When was the last time YOU went to Disney? Disneyland and Disney World have gone through major technological upgrades and if you haven’t been recently, there’s a lot to learn! Also there is so much planning and research involved in optimizing your experience that people are hiring Disney consultants, joining private Facebook groups and spending hours on forums and chat groups to figure out how to best make their Disney dreams come true. It’s understandable because it’s a costly investment for most families, and you hear of worn out families who vow to never do it again haha but don’t fret! I’ve done the research and with over 25 Disney trips under my belt, have compiled all the best tips, tricks, and links to help ensure you’ll have a magical time!
1).Take a screenshot of your entrance pass before arrival ‘cuz wifi in the park is spotty.
2).Don’t forget to reserve which park you want each day after buying the ticket else you might realize the day of that it’s all booked up! (This is a new post-COVID step that’s required to ensure Disney can limit appropriately the amount of people in each park)!
3). Buy Genie + !
(Disney Genie is a NEW complimentary trip-planning service, Disney Genie+ is a paid service that lets you use a Lightning Lane (this is the updated fast pass which you might be more familiar with) entrance to bypass the standby line on select attractions, and individual attraction selections allow you to pay to skip the line on up to two high-demand attractions per day). Genie+ isn’t worth buying if you are just going to book rides that normally don’t have very long standby queues to begin with. For instance, booking Mad Tea Party or Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor would be a waste since those attractions rarely have wait times of more than 20-30 minutes tops.
Rest assured that all of these services are integrated with Disney’s existing Disneyland and My Disney Experience apps. And don’t forget to keep hitting refresh! Disney-die-hards know the app releases spots at 7am and 7:10 AM (and that’s who you’re competing with)! 😅 Finally, the most important thing to know about Genie+ is that if you can’t get it to work, or if it doesn’t give any options till late evening, visit Guest Services to see if they can get you an earlier return time or your money back
💡 Absolutely download the “my Disney Experience app” which gets you into virtual queue, allows you to pre order food, and scan your tickets.
💡 To ensure your Disney dream doesn’t turn out to be a nightmare, make sure to have the right mentality and expectations. Ie don’t be like my foolish husband who tries to do it all and see it all, then nearly kills us by forcing us to try and keep up with his crazy ambitions. It’s easy to burn out at Disney. It’s expansive and you will most definitely be over-stimulated. Plus you’re on your feet most of the day with average reports ranging from 7-15 miles walked per day at WDW for instance (depending on how much backtracking you do and what order you tour the amusement park). It is helpful to poll and know what priorities people in your group have regarding Disney’s rides, sights, restaurants and attractions. Understanding you can’t see and do the entire park in one day will force you to prioritize what you need to see/do that day.
💡 Also remember, Disney days are somewhat of an arduous adventure …don’t expect to be in vaca mode. It may even feel like there is NO rest or relaxation on this so called vacation day at Disney. Expect being on-the-go and being on your feet all day while discovering all sorts of new excitement and entertainment! Practice patience and don’t stress about doing everything. Enjoy all the little moments and minimize your time waiting around with all the below tips!
💡 Know best times to go (it’s NOT during breaks and summer when everyone else has off from school). 😅We prefer to go right after a Thanksgiving break before Christmas break which is their low season. Check this Disney traffic calendar to see what your exact dates are predicted to be like here. Also know generally, parks are packed by 10am.
💡 Stay on site for half off! Use David’s vacation rentals and rent other people’s Disney timeshare points for a fraction of the value Here. We have not yet tried this but have read other people’s reviews and recommendations and think this is a creative money saving tip!
💡 Pass the time while waiting in lines with the Heads up app, 20 questions, I spy game or the Disney app (which has themed games for certain rides). And make sure to bring along your child’s favorite silent activities that they can use to keep them occupied in line or at the restaurants. (Water Wow, bubble makers, pen and paper, tattoo pens, Mad Libs for example).
💡 Pack at least one meal and lots of snacks to eat while waiting in line to save time and money. Simple treats like lollipops, gum and fruity gummies will help keep them satiated and quiet too! Lastly, bring your own water bottle (non-glass cuz that’s restricted) and get free (water) refills from restaurants too.
💡 Character meal reservations are sometimes booked 120 days in advance for busy seasons so if there is a favorite one on your bucketlist, make that reservation as soon as you’ve bought your tickets and don’t wait!
And as stated above, once you’ve downloaded the app, mobile order foods early (while in line for a ride) to avoid crowds and wasting time waiting yet again.
💡 Need a stroller to ensure your child can keep up for the miles and hours you’re planning to walk but don’t want to travel with yours the entire trip? Kingdom Strollers will deliver a stroller to your hotel or Airbnb! You simply place your order and then meet them at your hotel at one of their 5 daily meetup times. If that is not convenient enough, you can grab the stroller directly at their onsite locate in the Orlando Airport
💡 Check for weather updates to time indoor activities accordingly
What else would you add? Please share your additional tips in the comments below. I’d love to read them!