Disney World can be a tricky place to navigate, but it always helps when you have some tricks up your sleeve. I’ve been to Disney World several times, and there are some secret tips that I have compiled from all my travels. Today I am going to share with you my top 43 tips for your next Disney World vacation!
Let’s dive right:
1. Want to avoid the Florida rain ruining your fun? Carry a poncho with you in your park bag and then you’ll never have a reason to leave the park. While everyone else clears out, you’ll get to enjoy shorter lines.
2. Want to know how to maximize the number of Fastpasses you can get in a day? Schedule your first 3 as early in the day as possible and as soon as you use your third, you can use the mobile app on your phone to select the next Fastpass. The earlier in the day you can start selecting other Fastpasses, the more you’ll be able to get throughout the day!
3. Want to make sure you get an unobstructed view of Happily Ever After? Stake out a spot about an hour and a half before, right behind the gate that surrounds the fountain. You’ll have no one standing right in front of you if you are right at the gate.
4. Where can you get a good view of the Festival of Fantasy parade? Claim your spot on Santa’s sleigh outside the Christmas Shop in Liberty Square. You’ll get a nice elevated place to sit so no one will be in front of you.
5. Do your kids want to become Jedis? Show up to Hollywood Studios before park opening and then head over to the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost to sign them up for Jedi Training. You need to do it first thing in the morning because this experience fills up fast. Best of all, it’s free with park admission!
6. Make sure to use the lockers across from Kali River Rapids to store all your personal belongings because you will get wet! Especially store your phones and electronics because those could get damaged. Also, throw on a poncho if you want to try and reduce your risk of getting wet.
7. On your next visit to Epcot, make sure to stop in to Club Cool in Future World for some free drink samples. Cool off and get free drinks at the same time, it’s a win-win!
8. If you are exiting Magic Kingdom, instead of walking down crowded Main Street, walk through the shops on the side of the Emporium. They connect all the way down Main Street and it will be a much cooler walk in the air conditioning.
9. Make an early morning breakfast reservation in the park so that you can get to some of the rides quicker. If your reservation is early enough and you are done before the park opens, you’ll be able to get to the popular rides before any of the guests coming from the main entrance.
10. For an extra adventure in Magic Kingdom, stop in at the Main Street Fire Station to pick up Sorcerer of the Kingdom cards. It’s a scavenger hunt style of game that you can play in the park. You can pick up a pack every time you visit and collect the cards as well.
11. Get to the parks before they open so you can take advantage of shorter lines at the beginning of the day. Use that first hour of park opening to ride popular rides you were not able to get Fastpasses for. That will help you to avoid longer lines later in the day.
12. If you are staying at a Disney resort, use package delivery to your resort to avoid carrying around your souvenirs in the parks. Just ask the cast member to have it delivered to your resort and then you can pick it up the next day.
13. Want to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks without having to enter the park? Visit the Grand Floridian or Polynesian resort, and watch them from the beach. They even pipe in the music from the show!
14. Bring along a portable charger to keep your devices going all day long. They have fuel rods in the parks, but your own charger will give you a longer lasting charge. A definite life saver when you are taking lots of photos and videos!
15. If you purchased Memory Maker, make sure to ask every photographer if they do any Magic Shots. You’ll end up with a lot of fun photos that you wouldn’t be able to get with your own camera.
16. Want to avoid waiting in line at the quick-service restaurants. Take advantage of mobile ordering in the My Disney Experience app. You’ll never have to stand in line for food again!
17. When you get character autographs, only have them sign the left side of the book and leave the right sides blank. When you get home, you can stick the photos on the right side of the pages to create a fun photobook/scrapbook.
18. Schedule a character meal that features your favourite characters. Then you won’t have to wait in line to meet them in the parks. They’ll come to your table while you enjoy a delicious meal, so convenient!
19. Leave those selfie sticks at home! Disney prohibits selfie sticks in the parks, so if they find one during bag check, they will confiscate it.
20. If you like popcorn, purchase a refillable bucket in the parks. You can then use it throughout your entire stay to get refills for $2, it’s a great savings if you plan to eat a lot of popcorn.
21. If you plan to visit Epcot during one of the festivals, try and plan for a weekday. Most locals will go on the weekends, which makes for heavier crowds. A weekday will have less people and feel way less crowded.
22. Use single rider line to speed up your waiting time on a ride. There are just a few rides that offer this, and as long as you don’t mind sitting alone, it’s a great way to get on a ride quickly.
23. If your child is not tall enough to ride an attraction, ask the cast member for a “Child Swap”. Each adult will then be able to ride the attraction one at a time while the other stays back with the child.
24. If you can’t get a Fastpass for Flight of Passage, then consider rope dropping it. Get to the park an hour and a half before it opens to be one of the first to enter the park. Stay ahead of the pack as you head to Pandora and you’ll get on the ride fairly quickly.
25. Are you familiar with “Authorized Disney Vacation Planning Agencies”? Using one to book and plan your trip is a great way to save time and stress, and it doesn’t cost you anything! They get their commission from Disney, so the authorized planners won’t charge you for booking the trip or helping to plan. Click the Mouse is one I highly recommend.
26. Disney has free wi-fi at their parks and resorts, so you don’t have to use your data while on vacation.
27. The Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover at Magic Kingdom is a great attraction for relaxing, and it rarely has much of a line.
28. Quick-service restaurants in the parks will give you a free cup of ice water if you need to cool down. I always recommend bringing a water bottle with you, but if you forget, the ice water is a good back up to make sure you stay hydrated.
29. Did you know you can now check bus wait times at your Disney hotel from the My Disney Experience app? Check the app before lining up and waiting in the hot sun to see how long before the next bus arrives.
30. If you arrive early for your check-in and your room isn’t ready, leave your bags with Bell Services and you can head off to a park. When your room is ready, Bell Services will bring your bags to your room for you while you are enjoying your day at the park.
31. If you have animal lovers in your group, make sure to reserve a meal at Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village. When you arrive, ask for a window view. You’ll get great views of the savanna and enjoy an amazing meal!
32. If you plan to eat at Whispering Canyon at Wilderness Lodge Resort, make sure to ask for ketchup. You’ll get a fun/surprising experience!
33. The bridge connecting Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club to Disney’s BoardWalk Inn is a decent place to watch the Epcot fireworks from outside Epcot.
34. Jellyrolls is a fun dueling piano bar (for adults) located on the BoardWalk at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn. You can then cap off your night by heading in to the Dance Hall right next door to dance the night away.
35. If the Magic Kingdom is especially busy, take the monorail to Contempo Cafe in Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Gasparilla Island Grill in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, or Captain Cook’s in Disney’s Polynesian Resort for a counter service meal.
36. Chewing gum is not sold anywhere on Walt Disney World property, so if this is a must for you while on vacation, make sure to bring it with you from home.
37. When using Disney transportation, always give yourself at least an hour to get to your destination. Buses can take up to 20 minutes to arrive and you also have to factor in travel time and walking time once you get off the bus.
38. If you can, book and start planning your Disney vacation more than 6 months out. Dining reservations open up 180 days in advance and that is when you have the best chance at reserving the very popular restaurants.
39. Even if your child is no longer in a stroller at home, consider using one while at Disney. It may be a lot more walking than your child is used to and having a stroller can really make the difference between a happy child and one on the verge of a meltdown.
40. Plan to do rides in the earlier part of the day, and shows in the afternoon. Shows typically always have shorter lines, even in the afternoon when ride lines are long, and the indoor shows will give you a chance to escape that afternoon heat.
41. If you arrive at an attraction to use your FastPass+ and the standby line is short, get into the standby line and open your phone to try to change your FastPass+ reservation to something else.
42. People who want to try to get in the line to sign up for Jedi Training Academy can get a jump start on the line by making an 8:00 a.m. breakfast reservation at Hollywood and Vine in Hollywood Studios.
43. Never underestimate the power of a midday break. Whenever possible try to get out of the parks (and the heat) for at least a few hours in the afternoon to allow everybody a chance to rest and recharge. Once you’ve recharged, head back to the parks in the evening to catch the fireworks.
Our preferred travel agency is Click the Mouse. They specialize in Disney destinations and will help you plan out all the little details. Best part is that their services are FREE when you book your vacation with them. Personalized service at no extra cost to you! To get a quote from a Click the Mouse travel agent, simply click on the quote button below and they will be back in touch with you:Get a Quote from CLICK THE MOUSE
Laura is a mom of one adorable girl with a love of all things Disney. She traveled to Disney World with her family in 2010 and was hooked. They have since been a total of over 15 times. With all her knowledge of planning Disney trips, she now wants to share that with others. She loves giving guidance, tips and advice to others planning their magical vacation!