6 Disney World tips to make your trip the MOST magical

March 21 2018 |
Disney World tips
Tiff letting the fiery hair fly at Animal Kingdom

If you're headed to the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, you're likely sporting your MagicBands ready to snag every FastPass you signed up for, right? But there are a few quick-hit tips that can make your trip easier, more fun, and ultra convenient.

Here are my Disney World tips for making your vacay that much more magical…

Oh, and check out these tips for gluten-free and vegetarian Disney goers, too!

Use the Disney app

Use the My Disney Experience app and get FASTPASSES! They are so convenient for signing up to get in faster lines. You can also check the wait times for rides on the app. I'm all about feeling the magic and not pre-planning every second (I was hesitant to even try the FastPass+ situation), but it was an efficient tool. Plus you can check restaurants and quick-serve places and plot out your day. But, you know… in a magical way.

Bonus: you can even order food with the app. Just place your order, head to a specially marked window, and pick up your food.

Look for ways to get on rides more than once

At Disney's Hollywood Studios there is a nighttime show called "Fantasmic" (which I'm sure is pretty cool), but we decided to skip it and wound up doing Tower of Terror three times. THREE! That ride is so dope, and because everyone at the park seemed to funnel over to that show, the ride was empty and we just kept going back on. If you get on a ride you love and there isn't a line when you are done, do it again!

Go early for rides you're psyched for

It's totally worth some extra effort to get to the parks when they open and make a beeline to your top-priority rides (think Toy Story Mania at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Test Track & Soarin’ at Epcot, Na’vi River Journey or Avatar Flight of Passage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Fantasyland or the “mountain” attractions in the Magic Kingdom). It felt great to get there early, basically finish the parks by noon, and head back to your hotel/resort to chill by the pool before heading back at night for some firework magic. And while relaxing at the pool, give yourself a cheer for being so smart.

Are you a single rider? Test Track, Expedition Everest, and Rock N Rollercoaster all have a separate line for single riders, which also saves time.

Gluten-free and Vegetarian Disney: Magical gluten-free vegetarian land? Yep, here's how!

Catch the train at Magic Kingdom

There is a train that goes around the perimeter of Magic Kingdom, which was a great break from the crowds and walking in the hot sun. It's not super quick, but it'll save you some hassle if you are trying to make your way over to Tomorrowland and don't feel like shoving your way through Main Street.

Catch the fireworks

Be sure to check out the fireworks at the castle in Magic Kingdom at night. They have come a long way with the animation. It was incredible. We are all adults, but we must have looked like children with our smiling faces turned up to the sky. A little kid, who was on her adult's shoulders, beamed down at me with a knowing look of, "yeah, this is incredible, right?"

Tip: stake out a spot around 45 minutes in advance to get a good viewing spot.

And when you're done, hang around the Magic Kingdom for about 30 minutes after closing (and 30 minutes before the stores close) for the special goodbye, The Kiss Goodnight.

Show off your special occasion

If you are celebrating a special occasion like a birthday or honeymoon, pick up a button at your resort hotel or in the parks from Guest Services. You'll likely receive some perks while walking around.

Gluten-free and Vegetarian Disney: Magical gluten-free vegetarian land? Yep, here's how!
Tiff's husband Tom doing it right

What are some of your special Disney tips?

  1. For getting on rides with ridiculous waits: It is absolutely worth it to "rope drop" (get there as early as possible) for newer and popular rides, like Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom. People will be queuing up before the park even opens. If you can't get a fastpass, get in line as early as possible. We were able to ride FoP with only about a 30-45 minute wait by getting there early, vs. the 2.5 hour wait it got to mid-day. ALSO, if you get in line for a ride before the park's closing time, you will get to ride (and the line might not be as long as it says it is – they quit updating it at some point late in the day.) We rode FoP again at night right before close and though the wait time said around 90-100 minutes, it was only 30-40 again. My other tip is to constantly check the app/kiosks for fast pass offerings! Often, you can move a fast pass up to an earlier time slot, freeing you up to get more after you ride. And every so often a rare popular fast pass will become available mid-day – you never know, so check frequently!

    1 agrees
  2. For a good overview of everything in the parks, I have to recommend the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. (There's a Disneyland one put out by the same authors, and it's just as good.) The touring plans are kind of predicated on the assumption that you're very, very dedicated to maximizing the number of rides you get to go on (either that, or that you enjoy getting up at 6 AM every day of your vacation), but if you just disregard them, the book is really great at explaining pretty much everything in the parks. Rides, hotels, restaurants, shows, all of it. It also talks about when lines tend to die down. Spaceship Earth, for example, has ridiculous lines when Epcot opens and then drops to almost nothing later in the day.

    Know when your Fastpass and restaurant reservation windows open and be ready to go. Importantly, you can book stuff for any day of your stay as soon as your window begins (I think there's a limit, but it's over a week) – my family got noon reservations at Be Our Guest a few years back because we were staying for a week and a half and could book them very early. Know what the really busy rides are and spend your Fastpasses on them where possible. Even if you really, really want to see Turtle Talk with Crush, for example, you can almost certainly do it with a minimal wait without a Fastpass.

  3. If you have a little kid with you that is too short to go on some of the rides you can get an awesome “rider swap” thingy on those rides. From my experience it can work like this:
    2 parents, 2 aunts, 1 uncle, 1 tiny child walk up to the fast pass entrance and say: can we do a rider swap? Disnwy gives the 2 parents + 1 Aunt a badge and puts them on the fast pass line (1 aunt & uncle take tiny child to pee). When parentals get off the ride all adults and child go back to the fast pass line, present the badge (THAT THEY HAVE NOT LOST) and now aunt and uncle get to go on the fast pass line. Leaving Mom andDad with tiny child.

    Related-ish:
    do use the app to order food if you are trying to eat a quick service lunch at prime lunch time. It saved us 40 minutes.

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