15 Tips For Optimizing Your Time At Walt Disney World

Cinderella's Castle Clock

When planning your Disney World vacation, you definitely want to make every moment count. Here are some ways to optimize your time inside the parks…

15. Arrive Early – We say it all the time on this site—don’t sleep in on a park day! Arriving at rope-drop is not just fun, it also allows you to be one of the first inside, which can be a considerable time savings. Don’t forget to factor in extra time for transportation or parking when you set your alarm.

14. Plan Your Rush Ride – This is the ride that you get in early for. Perhaps it’s the popular ride that you weren’t able to reserve on FastPass+. Whatever you choose, know where you’re headed first in order to make use of those valuable early bird minutes when the lines haven’t formed yet.

13. Reserve Early Fast Passes – Make sure that your initial three Fast Passes are reserved for morning time slots, even if it means that you don’t get your first choice (you can always make that your rush ride). After your initial three are used, you can begin reserving more Fast Passes. You don’t want to have to wait around until nightfall for that option.

12. Reserve Fast Passes in the Same Area – This is especially important in Magic Kingdom. You don’t want to waste time trekking back and forth across the park. Instead, plan your schedule (and your Fast Passes) for the same area, if possible.

11. Eat Meals at Unusual Times – A late breakfast after you’ve done a few rides is a great mid-morning break. Also, an early counter service lunch or dinner can save you time in line and give you the best pick of tables. Plus, when you eat at off-times you can sometimes do rides more efficiently while others are eating “normal” meals.

10. Eat Snacks in Line – If you’re craving ice cream and adventure… do both! Grab a Mickey Bar and head to your next attraction. No need to wait around while you eat and THEN wait around for a ride.

9. Use the Restroom as a Group – If you’ve got a large group with small bladders (i.e. kids) make sure that everyone uses the restroom at the same time even if they don’t HAVE to go. Taking multiple bathroom breaks can be a big time guzzler.

8. Refill Water Bottles as a Group – Similarly, if one group member needs to stop to refill their water bottle, use that stop to refill ALL the water bottles, even if they’re not completely empty yet.

7. Park Strollers in Central Spots – This one is also important in Magic Kingdom. Parking and retrieving strollers in between each ride can be an annoying waste of time. Instead, figure out a central spot to park, do a few attractions, and then retrieve the stroller when it’s time to move on.

6. Utilize Wait Times – While you’re waiting for a ride/show/parade be sure to plan exactly what you’ll do when that ride/show/parade is over and how you’ll get there. Making wait times work for you is the key to having less down time.

5. Utilize the App – These days you’ll see a lot of people on their phones while in line. Hopefully they are using them for the My Disney Experience app and not to check work e-mails. 😉 The app will tell you current wait times for all attractions, which will give you great info for the planning mentioned in point #6.

4. Ask a Cast Member – Before you enter a queue, ask the cast member there if the posted wait time is correct. They are experts at their position, and they definitely know better than the computers. Once a cast member at Winnie the Pooh told me he thought the wait time would actually be double what was posted because there was a recent issue with the ride.

3. Make the Most of Nap Time – If you’re traveling with small children, they will most likely crash at some point and fall asleep in the stroller. Make a plan beforehand of what the adults/big kids are going to do during this time. It could be a great time to do Rider Swap on some rides with height restrictions. Or it could be a great time to get some shopping done!

Bonus Tip!

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 Disney travel deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius! Discover More >

2. Consider Character Meals – Character meals are pricey, but they will save you some time by allowing you to eat and greet characters all at once. One character meal could save you an hour or more in lines, depending on who is there.

1. Stay Late – Make the most of every moment by staying in the park until closing. Disney is beautiful after dark! Sometimes you can enjoy a ride multiple times if you’re one of the last guests there.

No matter how you spend your time at Disney World, make sure you soak in the magic. Time flies, but those memories will remain!

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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About Melissa

Melissa resides on Florida's beautiful Space Coast with her husband and four Disney-loving boys. She frequently allows skipping school for Disney World visits...because making memories is more important than math. Their family has also been seen on HGTV's hit show "My Yard Goes Disney."

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