Disney Experts Reveal Tips & Secrets
Do you want to plan the most magical Disney vacation ever?
Does every Disney vacation resources say similar things?
Well, I asked 21 Disney experts one simple question:
What is your most unique yet remarkable Disney vacation tip?
From influential podcasters, YouTubers, and some blogging superstars, each quote is completely original. You won’t find these high-value tips anywhere else!
My sincerest thanks to each and every person who contributed their hard-won Disney tips & secrets to this article. Aproveite!!
Hannah – Eat, Drink, and Save Money
Don’t be afraid to plan less and do more at Disney. Some of our favorite memories in the parks have come from flying by the seat of our pants. You never know when the weather won’t cooperate or the crowds are too much. Just allow yourself to go with the flow and do what you want instead of living by a set schedule. After all, a vacation is meant to be relaxing!
Gena – Captain Fussy Buckets
Take naps. Seriously. Mornings at Disney World are awesome. Nights at Disney World are amazing. You don’t want to miss either one. Of course, afternoons are great, too, but they tend to be hotter and crowded with people who need a nap. So, go back to your room, enjoy a nap or even just relax and regroup by the pool, so you have the energy to tackle the evenings and experience the awesome parades and fireworks at night!
Herb – World of Walt
Especially these days, planning ahead for your Disney vacation is best: FastPass+ for attractions and shows, and Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) for sit-down meals. However, if you find yourself at Disney World and haven’t planned ahead, don’t give up! Sometimes you can score a FastPass+ or ADR just a few days in advance, or even the day of an event. You probably won’t get into Cinderella’s Royal Table at the last minute, but you might just find a reservation for a fun experience.
Janice – An Open Suitcase
I bring my own souvenirs for my granddaughter! Walmart and Target both carry Disney-licensed items. I shop at reasonable prices during the weeks leading up to our trip and I am able to get her at least one or two special items per day. I bring these with me and before we leave for the parks each day, I leave one or two on her pillow. She thinks Mickey Mouse leaves them for her because she was so good in the parks all day! I can often get 5 or 6 gifts for the price of one gift in the parks.
I am the only one in the family with an annual pass. I never purchase park passes for arrival and departing day for the other family members. The day we arrive we have a family tradition of heading over to Disney Springs in the evening and having dinner at Raglan Road. On departure day we always request a late checkout and spend our last morning enjoying our resort pool.
Darren – Save At WDW
Book your next Disney vacation through a travel agent who specializes in Disney. Most are willing to price-watch your reservation and will automatically apply the best offer even after you book. Some have their own discounts or perks that you wouldn’t otherwise get. Finally, develop a relationship with your agent; they might have limited offers and perks to pass on to their most loyal clients.
My suggestion is Your Story Travel Co., click here for a quote.
Francine – Pixie Dust Fan
Staying at the Polynesian Resort but can’t get dinner reservations at O’hana? You can order the full dinner via room service! Tons of food and tastes just as good!
Kirsten – Kids Are A Trip
When traveling with kids to Disney they are bound to ask for souvenirs. Reduce the number of times they ask by investing in a Disney gift card for each child. Once the money on the card has been spent, the children can no longer ask for souvenirs. Save your money and save your sanity!
Saira – Mom Resource
Take a road trip to Disney to save money but also have a great time. As kids, our family road-tripped to Disney with another family. We were 7 kids and 4 adults in 2 cars with walkie-talkies. The trip down was a blast & so memorable – swapping cars, eating snacks, chatting on the walkie-talkies. Disney was the icing on the cake – going with your families & buddies – it was amazing!
David – Your First Visit
Don’t go to Disney World in September. Knowledgeable Disney fans will think this nuts, as September combines low crowds, low base prices, and on top of those great deals like free dining. But while my site is helpful to anyone, it’s specially designed for first-time visitors who may never return. And all of September is at the peak of the hurricane season. If you may never be able to return, then why not skip September and go instead during a time when the weather is less of a potential major issue?
Kimberley – Tea Is A Wish Your Heart Makes
My tip would absolutely be to make a WDW vacation planning binder! I recently came across some on Pinterest and it was been so helpful for me! It has enabled me to keep all of the information I need in one place and it’s constantly keeping me excited for my next trip. Plus they are fully customizable which is what I love about them – they won’t be a general guide to a Walt Disney Vacation it will be completely catered to your vacation. I’m currently putting mine together and I don’t know how I ever took a holiday without one. Even though it may be 455 days until my Walt Disney World Vacation it’s ever too early to start planning ….right?
Erin – Points to Neverland
To make a Disney vacation even more magical, create theme days for your traveling party. Who doesn’t like a good theme?? We came
up with this idea five years ago when our daughter was completely and utterly Disney Princess crazy. On our Magic Kingdom day, we dubbed it Princess Ryann day, and everything we did that day had to do with all things Princess, complete with matching t-shirts for her fan club, otherwise known as her family. It was a blast and we made so many magical memories. Here is a breakdown of our day:
Princess Theme Day:
Park: Magic Kingdom, spent most of the day in Fantasyland
Thematic Activity: Morning appointment at Bippity Boppity Boutique
Meal: Breakfast at Cinderella’s Castle with all the Princesses
Theme Pictures: Photos and Autographs with all the Princesses in the park that day
We loved doing this so much, we implemented a Safari Theme day on our Animal Kingdom Day on our next vacation.
Kimberly – Fit Disney Mom
To make life easier around the resorts and parks, secure a hanging shoe rack to the back of your stroller with zip ties. You can store sunscreen, resort refillable mugs, and diapers on the back of your stroller. This will give you easy access to the items you need most without digging through a backpack or handbag.
Children under 3 years of age do not require Fast Pass + selections for attractions. If they have a favorite ride, they can get on several times with each adult in the party that has a Fast Pass for it. My son rode the Tomorrowland Speedway multiple times with each adult and their Fast Pass, while the rest of the party watched. It was a great way for him to experience the attraction multiple times.
Becky – Tips From The Disney Diva
If you’re worried that your kids will be terrified of the characters, help expose them to other mascots or watch Youtube videos of some common characters at the park. This will help them seem less intimidating when you meet them in person.
I sure do love a great podcast! We have a few Disney experts that share their tips through podcasts. Great for commuters to/from work, going for a walk/run/bike ride, spring cleaning, plane rides, anytime really!
Daniel – DisGeek Podcast
Between annual pass holders and your normal vacation guests, the Disneyland Resort can become a very crowded place. With around 1 million annual pass holders out there, they are a big contributor to the crowds that show up for any given day. But believe it or not, a typical summer weekday is actually more crowded than a typical summer weekend. That sounds strange but it’s true. Why? Because all but the most expensive annual pass is blocked out. So one of my tips is to check the annual pass holder blackout calendar and try to go on days that are blocked out. Don’t get me wrong, it is still busy. But the crowd levels go from unbearable to manageable.
Nick – Mousecapades Podcast
I always book the following Disney vacation on the last day of my current Disney vacation. That way you’re locked in, can get basically whatever you want, and Disney provides the room at a much lower or discounted rate most of the time. Also, Disney allows you to pay it off throughout the year and all that is needed is the $200.00 down payment. After that you have about 10 months to pay the trip off. It forces you to budget it in your finances and a little deduction every month towards your next Disney stay can go a long way!
Rachel & Zeek – Behind The Magic Podcast
Create a Disney vacation countdown chain! A countdown method that reminds you of all the exciting things coming for your trip. It starts off with a colorful construction paper train, On each loop, you put something you are excited about! These can be planned to the point where you take one link off Monthly, Weekly, Or even Daily! Search these up on Pintrest as there are a ton of cool photos and ideas out there.
Kris & Meghan – Mouse Scouts Podcast
Listen to your surroundings! This seemingly simple tip has gotten us to the front of lines faster (like when cast members are trying to fill cars), tipped us off to impromptu street shows and rare character meet & greets, and generally filled out our park experience as we listened to the background music and soundtracks. Take a moment just to stop and listen.
Tony – Disney Parks Podcast
Do NO planning. Just wing it, go to the parks and have fun with your family or friends -and see what you can enjoy just by hanging out together. That’s how us locals do it! BUT make 1 Dinner reservation per day to sit down and have a meal and talk about the day and what you enjoyed and why. Do not be tied and bound to fast pass times. See ya in the Parks!
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort anyone?
Amy – The Wandering Mum
Hong Kong Disneyland isn’t like the US parks; it’s much smaller and few really detailed planning guides/apps exist. The park is easy to navigate and the only planning you really need to do is to know which rides you want to ride and try do so early before crowds build. Do see the live shows at HK Disney they are super high quality, We love the Lion King show!
Who doesn’t love a Disney Video Blog?
Mark & Laura – Orlando Planing
There is a Disney discount store in the outlets on International Drive so before you even buy something from Disney check them out as we found it’s up to 60% cheaper than the parks.
Example: We saw a talking Olaf in the parks for about $20, we looked in the Disney discount store and the exact same toy – brand-new -was $7. These price differences are typical,( though sometimes not as good, sometimes better!) So instead of buying stuff at Disney Springs at least check this out first 🙂
And even a Disney Vacation Club oriented fact from my good friends at David’s Vacation Club rentals:
Barrie – David’s Vacation Club Rentals Blog
Using Disney Vacation Club points to book Disney cruises sounds good, but swapping your points for a Disney cruise through David’s Vacation Club Rentals is a much better way to go. When you do, not only will you save 30-50% but you’ll get more flexible cancellation policies, more choice when booking staterooms, more opportunities for stateroom upgrades at port, no blackout dates, and points from all resale contracts are eligible.
Again, a huge thank you to everyone who was involved in creating this article. Please be sure to share if you thought this was helpful!
Now it’s your turn! What is your most unique, yet remarkable, Disney vacation tip?
Leave your thoughts and comments below, I’d love to get a discussion going.
My name is Krystel, and I am here to share the joy Disney gives me. If you want to learn more about planning the perfect Walt Disney World Vacation visit Planning The Magic. I’ve spent a lot of time creating the perfect Disney On A Budget eBook because I really want everyone to have a magical vacation within reach.