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Are you visiting Disney World anytime soon? After planning and going on multiple vacations to Disney World, here are some tips and tricks I learned along the way and wished I knew before visiting Disney World. These top Disney World tips and tricks will help make your Disney World vacations more magical.
Walt Disney World Planning Tips
Create A Vacation Plan!
Planning is crucial for a Disney World trip. There are several things you want to plan out before your trip:
- Checking which parks you want to visit
- Make a list of must-do attractions
- List shows/parades/fireworks you want to watch
- Choosing where you want to eat
- Decide whether to purchase Genie+ and/or Individual Lightning Lane Selections.
Without a plan, you’ll likely miss out on some of the best things Disney World has to offer. A Disney vacation can be expensive, so making the most of your time and money is essential. Having a plan will help you do just that.
There’s so much to plan before going to Disney World but trust me; it makes a real difference.
Plan A Day To Enjoy the Resort or Sleep In
One of the best parts about staying at a resort is that there’s always something to do. However, sometimes it can be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the parks and forget to take advantage of all the amenities your resort offers.
That’s why I recommend taking a day to explore all the resort has to offer without leaving the property.
Start by checking out the swimming pools—many resorts have multiple pools with different features, from waterslides to relaxing hot tubs.
Afterward, head to the front desk and ask about any activities or recreation that might be happening during your stay. From movies under the stars to campfire sing-alongs, there’s bound to be something that will pique your interest. So go ahead and take a break from the parks—you might just find that you enjoy your resort just as much (if not more!).
A Disney vacation is just different from any other kind of vacation. It’s also crucial to plan a day where you can sleep in and relax after walking and standing for hours in the park.
Choose Least Crowded Dates For Trip If Possible
Check out a crowd calendar before choosing your dates. If you have flexible dates, try to select the least-crowded dates. Walt Disney World can get busy during holidays, special events, and spring/summer breaks. The Disney parks are usually the least crowded from January to February and September. Watch out for 3-day weekends, school breaks, and special events (such as Epcot festivals and Disney marathons).
Make Park Reservations
Update: Starting December 8th, 2022 Disney is implementing “park-specific pricing” for single-day tickets (1-day, 1-park).
This means that a theme park reservation will automatically be made when you purchase a ticket. So you won’t need to make park pass reservations! Here is the approximate price breakdown for tickets when this new system comes into effect on December 8, 2022:
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom $109 – $159
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios $124 – $179
- EPCOT $114 – $179
- Magic Kingdom $124 – $189
Already purchased a ticket? Great, but there’s just one more step to do. You have to make a park reservation to enter the park. Park reservations will fill out fast. Figure out which dates you want to go to beforehand, and make those reservations ASAP!
Download the My Disney Experience App Beforehand
Download the My Disney Experience app before you visit Disney World. This app will be your friend throughout your entire trip. Log into your Disney Experience account and play around with the app; look at the park maps, see how mobile ordering works, see My Genie, etc.
Skip the Park Hopper
If you’re staying in Walt Disney World for more than 4 days, I usually don’t recommend buying park hopper tickets. Of course, this will differ for every group and how crowded the parks are. If you’re debating on whether or not to buy a park hopper, you can always upgrade your tickets later on at guest services or from the My Disney Experience app!
Consider Purchasing Genie+ And/Or Individual Lightning Lane Selections
The FastPass+ service is now replaced with this Genie+ Service and Individual Lightning Lane Selections. Although it will cost you money, you’ll be able to get on the rides faster and skip those regular lines.
Click HERE for more information about Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane.
Protect Your Vacation with Travel Insurance
Disney vacations are a magical experience, but they can also be expensive. Protecting your Disney trip with travel insurance is a smart way to ensure that you’re covered in case of an emergency. Travel insurance can help you recover the cost of your trip if something unexpected happens, such as illness or cancellation. Disney does offer a travel protection plan, but I recommend buying insurance from a third-party source. One of the merits of using a third-party insurance provider is that certain insurance companies will allow you to add a “cancel for any reason” option.
This type of insurance can help to reimburse you for costs incurred if you need to cancel your trip. There are many different reasons why someone might need to cancel their trip. Having insurance can help reduce some of the stress that comes with canceling a vacation.
I recommend using TravelInsurance.com. This site allows you to compare plans and prices of multiple travel insurance companies. You’ll be able to compare benefits with ease using TravelInsurance.com.
Book With A Travel Agent
First time visiting Walt Disney World and/or want someone else to handle the reservations? Book with a travel agent! Travel Agents can hold a hotel reservation for you and automatically add any discounts that come out later. Some even help with booking restaurants in advance! The best part is that these travel agents are free! The Walt Disney Company pays these travel agents commissions from their sales.
Note: Be sure to book with authorized Disney Vacation Planners! Here are some of my recommendations:
- Small World Vacations (Earmarked Diamond Level Authorized Disney Vacation Planner)
- Glass Slipper Concierge (Earmarked Platinum Level Authorized Disney Vacation Planner)
- Mickey Travels (Earmarked Platinum Level Authorized Disney Vacation Planner)
Pack 2 Or 3 Pairs Of Comfortable Shoes To Walk In
You will walk A LOT at Disney World, and it’s super important to have comfortable walking shoes.
Well, why bring an extra pair of shoes? You never know what could happen. Your shoes may become soaking wet from the sudden rain and may not dry out. Or you could get blisters from the shoes you wore that day, and you might want to swap your shoes.
Bring A Portable Battery Charger!
You will use your phone a lot in the park, from making mobile orders to checking the wait times for attractions. You will find FuelRod (portable phone charger) kiosks around Disney World, but you’ll find better quality battery chargers on Amazon.
One that I recommend is the Anker Portable Charger. It’s helped me through multiple days in Disney World.
Bring A Portable Hand Sanitizer Or Disinfectant Wipes With You
You want to make sure that you and your family are staying safe. Disney has hand sanitizer stations/restrooms throughout the parks and resorts, but they may not always be immediately around you, or you may not like the smell or texture of those hand sanitizers or soap. So make sure to bring your hand sanitizer. I usually clip my hand sanitizer to my bag for easy access.
Prepare for Any Kind of Weather
It’s essential to be prepared for any weather when visiting Disney World. The Florida climate can be unpredictable, so it’s always best to prepare for rain, sun, or cold. That means packing sunscreen, hats, umbrellas, or jackets just in case.
Prepare For The Summer Heat
If you’re visiting in summer, cooling items are a must-have! It will feel 10 degrees warmer than it actually is because of the humidity. Make sure to drink plenty of water and wear sunscreen. I recommend taking breaks inside buildings or returning to the resort for a short nap.
In addition, you do not want to wait in line in the sun outside unprepared. Some items that I recommend are Frogg Togg Chilly Pads and Mickey or Minnie Misting Fan.
Pack A Poncho, Umbrella, Or Rain Jacket
Be ready for the rain. Disney sells umbrellas and ponchos when it rains, but it’s costly, so buy a poncho or rain jacket from Amazon or Dollar Tree before your trip!
Pack a Blanket
If you’re traveling to Disney with young kids, pack a blanket (or two!). It can get chilly at night, and a blanket is great for nighttime shows and parades.
Plus, if you’re renting a wheelchair, the seats can get pretty uncomfortable after sitting for long periods of time. Blankets make great cushions! So toss one in your bag, and you’ll be all set.
Walt Disney World Resort Tips
Don’t Wait For Hotel Discounts To Reserve
Hotel reservations fill up quickly, so make sure to book that Disney hotel before it fills up. You’ll be able to add discounts after you reserve online or by calling.
Consider Staying At Disney Deluxe Resorts Or Deluxe Villa Resorts
Guests staying at one of the Disney Deluxe Resorts or Deluxe Villa Resorts can enjoy Extended Evening Theme Park Hours on top of Early Theme Park Entry. You’ll be able to stay in select parks longer on select days.
Stay at One of the Monorail Resorts
If you’re looking for an extra-special Disney vacation, consider staying at one of the monorail resorts. The monorail resorts include Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.
These resorts are located right on the monorail line, making it easy to get around the Disney World parks. Plus, they offer some of the best views of Disney’s Magic Kingdom park.
I highly recommend staying at these monorail resorts if you’re traveling with a small child. You can quickly head back to your hotel room during the day to take a short nap and head out to a Disney park.
Skip the Rental Car
You won’t need a rental car since Walt Disney World resorts offer free Disney transportation services to the theme parks and Disney Springs. All resorts typically charge for overnight parking. I recommend using an Uber, Lyft, Minnie Van, or Mears Shuttle Service for Orlando airport transportation!
Note: Starting from January 10, 2023, you can stay at a Disney resort hotel with complimentary overnight self-parking!
Request Rooms Near Transportation Locations
Some rooms at Disney resort hotels can be farther away from transportation locations.
For large resorts like Caribbean Beach Resort, you might want to request a room that’s near the Disney Skyliner (gondola lift system) or transportation buses.
Before booking a room, check the resort map to see if there are particular rooms you can book near Disney transportation (e.g., Finding Nemo Family Suites at Art of Animation Resort).
Pick Up A Celebration Button
Is this going to be your first time visiting Walt Disney World? Are you celebrating a birthday or anniversary? Ask for a complimentary celebration button at your Disney hotel (or at guest services). It’s a great piece of souvenir to remember your trip, and some cast members may give you a little shout-out!
Buy The Refillable Mug On The First Day You Arrive At The Resort
By purchasing a refillable mug, you’ll be able to get unlimited free refills on fountain drinks, tea, and coffee from various Disney hotels (not theme parks) for the length of your stay.
If you’re staying at Disney for over three days, buy the refillable mug!
Get A Wake-Up Call From A Disney Character!
Have a Disney character wake you up! This is a great way to start your day and get excited for all the fun that awaits you at the parks.
Call the front desk of your hotel or press the wake-up call button on the phone inside your hotel room.
Watch The Electrical Water Pageant
This small nighttime show is always fun to watch. You can watch it from the Polynesian Village Resort, Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge, Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, and Contemporary Resort. Ask one of the cast members at the resort hotel about what time the water pageant will likely arrive.
Have Bell Services Store Your Luggage
Have extra time before check-in or after check-out? Bell service will hold onto your luggage. Use that time to head into the parks or check out Disney Springs!
Rent A Stroller Or ECV Off Parks Or Bring Your Own
Strollers and ECV rentals inside Disney Parks are more expensive than renting from a local Orlando company.
Consider these companies to save money:
- ScooterBug (Disney Featured Provider)
- Kingdom Strollers
- Buena Vista Scooters
If you’re bringing your own stroller, check the official Disney World website to see if your stroller size is within the guidelines.
Make Your Stroller Easy To Find
There’s nothing worse than not knowing which stroller is yours. Make sure to tie a ribbon or tag to the handle or drape a bright towel over to find your stroller quickly.
My favorite are these Disney World Stroller Tags!
Disney’s Riviera Resort (1 Bedroom Villa)
Rent DVC Points
DVC, or Disney Vacation Club, is a points-based timeshare program. Disney Vacation Club members have points distributed based on the real estate interest they purchase. Members can use those points to stay at a Disney Resort.
You can rent points even if you are not a DVC member.
One of my favorite places to rent DVC points would have to be David’s DVC Rental.
You can save hundreds or, in our case, thousands of dollars just by renting out points. Besides saving money staying at a Deluxe Villa Resort, you’ll also be able to enjoy Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Theme Park Hours.
Check the “cost calculator” tab to see how much you can save by renting out points for a Deluxe Villa Resort instead of booking directly from Disney.
Buy Discounted Disney Gift Cards
Buy discounted Disney gift cards from Sam’s Club, BJ’s, Costco, and Target (using the RedCard). Or purchase at your local grocery store that offers fuel points.
You can use these gift cards for anything from hotels, tickets, souvenirs, dining, and so on. You can also buy separate Disney gift cards for the kids to use for souvenirs and snacks.
Make sure to hold on to your gift cards in case you have to cancel or return an item.
Have Groceries Delivered To Your Resort
Order snacks and bring your own food into the parks for you and your kids to nibble on throughout the day. If you’re staying in a room with a full kitchen, consider cooking a meal in your room to save money!
And for those of you that love to drink Dr. Pepper or Pepsi, make sure to order them because you won’t be able to find those in Walt Disney World.
You can pick them up in the Resort Lobby at no charge, or $6 will be charged to your room if you have your groceries brought to your room.
Always check with your hotel before ordering, as some resorts may not offer this service.
For grocery shopping, try out the following:
Check Off-Site Hotels
If it’s your first time going to Disney, I would highly recommend staying at one of the Walt Disney World Resorts but definitely check out the Walt Disney World Swan, Dolphin, and Swan Reserve Hotel (Marriott Bonvoy Hotels). Yes, there are other off-site hotels, but you can enjoy Early Park Entry and Extended Evening Theme Park Hours if you stay at these three hotels. Plus, they’re so close to the BoardWalk!
Check the three Marriott Bonvey hotels if you’re a AAA member or a Marriott Bonvoy member.
Buy Discounted Disney Park Tickets
You can save money by buying discounted Disney World Theme Park tickets.
Are you a AAA member? Check the AAA Discounts Rewards. You’ll be able to purchase discounted park tickets online!
Other recommendations for discounted park tickets include:
Charge Your Purchases to Your Room using MagicBand
If you’re staying at a Disney hotel, you can easily charge your park purchases to your room using a MagicBand.
This can be great for some credit cards because all purchases will be considered hotel charges. For example, the Sapphire Preferred card from Chase offers 2x total points on travel purchases.
So if you’re planning to spend a lot at the parks, charging to your room could help you earn some extra points. Just be sure to pay off your balance in full before the due date to avoid any interest charges.
Visit Disney’s Character Warehouse
Head over to Disney’s Character Warehouse located in Orlando Vineland Premium Outlet or Orlando International Premium Outlet to find discounted Disney merchandise! You’ll save so much more money than buying souvenirs inside the parks.
Buy A Popcorn Bucket On The First Day You Visit The Park
If your family loves eating popcorn, buy that popcorn bucket on the first day you’re in the park because refills are much cheaper than regular popcorn.
Buy Disney Merchandise Before your Disney World Trip
If you’re looking to make your Walt Disney World vacation a bit more magical, then I suggest purchasing some Disney merchandise before your trip.
By buying some Disney gear before your trip, you’ll save time and money once you’re in Disney World.
You can buy Disney merchandise from shopDisney, the official Disney Merchandise store, or get a unique, one-of-a-kind item from Etsy.
These are some items I highly recommend buying!!
Disney shirts are a great way to get into the Disney spirit. In fact, you’ll see so many people wearing them!
Mickey Ear Hats and Headbands
Mickey ear hats and headbands are popular items to wear at Disney World. They are fun, festive, and can help you stand out in the crowd.
Jungle Cruise Inspired Skipper Bucket Ear Hat
There are many different pieces of Disney jewelry to choose from, including necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. Disney jewelry is perfect for Disney fans of all ages.
Minion Mickey Mouse Small Hoop Earrings
Three Dangle Mickey Mouse Bracelet
Note: Heading out to Walt Disney World soon and don’t have time for shipping? Head to Disney Springs. You can buy exclusive Disney products at the UNIQLO store located in Disney Springs.
Consider becoming a Disney Visa Card Member
If you’re a Disney fan, you’ll want to consider becoming a Disney Visa Card member. There are plenty of perks that come with the card, including the ability to earn Disney Rewards Dollars that cardmembers can use for future vacations at Disney World, Disneyland, or Disney Cruise Line. In addition, there are discounts available at select restaurants and shops.
Cardmembers also get to enjoy an exclusive character experience, as well as digital photo-ops.
Disney offers two Visa Credit Cards – a Disney Premier Visa Card (with an annual fee) and a Disney Visa Card (with no annual fee). So it’s worth looking to see which card would benefit you the most.
Make Dining Reservations In Advance
If you have a table service restaurant you want to go to, you want to make that reservation before your trip. Some Disney restaurants have standby lines, but you’ll often have to wait 1 hour or more.
You can make advance dining reservations up to 60 days in advance. If you’re staying at a Disney resort, you can reserve 60 days in advance for your entire stay.
You can book them online on the Disney official website or from the My Disney Experience app from 6 AM EST. If you prefer calling, reservation phone lines start from 7 AM EST.
Book Character Dining For Breakfast
Lunch and dinner can be pricier, so consider eating breakfast at character meals to save money.
Note: Some restaurants, such as Toppolino Terrace, only offer character dining during breakfast.
Book A Pre-Park Opening Breakfast Or After-Park Dinner
This is one of the tips that I absolutely love. A few restaurants will allow you to make a reservation before the park opens or after the park closes.
This means that you’ll be able to walk through Main Street in Magic Kingdom before the crowd arrives or after the crowd leaves.
If you book a pre-park opening breakfast, you may be able to line up for those big rides even before guests enter at rope-drop. Just make sure you have the transportation figured out! Ask at the front desk of your resort to know when the first or last bus/Skyliner/boat is. Call a Lyft, Uber, or Minnie Van if they don’t have buses running.
Note: Only a few restaurants offer pre-park opening breakfast and after-park dinner. I would recommend booking a dinner reservation close to the park closing hour.
Keep Checking Back For Dining Reservations
Update: Disney has changed it’s Dining Reservation cancellation rules and guests can now cancel their reservations 2 hours before their reservation without any cancellation fee!
Couldn’t book the restaurant you really wanted to go to? Keep checking the app and Disney World website!
Disney allows guests to cancel their dining reservations up to 24 hours before their reservation, so be sure to check every day for any cancellations. Many people tend to cancel their dining reservations the day before.
The lobby concierge at the resort you’re staying at can also help you find reservations and recommend where to visit!
Check That Your Dining Reservations Match With Your Park Tickets And Hotel Reservation Before Your Trip
There’s nothing worse than finding out that you’ve made reservations for the wrong dates/park. Be sure to double-check those reservations!
Learn How To Use Mobile Ordering Beforehand
Mobile Ordering is a time saver, and you’ll want to learn how to use it before your trip.
You can practice ordering food from the My Disney Experience app before the trip. Just make sure not to click purchase!
Order Your Food Early With Mobile Ordering
Make sure to order your food early to get the time slot you want when using Mobile Ordering (especially lunch and dinner).
I tried to order lunch at 11:30 AM and the next available time slot was 3:00 PM! So make sure to plan out what you want for lunch and dinner early if you are eating at a quick-service restaurant. You do not want any “hangry” family members!
Order Kids Menu
Not so hungry? Order off the kid’s menu at a quick-service dining location and save some money!
However, this tip may not work at table service restaurants. You can order from a kids menu, but they will most often give you an adult-sized portion at an adult price. Always ask the cast member before ordering and see what they can do.
Can’t find a reservation on the My Disney Experience App for Disney Springs restaurants? Try checking OpenTable, and you might find an opening there.
Take A Screenshot Of Your Plans
You never know when the app may freeze up on your phone. Make sure to have screenshots of dining reservations and scheduled rides (made with Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lane Selections).
Get A MagicBand Or MagicBand+
All right, MagicBands are not required, but they are so handy.
MagicBands become your hotel key (for Disney hotel guests), park pass, PhotoPass, and you’ll be able to charge merchandise and food to your room (for Disney Hotel guests).
Although MagicBands are no longer complementary to resort guests, you can buy them at a discounted price if staying at a Disney Resort. These should come up as an option when booking your hotel. If you already have a MagicBand from your previous trip, make sure to bring that with you!
Note: Disney now offers MagicBand+, a newer version of MagicBand. MagicBand+ will include all of the features of the MagicBand plus interactive features that guests can enjoy throughout the park.
Check For Current Disney Policies
Disney is changing its policies frequently, so it’s best to keep up to date with those changes.
Use Early Park Entry and Extended Evening Hours Wisely
As any savvy Disney fan knows, one of the best benefits of staying at a Disney hotel is early park entry. Guests staying at select Disney resorts can enter the parks 30 minutes early, giving them a head start on the crowds.
And on select days, select Disney resort hotel guests can also stay in the parks later for extended evening hours. So if you’re planning a trip to Disney, be sure to take advantage of these extra perks!
Early park entry is an excellent opportunity to enjoy some of the less crowded rides and attractions. So check which rides are available during early park entry hours and plan accordingly.
Take advantage of early park entry and extended evening hours. You can make the most of your time at the parks with a bit of planning!
Extra Tip: Try arriving at the parks before early park entry begins. Most of the time, you’ll be able to enter the park and head straight to your ride without waiting in line. Doing this may help you ride two attractions before the park opens!
Connect To The Park Wi-Fi
Connecting to the Wi-Fi will help save your phone battery, so make sure to join once you’re in the park.
Head Towards The Left Or Start Your Day From The Back Of The Park
People tend to naturally go to the right when they enter the park and ride to the attraction closest to the entrance. You’ll find fewer crowds if you go left or start at the back of the park.
Get A Free Cup Of Water In The Parks
Make sure that you are not dehydrated, especially in the summer.
You can always ask for a cup of water at a counter service restaurant or find water filling stations near some restrooms.
Bring some lemonade drink mix or water drop with you if you are picky about water taste.
Ask Cast Members To Take Pictures Of Your Party With Your Own Camera
You do not have to pay for a PhotoPass to take a picture. Just ask a cast member, and they’ll take a photo with your own camera!
Be Prepared To Wait In Line A Lot
With FastPasses gone, expect to wait longer in lines if you’re not buying the Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lane Selections.
Prepare games for your kids (and adults!) to play while waiting in line. Download some game apps or movies on your phone or iPad.
If you prefer less screen time, play a scavenger hunt card game like Skillmatics Card Game: Found It! in line.
Another tip is to bring your own food or snack for a recharge.
You can also plan for your next meal and mobile order before the reservation time slot fills up.
Use The Single Rider Line
The Disney World single rider lines can be a great way to save time and avoid some of the crowds. If you’re traveling with a group and don’t mind being separated for a bit, using the single-rider line can be a great way to get on some of the popular rides faster. Lining up in the Single Rider line will significantly reduce your wait time and create time for another ride!
Get In Line For Popular Attractions At The Last Minute
Hop in line 10-15 minutes before the park closes, and you’ll be able to ride that attraction even if the wait time is 60 minutes or even more. This is an excellent tip for those “big rides” like Avatar Flight of Passage, Star Wars: Millennium Falcon – Smugglers Run, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and more.
Buy The Merchandise If You Like It
Some merchandise is only available at that location or can sell out quickly. When in doubt, purchase the item and return it later.
Take Breaks In Between
There are so many things to do at the park you might forget to take a break in between.
Go to rest spots, watch a show, or book a table service restaurant to sit down.
Great shows to watch in Magic Kingdom are:
- Carousel of Progress
- the Enchanted Tiki Room
- Hall of Presidents
If you want to take a break without the crowd, head on over to a nearby resort. Take the monorail to one of the monorail Disney resorts if you’re at Magic Kingdom.
If you’re at EPCOT, you can walk to one of the Disney resorts from the International Gateway Entrance to Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, Disney’s Beach Club, or Disney’s Yacht Club.
Visit the Animal Kingdom Lodge, where you can watch animals from one of the on-property savannahs.
Taking a quick break at one of these Disney hotels will help you escape the busy Disney parks.
Disney World is a place where magic can happen at any moment. While having a plan is essential, it’s also important to be flexible and go with the flow. Don’t over-plan your Disney World vacation, and you’ll be able to enjoy all the magic that Disney has to offer.
It’s nearly impossible to ride all the attractions and watch all the shows in just one day. Just pick a few must-do attractions and shows with your family.
Make Sure That Your Kids Are Tall Enough For The Rides They Want To Ride On
If you’re headed to Disney World with kids, it’s important to know the height requirements for the attractions.
You do not want your kid to be hyped up about going on the ride, only to find out they aren’t tall enough to ride it at the last moment.
You can find a list of Disney World’s height requirements on their website.
Review The Rides Beforehand With Your Kids
Reviewing the rides is optional but if your child gets frightened with sudden movements/sounds/lights, watch the ride-on POV of the attraction with your child. This is a great way to make sure they feel comfortable riding it. This tip also goes for adults with anxiety. Knowing beforehand can make a real difference.
Skip the Fireworks
If you’re not a fan of fireworks, there’s no need to stay glued to your spot on the ground during the show. Instead, take advantage of the shorter standby queues at the rides and enjoy the attraction! You might be surprised at how many attractions you can squeeze in during that time.
Fully Explore the Parks
When you visit a theme park, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the rides and attractions. But don’t forget to take some time to enjoy the more minor details of the park as well. If you take the time to look around, there’s a lot to discover, from hidden Mickeys to themed objects.
If you’re planning to visit during the holiday season, the parks are filled with Christmas decorations!
And who knows, you might find something you would never have noticed otherwise. So the next time you’re at a theme park, take a few minutes to slow down and explore your surroundings. You never know what you might find.
Magic Kingdom Tips
Take A Photo From The Side Or Behind The Cinderella Castle
If there is a crowd in front of the castle, try taking a photo from behind the castle. You might be able to take pictures without the crowd.
Ride Astro Orbiter, Dumbo The Flying Elephant, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad At Night
The dramatic lights of big thunder make the ride more thrilling, and you’ll be able to enjoy stunning views of the park when riding the Dumbo and Astro Orbiter at night.
Where can I watch the fireworks?
If you don’t mind staking out 45 minutes to an hour before the show, I would recommend watching the fireworks from the following area:
- Center view right in front of the Cinderella Castle (“seated spot”)
- Behind the Partners Statue
- Main Street, U.S.A.
Don’t want to wait and don’t mind having an obstructed view? Check out the following locations:
- Swiss Family Treehouse
- Back of the Cinderella Castle
- Dumbo The Flying Elephant Ride
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
Want to watch from outside the park?
- The TTC dock and beach at the Polynesian Resort are great places to watch.
- If you have a DVC member in your party, you can watch the fireworks from the Top of the World Lounge in the Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
Don’t mind spending money?
- Dessert Parties
- Depending on which dessert party you choose, you’ll be able to watch the fireworks from inside the park at the Plaza Garden or the Tomorrowland Terrace patio.
- Fireworks Cruise and Dessert Cruise
- You’ll be able to watch fireworks from the water!
- California Grill and Lounge at the Contemporary Resort
- If you’re planning on dining there, dine during the fireworks show. You’ll be able to watch the fireworks while sitting down at a table! Note: California Grill released a 50th Anniversary Celebration Menu that offers a 3-course menu that allows you to watch the Disney Enchantment nighttime show at Magic Kingdom from the 15th floor. (Dress Code Required)
- Celebration at the Top: 50th Flavors & Fireworks Cocktail Party at the Contemporary Resort
- At this cocktail party, you’ll be able to watch the fireworks from a private observation deck reserved for event guests at $129 per person. (Dress Code Required)
Stay For The Kiss Goodnight
Stay around Magic Kingdom for 30 minutes after the park closes. You’ll be able to watch Kiss Goodnight at Cinderella Castle.
The Kiss Goodnight at Disney’s Magic Kingdom is a lovely way to end your day at the park. The castle is lit up, and the music is beautiful as you say goodbye to the park for the night.
Hollywood Studios Tips
Make Reservations For Droid Depot And Savi’s Workshop
Love Star Wars? Make a reservation for Droid Depot, where you can build your own droid. Or Savi’s Workshop, where you can create your own lightsaber. Or even both at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! Make a reservation beforehand because walk-ins may not be accepted. Reservations can be made up to 60 days in advance, just like dining reservations.
Keep Checking If Star Wars: Rise Of The Resistance Virtual Queue Comes Back
Disney World has announced that they are pausing virtual queues for the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance Ride at Hollywood Studios and now switching to a standby queue. Great! But note that they are “pausing,” meaning that virtual queues may return, so keep an eye out for any updates.
If it’s a must-do attraction for your family, consider purchasing the Individual Lightning Lane Selections.
Visit The Kidcot Fun Stops
Kidcot is a fun activity where you collect activity cards at each country throughout the World Showcase. Each fun stop is different and exciting, so if your kids love scavenger hunt activities, definitely check it out. You’ll find a Kidcot Fun Stop at every international pavilion.
Visit the Sea Base
Need to take a quick break at EPCOT? The Sea Base is a great indoor area filled with large aquariums. It’s home to many marine lives, from fish to sharks!
The Sea Base is located in the World Nature section. You can access the Sea Base without riding the Seas with Nemo & Friends attraction. Just enter through the gift shop located in the building, and you’ll find the Sea Base ahead.
Keep Checking If Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure Virtual Queue Comes Back
Disney World has announced that they are pausing virtual queues for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and switching to a standby queue for now, just like the Rise of the Resistance Ride in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Note that they are “pausing,” meaning that virtual queues may return, so keep an eye out for any updates.
If it’s a must-do attraction for your family, consider purchasing the Individual Lightning Lane Selections.
Review How The Virtual Queue Works For Guardian’s Of The Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Ride
If you’re planning to ride the Guardian’s of the Galaxy, be sure to review how the virtual queue system works before heading to the park, as there are no standby queues for this ride.
Consider purchasing the Individual Lightning Lane Selections if Guardian’s of the Galaxy is a must-do attraction for your party.
Watch from the World Showcase
You’ll pretty much be able to see it from any country at the world showcase, but there are a few places that I would recommend watching from:
- The World Showcase Plaza (or from behind either store of Port of Entry or Disney Traders)
- From the sides of the American Gardens Theatre
- The second floor of the Mitsukoshi Department Store in the Japan Pavilion
- The bridge between France and the United Kingdom
- In between Norway and Mexico
Watch from a Restaurant
- La Hacienda de San Angel at Mexico Pavilion
- Tokyo Dining at Japan Pavilion
Book a Dining Package or Dessert Party (when it becomes available)
- Rose & Crown Fireworks Dining Package
- Spice Road Table Fireworks Dining Package
- Frozen Ever After Dessert Party (currently unavailable)
Watch from Outside the Park
- Bridge between Beach Club and Boardwalk Inn
- Rooftop Toppolino’s Terrace at Riviera Resort
- Rooftop Restaurant at Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort
Animal Kingdom Tips
Visit Kilimanjaro Safari In The Morning
Want to see lots of animals? Line up for Kilimanjaro Safari during the morning hours. The animals are usually more awake at this time because they typically feed in the morning.
Visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Animal Kingdom Lodge is a beautiful resort home to many exotic animals. I recommend taking a quick break at this lodge when visiting Animal Kingdom.
The lodge is also home to some of the best Disney restaurants, including Boma, Jiko, and Sanaa.
Visit Pandora At Night
Pandora is so beautiful at night with its glowing lights and sounds of drums, waterfall, and night creatures. Make sure to visit before leaving the park.
Bonus Tip: Bring some glow-in-the-dark face paint or items for your children! Everything glows at Pandora and these glow-in-the-dark items look amazing!
50th Anniversary Tips
Find All 50 Golden Characters In The Park (Disney Fab 50 Character Collection)
50 golden characters are spread across all 4 theme parks. Try to find all of them with your kids and take pictures with them!
Check Out The New Rides/Shows/Restaurants!
- Disney Enchantment (Magic Kingdom)
- Harmonious (EPCOT)
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (EPCOT)
- Play! Pavillion (EPCOT) – Opening 2023
- TRON Lightcycle Power Run – Opening 2023
- Moana’s Journey of Water – Opening 2023
- Steakhouse 71 (Disney’s Contemporary Resort)
This is the last and most important tip that I will give you! There will be times when something doesn’t go right during your Disney trip. Be flexible for changes. In the end, it’s all about having fun during your trip.
Well, that’s a list of my favorite Disney World tips and tricks I certainly wish I had known before my first Walt Disney World Vacation.
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I hope you and your family will have a fantastic time at Disney World!