Back in 2010-2011 I had the incredible opportunity to work at Disney World back in the day. I knew all the parks like the back of my hand and had fast pass down to a science! But now a lot has changed. Fast passes are done months in advance, many times you need reservations for tickets and many things (because of covid) are different at Disney right now.
1. Disney World App: This will save your trip! You will find everything from park hours, maps, ride wait times, show times, names of rides, restaurants, order food, bathrooms, and more! Be sure and have a phone & person in the family designated just for this as you will be using it many times throughout the day!
2. Staying on property vs. not: We don’t have a clear answer to this. Our family has really enjoyed staying off property because we have some friends nearby, as well as a favorite little resort “Embassy sweats.” (See our post on it here). But this is not to say it’s not a blast or worth it to stay on site! There are many great package deals you can get for your stay, food and tickets all wrapped into one. They way you Uber/taxi right to Disney and they’ll take you around all week! - Saving yourself on rental and tolls (see here for our post on Orlando’s car rental tips). It can also be enjoyable to stay off site so you can do more on your off days of Disney. Check out all our info on Florida here!
3. Saving money on food and snacks: We typically eat breakfast before we go in. Have a fun snack at a stand (pretzels/etc.) but our best tip is to bring what we call ‘between snacks’. Goldfish or graham crackers really help while you are in line or waiting. We buy one fresh water at the beginning and then fill it up in drinking fountains. We like to save our second snack of the day for something sweet like ice cream - also gives you something to look forward to and bride for pictures all day :) Ordering food: you can order right on the Disney app!
4. Say Cheese, all about pictures: We love documenting our day with pictures and videos. Our suggestion is to have one phone or camera that is the main one for capturing because you will be using the other one for the map, using the app and fast passes! We also have tips on our favorite pictures spots for each park on the tips for each park. Click on Florida and pick the park you want to know about.
5. TAKE A DAY OF REST!: Disney is amazing but this is our biggest tip. BE SURE AND PLAN A DAY OF REST! It is so much walking, standing and it gets very hot! This can drain anyone. Be sure and plan a day at your hotel or resort and just chill. You will be thankful and have a much enjoyable trip the rest of the time.
6. Parking (if you’re not staying on property): It’s $25.00 for a day pass. The cast members are very helpful in directing you into the next available parking spot. After getting lathered up with sunblock, don’t forget to take a picture of your row! You may think you’d remember but by the end of the day- it’s the first thing you’ll forget :)
7. Lines/Waiting with kids: We've always said if there are a lot of people, it must be a lot of fun! This is so true with Disney and they have created the best possible scenarios for you to get through lines and make your wait times the best possible experience with this many people. We have a few tips with waiting and suggest reading over our list of 'games that need no supplies." These are great games to play while in line or waiting. We also suggest bringing along small snacks to help keep kids busy as well. If you have little ones we suggest having a cloth carrier as the lines are many times where they fall asleep.. your back will thank-you later:)
8. Strollers and baby carriers: Bring it all! If your kids are young enough bring a cloth pack AND a stroller. Even though it’s a hassle at times to get it on and off while traveling, for younger kids there is many times you need a stroller. There are also many times while waiting in line you
cannot have a stroller. We loved having a pack for our 0-3 year old to be able and hold her in line without breaking our backs. See our tips on packs here. We really enjoyed having 2, single kid strollers to zip around with rather than a double stroller. But this is up to your preference of course!
(Reminder: you can bring strollers/carrier packs for free on flights. See our tips for flying with kids here and Flying during Covid here)9. Treasure Hunts! Because we went during 2020 and we weren’t sure what was going to be closed or who we would see… we decided to make scavenger hunts for each park! This really helped to make things more enjoyable for our little ones and they didn’t get so disappointed if it was closed:) Our favorite is Animal Kingdoms but we have it for Magic Kingdom too!
10. YOU are the one that makes it magical! Magical moments are designed by Walt Disney years ago, but if you don’t make it magical for yourself, it’ll be the least favorite time of your life. Prep your kids ahead of time and get them excited for the ‘small’ things like riding the tram into Disney or finding the hidden Mickeys! Prepare them ahead of time how many toys they can buy so you aren't frustrated and they are stoked about the one toy they get! There are so many special moments that can be found, we just have to make a choice to make it magical :)