10. Water is free
So many guests feel ripped off paying $3.50 multiple times a day for Dasani water bottles—but you don’t have to do this. Just head to the counter of any quick service restaurant (where you would go to pick up food) and ask for a cup of water and the cast members will be glad to give you one for free. If the taste of Florida tap water is what keeps you from doing this, don’t worry! The water you get for free from quick service locations is actually filtered and comes out of the soda machines.
9. The importance of hitting the parks early
Disney pros know how important it is to get up early and get to the parks, especially if you were unable to get Fastpasses for certain attractions like Avatar Flight of Passage for instance. Rather than showing up at Animal Kingdom in the afternoon when the ride has a 2 or 3 hour wait, head there first thing in the morning when the park opens.
8. And staying out late
Another way to experience the big attractions with little wait times is to stay out late. Magic Kingdom for instance, generally clears out a little bit after the fireworks, leaving many attractions with shorter lines. If the line for something is still longer than you’re willing to wait, get in line right before the park closes. If the park closes at 12, you’ll be able to ride as long as you enter the line by then. This is a great way to experience an attraction with a long wait without taking any more time out of your day to do so.
7. If there are two of any nighttime show—see the second one
One prime example of this is Fantasmic. If you go to the first Fantasmic, you’ll need to be waiting at least an hour early, and the show is more than likely going to go to standing room alone—meaning that if you don’t get there early enough you’re probably not going to be very happy. The second showing never has a long wait, because there is only a half hour break after the first show ends for the cast members to clean the theater before the next show can begin loading. By seeing the second show, it will be much less crowded and you’ll never have to wait more than 30 minutes.
6. Adults can order kids meals at quick service locations
If you’re looking to save money, or just don’t have much of an appetite, know that adults can order off the kids menu at quick service restaurants. This can be a great option for a light lunch or doing the parks on a budget.
5. PhotoPass photographers take your photos for free
So many guests shy away from PhotoPass photographers because they’re worried that they’ll be charged for having their picture taken, but this simply isn’t true. If you want, the photographers don’t even need to use their cameras. Most (although there are some exceptions) will be more than happy to take pictures of you with your own camera for free.
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4. Disney isn’t just for kids
Disney pros are probably sick of being told that Disney is only for kids—because they know that this is a huge misconception. Disney is for all ages! 0 – infinity!
3. If you trade pins, buy them ahead of time
Buying pins to trade in the parks can be expensive and add up to a lot of money very quickly. To alleviate this, I’d recommend buying your pins online ahead of time, from places like Ebay. This way you can buy lots of 50 or 100 pins to bring with you to trade for what it would cost for only a couple of pins if you purchase them in the parks. Make sure they are official Disney pins, though, as you can’t trade unofficial pins in the parks.
2. What attractions to get Fastpasses for
Disney pros definitely know which attractions need Fastpasses and which ones do not. For instance, do not get Fastpasses for things like Mickey’s PhilharMagic or MuppetVision, or shows that do not have a long wait anyway. (Remember the wait for shows is really just the time when the show starts.) Unless your Fastpass gets you reserved seating for a show, save it for an attraction that you know would have a long wait time.
1. The best time to visit
Every Disney pro has their favorite times to visit the parks. I prefer the Fall, because I love going to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party, and the crowds are pretty moderate compared to other times of year. Even if you’re limited with vacation time due to school and work, you’ll be a Disney pro in no time by researching the different crowd levels and events taking place year-round, and determining the best time for you to visit.