- Be careful when booking your trip through a travel agent. Our travel agent told us that we just needed to go to the Disney will call when we got there in the morning and they would give us our tickets. Nope. We stood there talking to them for over an hour trying to get our tickets. I would recommend just not using a travel agent at all, and buying your tickets straight through Disney. Otherwise, enter your Disney ticket number on their website in advance and make sure it goes through.
- Staying at a Disney hotel comes with benefits! Hotel guests get into the parks an hour before the public! This means you can ride without the lines!! Hotel guests can also book their FastPasses in advance, so they have first pick. Again, this will reduce wait times greatly. Magic Bands are free for guests. They are extremely convenient. It is a bracelet that acts as your room key, Disney ticket, FastPass entrance ticket, and credit card. And it is much less likely to get lost than a card! My favorite part about staying at the hotel on site is that you can easily go back to the room for a midday nap. Since you have to take advantage of the early morning entrance, and you have to stay for the parade and fireworks, the middle of the day can be miserable. This is when it’s hot and very crowded. The best option is to rest in the air conditioning at that time of the day, and it’s even better to do so on a nice bed in the comfort of your own room!
- You can’t do it all in one or two days. There are 4 parks in all of Disney World: Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, & Epcot. They also have a couple of water parks, and Downtown Disney! Magic Kingdom is the biggest of the 4, and is an all day affair. We were there from 8am to 11pm. 15 hours. There are so many rides, shows, and characters to meet. Also, you have to watch both parades and the spectacular fireworks show. The Magic Kingdom has enough to do that you do not need a park hopper ticket for the day you will be visiting that park. We got 2 day non-park hopper tickets, so we could only go to 2 of the 4 parks.The second park we chose was Animal Kingdom, and everyone loved it. I went with my dad, step-mom, brother (13 years old), uncle, and cousins (15, 13 & 6 years old), so we had a group of all ages. We spent 4 hours in the park and saw everything that we wanted to see! It would have been great to have a park hopper ticket on this day so that we could have spent the rest of our day at another park.Although we were not able to visit Epcot or Hollywood Studios, I believe that these parks are also able to be experienced in less than a full day. If you want to see all of the parks, I would recommend getting a one day non-park hopper, and a two day park hopper.
In Animal Kingdom, go on the Safari first. They feed the animals in the morning, so you have a better chance of seeing animals up close. The later and hotter it gets, the more the animals find a shady place to lie down. This was the advice given to us, and it worked out really well! Some of the animals got extremely close to us, I could have probably touched them! We got to the park right when it opened at 9am, and this was the first thing we did. There was no line, so we got right on!
- Learn about the FastPass system before you get to the parks. This was one of our big mistakes. The Disney World system is much different than Disneyland’s system. The best way to do it is to download the app and schedule your FastPass from there. If not, you need to find a FastPass kiosk inside the park first thing!! You schedule 3 FastPasses at a time. All of the FastPasses for popular rides and for early in the day go very quickly, so make sure you get them as soon as possible!
- Get there when the park opens. It’s a lot easier to get on that one ride you’ve been dying to see first thing in the morning. There usually isn’t much of a line yet. If you want to get on a popular or new ride in the middle of a summer day, expect to wait almost 2 hours. Seriously.
- If you want to see The Electrical Parade, you have to stake out your spot in advance. We found a spot an hour and a half before the parade started, and there were very few spots left. A blanket or jackets should be laid out if your whole party isn’t going to sit there and hold the spot. People will try everything they can to steal your spot! Once you see the cast members putting up the white ropes along the sidewalks, go grab a spot because the parades are a must see!
- Snacks are always a good idea! If you want to stand in another line to spend $5 on a pretzel every time someone is hungry, there’s always that option. Of course, a Mickey pretzel is worth it, but I would recommend bringing some snacks that can stand the heat. Crackers with peanut butter or fruit snacks were our go to’s. Plus with all that time waiting in line, the best thing to do when you’re bored is eat, am I right?!
- Bring your phone charger. This was a life saver for me. Of course I had to take pictures of everything I passed and to video chat my mom during the electrical parade!! Thanks to electrical outlets being around every time we stopped to eat or rest in an air conditioned building, I was able to charge my phone. Thanks for the electricity, Disney. Take advantage of that!
- It rains. We visited the park in July, and it rained almost everyday. I’m not talking drizzled, either. We got soaked a few days, and eventually bought ponchos to wear in the rain. It’s not that bad though; it’s so hot outside, a rain storm feels refreshing. Also, if there is lightening, the outside rides will all be shut down until the storm is far enough away.
What other Disney World tips do you have?