socks, sunglasses, poncho, medication, water bottle, money, and your cell phone. Lugging a huge bag around Disney gets exhausting so treat yourself to bag that isn’t heavy and has lots of little zipper pockets to help you keep organized. Another tip is to make sure it’s water resistant as mid-day showers are a common occurance.
4. “Extra Extra Read All About It”
Disney fun isn’t relegated to the 4 parks. There are ample opportunities for fun and recreation at WDW. Book a tee time, catch a movie, go shopping, enjoy street performers, shopping, world-class dining… the options are endless! You can save a little money by staying outside Disney parks for one or even two days of your trip and take in all the extra, non-park pass required attractions at Disney. You won’t be disappointed!
If you don’t use any other tip from this list, tune into this one. Take some time to rest ond relax on your WDW vacation. Hit the park in the morning then head back to your resort for the afternoon for a nap or swim when parks are busiest and the sun is smokin’ hot. You may also want to send the kids into the parks with dad or the grandparents while you indulge in a spa treatement. Whatever you choose to do, some free time at Disney will keep you from burning out and driving/flying home more exhausted than when you arrived.
Whether you’re an avid collector of Mickey Mouse coffee mugs or pandora charms, make sure to take a little magic home with you. Another unique idea I’ve seen is to carry a small photo matte that can fit inside your park bag or backpack. Have a variety of Disney characters sign it with a Sharpie and then choose your favorite park photo to display in your ultimate keepsake of your trip. Voila! You can remember each trip you take to Disney this way and showcase your collection at home!
1. Making Memories
Take a moment to stop and smell the roses in your favorite spots around WDW. Letting your kids play on your resort playground or taking time to chat with a cast member in another country in the World Showcase will help you to savor your vacation in a way that stays with you just a little longer. Rushing from ride-to-ride might be enjoyable for some folks, but the old adage is true “it’s the simple things in life you treasure.” Just remember when you’re making those memories to snap lots or photos or take a video on your phone.
I hope you’ve picked up a few ideas that’ll help your next trip to Disney be your best ever! Have you any tips you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below:
BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!