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Welcome back to our blog! So excited you are here to join us. We travel to Disney a lot and we recently returned from a trip with friends. Upon returning home, our friends spread the word that we know Disney. So, I thought, let’s share some of our pro tips for Walt Disney World.
#10: Stay on Property
You will hear people say otherwise but I am here to tell you, for the most magical experience, the most convenience, for those extra magic hours and most certainly for the Magical Express, stay on property. We wrote a whole blog post about the perks of staying on property and we stand by that. From the numerous transportation options, to the priceless experience of using Magical Express and not having to worry about your luggage in the least; you can’t beat staying at one of Walt Disney World’s amazing properties and something for every price point.
#9: Bring Water
You’ve heard us before and you’ll hear it again. Water is the key to success at Walt Disney World. You think that because it is so humid, maybe you aren’t getting as dehydrated. You are. You are actually getting more dehydrated. We don’t go to the parks without one hundred ounces of water. I carry two fifty ounce refillable water bottles with us all of the time and we refill them between four and ten times a day. Drink water, drink more water and then just for the fun of it, drink even more water.
We watch people during all times of the year, drop like flies at Disney because it is either too hot, too much walking and not enough hydrating. Disney charges a lot of money for water bottles and little cups of water are simply not going to do the trick. We highly recommend bringing refillable bottles that you can drink from and fill up as needed.
#8: Bring rain gear
If you are going to Walt Disney World during the spring, summer, fall or winter, that’s right, anytime of the year, it is a really good idea to bring along some rain gear. We buy ponchos in bulk off of Amazon and then I throw a few in the backpack and we use them as needed. It is true, if you travel to Disney in the spring and summer, there is a 99% chance you will need rain gear each day, but there has rarely been a trip that we haven’t encountered a storm and these disposable ponchos don’t take up much room and are handy.
If you don’t like ponchos, you can take umbrella’s; we prefer ponchos because they are less cumbersome in our opinion but some people despise ponchos. Something about being saran wrapped to yourself in one hundred and fifty percent humidity isn’t appealing to some people so, to each their own. You can also check out our video HERE highlighting some things to do when the weather turns on you during your trip to Walt Disney World.
#7: My Disney Experience
Have you downloaded the My Disney Experience app yet? You should. It has so many amazing things for your Disney trip planning. There was a time where I would organize our trip in a trip planner. We would have a Google Doc and it would be chock full of our dining reservations, which parks we were going to be at and when, I would list out our Fast Passes, the whole thing. I don’t do that anymore, I just use My Disney Experience and it is awesome.
We download it on our phones and then we have all of our reservations on it, our dining reservations, resort reservations, you can check-in to your resort online. All of your Fast Passes will populate on the app.
You can view park hours on the app which is great so it can help you figure out which parks have extra magic hours or special events and when and you can check ride wait times which is one of the best perks of the app. You can go to any park and view the wait times for every ride or see if a ride is down.
Last thing we are going to highlight is that all of your photo pass photos will populate on your My Disney Experience app and you can view them and use them for a year after they are taken. Be sure that you download them all prior to that year being up or you will lose them.
Those are just a few of the highlights of the app but it is a game changer. If you are a planner and typically do a trip plan, this app is for you because it is everything you need in one place.
#6: Mobile Ordering
Another gem of the My Disney Experience app is mobile ordering. Mobile ordering is a service that is offered at various quick service locations throughout Walt Disney World. Some of the best places to try this service out are Satul’i Canteen in Pandora, World of Avatar, Woody’s Lunch Box in Toy Story Land and Columbia Harbor House.
It is really simple, pull up the mobile ordering tab on your My Disney Experience app, find the restaurant you are wanting to eat at, pull up the menu, select your items, and when you are ready to pick up your food click “prepare my order.” Your order is sent to the restaurant and you go to a separate line to pick up your food without waiting in the queue.
Important to note, on busy days, your food will not pop up instantly. You will still have to wait, but you skip the line. Also important to note is that on some days when the line is really crazy, they will disable mobile ordering to catch up on everything they have going on.
It is a great perk that helps you to get back to the magic and skip a line, and who doesn’t want to skip a line in Disney World.
#5: Early Morning Fast Passes
We love to book our Fast Passes early in the day. We are early morning people, especially in Disney so we try to book as many Fast Passes as possible early in the day. There are two sides to this story. A lot of time people say to book your fast passes later so that you can rope drop and get more rides early without a Fast Pass and you can save your Fast Passes for later. That is one school of thought.
We are of a different school of thought. We like to book our Fast Passes early in the day so that we can get the rides we want to ride done and book more Fast Passes! We don’t stand in lines for the most part, so we love Fast Passes and we try to book as many as possible so that we can skip as many lines as possible. This is why we love to book our Fast Passes early in the morning.
Sometimes, you don’t get what you want. Especially for rides that are popular, Flight of Passage, Slinky Dog are two that come to mind. For these, we will get one as early as possible and then try to modify to a better time for our schedule.
#4: Rope Drop
We really enjoy rope drop. There are several different ways to go about rope drop and for us, it depends on which park we are at. Rope drop is typically how people get to really popular rides prior to the main crowds of the day. Rope drop is as it sounds, you get to the park BEFORE it opens and are in line when castmembers open the gates and it is a mad rush to the most popular rides in the park.
Rope drop at Magic Kingdom is a dash to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Epcot is Frozen and Soarin’, Hollywood Studios is Slinky Dog Dash and Tower of Terror and Animal Kingdom is all things Pandora.
We do rope drop a little differently. We head in the opposite direction of the crowds at every park except Hollywood Studios. We go to Hollywood Studios for no other reason except to go to Toy Story Land so we join the crowd there.
Our favorite place to go in Magic Kingdom at Rope Drop is Liberty Square. There is no one there and it is so magical. You can walk through the streets and they are utterly abandoned. It also allowed us to get a few rides on Haunted Mansion and we usually also go to Pirates of the Caribbean.
Rope drop is a great opportunity to get a head start on a day in the parks it’s definitely something to experience. Not everyone enjoys rope drop but give it a try and see if it is for you.
#3: Take a breather, resort hop have a non-park day.
It is so easy to get caught up in the go go go of Walt Disney World. Some of our favorite days in Walt Disney World are the days that we don’t go to the parks or don’t spend our entire day in a park. We have annual passes so we can come and go to the parks as we please and we are blessed for it. If you are not annual passholders and are planning a trip to Disney, we highly recommend, planning a day that is not in the parks.
Some of the most magical aspects of Walt Disney World are the resorts. They are themed in an amazing way, especially some of our favorites, the Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Wilderness Lodge and Beach Club. During the holidays, these resorts become even more magical and the resorts are decorated according to their theme.
The resorts are a time where you can kick back, relax, explore the magic of Disney at a different pace and experience the wonders of imagineering outside of the parks. Some resorts like the Grand Floridian, Contemporary and the Polynesian even had magical spots where you can watch the fireworks. Hanging out at the resorts is one of our absolute favorite things that we do on our Disney vacations.
#2: Get the Park Hopper
Everyone vacations differently and Disney is no different. Some people want to plan to be at one park per day and full be immersed in that park and experience and that is great. We like to hop. We like to start at a park, maybe head to a resort, head to another park. We plan our trips but we also fly by the seat of our pants; it’s called balance.
It is hard to be in one park for a full day. We highly recommend getting the park hopper. This gives you the freedom to go to different parks, to come and go as you please, to revisit a park. It really helps to create a more magical vacation and puts you more in control of your plans.
#1: Plan your trip
We can’t stress this enough. Even if you aren’t a planner, it will help you to have a more magical vacation, and a more stress free vacation if you make some plans for your trip. If you are staying on property, book your dining reservations 180 days in advance. You don’t have to plan each and every one of your dining spots but plan a few because there is a really good chance that if you don’t, you will be eating at counter service locations your entire trip and there are some amazing table service restaurants.
Dining reservations go quickly. If you want to dine at Royal Palace, Be Our Guest, Chef Mickey’s, Ohana, you want to get those booked. You have to plan them out or there is no guarantee you will get to dine there.
Same goes for Fast Passes. Unless you want to spend your vacation standing in line, book your fast passes in advance so that you have a better chance of getting those rides in without waiting thirty minutes to an hour for each one.
I simply cannot stress this enough. We have friends who will go to Disney and be like, I don’t do Fast Passes, and then they watch our vlogs and say, “how did you do all of that?” Because we don’t wait in line. Because we plan. You can do Disney on the fly in some aspects but in order to have your best vacation, I’m telling you, plan things in advance. It will be a game changer.
What are some of your top takeaways from this post? Did you learn anything new? I hope this helped you in planning you upcoming Disney vacation.
Thank you for stopping by and for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse.