Whether you’re here because you’re taking your first trip to Walt Disney World Resort, looking for some special things to do, or looking for ways to be a bit more prepared, this “Top Tips for Walt Disney World” guide is for you!
Because Walt Disney World is massive there is a lot to see and plan for. Don’t think you can do it all in one week! I’ve been going for over 15 years and still haven’t done it all. Don’t let that scare you. Prioritize and stick to your plan and all will be well. Throw in some of my tips for Walt Disney World and you will have a magical Disney experience!
Use your My Disney Experience Account – There’s something to be said about preppers and using your My Disney Experience account can only make things so much better for your trip. A My Disney Experience account is a free online account you create a disneyworld.com. Here you can basically plan and prepare everything for your vacation. It’s especially great for guests who are staying on the property. You can see your hotel reservation, tickets, MagicBands, dining plans, and more. If you’re planning a trip be sure to make one of these accounts!
Make FastPass+ Reservations in Advance – That’s the whole point of FastPass+. Advanced planning! If you’re not familiar with FastPass+ you can read my entire article on it. Basically, it allows you to skip the main line and get onto attractions much faster. It’s one of my Top Tips for Walt Disney World and one you should not overlook. Hotel guests can make reservations 60 days in advance while everyone else can 30 days in advance. Don’t miss out! Even if you’re just a few hours away from your trip jump onto your My Disney Experience account of the App and make some.
Pay For Some Experiences – I realize that you’re already paying a lot for your vacation. You’re also probably worried that you’ll miss something like a show, parade, or fireworks. A lot of these things can be paid for in advance so you won’t miss them. You’ll also receive guaranteed seating with some of the best views. In particular the fireworks at Magic Kingdom and Epcot Forever. Both offer a dining experience that guarantees you seats to the show plus some great goodies to snack on before, during, and after. Sometimes splurging a little bit is worth some peace of mind!
Don’t Overlook Epcot Theme Park – It’s a classic mistake that people make all the time. They don’t know much about the park or they heard things about it from people who visited ages ago. My suggestion would be to not exclude it from your planning. The park is in the middle of its biggest update but it’s not affecting anything. Attractions like Soarin’, Test Track, Mission Space, and festivals including the Flower and Garden Festival and Food and Wine Festival. If you’re a foodie, Epcot is your park! That’s one of the best Top Tips for Walt Disney World that I can give.
Purchase Discount Disney World Tickets – I of course have to mention that Park Savers specializes in discounting theme park tickets, in particular, Walt Disney World tickets. Be sure to see their special offers which include savings over per ticket. There’s no sense in paying more when you can pay much less for the same thing! Their tickets work just like Disney’s so you can link them online and plan FastPass+ in advance.
Get The Park Hopper Ticket – It provides some much flexibility that the upgrade is worth it if you can afford to. My biggest concern about the parks (and probably yours too) is crowds. When you purchase the 1 park per day tickets you do save but at what cost? You may land in a park that’s just crazy busy that day with super long lines while another park is “dead” in comparison. That’s why the Park Hopper option is a must for me. I can leave a park and check out another one.
Check The Weather – This might seem like a small thing to do but it’s a must in my book and a Top Tips for Walt Disney World. Florida is all sunshine and fun. I’m sure you’ve heard of things called hurricanes that threaten the Florida coast basically every year. The last thing you want to do is show with nothing but shorts, flip flops, and tee shirts during a downpour. Check the weather for Orlando while you’re packing for your trip so you know what to expect and you’re prepared.
Visit Disney’s Boardwalk – There are some awesome things to do outside the parks and Disney’s Boardwalk is one of them! Shopping, dining, live music, dancing, magic shows, margaritas and so much more. Make an evening of it and grab some dinner, take a boat ride, stroll around the lake, catch a quick show, and enjoy the ambiance of the Boardwalk. It’s one of my favorite places I have to visit each of my vacations and it never gets boring. It’s right outside Epcot theme park and about 10 minutes from Hollywood Studios.
Beaches and Cream – Speaking of the Boardwalk, there’s a little place called Beaches and Cream located at Disney’s Beach Club Resort that offers one of the most unique ice cream treats ever: The Kitchen Sink. Hear me out. It’s 8 scoops of ice cream covered in every topping they have, all placed into a small kitchen sink. It’s insane and so much fun! Of course, you’ll want to share the experience with 2 or 3 other people and maybe you won’t finish the whole thing, but that’s okay. It’s the ultimate ice cream challenge!
Enjoy Your Resort – If you’re a go go go the person who spends every waking minute inside the parks then this can especially apply to you. Sometimes it’s easy to overlook your resort hotel with some much to see and do in the parks. I would say put the parks on pause for a day and enjoy what you’re paying for, not just a room to sleep in but the resort’s shopping, dining, pools, and entertainment. On my second stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, I discovered a kid’s area that my girls begged to go to every night because it had so much to offer. This is just an example but your resort hotel probably has some really cool stuff you don’t know about. So get exploring!
Shop At Disney Springs – Like the Boardwalk, Disney Springs is an awesome place for some shopping, dining, and entertainment. Did I mention Disney Springs is massive? Like a 20-25 minute walk from end to end at a decent speed massively. You can find almost any store here, especially Disney themed ones like World of Disney. It’s THE best place to find almost anything you’re looking for whether that be a souvenir or a little something for yourself. And the food. It never ends! Whatever you’re craving, it can be found here. Plus enjoy nightly music from live bands and dance parties for the kids.
Get Memory Maker – It’s worth the extra money because pictures are priceless! Memory Maker allows you to get all your attraction and photopass photos for your entire trip. If you’re not familiar, Disney has Cast Members that will take pictures for you around all the parks like in front of Cinderella’s Castle or Spaceship Earth. Your photo is also taken on several attractions like Splash Mountain and Test Track. You can download them all digitally when your vacation is finished.
Eat At Every Epcot Country – This is a challenge that few can do. It takes planning and courage and some serious exercising but it’s worth it. Every pavilion at World Showcase has its own unique restaurants based on the country. And most of them are sooo good which is why I keep it in my Top Tips for Walt Disney World. I don’t want you to miss out on some good eats while on vacation.
Ride The Monorail – It’s an icon of Walt Disney World and thus it must be ridden. Hope on at Epcot, Magic Kingdom, the Ticket and Transportation Station or most Magic Kingdom Resort Hotels including the Polynesian Resort, Contemporary Resort and Grand Floridian. Enjoy a nice sit and a breezy ride around Walt Disney World!
Watch The Magic Kingdom Fireworks – You see them all the time in ads for Walt Disney World and to be honest, it’s a highlight because the show is so good. I mentioned above purchasing a dessert party for guaranteed seating but if you’re not going to do that then arrive early, about 1-1/2 hours before the show starts to get good seats. Disney spares no expense when it comes to these shows so you won’t be disappointed.
Get A Dole Whip – It’s the treat you’ve heard about a million times and maybe you’ve even had one. Either way, a Disney Dole Whip is the best Doel Whip! You can grab one in Adventureland at Disney’s Magic Kingdom Theme Park or at the Polynesian Resort if you’re interested in trying a few different kinds.
Say Thanks To A Cast Member – Their day in and day out. Good weather and bad weather. They help the show go on and they deserve a thank you! It’s so much fun to talk to Cast Member when you can, learn a bit about them like where they’re from and why they choose Disney to work for. Of course, drop a “thanks” in there somewhere. It will make their day and yours too!
Meet Mickey Mouse – He’s the mouse who started it all and it’s so much fun to stop by and say hi. Find him at every park in several areas (he uses mouse tunnels to get from one place to another) and grab a picture with him. Many of the locations that Mickey is found at have FastPass+ reservations available so you may want to look at them beforehand.
Must-Do Attractions – This is really for the guests who have never been before but here’s my top list (assuming height isn’t an issue):
Magic Kingdom – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, Disney World Railroad, PeopleMover, it’s a small world, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
Animal Kingdom – Avatar – Flight of Passage, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Expedition Everest, Kali River Rapids, Dinosaur and Na’vi River Journey.
Epcot – Soarin’ Around the World, Test Track, Mission: SPACE, Spaceship Earth, Frozen Ever After, Gran Fiesta Tour, and all country pavilions.
Hollywood Studios – Toy Story Midway Mania, Slinky Dog Dash, Rise of the Resistance, Star Tours, Tower of Terror, Rock n Roller Coaster, and Muppet*Vision 3-D.
These Top Tips for Walt Disney World Resort are just a small part of what I think can make your vacation even more special. What’s made your past Walt Disney World vacation special? Things you can’t miss? Send us a message and let us know! The most important thing you can do is to have fun every day. You’re not going to be missing out if you can’t get some of these or other things done. Make your vacation your own and just enjoy it to the fullest.
If you’d like some more planning tips then be sure to check out my Walt Disney World Planning Guide which has lots of tips and tricks to enhance your vacation. Park Savers is always publishing the latest and greatest news about the park so be sure to follow us or subscribe to our newsletter. I hope you enjoyed my Top Tips for Walt Disney World!