Walt Disney World Vacation Tips

There are literally thousands of tips and tricks to help you beat the crowds, save some money, and hit all the attractions on your list when planning a Walt Disney World vacation.

Here are just a few to help your get your plans rolling well before you even reach the gates of Magic Kingdom.

Make Advanced Dining Plans Way in Advance

And that does mean in advance.

There are some restaurants where reservations are so precious (usually character dining experiences) that guests will start trying to book six months prior to their vacation.

The trick for snagging a seat in popular restaurants like Cinderella’s Royal Table is to get up early exactly 180 days prior to when you want the reservation (the first day you are allowed to book).

Phone lines open at 7 AM EST (407/939-3463), but the web site starts accepting reservations at 6 AM EST.

So, if your heart is set on a hard-to-get dining experience, you may just have to set your alarm for 5:50 AM.

Here are 10 ways to make your Disney character breakfast magical!

Must Pack Items

Don’t let blisters or rainy days spoil your Disney vacation.

Always be sure to pack ponchos and emergency Band-Aids when visiting.

More importantly, don’t wait until you’re in the park to purchase these items, as price markup on Disney property is sky high!

Instead purchase them before your vacation at convenience stores.

While shopping, also be sure to pick up some cute notebooks and retractable pens if your little ones want character signatures, as autograph books in the park can also be pricy!

When buying pens, make sure to buy simple click-top retractable pens, as the characters can have a hard time removing caps with their clumsy fingers!

Here is a detailed list.

Beat the Crowds

Getting up early to arrive at rope drop can make all the difference during a day at Disney.

While the parks open at 9 am, crowds typically do not begin filtering in until about 10:30.

Arrive early and enjoy the short lines!

You can do a lot in an hour and a half!

Wait in Line for These Rides

Sometimes waiting in line can be part of the attraction.

There are some rides where, if the wait is an hour or less, it can be worthwhile to forego a FASTPASS.

Rides like Expedition Everest or Toy Story Mania!

Feature a lot to look at and help set the tone for the adventure you are about to embark on!

Here are some other rides worth the wait.

Take Advantage of FASTPASS

Be sure to stock up on FASTPASS tickets in the morning while kiosk lines are still short.

Also remember not to waste your FASTPASS is the stand-by line is short.

Simply hop on the ride!

When you come out, the line may be snaked around the building.

Use your FASTPASS then to go on again!

Search for Hidden Mickeys

They’re in the carpets, on the walls, in the light fixtures… are sure to keep your eyes peeled for the iconic Mickey symbol woven into your surroundings all over the property!

Download Disney World Apps

Apps that allow you to view all attraction wait times can be a huge help when

Here is a navigating your way through the park (after all, who wants to walk all the way over to Pirates of the Caribbean to find a two hour line while the line for the Haunted Mansion is only 20 minutes?)

Apps like the Disney World Lines app or Disney’s My Disney Experience App allow you the advantage of seeing which ride you should hit next from anywhere in the park.

Take Professional Pictures… But Don’t Buy Them

Make use of the legion of professional photographers throughout Walt Disney World, especially if you have set up a My Disney Experience Account.

Swipe your Magic Band each time you visit a photographer and get your pic with characters, in front of the castle, and more.

The photos will upload directly to your online account where you can either buy them for high quality images or… not. I

If super high resolution isn’t your priority and you just want some professional snaps to remember your trip by, then simply take screenshots of the photos online.

We have also compiled a list of things not to do at Disney.

Additional Disney tips can be found here.

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