Walt Disney World vacation tips & advice
Need Walt Disney World vacation tips and tricks? Look no further than this honest advice from three Disney experts with decades of experience.
Let’s quickly meet our Walt Disney World dream team.
Ryan has been going to Disney parks for 30+ years on both coasts and still wants to be a Disney Imagineer. Adriane is a former Disney Cast Member who visits the Walt Disney World Resort multiple times a year. Finally, Erica first visited Walt Disney World at the age of 3, every year until the age of 12, and has taken the trip to the “most magical place on earth” over twenty-five times.
Alright, introductions are over. Time for the important stuff.
In this extensive article about Walt Disney World vacationtips & advice, you’ll learn:
- How to book long before your Walt Disney World vacation starts.
- Why the rides aren’t always the star attractions.
- Where to find free attractions.
- The many benefits of staying on Disney properties
- The benefits and drawbacks of the Disney dining plan.
- Meeska Mooska much much more!
Here are Walt Disney World vacation tips, tricks, advice, and hacks for the most magical place on Earth.
Walt Disney World: Park Tips
Walt Disney World
Book Early. Like, Yesterday
My number one tip is to start planning early and book as much as you can before you go. It sounds simple but there are so many people who don’t book in advance. If you wait until you get there, or just a few days before, you will be stuck in long lines and with limited places to eat.
So pick your dates, plan what days you want to be in what parks, plan where everyone wants to eat and what rides everyone just “has to get on” and then pick backups just in case things aren’t available as you’re booking.
Being organized is key
Disney has a great website, although often runs slow, that has a My Disney Experience tab where you can set up a free account to store all of your Disney plans and connect all your reservations in one spot.
You can add all your traveling companions so you all get the same FastPass+ and Dining Reservations together, plus it syncs with their App so when you are on property you can see what you scheduled.
Only one person really needs to set this up and they can add the names of their family or everyone can have an account and link together to see what the plans are.
Speaking of the App, it has a lot of good features outside of just storing your reservations so I recommend downloading it onto at least one person’s phone. You can select more FastPasses, make reservations for dining and shows, see wait times on rides in real time and get maps of all the parks. – Erica
Plan For Breaks
I am not one of those psychos that spend every waking minute in the parks. Disney world is just that, “a world”, (a 40-square mile world to be exact) and in that world, there’s much more to do (and not do) than just going to the theme parks.
They’re all fantastic, but they’re also all exhausting! So plan for breaks.
And depending on how long your stay is a break could mean different things. It could mean just a day off in-between parks or it could just mean that you go to a park in the morning and then leave for a few hours in the afternoon and head back to the park in the evening refreshed and ready to see some of the best damn fireworks you’ll ever see in your life!
Bottom line – breaks make it feel more like a vacation and less like an exhausting trudge through a kiddie-induced hell. – Adriane
Magic Kingdom Rides
FastPasses are a necessity if you want to get on some of the best rides. If you are staying on property and have already bought your tickets, and linked both to the My Disney Experience app, then you can reserve your FastPasses starting at 7 AM exactly 60 days before the first day of your Walt Disney World vacation.
Each Walt Disney World ride is ranked based on popularity. Guests can only get one “Top Tier” FastPass per day. Those go quick.
You can reserve 2 other FastPasses of the other rides in advance, and then on the day of your park visit.
After you have used all 3, you can book one more. – Erica
It’s Not Just All About The Rides At The Magic Kingdom
Look the rides are great, they are exciting and can make smiles appear on the most stubborn of crabby sleep deprived little faces, but they typically have excessively long lines that are more often than not found outdoors with spotty moments of shade.
On the other hand, most of the attraction shows within the Walt Disney World parks are nestled into the heavenly bosom of Floridian air conditioning, blasting on max and allowing a quiet respite from the Florida heat.
Some shows that you can watch that will entertain both you and the kids while remaining in AC at the Magic Kingdom are
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- The Enchanted Tiki Room
- The Carousel of Progress
- The Hall of Presidents
Always Go Left!
Here’s a super secret Walt Disney World vacation tip. When arriving at the Magic Kingdom first thing in the morning, remember to always go left!
Whether it is a line for a ride or navigating through the park to get to everything, going left is always a faster option. It is tempting to walk into the Magic Kingdom and head for the castle, but heading down Main Street and veering left off to Adventure Land is a better option.
Most people head straight through to the castle to Fantasy Land or right to Tomorrow land because there are more rides. This means Adventure Land is relatively empty in the morning. You can breeze through multiple rides in the time it would take you to wait for one elsewhere in the park. – Erica
MORE DISNEY & TRAVEL STUFF
- Roadside Attractions Every Family Should Visit At Least Once
- “Up” Is The Greatest Fictitious Love Story Ever
- All These Disney Princesses Have A Secret
- Disney Princesses As Tatted-Up Pin-up Girls
Walt Disney World: Park Tips (cont.)
Invest In Good Shoes
You’re going to walk a lot. Like, too much. Get yourself some good quality sneakers and break them in for a week or so before your trip.
Also, if you’re #blessed with some thick ol’ thunder thighs they will not mix well with the Florida humidity and chaffing is no joke. Get yourself some runner’s glide anti-friction balm.