How a Disney Insider Tackles the Parks

Disney Castle and Backpack

Let's Recap!

1. Mobile Ordering – with My Disney Experience constantly improving, Disney now offers guests the ability to use mobile ordering at a variety of counter service restaurants throughout the theme parks.  Guests simply open their My Disney Experience apps and select where they want to order from, as well as their selections.  When they arrive at the restaurant, guests check-in using the app and the kitchen prepares their order.  Guests will then receive a notification through the app when their food is ready for pick-up at a designated pick-up window.  Guests are charged through the credit card linked to their My Disney Experience account.  This is a great tip for guests looking to save time at meal time so they can head right to their seats!
2. Backpack of Goodies – Disney allows guests into the parks with bags so long as they go through security.  We love bringing a backpack filled with things we may need throughout the day — sunscreen, bottled water, snacks, bandaids, disposable ponchos, and a spare rechargeable battery for our devices.  Guests may find waiting in line to go through security to be time wasted, but guests will love the money they’ll save by having everything on them and not having to spend money in the parks on these items if the need arises.
3. ADR Window – Disney now requires guests to have a credit card on file when they make dining reservations.  If they fail to show up, a fee of $10 per person will be charged against their credit card on file.  Guests wishing to avoid this fee must cancel their reservations at least 24 hours in advance.  Guests looking for a last minute reservation can use this to their advantage by looking for reservations within this window.  This can be a great way to find a popular, last-minute restaurant for your group!
4. Don’t Follow the Crowds – when the theme parks open, most guests will head to specific attractions.  Guests are encouraged to not follow them and go in the opposite direction.  For example, most guests head directly to Fantasyland and Tomorrowland when the Magic Kingdom opens.  We recommend that guests go to Adventureland first.  With no huge crowds to fight, guests can easily walk on to two very popular attractions — the Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean.  There might even be enough time for a Dole Whip, too!
5. Rope Drop –most guests visiting Disney World are on vacation and enjoy sleeping in.  During the peak times of the year, some parks open as early as 7 AM to allow guests to enjoy popular attractions.  We highly recommend getting to the parks at rope drop to avoid huge lines for some of their favorite and new attractions.  While there may be large lines for new attractions, they will pale in comparison to the lines that await guests in the mid-afternoon!
6. FastPass+ Selections – guests can get three FastPass+ selections initially on each day of their vacation, but are eligible for rolling FastPass+ selections after using their initial three.  Given this availability, we recommend that guests attempt to use all of their FastPass+ selections by lunch time so they can get a few more FastPass+ options throughout the afternoon.  Guests park hopping can also take advantage of selecting a FastPass+ reservation at the park they are heading to later on, even while still at the other park!

7. Park Hopping Parking - Guests planning on park hopping should keep in mind where they are going to end up at the end of the day and consider parking at that park at the beginning of the day (if driving their own vehicle).  This might take an extra 30 minutes out of their morning, but at the end of the night at Hollywood Studios after Fantasmic, it is great to walk out to your car instead of having to climb aboard a bus to ride back to Animal Kingdom to grab your car.  This will also help you get the best possible parking spot at your last location, meaning a short walk back to the car!

What are your favorite insider tips for when you visit Walt Disney World?  Are you excited to try out any of these tips?

By Tyler

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