Our site is full of Disney tips and tricks for first time Disney goers as well as seasoned insiders. We’ve boiled down 30 helpful tips below that’ll help you get just a little more magic out of Disney World. Enjoy!
35. Get easy access to Magic Kingdom park by booking a meal at one of the Magic Kingdom area resorts. After you finish dining, hop the monorail or a boat to the popular park.
35. A great selection of CDs featuring Disney theme park music are available in the Emporium on Main Street USA, but some of the best music is available (legally) online.
34. The Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover is a great attraction for relaxing, and it rarely has much of a line.
33. Walt Disney World celebrates Christmas in numerous ways, and many believe it’s the “most magical” time of year to visit. We agree.
32. If you want to watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks from outside the park, the best location is from the Ticket & Transportation Center, to the right of the ferry launch. The beach at Disney’s Polynesian Resort is an alternative, but the view isn’t as good.
31. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Expedition Everest are both much better at night.
30. Family photos taken from the front, dead-center of Cinderella Castle are most popular, but the back of the Castle is arguably prettier and a much more unique location for that family photo.
29. To build excitement and help plan your trip, request a free vacation planning DVD from Disney and also free customized park maps.
28. Walt Disney World counter service restaurants will give you a free cup of water (ask for a large cup!).
27. Depending upon your skipper and the guest demographic of your boat (i.e. no kids), you might get an “edgier” Jungle Cruise experience if you ride late at night.
26. Don’t believe what anyone says about the best “secret” Wishes! fireworks viewing spots. The best spots are all on Main Street USA (the very best spot is just north of Casey’s Corner). Do not watch the Wishes! fireworks in the Magic Kingdom from the hub beyond the Partners statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse. You will be too close to Cinderella Castle, and won’t be able to see much of the show.
25. Grab a snack (namely ice cream) at the FountainView in Epcot, sit outside, and enjoy the Fountain of Nations, which dances to music.
24. Don’t visit the Magic Kingdom on a Monday. Save it for the middle of the week when crowds are lower.
23. The Kitchen Sink at Beaches & Cream is an experience, not just a dessert. If you have a part of 4 or so, order it. Your kids will love the “show” when the Kitchen Sink is brought to your table.
22. If World Showcase is crowded and there are not unobstructed rail views for Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, try watching the show from the elevated platform near the Canada pavilion gift shop.
21. Bell Services at Disney hotels will store your luggage, meaning you can enjoy the parks if you arrive too early on check-in day or have a late flight out on check-out day.
20. Adults can always order from the kid’s menu, which is a great way to save money while still getting a meal that will satiate smaller/moderate appetites.
19. Besides minor decorations in the Magic Kingdom, the only way Walt Disney World “celebrates” Halloween is with the hard ticket Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, which costs $50+/person to attend. It’s worth doing once, but even if you don’t do it, the fall is a great time to visit for light crowds and great weather.
18. 50s Prime Time Cafe serves arguably the best milk shake at Walt Disney World. If you want one, but don’t want a full meal, stop by the Tune In Lounge located in the same building as the restaurant, where you can order just a milk shake. (We are really excited to try the new-ish PB&J shake.)
17. PhotoPass Cast Members will take (free!) photos of you with your camera, so don’t be afraid to ask! Make sure your settings are dialed in before handing them the camera, as they will not typically adjust settings.
16. Chances are, it will rain/sprinkle at least once during your trip. Throw-away ponchos at Walt Disney World are almost $10/each. Purchase packs of throw-away ponchos before your trip for ~$1/each.
15. World Showcase has some excellent restaurants, but most are table service. The best counter service restaurant in Epcot is Sunshine Seasons in Future World.
14. If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, you can order a regular OR large fountain drink at counter service restaurants. The default is regular, so make sure to specify large if that’s what you want.
13. If there are animal lovers in your family, eat at Sanaa and ask for a window view. Not only are the views great, but it’s one of the most underrated restaurants at Walt Disney World.
12. Attractions don’t close when the parks close, meaning that you can get in a 90-minute line at 10:59 p.m. when the parks close at 11 p.m. and be in the park well past closing. This is a great way to experience rides with perpetually long lines, like Toy Story Mania without wasting “valuable” time.
11. Instead of taking a family photo right when you enter Epcot with the rest of the masses, walk past Spaceship Earth and take your photo from the middle of the open area near MouseGear.
10. Both monorails from the Magic Kingdom stop at the Ticket & Transportation Center. If that or Epcot is your final destination, take whichever monorail comes first or has a shorter line. Similarly, Disney’s Polynesian Resort is a short walk from the Ticket & Transportation Center (worth keeping in mind if the Resort Loop line is really long).
9. If you have growing kids, a great spot for an annual photo is near the Cigar Shop Indian on Main Street USA. He’s a great measuring stick for their growth.
8. Hidden Mickey spotting is a fun game for kids. The books/apps have different point levels for the various Mickeys. Offer prizes to add to the fun. If Hidden Mickeys aren’t your thing, bringing along an Imagineering Field Guide and hunting for hidden details is a great way to increase your appreciation for the design of the parks.
7. Mizner’s Lounge at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa serves a mean Manhattan, and has a solid selection of good drinks beyond just what’s found on the resort-wide generic drinks menu.
6. All of the World Showcase countries have little nooks to explore, but Morocco is one of the best. Head deep into the pavilion to find an authentic shop. Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s fun to peruse.
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5. If you anticipate “needing” a princess dress or pirate costume while at Walt Disney World, buy it from your local Disney Store or DisneyStore.com in advance during a sale. Much cheaper that way.
4. If you plan on eating at Coral Reef in Epcot, book the earliest lunch or dinner reservation possible, show up slightly early to your reservation, and request a tank view for the most spectacular view of the marine life. Your request will usually be accommodated.
3. Don’t get duped into buying into Disney Vacation Club by the alluring promotions while at Walt Disney World. Wait until you get home, research the Pros and Cons of Disney Vacation Club, and buy via the resale market if you’re going to buy at all.
2. Get a free caffeine fix at Epcot’s Club Cool, where there are eight flavors of Coke products from around the world. Make sure to try the Beverly. It’s a rite of passage!
1. Fantasyland attractions are best experienced first thing in the morning or last thing at night to minimize waits.