There are many things that go into a successful Disney vacation. With some planning and preparation, you can make sure you make the most out of every moment during your trip. Here Are 12 simple tips to help you do just that!
1. Get to the park for rope drop
“Rope drop” is another term for park opening. If the park opens at 9:00am, you don’t want to be arriving at 9:00. Plan to arrive for 8:30 (or even earlier during the busiest seasons) so you are near the front of the crowd entering the park. This way you are positioned to walk (don’t run!) to the most popular attractions before they get major lines!
2. Have your FastPass+ selections reserved in advance
Make sure you take advantage of the MyDisneyExperience app and reserve those FastPass+ reservations in advance of your trip! You can certainly reserve fastpasses, or change your times, once you are on your trip- but some of the most popular experiences will be unavailable if you wait until you are in the parks to reserve them. Know which experiences you must reserve well in advance- Meeting Anna and Elsa, and riding the Seven Dwarves Mine Train, for instance. For more information on FastPass+ check out our article ‘Disney’s FastPass+ – Everything You Need To Know’.
3. Stay on property
Area hotels might be able to save you some money, but if you can swing it, stay on Disney property. They offer rate and other promotions throughout the year, so try to take advantage of those. Staying on property makes you feel like you are truly “in” Disney World during every minute of your vacation, truly helping you make the most of every moment. Enjoy the theming of your resort, convenient transportation, and Disney hospitality even when you aren’t in the parks.
4. Know if a dining plan really benefits you
For some families, the dining plan is worth getting. For others, it simply isn’t. Do some research before deciding whether or not you’ll spring for it. Of course, if Disney is offering free dining, that’s worth it to everyone!
5. Bring the right things into the parks
Give some thought to what you will need in the parks. Consider bringing your own water bottle and small snacks. Would you rather carry your own small poncho or pay beaucoup bucks for one when the rain starts? Check out are article ‘8 Things You Should Bring Into Disney Parks’ for more tips.
6. Which park, which day?
At the very least, you should know in advance which park you want to visit each day (based on extra magic hours, anticipated crowd levels, special events, dining reservations, or FastPass+ reservations).
7. Take breaks and pace yourself
You might walk 8-10 miles each day of your Disney vacation. Don’t be afraid to take breaks. I’m the biggest fan in the world of a short mid-day break. The morning hours are the best for experiencing the parks with less crowds and shorter lines. The nighttime hours are magical and full of great entertainment. The afternoon is a great time to swim or nap at your resort!
8. Don’t miss the best there is to offer
You’ll want to have an idea of what the “must-do’s” are before you embark on your day in a park. Disney World has so much to offer that you won’t be able to experience it all in one trip. Make sure you don’t miss some of the can’t-miss experiences, like IllumiNations or Soarin’ at Epcot.
9. Have a special dining experience
I don’t like reserving every single meal, but I do like to have one or two special dining experiences on my vacation, and you will too! What is “special” for you? Are you a foodie who would love to try something new? Someone who loves fancy, signature dining? Or a family who wants to have a fun character dining experience or themed meal? Whatever your pleasure, be sure to reserve at least one of these experiences in advance.
10. Meet characters
A day at Disney World isn’t just about rides and attractions. Don’t underestimate the amount of fun you can have greeting characters, even if you don’t have small children in your party. A fun character interaction or photo opportunity can put a smile on even the coolest teenager or most serious adult.
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11. Watch fireworks
Walt Disney World has some serious fireworks displays on a nightly basis, set to music and other effects. Make sure you see them, whether in IllumiNations, Wishes, or Fantasmic!
12. Take photos!
Part of making the most of your vacation involves capturing memories that you can relive over and over. Whether you just snap photos on your phone, bring your fancy camera, or have Disney photographers capture your special moments, make sure you don’t forget to snap lots of pictures!
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!