If you don’t get to visit the Disney parks very often, or you haven’t been there before, there’s a lot you can miss out on if you aren’t in the know. As with anything, Disney has its own short cuts that make the whole experience more fun than stressful. While it takes some park guests multiple trips to learn some of these tips and short cuts, we’re going to share a few of them with you now.
12. Go Left
In many Disney attractions, the queue will split off into two lines. In just about every case, the left line is shorter so stay to the left and you’ll get to the front a little faster.
11. Make Dining Reservations ASAP
If you plan on eating in one of Disney’s restaurants, you must have an advance reservation. Some of the more popular restaurants like Chef Mickey’s and Be Our Guest Restaurant fill up almost instantly. You can start making reservations 180 days in advance starting at 7am. You will need to have your vacation’s confirmation code ready. No reservation means you may wait over an hour for a table.
10. Stay When It Rains
Ponchos are available at every Disney gift shop so when it rains, put one on and keep on walking. Lots of park guests will leave when the weather is bad so this will mean shorter lines on some attractions. Especially pay attention to attractions that have an outdoor queue. Some people may get off the line to stay dry and you can shorten your wait.
9. Stand Under This Portrait in Haunted Mansion
When entering the Haunted Mansion, guests are ushered into an “elevator” to get to the doom buggies. Find the portrait of the lady with the parasol. The door will open right below her and you’ll be the first person to head to the attraction’s loading area.
8. Visit Magic Kingdom on a Weekday
Weekends are generally busy for all the parks, but there is a difference if you visit Magic Kingdom on a weekday, or during off-season times in general. With less children around, lines are shorter and you can enjoy more of the park.
7. Find Your Parade Spot 30 Minutes Ahead
Don’t wait until 3pm to get a spot for the afternoon parade. About a half hour beforehand, steak out your spot. Cast Members will have already started laying out tape and getting ropes ready to mark where guests can sit or stand. This gives you some time to relax and enjoy a snack.
6. Arrive When Parks Open and Hit the Big Rides
Even if you’re not a morning person, by getting to the parks right before they open, you’ll have the best chance of being able to walk on to your favorite attractions. Use this time to hit up the most popular attractions that usually require a Fastpass. You’ll be surprised by how many attractions you can hit in your first hour.
5. Free Drinks at Club Cool
Club Cool, located in Future World at Ecpot, allows guests to taste Coke products from different countries for free. While the sampling cups are small, you can refill as often as you’d like. Try the Beverly.
4. Wear a Button
Disney has free buttons that show Cast Members what you’re celebrating. Whether it’s an engagement, honeymoon, anniversary, birthday, or a first visit, ask for a free button and wear it everywhere you go. This can sometimes get you special treatment including a free desert.
3. Souvenir Delivery
Any Disney gift shop will be able to deliver your purchase directly to your Disney Resort hotel room or to the front of the park so you don’t have to carry everything all day. The exception to this is if you’re leaving the next day, but you can still collect your purchase at the front of the park. Larger items can be mailed home.
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2. Preferred Rooms
For an additional free from standard room rates, preferred rooms are available that are closest to the dining hall to allow for minimal walking to and from your room. The fee per person isn’t that much extra, but it can save you a lot of walking.
1. Ask Questions
The biggest insider tip is to simply ask Cast Members questions if you aren’t sure of something. If an attraction is closed, don’t just walk away. Ask when it will be open again. They may not know or it could be opening in a few minutes, in which case you’ll want to stick around. Cast Members can also point out special hidden Mickeys, salutes to Disney Imagineers, and other tributes that are often overlooked. Just ask and see what you’ll learn.
Follow these tips and you’ll be a step ahead of the crowd. The most important thing to remember is to have fun. It’s not a race to see how many attractions you can experience in a day. Relax and enjoy your time spent at Disney with your family. That’s when the magic happens.
BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best price for your vacation, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!