Are you visiting Walt Disney World? Wondering how to keep everyone happy, keep cool & beat the crowds? Our Walt Disney World Survival Guide will help you have a fantastic Walt Disney World Vacation.
Walt Disney World is the most visited vacation resort in the world. There are numerous Resort Hotels, 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 less daunting.
Create a Disney World Plan
Disney Theme Parks are massive. None of them can be completed in just one day. To survive your Walt Disney World Vacation, you must complete a plan. Not planning, and you may miss those must-do attractions.
You might find the following guides helpful when creating your plan:-
- 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 ensure nothing is missed. Even a budgeting tool can be invaluable if you have a tight budget.
Don’t Be too Rigid
Make sure you make essential bookings before you arrive.
You no longer need to make FastPass+ reservations, but there are a couple of key bookings you must book as soon as possible.
- You must book your Disney Park Pass as soon as you have your tickets or book a Disney Vacation Package. You must have a Disney Park Pass to enter your first park daily. However, don’t worry; you can usually change these nearer the time, but occasionally parks get fully booked.
- Book your Disney World Advance Dining Reservations. The most popular restaurants fill up fast, and you must be ready to book when reservations are open. Bookings are available for all restaurants 60 days in advance. Guests staying at a Disney Resort can book reservations for their first ten days once they hit the 60-day mark. If you plan to dine in a park restaurant, ensure your Disney Park Pass covers the same day.
- Book any special experiences you plan to do when at Walt Disney World. Reservations are open for Droid Depot, Savi’s Workshop, Oga’s Cantina, and Enchanting Extras Collection experiences. Guests staying in a Disney Resort can also book for the first ten days of their vacation at this point.
Know Height Requirements Before You Go.
If the kids can’t ride Space 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 created a Guide to Rider Switch at Walt Disney World with 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.
List what you need, e.g., a camera, autograph book, poncho. Pack your bag the night before and check it again in the morning.
We have created a guide to what you should include in your Walt Disney World Park Bag.
If you can use Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Hours
Early Theme Park Entry replaced Extra Magic Hours at Walt Disney World. All Walt Disney World Resort guests, and other select hotels, can gain 30-minute early entry to any theme park each day. However, you will need a Disney Park Pass.
Extended Evening Hours are only available for guests staying at Deluxe Resorts. Guests staying at one of these resorts can enjoy extended evening hours in select theme parks on select nights. A valid Disney Park Pass is also 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.
Try and complete some of the resort’s most popular attractions during these periods.
Don’t Forget Water
Orlando can get very hot. Dehydration is not fun; you must 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; counter-service restaurants will give you a free glass of water if you ask.
Don’t Forget the Sunscreen.
Many of us will burn in summer, and the Orlando Sun can be unforgiving. Plenty of sunscreens and a good hat are required when visiting the parks.
Consider Hiring a Stroller
Sure, they don’t need a stroller when you visit the local park, but many small children will walk more than back home. Be ready to hire a stroller for all under 5s and some older kids.
If you go charging around 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 drink plenty, especially in summer.
Have Access to Park WiFi
Online access is essential at Walt Disney World. WiFi is available throughout all parks and resorts at Walt Disney World. You will not survive Walt Disney World without accessing the Resort’s WiFI.
Having access to WiFi allows you to access My Disney Experience. My Disney Experience is a free online guide to Walt Disney World to enable guests to plan their vacations. 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 food at select Quick Service Locations.
- Access maps, wait times, showtimes, park hours, and essential information via the app.
- Check on all the latest resort changes, including any closed attractions.
Walt Disney World recommends downloading the latest version of My Disney Experience before entering parks. Also, they recommend having location services and notifications enabled.
Use the Single Rider Line
Use the Single Rider line. Available in far too few attractions but a great way to avoid crowds.
You will ride alone, but the line will be much shorter.
Consider whether to buy Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes.
Disney Genie+ is not cheap, but if you want an easy Walt Disney World vacation, it can help you survive.
Purchasing Disney Genie+ allows you to book reservations for Lightning Lane at select attractions. The Lightning lane will enable you to join a shorter line than the regular standby line.
If you are on a short vacation, you might wish to purchase it every day, but it probably isn’t necessary for more extended vacations. Consider in your plan which days you want to purchase Disney Genie+ in advance.
Some of the most popular attractions are not available on Disney Genie+. An individual fee of up to $25 is required to access the lightning lane for these attractions. Individual Lightning Lane is available for all guests daily, including those who have not purchased Disney Genie+.
The list of rides has changed several times since the introduction of Individual Lightning Lanes, but the attractions that currently use it are:
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- TRON Lightcycle Run
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
- Avatar Flight of Passage
However, all attractions also have a Standby or virtual line, and waits are not always long, especially close to park closing.
Read our Guide to Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane to learn more.
Have a Break
The Orlando heat can be heavy going, especially in the summer months.
Plan a break during your day, e.g., return to your hotel or have a table service meal.
Parks are quieter in the first few hours. Get there first and experience lighter crowds.
Take a break in the afternoon, when there will be heavy crowds and summer storms.
Stay Late Night
Parks quieten down late in the evening. You will often achieve much more in the final few hours than all afternoon on a busy summer day. Plus, the parks all look better at night.
Use Disney Transport
You can access free transportation to the parks and Disney Springs throughout Walt Disney World. To learn more about Disney Transportation, visit our guide.
Disney Transport is fantastic, but you must consider travel time to survive. Walt Disney World is big, and getting between places takes 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 allow 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?
Learn More About Walt Disney World
Visit our guide Walt Disney World for Beginners, for more essential tips.