You know what I find to be so awesome about the Disney World community? That the people are so welcoming and happy to share Disney tips that can make your Disney vacation even more amazing. And since there are SO many Disney fans out there, there is a lot of Disney World tips and tricks that get passed around a lot, if of course you know where to look for it. That’s where we come in. We want to be that source you go to to learn about all things Disney and of course Disney tips. We want our readers to think, “Wow, they sure know a lot about _____.” And what better way to share what I know than to give you the BEST Walt Disney Tips, Tricks, & Hacks article? This is the place to learn about a few of them!
If you’ve been able to read our other articles about the Disney World parks, you may find some tips in here that we’ve already mentioned. This article is basically a sort of “catch-all” of the best Disney tips and tricks, drawing from the pool of other articles we’ve written. So you KNOW that these are the best ones, right?!
So let’s get to those Disney tips.
Use Express Transportation
Since last year, Disney has offered guests with park hopper tickets an opportunity to purchase an Express Transportation pass. This pass enables the guest to easily travel from one park to another on a separate Disney bus, instead of using the all-resort guests transportations options. Guests check-in at a special area of the park (usually near a backstage area) where you wait for the next bus to take you to whatever park you would like to go to. Guests can purchase daily or weekly passes, and that amount has changed a few times so check with Disneyworld.com for current pricing. Using this upgraded transportation can save you as much as a couple if you tend to visit multiple parks per day. And since this service is fairly new, the number of guests that are using it is still small, so the buses aren’t crowded and you shouldn’t have to wait long in the special queue.
Make Fastpass+ Reservations From Most in Demand to Least in Demand
So you’ve booked you hotel, bought your park tickets, and made dining reservations. Now you are just waiting for that 60 day mark to hit so that you can make Fastpass+ reservations. Once that day comes, you decide to go in chronological order of the days of the your trip to make those reservations. But wait! What you SHOULD do is some research and preparations beforehand. Make a list of what days and attractions you want to experience, and determine which of those are the hardest Fastpasses to get i.e. Seven Dwarves Mine Train (SDMT). Instead of the starting to make reservations for the first day of your trip, start with the “hardest to get” attraction Fastpass, whichever day that ends up being. So if you plan on visiting the Magic Kingdom on day 3 of your trip, and you want to ride SDMT in the afternoon, make the Fastpass FIRST. Chances are, it might not be available for a specific day and time and you’ll have to make changes to your plans. But it is easier to get a Fastpass for Spaceship Earth than SDMT, so you should try to be flexible in your planning to get those high in-demand Fastpasses.
Always Go At “Rope Drop” To Avoid the Biggest Crowds
As Disney tips go, you’ll read this on literally every dedicated Disney fan website, but it bears repeating… GET TO THE PARKS BEFORE IT OPENS! The parks, especially Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom (with the opening of Pandora: The World of Avatar), it is best to arrive at the parks about 30 minutes before the park officially opens to be one of the first guests to enter. Doing this insures that you’ll have lower wait times for popular attractions, the temperature isn’t as harsh, and you will get more done in a shorter amount of time. Within 2 hours of the park opening, you’ll see wait times climb higher and higher, it gets hotter and more humid, and you’ll be battling hoards of people everywhere. This is all especially true during peak visiting times like the summer months, holidays, and special events. As I write this in the middle of summer, Magic Kingdom is seeing very long wait times within 3 hours of opening, with Space Mountain having a 125 minute wait! I don’t know about you, but I’d rather wake up early, arrive at the parks early, and ride as much as I can in order to avoid 2 hour wait times!
Take Afternoon Breaks When It’s The Most Crowded and Hottest
This next tips sort of relates to the last one. Because of the high crowds and high temperatures as the clock nears the afternoon, why not take a break? For those families that get to the parks at rope drop, it’s not a bad idea to get out of the heat and away from the people and long lines around 2 or 3pm. For myself and my family, we can only handle about 4 hours before we need a break. We head back to the hotel, nap or just relax by the pool, then head back out to the parks or Disney Springs for dinner and more fun! With all of the walking you do coupled with the heat, you will definitely be tired, especially the little ones. The A/C feels amazing after being in 90-100 degrees for a few hours.
Buy Your Disney Tickets From a Certified Discount Broker
I don’t know anyone that has said they don’t like saving money. Everyone likes to save! One way that you can do this is to buy your park tickets from a third party ticket broker instead of directly through Disney. There are only a few companies that are approved to do this, so do some research before buying. I want to make it known that these discounts are not very much, maybe up to 5% off of Disney rack rates. For families on a budget, though, I would definitely go this route. The tickets can be linked to your My Disney Experience account, as the tickets these official brokers sell are the same that Disney sells – no difference. *Note: do not buy from anyone on eBay or Craigslist claiming to sell tickets at a very steep discount. These tickets have no guarantee of actually working and MANY people have been ripped off by doing this.
Buy Disney Gift Cards At Target or Sam’s Club
One of my favorite Disney tips that is also a great money saving tip that we have been using for years is to buy Disney gift cards at Target using a Target Red Card or buying them at Sam’s Club. Many people don’t know that you can buy discounted gift cards to begin with so this is a method that you can use to save money on more places than just Disney World in the future. At Sam’s Club the gift cards are always sold at a discount and typically you can save 5% off the retail price, at Target you can also save 5% off gift cards but it requires you to register a Target Red Card. For those that don’t know, a Target Red Card isn’t a credit card but it’s basically a Target Debit Card that is connected to your bank account which enables you to save 5% off your entire purchase when using your Red Card. Great way to save a little more money on a few items you may need for your trip as well I might add.
What I always tell people to do is figure out how much they expect to spend on food, souvenirs, hotel room charges (if staying on property) and anything else you plan on purchasing on Disney property. Then just go buy that amount in gift cards at Target or Sam’s, and you’ve saved yourself 5% before you even leave for your trip. Now the savings aren’t insane by any means but it can add up, especially if you are an annual pass holder who gets discounts on food and other things in conjunction with the additional 5% off.
As an example if you plan on spending around $1,000 on food, drinks, etc and you buy that amount in Disney gift cards using this method, you can save around $50. I don’t know about you but I’ll take saving $50 anytime, especially if it’s on my vacation as that savings in money can be an entire meal, souvenir or something else. The other added benefit to this method is that you don’t have to spend additional money while on your trip, it’s already been budgeted and paid for so it can make for perhaps a more relaxing and enjoyable trip without having to watch your bank account balance while on vacation.
Rent Points To Stay On Property
A favorite Disney tip of mine and one that we use on just about every trip is to rent Disney Vacation Club points to stay at Deluxe resorts on Disney property! It’s a great way to stay at top of the line resorts up to half off the rack room price many times, in fact typically you can stay at some Deluxe resorts for the same price that you would pay for a moderate Disney resort just by renting points. There are a couple of ways you can do this but the way we do it is to rent points through David’s Vacation Club Rentals. They have been around for a long time, are very helpful, knowledgeable and make the whole process very smooth.
So those are our favorite Disney tips! As I said before, there are MANY more, but following the ones above that I mentioned will help you in having a less stressful and more enjoyable vacation. I love going to Disney World, and knowing that other families can benefit off of information I give them makes me SOOOOOOO happy. It’s like the Disney version of “Pay It Forward.” I hope you keep these Disney tips in mind while planning your next trip and they help you save time, money, and patience!
What other tips, tricks, or hacks do you follow when going to Disney World?
By Jamie Lee
Jamie is a lifelong Disney fanatic that has been going to Disney parks since she was a child. She is the head writer here at Capture The Magic & co-host of the Capture The Magic Podcast. When she isn't planning her next Disney vacation, she can be found helping people plan their own Disney vacations and enjoying quality time with her family.
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