We are gearing up for our BIG Summer “Southern Beaches Road Trip” which will take us from Myrtle Beach, SC all the way down to Orlando for our grand finale. And, since I am in the planning stages of our Disney World trip I thought I would share some of my BEST Disney Planning Tips & Tricks. Today we discussed Magic Bands, Advanced Dining Reservations (and whether or not the Disney Dining Plan is for your family), and FastPass+ Plans. You can watch the whole episode on replay below or read through my tips. Make sure to leave a comment if you have any questions or you have Disney World tips of your own to share 😉 Happy Travels!!
Family Travel Chat LIVE Episode 13 (Disney World Planning Tips & Mistakes to Avoid for Rookies + AMAZING Travel Deals on the Web TODAY!
3 BIGGEST Mistakes Rookies Make
- Over planning (THINK Quality over Quantity)
- Not making a loose plan and not booking Advanced Dining Reservations + FastPass as early as possible
- Not taking CRAZY FL weather and your kids’ moods into consideration. Plan down time!
- Also, not wearing comfortable shoes! (Avg. person walks 7-12 miles a day at WDW)
My Disney Experience + Order Personalized Magic Bands
- Website & App that hold all of your reservations (Room, Dining, FastPass+). Check it out here.
- Also, connect your Memory Maker– which is totally worth the money! You can instantly share photos as you hop off the rides it is amazing!! You seriously don’t even need your big camera.
- App allows you to check current wait times. And, also connects everyone if you are traveling with a large group.
- It even sends you reminders about reservations helping you stay on track. And, stores notes/ wishes.
- MAGIC BANDS- use these as your…
- Room Key
- Pool Entrance
- Park Entrance/ Tickets/ Admission
- Room Charge Card
- PhotoPass/ Memory Maker
Not sure if it is for you? Here is a quick overview + calculation chart to help you decide.
Quick Service Dining Plan (about $48 per adult/$20 per child per night)
- Two Quick Service Meals (includes one entree and one non-alcoholic beverage)
- Two Snacks
- One Refillable Resort Mug
Standard Dining Plan (about $70 per adult/$25 per child per night)
- One Table Service Meal (includes one entree, one non-alcoholic beverage, and one dessert OR one full buffet)
- One Quick Service Meal (includes one entree and one non-alcoholic beverage)
- Two Snacks
- One Refillable Resort Mug
Deluxe Dining Plan (about $106 per adult/$39 per child per night)
- Three Meals (redeemable interchangeably at Quick Service or Table Service locations)
- Two Snacks
- One Refillable Resort Mug
- Quick Service credits are worth about $16
- Table Service credits are worth about $39
- Snack credits are worth about $5
More on WDW Dining-
- A child is 3-9 years to Disney and those meals are supposed to be kids meals but not every restaurant enforces this so it’s worth asking for fish or steak if your kid is a foodie. Also, a Shirley temple counts as their drink 😉
- You can use meal credits in any order you like, balances show up on the bottom of the receipt. They are in a lump sum, so you can have kids share a meal and store up credits to use elsewhere during your trip.
- Don’t need it if you have young kids or if you don’t want to schedule your park time around meals, your more health conscious or not a big eater
- YES- the dining plan is for you if you want character dining experiences, enjoy sitting down for 1 1/2 hours for a meal, and if you use the credits wisely- not on water when you can get that free, not on signature restaurants which cost 2 table service credits when they aren’t double the price when you pay!
- Especially AWESOME if you book during the FREE Dining Plan promo (see below)
2017 FREE Dining Deal
- You will get a FREE dining plan when you purchase a non-discounted 5-night/6-day Magic Your Way package that includes a room at a select Walt Disney World Resort hotel and ticket with a Park Hopper or Park Hopper Plus Option for arrivals Aug. 21-Sept. 30, Nov. 14-20, Nov. 25-27, Dec. 8-23, 2017. You must book before July 7th, 2017.
Advanced Dining Reservations
- You can book Advanced Dining Reservations 180 Days in Advance (to the minute, fo’ reals) +10 extra days in advance with on property confirmation number!
Our Top Restaurant Choices (get reservations for these)
- Cinderella’s Royal Table
- Chef Mickeys (really any character meal)
- Be Our Guest
- Le Cellier
- O’Hana, Rose & Crown (and any other Fireworks Viewing Spots)
- Teppan Edo
- Hollywood Brown Derby
- California Grill
- Kona Cafe
- San Angel Inn
- Whispering Canyon
- Tusker House
Top Quick Service Spots
- Wolfgang Puck Express (Downtown Disney)
- Be Our Guest Breakfast or Lunch (Magic Kingdom)
- Columbia Harbour House (Magic Kingdom)
- Sunshine Seasons (Epcot)
- Flame Tree Barbecue (Animal Kingdom)
- Earl of Sandwich (Downtown Disney)
TIP- the Refillable Mugs can be refilled at any Disney Resort during your entire stay. Grab a few, they are worth it! You can fill them with soda, juice, tea, coffee, and hot cocoa 🙂
Best Uses of Snack Credits
- Dole Whip Float
- Berry Cream Puff, Norway at Epcot
- Ample Hills Creamery, Boardwalk Hotel
- Zebra Domes
- Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bars
- Frozen Chocolate Dipped Bananas
- Mickey Pretzel w/ Cheese Sauce
- Funnel Cake w/ Sugar
- LeFou’s Brew, Magic Kingdom
- Themed Cupcakes & Treats at the Bakery AND at Starbucks in the parks
- Seasonal Milkshakes, Dockside Diner at Hollywood Studios
- Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich
- Root Beer Float
- Plaza Sundae
**Gluten Free/ Vegan Options- Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC
TIP- if you go during a festival make sure to ask what you can use credits on, we were able to get some tasty items as snacks at the Flower & Garden Festival in Epcot!!
- 3 FastPasses can be reserved in advanced
- 60 days if on property/ 30 if you are not
- 7 am EST is when the clock starts on the day you can book, SET AN ALARM!
- Book 3 for earlier in the day at the same park 10-12pm, then reserve times on your phone (after you use all 3) using the My Disney Experience APP or at a kiosk located within the park.
- Make the next 3 in a different park (bc we take a break at the resort and then go to another park at night) MAKES TRIP FEEL LONGER!
MORE Useful Tips to Avoid Queues
- arrive at least 30-45 min before rope drop
- ride 2-3 rides (not the big guns, you should have FastPasses for those)
- book your next FastPass+ as you use the ones you have (all 3), rinse & repeat
- Avoid Magic Hours (the herds will be there). Ex. The Magic Kingdom has extra magic hours evenings on the 15th, you go to that park the evening of the 14th or 16th.
RIDES YOU SHOULD GET A FASTPASS+ FOR INCLUDE:
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Splash Mountain
- Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Space Mountain
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Test Track
- Frozen Ever After
- Mission Space
- Spaceship Earth
- Star Tours
- Tower of Terror
- Toy Story Mania
- Rockin’ Roller Coaster
- Expedition Everest
- Kilimanjaro Safari
- Kalahari River Rapids
NO FAST PASS? WHEN ITS BUSY CHECK OUT THESE ATTRACTIONS:
- Mickey’s Philharmagic
- Tiki Room
- Bear Country Jamboree
- Swiss Family Tree House
- WDW Railroad
- Tom Sawyers Island
- Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride
- Any ride that constantly loads moves quicker so Little Mermaid, Nemo, Small World etc…
Watch Episode 13 in it’s Entirety Below-
Tune in every Tuesday on at 10 am PST on Facebook for more #FamilyTravelChatLIVE shows. Or check them out on my YouTube Channel.
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