ALL the Disney Tips You Need for 2023

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!



Calla Lily Valley & Garrapata Beach -add this to your Big Sur and Carmel bucket list!

Did you know calla lilies grow in the wild? I didn’t! I also didn’t know that while most are found growing naturally in South Africa, some can be found in the wild in Northern California-the most famous, ubiquitous spot being in Calla Lily Valley.


PIN this blog post (use above pic) for the next time you’re in Carmel, CA or the Big Sur area of northern CA and add it to your bucketlist!! Considered a secret local spot and hidden gem, this beautiful hike is surprisingly unbeknownst to most Californians. I can’t tell you the number of SoCal moms I’ve told about this gorgeous find and the quizzical looks I’ve gotten in return. 😂

I’m here to spread the word and scream it from the mountaintops though because this place is heavenly and I believe everyone should get to see it once in their lifetime! Know a calla lily lover? SHARE this post!

📍 enter “calla lily valley” (on google maps). It’s near Garrapata state beach and gate 1 is right across from Doud Creek ranch

PARK on the west side of HWY 1 (gate1) across from the ranch. It’s free but the parking area is narrow and not an official lot..there are limited spots (maybe fits up to 18 cars)? and many have complained that it gets full on weekends fast.

The hike

Reviewers label the hike “easy.” And while it has little incline and does not require any hiking experience, it IS a mix of steps, and uneven and muddy terrain. Plus, it requires hopscotching over slippery rocks to get to the beach. So, don’t expect little kids or senior citizens with knee problems to find it “easy.” Of course, our 9 year old had no problem and playfully enjoyed her own version of “The Floor is Lava” as we tried our best not to fall in the creek. (It requires you to test rocks for stability and tentatively hover over and hop towards the beach). I’d say an adventurous 6 year old could do the .5 mile hike and that 5 and under would have a hard time traversing the creek to get to the beach side. It would also be up to the parents’ judgement to know whether their child would be respectful enough to the wildflowers, making sure to not only leave no trace but to also not pick flowers or trample on any. Everyone needs to make sure they stay on the paths as to preserve the flower field for all to enjoy.

Best time to go

Calla lilies are in season mid-Feb -mid March but can be seen as early as late January to early April. We just went over President’s day weekend Feb 2023 and though the Jan rains were reported to have damaged some of the wildflowers, we were still so impressed and wow-ed with what we saw.

If you’re wondering what the current situation looks like, I’d suggest searching instagram’s most recent hashtags for “calla lily valley.” Signs at the trailhead say the trail is open until sunset. I’d say the best time to go and beat the crowds is sunrise though. That’s when we shot these pics, and had the field to ourselves for the first 10 minutes before 2 other avid photographers came in to take advantage of the perfect lighting.


*Poison oak and mud await you in the valley so dress accordingly. Think boots, hiking shoes and long leggings or pants. If you’re aiming for that insta-worthy, frame worthy shot and want a romantic dress look for your pics, do what we did and wear the dress over your leggings and hiking shoes. Throw on a coat over it for warmth at sunrise and wear a cute bow or hat for the back of head shots. Shop our mommy and me star hats here. White dresses really pop and compliment the scene here. Here is a link to some of my favorite white dresses.

*Make the extra effort to walk towards the rockier path that leads to the beach. It’s worth it!! The crashing waves and foam that quickly sneaks towards you are mesmerizing. And you’ll feel like you’re on your own private beach. It would be a great spot for a little picnic or sunbathing. Also, I’ve read (too late) that if you make a right when hitting the beach and hike about 1/2 mile, you will see a beautiful waterfall! (This gives me a reason to return)!

*Download offline Google Maps, as cell service can be unreliable along the highway.

What else to do in the area

*Bixby bridge is 5 minutes away. Keyhole Rock at Pfeiffer Beach and McWay Falls on the other end of Big Sur are nearby highlights too. And Point Lobos State Park is a not to be missed hike.

*The bagel bakery nearby in Carmel has THE best chocolate croissants!!

So what do you think? Will you be adding this to your travel bucket list? PIN, save and share! And make sure to follow me on Instagram where I share daily inspiration for celebrating the everyday. It’s also where I shared all the details and videos (to IG stories) from this trip!

© 2023 Stylishly Stella