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Traveling to Disney World on a vacation with your family, loved one, friend, or even solo is a lot of fun! BUT… you can maximize that fun with a few helpful hints. Thus, here are my favorite tips & tricks for your Disney World vacation!
1. Always go left
Regardless of the time of year you plan to visit The World, you are likely going to encounter crowds. Therefore, my favorite tip is to always go left! Whenever you see turnstiles or lines, most people naturally veer right. So be smart, go left, and save some time! Be sure to check out all of my tips for navigating crowds.
2. Keep selfie sticks at home
Disney World does not allow selfie sticks into the theme parks to ensure guest safety on attractions. No worries about getting those perfect pictures, however. That’s where the PhotoPass photographers are happy to assist! Be sure to check out their Property Rules, Policies & Regulations page to be sure all your items comply.
3. Mark and measure your stroller
I lovingly refer to the designated stroller parking areas as the Sea of Strollers! It can be impossible to find yours after enjoying an attraction since Cast Members do move them to optimize space. Thus, I highly recommend having some distinguishing feature on your stroller! We use brightly colored yard on ours, but those fun Mickey Mouse balloons work as well! I highly recommend equipping yours with a Tile Mate – a tracking device that syncs with your phone. Also, make sure your stroller fits within the allowed dimensions of 31″ (79 cm) wide and 52″ (132 cm) in length. No wagons are permitted.
4. Have some sort of a plan
Some guests plan every minute of their Disney World vacation. You can certainly do that if you wish, but my family and I prefer a little spontaneity in ours! However, I do recommend having some sort of plan in place before going. I usually decide in advance which park we will visit each day of our trip. This makes scheduling FastPass+ and Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) much easier! On that note, be sure to secure those FastPasses as soon as you can. Visit my post to see when you are eligible!
5. Bring your own straw
To be environmentally friendly, Disney will no longer be supplying guests with plastic drinking straws. Instead, paper ones will be available. In my experience, the paper option is just not kid friendly as they collapse easily. Thus, you may want to bring your own reusable straws into the parks!
6. Get free water
This is my favorite tip & trick while on a Disney World vacation… Do NOT pay for water! You can fill-up for free at counter service locations or Baby Care Centers around the Disney World Resort.
7. Use a Bitbelt to protect your MagicBand
Those MagicBands are very convenient while vacationing in Disney World. Know what isn’t convenient? Losing them! They can spontaneously pop off your wrist, so be sure to secure your band with a Bitbelt! Also, don’t forget about the all new optional MagicBand upgrade for resort guests and Annual Passholders!
8. Wear a free pin
Celebrating anything special during your Disney World vacation? If you are, chances are high that they have a pin to commemorate the occasion! Visit one of the Disney World shops in the resorts or parks and talk to a Cast Member to get yours. If you wear it around, you may experience a little extra pixie dust during your trip! For instance, most table service locations will bring out a special dessert for anyone celebrating a birthday.
Pro Tip: Cast Members can personalize your pin, however, make sure to put a piece of clear tape over the writing so it doesn’t rub off!
9. Bring souvenirs and glow sticks
Souvenirs in Disney World are expensive! So save a little dough and purchase yours ahead of time. ShopDisney.com also has discounts on the exact same merchandise sold at the theme parks. Don’t pay full price! Also, kids are drawn to any light-up item during the nighttime shows. Dollar stores sell glow sticks, so stock up and bring them to the parks! Your kids and wallet will both be happy 🙂
10. Use mobile food order
This is another one of my favorite tips & tricks for a Disney World vacation! Use the mobile food order option to save time! On the MyDisneyExperience app, you can see which quick service locations offer this. Chose your restaurant, select your items, and pick up your order as the designated location. What’s really neat is that some locations offer secret menu items only available via the mobile ordering system!
11. Bring something to sign
Nothing is more special than meeting characters and getting their signatures! They do have autograph books for sale, however, I’ve seen guests bring pillow cases, canvas shoes, and even picture frame mats for the characters to sign. Be creative and use something that can double as a nifty souvenir!
12. Use Rider Switch
Rider Switch is a great program where adult guests can take turns experiencing an attraction if there are kids or others in the party that cannot or do not want to ride. This means no one has to miss out on an attraction while in Disney World! Each Rider Switch pass is good for up to 3 adults and is available for select attractions. Be sure to see a Cast Member at the entrance of the ride!
13. Be rain ready
Don’t let anything rain on your Disney parade! Be sure to pack disposable and reusable rain ponchos, umbrellas, and wear water-friendly shoes. If using a stroller, make sure you bring along a rain cover for that as well! I highly recommend the Zobo Premium Stroller Weather Shield.
14. Learn the lingo
More great tips & tricks for your Disney World vacation is learning the lingo! There are certain unique phrases or abbreviations that are commonly used. I recommend being familiar with Fastpass+, ADR (Advanced Dining Reservation), Magical Express, MagicBand, DVC (Disney Vacation Club), Annual Pass (AP), and DDP (Disney Dining Plan). Lastly, Disney refers to restaurants that serve “fast food” as quick service locations and employees are known as “Cast Members”!
15. Do the math for the best deals
Disney does offer vacations deals, but always do the math to see which one can really save you money. One of my tips & tricks is to consider the Annual Pass. The dining, merchandise, and resort discounts plus complimentary standard parking at the parks and PhotoPass downloads can really save you a ton! Yes, even with the latest price increase, the Annual Pass can save you a lot!
What do you think of these tips & tricks? Write your favorites in the comments below!