Jumping into the Disney World Vacation pool can be a scary thing. You have multiple parks to choose from including two water parks. Apparently guests can purchase something called a park hopper option where you can visit more than one park a day? Which park do I visit and when? And you’ve also been told somehow all of this can be controlled via your cell phone? It is a miracle more people don’t have an anxiety attack before their plane lands at Orlando International Airport. Fear not though Mouse fans, I’m here to give you eight fool proof tips and tricks to ensure you aren’t making a rookie mistake before stepping foot on Disney property.
8) You Get The Bands Early for a Reason – There is a reason guests get their MagicBands in advance of their vacation. There is nothing better than getting that cool box with The Incredibles plastered all over it. Times are changing and technology is making its way into timeless resorts such as Walt Disney World. Guests now have the option of picking the dates and times of their parks, rides, and attractions. Once you get your Magic Bands start to think about what rides and attractions fit your family the best. When that is narrowed down you can begin planning your Fast Pass selections within the allotted timeframe before your trip. This will at least give you a starting point for your Disney vacation.
7) Extra Magic Hours – If you are staying at a Disney property, as part of your package you have access to Extra Magic Hours. These times can be early in the morning or late at night. Be sure to take full advantage of these, especially the early morning ones. Guests can have the option of riding their favorite attraction without wasting a Fast Pass on it with a minimal wait time. This is a must do, if you are an early riser.
6) Back to Front – If you’re an early riser like I am, you like to hit the parks the second they open those gates. If you want to get the most out of your day, start with the attractions at the BACK of the park first, and work your way forward. You’ll notice an onslaught of people crowding around the first attraction they see and a line begins to form immediately. For instance, if you are doing Animal Kingdom, head directly to Expedition Everest, as it is in the back of the park. You’ll probably be able to ride it multiple times with no wait!
5) FastPasses are Like Gold – There is a reason FastPasses are so difficult to come by for certain attractions. Some attractions I wouldn’t recommend doing without them, especially the newer ones or the nostalgic “mountain” coasters. Some attractions offer Fast Pass when they really aren’t necessary. If you have any questions as to whether you should use up one of your Fast Pass options with an attraction, feel free to ask about it within the comments section.
4) Not a Planner? – If you choose not to plan ahead for your Disney vacation, and want to fly by the seat of your pants, that is fine. You will most likely be dealing with long lines, an overcrowded tram and monorail, absurd wait times for any type of food service, and probably have your patience tested more often than not. If you simply want to take in the magic and enjoy everything Disney has to offer including some chaos, don’t plan a thing.
3) No FastPass, No Problem – Sometimes folks just want to get away and decide to make a day trip to Disney. I wish I had that luxury myself, but being up north, it isn’t that easy. One of the big draws, to the Magic Kingdom especially, are the parades. Crowds usually flock to Main Street during the parade to watch Mickey and friends ride on floats up and down Main Street USA. Check the park schedule and see when the daily parade is and crowds typically die down a little at the more popular attractions. Also, during the fireworks is another time in which crowds thin out from the attractions.
2) Monorail and Tram Riding – What could be so hard about riding a monorail or a tram to get into the park? You’d be amazed at the congregation of people that clog the middle of the tram. If you are riding either the tram from the parking lot or the monorail, head all the way down to the END of where each vehicle arrives. There is virtually no line and most of the time the tram conductor is clamoring for guests to fill those carts. The same goes for the monorail as well. There is also a ferry that takes guests across the water into the Magic Kingdom as well.
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1) There is an App for That – The My Disney Experience App has been the best addition to the park experience in quite some time. You can book restaurant reservations, change your Fast Pass experiences, see wait times for rides, and have an interactive park map right at your fingertips. Guests can really make decisions in “real time” based on what is going on in the park at that very moment. Technology like this may be frowned upon by some, but it is a life saver when it comes to having an efficient and thorough park experience.
There is no right or wrong way to do Disney World. I’ve learned a lot of things along the way to ensure I get the most out of each park and what it has to offer. Some guests don’t like to plan and don’t want to be tied into doing certain rides at certain times, and time has no meaning on their vacation. After all, you are on vacation right? However, I think everyone likes to be efficient, especially when there are thousands of people trying to do the same thing at the same time. Disney has added some new technology to help enhance the guest experience. My suggestion is to use it to your advantage and help make your first stay a memorable and stress free one.
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