Are you visiting Walt Disney World? Wondering how to keep everyone happy, keep cool & beat the crowds? Our Walt Disney World Survival Guide, updated for Summer 2019, will help you have a fantastic Walt Disney World Vacation.
Walt Disney World is the most visited vacation resort in the world with over 52 million guests visiting annually. There are eighteen themed resort hotels, ten Disney Vacation Club Resorts, four theme parks, two water parks, several golf courses, a camping resort, and various other entertainment venues. With so much to see it is natural to wonder how you will “Survive at Walt Disney World”.
Our Disney World Survival Guide Tips will soon make your trip a little less daunting.
Create a Plan
Disney Theme Parks are massive. None of them can be completed in just 1 day. To survive your Walt Disney World Vacation you must complete a plan. Not planning and you may miss those must-do attractions.
We have created 2 guides which you might find useful:-
- Our Walt Disney World Planning Timeline gives you all the key dates to plan your Walt Disney World Vacation.
- Our Free Walt Disney World Planners allow you to record your plans and make sure nothing is missed.
Don’t Be too Rigid
You have a plan, FastPass reservations, entertainment planned & dining booked. But make sure you leave some slack for adverse weather, mishaps and just to enjoy your vacation.
Master the Fastpass+ System Before You Arrive
Fastpass+ is Disney’s attraction reservation system. Fastpass+ allows you to book attractions in advance & join a much shorter queue so you can experience the ride quicker.
If you don’t use Fastpass+ you will spend a longer period in standby lines. In busy periods this will mean you will experience fewer attractions.
It is essential you learn about Fastpass+ as soon as you book your Disney World Vacation. There are a number of key dates you must meet to obtain Fastpass+ for the most popular attractions.
Our Fastpass+ Guide will tell you everything you need to know.
Know Height Requirements Before You Go.
If the kids can’t ride Splash Mountain, let them know in advance rather than getting turned away in the queue. Disney does strictly enforce height restrictions. If the kids are too small, you can use a rider switch to allow the rest of the party to ride.
We have created a Guide to Rider Switch and Height Requirements at Walt Disney World which has further information.
Only Pack Park Essentials
Many guests in our opinion bring far too much into the park.
There is a difference between being prepared and being too prepared. Remember everything you take in your park bag you have to carry.
Make a list of what you need e.g., camera, autograph book, poncho. Pack your bag the night before and check it again in the morning.
We have created a guide to what we think you should include in your Walt Disney World Park Bag.
Don’t Forget Water
Orlando can get very hot. Dehydration is not fun and you will need to drink plenty when visiting Walt Disney World. Make sure you add water or a bottle to your park bag.
You do not have to buy expensive bottles of water. There are plenty of free water points and all counter service restaurants will give you a free glass of water if you ask.
Don’t Forget the Sunscreen.
In summer many of us will burn & the Orlando Sun can be unforgiving. Plenty of sunscreen and a good hat is required when visiting the parks.
Have Good Quality Shoes.
Make sure your shoes are worn in and comfortable you will be doing a lot of walking. New shoes lead to blisters.
Did you know the British Queen hires someone to wear in her shoes?
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.
If you go charging around the Walt Disney World on your first day, trying to do all those big attractions, you will burn out.
Take your time, have rest breaks and especially in summer make sure you drink plenty.
Have Access to Park Wi-Fi
Having a device to access Wi-Fi is essential so you can access the My Disney Experience App Booking System. My Disney Experience allows you to:
- Keep track of your plans & reservations including those of your family & friends.
- Make Fastpass+, Dining & Ticket Reservations
- Order in advance your food at select Quick Service Locations
- Access maps, wait times, showtimes, park hours and a lot more essential information via the app.
Having access to the App is essential when you visit any of the Walt Disney World Park.
Plan Dining in Advance.
Dining reservations open 180 days in advance, and the most popular venues book up fast. Don’t expect to get a popular dining location on the day. Standby lines often do not exist, and when they do there is often a very long wait.
We have created a guide to Walt Disney World Dining which will give you further information.
Use the Single Rider Line
Use the Single Rider line. Available in far too few attractions but a great way to avoid crowds.
Have a Break
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.
Avoid Extra Magic Hours
We usually recommend you avoid parks with Early Extra Magic Hours especially if you are not staying in a Walt Disney World Resort.
Our Guide to Extra Magic Hours has further information.
Parks are quieter in the first few hours. Get there first and experience lighter crowds.
Take a break when the heavy crowds arrive and the afternoon storms.
Stay Late Night
Parks quieten down late in the evening. You will often achieve a lot more in the final few hours than all afternoon on a busy summer day. Plus, the parks all look better at night.
Avoid the Crowds
This is often impossible but we created some helpful hints on how to Avoid Walt Disney World Crowds.
Use Disney Transport
When you stay on site at Disney, you have access to free transportation to the parks and Disney Springs. To learn more about Disney Transportation visit our guide.
We also think hiring a car is often an unnecessary expense. To read more about doing Disney World without a car read our guide.
Remember to factor in travel time in your vacation planning. Walt Disney World is big and getting between places take some time. You must allow adequate time when working between parks. Even if you are driving parking lots can take time to navigate.
Have a Non-Park Day
Sometimes it is worth planning a day out of the parks. The non-park days allows you to relax and recover.
Visiting different Walt Disney World Resorts is a fun way to spend a non-park day. Does anyone want to try the Ultimate Disney World Resort Hop?
Do you think there are any essential tips missing from our Disney World Survival Guide? Leave a comment below so we can add to a future edition of this post.
Learn More About Walt Disney World
Visit our guide Walt Disney World for Beginners for more essential tips.
If you want more Walt Disney World Tips & Tricks we have lots of them here on Modern Life is Good. Here are 201 Tips & Tricks to have a great vacation at Walt Disney World.