If you are anything like me, then you have a massive obsession with Disney…anything. Having just planned a trip to Walt Disney World, I decided to do a quick little guide. Walt Disney World can be pretty overwhelming if you are planning it on your own, but it doesn’t have to be. As a veteran of the Happiest Place on Earth, here are my tips and hacks so you can have fun, and not have any worries!
What to know before you go
As with most vacations, it is important to research where you are going. Even though I have been to Walt Disney World almost every year since I was born, there are still new things to do and see. Pandora opened up last year, Toy Story is opening up this June, and Star Wars is coming along quite well. Take a look at what rides are available before you begin planning your days. The most important thing to look up is closures and refurbishments. While WDW may have your favorite ride, it could be getting worked on during your trip. That has happened to us on many Disney trips, but they are still fun!
Another important detail to pay attention to is the weather. Even though it always rains in Florida, you still need to pay attention to it. Walt Disney World will close certain rides depending on the weather. There are also tons of indoor options available, which may help you plan out your day. If it is pouring rain that morning, maybe you can sleep late, or go shopping that morning.
Staying at Walt Disney World is worth it!
I know that the steep prices can deter people from choosing a hotel within the Walt Disney World resort. I have stayed off property once, and definitely noticed the differences. The most important part of Disney World is the reliable transportation. Some of the resorts feature screens that tell you when your next bus is arriving. Walt Disney World also the Minnie Vans for resort guests as well. These are a ride sharing service, similar to Uber and Lyft, and will transport you around the resort. Each vehicle can hold up to 6 passengers, and there are specially equipped options for those with special needs. Unlike the other transportation options, these are a $25 flat rate fee for your trip. There is also the monorail trains and ferry boats to transport you to your favorite destinations around the resort area.
One of the most important parts of staying on site is the Extra Magic Hours! These give you extra time at one of the parks. Sometimes this can be early in the morning, or you can stay later in the evening. This is exclusive to guests of the resort. Certain attractions will be open during these times, and tend to be the more popular option. So if you are not ready to wait in the line for Avatar Flight of Passage this is definitely an opportunity to get on it. Another amazing aspect of staying on site is just to experience the magic every day. Every resort has their own touch of Disney magic, and the customer service is out of this world.
Know when to go!
Timing is everything, and especially at Walt Disney World. You probably know about peak season…6 hour waits for rides…it is not fun. Undercover Tourist is amazing with their calendar. My family has used this on most of our trips, and it is always pretty accurate. They even forecast the crowds a year out so that you can plant for the future as well. Walt Disney World also allows you to choose your own Fastpasses if you are staying at the resort. You can schedule these weeks before your trip. If you don’t know, Fastpasses allow you to “queue” without actually waiting in line. They give you a certain time to come back, and you get to skip some of the line. Some lines are better to wait in than others though. Test Track is usually a long line, but they allow you to “design” your own car to test, which is a sort of entertainment. It makes the wait less awful! Kilimanjaro Safari is just a glob of folks forced into a line. Not only is it annoying to bottleneck, but it can get hot in the sun too!
Walt Disney World ticket options
I cannot express this enough, DON’T BUY TICKETS ANYWHERE ELSE. I think everyone knows that, but there are people trying to scam you into buying bad tickets. Even though Walt Disney World tickets are expensive, it is pretty clear as to where the money goes. They also do special event tickets as well. These special events allow you into the Magic Kingdom, have special parades, and unique opportunities. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party decorates the Haunted Mansion, features the Headless Horseman, and has the best parade song ever! Seriously, “Boo To You” is the jam! You can also hit up Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! This features snow, Santa, and hot chocolate…what could be better?
Personally, I think Magic Your Way tickets are the way to go. These tickets allow you to hop between parks for the duration of your trip. If you want to go hit up the Extra Magic Hours at Animal Kingdom in the morning, have lunch with Cinderella, and end your night in Japan at Epcot, you can! It does cost extra, but that is a cost that I think everyone can get behind. You can also add the waterparks to these tickets. As someone who really thrives off of a lazy river, Walt Disney World has some of the best. Typhoon Lagoon has a tropical “castaway” type vibe, and Blizzard Beach is basically like a ski resort! Blizzard Beach is definitely my preferred park, but both are amazing.
What are your Walt Disney World tips?