PlanningThe ParksTips

We Have the Secrets To Make Your Disney Trip Better Than Your Neighbors

Now that you announced that you are going to Walt Disney World for a family vacation, doesn’t it seem like the whole world has opinions and suggestions?  Here at How to Disney, we love helping everyone have a magical time at Disney with our tips and suggestions.

As you try to figure out whose advice to follow and what planning tips actually work, we are here to help you have an even better trip than your co-worker, best friend, and even that know-it-all neighbor.

Not only will these secrets help you be more prepared for a magical trip, but it also is setting you up for success as you navigate the Disney Resorts and Disney Parks.

Disney Art of Animation Little Mermaid
Credit: Disney

Secret One:  Choose the Right Resort For You

Step one in planning a successful Walt Disney World vacation is choosing the right Disney Resort for you and your family.  Everyone that has ever been to Walt Disney World has a favorite Disney Resort and it shouldn’t be a surprise that they aren’t all the same.

Walt Disney World has so many Resorts to choose from so you can find the right fit for you and your family.  Just because your co-worker loved staying at Disney’s Polynesian Resort doesn’t mean that it is what your family needs.

Look into the different Resort categories Disney offersValue Resorts offer the best choice for your money while keeping you in the Walt Disney World Resort bubble.

Caribbean Beach Resort
Credit: Disney

Moderate Resorts are a little more expensive but have more amenities for dining and pools. However, they are larger Resorts, so they take a while to get around.

Finally, the Deluxe Resorts cost the most and offer the best amenities, and many allow Guests to walk to one or more of the Disney Parks.

Take time to research which Disney Resort will be the best for your family. By doing this research, you are setting your trip up to be better than your neighbor, who might choose the Resort everyone else is talking about.

Steakhouse 71- Paula Kennedy
credit: Paula Kennedy

Secret Two:  Have a Food Plan

No one wants to be hungry during their Walt Disney World vacation.  Part of the magic of a Disney vacation is all the yummy food that you get to enjoy.   Make your trip better than others by heading into the vacation with a plan when it comes to dining.

Walt Disney World offers two main dining experiences.  Table-service restaurants are sit-down meals that take anywhere from an hour or more.  Guests are waited on by Disney Cast Members throughout the meal.

Popular dining locations such as Steakhouse 71, Space220, Chef Mickey’s, and others book up quickly.  Guests need to make these dining reservations 60 days prior to their vacation.  Although you might not want to set that alarm, you will be grateful you did when you snag that top dining experience at Topolino’s Terrace and your friend doesn’t.

Columbia Harbour House
Credit: Disney

For those that aren’t interested in table-service experiences, Disney offers quick-service meals which can be placed through mobile ordering through My Disney Experience, so you will need to be prepared for this system as well.

To eat at your desired meal times, make sure you get on the app early in the morning to select lunch and dinner times.

During busy times such as Christmas and spring break, pick-up windows in the Disney Parks fill up early, so use time in line during your morning to place an order.

By having a food plan, you will be a step ahead of everyone else and have a much better experience when it comes to food while on vacation.

Disney Genie
Credit: Disney

Secret Three:  Be a Disney Genie Pro

Disney Genie, Genie+, as well as Individual Lightning Lanes are an important part of a Disney vacation.  The secret to being a step ahead of everyone else is knowing what these features are and having a plan on how to use them before you arrive at Walt Disney World.

Genie+ is $15/day/person and gives Guests access to the Lightning Lane for over 40 attractions throughout the four Parks.

There are rides in each of the four parks that aren’t included in Genie+ but can be purchased al-a-carte. The price ranges between $7 and $15 per ride per person and this feature are referred to as Individual Lightning Lanes.

The secret to using these features successfully is knowledge.  Take some time before heading down to learn what rides should be your focus and which might not need Genie+.  We have a lot of tips and tricks on How to Disney that can help you become a Disney Genie pro.

credit Disney

Secret Four:  Learn My Disney Experience Now

My Disney Experience is the official app of Walt Disney World.  This app and the ability to use the app is essential to a successful Walt Disney World vacation.  It is through this app that Guests will be able to see wait times, mobile order, make Genie+ reservations, and so much more.

Don’t be like your co-workers and download the app once you arrive at your Walt Disney World hotel.  The secret to making your trip better is to be familiar with the app before you arrive.  There is a lot of information on the app and it can be frustrating if you don’t know how to navigate it.  Doing so ahead of time will make your experience with the app a lot smoother.

Use these secrets to help make your Walt Disney World trip that much better than everyone else.  By taking the time to research and plan, you will be a Disney pro when you arrive ready for all 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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