Most Disney World tips found on the internet come from Disney fanatics.
You know who I’m referring to – those people who plan their lives around Disney World (ugh). They go to Disney almost every year. Wear matching Disney clothes and dress up. They get their pictures with every character, and Facebook Live their entire trip.
Well, if you’re looking for Disney World Tips from a Disney Pro who doesn’t think it’s the most fabulous place on earth – then this is the article for you!
Our Disney Experiences
We are your typical American family, except for the fact we have four kids. Although we do enjoy DW, the beach is more our style.
However, my wife and I have been lucky enough to visit Disney World six times in the past 10 years. I’m still not exactly sure why we’ve been there so many times because, after each trip, we swear we won’t go back for another five years.
When we initially went, we had HUGE expectations. Then we learned over the years that Disney World is a heck of lot more fun the lower we keep our expectations.
We’ve been there with one kid, two kids, three kids, and four kids! Each time, it was more difficult (and more expensive) than the last. We’ve stayed on property and off the property. We’ve purchased the meal plan and have also passed on it.
The bottom line is we know Disney World.
We know how to help you stay sane while you visit the parks and can help you manage expectations. We will give you the best Disney World tips without being biased.
If you are a die-hard Disney person, then you this post isn’t for you. Sorry!
Whether you’ve never been to Disney World or been there 10 times, these Disney World tips will help you!
9 Disney World Tips
1) Be Prepared for Total Break Downs
You’ve probably heard that DW is the happiest place on Earth.
That’s not true.
If it were true, I wouldn’t see kids throwing temper tantrums every 30 seconds.
If you have a child under 8, be prepared for times that will test your every last nerve and question why you spent thousands of dollars on the trip.
They will complain about some, if not all of the following:
- I’m hungry
- The line is too long
- I’m hungry
- Can you carry me
- My legs are tired
- I didn’t want to take the boat, I want the monorail
- I’m hungry
- I’m tired
You will also probably deal with one or 12 total breakdowns during your trip. These breakdowns can be from your kids or your spouse. You never know when the breaking point is, so be aware!
2) Plan a Break in the Middle of Your Trip
The second Disney World Tips we have is plan a break!
Chances are you have your trip planned from sun up until sundown. You will probably eclipse 22,000 steps every single day.
By the second or third day, you are going to be EXHAUSTED.
This is why I highly recommend planning a break in the middle of your trip. This should be a day where you sleep in, stay at the hotel, and just chill!
This break will help you re-energize and keep going! It will save your family!
3) As Elsa said, “Let it Go.”
Parenting is difficult.
Parenting in DW is infinitely more difficult!
You are on a constant lookout to make sure you don’t lose a child. You want everything to go perfect (it inevitably won’t). You are waiting in long lines. You will probably say no 15,000 times. You’ll deal with crying. You’ll feel gross and dirty.
At some point, your spouse will say something completely insane. You know it’s crazy…he knows it’s absurd…just let it go!
The last time we were in DW, my five year old wanted to build and buy a Star Wars Light Saber. It was 10:00 in the morning and I didn’t think it sounded like a good idea since we had like 12 hours until we left the parks.
My wife said ok, and he ended up building a six-foot sword.
Throughout the day he accidentally hit about a dozen people and caused chaos. During all of it…I let it go, but I am passively aggressively writing about it now:).
Remember…just let it go. It will make for good laughs later.
4) Purchase the Park Hopper Passes
I’m not sure what the price difference is between single park tickets and park hopper passes, but I know it’s worth it!
DW has four parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. The best way to experience DW is to make sure you hit the best parts of each park.
It’s hard to spend an entire day at one park, and it’s nice to have the flexibility to “hop” between them. If you are staying in a park property, this allows you to take advantage of “Magic Hours” and then use your fast passes elsewhere.
Here are my favorite attractions in each park:
- Space Mountain
- It’s a Small World
- Splash Mountain
- Big Thunder Mountain
- Seven Dwarfs Ride
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
- Test Track
- Frozen Ever After
- Showcase Around the World
- Expedition Everest
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
- Avatar Flight of Passage
- Kali River Rapids
- Dino Land
- The Twilight Tower of Terror
- Slinky Dog Dash
- MuppetVision 3D
- Rock n Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
- Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular
- Jedi Training
- Star Wars – A Galactic Spectacular
- Toy Story Mania
5) Drink Around the World (responsibly)
At Epcot, there are 11 countries in the World Showcase. This means you have an opportunity to drink 11 different drinks from various countries.
The first time I drank around the world was a total disaster. There were about 10 of us, and we got to the park super late. We only had about 90 minutes to drink around the world!
To make a long story short…we accomplished our goal. However, the next day was brutal!! Especially with little kids.
If you plan on trying this feat, then I suggest you take your time, eat plenty, and have fun! And if you’re super serious, then this article from the the Cheat Sheet will help.
6) Stay on Disney Property
Staying on Disney property gives you access to Magic hours. Depending on the time of year you go to DW, you could get into the parks an hour early, stay an hour late, or even stay super late!
These extra hours give you a leg up on the rest of the visitors. You can potentially knock out a ride or two before using your fast passes.
Take advantage of the Magic hours because they’ll make your trip much more enjoyable.
You’ll also be a let to schedule your fast passes 60 days in advance rather than 30 days.
7) Plan Your Fast Passes Early
Disney Fast Passes are essential to a successful DW trip. Fast Passes allow you to schedule your ride times.
Before you get to the parks, you can make 3 fast pass selections per day up to 60 days in advance.
Make sure you select your passes well in advance because the rides fill up quickly. This will also help you plan the rest of your trip.
To learn more about DW Fast Passes, check out the FAQ on Disneys website.
8) Stay for the Magic Kingdom Fireworks
Once you see a Magic Kingdom Fireworks Show, it will ruin all other firework shows for the rest of your life.
This is one thing my wife and I argued over. She wanted to stay, and I wanted to get back to the hotel. She was right (as usual).
Words won’t do their show justice. Just take my word for it and stay until closing. You’ll love it!
9) Go During the Slower Times of Year
Disney World is always busy. It actually amazes me how many people go to DW every single day of the year. However, there are slower time.
To figure out the best time of the year, I suggest taking a look at this post from Undercover Tourist. They detail the best times of the year to go.
Just remember, no matter what time of the year you’ll still deal with crowds.
If you are planning a trip to DW anytime soon, then following the above Disney World Tips will help you stay sane and create memories.