One of the most precious things we lose at Walt Disney World is time. We run out of time to find a souvenir, to ride that last ride, to grab a snack before the parade, and even to take a breath. Here are some of the best ways to save time and make the most of your WDW experience:
10.) Know your stroller areas
If you are taking little ones to Walt Disney World, you’ll inevitably end up using a stroller, whether it’s yours or one you rent from the park you’re in. If you do use a stroller, then it is crucial to make sure you note where the stroller parking and rental/return areas are. Not knowing where to place your stroller while going on a ride or meeting a character can be a huge waste of time when you have to circle around Adventureland just to park your stroller in a safe area where a cast member will guard it while you’re enjoying yourself. You can save so much time if you know when and where to park!
9.) Pack snacks and water
While there are some delicious snacks available at WDW resort (DOLE WHIPS), waiting in line for water and snacks constantly can be a huge time waster. While there are special snacks that are worth the wait, if you just need a pick-me-up pack of crackers or a sip of water, it’s so much more time efficient and budget savvy to bring in your own snacks. I usually pack any combination crackers, apples, granola bars, or pringles, and I always bring a reusable water bottle so I can fill up at any water fountain. It’s so much quicker to just grab an apple and munch on it while on my way to an attraction than to stop and wait in line for one.
8.) Stay on Disney Property
This is one of the best ways to save time at Walt Disney World: just stay on site! If you stay at a resort hotel, not only do you find yourself immersed in the charm and magic 24/7, but you’re right next to the parks. You can wake up and find yourself in a park in almost no time, compared to staying at a hotel off resort property and having to drive 20 minutes to get to the WDW entrance while battling Orlando traffic.
7.) Use WDW transportation
Walt Disney World offers transportation to all areas in the park, and even to Orlando National Airport. If you don’t take advantage of the transportation offered here, then you’re wasting an incredible amount of time. Not only do the shuttles take you to any park or hotel at the resort including Disney Springs, but they’re also free. It saves so much time to hop on a bus and go to your next destination instead of driving between the parks and paying the $20 parking fee. It allows you to bypass the parking lots in favor of being dropped off right in front of your park or hotel, and makes it so much easier.
6.) Pack disposable ponchos
While this may sound silly, it’s been a lifesaver for my family on multiple trips. Walt Disney World is in Orlando, FL, meaning that the weather can be unpredictable, and during the summer, afternoon rain showers are common in frequent. Instead of trying to work out umbrellas for a family or friend group, just pack some disposable ponchos. They may not be the most attractive items in the world, but they work wonders, and prevent you from having to hide out in a restaurant or gift shop every time it rains. In ponchos, you can still explore the park and go on attractions without getting soaked, and you can use your precious time in the park where it matters.
5.) Make Reservations ahead of time
If you plan on eating anywhere besides a quick-service restaurant (which I recommend because they are amazing!), then you need to make reservations well ahead of your trip. There’s nothing worse than trying to go eat somewhere for dinner in the park and having to wait over an hour because you didn’t make a reservation. It can save so much time and stress if you just go to the Walt Disney World website or check out the Walt Disney World app on your phone/tablet and make a decision about where you would like to eat. Some restaurants allow you to make reservations up to 180 days in advance, which makes it very easy to be prepared.
4.) Grab multiple maps
This one also sounds silly, but you should always get more than one map. One of the biggest time wasters is trying to find a map and navigate your way through the park. By getting more than one map, you won’t have to dig around at the bottom of your backpack while your group stands around and waits for you to tell them where to go. In fact, everyone in your group should have a map so that if you need one, someone can pull theirs out and make navigating so much easier for everyone. So, just grab a few as you walk into the park; there are plenty for you to take, and it will make your life so much easier.
3.) Pick someone to be the “planner”
While in the park, it can save a lot of time and arguing if you pick one person to keep track of time. This person can be the “planner” in that they know when reservations are, when fastpasses are, where and when to go for parades, and they keep track of how to spend time wisely. If you pick a leader like this, not only will it be less stressful for the group, but you’ll be able to keep track of how your day is being spent in an efficient manner.
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2.) Always use Fastpasses
Not using fastpasses is one of the biggest mistakes you can make while visiting Walt Disney World. Fastpasses not only save time, but they make it easier to plan your day based off of when your fastpasses are. Fastpasses allow you to skip the wait line during specific times of the day for an attraction or character meet-n-greet, which can be huge time savers. The wait time for Space Mountain, for example, can get above 2 hours some days; however, with a Fastpass, it will be no more than a 5-10 minute wait. I heavily recommend using these incredible time savers to change the way your day is spent.
1.) PLAN PLAN PLAN
The number one way to save time in the parks is to plan before you go. You should always research the park and get an idea for what you want to do at what time in addition to making reservations, getting a hotel room and selecting fastpasses. If you download the Walt Disney World app, you can actually star the attractions and entertainment you want to do, view wait times to get an idea for what you’d like to fastpass, make dining reservations, and see where bathrooms are. Use all the tools you can, whether it be a basic itinerary, the WDW app, maps, and everything you can to plan before you go. Some things can’t be planned ahead of time, but it’s important to get a general idea of what you want to do so you can save as much time as possible in the parks.
There is so much to do at Walt Disney World that you won’t want to waste any of your time while you’re there. These tips are meant to help you save time so you can have a fun and stress-free vacation!
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