Are you starting to plan a Disney World vacation and feeling overwhelmed? Disney World is no ordinary vacation, as the more you know, the more magic there is to discover. Learn these 18 magical hacks and be well on your way to your perfect Disney vacation!
1. Stay on-site for a True Disney Vacation. When guests stay on site at a Disney World Resort they are immersed in Disney magic the entire stay. For this reason and more I highly recommend staying on-site. Learn the benefits of staying on-site. Staying off-site may save some money, however the benefits of a Disney Resort can outweigh this savings.
2. Take your luggage with you on Magical Express. Magical Express is included transportation to and from Orlando International Airport, with your Disney World resort stay (another perk to staying on-site). Guests can choose to put on their yellow tag and have luggage brought to Resort. However, this process can take hours. If you would like your luggage right away or are arriving late and want to avoid a midnight knock at the door, take your luggage with you. Magical Express drivers will store luggage in under bus compartments for you, it is a nice gesture to tip for their services especially if handling luggage.
3. Check Crowd Calendars. When is the least crowded time to go to Disney World? The idea of a slow season at Disney World has diminished recently. However to gauge crowds during your potential visit, do a quick google search for Crowd Calendars (and year) to see current predictions.
4. Map out where you want to eat. This is especially important for Character dining options or popular sit-down restaurants you want to dine at. This is because Advanced Dining Reservations are needed to guarantee you will be able to enjoy. Advanced Dining reservations can be made at 180 days out regardless whether you are a guest staying on or off site.
5. Eat during off-times. Speaking of dining tips, the time you eat can make a difference. Try eating an early lunch around 11am and dinner by 5pm to avoid crowds at Quick Service restaurants.
6. Plan your must do attractions and get a Fastpass+. Guests staying on site can book at 60 days out and for guests off-site, at 30 days out, plus up to 10 days after for both. Guests are allowed 3 Fastpass+ (same park) per day. Be ready at 7am (EST) to book your Fastpass+ on your eligible day, top picks include Avatar- Flight of Passage, Slinky Dog Dash and more! Pro-tip, go for top rides working backwards with your vacation dates, as everyone with your vacation dates will be trying for same.
7. You don’t have to plan alone. Did you know the help of a Disney Travel agent comes with no cost to you? They can help plan as much, or as little as you want and be there to answer any questions.
8. Mid-Day Breaks are recommended. Starting early and staying late at Disney parks are exhausting, instead consider a midday break. Head back to the Resort and enjoy some pool time, or refresh and shower. Then, head back to the park or with park hopper, go to a different one.
9. Disney World has 2 Water Parks for guests to enjoy. Especially for guests visiting during the Florida summer, consider adding a water park day to your vacation. Have fun in the sun, without melting. Read Blizzard Beach Vs. Typhoon Lagoon to decide which Disney World water park is right for you.
10. Save souvenir shopping for the end of the night. Did you know shops on Main St USA at Magic Kingdom will stay open up until an hour after park closing? Therefore, instead of using precious park time to shop, save shopping for later! Also know Disney Springs is often open later than the parks and is no cost to enter.
11. Ship water to your Resort. A bottle of water is now up to $3.00 per bottle. Instead, have water (and other essentials) shipped to your Resort. Or, stop by a Quick Service location for a free ice water.
12. Know which park is best to visit in the rain. Do know, just because the forecast shows rain doesn’t mean it will rain all day. Florida is known for its afternoon showers, which are often passing. However if a heavy rain day is in your forecast, know which park to choose. Read: Best to Worst Disney World parks in the rain. This breaks down the parks by number of indoor attractions they contain. If it does rain on your parade, be sure to catch the Rainy Day Cavalcade at Magic Kingdom!
13. Take advantage of my favorite Disney freebies. One of my favorite Disney World freebies are Celebration Buttons, learn where to find Celebration Buttons. Another favorite freebie is pictured above, soda samples from around the World at Club Cool in Epcot. Have your camera ready for the Beverly moment. Read more Freebies!
14. Download the My Disney Experience App. This app will be your best friend during your Disney World vacation. Guests can use the app to check wait times, modify or book more Fastpass+, find Character locations, restroom locations and much more. Read the My Disney Experience App Guide to learn just how handy this free app is.
15. Buy discounted Disney Gift Cards at Target. This handy hack is still working for 2019. Buy discounted Disney gift cards at Target with your Target Red Card. Shoppers will save 5% off their purchase. Disney Gift Cards can be used to pay your Resort, park tickets and much more.
16. Rope-Drop Magic Kingdom to see the Welcome Show. There are many benefits to making Rope Drop (arriving before/ or at park opening). These include being among the first to the park, mornings are not as hot and the Welcome Show! Watch the Welcome Show at Cinderella’s Castle stage in Magic Kingdom to start your day one morning.
17. Get discounts automatically applied to your Disney vacation. This is yet another perk of using a Disney Travel Agent?…. They will watch for any discounts for you and apply them to your vacation! Do note, this doesn’t always happen, however when it’s a pleasant surprise when it does because, more money for extra Mickey Bars!
18. Purchase the Saving For Disney Course. For those in the early stages of planning, the Savings For Disney Course is a fantastic break down for a magical Disney vacation and how to achieve it. Even for a Disney veteran, this course applies to much more than just saving for Disney.
Learn more tips and tricks for your next Walt Disney World vacation. Destinations in Florida can also help you add tips and tricks to your next vacation.