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10 Insider Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Rides At Walt Disney World

The rides are one of the main reasons that people visit Walt Disney World. Each one is a unique experience, and they are all special. You will want to get the most from the rides on your next vacation. Here are ten insider tips to help you do just that.

10. Research From Home

Insiders know that getting the most out of the rides at Walt Disney World begins long before you step foot in a theme park. Do your research! Learn about the different rides in each park, and come up with a list of the ones that are most important to you. It’s hard to ride everything on one vacation, so learn which rides are must-do’s, and which can wait until your next trip.

9. Expect to Wait

Even if you visit Walt Disney World on the least crowded day of the year, you will end up waiting in lines. Wrap your head around that fact before you leave home. Complaining about a long line will put you in a bad mood, which will then not allow you to fully enjoy the ride when it is your turn. Know that there will be lines, there’s no reason to be surprised that they are there. Use the line to build up your anticipation, instead of allowing it to zap your joy. Walt Disney World insiders will complain about lines from time to time, just not too much.

8. Arrive Early

Chances are that you are going to want to hit as many rides as possible. Insiders agree that the best way to do that is to arrive at rope drop. This is your best chance to ride the most popular rides with the shortest lines. As the day goes on the crowd will pick up, and the lines will grow. If you arrive early, you will have already hit everything on your must-do list.

7. Use FastPass+

Most Walt Disney World insiders would not consider spending an entire day in one of the four theme parks without using FastPass+. They know that with the service they’ll have three fewer lines to wait in. The system is free, so make those reservations. After you’ve used all three, you can make a fourth reservation so that you’ll be able to skip yet another standby line and so on until the park closes.

6. Use the My Disney Experience App

If you want to get the most out of the rides at Walt Disney World, you will need to know what is happening in the park. That is why insiders use the My Disney Experience App. It’s a free download, and it will give you plenty of valuable information. As far as rides are concerned you can check Wait Times, Mobile Food and Beverage Ordering, change your FastPass+ reservations or make the fourth one, and more. Insiders don’t need the map on the app to help them get around, but you might. The My Disney Experience App can be an invaluable tool to help you get the most out of every second of your vacation.

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5. Try Something Less Popular

Insiders know that every ride at Walt Disney World is special, not just the most popular ones. If they don’t have a FastPass+ for Space Mountain and see that there’s a 90 minute wait, they’ll head over to the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover instead. You can have a great time at Walt Disney World, even if you don’t hit all the major attractions. The rides with the shorter waits are fun as well, and you just might discover a new favorite.

4. Pay Attention to the Details

Walt Disney World is more than just a theme park. Insiders realize that every inch of the rides and the queue lines have been planned, and they’ll pay attention. If you want to ride like an insider, look around you. Notice the shells in the pavement on the way to Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid, or watch the bags that G2-9T is scanning while in line for Star Tours – The Adventures Continue. The details that the Imagineers have added enhance the overall experience, even if many of these details are never noticed by most of the general public.

3. Enjoy the Interactive Queues

Interactive queues are meant to help pass the time in line, and also to help riders get into the mood for what they are about to experience. Insiders love interactive queues. In the line for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train they have a great time sorting jewels with Doc, and they think about their choices when designing their concept car for Test Track. Not only can interactive queues help pass the time in line, they can be a lot of fun and build the anticipation for the ride.

2. Talk to the Ride’s Cast Members

Walt Disney World Cast Members are a wealth of information. Insiders love to chat with those who are working near a ride’s entrance. Not only is being nice to Cast Members the right thing to do, you might end up with a bonus. The Cast Member might lead you to the best seat on Expedition Everest, or you could end up being picked as the Rebel Spy on Star Tours. Sometimes Cast Members can also help create magic that you and your family were never expecting. Cast Members love to make recommendations for favorites, so by chatting it up you could learn about a restaurant that you didn’t think of trying, or find the best place to buy a hard to find souvenir. You could also make a new friend.

1. Look for Hidden Mickeys

Hidden Mickeys are shapes of the world’s most famous mouse woven into the background, and they are everywhere! Insiders love to look for them in the queue lines and on the actual rides. If you haven’t ever looked for Hidden Mickeys on a ride, here’s one to start you off. In the ballroom scene on the Haunted Mansion, pay attention to the plates on the table. Look for the place setting that’s one dinner plate in the middle with two smaller plates at the top. Does the shape look familiar? That’s a Hidden Mickey. Looking for Hidden Mickeys is a lot of fun, and the activity can help you to enjoy the ride even more.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.