You have planned and saved for your Walt Disney World vacation for a very long time. Visions of pixie dust are making it hard to think straight. Before you step off the monorail and into the Magic Kingdom, you’d better be prepared. Our Research TravelingMom shares 10 Tips to get the most out of your Walt Disney World Vacation.

Cinderella's Castle. Photo courtesy Karen Locke/ Road Trip TravelingMom

Cinderella’s Castle. Photo courtesy Karyn Locke/ Road Trip TravelingMom

10 Great Walt Disney World Tips

Planning a trip to Walt Disney World is so exciting, but it can be extremely daunting at the same time! There is so much to see and to do and so many things to plan. How can you make the most out of your trip to the house of the mouse? I have a few ideas for you!

    • Plan Meals and Snacks Accordingly.

      What I mean by this is to think about what you want to spend your cash on. Is your family happy to eat cereal in the hotel room before hitting the park? Can you pack snacks that will keep your family full until it is time for a meal that is more substantial? My family and I found that the food at the quick service restaurants was a bit lacking, so we would much rather eat breakfast in the room or eat high quality snacks for lunch and treat ourselves to a nicer dinner.

    • Come Up with a Plan.

      I know that this sounds very basic, but hear me out. Disney has four parks to visit and if you are on a park hopper pass, you have access to all four in a single day. How and when you do things greatly depends on the length of time you will be staying. Do you have a week? Do you have two days? Each park has its own unique attractions and I’d bet you have a list of ‘can’t miss’ things. Sit down as a family and talk about what qualifies as a ‘can’t miss.’

    • Take a Break.

      We learned the hard way that all Disney all day is not the best plan, at least for my family. It is tempting to stay all day but with small kids, time away may be a smart idea. My kids really craved the pool time (that we didn’t give them). I was so determined to make the most of our tickets that I think I uttered on more than one occasion “We can swim at home.” It is ok to step away for the parks and have some chill time!

    •  Read Up on Pin Trading

      My youngest, who just turned 5, was serious about his pin trading. We ordered pins on ebay for our trip and my kids were very excited about this prior to going! It is a relatively cheap (assuming you stock up on pins before leaving) activity  to take part in, and it leaves you with cool souvenirs.

    • Get Informed about Disney Transportation.

      Transportation at Disney can be awesome, but it can also be a headache. Sometimes the monorail is out of service, buses run from resorts to the different stops but you need to know where you are heading. The more you know, the better off you’ll be.

    • There is Free Fun at Disney; Take Advantage of It.

      We went to Disney World armed with knowledge about the free fun that can be had at the parks. Did you know there is a free card game that can be played during your time in the park? Or that quick service restaurants will give you cups of water with ice? This post lists 13 things that are free in the park!

    • Decide What You Want to Splurge On.

      If you know that your little princess won’t be happy bringing her own dress with her to the park, perhaps a new princess dress falls into the splurge category. If your kiddos are happy with dollar store glow sticks for the fireworks, then that is a way to save some cash. Coming up with what is worth it and what isn’t when it comes to spending will help to keep your budget (kind of) intact.

    • Start at the Back.10 ways to

      What I mean by this is head to the back of the park and work your way forward. Typically people hit the attractions that they come to first. So if you do the rides in the reverse order, you are likely to encounter less lines. Hello, shorter lines at Splash Mountain!

    • Arrive Early!

      This tip isn’t what you think it is about! If you have reservations at a Walt Disney World Resort, you can check in early and leave your bags with bell services (they put them in a secure location). This will allow you to hit the parks while your room is being prepared and you will get a text when it is ready.

    • Consider Purchasing the Photo Pass.

      My family took advantage of the photo pass option and I am a believer! The photographers not only take photos of your child (and you!) with the characters, they also snap the reactions to the characters. My favorite photo is one of my son giving Chewbacca a hug; it was priceless and something I wouldn’t have captured on my own. The photo pass also gives you access to the photos from the rides as well.

What is your go to Walt Disney World tip?