“201 Walt Disney World Tips & Tricks” this post took a bit of writing. I initially started with aiming for 500 Tips & Tricks, then 250 but have settled on 201. However, some of the hacks, tips, tricks, hints & secrets in this post will help you plan a great Disney World vacation. If there are any additional hacks you think we have missed please leave a comment, and perhaps eventually we will reach 500!
1 Create a plan
We all like to relax on vacation taking each day as it comes. However, Walt Disney World is one vacation you must plan!
Disney Theme Parks are massive. None of them can be completed in just 1 day. We have created a great selection of Walt Disney World Planning Tips & Tricks here on Modern Life is Good.
2 Master Fastpass+
A key component for creating your plan is mastering the Fastpass+ system. Fastpass+ is Disney’s attraction reservation system allowing you to book attractions in advance of your visit.
Your Fastpass reservation will enable you to join a much shorter queue so you can experience the ride quicker. Not having reservations will mean longer waits and completing
There are a whole host of rules over Fastpass+ including when you can start booking. The best Fastpass slots will go first to those who know the system and book early.
Our Guide to Fastpass+ will give you all the essential information plus we have additional guides for each theme park.
3 Pace yourself
Take your time. Disney World is huge. It can’t be done in just 1 or 2 days. If you go charging around the World on your first day, trying to do all those big attractions, you will burn out.
4 Have breaks
The Orlando heat can be heavy going especially in the summer months. Plan to have a break during your day e.g. return to your hotel or have a table service meal. Our Guide to Orlando Weather has plenty of other tips to beat the heat.
5 Have plenty to drink
Not drinking enough is perhaps the biggest mistake you can make at Walt Disney World. Carry water and drink regularly. Dehydration and sunstroke are easy to acquire but easy to prevent.
In addition, you don’t have to buy expensive bottles of water. There are plenty of free water points in all parks and all counter service restaurants will give you a free glass of water.
6 Be prepared for every type of weather
Sunscreen, hat & waterproof all might be needed on any day. Have a plan for what to do if the weather turns. Read our guide to Orlando Weather for more tips & tricks.
7 Bring a poncho or waterproof
If it rains when you are in the park you can buy a poncho. However, they are very expensive.
8 Have access to the park Wi-Fi.
Online access is essential in Walt Disney World. The My Disney Experience App is your essential resource for reservations, wait times, maps, showtimes & a lot more.
Wi-Fi is available throughout all parks and resorts at Walt Disney World.
9 Avoid major holidays
Unfortunately, due to leave, avoiding major holidays might be unavoidable. While you will have a great time no matter when you visit Walt Disney World, lower crowds do mean less stress and more fun.
If visiting at the busiest times, is unavoidable, our Guide to Beating Crowds at Disney World might help.
10 Get to the park early
Failed to get a Fastpass for Space Mountain, Soarin or Slinky Dog Dash?
Get to the park for opening. Lines will be quieter the first few hours each day.
11 Don’t attempt to do it all in 1 day.
All Walt Disney World Theme Parks are massive. Epcot, The Magic Kingdom all take at least 2 days to complete. Currently, Hollywood Studios can be completed in 1 day but this will become more difficult as new attractions open.
Attempting a park in 1 day will probably lead to failure, tiredness & grumpy kids. If you do have less time, decide on your must-do attractions before you visit.
12 Consider skipping attractions
While there are some fantastic attractions at Walt Disney World, some are better than others. If time is tight, you will want to skip the odd attraction.
13 Decide what are your must-do attractions
Before you arrive at Walt Disney World let the whole family pick which are their must-do attractions.
14 Shop at the end of the day.
Need a souvenir?
Why waste ride time?
The shops near the entrance at all parks stay open for 1 hour after the park advertised closing time.
15 Avoid Early Extra Magic Hours
The park will be busier following Early Extra Magic Hours.
If you are not stating in a Disney World Resort don’t even consider visiting on an Extra Magic Hours day. You can learn more about Extra Magic Hours in our guide.
16 Don’t arrive at the park late on an Extra Magic Hours day
This is evening worse than attending early on the day! By mid morning the park will be packed.
17 Consider skipping parades & fireworks
Want to ride more attractions?
Queues will often be quieter during parades, nighttime shows and fireworks. Consider skipping them if you are tight on time and want to complete more rides.
18 Check park opening times.
Park opening times vary daily throughout the year and often change last minute.
If you are visiting between late August & December, there will be Halloween or Christmas Parties in The Magic Kingdom on select dates. The park will close early on these dates for guests without party tickets.
19 Make sure the kids are tall enough to ride?
Before planning, attractions make sure everyone who wants to is big enough to ride. Disney enforces height limits rigidly & having a Fastpass will not change the rules. Read our guide to learn more about Height Restrictions & Rider Switch at Walt Disney World
20 If the kids are too small use Rider Switch
There is no reason why older kids and adults can’t ride the attractions if small kids can’t.
Rider Switch allows guests with small children to take turns riding while another adult stays with the child. How Rider Switch works is easy:-
- The entire party should approach the Cast Member at the entrance who will give a Rider Switch Ticket.
- Group 1 will ride the attraction
- Once complete the 2nd Adult, and up to 3 more guests can join him through the Fastpass queue.
21 Don’t forget the sunscreen.
In summer many of us will find our skin will burn & the Orlando Sun can be unforgiving.
22 Consider hiring a stroller
Sure they don’t need a stroller when you visit the local park, but for many small children, they will walk a lot more than back at home.
Be ready to hire a stroller for all under 5s and some older kids too. Hiring is available in all parks but isn’t cheap. If you have a stroller bring it with you!
23 Consider hiring a ECV
Many adults will also find the walking at Walt Disney World difficult. The Orlando heat and humidity can contribute to difficulties.
If you are older, have arthritis or medical issues you may wish to hire an ECV for your vacation, or just for certain days. Further details are available in our Guide to Disabilities at Walt Disney World.
24 If you have a disability let Disney know in advance
Disney World provides extensive facilities for all forms of disabilities including visual, auditory, mobility & cognitive disabilities.
You are able to contact Walt Disney World at (407) 560-2547 or [email protected] prior to your visit to discuss your requirements.
Walt Disney World has created a Disability FAQ which you also might find useful to review.
25 Disney World caters for food allergies and intolerances.
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is the recipient of a FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) Award. The award was given for their dedication to proving a safe and enjoyable dining experience.
Read our Guide to Visiting Disney World with Food Allergies for further information.
26 Book Table Service Restaurants in advance
Disney’s Advanced Dining Reservations are used for making dining reservations at Walt Disney World. All table service restaurants at Walt Disney World accept Advanced Dining Reservations.
Guests can book reservations for Disney restaurants 180 days in advance of their visit. The most popular restaurants do book up fast and can be difficult to book shortly after bookings open.
Standby lines often do not exist for guests without a reservation, and when they do waits can be very long.
We have created a guide with more information about Disney’s Advanced Dining Reservations.
27 Don’t wear new shoes
Make sure your shoes are worn in and comfortable you will be doing a lot of walking. Did you know the British Queen hires someone to wear in her shoes?
28 If there are 2 lines take the left side one
It is all based on the side of the road we drive on. Almost always the left side line is shorter.
29 Budget for extra expenses
Before you arrive, you will probably have paid for your hotel and park tickets but remember dining, gratuities and souvenirs are not cheap. Do you need that extra pair of Mickey Ears?
30 Use Disney Transport
When you stay on site at Disney, you have access to free transportation to the parks and Disney Springs.
Disney offers a list of transport options from all resorts, and they will drop you to virtually the front entrance of all parks. To learn more about Disney Transportation visit our guide.
31 Don’t use the Disney Minnie Van Service
This relatively new service is very similar to Uber & Lyft. However, it is very expensive in comparison to Uber & Lyft for a very similar service.
32 Consider not hiring a car
We think hiring a car is often an unnecessary expense when visiting Walt Disney World. To read more about doing Disney World without a car read our guide.
33 Consider travel time when planning
If you are late for a Fastpass or Advance Dining Reservation you are not guaranteed admission
Walt Disney World is big and getting between places take some time. You must allow adequate time when working between parks.
If using Disney Transport, to travel between most resorts, you must transfer at either a Park or Disney Springs first.
34 Buy a Park Hopper Ticket
We think a park hopping ticket for most guests is essential. You can plan your vacation with increased flexibility if you can hop between parks. It does cost a bit more, but for most guests, we think it is a price worth paying.
35 Only pay for ticket extras you need
Water Parks cost extra on top of basic tickets. Only pay for them if you intend to visit.
Click to learn more about Walt Disney World tickets.
36 Don’t leave parks early
Walt Disney World parks are even more magical at night. Make sure you don’t leave before it gets dark.
All 4 parks have unique nighttime entertainment, plus the last couple of hours of park opening often attracts much quieter waits at the most popular rides.
37 Use the Single Rider Line
A Single Rider Line is available for Expedition Everest, Test Track & Rock N Roller Coaster.
You can save a Fastpass selection by joining the Single Rider Line. As soon as there is a gap on the ride, the cast member will fill it with a single rider.
38 See the shows
Disney World is not all about rides. Check your time guide and try to catch an occasional show. Catching a show also offer the opportunity for a rest and some time out of the sun.
39 Check for refurbishments
Attractions do close for refurbishments and these are usually advertised well in advance. Whilst the majority of these will not ruin your vacation, would you be happy if Flight of Passage was closed?
You can find out more about Walt Disney World Scheduled refurbishments here.
40 Consider which characters you want to meet
Character lines can be very long at Walt Disney World.
Some you can get a Fastpass for, other you can meet in several parks & some you can meet at character meals. Will it be enough seeing characters in a parade?
Consider creating a character strategy. Our guide to meeting characters at Walt Disney World might help.
41 Eat in Epcot
Epcot is the
Your day in Epcot should really include having a meal.
42 Don’t miss Epcot Festivals
There are several festivals held throughout the Epcot year. The Festivals offer unique entertainment & the opportunity to enjoy speciality food served at outdoor kitchens.
The festivals are:
- Epcot International Festival of the Arts
- Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
- Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
- Epcot International Festival of the Holidays
43 Don’t think Epcot is for adults only
Many people have the impression Epcot is for adults. In fact, it is one of our kids’ favorite parks.
While kids will love Turtle Talk and the Seas with Nemo & Friends, the World Showcase is the biggest star for any children with a curious mind
44 Don’t drink too much alcohol in Epcot
Drinking around the World is a fantastic fun Disney experience enjoyed by many adults.
Just remember the Florida sun can be unforgiving if you drink a bit too much alcohol.
45 Ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at night
The ride is much better at night. A better dark ride than even Space Mountain!
46 Ride Jungle Cruise at Night
This one might seem an odd choice, but again it is a very different ride at night.
Don’t miss it!
47 Don’t miss Big Top Treats in Fantasyland
Probably my favorite store in the whole of Walt Disney World.
The chocolate pineapple & strawberries are superb.
48 Don’t Miss Pandora – The World of Avatar
You probably already know this, but Pandora – The World of Avatar should not be missed. In our opinion, it is the best area currently at Walt Disney World. However, that might soon change with the opening of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge.
Pandora opened to the public in May 2017 and is inspired by James Cameron’s Avatar. The area contains 2 main attractions Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey. For more information & tips on Pandora read our guide.
49 Ride Kilimanjaro safaris in the morning
Typically the animals are more active in the morning. However, no two safaris are ever the same. If you have time ride twice.
50 Use the lockers for Kali River Rapids
The previous on ride storage has been removed. Your belonging will get wet, perhaps very wet. Lockers are free and located near the entrance to the attraction.
51 Consider skipping Rivers of Light
Rivers of Light is certainly worth seeing, but if you are short of time it might be worth sacrificing to ride all the other top attractions. The arena is large and many guests will move out of other areas to watch the show.
In our opinion, there are better Night shows at Walt Disney World than R
We walked on Na’vi River Journey during Rivers of Light.
52 Obtain a Fastpass for Flight of Passage
Obtaining a Flight of passage Fastpass is our number 1 tip for your Fastpass Strategy. You should try and book this as soon as reservations open. Don’t expect to get one later in the day, and the standby lines will be very long.
Our Animal Kingdom Fastpass Strategy has Tips & Hints if you do miss out on getting a Fastpass.
53 Don’t go to Toy Story Land on Opening!
Everyone else will be heading to Toy Story land which means other attractions will have light crowds. Get the other attractions done first then visit Toy Story Land.
54 Don’t miss Fantasmic
Rivers of Light might be the newest night-time spectacular at Walt Disney World, but Fantasmic is better. Plus the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Fireworks are well worth seeing too.
55 How to be the rebel spy on Star Tours
I have no idea if this is true. Apparently, if you don’t put your 3D glasses on until the ride starts you have an increased chance of being picked.
56 Arrive early to avoid storms
Mornings are cooler & you can avoid those daily summer afternoon storms during the summer.
Also, if the weather turns bad you should have a Plan B.
57 Find Character Palooza
Character Palooza is an unpublished character meet and
During Character Palooza between 5-10 rare characters will make unscheduled appearances.
This meet & greet will be advertised nowhere and cast members will even deny it exists. The site varies, it may be cancelled by bad weather and the frequency even varies.
The only thing you can guarantee if there is no Fantasmic, there will be no Character Palooza.
58 Wait your turn when meeting characters
If you are in a line, you will meet the character. Characters will occasionally have breaks but they will return.
Cast Members will close the line if the Meet & Greet is scheduled to close.
59 At Character Meals, characters will visit every table
At Character Meals, all tables will be visited! Don’t ruin another table’s experience by jumping on Mickey Mouse. In the unlikely event, you do get missed speak to a Cast Member and they will return.
60 Don’t push or poke characters!
Seriously it does happen, often by adults, and it isn’t nice. Keep an eye on the kids as they can get a bit overexcited.
61 Don’t spend too long with the characters.
It is nice for everyone to have both individual and group photos, but there will also be people behind you.
62 Be patient if a Character goes for a break.
They will be back, and it isn’t the Cast Member manning the line fault that Goofy needs the restroom.
63 Consider taking a mid-afternoon break
Take a break and return to the park in the evening. Not only will it be cooler but crowds often will be lighter.
64 Don’t rely on Crowd Calendars
Look at the crowd calendar on various websites to see if you can pick a pattern of the best days to visit specific parks.
Our experience is these websites often offer conflicting opinions, but by reviewing several, you should start to get an idea of the best time to visit parks.
65 Don’t purchase access to any site that claims they can predict crowds
Nobody can guarantee what the crowds will be like on any particular day in a specific park. While predictions are often right they are also often wrong; it isn’t worth paying for.
There is plenty of free advice available online which is just as accurate.
66 Have some flexibility in your plan
We strongly recommend everyone creates a plan when visiting Walt Disney World. However, a good plan should be able to be easily altered if unexpected events occur.
Events do occur, e.g. bad weather or sickness have some spare capacity so you can catch up.
67 Have a non-park day
Anyone want to try the Ultimate Disney World Resort Hop?
68 Be ready to book your 4th Fastpass
As soon as you join the line for your 3rd Fastpass of the day book your 4th using the My Disney Experience App.
Remember your next Fastpass can even be at another park.
69 Consider splitting Quick Service meals
Quick Service meals can be very large. A family of 4 will usually have plenty to eat by purchasing just 2 or 3 meals.
70 Many Disney Springs restaurants can be booked on Open Table
If you are struggling to book a restaurant on My Disney Experience for Disney Springs check also Open Table. many locations also have table reservations available on the site.
71 Keep checking for Fastpass slots
Reservations do get cancelled and new slots do become available. If Disney extend opening hours new slots will become available.
72 Use Photopass
Photopass allows you to keep the highlights from your Walt Disney World Vacation. Disney’s Photographers will take your pictures which are linked to an online account.
You can view your photographs online or in the My Disney Experience mobile app. There is no charge to have pictures taken or to see them online, but there is if you want to download them.
73 Buy Memory Maker in advance
Memory Maker is a package which allows you to download and keep all the pictures you have taken in a 30-day window including ride photographs
Memory Maker is cheaper to buy before you arrive and is often included as an extra in Disney World resort bookings. You can learn more about Photopass & Memory Maker in our guide.
74 Only pack essential in your park bag
What are the things you must take into the park?
Make a list of what you need e.g. camera, autograph book, poncho. Pack your bag the night before and check it before you leave in the morning.
However, there is a difference between being prepared and being too prepared. Remember you will be carrying your bag all day. Other blogs we find often suggest things to pack which you are unlikely to need.
We have created a guide to what we think you should include in your Walt Disney World park bag.
75 You need to decide early whether you want to stay off-site when visiting Walt Disney World
There are numerous accommodation options throughout Orlando. Accommodation options include luxurious villas, budget motels & 5-star hotels. Many hotels include free transportation to Walt Disney World.
All these options have one big advantage over Walt Disney World Resorts and that is the price. You will get more “Bang for Your Buck” staying off-site!
We have created a guide to help you decide whether to stay on-site or offsite at Walt Disney World.
76 Don’t bring prohibited items into parks
There is a list of items which you are prohibited to bring into any park at Walt Disney World. All guests & their bags are subject to screening before gaining entry to a park.
While the majority of prohibited items at Walt Disney World are relatively obvious, there are a few items which you might find surprising. The link provides more information on Theme Park Rules & Prohibited Items.
77 You don’t need to carry cash at Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World is happy to accept most credit cards. Cards are accepted almost everywhere including the smallest mobile counters.
Guests with Magic Bands & staying in a Disney Resort can setup room charging for purchases inside parks & Disney Springs.
78 ATMs are available
If you do need to obtain cash, then ATMs are located throughout Disney World and can be located on park maps and the My Disney Experience App.
79 Consider quitting smoking before visiting Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World recently banned smoking inside all theme parks. You now have to leave the park to smoke and that includes electronic cigarettes. Is it worth trying to quit before you visit?
80 How to charge your phone at Walt Disney World
Kiosks are located throughout Walt Disney World selling FuelRod portable chargers. Currently, these kits cost $30. Kits include adaptors for all Apple and most Android devices.
Once your charger needs replacing you simply swap it at a kiosk for a new FuelRod. You can replace the FuelRod as often as you want and there is no charge. Your FuelRod is also good for future vacations.
81 Get a Celebration Button
Are you celebrating something during your visit?
Whether it is a birthday or just your first visit a celebration button will let everyone know. Disney Cast Members will even pay you special attention. To collect a celebration button visit Guest Services.
82 Use Orlando International
In our opinion you should avoid Sanford Airport when visiting Walt Disney World.
Getting from Orlando International Airport without a car to Disney World Resorts is a breeze via Disney’s Magical Express. Magical Express is a free service that will transport you and your belongings to Walt Disney World. Magical Express is not available from Sanford.
Our Guide to Walt Disney World Transport has further information.
83 Consider carefully whether to buy the Disney Dining Plan
The Disney Dining Plan is a prepaid meal plan offered at Walt Disney World for those staying in Disney owned resorts. The plan must be booked before arrival with a valid park ticket and is only available to guests staying in a Disney Resort. It is also open to Disney Vacation Club members.
On occasions, the Disney Dining Plan is available free as part of your package. Free dining is one of the best offers Walt Disney World have and should be taken if possible. However, paying out of pocket does not always represent excellent value for money. Visit our Guide to the Disney Dining Plan to learn more.
84 Use snack credits carefully
Aim for purchasing snacks that cost at least $5. Water rarely represents a good use of a snack credit.
85 Make sure you use all your Disney Dining Plan credits
Make sure you use all your snack credits. You can exchange any leftover credits for candy in the Resort Shops before you return home.
You can also use leftover quick service credits for snacks in some shops. 1 quick service credit represents 3 snack credits.
85 Don’t use Table Service credits for breakfast
Breakfast is usually cheaper than lunch or dinner and therefore represents poorer value on the Disney Dining Plan.
86 If you lose something at Walt Disney World
It is easy to lose things at Walt Disney World but perhaps amazingly things often do get found!
If you lose anything at Walt Disney World it is important to report it straight away. Information on how to report your lost items is located here.
87 You don’t need a First Aid kit when you visit parks
88 It is easy to care for babies when visiting parks.
Baby Care Centers are located in all 4 Walt Disney World theme parks. These
You can locate the Baby Centers on park maps & through the My Disney Experience App.
89 If you have a problem visit Guest Relations
Guests Relations are located at all Walt Disney World parks. Guest Relations provide assistance to all guests visiting Walt Disney World including help with reservations and general information.
You can locate Guest Relation on park maps, the Walt Disney World App or ask any Cast Member.
90 Consider buying an annual pass
If you are visiting Walt Disney World several times during the year or have a longer vacation purchasing an Annual Pass might represent good value for money.
91 You can book using Walt Disney World International sites
Walt Disney World runs different offers throughout the year. usually these offers differ depending on which country you reside.
There is nothing stopping you booking from international sites if better offers are available. However, read T&Cs carefully as these also vary considerably.
92 Consider whether you want to use a Disney Vacation Planner
You will find many sites recommend using Disney Vacation Planners. Many Walt Disney World blogs are also Disney Vacation Planners or receive commission off these planners.
We think you can usually purchase a better value vacation by shopping around yourself. We recommend caution before handing your booking exclusively to a Disney Vacation Planner.
93 Take advantage of last minute lines
Lines will be open until park closing time. Everyone who joins the line will ride and this is usually significantly shorter than the advertised wait.
Don’t be put off, take advantage of every last minute in the park.
94 Take the Resort Monorail
Both Magic Kingdom monorails stop at the Transportation and Ticket Center. Despite having more stops the Resort Monorail usually has much shorter lines. You will usually be at the Transportation and Ticket Center quicker.
95 Read dining cancellation instructions
The majority of dining reservations can be cancelled up to midnight prior to your visit. However, the most popular venues do have different rules.
Remember, if you fail to cancel your reservation you will be charged.
96 Take a photo of where you park your car
It is easy to forget where you park your car at Walt Disney World. Take a photo of the location prior to heading into the park.
97 Consider visiting Future World at Epcot on your first day
It can take a little while to get used to the Orlando humidity. Future World contains many large indoor pavilions. These locations are air-conditioned and offer a great opportunity to get out of the heat.
We think Future World is a great place to condition yourself to the Orlando heat & humidity.
98 Don’t visit Animal Kingdom on the first day
The reverse is true of Animal Kingdom. There is very little shelter inside the park and you should visit once you are more conditioned to the Orlando conditions.
99 You can’t buy chewing gum at Walt Disney World
Unlike Singapore chewing gum is not banned at Walt Disney World. However, to reduce its use it is not sold in any shops. If you can’t cope without make sure you bring it with you.
100 Have spare space in your suitcase
You need to be careful with the amount of souvenirs you buy at Walt Disney World. Make sure you keep space in your suitcase to bring them home.
Previously we had to buy an additional rather expensive case at the resort shop to bring our extra items home!
101 Be prepared to split groups up
Getting a dining or Fastpass reservation for a large group can be difficult. Splitting into groups of 4 can usually make the challenge much easier.
102 There are lots of fake pins at Walt Disney World
Disney Pin trading is great fun. However, do not trade expensive pins. Unfortunately, there are lots of fake pins which are difficult to pick up by cast members.
103 Don’t use regular taxis
We have previously discussed
104 Visit Club Cool
We like free things at Modern Life is Good and what isn’t there to like about free Coke products? The Beverly perhaps! Give it a try if you have never tasted it.
Club Cool at Epcot is rumoured to be closing soon but visit before it does.
105 Need to get to The Magic Kingdom from Disney Springs?
Take a bus to the Contemporary Resort and it is just a short walk to the park.
106 Don’t drop rubbish
There are absolutely no excuses for dropping rubbish at Walt Disney World. You never need to walk more than 30 steps to find your nearest trash can.
Walt Disney implemented this after working out that people would drop litter if they needed to walk more than 30 steps.
107 Try and spot Mr Toad
Mr Toad’s Wild Ride was an original park favourite and there were many protests prior to its closure.
Toad can still be seen in a picture at Winnie the Pooh where he hands over the deeds to the ride to Owl. In the pet cemetery of the Haunted Mansion, there is a tombstone for J.Thaddeus Toad.
108 Can I have a Pepsi with that?
Pepsi isn’t sold at Walt Disney World. However, more than 50 million Cokes will be each year.
109 Try and spot Hidden Mickeys
There are thousands of Hidden Mickeys throughout the resort and more are added with each change. A Hidden Mickey is a representation of Mickey Mouse that has been inserted subtly into the design of a ride, attraction or other location.
Why not have a competition to see who can find the most?
110 See Walt’s original vision for Epcot
Epcot was initially intended to be a Utopian City of the future planned by Walt Disney. His original vision did not materialise but the name resurfaced for the 2nd Walt Disney World Park.
Walt Disney’s original plans for Epcot can be seen when riding Tomorrowland Transit Authority.
111 You can’t spread ashes at Walt Disney World
This is strictly not allowed but is a regular occurrence. There are strict cleaning protocols in place should this happen. Uncle Henry is more likely to end up in a Henry than on Dumbo!
If you ever hear a cast member say White Powder Alert or Code 101 ashes have just been discovered.
112 Use Bell Services at your resort
If you arrive early or have a late flight you can still enjoy the parks. Leave your luggage with Bell Services where it will be safe.
113 Share a drink
Walt Disney World sodas are large. Why not share 1 soda and then get a bottle of water as your 2nd drink when getting a
114 Get items delivered to your resort shop
If you are staying in a Disney Resort you don’t have to carry items you purchase all day. Ask the staff to deliver to your resort and you can pick it up from the shop later.
115 Watch videos before you arrive
Let the kids watch films before they visit. They will not be familiar with all characters/films before they visit especially some of the classical characters. Have some family movie nights to catch up with all the latest Disney releases.
116 Hold balloons carefully
They do fly away! I have never been forgiven by Jess!
117 Let the kids do Kidcot at Epcot
Don’t forget to visit Kidcot in each country to complete an activity and collect activity cards. Kidcot helps kids explore different cultures. A new Kidcot was introduced in 2018.
118 Complete Wilderness Explorers
Walt Disney World offers several free interactive games within the parks. Wilderness Explorers is a scavenger hunt in which guests earn badges for completing activities inside the Animal Kingdom. The games are loosely based on the film Up! Examples of badges you can earn include:
- Veterinary Badge – Help diagnose a sea turtle’s health issue
- Dinosaur Badge – Join in the exploration for dinosaur fossils
- Animal Find Badge – Check off each of the animals you see
- Yeti Badge – Find Yeti artefacts and hear about the folklore
In total there are 30 badges to collect. To get started, guests need to collect a field guide from the headquarters which is located on the bridge between the Oasis and Discovery Island.
119 Young kids find its Tough To Be A Bug terrifying
There might be no height restrictions but it probably isn’t suitable for under- 5s.
120 Benefits are similar no matter what Disney Resort you stay in
A Deluxe Resort is more comfortable and the majority are in better positions. However, the majority of resort benefits are provided to all guests. Value Resorts are sometimes great value for money.
121 Decorate your stroller or ECV
Recognising your stroller or ECV is not that easy. Tie some easily identifiable ribbon to make sure everyone knows it is yours.
122 Your stroller might not be where you left it!
Don’t panic! Disney World Cast members often move strollers to manage guest flow.
123 Buy Princess costumes before you visit
If the kids want to dress up when they visit purchase costumes before you visit. You can get similar items much cheaper before you visit.
124 Don’t rush into a DVC purchase
Don’t get carried away with the vacation bug! A Disney Vacation Club purchase is a big decision. Big decisions should probably not be made on vacation.
125 Get a wakeup call from Mickey and the gang
If you are staying at a Disney Resort Mickey can wake you up every day. details are available in your room.
126 Tip Table Service staff
A recommended amount is added to your bill. For groups of 6 or more the tip is compulsory. However, you should tip all wait staff.
127 You don’t tip at counter service locations
Tipping isn’t expected and will usually not be accepted.
128 Tip Mousekeeping each day
Mousekeeping are you room attendants. The cast member can change daily so tip on a daily basis, not at the end of your vacation. Leave a short note too and you will usually get a little extra perk!
129 Cast Members will take your photo.
Just ask and this includes Photopass photographers. They are happy to take an official photo and one on your phone too.
130 Buy guidebooks.
I don’t think I ever visit Walt Disney World without a good guidebook. They are great fun to read at the end of the day or when sat on the plane. Read reviews first, some are much better than others.
131 Let character breakfasts help you beat the crowd
All Walt Disney World parks currently offer character breakfasts which open before he park main opening. By the time you finish your breakfast you will often be ahead of the arriving crowds.
132 Do less popular rides first
If you already have Fastpass Reservations for the most popular attractions join less popular attractions on park opening. You will be amazed how many attractions you can complete in the first few hours.
133 Enter Epcot through World Gateway
If you don’t have a Fastpass for Frozen Ever After the route is quicker than through the main entrance.
134 Visit Spaceship Earth on way out of Epcot
135 The secret entrance to Animal Kingdom
There is an additional entrance to the park inside the Rainforest Cafe. Often it has much shorter waits.
136 Tax rates vary in the resort
Most of the Walt Disney World Resort is in Orange County, Florida which has a tax rate of 6.5% while the most southern Resort hotels and venues are in Osceola County, Florida which has a 7.0% tax rate.
However, the lower tax rate will be honored in all parks but you need to ask.
137 Order your food in advance
Recently Quick Service restaurants at Disney World have started to allow you to order your food ahead of your visit. Via the My Disney Experience
Once you get to your restaurant, hit the “I’m here” button, and you will be notified where to collect your order.
138 Lunch is often cheaper than dinner
If you want to experience a table service restaurant, but are put off by the price, lunch menus serve the majority of the same entrees but at a lower cost.
139 Difficulty getting a dining reservation?
The most popular restaurants do get full quickly. However, cancellations often do happen. Keep checking back regularly on My Disney Experience if you fail to get your booking.
Obtaining reservations is usually easier if you are prepared to eat your main meal at lunch or outside of peak periods.
140 Make sure you book an Advance Dining Reservation if on the Disney Dining Plan
Standby lines often do exist, but if you are on the Disney Dining Plan do not risk getting a table on the day. There is no refund available if you do not manage to use all your table service credits.
141 You need a valid park ticket to eat in a park restaurant
Remember you need a valid theme park ticket to enter a park restaurant. If your ticket isn’t valid, you will not be permitted to enter the park.
142 Read reviews before deciding which restaurants to eat at in Walt Disney World
Before deciding where to book read reviews on Walt Disney World Restaurants. The majority of Walt Disney World Restaurants are excellent, but the food will not suit all tastes.
143 Tables in Wonderland
Tables in Wonderland is exclusive to Florida Residents, Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members.
The card gives a 20% discount on food and alcohol at over 100 restaurants and is worth considering to purchase.
144 Use Annual Pass and Disney Vacation Club Discounts
Annual Pass holders and Disney Vacation Club members are entitled to various discounts. Make sure you use them!
145 Catch a Dinner Show
There are two long-established Dinner Shows at Walt Disney Wolrd
- Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at the Fort Wilderness Camp Ground. The longest-running show at Walt Disney World full of audience participation.
- Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show at the Polynesian Village Resort. Enjoy Hula Dancing & more at this family feast.
While the food isn’t the best, Dinner Shows are great fun.
146 Dress correctly for restaurants
The majority of Resort Signature Dining Restaurants have a dress code:
- Men: Khakis, slacks, jeans or dress shorts and collared shirts. Sport coats are optional.
- Women: Capri pants, skirts, dresses, jeans or dress shorts.
- Not permitted in Signature Dining Rooms: tank tops, swimsuits, swimsuit cover-ups, hats for gentlemen, cut-offs, torn clothing and t-shirts with offensive language and graphics.
147 Visit the World’s largest Disney store
The World of Disney at Disney Springs is the World’s largest Disney Store and has just had a massive upgrade. You can almost every Disney item you could ever need inside the store. Accept for one…….
148 It is almost impossible to buy a birthday card inside Walt Disney World
Mrs Modernlifeisgood has never really forgiven me, but you would expect buying a birthday card would be easy! However, there are very few locations that sell cards of any kind and that includes amazingly The World of Disney.
149 Bring your own food and drinks
You are able to bring your own snacks and drinks inside the park. However, no glass or alcohol is allowed.
150 Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom
Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom is a great way to have some additional fun in the Magic Kingdom.
Stop by the Firehouse on Main Streett to receive your Sorcerer Key Card, Merlin’s mystical map and spell cards. Both adults and kids will enjoy the challenges.
151 You can bring your dog to some Walt Disney World Resorts
I have no idea why you would want to, but you can bring your dog to 4 resorts. Art of Animation, Port Orleans – Riverside, Yacht Club and The Cabins at Fort Wilderness allow up to 2 dogs in select resorts.
Dogs however are not allowed in the parks and there are various rules and regulations. Contact Disney for further information.
152 Service dogs are allowed
The majority of service dogs are allowed inside parks and can even ride with you on some attractions at Walt Disney World.
153 Can we share tickets?
Walt Disney World tickets are non transferable.
154 Shop around for tickets
While the Walt Disney World website makes picking tickets easy, there are usually several ways to purchase slightly cheaper tickets.
However, when looking for tickets, you should purchase from reputable retailers only. Search online to check reviews from previous guests before buying.
155 Never buy second-hand tickets
It is impossible to know whether the advertised unused days are correct plus Disney scan guests fingers prior to admission. All tickets are untransferable & it is highly likely that your tickets will be useless.
156 Don’t buy tickets off eBay
Don’t buy off eBay or from other site offering extremely cheap tickets. There is a good chance they will be a con.
There are several legitimate authorised ticket dealers and while they will offer some discount it is usually only small.
157 Beware of Timeshare companies
If a deal seems too good to be true it probably isn’t genuine. Timeshare companies often offer cheap tickets but you must be very careful before taking up any offers!
158 Set your budget and stick to it
Walt Disney World vacations are not cheap and extras soon add up. Set a budget for your vacation and stick to it.
We have some budget planning sheets in our free Walt Disney World Planners.
159 Research flights early
Prices of flights do vary, and the best time to book does differ from country to country. Look online for historical dates of price fluctuations and sales.
160 Use cashback sites
Cashback sites are a great way to get a little of your vacation price back. Simply click from the site and get some of your money back at a later date.
161 Make sure passports are valid
Check as soon as possible if you will need a new passport for your vacation if traveling outside of the US.
162 Do you need an ESTA or Visa?
Check the requirements early of what you will need to enter the US.
163 Ask for a refill soda at table service restaurants
Refill sodas are free at Walt Disney World Table service restaurants. If you ask for a refill at the end of your meal you will be given in a cup you can takeaway.
164 Tour from back to front
Most guests will start at the front of a park. Head straight to the back on opening for the shortest lines.
165 Use the restroom before getting in line
Wait can be long therefore it is better to be prepared. Visit the restroom before you join a long line.
166 Visit Walt Disney World outside of school holiday
There increasingly seems to be no off-peak season at Walt Disney World, but crowds are still lighter when the kids are in school.
167 You can return items to any store
the majority of items can be returned to any store if something is not quite right. You do not have to visit the store you originally made the purchase from.
168 Pressed pennies
An alternative to pin trading, without the risks fakes, is collecting pressed pennies. Pressed penny machines are located all over Walt Disney World. The majority of these machines have unique presses.
169 Have some warm clothes for the winter evenings
It can get quite cold in Orlando during winter evenings. Make sure you have a warm coat and perhaps some trousers.
170 Watch the Electrical Water Pageant
The Electrical Water Pageant is a little bit of Walt Disney World history and was part of the opening day attractions. There have been a few changes over the years, but sea creatures still sail across Seven Seas Lagoon nightly with accompanying Disney tunes.
Click the link to see what time you can see the Electrical Water Pageant.
171 Can I pay for extra Fastpass+?
For the majority of guests, the answer to this question is no. However, guests staying in Club Level or select Suites do now have the option of purchasing additional Fastpass Reservations. Guests must buy this option for a minimum of 3 days during their vacation but it isn’t cheap.
Our Guide to Fastpass has further information.
172 What is a MagicBand?
It is a rubber band that goes on your wrist which contains Magic! Actually they are not magical, but they are very clever.
MagicBands contain a whole host of information about your stay. A built-in Radio Frequency Identification Chip provides the technical stuff. They act as your park tickets, your room key, your room charge card, your Fastpasses are linked with them, they manage your dining reservations and your Disney Dining Plan.
MagicBands pretty much they control your entire Walt Disney World Vacation.
173 How do I get a MagicBand?
If you are staying at a Disney Resort, you get them for free. Your band will be shipped to your home address in the US only or can be picked up at your resort reception.
Other guests can buy a band in advance or at the parks.
174 Do I need a MagicBand?
Not at all you can still use a traditional ticket for you park entry and Fastpass+ but you will miss out on the further interactions.
175 Download the My Disney Experience app.
My Disney Experience is an app you can use while in the park to keep track of your plans, review your photographs and book further experiences.
You can learn more about My Disney Experience in our dedicated guide.
176 What time should my Fastpass be?
You probably should avoid Fastpass in the first couple of hours after park opening. Lines are usually quieter then. Try and complete your initial three selections by late morning/ early afternoon. This should provide you with additional time to grab further choices or hop to another park.
177 you don’t need a Fastpass for the following at
While you can never be sure which line guests choose to join. It is highly likely you will not need a Fastpass for:
- Ariel’s Grotto
- Mickey’s Philarmagic
- Monsters Inc Laugh Floor
Unless the park is jam-packed you can probably add the following attractions to this list
- Mad Hatters Teacups
- Magic Carpets
- The Barnstormer
- It’s a Small World
- Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid
178 Fastpass selections at the Magic Kingdom
In our opinion, the following attractions should usually be Fastpass selections.
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Big Thunder Mountain
- Splash Mountain unless it is cold
- Enchanted Tales with Belle
- Space Mountain
Unfortunately if you are visiting for only 1 day you will be only able to pick 3 initial selections. It is unlikely that you can pick up Fastpass selections later on and all attract some very long waits.
179 Attractions that never need Fastpass at Epcot
The following 4 attractions never need a Fastpass at Epcot even on the busiest days:
- Disney/Pixar Short Film Festival
- Turtle Talk with Crush
- IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
- Mission Space (Green)
180 What Fastpass should I book at Epcot?
There are 3 big attractions in Epcot:
- Frozen Ever After
- Test Track
All 3 of these attractions are in Fastpass Group A along with IllumiNations and the Epcot Character Spot.
Frozen remains the most popular of all 3 and is usually the hardest Fastpass to get. For most guests, Frozen should be your number 1 choice. However, if you don’t have small children you might consider giving it a miss.
181 What should be my number 1 Fastpass at Hollywood Studios?
Slinky Dog Dash is the current Hottest Attraction in Walt Disney World. However, it is not attracting similar waits to Flight of Passage at the Animal Kingdom, but standby lines regularly exceed 2 hours.
We believe you should put every effort into obtaining a Fastpass for Slinky Dog Dash. Make sure you know your key booking windows to get the best chance of securing a Fastpass.
182 What should be my Tier 2 Choices at Hollywood Studios?
This is relatively easy assuming you are brave enough to ride!
Rock N Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror still attract long waits and should be your Tier 2 Selections.
183 Catch rare characters at Epcot
This is far from guaranteed, but rare characters do turn up at Epcot. Disney characters sometimes train at the International Gateway. If you catch them you may see rare characters with minimal waits.
184 Find a Hidden Donald
There are Hidden Mickeys everywhere but can you spot a Hidden Donald?
Hint, it is in the Haunted Mansion.
185 The Kiss Goodnight
The Kiss Goodnight is a little extra unadvertised show in the Magic Kingdom. Starting approximately 15 minutes after the park officially closes.
Keep you eye on Cinderella’s Castle to watch the show which lasts around 2 minutes.
186 Movies under the stars
The majority of Disney World Resorts play Disney Movies outside every night.
187 Check out what your resort offers
Walt Disney World Resorts often have special entertainment options which are free to participate in. In addition, there are special activities which can come with an extra charge.
When checking in ask the cast member what is available at your resort.
188 Try and spot DiVine
Part human and part tree this fascinating lady is very hard to spot at Animal Kingdom.
189 Don’t be put off by bad weather
Many other people will be, but you can have a great time in the rain!
190 There are no bathrooms in Liberty Square
I never realised this until I started researching this post!
191 Collect Transportation Trading Cards
The best thing about Transportation Trading Cards is they are free. Ask your driver or a cast member at monorail stations for the cards.
192 Listen to secret conversations
There are pay phones located in Tomorrowland and Main Street. Pick the phone up to listen into an interesting conversation!
193 Jungle Cruise Map
Ask your skipper for a map of the cruise!
194 Arrive early at Christmas!
Parks will often reach capacity by 10 am.
195 Go when the kids are under-10
This is a person irritation that Walt Disney World charges adult prices from age 10. While prices of tickets are not that much more the Disney Dining Plan is considerably more expensive and you can not transfer alcoholic drinks to adults in the party.
196 Bring a change of clothes
Wet rides, spills or just humidity might mean you want to put on some fresh clothes in the evening. Bring them with you to avoid returning to your hotel.
197 Some rides will close during storms
Some rides will close at Walt Disney World during storms or during threats of. Schedule Fastpass selections for rides such as Test Track, Expedition Everest outside of the afternoon storm period.
198 Don’t skip Disney Springs
There is a lot to do and see at Disney Springs including free entertainment. For further information visit our Guide to Disney Springs.
If you have time visit Disney’s other entertainment venue the Boardwalk. The Boardwalk is a great place to spend few hours, usually without massive crowds.
199 Visit a Disney Outlet
For those unfamiliar; the Disney’s Character Warehouse is a Disney Outlet where excess Disney Theme Park & Cruise Line merchandise are sold. There are 2 outlets you can visit:-
- Orlando Premium International Outlets on International Drive
- Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets near Disney Springs
Many items are heavily discounted in the stores and guests can grab themselves a bargain. Many of the items sold are still
200 Don’t be overwhelmed
The planning of a Walt Disney World Vacation can seem initially overwhelming but it really is fairly straight forward. Obtain a few good guidebooks and do online research and you will soon be able to create a perfect plan.
While Disney World planning mistakes and mishaps do happen they rarely ruin a vacation
201 Have fun at Walt Disney World
Our final tip is after all the planning make sure you have fun.
Relax you are on vacation. Go with the flow!
I want to eventually get this post to 500 Walt Disney World Tips & Tricks. If you have any tips which you think we should include please leave a comment
Learn more about Walt Disney World
Our Guide to Walt Disney World for 2019 is a great starting place to plan your Walt Disney World Vacation. Our guide has tips, hints and tricks to plan a perfect vacation.