Walt Disney World is so expansive and offers so many wonderful things to see and do it’s impossible to cover everything in even a couple visits. There are however some things you can do or services you can use that will help you get the most out of your time there. Here are our 10 tips for getting the most out of Walt Disney World.
10. Reservations and FastPass+
Dining reservations and booking your FastPass+ selections are key to getting the most out of Disney. Restaurants book up very quickly and well in advance. Avoid wasting time wandering around the parks and resorts in search of a free table and reserve ahead of time. Disney makes it very easy to look at menus online and make a reservation. No reservations? Use the Mobile Food and Beverage option on your My Disney Experience App to order and pay in advance at multiple Quick Service locations. Disney also makes it very easy to book your FastPass+ selections ahead of time. This will also save you time waiting in long lines or missing out on the attractions you and your family must do.
Use the free and amazing transportation system that Disney offers. The buses that pick you up at your resort will drop you off steps away from the front gates at the parks. The monorail is like an attraction in itself, and is a great and fun way to travel around Walt Disney World. You can also travel by boat between some of the parks and resorts, as well as Disney Springs. There is also the added bonus of not having to worry about parking!
8. Visit the Resorts
Each resort at Disney is unique and worth a visit, even if it’s just to take in the spectacular theming of each resort. The resorts feature at least one restaurant, some quick-service and some table service, and even some fine dining restaurants like Victoria & Albert’s. There are also amazing lounges, such as the tiki bar Trader Sam’s at the Polynesian. It’s fun to venture away from the parks and change up the scenery. Some resorts also offer entertainment, like The Hoop-Dee-Do Musical Revue at Fort Wilderness, or you can meet characters at Character Dining restaurant, like Alice or Cinderella at 1900 Fare Park, or Lilo and Stich at ‘Ohana.
7. Photo Pass Service
It’s important to capture your magical moments at the parks and the Photo Pass Service is an excellent way to make sure that happens. Photo Pass photographers will happily take your photo with your own camera or phone, as well as use their own camera. This way you have the option to purchase the photo they have taken on their camera, but you also have photos of your entire group in the most picturesque spots in the parks, at no extra cost. Look into the Memory Maker option before your trip for to receive ALL your Photo Pass photos for one set price.
6. Nighttime Shows
Some nighttime shows or parades have two showings, and if that is the case, the later show is typically less busy. With more people watching the first showing, attraction line ups are often less busy so use that time to go on rides, and then stick around for the later showing of the parade. This is definitely a good idea when there are two showings of Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios or Rivers of Light at Animal Kingdom.
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5. Character Meet and Greets
There are so many characters to meet at Disney, that you could spend your whole visit waiting in line to meet them. It’s a good idea to decide which characters you would like to meet and take a look at their meet and greet times. For popular characters, it might even be worth it to book a FastPass+ depending on the length of the lines. Character dining is a great way to meet characters without waiting in line. This way you get a fabulous meal and the characters will come visit you at your table!
4. Have a Plan
For some, part of the enjoyment of a Disney vacation is the anticipation that comes from the planning and counting down the days until you arrive. There are different levels of planning, some people like to make spreadsheets and plan out each day, and some people just like to plan where to eat and make their FastPass+ reservations. Even a little bit of planning, like knowing which rides you simply must ride, can help you get the most out of your trip to Disney. It helps to take a look at a park map the night before, and just see what you want to do and what you don’t mind missing out on this trip if there isn’t time.
3. Water Parks
Disney has two water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach and they are fabulous and a ton of fun! If you don’t want to spend a full day at the water parks, you can experience most of what they have to offer in a half day and then visit a park for the other half. The water parks offer the same fantastic Disney theming that Disney fans love and they offer attractions and experiences for everyone, from thrilling slides like Summit Plummet and the Storm Slides, or Cross Country Creek for those who just want to lazily drift along. The water parks offer guests some amazing experiences that cannot be found at any other park at Disney World.
2. Visit During a Special Event
Disney has a number of special events, parties, celebrations and festivals that occur during specific times of the year, such as Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Mickey Christmas party, and the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. Visiting during a special event or holiday will give you the chance to see Disney go above and beyond in their celebrations and you can see the parks in a different light with the seasonal decorations. It’s an opportunity to experience the park in a different way.
1. Stay on Property
There are so many advantages to staying on Disney property, and it will help ensure that you do get the most out of your visit to Disney World. You will feel surrounded by magic at all times, from the wake up call you can get from a Disney character in the morning (usually Stitch) until the evening when you visit the shop at your resort, or take a late night dip in the pool. You also get to take advantage of extra magic hours. Depending on the day, particular parks will be open an hour early, or later, for guests of Disney resorts only. This means a less crowded park and less time spent waiting in line for rides.