You already know that I have personally been to Disney World multiple times. I love Disney so much that I created a website all about it! With all of my visits to the most magical place on earth, I have discovered a bunch of Disney World tips and tricks that can not only give you the best vacation ever but can also help you to save a lot of time and money!
You know that I love to share tips for helping you to save money!
Check out this awesome list of Disney World tips and tricks that can help you plan the best Disney vacation ever. Save time, money and cut down on those long wait lines or crowd sizes with these amazing Disney hacks.
Time Saving Tips
Download the My Disney Experience App
If you don’t already have the Disney Experience app, you ARE missing out on some great time-saving capabilities. Not only can you buy your theme park tickets, plan your vacation and keep it all neatly organized within this tiny app, but you can also see the projected wait times for things like the firework show and parades.
This app will be your holy grail on your Disney Vacation because there is hardly anything that it can’t do. It can be used for so many different things that it is completely worth it if you have to uninstall Facebook during your vacation just so that this app can fit on your phone.y
A fun tip is using your agenda for the day as your phone screen saver so that you don’t miss a Fastpass or dinner reservation.
Remember to order your Personalized Magic Bands EARLY
Your magic bands will take a while to arrive at home before you leave on vacation. Having them ordered ASAP will help to give them ample time to arrive to you before you leave for your Disney vacation.
[Related] Need help figuring out what else to pack? Check out the ultimate packing guide.
Fast Pass Scheduling
If you’re lucky enough to be a Disney Resort Hotel Guest, you can book your Fast Passes up to 60 days in advance of your reservation date, giving you plenty of time to prepare! Whatever you do, make sure that you schedule your first 3 fast passes for the morning in one park (like the Animal Kingdom) and then after you’ve used them up, you can use your Disney app or a kiosk to order more fast-passes for that day.
How to Avoid Crowds
One of the best ways to avoid the crowds at Disney World is to start in the early morning and at the back of the park. By working your way from the back end of the park to the front, you can not only target rides with fewer people but you can also be working your way out of the park as the day drags on, making it easier to get to your vehicle.
Another great way to avoid the crowds is to ride the rides during the parades. Because most of the people will be there and enjoying the shows, you can be enjoying the nice rides with shorter lines.
During the afternoon, about midday, you’ll notice that the parks are packed. Thankfully, rides and shows like Mickey’s Philharmagic and Monster’s Laugh Floor usually have smaller wait times.
My #1 tip for avoiding crowds and lines is to get and use the inexpensive Unofficial Guide to Disney World.
How to watch the fireworks without the crowds
This little hidden gem is a great Disney World tip! While most people will go to Cinderella’s Castle to view the fireworks show, you can see them really well from the Dumbo ride in Toon Town. So enjoy the show and not the crowds.
tip! While most people will go to Cinderella’s Castle to view the fireworks show, you can see them really well from the Dumbo ride in Toon Town. So enjoy the show and not the crowds.
Cutting down on crowd size during the parades
Disney parades have multiple showings, and almost everybody tries to go to the first one to get it done and off their list of tasks for the day. Make it to the second viewing instead of the first and you can save a lot of time wading through the sea of people because there will be fewer people there to watch it.
There’s a single rider line!
Not very many people know about this little trick, but there are a couple of rides at Disney World that offer a single rider line. These include the Test Track, Expedition Everest and the Rock N Rollercoaster. Using the single rider line can have you moving through this ride quickly because the cast members will use it to fill in empty spots on the ride.
The Riders Switch Pass is a MUST for families!
Until you’ve personally experienced it, you’ll never truly understand the frustration of standing in a long line awaiting a ride only to have to get to the front and one of your guests decides they don’t want to do it. Now you have to turn around and exit the line because you can’t leave them behind.
This is a pretty common thing for families with younger kids, as they chicken out at the front of the line, the whole family (or even a single parent) has to miss out on the fun. The good news is that Disney thought ahead and has a plan for this!
Much like a Fast Pass, a Riders Switch Pass is a way to accelerate your way through the line and to the ride itself.
Here’s how it works:
- After waiting in line, your child decides they don’t want to go.
- You ask the cast member for a riders switch pass.
- One parent waits outside with a child while the others go on the ride.
- After they’ve completed the ride, they’ll hand the riders switch pass to the person waiting.
- Now this person can go straight through the Fast Pass lane with up to 2 additional riders without the need to wait in a long line again!
- This is the best way for everybody to get to enjoy the rides without having to stand in line twice!
Make your dining reservations 6 months in advance
It’s hard enough knowing what you want to eat when you sit down to eat at a restaurant, but booking your meal 6 months in advance is key to not starving at Disney World.
When places get booked up so quickly, you either find yourself hungry, eating food you didn’t want or standing in a long line. You may even have to try multiple locations before finding one that has an open seat available.
To make it easier, book in advance! You can set up your restaurant reservations in advance by calling (407) WDW-DINE, using your Disney app or by going online. You can also check available seats the day before you want to dine, by using the app to check for any cancelations.
Add time for the buses
If you’re staying at the Disney Resorts, plan extra time for Disney Transportation. While these buses may come every 20 minutes or so, there is a lot of stops and you can easily end up spending more time on it than you had originally thought. So however long you think you need to set aside for this little adventure, make sure that you add a little more.
Two Freebies for Disney Resort Guests
Character Wake Up Call and a Souvenir Room Delivery.
With the wake-up call, you can schedule a morning wake up call from a Disney character, not only is this a fun way to start your day with Disney, but it can also help you to get a move on and start exploring.
You can also have your souvenirs delivered right to your room from any Disney park. This is great so you don’t have to carry them around in the Florida heat and crazy weather. You can also use your Disney app to order them and have them shipped right to your hotel room or mailed straight to your house!
Buy Discounted Tickets!
There are a few different places online that you can go to for purchasing discounted Disney World tickets, so why don’t you use them? Saving money right off the bat, before you ever even enter the park is probably a great way to get started on a fantastic and frugal vacation.
I use UnderCover Tourist for there amazing prices and customer service. A few years ago we had a family emergency and they were very accommodating.
Rent your stroller from an offsite vendor
It’s no secret that the prices at Disney World are marked up, and when you visit the surrounding area, you can see that it’s true out there too. So instead of packing that huge stroller with you, rent one for your trip from a vendor with reasonable rates. Kingdom Strollers is a very popular option. They are Disney Verified and can even deliver your stroller to your room!
Use an off-site vendor for the Disney VIP Tour
Disney World VIP Tours are the ultimate goal of a Disney Vacation but it can be best saved for after winning the lottery if you plan on buying it from Disney. The VIP Tour is like an unlimited FastPass with a guide. But when you’re looking at paying up to $600 per hour for a minimum of 7 hours, you’re looking at a single day that can cost you a couple of months worth of rent or the price of a nice used car).
By using an offsite vendor such as Magic VIP Tours, you can get the same benefits as you would with a Disney guide and pay less than 50% of the original cost!
Kids Meals are cheaper (and there are no age restrictions)
Just like with some common fast-food chains, Disney World doesn’t set an age restriction on the kid’s meals. This is perfect for those wanting to save a buck or eat smaller portions.
Save money on Professional Photographers
Disney has several professional photographers well placed throughout the park so that you can have nice photos sent straight to your magic band, app, or website with a PhotoPass. This is great for finally getting the entire group in one shot, but there is a fee.
Alternatively, you can have the photographers use your camera or phone to take a picture of you for free.
Bring your own snacks
Disney allows you to bring food and drinks into the park, which means that you can save a lot of money by eating cheaply using foods that you bought from nearby grocery stores. This can save you a bundle compared to the price of food inside the park!
Save money on a Disney Resort
Staying at a Disney Resort is one of the best ways to enjoy your Disney vacation. Not only do you get a fabulous room to stay in, but you also get some added perks to your stay including early access tickets and being able to book things before the general public.
While staying at a Disney Resort can cost you a fortune, there are 2 great ways that you can save money on this.
One- Buy a Disney Vacation Club membership. This will save you 50-70% off of your rooms when you stay, and you can rent points out if you don’t use them, allowing you to recoup some of your yearly costs.
Two- Rent points from a DVC rental store and enjoy the room savings and perks without the added membership fees.
Use a travel agent
If you aren’t interested in (or can’t afford) the Disney Vacation Club, consider using a travel agent for traditional room stays. They can save you a lot of time and money on your vacation because they know what they’re doing. Not only that, but their services are free for you and they can help you to make reservations, buy Fastpasses and more!
Planning your Disney Vacation is one of the hardest things you may ever do. It takes the stress of planning for a vacation to an entirely new level of math, schedules, preferences and childhood dreams all coming together in just a short period of days. You have to schedule them out almost a year in advance and pay a ton of money to do anything “Disney.”
Save yourself a lot of headaches by requesting a Disney Travel guide to do the work for you before you get there. Then use your smarts and the Disney World tips and tricks I shared above so that you can enjoy your vacation while you’re there!