“201 Walt Disney World Tips & Tricks” this post took a bit of writing. I initially started aiming for 500 Tips & Tricks but have settled on 201. This massive collection of hacks, tips, tricks, hints, and secrets 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!
Our original version of this post was written in 2019 and has been shared almost 8000 times. However, many of the tips were no longer valid in 2021. We have updated this guide with lots of new Walt Disney World tips and tricks for 2021, so you can plan the best ever Walt Disney World vacation.
1 Remember your previous tactics may no longer work
A lot has changed at Walt Disney World. Many seasoned Disney veterans have discovered that their previous park strategies no longer work. However, we have another 200 tips, tricks, and hacks that work when visiting Walt Disney World in 2021.
2 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!
Arguably, the removal of FastPass+ does make some of the Walt Disney World planning a lot easier. However, you should plan where you want to eat, what parks you want to visit, and what your must-do attractions are. Failure to make a plan, and you might miss out!
If you want help completing your plan, visit our Free Walt Disney World Vacation Planning Sheets.
3 Pace yourself
Take your time. Disney World is huge. You can’t do it 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.
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.
6 Be prepared for every type of weather
Orlando weather can be unpredictable, and if you are not prepared can ruin the enjoyment of your vacation. Read our top Orlando Weather Tips.
7 Bring a poncho or waterproof
If it rains when you are in the park, you can buy a poncho. However, they are costly.
8 Have access to the park Wi-Fi.
Online access is essential in Walt Disney World. We have even previously named it our Number 1 Walt Disney World Tip.
9 Avoid major holidays
Unfortunately, this might be unavoidable, but try to avoid major holidays. As park capacity returns to normal, except holidays to become capacity crowds.
10 Get to the park early
Always try to get to the park for opening. Lines are usually quieter the first few hours each day.
11 No park can be done in 1 day.
All Walt Disney World Theme Parks are massive. 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 Book a Disney Park Pass
A new entry in our 201 Walt Disney World tips!
You will need to prebook a reservation online through the new Disney Park Pass System to access a park. To access any park, guests will have to present their park reservation and a valid park ticket. Guests who do not have either of these will be refused entry.
15 Use Disney Genie
Your planning process for visiting Walt Disney World might be about to become easier. Disney Genie hasn’t arrived yet at Walt Disney World, but it will be soon. Through My Disney Experience, the Disney Genie service will maximize your park time. It is promising to create personalized itineraries to design the perfect seamless days.
16 Consider purchasing Disney Genie+
FastPass+ isn’t returning to Walt Disney World, but a new service called Disney Genie+ will be soon. However, unlike FastPass+, it is a paid service. For $15 per ticket per day, you can choose the next available time to arrive at various attractions and experiences using the Lightning Lane entrance.
It is worth noting that Disney Genie+ isn’t available on all attractions. While $15 a day does not feel too expensive, it will soon add up for large families and those taking extended vacations.
17 Consider carefully whether you should pay extra for Individual attraction selections
Disney Genie+ will not cover the most popular attractions. To access the Lightning Lane on these attractions, you will need to pay an individual fee, rumored to be between $4 and $24. While I don’t think I should be the person to advise whether you should pay this fee, it would seem advisable to consider the decision carefully.
18 Check the latest information on Park Hopping
Park Hopping is available in 2021 but is operating slightly differently.
Guests need to make a Disney Park Pass Reservation for their first park each day, and they must enter this park before trying to enter another. Guests will then be able to enter a second park during Park Hopper Hours. Disney advises you to check My Disney Experience for the latest information.
19 Check park opening times.
Park opening times vary daily throughout the year and often change last minute. Check opening hours before your visit.
20 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. Read our guide to learn more about Height Restrictions.
21 If the kids are too small use Rider Switch
Rider Switch allows guests with small children to take turns riding while another adult stays with the child. Read our Guide to Rider Switch to learn more.
22 Consider hiring a stroller
Walt Disney World involves a lot of walking. 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 walking at Walt Disney World difficult. The Orlando heat and humidity can contribute to difficulties, and hiring an ECV might become essential. Further details are available in our Guide to Disabilities at Walt Disney World.
24 If you have a disability let Disney know in advance
Before your visit, you can contact Walt Disney World at (407) 560-2547 or email@example.com to discuss your requirements.
25 Take advantage of Early Theme Park Entry
Extra Magic Hours is not returning to Walt Disney World. We used to think Extra Magic Hours was a waste of time, but think this new resort perk might be unmissable. Early Theme Park Entry will start on the 1st of October.
This new benefit will be available for all Walt Disney World Resort guests and other select hotels. Guests will be able to gain 30-minute early entry to any theme park every day. However, you will still need a Disney Park Pass.
26 Take advantage if you can of Extended Evening Hours
Extended Evening Hours is a new service for guests staying at Deluxe Resorts. Guests staying at one of these resorts will be able to enjoy extended evening hours on select nights in select parks. A valid Disney Park Pass will also be essential for guests taking advantage of Extended Evening Hours. However, guests may visit with a Park Hopper option as long as the park where they made their reservation has been visited earlier in the day.
27 Don’t wear new shoes
Make sure your shoes are worn in and comfortable. 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. Usually, the left side lane is shorter.
29 Budget for extra expenses
Before you arrive, you will probably have paid for your hotel and park tickets, but remember that dining, gratuities, and souvenirs are not cheap.
30 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, visit our Guide to Disney Transport.
31 Don’t forget a face covering
Who would have anticipated in 2021 face masks would be essential to enter Walt Disney World?
Face masks for a short period had become unnecessary when visiting Walt Disney World, but the rules have recently changed again. This will likely change regularly during the coming months, and we suggest checking the latest guidance before you visit.
32 Consider not hiring a car
We think hiring a car is often an unnecessary expense when visiting Walt Disney World.
33 Consider travel time when planning
If you are late for a Dining Reservation, you are not guaranteed admission. Walt Disney World is big, and getting between places takes some time. You must allow adequate time when working between parks.
34 Buy a Park Hopper Ticket
Even with the current changes, we think Park Hopper Tickets are worth paying for. Visit our guide to learn more about Disney Park Tickets.
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.
36 Don’t leave parks early
Walt Disney World parks are even more magical at night, and nighttime shows have now restarted. Make sure you don’t leave before it gets dark. Plus, the last couple of hours often attract much quieter waits.
37 Use the Single Rider Line
A Single Rider Line is available for Expedition Everest, Millennium Falcon – Smuggler’s Run, Test Track, and Rock N Roller Coaster. Often, but not guaranteed, these lines will have a shorter wait than the regular line.
38 Check for refurbishments
Attractions do close for refurbishments. You can find out more about Walt Disney World Scheduled refurbishments here.
39 Check the latest safety guidance
During the reopening period, safety guidance is regularly changing at Walt Disney World. Don’t get caught out; check the latest rules before you visit.
40 Don’t skip Epcot
You will probably have heard that Epcot is undergoing some massive changes, but it would be a mistake to skip the park. There is still a lot to do in Epcot, including some of the best attractions at Walt Disney World.
41 Eat in Epcot
Epcot is the
42 Don’t miss Epcot Festivals
There are several festivals held throughout the Epcot year. The Festivals offer unique entertainment & the opportunity to enjoy specialty 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, but most kids love it. The World Showcase is the biggest star for any child with a curious mind
44 Don’t drink too much alcohol in Epcot
Drinking around the World is a fun Disney experience. 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.
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. Pandora opened to the public in May 2017 and is inspired by James Cameron’s Avatar. Visit our guide for more Pandora Tips.
49 Ride Kilimanjaro safaris in the morning
Typically the animals are more active in the morning. However, no two safaris are ever the same; and evenings can be great.
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 parades and fireworks.
Want to ride more attractions? Queues will often be quieter during parades, nighttime shows, and fireworks.
52 VisitToy Story Land early or in the evening
When designing Toy Story Land, the Imagineers forgot to insert any shade. To avoid an unpleasant experience, do not visit in the middle of the day.
53Not booking Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
You need a reservation to ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. The rules of how virtual queue reservations are distributed have changed several times, but the current rules are:
Guests with a valid ticket or annual pass and a Disney Park Pass reservation for Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be able to request access to the virtual queue starting at 7:00 AM on the day of their reservation. This can be done before you leave your Disney Resort hotel or on your way to the park. The virtual queue will reopen daily at 1:00 PM for anyone inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios who wasn’t already able to join a boarding group earlier in the day.
Guests must be inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios to access this second virtual queue opportunity, and access to a boarding group is subject to availability and not guaranteed. Only Guests with a Disney Park Pass reservation for Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be able to experience Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Guests visiting from another theme park will not be able to request to join the virtual queue.
Walt Disney World
Ensure you are logged on to My Disney Experience before these times and be quick reservations go quick! If you are park hopping to Hollywood Studios, please note that you will not be able to join the Rise of the Resistance Virtual Line.
54 If you are park hopping you can’t ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Are you planning to ride Rise of the Resistance? You must have a Disney Park pass for Hollywood Studios to join the virtual queue! Guests who are park Hopping are not able to book a reservation.
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 Your favorite might return soon!
It seems almost inevitable that changes will continue to happen throughout 2021. Make sure you don’t miss out if suddenly a show reopens. Keep checking My Disney Experience for all the latest information.
58 Don’t forget the important Hollywood Studios reservations
Do you want to have a drink at Oga’s Cantina in Galaxy’s Edge? Or do you want to build a droid or lightsaber? You need to secure a reservation for the following:-
- Oga’s Cantina
- Droid Depot
- Savi’s Workshop – Handbuilt Lightsabers
Guests may make reservations for dining and other experiences up to 60 days in advance. In addition, Disney Resort hotel Guests can make reservations up to 60 days in advance plus the length of their stay (up to 10 days). Visit My Disney Experience for further information.
59 Don’t push or poke characters!
You can’t meet characters at the moment, but hopefully, you soon will. When you can, make sure the kids don’t poke them!
Seriously it does happen, often by adults, and it isn’t nice.
60Walt Disney World is 50 in 2021!
The festivities will start on October 1st and will run for 18 months. Disney is calling the 50th birthday celebrations “The World’s Most Magical Celebration.” Visit our Guide to the 50th Birthday celebrations to learn more about what is happening.
61 Don’t miss the new attractions coming in October
To celebrate the start of the 50th birthday celebrations, some big new attractions are coming to the resort. Top of our list are:
- Disney Enchantment a new nighttime spectacular at the Magic Kingdom.
- Harmonious at Epcot which is billed as the biggest nighttime show Disney ahs ever produced.
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure will open in Epcot. It has been delayed by over one year but it is going to be a big crowd pleaser.
62 Celebrate the best birthday ever at Walt Disney World
Are you celebrating a birthday when at Walt Disney World?
Visit our Guide to Birthdays at Walt Disney World. Note not all services are available currently.
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
Our experience is Crowd Calendars are unreliable. With the introduction of Disney Park Pass, crowd patterns are more consistent across the week.
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.
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.
67 Have a non-park day
Does anyone want to try the Ultimate Disney World Resort Hop?
68 Purchase a kid’s meal
If you have a smaller appetite, order a kid’s meal. It will also save you money.
69 Consider splitting Quick Service meals
Quick Service meals can be substantial. 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 struggle to book a restaurant on My Disney Experience for Disney Springs, check Open Table. Many locations also have table reservations available on the site.
71 Visit Animal Kingdom Lodge for great dining and to see animals for free
Animal Kingdom Lodge has now reopened. One of the best things about the resort is the animal enclosures. All guests visiting the resort have free access to these enclosures.
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 through the My Disney Experience mobile app, and decide whether to purchase them.
73 Buy Memory Maker in advance
Memory Maker is a package that allows you to download and keep all the pictures you have taken in a 30-day window, including ride photographs
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. Remember you will be carrying your bag all day. 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, including transport to Disney World. Accommodation options include luxurious villas, budget motels & 5-star hotels. 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 off-site at Walt Disney World.
76 Don’t bring prohibited items into parks
While most prohibited items at Walt Disney World are relatively obvious, there are a few items that you might find surprising. Visit our Guide to Banned Items at Walt Disney World to learn more.
77 You don’t need to carry cash at Walt Disney World
To reduce physical contact, Walt Disney World now encourages guests to use contactless forms of payment.
78 ATMs are available
If you need to obtain cash, ATMs are located throughout Disney World and can be located on park maps.
79 Consider quitting smoking before visiting Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World has banned smoking inside all theme parks. You have to leave the park to smoke, and that includes electronic cigarettes.
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 swap it at a kiosk for a new FuelRod. Previously replacement chargers were provided free, but now the situation is far more complex. Various law cases have resulted in the current situation.
Another option is bringing a portable charger to the park each day.
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.
Going from Orlando International Airport to Disney World Resorts is a breeze via the free Disney’s Magical Express. Unfortunately, the service will end in 2021, but the closeness of Orlando International still can’t be beaten.
83 Out-of-pocket meal costs can be expensive
The all-inclusive Disney Dining Plan is currently suspended. Guests used to the Disney Dining Plan can easily be shocked when paying out-of-pocket for meals and snacks at Walt Disney World.
84 Note the rules on bringing your own stroller into the parks
Hiring a stroller at Walt Disney World is very expensive. However, not all strollers are allowed inside the parks. Wagons, including stroller wagons, are prohibited inside parks. Also, strollers should be no larger than 31” wide and 52″ long when measured across the widest and longest points.
85 If you have a problem visit guest relations
Guests Relations are located at all Walt Disney World parks and can help with reservations and general information.
You can locate Guest Relation on park maps, the Walt Disney World My Disney Experience App, or ask any Cast Member. Remember, many of your most common queries can be answered by checking the My Disney Experience App.
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 Don’t wear inappropiate clothes
Proper attire, including shoes and shirts, must be worn at all times. Perhaps surprisingly, this includes the wearing of costumes by all guests over the age of 14.
90 Consider buying an annual pass
Annual passes are returning to Walt Disney World, and in some circumstances, they can work out cheaper. Visit our Guide to Tickets to learn more.
91 You can book using Walt Disney World International sites
Walt Disney World runs different offers throughout the year, and these can differ depending on which country you reside in. You can book through these sites, but you might need to use a VPN.
92 Consider whether you want to use a Disney Vacation Planner
You will find many sites that recommend using Disney Vacation Planners. Traditionally we don’t recommend this route. Read our advice on whether you should use 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.
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.
95 Read dining cancellation instructions
You can cancel the majority of dining reservations until midnight before 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 before 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.
98 Don’t visit Animal Kingdom on the first day
The reverse is true of Animal Kingdom. There is minimal 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 it, make sure you bring it with you.
100 Have spare space in your suitcase
You need to be careful with the number 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 Consider hiring a locker
Most guests do not need to take much into Walt Disney World parks. If there are items you must take but do not wish to carry; lockers are available near each park entrance. All lockers are subject to availability and come with the following daily charge:
- Small $10 a day (12″ x 10″ x 17″)
- Large $12 a day (15.5″ x 13″ x 17″)
- Jumbo (Magic Kingdom park and Epcot only) $15 a day (17″ x 22″ x 26″)
Standard and large lockers are available at the water parks, priced at $10 or $15 a day.
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
Uber & Lyft are both cheaper than the taxis you will find outside your resort hotel.
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 will shortly be reopening.
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.
107 Try and spot Mr Toad
Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride was an original park favorite, and there were many protests before 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. Hidden Mickeys 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 materialize, 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. 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 a soda?
114 Get items delivered to your resort shop
Unfortunately, this is currently unavailable, but usually, 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 classical characters. Have some family movie nights to catch up with all the latest Disney releases.
116 Hold balloons carefully
They do fly away! Jess has never forgiven me!
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.
118 Complete Wilderness Explorers
Wilderness Explorers is a free scavenger hunt where guests earn badges for completing activities inside the Animal Kingdom. 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, located on the bridge between the Oasis and Discovery Island.
119 Young kids find It’s 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, but the majority of resort benefits are provided to all guests. Value Resorts are sometimes great value for money. However, the new Extended Evening Hours is only for Deluxe Resort Guests.
121 Decorate your stroller or ECV
Recognizing 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
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. Visit our guide to Tipping at Walt Disney World.
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 is your room attendants. The cast member can change daily, so tip daily, 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.
131 Don’t miss the shows at Walt Disney World
Shows are now returning to Walt Disney World. Catching a show offers the opportunity for a rest and time out of the sun.
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 at how many attractions you can complete in the first few hours.
133 Enter Epcot through World Gateway
The route is quicker than the main entrance for Frozen Ever After and the new Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.
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
Perhaps the most fantastic time-saver at Walt Disney World, order your food in advance at quick-service restaurants. Reservations are simple through the My Disney Experience app. Disney is encouraging all guests to use this during the reopening period.
Visit our guide to learn more about Mobile Ordering at Walt Disney World.
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 Book Table Service Restaurants in advance
During the reopening period of Walt Disney World, not all restaurants will be open, and some will be subject to reduced capacity. A new 60-day Advanced Dining Reservation window applies. Make sure you make your reservations as soon as possible. Getting a dining reservation on the day is increasingly unlikely.
Visit our guide to learn more about Dining at Walt Disney World in 2021.
141 A dining reservation is not the same as a park pass
Remember, to dine in any theme park restaurant; you must also have a Disney Park Pass. However, if you have a park hopping ticket, you can dine in another park during park-hopping hours, assuming you have visited your initial park first.
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.
143 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 providing a safe and enjoyable dining experience.
Read our Guide to Visiting Disney World with Food Allergies for further information.
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 What happens if your children get lost?
Small children can see so many things at Walt Disney World; some will inevitably wander away from their parents. All Walt Disney World Cast members are well versed on what to do when discovering a lost child. The child will be taken to the park’s Baby Care Center to be looked after until their parent arrives.
If you happen to lose your child, alert any Cast Member who will assist.
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. You can find 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!
149 Bring your own food and drinks
You can bring your own snacks and drinks inside the park. However, no glass or alcohol is allowed.
150 Don’t forget the sunscreen.
In summer, many of us will find our skin will burn. Plenty of sunscreen and a good hat is required when visiting the parks. Our Guide to Orlando Weather has plenty of tips and tricks.
151 You can bring your dog to some Walt Disney World Resorts
I have no idea why you 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. Contact Disney for further information.
152 Service dogs are allowed
Most service dogs are allowed inside parks and can even ride with you on some attractions.
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.
155 Never buy second-hand tickets
It is impossible to know whether the advertised unused days are correct, plus all tickets are untransferable. It is likely your tickets will likely be useless.
156 Don’t buy tickets off eBay
Don’t buy off eBay or from other sites offering extremely cheap tickets. There is a good chance they will be a con.
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 from 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. Also, in these unusual times, check on additional restrictions on international travel.
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 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
The wait can be long; it is better to be prepared.
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 purchased from.
168 Pressed pennies
An alternative to pin trading, without the risks of fakes, is collecting pressed pennies. Pressed penny machines are located all over Walt Disney World.
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. Over the years, there have been a few changes, but sea creatures still sail across Seven Seas Lagoon nightly with accompanying Disney tunes.
171 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.
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, room key, room charge card and manage your dining reservations.
We love MagicBands, but they might not be around much longer!
173 Use Disney MagicMobile
If you don’t want to use a MagicBand or fancy trying something new, opt for Disney MagicMobile. Available in the My Disney Experience app, Disney MagicMobile service is a convenient and more contactless way to access MagicBand features, including:
- Enter theme parks (with a valid theme park reservation and valid admission)
- Connect Disney PhotoPass images to your account
- Gain access to join a virtual queue for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
- Charge to your Disney Resort hotel folio during your stay
Visit our guide to learn more about Disney’s MagicMobile.
174 Download Play Disney Parks App
Available through both the App Store and Google Play is the Play Disney Parks App. The App makes waiting in line fun, with a list of challenges the whole family can play.
175 Download the My Disney Experience app.
Make sure you have My Disney Experience available before you enter the parks. My Disney Experience is a free online guide to Walt Disney World that allows guests to plan their vacation. Through this free service, you can:
- Keep track of your plans & reservations including those of your family & friends.
- Make Disney Genie, 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.
- Grab a spot in the virtual queue for Rise of the Resistance.
Walt Disney World encourages all guests to have downloaded the latest version of My Disney Experience on their mobile device before entering parks during the reopening period. Also, they recommend having location services and notifications enabled. During the reopening of Walt Disney World, My Disney Experience will be providing several new enhancements to promote social distancing and reduced contact.
176 Ears to the World, Disney Show Translator
Translation devices are available to translate attraction narration at Guest Sevices in all parks. These complimentary devices translate for all the most commonly spoken languages. Over 20 Walt Disney World attractions have a translation available.
A refundable $25 deposit is required to obtain an Ears to the World, Disney Show Translator.
177 Help for guests who don’t speak English
While English is the official language of Walt Disney World, it does not mean you have to be fluent to have a great time. There are thousands of international guests visiting Walt Disney World every day.
Maps are available at Guest Services, and most restaurants will have menus in different languages available.
Many cast members speak more than 1 language. Those who are bilingual have a tag on their badge to indicate what languages they speak.
178 Visiting Walt Disney World when pregnant
Being pregnant is not a reason to stop a visit to Walt Disney World. However, there are several attractions in every park that pregnant guests are advised not to ride. Signage posted at every attraction highlights which rides are not suitable for expectant mothers. The signs also provide information on height requirements, health and safety advisories, and accessibility guidelines.
You can still have plenty of fun at Walt Disney World if you are pregnant, but there will be some attractions you will have to skip on this visit. You are welcome to call (407) 939-5277 for further information.
179 Free water
Bottled water soon adds up in price, but you can get water for free. Ask at any quick-service location for a free glass of water.
180 The Animal Kingdom is not just about rides and shows
Take your time; there is a lot to see and explore at Animal Kingdom. The Animal Kingdom has become one of the best places to experience street food and snacks. Keep your eye out for a delicious lunch as you explore the park.
181 Don’t miss the animal trails at the Animal Kingdom
Many guests skip the animal trails at the Animal Kingdom, but they are fantastic exhibits with informative cast members available to assist. There are three main trails to explore in addition to a selection of smaller exhibits around the park:
- Discovery Island Trails
- Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
- Maharajah Jungle Trek
Our Guide to the Animal Kingdom has further information.
182 Ride Test Track early in the day
Summer afternoon storms are frequent in Orlando. Storms will mean Test Track will close. Ride the attraction early in the day.
183 Catch rare characters at Epcot
Hopefully, characters will return soon to Walt Disney World.
Disney characters traditionally 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 your 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. Remember, not everything is currently available.
188 Try and spot DiVine
Part human and part tree, this fascinating lady is very hard to spot at Animal Kingdom. We are not even sure if she is still appearing!
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 realized 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 payphones located in Tomorrowland and Main Street. Pick the phone up to listen in to an interesting conversation!
193 Jungle Cruise Map
Ask your skipper for a map of the cruise!
194 Buy the resort refillable resort mug
If you are staying at a Disney Resort, these can be a great money saver. One price covers your whole vacation, and you can use it at all Disney Resorts.
195 Go when the kids are under-10
This is a personal irritation that Walt Disney World charges adult prices from age 10.
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. Schedule outside attractions for the morning.
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.
199 Visit a Disney Outlet
Do you want to save some money on your park souvenirs?
Disney’s Character Warehouse is a Disney Outlet where excess Disney Theme Park merchandise is sold heavily discounted. Many of the items are still available at a higher price inside the parks.
There are 2 outlets you can visit:-
- Orlando Premium International Outlets on International Drive
- Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets near Disney Springs
200 Don’t be overwhelmed
The planning of a Walt Disney World Vacation can seem initially overwhelming, but it really is fairly straightforward. 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
Visit our Beginners Guide to Walt Disney World to learn more. Our guide includes all the latest information on the reopening of Walt Disney World.
This post is part of our “Road to 2021 at Walt Disney World” series. Check out the rest of the guides for the latest information.
You forgot A Pirate’s Adventure ~ Treasures of the Seven Seas. The pirates reassure hunt like the mickeys sorcerers. And the phineas and Ferbe agent Ps works showcase adventure. And you didn’t mention any of the behind the scenes tours. You just might make it to 500!
I completely disagree about using a travel agent. The agent I use receives new information about discounts and applies them. Not only that, but she books my dining reservations and fast passes for me. For people new to Disney, this can be invaluable. She keeps me from running back and forth across the parks. If she is unable to get a fast pass or dining she will continue to check until our trip. Plus, there is no cost to me to use her services, Disney pays her commission.
I have written more about this topic in this post. There is no doubt good travel agents provide a stress-free vacation and is the right choice for many people including yourself.
Unfortunately, the commission does ultimately come from the price of your vacation even if you do not pay the agent yourself. However, you can certainly save money by shopping around and booking your own vacation.
Personally I can never quite understand why anyone would want a travel agent to book their dining & FastPass reservations. We love this part of vacation planning. However, we all have our own preferences and many people do agree with you.
I do urge readers to look around before deciding on whether to use a Travel Agent. It certainly isn’t your only option.
Whitney Russell says
These are a lot of great tips and info! Thank you for taking the time and putting so much work into these!! Holy cow!
Debra Connolly says
AAA travel agents do not book your fast passes or dining reservations. Also messed up on my hotel reservations. ? next Disney Vacation I will book directly with them. I advise you to READ READ READ everything you can on information for your trip! You will have a Magical Time ??♀️⭐️ I can’t wait to go back 2021?