Scheduling Your Day At Disney World Parks For Maximum Effect

Mime Festival Fantasy

Vacations are supposed to be a time for you to disconnect, relax, and recharge for your hectic life.  However, at Disney World, planning is a necessity if you want to experience some of the fabulous attractions, sample the delicious food, and see the wonderful entertainment.  We aren’t saying that you still can’t relax and take some time to yourself, you just need to plan ahead.  Here are our tips to incorporate into your next trip to help schedule your days for maximum effect!

Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs)

Intermission Food Court
Photo credit Disney

No one likes getting on vacation and then standing in line and waiting for a table to eat.  Guests wanting to be able to enjoy their meals quickly so they can get back to the fun should either utilize Mobile Ordering at select counter service restaurants across the resort, or, if you want to sit down and enjoy your meal, guests need to make advanced dining reservations. 

Guests are able to make their dining reservations 180 days in advance (and yes, you do need to make those reservations for some restaurants as they fill up quickly)!  The easiest way to make these reservations are through the My Disney Experience app, but you can also call Disney directly to speak with a Cast Member who can assist you and also can help coordinate any special occasions or celebrations!



Guests staying on property can begin making their FastPass+ selections 60 days before their vacation begins.  Having a FastPass+ allows guests to bypass the standby line and gain access to the ride in a fraction of the time.  You can make three selections initially.  Once you have used the initial three selections, you are able to go into your app and see if there are additional “bonus” selections are available for you to enjoy. 

Planning what time to use your FastPass+ selections for maximum effect is important, too — you want to be able to snag one or two extra FastPass+ selections, but you won’t need FastPass+ early in the day as the parks are filling up — we recommend looking for time slots for your FastPass+ beginning around 10 AM and piling them up and using all three before lunch time so you can get more.  Of course, if you are searching for a very popular attraction or experience, you may just need to take what is available or consider getting to the park very early.

Note Extra Magic Hours

Extra Magic Hours offer guests the ability to get into the park before day guests if they are staying in a Disney resort.  Based on the time of the year that you choose to visit, this can be as early as 6 AM.  Attractions are open, so guests are able to ride these attractions with a significantly smaller wait — during Extra Magic Hours, guests cannot make FastPass+ selections. 

It is very possible for you to ride up to three attractions during Extra Magic Hours — especially in the morning since most people choose to sleep in or take their time getting to the park.  However, EMHs can have a negative impact by causing crowds — you usually see this more with parks hosting evening Extra Magic Hours, but they are a great perk for staying on property and a great way to experience a new attraction (or to get an extra ride or two on Splash Mountain!)

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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!