15. Don’t Use a Stroller If You Can Avoid It.
If you have children that are old enough to walk and have the stamina to compete a park day with minimal whining and heartache, foregoing the stroller may be a good idea. Stroller traffic in the walkways as well as the time lost parking, reclaiming and navigating the park with a stroller can add up. If youngsters cannot hold out for a whole day of walking perhaps ditching the stroller at the hotel for evening extra magic hours only is a good idea. This tip certainly will not be a fit for every family but it is worth considering.
14. Don’t Carry Heavy or Bulky Bags.
Carrying a few drinks, sunscreen, weather gear, camera and wallet in the park bag is a good idea. Otherwise, try to ditch unnecessary items that could weight down your bag and make it more difficult to get through security. Hopping on and off rides (especially Space Mountain) is quite a bit more difficult with a bulky bag.
13. Don’t Forget to Take Photos.
It is easy to get so caught up in the shuffle of fun that you forget to take those fun Disney park photos. Take the time to snap photos here and there to remember your vacation in the years to come. My favorite park friendly item I never brave Walt Disney World without is my “camera coat” quilted cover that slides on my DSLR camera. Using the camera coat allows me to carry my camera on my arm instead of stowing it in a bag and easily snatch it out for photos while saving me the worry that the camera will get damaged.
12. Don’t Discount the Idea of Buying a Memory Maker.
The Memory Maker service is a great investment for families vacationing more than a few days. Guests can purchase Memory Maker prior to their trip for a cheaper price. Memory Maker is an idea built around the concept that the whole family should be in all the vacation photos. Park photos and videos that are captured on rides are automatically loaded to your Magic Band and Memory Maker account for you to archive and share on social media. Taking photos around the park is a really fun way to capture the scenes of Walt Disney World and get some great family photos.
11. Don’t Neglect to Read a Little About Magic Kingdom History Before Your Trip.
True Disney nerds like me enjoy the little details about Walt Disney World. I love reading about ride, park and resort history and remembering all the fun tidbits I have learned as I enjoy my vacation.
10. Don’t Ignore the Requests of Cast Members.
Cast members are some of the kindest and most fun people you will likely ever encounter. Please take care to comply with the request of cast members while vacationing. If they are asking you to exit the park in a certain manner, load a ride slower or listen to directions during an emergency please know that it is important to do so. Walt Disney World rules exist to keep the experience magical and safe for all park guests.
9. Don’t Wait to Reserve Fast Passes.
Guests that wait to reserve fast passes will likely be grumpy guests. Reserving fast passes to must do rides as soon as your fast pass window become available is crucial to the success of your vacation. Reserving ahead of time ensures you will see your family’s must dos and will not waste time in the stand by line of every ride.
8. Do Arrive Before Park Opening if Possible.
Early arrival, known as rope drop in the morning is a great opportunity to run straight to some of your favorite rides and walk on or wait in small lines. Character wait times are much smaller at opening and you will benefit from a bit of cooler weather before the sun hits full force.
7. Do Bring Weather Gear to the Park.
This means hats and sunglasses to protect you from those intense rays, rain gear to brave the pop up showers and even cold weather gear if you are visiting during a winter cold snap. Being prepared wardrobe wise will ensure you can continue to enjoy the attractions without wasting time or money when the weather takes an unexpected turn during the day.
6. Do Familiarize Yourself with a Park Map Before Your Trip.
Park maps can be found right inside park gates. These maps make great reminders or souvenirs. However, you should familiarize yourself with The Magic Kingdom park map before your vacation begins. A little research will help you understand shortcuts in the park and alternate routes to minimize your walking time. Cutting through shops to exit the park when the street is crowded or taking The Magic Kingdom Railroad to the back of the park when evening entertainment has most of Main Street U.S.A. blocked are great ways to strategize park navigation and save time.
5. Do Develop a Rider Swap Plan If Children Are Too Small to Ride.
Talk to children and your travel group ahead of time about the logistics of a rider swap if children are not tall enough to join in all the rides. Disney allows parents each take a turn waiting at the ride loading dock with their child while the other partner rides. Only some attraction offers the rider swap program, to take advantage of this program guests must speak to cast members and obtain a rider swap pass before entering the ride.
4. Do Sample Some Park Snacks.
Magical food is an integral part of Disney fun. Splurge and sample Mickey Premium Bars, goodies from the Main Street Confectionary, popcorn, roasted turkey legs and Dole Whips. I am all for saving money here and there, but eating Disney food is a big part of the park experience.
3. Do Pack Your Own Drinks.
Save massive money on drinks by packing a few of your own or bringing a refillable water bottle. Packing small juice boxes and capri suns for kids are portable ways to save a few dollars when kids want something small to sip on between attractions. Buying a meal in the park and being able to skip the cost of purchasing a drink for every family member adds up quickly.
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2. Do Stay for the Projection and Fireworks.
Celebrate the Magic castle projection and Wishes Fireworks Display is incredible. If at all possible, stay to see these two nighttime displays. Families with young children may want to take a time out during the day to nap to ensure everyone is awake enough to enjoy the projection and fireworks when they return to The Magic Kingdom in the evening.
1. Do Utilize Extra Magic Hours.
Extra magic hours are such an incredible gift for Disney resort guests. The ability to often walk on rides after or before regular park hours without fast passes is incredible. Structure your park plan to allow time and energy to get the most out of extra magic hours.
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 Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!
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