::Just an FYI:
SCAM Alert: When staying at WDW Resort or any other resort for that matter. If you receive a call that the system went down and they need your credit card info. DO NOT give this info to anyone over the phone!!!!! Go to the desk to see if it is legit! I read daily about people who have given out the cc info and have huge fraudulent charges on their card...
:Your FastPass+ has a grace period. Have you ever missed your FastPass+ reservation return time by just a few minutes? Although it’s not widely advertised, , your FP+ does have a grace period. Some guests have reported that they’ve arrived up to 10 minutes after their return time.
::Radar App As you probably are very well aware, it rains quite a bit in Central Florida . I recommend purchase of one of the radar apps that are available for smartphones This can be a really smart investment. You’ll see pretty much exactly when the storms are rolling in and you can adjust your schedule around them. Who wants to be stuck in for an hour under a roof because the rain is so heavy. A quick App Store search will come up with several inexpensive radar apps that will make your trip to the WDW theme parks run a whole lot drier!
:: Chilly Pads are a great way to keep cool in the parks. Lots of people swear by them. They’re just one of the added things you should pack.
::M&M mini’s containers are perfect for storing both quarters and pennies for the penny presses in the packs. It can also be used for your quarters for the laundry.
:: If you are traveling in the warmest of months pack or buy a spray water bottle with a fan. These are sold on property but are expensive.
:: We pack disposable coffee cups.. These are great for our last cup before we head out to the parks. Nothing to lug around after we are finished.
:: Pack a couple of carbine hooks these are great for hanging your soda mugs when they are empty so you can fill them on your return to the resort.( any resort)
:: With the new Magic Bands FastPass+ rules are changing quite frequently. Make sure to check with your travel planner or internet for updates so you don't miss out on any opportunities.
:: Bring rain ponchos from home (Walmart-cheap) If there is a storm most people purchase them from Disney $$ everyone looks alike.. This way you can spot your party.
:: As recommended on other tip sites. Make your dining reservation A.S.A.P.
:: Disney provides free transportation to your resort from Orlando airport so make your reservation when you book your flight. -We prefer to take a limo to start our vacation. I recommend Happy Limo (1-877-642-7791) We have always been happy!
:: For those of you who use a Disney stroller or wheelchair – bring a bright scarf or lacing to tie on it so when you exit a ride you can find your chair – Cast Members move all stroller, EVC and wheelchairs from the entrance to the exit of the ride.
:: If you are staying at Fort Wilderness – rent your golf cart ( I recommend this, FW is a huge resort) outside the resort – rent early and only a select few places are allowed to drop off and pick up at the fort.. Kenny at Tee Time Golf Carts is great 603-276-0809 saves a ton $$. Also mark your cart. When returning to FW all golf carts look alike. We use a solar led colored light strip. (Xmas Lights) we were able to spot our cart right way.
:: Bring a power strip with surge protection. You can than charge multiple items in one spot and no worries with the occasional Florida thunderstorm.
:: If it seems like planning a WDW vacation is not the simplest endeavor – utilize a Disney Specialist to help you. I offer a fee free service through my agency and I will no doubt make your planning easier.
:: Sunday nights when there are extra magic hours are usually a little less busy. Everyone is tired, take advantage of this and stay out late....
:: Epcots - Expedition Everest lines are usually shortest during the afternoon parade.
:: Be care of all personal items when riding Aerosmith's Roller Coaster. Things fly away quickly when you go from 0 to 60 so fast.
:: Hollywood Studios Extra magic ours are usually very busy due to less feature rides for the amount of guests.
:: We always save snack time until the Illuminations show and grab a churo and a Margarita at La Hacienda and grab a seat the tables nearest the globe they have a great view.
:: We usually forgo the park with extra magic hours that are in the AM.. This park is usually the busiest in the morning. Start elsewhere and than as the day progresses that park should be much easier to maneuver as the crowds die down.
:: When buying tickets to events such as MVMCP or MNSSHP you can enter the park around 4 even thought the party isn't until 7. Save your day ticket and use that day as an off day.. Stay at your resort enjoy the pool or visit one of the added offers on the hopper + more. (golf, mini golf, Disney Quest, or one of the water parks, DTD the Boardwalk or Sports complex.
:: Plan your meals at off times. This has helped us both with times and with cost. We try to make our big meal lunch this is usually cheaper than dinner. So a typical day would be quick breakfast and lunch around 2 and dinner at 7 ish.
:: You can store your luggage at your resort pre-check in or post check out to continue to enjoy every last moment of your Disney Vacation.
:: If you have a free evening drop over to PO Riverside and stop in at River Roost Lounge to see Yehaa Bob. It is fun for the whole family..
:: If you have an old smartphone around bring it with you. If for some reason you current one breaks or get lost it would be a shame to lose out on any fun now that most planning is done via My Disney Experience (make sure you have the charger with you).
:: Keep all reservation numbers and confirmation numbers along with reservation times in a small notebook just in case..(as above)
:: I recommend you carry your ID along with one cc or debit card. While in the MK my son tried to make a purchase with his Magic Band and it would not go through. As it turns out the Resorts have a 1000.00 limit on your charge card and once you hit this they need your approval to charge the card and start anew. (wish a cast member had shared this info at check in) Glad we carry our cc and ID.
:: Bring a couple of 3M hooks to hang. I use this for my make up case, to keep it off the bathroom counter and give us some x-tra room.
::If you see a tree moving down the walkways at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, stop and watch. It’s actually Devine, an incredibly talented performer. Same thing, if you see a trash can roaming around Tomorrowland.
:: Always make sure to mention any special occasions to either your travel agent or any Cast Member waiting on you. Sometimes small special treats are offered for your celebration.
::Chewing gum is not sold anywhere on Walt Disney World property. So if you need gum, bring some with.
::If you’re “Drinking Around the World” in Epcot, stop at La Cava del Tequila in Mexico instead of the stand outside. Much better drinks.
:: You can request complimentary water at any of the counter-service restaurants or you can fill up at any water bubbler. Florida water is fine but tastes funky so we bring a few chrystal light packs to ad.
::Always ask! Some restaurants offer discounts to Annual Passholders, DVC Members and Disney Visa Cardholders. Some restaurants even offer a AAA discount. There are some restrictions. If you are an Annual Passholder a DVC member or a Florida resident I recommend purchasing the Tables in Wonderland membership card. You will save 20% on food and beverages (including alcohol) at nearly all Table Service restaurants and several counter service locations as well (those in Animal Kingdom, and at resorts where there isn’t a table service restaurant option) Make sure to ask.. Some restaurants (like Earl of Sandwich) even offer a AAA discount. There are restrictions as far as the time of day you can use the discounts and where they can be used, but it never hurts to ask.
:: One trip to Epcot it was raining, humid and very warm. Most visitors were wearing Disney poncho’s. Just about everyone was sweating under the rain gear. I brought one with but ask a cashier they sometimes have some under the counter. I stayed dry and cooler than the rest and it was easy to but in my backpack.
:: When visiting the parks, I always set up a landmark with my group to meet up at in case we get separated and can’t call. The trick is that we pick a more obscure, less visited landmark, so that it’s easier to spot the other person among the crowd.
:: If you want to ride a busy ride, but couldn't get a Fastpass+ reservation and the standby lines are too long during the day, get in line around a half hour before park closing. Disney policy is that anyone in line at park closing gets to ride, even if they don't get on until after the official closing time.
:: The best grocery store to shop at in the WDW area is Publix - much better prices.
:: When going into the parks around mid-day, check your schedule to see which park opened 1 hour early that day. It will be the most crowded park for the remainder of the day!
:: Earl Of Sandwich in Downtown Disney offers a 15% discount if you show your AAA card. This is not advertised , so you need to show them your card when you are paying. This is better than the 10% discount for Annual Passholders.
:: Avoid the park that is open for the early Extra Magic Hour. It’s nice for the first hour or so, but by 11:00 that park is usually packed, while the other parks are less crowded. If you are staying on Disney property, maybe go in for the Extra Magic Hour and then park hop to a less crowded park by 11.
:: I am the packer so I put our clothing together in outfits and packed them that way. When we got ready each day, we aren’t trying to figure out what we wanted to wear and what would go together. If you have children let them put together outfits before the trip, pack them so that when you pick it up you have the whole outfit together, you dress, and you're off!
::You will not need a FastPass+ before 10:30AM. Head straight for your favorite attraction right after park opening and you will be able to ride it, and probably a couple more, before you need a FP+. The one exception to this is if you are seeking to meet the very popular Princess Anna and Queen Elsa then take whatever time you can get 60 days out, if you are a Disney resort guest, or 30 days out if you have an Annual Pass.
::Not making dining reservations is a big first-timer mistake. The food is not your ordinary theme park food. Go on the Walt Disney World official site and look at the menus for the restaurants you are considering. There are a few good reasons for doing this. 1. You need to see the prices; 2. You need to see if there is something on that menu that everyone in your party will want to order. There are good restaurants here and there are really great ones, don’t you want to know which is which?
::CLEAR YOUR COOKIES. When looking to book a flight to WDW (or anywhere)It’s not your imagination—the price of that airline ticket really did go up since the last time you checked. Some travel websites place a cookie on your computer that tracks your shopping behavior. After you’ve checked the same flight a few times, it increases the ticket price, hoping to get you to buy before it goes up again. Clear your cookies and check back—you may get your original price.
:.Most standard resort rooms allow for 4 adults plus a crib baby under 3. So if you have 3 children but your youngest is under 3, you can still stay in a room that sleeps four. There are a limited number of renovated rooms that will accommodate 5 meaning 4 adult size people and one child under 13 size comfortably in a standard room. Disney will even provide the Pack and Play for FREE!
:Hollywood Studios is definitely the best park to avoid the rain. Most attractions and queues are indoo
:Make your reservations for Friday so you can beat the crowd in getting those dining reservations, and FP+ as most people check-in on Saturdays or Sundays..
Epcot has 2 sections: Future World and World Showcase. Future World opens at 9 am and World Showcase opens at 11 am. Most of Future World closes at 7 pm, but a few rides remain open including the Character Spot.
:A fun souvenir for girls is Pick A Pearl in Japan. You can choose your own Oyster and they will open it for you. I myself did this many years ago in Seaworld and got a black pearl. You can also purchase settings for the pearl there in the shop or you can purchase them ahead of time on Ebay.