Are you planning a Disney World vacation? Do you feel completely overwhelmed by all of the information out there? After many visits and lessons learned, here are my 15 tips and tricks for your next Walt Disney World vacation.
With over 20 visits to Walt Disney World under our belt, my family has learned a few valuable tips and tricks along the way. We still learn something new each visit as Disney continues to grow and evolve. These 15 tried and true tips are my takeaways for every visit. I hope they help you feel less stressed and more ready for your Disney World Vacation.
Before You Arrive
- Set up an account in My Disney Experience. This is your hub to everything for your Disney World vacation. With this you can order Magic Bands, make Fast pass reservations, check wait times and so much more. My Disney Experience is available for both IOS and Android devices.
- Check-In online up to ten days before arrival. This will allow you to skip the front desk check in lines and receive a text when your room is ready. Since your Magic Band is the room key no need to wait. You can ask any cast member to point you in the direction of your room once you arrive if you are not familiar with your resort.
- Make dining reservations. Disney World table service dining; especially character dining books up very early and quick. You can make your dining reservations online or by calling 407-WDW-DINE up to 180 days before check in.
- If you are not renting a car, be sure to set up your Magical Express information. This will allow for seamless travel to/from the airport.
TravelingMom Tip: Book with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, they will help you with all of these details, and your Walt Disney World vacation will seem less difficult to navigate.
What To Bring
- Disney allows you to bring snacks and non-glass bottles in the parks. Pack a soft sided cooler that will fit easily in luggage. This will help curb the spending on water, juice and little snacks. I even pack PB & J sammies for a little pick me up if the kids need something between meals.
- I always bring a collapsible laundry hamper. We never have time to wash clothes, but the hamper keeps the funky stuff away from the clean stuff until the end of vacation.
- With all of the devices families use, there are never enough plugs in the rooms. Bring a power strip with you. This way cameras, phones, and portable chargers are at 100% all the time.
- Everywhere you turn there is a gift shop in Disney World. Go to the Dollar Store or Five Below before you leave home and stock up on glow items, as well as Disney themed toys. The kids will never know and the “can I have this” argument will quickly come to an end.
- Pack a day bag for carry-on if you are flying. Your luggage will meet you at your room up to four hours after arrival. This will ensure you are ready for kiddos to hit the pool upon or head off to a park. If you have items with you and the room isn’t ready you can check them at bell services until your room is ready as opposed to carrying them around. Don’t forget to put your Magic Bands in there as well, you will need them as park tickets and room keys are attached to them.
TravelingMom Tip: Each night once the kids fell asleep, I left a little gift for them with a card from Tinkerbell or Minnie as their treat for the next day. It was a new doll, plush or light-up items for the night shows. At the end of our trip, they could choose one or two souvenirs themselves.
Welcome to your Walt Disney World Vacation
All the planning is over and you have arrived!
- Visit the Concierge at check-in, they can give you all the best tips about your resort including FREE activities.
- If you are traveling with a stroller I can promise you it will be moved while you are on a ride. Attach a balloon or family sign to it so you can easily find it. For the evenings cover the handle with glow bracelets.
- Kids too small for Space Mountain? Mom and Dad you don’t have to miss out. Take advantage of rider swap and still enjoy all the big rides. Ask any cast member at ride entrance and they will assist you.
- Baby Care and First Aid centers are in every park and Disney Springs. Escape the craziness for a quiet feeding, or grab a Tylenol for yourself.
- Have your photos taken by Photopass photographers, they are free and you may find a great family photo hidden with silly ones. These photos are linked to your Magic Band and you can look at them in your My Disney Experience.
- If you are on the Disney Dining plan, use snack credits for big money items such as Dole Whip, Funnel Cake, Mickey Bars and more. Don’t waste it on a water or bagel!
TravelingMom Tip: When on the Disney Dining plan your credits expire at midnight on checkout day. You can also carry over credits from day to day.
My biggest tip for getting the most out of your Disney vacation is to not think you will “do it all” in one visit. Walt Disney World is huge and full of so many sights and sounds. Enjoy the moments you are there and I am sure it will be an amazing vacation.
What are your tips for a Disney World vacation to go off without a hitch?