Planning a trip to Walt Disney World soon? If so, check out the best tips for having a spectacular Disney vacation!
When compiling this list, I thought to myself…
How can I narrow down my own hacks I use personally for Disney into 35 digestible actions? After much thought, I came up with my favorites!
So here we go.
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Listen to My Disney Tips Below
Proven First Timer Tips for Walt Disney World | Episode 16 ThemeParkHipster Show
The 35 Best Walt Disney World Tips
1 – Pick up a Special Gift
Stop at Guest Services to let them know if you have a special occasion. You may receive a little surprise.
2 – Free Transportation
Take advantage of free transportation to and from the Orlando airport if you’re staying on property.
When staying at a Disney Resort hotel, you may enjoy access to Disney’s Magical Express—a complimentary round-trip service that whisks you and your luggage between Orlando International Airport and select Disney Resort hotels via a deluxe motorcoach.
3 – See Animals for Free
Visit Animal Kingdom Lodge where you can view animals for free.
4 – Do a FREE Resort Tour
Resorts such as, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Fort Wilderness Lodge, the Grand Floridian, and Yacht Club offer tours for any Disney resort guest (regardless of if you’re staying at that particular hotel).
These tours give historical notes on how the resort was created in addition to some really cool facts secrets along the way. Please note: Some tours require a reservation.
5 – Take the Resort Monorail
Use the resort monorail instead of the Magic Kingdom one in the Transportation Ticket Center. The line is usually shorter and you will get to Magic Kingdom.
You will have a few resort stops on the way instead of a straight shot.
6 – Book Your Reservations ASAP
Remember that the window for Disney reservations open 180 days in advance.
7 – DVC equals V.I.P.
Disney Vacation Club members have privileges to a secret lounge in the Imagination Pavilion at Epcot.
8 – Download My Disney Experience App
9 – Don’t Give Up on Booking Your Reservation
If you can’t book that FastPass+ or RSVP to a special event, then check the my Disney experience app on the site around 7 A.M. the day of and see if you have any luck.
I can attest to this because I’ve done it before during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. For example, I wanted to go to a beverage seminar that was booked up the whole month, then I tried the day of and I was able to get in.
10 – Use the Single Rider Line if Your Family is Okay with Splitting Up
Single rider lines give you an opportunity to reduce the amount of time waiting in line for an attraction in exchange for not necessarily being able to experience the ride with your own party.
When a single-rider line is in use, empty seats on the ride vehicles are filled using individuals from the line, ensuring that every vehicle is carrying the maximum number of occupants possible. Which makes the ride and guest time at the park much smoother.
11 – Dine on a Budget
If you have a small appetite and you’re on a small budget, then order from the kid’s menu. It’s usually significantly cheaper and it fills you up.
12 – Free Photo Opportunities
Chase card members who have a Disney logo or Disney inspired debit or credit card can have special free photo opportunities.
13 – Take Advantage of Free Package Delivery
Stay at a Walt Disney World resort hotel and receive free package delivery of your park purchases to your room.
14 – Treat Yourself to a Dole Whip
Walt Disney World magic can be found all over the resort, but one must have treat that encompasses all that enchantment is the pineapple Dole While. There was a time when obtaining this legendary snack was hard to come by, but since the demand has skyrocketed over the past few years, you can now find it in multiple locations if you know where to look.
15 – Use an Official Disney Travel Agent
Book your vacation through an authorized Disney vacation planner to make sure you’re saving the most on your Disney trip. Disney vacation planners usually have the latest and newest deals that Disney offers.
16 – Book an Early Character Breakfast at Magic Kingdom.
This will allow you to enter the park before everyone else and give you quite the head start into conquering each ride and attraction.
17 – Experience Disney Springs
Disney Springs is a wonderful shopping and dining attraction that you must experience for yourself. Not to mention that the entry to Disney Springs is absolutely FREE!
18 – Take Advantage of the FastPass+ Grace Period
It’s my favorite secret regarding FastPass+. You can arrive five minutes early or 15 minutes late to your fast pass.
19 – Grabbed the Perfect Fireworks Spot
When watching Epcot IllumiNations pick a spot where the wind will not blow smoke directly on you. This may vary based on the wind direction of the evening.
20 – Arrive at the Parks Early for Rope Drop
At Disney World, the rope is slowly pulled aside a few minutes before people are allowed to pass. You can get many of the popular rides done before 11 A.M.
This leaves you time to watch some shows or circle back around to your favorite attractions. This tip is especially important on the hot summer days in Florida. You can get your ride on, have lunch and a show in by 12 P.M.
Once the sun gets crazy, you can go back to your hotel room relax and then come back in the evening times.
21 – Underwater Sounds
Go underwater at the pool in the Art of Animation to hear a special sound.
22 – Ride Kilimanjaro Safari at Sunset
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Do you know what type of tree this ? . This is a receated Baobab trees found on the Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction. In Africa, the baobab tree is known as the tree of life. . It provides shelter, clothing, food, and water for the animal and human inhabitants of the African savannah regions. . Real Baobabs of this size would have to be more than a thousand years old. There are no live baobabs on the safari at Animal Kingdom Theme Park. . #disneyfacts #africa #treeoflife #animalkingdom #solotravel #instadisney #themeparkhipster
This is when the animals are the most active. This is something that you don’t see during the daytime experience.
23 – Don’t Forget to take Breaks
Take breaks from the heat and do more indoor attractions.
24 – Stay Cool
Buy frosty towels to stay cool.
25 – Stay Hydrated
Remember that a cup of water is free at most quick service locations.
26 – See a FREE Disney Parade
Watch the Electric Water Pageant on the Seven Seas Lagoon at night.
Check out more Disney Freebies here.
Recommended Electric Water Pageant Viewing Locations:
- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort– Beginning at 9:00 PM
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa(including Narcoossee’s) – Beginning at 9:15 PM
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge– Beginning at 9:30 PM
- Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground– Beginning at 9:45 PM
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort– Beginning at 10:10 PM; in instances when the Happily Ever After fireworks show takes place at 10:00 PM, the Electrical Water Pageant will begin shortly following its conclusion
- Right outside the entrance of Magic Kingdom park – Beginning at 10:35 PM, during Extended Theme Park Hours only
27 – Search for Hidden Mickey’s
Hidden Mickey’s can be found all over the Walt Disney World Resort area. Even in the most uncommon places, so keep your eyes open.
28 – Chat with an Imagineer
29 – Explore the World of Avatar
Visit Pandora in the early morning or late in the nighttime.
30 – Get Tickets Online
Don’t forget to purchase cheap theme park tickets online from authorize discount ticket providers such as the Undercover Tourist. You will definitely save money if you buy tickets in advance instead of at the gates.
You can listen to episode 14 on how to find the best theme park deals.
31 – Spend a day at a water park.
It’s the perfect way for you to cool off from the unforgiving sun and enjoy the Sunshine State. If you’re familiar with the Disney water parks, then you know they’re open for most of the year.
However, the party kicks into high gear during the summer months. Read more water park tips here!
32 – Experience an Epcot Festival
Go to an Epcot Festival such as the Food and Wine Festival, Flower and Garden Festival, or the new Festival of the Arts!
33 – Have a World Drinking Tour
Drink your way around the world at Epcot…but remember the Do’s and Don’ts of Drinking at Epcot.
34 – Visit Walt Disney World on the Perfect Days
Remember that the best time to visit Disney is early November or mid to late January. While you’re planning that perfect day to go, don’t forget to download the Disney Crowd Calendar to view the crowd level of each day!
35 – Experience Disney’s Kiss Goodnight
Disney’s Kiss Goodnight is where you stay at the Magic Kingdom 30-minutes after closing to see some very special things.
[clickToTweet tweet=”The Kiss Goodnight is a little over 2-minutes long, and it is the Magic Kingdom’s way of saying “goodbye” to guests at the end of a long day.” quote=”The Kiss Goodnight is a little over 2-minutes long, and it is the Magic Kingdom’s way of saying “goodbye” to guests at the end of a long day.” theme=”style3″]
After the park closes, Cinderella Castle starts “twinkling” as the music from When You Wish Upon a Star slowly builds.
These are just a few tips to know when it comes to visiting Disney parks. These are also tips and secrets I love when it comes to doing Disney.
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Please let me know what tips, tricks and little secrets you know about Walt Disney World.
Want more theme park tips? Check out the theme park tips page. If you’re thinking about going to Disney alone, then read the top 18 tips. Are you planning a Disney vacation soon? Read the Disney Vacation Planning Guide for your next dream trip!
Don’t forget to discover the new magical and mysterious Disney adventure of Pandora – The World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom® Theme Park.
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If you enjoyed this article, then you’ll love these:
- The Complete Theme Park Checklist
- Walt Disney World Free Dining
- Tips for Doing Walt Disney World on a Budget
- Magic Kingdom for Adults the Complete Guide
- 18 Tips for Going to a Theme Park Alone
- How to Plan for a Solo Day at a Theme Park
- Advantages for Going Solo to a Theme Park
- The Solo Theme Park Traveler’s Guide
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Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!