So, we decided to start building a definitive list, with the top 100 tips for vacationers to make the most out of their trip to Disney World's parks. The only difference is that we're going to be building it with the help of you, our subscribers and visitors. This list is going to be driven by vacationers, fans, and enthusiasts, from their own experiences, and then voted on. Here are the parameters:
- Tips can be about anything to do with a Disney World vacation, such as buying travel or admission tickets, traveling to Orlando, traveling within Orlando, dining, hotels, inside the parks, etc.
- For the theme parks, we are limiting tips to the main 4; Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios.
- FastPass+ - Most people don't know this, but after purchasing an admission ticket for the parks, you can start making selections (basically making time reservations for rides and attractions) as early as 30 days before you arrive. And the best part? There is no extra charge for this complimentary benefit.
- Disney World Restaurants - If you plan on dining at WDW's amazing restaurants, and they do have some of the best restaurants in the Country, then plan on making reservations as soon as possible. All the restaurants begin taking reservations 180 days out, BUT.. they begin taking reservations online 1 hour earlier than the phone lines open. Have your DisneyWorld.com account set up beforehand, and ensure that you'll secure reservations at your top restaurant choices.
Below are a few of our top responses so far...
- Do not purchase meal plans. You will find you are eating more & when you don't want to. Save your money. Keep your dining options open.
- If you are staying on the Disney Resort, once booked, start making reservations at hard to get in restaurants right away. Theses book up fast. Even if the days are more than 6 months out you can still make reservations by having your confirmation number.
- One of the best times for Northerners to visit Orlando is the end of August. The schools in the South are back in session and the crowds are manageable. Hotel prices can be considerably lower both on and off property.
- For our last couple of visits, we've taken our own meals, prepared ahead of time, and cook them in a crock pot. This has saved us lots of money at the parks, and we have a nice meal waiting on us when we need a break
- make sure your smartphone is fully charged as it is a key tool for the new Fast Pass process
- If someone needs an electric scooter, arrange for one to be waiting for you when you arrive at your hotel. That way the person needing the scooter can enter the park on it rather than having to figure out how to get to the park to rent one on site. The hotels are very accommodating. When your vacation is over, you just leave it in the hotel lobby. Fantastic service!
- We've rented a vacation club timeshare for about the last four years, from a third party site and the rooms cost us about half of what it would to book the same through Disney
- Purchase a disney gift card prior to entering parks as u only need to swipe card when purchasing snacks and beverages. Keep ur wallet at home.
- My family loves Walt Disney World Orlando. The best way to stretch your Disney dining budget is to eat breakfast or lunch at the theme parks. You can usually have a great character dining experience and pay less for breakfast or lunch than the cost of a dinner. I don't know about your family, but mine will get up early and want to start the day at Disney early. This makes a character breakfast a no brainer.
- If you have only been to Disney World, and many times, Go To Disney Land!! Trust me on this!!
- Rent a car so you can decide on when you arrive or depart a park. It's better than waiting for a shuttle especially at the end of the day when everyone tends to be very exhausted. You want to get to your bed as quickly as you can & on your terms.
- Make sure if your staying at a Disney Property to ask what park opens early and stays open late just for guests staying at a Walt Disney Property.... You can get your favorite ride with little to no waiting 😀
- If you love riding the most popular rides in fantasy land, make sure you get to the park before it opens and as soon as the gates open head there. Your wait time will be minimal. We have been doing this for years.
- If your able to, get the park hopper option. That way you can pace your theme park visits, especially if you have small children