Disney Experts Reveal Their Secrets

Disney vacations are one of a kind but they can get so hard to plan given the vastness of the parks. Four theme parks, an entertainment district, two water parks, golf, bowling, an AMC movie theater, and more.

To help readers, I decided to ask Disney Experts to share some of their best kept Disney vacation secrets. These are Disney vacationers extraordinaire with hundreds, if not thousands of trips combined.

Get ready, maybe get a notebook, for the best Disney vacation tips on the entire internet.

Laura at MickeyChatter

What is your best advice for someone planning a Disney vacation?

My best advice would be to use the free services of a travel agent that specializes in Disney. Their services are free and you have a one-on-one person to help you if needed. Whether it is your first time or you are a Disney pro, you can only benefit when working with a very good agent.

What is your not so normal item to pack when going to Disney World?

I always make sure I have a portable charger in my backpack since access to my smartphone is essential when in the parks. You use so much battery taking pictures/videos and checking the My Disney Experience app, that it is very important that you have the ability to charge on the go.

Mindy at The Fairy Tale Life

What is your not so normal item to pack when going to Disney World?

For Walt Disney World I always bring a hand-held fan! I’m a California girl and not used to humidity. Having the fan, and cooling towels, help keep my temperature (and my temper) low!

Winoa at Life Family and Fun 

What is your best advice for someone planning a Disney vacation?

The best advice, especially if you have never been to Walt Disney World before, is to book a travel agent. They will have the best advice and have the freedom and connections to handle everything for you. Booking and planning your vacation can be so overwhelming when it comes to choosing sorting package options and working out air travel. Travel agents put all of that work in for you, oftentimes at no extra cost.

What is your not so normal item to pack when going to Disney World?

Lots of people ask what they should pack for Disney World. The truth is that its different for everyone.

The obvious is comfortable shoes, sunscreen, and ponchos, but the not so normal item to pack would have to be 

Tania at Lola Lamb Chops

What is your best advice for someone planning a Disney vacation?

Do as much research as you can. There are blogs, YouTube, the Disney website, and more. And if you’re not the kind that likes research, then have a Travel Agent book your vacation, so they can help you. I’m not a ‘have to plan everything down to the second’ type of planner, but you do need at least a loose plan. As far as rides are concerned, take a look at the website, and have every member of your party pick their must-do in each park. That way you can focus on the essentials and everything else is just bonus fun 🙂

What is your not so normal item to pack when going to Disney World?

Skirts. I love a good, stretchy knee-length skirt. They’re cuter than Bermuda shorts, keep me cool, and the elastic waist gives me room to eat all my Disney snacks.

Patty at WDWVacation Tips

What is your best advice for someone planning a Disney vacation?

Take some time to at least put together at a minimum, loose plans for your days spent at Disney World. The parks are so big, have many offerings and now are constantly packed full of other guests like yourself. If you have a strategy put together you will come out a winner with accomplishing more and make sure you get to experience all the things you want to do.

What is your not so normal item to pack when going to Disney World?

My park bag essentials, small emergency medicine kit, you just never know what is gonna happen in the parks! Plus my newer bag go-to is a rechargeable portable fan. It keeps me cool on all the hot Florida days and if it ever runs out I love I can just use one of my backup batteries to charge it again. 

Ken & Em At MouseHacking

What is your best advice for someone planning a Disney vacation?

I guess my top piece of advice is always to check multiple sources. No one knows everything or has the same experiences or preferences. Don’t just stick to a single site for everything, have at least 3-4 go tos.

What is your not so normal item to pack when going to Disney World?

We’re light packers so I guess our least normal item is maybe a collapsible water bottle. Many of the ails of travel and long days in Disney parks are solved with proper hydration.

Mitch at Gay NYC Dad

What is your best advice for someone planning a Disney vacation?

My best advice is to let folks know that the longer you stay, the less expensive your daily ticket cost will be. I am sure that you know one day can cost upwards of $150 with park hopper privileges. If you could handle being at WDW for 10 days, your average ticket cost per day is a little over $60. That is why our family trips would be 8-10 days long, broken up with the water parks as well.

Kristi at The Cactus Chronicles

What is your best advice for someone planning a Disney vacation?

 My best advice for someone planning a Disney vacation is to download the official Disneyland or Disney World app.  So much info can be found on the app, like dining reservations, character meets and greets, ride wait times, and much more.  My not so normal item to pack when going to Disney World is ponchos.  Much cheaper to buy them at your local store than in the park.

What is your not so normal item to pack when going to Disney World?

Patty at My No-Guilt Life

What is your not so normal item to pack when going to Disney World?

I pack a foldable laundry hamper on every trip. This allows those gross, sweaty, outfits to stay separate after a long Florida day. I pack the dirty clothes into a large plastic bag to take home with me which also makes unpacking easier!

Margie at DQ Travel Blog

What is your best advice for someone planning a Disney vacation?

My best advice for someone planning a Disney vacation is to use a Disney vacation planner, someone who specializes in Disney travel. Their services are free to use and they monitor price drops and rebook you for a lower rate. They can also book Fastpasses and dining reservations for you and will keep checking if what you requested is not available. It is basically an extra brain to help you plan your trip and someone to give you the advice to help you maximize your time.

What is your not so normal item to pack when going to Disney World?

I always pack disposable ponchos because it always rains in Orlando when you least expect it. We have often been caught without them and have had to purchase expensive ponchos at the parks and I vowed: “never again”. Amazon sells them for much cheaper.

Janice at An Open Suitcase

What is your not so normal item to pack when going to Disney World?

I visit often so I am a minimal packer when it comes to Disney so don’t really have a not so normal item that I pack. I will say, a Disney trip is not the time to break in new shoes. Disney is lots of walking and long days so I don’t believe in carrying tons of stuff throughout the day that just weigh everyone down. I’m not a believer in the backpack theory even when I have my grandchildren with me. I only use a small cross-body purse. When my grandson is with me I take a small sippy cup, a few diapers, wipes, an extra outfit, and a few snacks in a small tote that fits under the stroller. I am a “less is best” packer when it comes to Disney.

Francine at Pixie Dust Fan

What is your best advice for someone planning a Disney vacation?

My best advice is always to be realistic about your expectations. If you’re going to Walt Disney World you have to be aware of the size and recognize that you won’t see it ALL in a week, and that’s ok. It’s important to take time to enjoy instead of planning every second of every day! Use a qualified travel agent who can guide you through and help you plan for the things you want to make sure you don’t miss!

What is your not so normal item to pack when going to Disney World?

That’s a tough one!!  I think my not so normal item would be my drink cozy.  These are the things that you might see people put their beer cans or pop to keep it cold?  I use it for my water in the parks to keep it chilled as long as possible in the heat!

Melissa at Farm Girl Gabs

What is your best advice for someone planning a Disney vacation?

If you are part of the Disney Dining Plan, booking a signature restaurant (like Le Cellier Steakhouse) is a poor use of dining credits. Here’s why. Chances are it is unlikely that your meal at a Signature restaurant would cost twice as much like a normal table service restaurant if you paid out of pocket. But signature dining at Walt Disney World cost 2 credits as opposed to 1.

What is your not so normal item to pack when going to Disney World?

I always pack a power bar or USB strip when traveling to Disney World. I find the resort room, whether you say on property or off property, lack enough outlets for charging our electronic devices. Another thing I always bring is gallon and quart size storage bags. These are good for bringing snacks to the park, keeping your phone and personal items dry, and packing things in your suitcase.

Allison at Allison Gygi Travels

What is your best advice for someone planning a Disney vacation?

My best advice when planning a Disney vacation is don’t try to do everything. There is way too much to do in and around the Disney parks to even come close to doing it all. The best way to plan a successful vacation is to pick the things that are most important to you and do those first. If there is extra time, repeat a favorite attraction, or meet and greet or find something new to enjoy.

What is your not so normal item to pack when going to Disney World?

Because we always have kids with us at Disney, I always pack a small bottle of bubbles. They’re a great way to distract little ones while waiting in line for an attraction or character.


Devon at:

www.mamacheaps.com

What is your best advice for someone planning a Disney vacation?

Schedule downtime in your itinerary.  Disney vacations are HARD WORK! As you plan out your dining and fast passes, make sure you build in some time to relax. This could be enjoying the resort pool, nap time for younger children, or a low-key activity in air conditioning. 

What is your not so normal item to pack when going to Disney World?

We bring a blank white photo matte and permanent extra fine tip markers to Disney. Instead of a traditional autograph book, we have the characters sign our photo matte. After our trip, we add our favorite vacation picture to the matte and frame it for the perfect keepsake! 

www.glamperlife.com

What is your best advice for someone planning a Disney vacation?

The campground at Disney’s Fort Wilderness books up more than a year in advance! The most desirable campsites book first and you can reserve your campsite up to 499 days before your trip. 

What is your not so normal item to pack when going to Disney World?

We brought our own fire pit when we stayed at Fort Wilderness! Disney’s campsites do not provide campfire rings but they do allow campers to bring certain styles of fire pits into the campground. Make sure your fire pit is a Disney-approved style or they will prohibit you from using it.

D Marie at White Glove World

What is your best advice for someone planning a Disney vacation? 

I believe that much of our former advice may need to be modified in the foreseeable future. It is my belief that Guests staying on-property will be given additional perks. For instance, if parks open at 50%capacity, you can be sure those visitors will get the first nod. Given their history of customer service excellence, I expect their sanitizing measures will lead the industry. Especially in the Disney Resort hotels. Soooo, stay on property, fully immerse yourself, and leave the rest of the world behind!

What is your not so normal item to pack when going to Disney World? 

Believe it or else, my standard Walt Disney World prep always included a trip to Bath & Body Works so I could stock up on their 6 for $5 hand sanitizers! I would pick anything that included a magical scent and pixie dust sprinkles inside. My collection of the holders stands at 24; one for every Disney and airplane bag. (This includes holders in the shape of donuts, castles, and Yetis!) Going forward, I would fully expect that Disney will expand its own brand of the same.

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