When visiting Disney World, you always want to make the most of your time there, and enjoy it to its fullest. This guide contains the Top 10 Disney Tips to ensure that you have an amazing and magical Disney vacation!
These tips are summarized in a video that I posted on YouTube, and are also described in more detail below!
Tip #1: Arrive at the Parks Early
- It is ideal to arrive at the before they open, because this is the time when the parks are the least busy. You will be able to ride many of the popular rides with little to no wait.
- Upon entering the park, get a Fastpass for a ride you would like to ride later, then line up for the popular rides that fill up quickly, such as Space Mountain at the Magic Kingdom.
Tip #2: Take Advantage of “Extra Magic Hours”
- Disney offers a special perk to guests staying in a Disney resort – they are given access to the park 1 hour before opening to the public, or they are allowed to stay up to 3 hours after the parks close. This is the prime time to go on popular rides because there will be far fewer people in the park than there are during the day.
- The particular hours for each park varies based on the day of the week and the season, so be sure to consult the Disney website or the Park Time’s Guide for more information.
Tip #3: Purchase Park Tickets in Advance
- Disney currently does not offer a discount for purchasing your tickets in advance, but if you purchase them online you will save time standing in line to purchase them at the gate.
- Alternatively, if you are staying at a Disney resort, you can purchase park tickets from Guest Services.
Tip #4: Use the Fastpass System
- Disney offers a system that allows you to bypass the lines of certain attractions by obtaining a Fastpass ticket. The system may seem intimidating to newcomers, but once you understand exactly how it works, you can use it to your advantage. Be sure to check out my Guide to Disney’s Fastpass article for more tips and tricks about using the Fastpass system.
- What are the benefits of using the Fastpass? It’s free and allows you to save several hours of waiting in line throughout the day! You can use this extra time to enjoy the park, go on more rides, and see more shows!
Tip #5: Bring Water and Snacks With You
- Disney is pretty lenient with allowing guests to bring food into the park, as long as it is not brought in cans, glass containers, or glass bottles.
- Bringing your own snacks allows you to choose healthy options, and lowers the amount of breaks required to stand in line to buy snacks at the park. It also helps save money on some of the food, the cost of which can quickly add up.
- Consider bringing carrot sticks, apple slices, and granola bars to munch on while in line for rides or shows. These snacks will keep your stomach filled and your energy levels high.
- Don’t forget to bring bottled water with you to stay hydrated under the hot Florida sun. You can also refill your bottles at one of the many drinking fountains located throughout the park!
Tip #6: Stop for Meals Early
- Try to stop for meals during off-hours to avoid the lunch and dinner crowds. Typically this means eating a little earlier than the average person would. Consider grabbing lunch around 11:30AM and dinner around 4:30PM to avoid the crowds and make it easier to find a table.
- Alternatively if you are coming to the park later in the day, eat a big breakfast or brunch prior to arriving, and stop for a late lunch around 3:00PM and dinner around 8:00PM.
Tip #7: Plan Accordingly for the Parades
- Disney parades are wonderful performances, so make time in your schedule to see them if you can. Consult your park map early in the day to determine the parade route and the parade’s start time.
- Pick a spot along the route that has several attractions nearby that you would like to visit once the parade finishes. Because parades tend to draw large crowds, it will be difficult to navigate across the park, so you’ll want to limit your walking distance.
- Be sure to arrive to find a spot for the parade quite early. People tend to start lining up for the parade one hour before its start time, and often it can be difficult to find a spot even 30 minutes prior to its commencement, especially if you would like to sit to watch it. In peak seasons, you will need to line up even earlier than this to secure your viewing spot.
- On the other hand, if you do not want to see the parade, you will want to avoid the parade route approximately 30 minutes before the parade starts, up until 1 hour after its start time (since the parade takes awhile to make its way through the park). Since the route is blocked off and the streets are lined with people, navigating through the crowds can be tricky. Try to find an alternate route to get where you’re going; even if it is longer in distance, the walk will most likely be shorter and more pleasant. Alternatively, stay in a section of the park that is far from the parade route, such as Tomorrowland or Fantasyland, or use this time to stop to eat.
Tip #8: Use the Baby Swap
- Disney doesn’t really advertise this, but parents with small children can use the “Baby Swap” or “Stroller Swap” procedure. Both parents wait in line with the child, and when they reach the front of the queue, one parent rides while the other waits with the child. After the first parent is done riding, the second parent can ride while the other waits with the child. This allows both parents to ride the attraction without having to line up two separate times, and the child remains supervised at all times.
- Nobody does fireworks quite the way that Disney does. The shows offered at night are definitely not to be missed. Depending on the park you are visiting, you can watch the Wishes fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom, the IllumiNations fireworks and laser show at Epcot, or Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
- Check your Park Time’s Guide for showtimes, and be sure to arrive early enough to secure your viewing spot.
Tip #10: Remember to Keep Smiling and Having Fun!
- Any time you visit the Disney parks, you’re sure to encounter couples arguing or parents yelling at their children. This makes other people uncomfortable, and can put a damper in your own fun if you’re one of the parties involved. Do your best to maintain a positive attitude and keep a smile on your face, even if things don’t go quite according to plan. After all, this is the best way to fully enjoy the Disney magic!
There you have it, the top 10 Disney tips that will make your next visit to one of the Disney theme parks as amazing as possible! I hope you enjoyed this guide, and I’d love to hear any feedback that you might have. Don’t forget to read my other Disney guides, including How to Save Money at Disney World and How to Use Disney’s Fastpass System. Have a wonderful trip to Disney World! 🙂