Coming up with a list of top tips & tricks to assist you on your first or next magical Disney World vacation is no small order. You know it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it and the team at Magical Tripcations is thrilled to offer up a few of our tried-and-true tips to make your park experience a little easier and a lot more magical. Let’s dig in with our top 12 Disney World tips & tricks!
1. Go Left!
When faced with a fork in the road or standing in the hub of the park, take the road less traveled and go left! It’s human nature to go right for whatever reason and same is true at Disney Parks. Even when there’s a choice in a queue to go right or left, go left, and you’ll find yourself saving a little time waiting in line.
2. Free Water!
Did you know that you can request a cup of ice water at any counter service restaurant or snack location that serves fountain drinks in any Disney Park? It’s so important to stay hydrated while touring the parks and ice water really helps you cool down. We’ve even carried flavored drink packets in our park bags to mix with the FREE ice water. Truly FREE and you don’t have to be ordering a meal and it’s ok to ask for a large cup!
3. The Early Bird Catches the Worm!
Want to beat the crowds? Arrive 30 minutes to an hour (in peak season) prior to official park opening or ‘rope drop’ and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying several of your favorite attractions with little to no wait before most people even finish their first cup of coffee. Have a must-do attraction that you were unable to score with FastPass+? Yep, get to the park early and head straight for that must-do and you’ll be able to enjoy the attraction with a much shorter wait. Parks are least crowded in the early morning hours, increasingly busier late morning and peak through the afternoon. Arrive early, enjoy the park, eat some lunch, catch some of your favorite attractions and then consider taking a break mid-day to enjoy a nap or time in the resort pool. Head back to the park early evening refreshed and ready to enjoy the park late into the night when the crowds thin out after the fireworks.
4. Good Mornin’, Good Mornin’!
Did you know that every morning Mickey and the gang welcome their guests with a special Welcome Show at Magic Kingdom? Arrive early in your best Disney smiles and your family could be chosen as THE family to help usher in the grand morning show! The Welcome Show at Magic Kingdom takes place daily 10 to 15 minutes before park opening/rope drop. Guests are let through the turnstiles anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes ahead of official park opening and treated to a Welcome Show on the train station platform.
5. All Aboard!
If you’re at Magic Kingdom and feeling a little beat, take a ride on the Walt Disney World Railroad when you need a break. You can stay on for as long as you like (about 20 minutes round trip) and take in the sites and rest your aching feet. You are not required to get off and re-board at each of the depots so get comfy and enjoy a bit of peace and quiet.
6. Take Two!
If a parade or show is offered at two different times, go for the second scheduled time as the later tends to be less crowded. However, keep in mind that whatever time you choose to see a parade or show, you will want to stake out a viewing spot beforehand and settle in.
7. Waste Not, Want Not!
Don’t waste your FastPasses on attractions that typically have a short queue or operate fairly efficiently meaning that the attraction can accommodate big groups of guests at a time. Be savvy in your selections. Check out our Magical Tripcations list of FastPass+ suggestions here: WDW FastPass+Options May2016
8. Singing in the Rain!
Don’t let rain get you down! One of the most important items to pack in your park bag is a rain poncho. Trust us when we say this: it will rain daily at Disney World in the summer at least one if not all of the days you are there. Embrace it. Splash in the puddles, take funny pictures and enjoy the parks with fewer crowds because they didn’t READ THIS LIST! Crowds of people will exit the parks when the rain falls and head back to the hotel thinking their day was ruined! Ah, but you’re ahead of the game, prepared and ready to bring on the rain. We’ve even heard of Disney throwing a rainy day parade at Magic Kingdom!
9. Go Single When the Crowd is Double!
If you don’t mind possibly sitting next to someone not in your party and the line for your must-do attraction is crazy long, consider using the Single Rider line. You will wait in line with your party and the Cast Member loading the ride will pull from the Single Rider line to fill empty seats making this line move more quickly. Truly a huge time saver!
10. Child Swap
No, there isn’t an area to swap out your kids if they’re acting a bit grumpy; however, there is a great service offered to parents who want to enjoy an attraction but their little ones don’t meet the height requirement or isn’t interested in the attraction. Take advantage of the Child Swap option if both parents will be present in the party. It’s available on most height-restricted rides. When you get to the queue area, tell the Cast Member that you’d like to use the Child Swap option. The first adult will ride the attraction while the second adult stays with the child. Then, the second adult can ride without waiting in line again while the first adult stays with the child. Child Swap is also nice when one sibling is tall enough to ride but they have a younger sibling who cannot. The older sibling gets to ride the ride twice as each parent swaps off. If you are using FastPass+, the system works the same way, except that you get in the FastPass+ line.
11. To Ride or Not to Ride?
One way to get a really good idea for what an attraction is all about is to get a sneak peek. You can find just about any Disney attraction on YouTube videoed and uploaded by a Disney fan. You can watch videos with your kids to prep them for the adventure in the comfort of your own living room saving you the frustration of trying to decide what attraction to ride at the park! Huge time saver!
12. The Kiss Goodnight!
If you’re up to it, hang around about 30 minutes after Magic Kingdom closes (the shops on Main Street, U.S.A. stay open an hour after closing) and you will be treated to a special nighttime closing called the Kiss Goodnight. Magic Kingdom says good-bye and good-night to all of the guests in a short message set to twinkling lights and music at Cinderella Castle.
Use a Magical Tripcations Travel Planner to book and plan your trip. Using our service will save you hours of planning and stress and the service is free! Your travel planner can provide you with even more valuable time saving tips and tricks to make the most of your vacation to Disney World. Learn more about working with your travel planner here:http://magicaltripcations.com/use-magical-tripcations/