Disney World Tips & Tricks [Over 75 Amazing MUST KNOW Tips]

It’s funny… I never considered myself a Disney fanatic or a Disney Pro. Until friends began approaching me to help them plan their Disney World Vacations. Turns out my 20+ visits to Disney World + a few inside Disney World tips from my Imagineer dad qualified me to help families make the best of their Disney World Vacations. So, in order to help out, even more, people I decided to put together a list of all my best tips, tricks, and a few Disney World secrets. I hope you enjoy!!

Disney World Tips - Happy Girl with Mickey Balloon Background at Magic Kingdom | Global Munchkins

Disney World Tips & Tricks- MUST Know Before You Go

In order to save you time and keep things organized, I have divided the tips up by the Walt Disney World parks. Read through them or skip to the areas that you are interested in. And, don’t forget to leave me a comment and tell me what you think πŸ™‚

All Parks

    • Order your Personalized Magic Bands and book Disney’s Magical Express ASAP (Disney Resort Guests Only)- your magic bands and luggage tags need ample time to arrive before you leave. Your magic band will be your most prized possession. It is your room key, park ticket, payment method, photo pass, memory maker tag & more! Magical Express luggage tags mean you won’t even have to go to baggage claim when you arrive- SCORE!
    • Download the My Disney Experience App it’s AMAZING!- the app is available here. And, it links your reservations, lets you search ride wait times, book dining reservations, purchase souvenirs and send them to your room or mail them home and it’s linked to your photo pass!!!
    • Stay away from the EXTRA Magic Hours Parks- the parks with Extra Magic Hours for Disney Hotel Guests tend to be the busiest the entire day. If it is an early morning magic hours and you are staying at one of the Disney resorts you can take advantage of the early morning and get out because it gets packed, however, if you oversleep and don’t make it to the early entry, change plans and go to a different park.
    • FREE Ice Water.  Ice water is free from any cafe with fountain soda service we like to bring refillable water bottles to make it easier to carry around.
    • Fast Pass- schedule your first 3 fast passes for the morning in one park, then after you finish you can use the app or visit a kiosk to schedule your next three in the evening at the same park or a different one. (Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Guests can book Fast Passes up to 60 days in advance of their reservation date)
    • Single rider- Test Track, Expedition Everest, and Rock N Rollercoaster all have a separate line for single riders.
    • Riders Switch Pass- have little ones that can’t or don’t want to ride? Have one parent and said child wait outside while the rest of the party walks through the queue as normal. Then let a cast member know you are doing Rider Switch. They will give you a Rider Switch Pass (like a Fast Pass). You simply enjoy the attraction as normal and exit. Then, you hand the person waiting with the child outside the Rider Switch Pass and they go through the fast pass line with up to 2 additional riders. This way everyone gets to ride and you DON’T have to wait in line twice!!
    • Make all of your dining reservations 6 months in advance- you can make reservations on the My Disney Experience App, online here or by calling (407) WDW-DINE.
    • Adults can order kids meals at Disney- whether you are health conscious or trying to stay on budget ordering off the kid’s meal can be a great choice. There are a number of healthy options available and the portion sizes were just right for me.
    • PhotoPass- Disney has professional photographers throughout the park ready to capture your special moments. They will give you a photo pass or link your magic band so you can view the photos on the Disney Experience app or website at a later time.
      • Pro Tip- Did you know these photographers will also take a photo of you using your camera or phone? Pretty cool right?
    • Mobile Food Ordering- Nothing is worse than being hungry and then having to wait in line. Lucky for you, Disney has rolled out Mobile Food Ordering directly from the My Disney Experience App. Simply place your order, head to a specially marked window and pick up your yummy food.
    • Bring your own snacks into the parks- check out our Disney Packing List + the learn about our FAVORITE Grocery Store near Disney World here (*you don’t even have to leave your car if you use their online ordering).
    • Pack a strong but compact umbrella – It rains in Florida…a lot! Let me tell you something. I have done every type of umbrella/poncho. I packed the giant ones but they were a pain to take on the planes and the Disney buses. I did the cheap ones from Disney (cheap made, not price) that broke after a few days. The best umbrella to pack is this one from amazon.com. I have had it for years and every time I use it, whether its to block the sun or the rain.


 

Here are some of the moments our Photo Pass captured. And, thanks to the Memory Maker we were provided through DisneySMMC, every picture like this was ours to keep.

Family on Rockin' Roller Coaster in Hollywood Studios | Global Munchkins Ride photo from Splash Mountain Magic Kingdom | Global Munchkins

    • Pro Tip- If you can afford it the Memory Maker is an AMAZING tool!!! It tracks the photos you take on the rides, while meeting characters and any photo you take with a Disney Photo Pass Photographer. The photos come directly to your My Disney Experience app or can be viewed online almost instantly. From there you can download the photos to keep with just one click! There is an additional fee but with all the special photo memories we brought back I would say it’s totally worth the cost. I won’t even bring my big camera next time we go!
  • Chewing Gum- if you like gum pack it, none is sold in the parks.
  • Purchase Discounted Tickets– We have a full breakdown of where to get discounted Disney World Tickets, however typically Undercover Tourist is our go-to resource for discounted Disney World tickets.  Check Current Prices Here!


Discount Disney Tickets

Disney Resorts – Money Saving Tips

Staying onsite at one of the Disney Resorts is probably my favorite thing in the world. I have stayed at both onsite and offsite hotels, and there is just something magical about staying onsite. I think it’s that the Disney service, decorations, begins the moment you wake up and continues throughout the day. Now, staying at a Disney Resort can be costly. We were lucky enough to make the decision to purchase a Disney Vacation Club when we went to Disney World our first time and it has helped us afford to visit Disney World every year after (sometimes multiple times a year).

Happy Transracial Adoptive Family on boardwalk at Beach Club Resort | Global Munchkins

Disney Vacation Club – Saves you up to 50% OFF Your Stay

If you plan on visiting Disney World more than once I highly recommend looking into the Disney Vacation Club.  The Disney Vacation Club (a.k.a. “DVC”) is a timeshare program that makes it cheaper to stay at one of the Disney resorts in the park. You can buy or rent a DVC resale online from a current DVC owner and save up to 50% off the total cost for a week’s stay at a Disney resort. If you visit Disney often, a DVC resale would be a wise way for you save money while still being able to stay at one of Disney’s wonderful resorts. Browse DVC Resales for sale by owner online at BuyaTimeshare.com and make an offer on an ad of your choice to get started.

Dvc Resales

 

  • DVC RENTALS – One of my favorite Disney World tips is DVC Rentals. If you are not ready to purchase a Disney Vacation Club, you can also save on your Disney Vacation by renting a DVC timeshare. Disney Vacation Club members are allowed to book resort stays for their guests. There are several sites that allow you to “rent” points from a member. This can save you a considerable amount of money if you are planning to stay on property. Our favorite DVC Rental site is the DVC Request. See how much you could save by renting points by clicking here or clicking the banner below.

  • Buy the refillable drink mug the first day you arrive- great for morning coffee, sodas, tea and hot cocoa at night! Plus, a fun souvenir to take home. I think this is my kids favorite Disney World Tip because they remind me to get the mug the moment we arrive. See below.

Kids with their Refillable Mugs Disney Resort | Global Munchkins

  • Disney Transportation- plan more time than you think you need if using Disney Transportation. It is a great way to get around but buses only come every 20 minutes or so and sometimes they have multiple stops.
  • Sign up for a wake-up call- you receive a phone call in the morning from a Disney character and the kids will love it!
  • Souvenir Room Delivery- You can have souvenirs delivered straight to your room from any Disney park. This way you don’t have to carry them around all day! You can also order items straight from the My Disney Experience app and have them delivered to your room or items can also be mailed home directly.
  • Best Resort Dining-
    • Best Food: Kona Cafe (Polynesian), Boma (Animal Kingdom Lodge), California Grill (Contemporary) & Sanaa (Animal Kingdom Lodge)
    • Best Character Dining: Chef Mickey’s (Contemporary), Cape May Cafe (Beach Club), O’hana (Polynesian)
    • Best Themed Dining- Beaches N Cream (Beach Club), Perfectly Princess Tea (Grand Floridian) & Whispering Canyon Cafe (Wilderness Lodge)
  • Best Concierge- Animal Kingdom Lodge – Check Prices Here!
  • Best Overall- The Beach Club Villas – Check Hotel Prices Here!
  • Best Pools- Yacht & Beach Club + Animal Kingdom Lodge (Kidani Village) its a tie for me!
  • BONUS- Don’t forget to grab groceries on your way in too! Disney will place a mini fridge in your room + DVC villas have a fridge in them already. Read why Walmart is our grocer of choice near Disney World here.

Disney World Tips – Magic Kingdom

Kids with Mouse Ears in Magic Kingdom | Global Munchkins

  • Avoid the Crowds- work the park from the back to the front and counterclockwise to avoid the crowds. Also, plan to ride the big rides when others are watching the parades. I usually head to Frontierland where Big Thunder is and start working my way back through the park from there.
  • Stay Cool- most of the year it’s pretty darn hot. Magic Kingdom Park has some awesome spots to cool off in that will help make your day much better. Try checking out:
    • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
    • Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor
    • Country Bear Jamboree
    • The Hall of Presidents
    • Haunted Mansion
    • Small World
    • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
    • Pirate’s of the Caribbean
    • Under the Sea- Journey of the Little Mermaid
    • Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress

*And, honestly if it is just too hot head over to the Walt Disney World Water Parks.

Transracial Family Dumbo Ride at Magic Kingdom | Global Munchkins

Family on Magic Carpet ride in Magic Kingdom | Global Munchkins

  • For the Littles: Splash Mountain has a great playground located at the exit, underneath the train tracks you see below.

Splash Mountain entrance | Global Munchkins

  • Watch Fireworks with NO CROWDS!- you can view the fireworks from the Dumbo ride in Toon Town if you want to skip/ avoid the crowds. It is still a great view. While most people go in front of Cinderella’s Castle you can relax behind the castle with a great view minus the crowds right in front of Dumbo. Check out the picture below. It was taken in the middle of summer which is a Peak Season for Disney!
Disney World Tips - Fireworks Viewing

Enjoying Happily Ever After Fireworks in the Summer with no crowds!

  • Parade Tip- watch the parade at the second viewing time when possible. It is less crowded bc every one goes to the first one.
  • Food Tips-
    • Cinderella’s Royal Table– an amazing princess character dining restaurant. Little girls will feel like a real princess.
    • Columbia Harbor House is a great option for lunch located near the Liberty Bell in Frontierland. With two stories there is always an indoor table available and the food is good too.
    • Be Our Guest has the best food in the park and the kids will love the way the waiters deliver the food straight to your table with a fancy food cart thanks to your magic rose locater.
    • Dole Whip is available in multiple locations in Adventureland. One across from the Swiss Family Treehouse and the other by the Magic Carpet Ride.
    • Gaston’s Tavern has the amazing HUGE cinnamon rolls that used to be on Main Street. YUMMY!!!
    • Check out my top 7 guide to Quick Service Dining at Magic Kingdom & Magic Kingdom Fastpass! Tips and tricks to help you choose the Best Rides

Epcot

Gorgeous image overlooking the lake at Epcot with Ball in Background | Global Munchkins

  • The front of the park is GREAT for Hot Days!

    • Innoventions are full of hands-on educational games and simulators for the kids. The attraction is all indoors and air-conditioned.
    • Most rides are located inside air-conditioned buildings that are filled with smaller attractions as well. Giving you a much-needed break from the heat.
    • There is a playground inside Mission Space’s exit that kids love.
    • Check out all the cars inside the exit of Test Track. Kids love pretending to drive them.
    • Sample sodas from around the world at the Club Cool sponsored by Coke- it’s free!
  • Spaceship Earth- sorry to burst your bubble but this ride is nothing special and EVERYONE goes there first. So, head to the back of Future World to Test Track and Mission Space and save Spaceship Earth for later in the day. We also love Soarin’ over the world.
  • FastPasses – There are several shows and rides that offer Fastpass. I have a complete guide to planning your Epcot Fastpass here
  • Little Ones-
    • The Seas with Nemo & Friends is a great ride for kids and usually a quick queue.
    • Turtle Talk with Crush is super fun and it’s located indoors along with a giant aquarium offering ample time indoors.
    • Spaceship Earth is slow moving and if you go later in the day the queue isn’t bad.
    • Innoventions
    • Gran Fiesta Tour- boat ride with Donald in Mexico. Our kids love it!
    • Plus, Frozen Ever After located in Norway!!!!
      • Pro Tip! Head to Frozen Ever After Ride in the morning, not many people head to the World showcase in the morning so the line for Frozen is usually short (or at least reasonable) during that time.
  • Characters-
    • There is a great character greeting area called Epcot Character Spot– head there early to avoid long lines. It’s great because you wait in one line but get to meet multiple characters like Minnie, Mickey, Pluto, Goofy and Donald usually and it’s indoors and next to Starbucks!!
    • Want to see the princesses? Book a breakfast at Akerhaus in Norway and you’ll see a bunch. Book the breakfast before the park opens to be one of the first allowed in the parks πŸ˜‰
  • Kidcot- kids love coloring the Duffy Bears (free) at the Kidcot Fun Stops in the World Showcase. You can start in any country and the kids get their bear and first stamp. The kids continue collecting stamps in each country they visit!
    • Pro Tip- kids can also ask cast members in each country to write their name in the cast members native language on the back of their Duffy Bear.
  • Phineas & Ferb- kids love racing around Epcot with special phones on a detailed detective mission to save agent P. Their phones unlock special animated features throughout the park!
  • Food Tips-

Delicious Desserts in Epcot located in France area | Global Munchkins

  • Spiked Dole Whip! they spiked the delicious favorite with coconut rum. Get one… it will make your day SO much better!!
  • Snack on a Croissant Donut available at a stand near Canada in the World Showcase.

Croissant Doughnut from Epcot | Global Munchkins

  • The Jambon sandwich from France is a great lunch!
  • Grab an ice cream or a Macaroon Ice Cream Sandwich or just some delicious Macaroons. All found in France.

Ice Cream with Mickey Scoops in France at Epcot | Global Munchkins

  • Macaroon pack from France in Epcot at Disneyworld | Global Munchkins
  • Italy has the BEST latte.
  • Le Cellier has fantastic food if you are looking for a gourmet dining experience
  • Coral Reef is an incredible experience as you dine inside an aquarium.
  • Teppan Edo restaurant in Japan is a fun experience for the kids and delicious too!
  • Spice Road Table is a delicious tapas restaurant with a view of illuminations at night.
  • Schedule dinner at La Hacienda de San Angel to coincide with illuminations show and request for a table by the window. Their tacos and margaritas are fantastic!

Delicious Taco Trio from Hacienda San Angel in Epcot | Global Munchkins

  • Illuminations- the show can be seen anywhere around the world showcase so don’t worry too much about finding a seat. 30 minutes prior to show time seems to be just fine!
  • Pro Tip- there is a back exit that drops you into Boardwalk which is a great place to walk around, grab a bite (we like picking up a whole pizza pie from the walk-up window) or watch the night time entertainment. You can also walk or take a boat to Hollywood Studios from here. Just make sure if you parked at Epcot you get back to that park before closing.

Animal Kingdom

Cute baby dancing with performer at Animal Kingdom | Global Munchkins

  • Pandora – Pandora opened in May of 2017 and has been quite popular ever since. The Flight of Passage ride is my absolute favorite ride in all the Disney Parks. The only problem, long lines. So, if you haven’t pre-booked your fast pass for the flight of passage, arrive at the park about 30 minutes to an hour before and head straight there. Please check out my insider’s guide to Pandora, it has tips you need to know before you go.
  • Morning Safari- you can usually walk right on and the animals are just being fed so many are out.
  • Secret Entrance- there is a second entrance at the back of the Rain Forest Cafe Gift Shop if the front entrance is crowded.
  • FastPass- schedule a FastPass for Flight of Passage, Expedition Everest and Kali River Rapids. My complete guide to Animal Kingdom FastPass Here 
  • Characters-
    • This park is a great place to meet characters as it typically has much shorter wait times than the other parks.
    • Most are located at Discovery Island
    • You can also catch the characters by arriving early and heading to the Tree of Life. The characters arrive by car to kick off the day.
    • Or book a character breakfast at the Tusker House and see them there.
      • Pro Tip- book it before the park opens so you can be one of the first in the park!
  • Food Tips-
    • Find some great cocktails at the Dawa Bar
    • Satu’li Canteen – my kids love this place for the cheeseburger pods, my husband loves the chicken plates.
    • Harambe Market has excellent lunch. I love their Chicken Tikka Masala!
    • Grab Samosas from the food cart at the entrance of Africa.
    • Waffles and Ice Cream are tasty from Tamu Tamu.
    • Can’t beat sit down at Tiffins or Yak & Yeti. They are both excellent choices!
  • Cool Off-
    • plan to get wet, really wet if you are riding Kali River Rapids. Plan to pack ponchos and spare clothing as necessary.
    • The Lion King Show is awesome- very entertaining and is in a giant air-conditioned theater.
    • It’s Tough to be a Bug is also a great show to cool off in.

Disney World Tips – Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios | Global Munchkins

  • Getting there –  The Disney buses will take you from any of the Disney resort hotels with the exception of Disney’s Yacht Club, Disney’s Beach Club, & Disney’s Boardwalk Hotels where you can take a boat or simply walk.
  • Park Plan- head to Star Wars or Toy Story Mania first if you are at the park early as everyone else will run to Tower of Terror and Rockin Roller Coaster. Get fast passes for those!
  • Cool Off-
    • Indiana Jones Stunt Show
    • Star Tours
    • Muppet Vision 3D
    • Star Wars Launch Bay

Storm Trooper Selfie at Hollywood Studios | Global Munchkins

  • Jedi Training Academy- does your little one want to learn to be a Jedi? If yes, then you better get to the parks early.
    • Although, the website says registration begins when the park opens I have found that they begin letting people in about 30 minutes prior to that time.
    • Registration is located at the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost near the entrance of the stunt show. If you are walking into the park it will be on your left.
    • All participants MUST be present to register.
    • Participants must be 4-12 years of age
    • Space is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis
  • Star Wars Launch Bay- make sure to stop by and give Chewbacca a big hug. Plus, you can also meet Kylo Ren too!

Hug from Chewbacca at Hollywood Studios | Global Munchkins

  • Disney Pro Tip- The Jawas will trade you. So, bring something that you don’t mind giving away and you’ll get a fun star wars trinket in exchange!

Jawa Trading at Star Wars Launch Bay | Global Munchkins

  • Rockin Roller Coaster & Tower of Terror- when the line merges into a smaller room go towards the wall with a door. When it opens you will be closer to the front of the line.
  • New Toy Story Land Tips! – The New Toy Story land is here and the area will be packed for the foreseeable future. However, head over to Toy Story Land at night and you can hit up all three rides in less than 90 Minutes. Check out all our Hollywood Studios Fastpass Tips Here!
  • Food Tips-
    • On the dining plan? Mama Rose’s Fantasmic package is included on the dining plan and your meal includes a fast pass for Fantasmic!
    • The Brown Derby has the best food in the park in my opinion.
      • Pro Tip- they also have a bar called the Brown Derby Lounge where you can grab amazing cocktails and appetizers too!
    • 50’s Prime Time Cafe is a hoot especially with tweens as they get bossed around by the funny wait staff. Think “elbows off the table” “eat your veggies” type stuff.
    • Hollywood & Vine has character dining with the Disney Jr. Characters. It’s best to book prior to park opening to be allowed in the park early or book lunch because it’s a great place to cool down and relax.
  • Fantasmic- don’t stress too much about seating because it’s located in a huge stadium and most seats are pretty great. If there are two shows opt for the second. Most will go to the first and you can ride the big rides at that time with very little wait. Plus, because the shows are back to back you won’t wait as long to sit down either.
    • Pro Tip– Watch out because if you sit in the first five rows you will get misted and splashed throughout the show.

Dinsey-pandora

Booking your Vacation –

Planning a Disney Vacation is, in my opinion, one of the hardest trips to book, especially if it is your first time. Heck, I’ve been over 30 times and it’s still quite a challenge for me.

Between planning the fast passes, ordering the magic bands, booking advanced dining reservations, figuring out how to get to the parks, it’s just A LOT!

I say, save yourself a lot of time and in many cases, you will save some money by booking with an authorized Disney Vacation Planner.

The best Disney Travel Agents will do an assortment of things for you that will make your trip so much easier. For example, Tink’s Magical Vacations will provide:

  • Itinerary Planning
  • Fast Pass Recommendations w/ Height Requirement info
  • Give you recommendations on which Dining Plan is best as well as what type of Theme Park tickets are best for you and your family.
  • Remind you of your Advanced Dining Reservation (so you don’t miss it and get charged $10 per person for a no show… that’s not fun)
  • Video Tutorials on how to use My Disney Experience App & Personalizing Magic Bands
  • Plus, they always are researching for promotions, so if they find a better price for your vacation, they will call Disney to get you that promo.

There are quite a ton of travel agents to choose from, I always recommend people using someone like Tink’s Magical Vacations who has been to all the parks numerous times themselves. So make sure to ask the travel agent about their experiences at the park. Look for an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, because they have a vast amount of knowledge about the parks. They will have a logo on their site like the one below to let you know they are an authorized planner.disney travel agent logo

 

 

 

Want More Planning Tips? Order the Disney World Planning DVD on the link below.

Pin for later-

Excellent Disney World tips & tricks from a pro | Global Munchkins Disney World Tips & Tricks - Over 100 Great Tips from a Mom of 5 who has visited Disney World over 25 times! Updated for the New Toy Story Land!

Do you have Disney World Tips that I missed?

Tell me in the comments below and I will update the post and credit you!!

*Disclosure- A special thanks to DisneySMMC for inviting us to their amazing conference. We received discounted theme park tickets and room reservations for this wonderful event. We also were given a few extra perks. This post contains affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are, as always, 100% my own.

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Disney World Tips & Tricks - Over 75 of our Best tips to help you navigate the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios & the Resorts!

59 Comments

  • Sophia says:

    I wish I knew these tips before I took my son to Disney.

  • Shruti says:

    Funny I came across this post today because just yesterday I made a bucket list for after having my baby and Going to Disney was one of the things!
    Loved reading through
    Tee

  • Vet Leow says:

    Thanks for sharing these incredible tips and apps we can use to make our Disney trip a memorable one! Definitely bookmarking! πŸ™‚

  • Lauren says:

    Oh my gosh – great tips! My parents live in FL so we go often and I had no idea about some of these! Thank you!

  • Desirae says:

    Brilliant post! We are hoping to visit Disney Paris, so I’m not sure how many of them will apply, but these are still great to know!

  • I live in California so typically frequent Disneyland instead and I can’t wait for Magic Bands to come here! I don’t really have a tip, but a recommendation. If you like taking pictures with characters and have a Polaroid camera, ask the cast members to take the Polaroid & then have the character sign it- it’s a great souvenir! Great post πŸ™‚

    • Mama Munchkin says:

      Megan that is such a fun tip! I think I will do that for my daughter and make our own autograph book. Love it!!!

  • Before we planned our Disney trip I devoured anything I could about how to survive Disney, this is a great post to add to the collection!

  • Alison says:

    This is just what I’ve been looking for! Thanks so much! I’m in the UK so haven’t been to Disneyworld before but we’re taking our little ones (they’ll be almost 5 and almost 2) in September and these tips are so great. Looks like I am going to come home a stone heavier though haha, the food looks amazing! Pinned for later πŸ™‚

    • Mama Munchkin says:

      September is one of our favorite times to visit. The wait times are significantly less and the weather is beautiful. You’ll have a great time! Let me know if you have any other questions πŸ™‚

  • I went to Disney for my honeymoon 5 years ago and it was amazing. Before we went I read everything Disney so I could be all prepared. I’m glad I did. xx

    • Mama Munchkin says:

      It really does help when you do your research prior to traveling. We’ve learned that the hard way a few times.

  • Art says:

    Start at the back of the park and go counter clockwise…that’s genius! So many great ideas, bookmarking this to review before our next Disney trip. thx!

  • Sarah says:

    I’d add: Bring a spray bottle of watee and midst yourself and your kids to stay cool. Pack cooked tortillini or ravioli … doesn’t spill and fills little bellies. Play the sorceres game in between fast passes (MK). For a stroller that reclines to flat, lay it down totally flat and put your backpack there for kid to lean on, I add a blanket to keep it soft, less to carry and conceals a backpack when you park your stroller. I do this with one side of a double stroller to keep access to the underneath compartment accessible. Water is free, yes, but tastes terrible. Bring frozen waterbottles, no matter what time of year, they.will.melt. bring lemon essential oil or lemonade packet drop ins if you must drink disney water, or just get ice from Disney and bring your own drinks. Get a popcorn bucket on day 1, it’s $10 but only $1.50 to refill… with a bunch of kids ask for cups for everyone in the party to easily share with all.. then refill again before leaving. If you want to buy something expensive and have cash, ask a annual passholders to buy it for you with their 20% discount. Unlike Disneyland, strollers must be folded on parking trams. Not sure how they get away with that in regards to wheelchairs, maybe special hc parking. Don’t pack your stroller if you want to take the tram (mines always too full so I never take the parking tram at any park). You can walk a stroller onto the MK boat or monorail without folding it though. Go to the ride you got a fp for way if your in that area, if ghe line for standby is reasonable, jump on and cancel that fp allowing yourself a chance at another instead. Pack pjs, toothbrushes and water bottle in your car, make sure kids go to the bathroom before you leave the park then change um brush um and they will pass out on your way to.. whever. Easy transfer when all that is out of the way

  • Lorraine says:

    I went in Disneyworld last year. I really love the experiences I made there. I will be back soon.

  • Kathie Hartwell says:

    Parking a Disney Springs is free. Park there and take the bus to where you’re going.
    Bring your own food. (Great in strollers).
    But souvenirs off of Ebay
    Buy autograph books on Ebay
    Buy pins off of Ebay
    If possible, go on off season
    Child wants to dress like favorite character? Buy the outfit and dress them up before they go in.
    Mickey ears are expensive. $40 to $80 Check ebay

  • Sarah Semsch says:

    I’m so glad I found your page! We are visiting Disney world this weekend and I’m printing out some of your tips to take with me. We have been saving for this vacation for 5 years and I’m glad your ideas will help us make the most of it. Seeing all your fun photos has made me even more excited to go! Thanks for taking the time to let other families know how to make great memories . Now I can’t wait to check out the rest of your site.

  • Samantha says:

    If we have a couple of disabled people in our group how does that work for rides?

  • BettyAnn says:

    Great tips. There is so to know before planning a Disney vacation! I found these tool helpful, as well: http://magicguides.com/disney-world-transportation-map/ and the http://magicguides.com/disney-dining-plan-calculator/

  • Becky says:

    Great tips! One of the best Disney tips articles I’ve read! Thanks!

    • Mama Munchkin says:

      Wow!! You just made my day. Thank you. Let me know if you have any questions. We love our Disney trips and I would love to help you plan yours too πŸ™‚

  • Peg P says:

    I found Hollywood & Vine and Mama Melrose’s to be THE worst restaurants we’ve eaten at anywhere on the Disney World resort area. It’s pretty sad when a kid who loves breakfast foods won’t eat the scrambled eggs because “they tasted funny.” It’s pretty hard to mess up scrambled eggs.

    When we dined at Mama Melrose’s, we had more flies at our table than people (ack). They also messed up my meal. I asked that something be left off of my meal and was told no problem. Apparently it was a problem because the meal came with it anyway. We left hungry because the food just wasn’t that great.

    We now leave the park to eat, then go back to the park later.

    • Mama Munchkin says:

      Oh no… I am so sorry that you had that kind of experience. I will say it’s been awhile since we ate at that particular character breakfast. I would encourage you to reach out to Disney and let them know about your experience too. We have had hits & misses with character dining both at Disneyland and Disney World. Most recently I was less than impressed with Cinderella’s Royal Table and delighted with the O’hana and Cape May character breakfasts so those would be my go to suggestions. Thank you for being honest and helping future travelers. Again, I am terribly sorry you had to experience that.

  • Yasmine says:

    This is so helpful! Thanks for the great tips. I will use them when I go to Disney πŸ™‚

  • Casey says:

    Your tips were great…. I would add two packing tips…

    1.). Bring two pair of tennis shoes. We went last summer and it rained while we were at Animal Kingdom and the water got up to our ankles in some places!! Still a blast even in the rain,but it was nice to have an extra pair to wear that afternoon.

    2.) Buy disposable cameras for your children. kids enjoyed taking their OWN pictures of whatever they wanted and liked!! Plus it saves room in your phone storage!

  • Megan says:

    Thank you for all of your tips! They definitely made our recent trip much easier. We tried to rope drop at Animal Kingdom to get on Flight of Passage and it was kind of a nightmare. Everyone was doing it, grownups were pushing kids out of the way to get there first and the wait was three hours long within five minutes of the park opening. We found it was better to do closer to park closing time with the wait being half as long.

    • Mama Munchkin says:

      I’m so glad you found the tips helpful. Thank you for the update on Flight of Passage. We’ll have to try that when we are there next week πŸ™‚

  • Lindsey Whaler says:

    Since when can you not catch a bus from one park to the next? I have ALWAYS done that… is it new for 2018?

  • Melissa says:

    I took my 14 year old daughter 2 years ago by ourselves. I highly recommend taking just 1 kid (especially since we have 4:)
    We shared every meal & snack. Saved a ton of money and got to do so much since it was just 2 of us.
    We got to MK 30 minutes before it opened so were first at the rope, first in property. This was so special to us, walking in to an empty park is a huge delight!

  • Jack D says:

    These tips are amazing! Will definitely use them on next Disney trip next year! However, I disagree with just one minor detail – the transportation. You stated that you cannot catch shuttle buses between parks, but back when I went in 2016, we were easily able to get a shuttle bus to any park from any park. Is this correct still? But these tips are still fantastic!

  • nancy says:

    I disagree. Space Ship Earth is amazing, educational and awe inspiring! It is a family favorite. I do agree, however, to visit much later in the day or at night.

  • Jessica Colunga says:

    The refillable drink mug you advise to purchase on the day of arrival, is that from a resort hotel or at the parks?

  • Chris B says:

    Some great tips here, even for those that have been before.

    I disagree re. the park to park transportation though. Unless things have very recently changed, there are buses to take you directly from park to park in most cases.

    Minor exceptions for Magic Kingdom and needing to go via. the TTC and/or monorail.

  • Sarah Concannon says:

    Love your tips! Question for you, when booking the fastpass attractions how do you know what time to reserve the next one. Do you need more than an hour in between each ride? Also what time do you suggest to get to the park before gates open, I have heard the lines to get in are long?

    • Mama Munchkin says:

      Hello Sarah, thank you so much I am happy to hear you found our tips useful. I would suggest arriving to the park about 30 minutes prior to opening unless it is a park with new rides (Animal Kingdom) then an hour is good.

      Fast Passes can only be reserved once per hour so spacing them out an hour is good. Some people recommend booking three fast passes for one park in the am. And, then when you get to that park you book three additional (day of) fast passes for the same park in the afternoon or at another park.

  • Sarah Concannon says:

    Great, thank you so much. First time to DW and US with 4 under 6 yrs old, I’m a little intimidated but we are bringing a grandma so we should survive πŸ˜‰

  • Kate says:

    These tips are amazing. It’s my first trip to America let alone Disney. We are coming with my parents and my brother and his family 10 of us).
    We go in April and I am so excited. Thank you for your inside tips. Truly they are very helpful. Many thanks
    Kate x

    • Mama Munchkin says:

      Hey Kate,

      Thanks for the nice comments. April is one of my favorite times to go. The weather is perfect and Epcot’s flower and garden festival is going on. Have a great time.

  • Jeff says:

    I’d like to add another tip if traveling with kids. Take along a travel journal for them to document their experiences as they happen. My book, Kid’s Travel Journal – Disney Edition (#1 Disney Travel Journal on Amazon) is a great option. It fits nicely into a backpack or purse and contains 10-days worth of entries, with multiple pages of writing prompts per day. There is also space to get passport stamps at Epcot’s World Showcase, lots of pages for character autographs, games and activities and more! A great keepsake for any child heading to Walt Disney World in Orlando!

  • As a mom and a Disney lover, I really like your post. Every people should read this content before planning a trip to WDW. Thanks “MAMA MUNCHKIN” for your very effective post.

  • Annie says:

    Hi! Thanks for the tips, they’re great! Questionβ€”for the Jedi training sign up you say they actually start taking names 30 minutes before they open, but park hours say open at 9am. Can you actually go in the park early or should we just plan on getting there as close to 9 as possible?! Thank you!!

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