You already know that I have personally been to Disney World multiple times. I love Disney so much that I created a website all about it! With all of my visits to the most magical place on earth, I have discovered a bunch of Disney World tips for families that can not only give you the best vacation ever but can also help you to save a lot of time and money!
You know that I love to share tips to help you save money!
Check out this awesome list of Disney World tips for families that can help you plan the best Disney vacation ever. Save time and money and cut down on those long wait lines or crowd sizes with these amazing Disney hacks.
Table of Contents
Choosing the Right Time to Visit
When it comes to planning a trip to Disney, choosing the right time to visit can make a huge difference in terms of crowd sizes, weather conditions, and overall experience.
Depending on your preferences and priorities, you may want to consider different factors when determining the best time to go.
For instance, if you prefer mild temperatures and lower crowd levels, you may want to consider visiting during the off-season, such as in the fall or winter months.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to experience the parks during peak season, such as during the summer or around the holidays, you should be prepared for larger crowds and longer wait times for popular attractions.
Tips for Navigating the Park with Kids
Navigating a park with kids can be a fun and exciting experience. However, it can also be a bit challenging, especially if you’re not prepared. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your park visit with your children:
Plan ahead: Before you head to the park, make sure you have a plan in place. Decide what activities you want to do, what snacks you want to bring, and what time you want to leave.
Pack snacks and drinks: Kids can get hungry and thirsty quickly, so be sure to bring plenty of snacks and drinks to keep them happy and hydrated.
Dress appropriately: Make sure your kids are dressed appropriately for the weather and the activities you have planned. If it’s a sunny day, be sure to bring hats and sunscreen.
Keep safety in mind: Always keep an eye on your children and make sure they are safe. Remind them of any park rules and stay within your comfort level when it comes to activities like climbing and swinging.
By following these tips, you can have a fun and stress-free park visit with your kids.
Download the My Disney Experience App
If you don’t already have the Disney Experience app, you ARE missing out on some great time-saving capabilities. Not only can you buy your theme park tickets, plan your vacation, and keep it all neatly organized within this tiny app, but you can also see the projected wait times for things like the fireworks show and parades.
This app will be your holy grail on your Disney Vacation because there is hardly anything that it can’t do. It can be used for so many different things that it is completely worth it if you have to uninstall Facebook during your vacation just so that this app can fit on your phone.y
A fun tip is using your agenda for the day as your phone screen saver so that you don’t miss a Fastpass or dinner reservation.
Remember to order your Personalized Magic Bands EARLY
Your magic bands will take a while to arrive at home before you leave on vacation. Having them ordered ASAP will help to give them ample time to arrive to you before you leave for your Disney vacation.
[Related] Need help figuring out what else to pack? Check out the ultimate packing guide.
How to Avoid Crowds
One of the best ways to avoid the crowds at Disney World is to start in the early morning and at the back of the park. By working your way from the back end of the park to the front, you can not only target rides with fewer people but you can also be working your way out of the park as the day drags on, making it easier to get to your vehicle.
Another great way to avoid the crowds is to ride the rides during the parades. Because most of the people will be there and enjoying the shows, you can enjoy the nice rides with shorter lines.
During the afternoon, about midday, you’ll notice that the parks are packed. Thankfully, rides and shows like Mickey’s Philharmagic and Monster’s Laugh Floor usually have smaller wait times.
My #1 tip for avoiding crowds and lines is to get and use the inexpensive Unofficial Guide to Disney World.
How to watch the fireworks without the crowds
This little hidden gem is a great Disney World tip! While most people will go to Cinderella’s Castle to view the fireworks show, you can see them really well from the Dumbo ride in Toon Town. So enjoy the show and not the crowds.
Cutting down on crowd size during the parades
Disney parades have multiple showings, and almost everybody tries to go to the first one to get it done and off their list of tasks for the day. Make it to the second viewing instead of the first and you can save a lot of time wading through the sea of people because there will be fewer people there to watch it.
There’s a single-rider line!
Not very many people know about this little trick, but there are a couple of rides at Disney World that offer a single rider line. These include the Test Track, Expedition Everest, and the Rock N Rollercoaster. Using the single rider line can have you moving through this ride quickly because the cast members will use it to fill in empty spots on the ride.
As you prepare for your Disney trip, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the Genie+ service. This new feature allows guests to access attractions faster and easier than ever before. With Genie+, you can skip the long lines and enjoy more rides and experiences during your stay at the park.
To help you better understand how Genie+ works, I have written an in-depth post that covers everything you need to know, from how to purchase the service to how to use it effectively. By reading this post, you’ll be able to make the most of your Disney trip and create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.
The Riders Switch Pass is a MUST for families!
Until you’ve personally experienced it, you’ll never truly understand the frustration of standing in a long line awaiting a ride only to have to get to the front and one of your guests decides they don’t want to do it. Now you have to turn around and exit the line because you can’t leave them behind.
This is a pretty common thing for families with younger kids, as they chicken out at the front of the line, the whole family (or even a single parent) has to miss out on the fun. The good news is that Disney thought ahead and has a plan for this!
A Riders Switch Pass is a way to accelerate your way through the line and to the ride itself.
Here’s how it works:
- After waiting in line, your child decides they don’t want to go.
- You ask the cast member for a riders switch pass.
- One parent waits outside with a child while the others go on the ride.
- After they’ve completed the ride, they’ll hand the riders switch pass to the person waiting.
- Now this person can go straight through the Fast Pass lane with up to 2 additional riders without the need to wait in a long line again!
- This is the best way for everybody to get to enjoy the rides without having to stand in line twice!
Make your dining reservations 60 days in advance
It’s hard enough knowing what you want to eat when you sit down to eat at a restaurant, but booking your meal 6 months in advance is key to not starving at Disney World.
When places get booked up so quickly, you either find yourself hungry, eating food you didn’t want or standing in a long line. You may even have to try multiple locations before finding one that has an open seat available.
To make it easier, book in advance! You can set up your restaurant reservations in advance by calling (407) WDW-DINE, using your Disney app or by going online. You can also check available seats the day before you want to dine, by using the app to check for any cancelations.
Must-See Disney Attractions For Families
When it comes to entertainment and attractions, Disney World offers a plethora of options for families. There are many must-see attractions, and it can be overwhelming to decide which ones to prioritize. To make the most of your time at Disney, it’s important to plan ahead and research the various options available.
One of the best ways to take advantage of Disney’s entertainment options is to plan ahead and purchase tickets in advance. This can save you time and money, and also ensures that you don’t miss out on popular shows and attractions.
Some of the must-see attractions for families include the Magic Kingdom park, which features classic Disney characters and iconic rides such as Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean. Another great option is Epcot, which offers a unique blend of culture, entertainment, and technology. Animal Kingdom is also worth a visit, with its immersive animal exhibits and thrilling rides like Expedition Everest.
In addition to the theme parks, Disney also offers a variety of entertainment options such as musicals, parades, and fireworks shows. Be sure to check the schedule and plan your day accordingly to take advantage of these experiences.
Add time for the buses
If you’re staying at the Disney Resorts, plan extra time for Disney Transportation. While these buses may come every 20 minutes or so, there is a lot of stops and you can easily end up spending more time on it than you had originally thought. So however long you think you need to set aside for this little adventure, make sure that you add a little more.
Two Freebies for Disney Resort Guests
Character Wake Up Call and a Souvenir Room Delivery.
With the wake-up call, you can schedule a morning wake up call from a Disney character, not only is this a fun way to start your day with Disney, but it can also help you to get a move on and start exploring.
You can also have your souvenirs delivered right to your room from any Disney park. This is great so you don’t have to carry them around in the Florida heat and crazy weather. You can also use your Disney app to order them and have them shipped right to your hotel room or mailed straight to your house!
Buy Discounted Tickets!
There are a few different places online that you can go to for purchasing discounted Disney World tickets, so why don’t you use them? Saving money right off the bat, before you ever even enter the park is probably a great way to get started on a fantastic and frugal vacation.
I use GetAwayToday for there amazing prices and customer service. A few years ago we had a family emergency and they were very accommodating.
Rent your stroller from an offsite vendor
It’s no secret that the prices at Disney World are marked up, and when you visit the surrounding area, you can see that it’s true out there too. So instead of packing that huge stroller with you, rent one for your trip from a vendor with reasonable rates. Kingdom Strollers is a very popular option. They are Disney Verified and can even deliver your stroller to your room!
Use an off-site vendor for the Disney VIP Tour
Disney World VIP Tours are the ultimate goal of a Disney Vacation but it can be best saved for after winning the lottery if you plan on buying it from Disney. The VIP Tour is like an unlimited FastPass with a guide. But when you’re looking at paying up to $600 per hour for a minimum of 7 hours, you’re looking at a single day that can cost you a couple of months worth of rent or the price of a nice used car).
By using an offsite vendor such as Magic VIP Tours, you can get the same benefits as you would with a Disney guide and pay less than 50% of the original cost!
Kids Meals are cheaper (and there are no age restrictions)
Just like with some common fast-food chains, Disney World doesn’t set an age restriction on the kid’s meals. This is perfect for those wanting to save a buck or eat smaller portions.
Save money on Professional Photographers
Disney has several professional photographers well placed throughout the park so that you can have nice photos sent straight to your magic band, app, or website with a PhotoPass. This is great for finally getting the entire group in one shot, but there is a fee.
Alternatively, you can have the photographers use your camera or phone to take a picture of you for free.
Bring your own snacks
Disney allows you to bring food and drinks into the park, which means that you can save a lot of money by eating cheaply using foods that you bought from nearby grocery stores. This can save you a bundle compared to the price of food inside the park!
Save money on a Disney Resort
Staying at a Disney Resort is one of the best ways to enjoy your Disney vacation. Not only do you get a fabulous room to stay in, but you also get some added perks to your stay including early access tickets and being able to book things before the general public.
While staying at a Disney Resort can cost you a fortune, there are 2 great ways that you can save money on this.
One- Buy a Disney Vacation Club membership. This will save you 50-70% off of your rooms when you stay, and you can rent points out if you don’t use them, allowing you to recoup some of your yearly costs.
Two- Rent points from a DVC rental store and enjoy the room savings and perks without the added membership fees.
Planning your Disney Vacation is one of the hardest things you may ever do. It takes the stress of planning for a vacation to an entirely new level of math, schedules, preferences and childhood dreams all coming together in just a short period of days. You have to schedule them out almost a year in advance and pay a ton of money to do anything “Disney.”
Save yourself a lot of headaches by requesting a Disney Travel guide to do the work for you before you get there. Then use your smarts and the Disney World tips for families I shared above so that you can enjoy your vacation while you’re there!
Watch Youtube Videos of Rides (POV)
It’s important to keep their age in mind as you plan your itinerary. Some attractions may be more suitable for younger or older children, so take some time to think about what age feels right for your family.
In addition to considering your children’s ages, it’s also a good idea to watch YouTube videos of rides beforehand. This can help you prepare your kids for what to expect and also get them excited about the attractions they will be experiencing.
Car Seats For Disney World
The use of car seats in Florida is required by law for children under the age of five who are riding in a motor vehicle. So, if you plan to rent a car or use a rideshare service during your Disney World vacation with children under the age of five, you will need to bring a car seat with you.
If you are flying to Orlando, you can either bring your own car seat with you on the plane or rent one at your destination. Many car rental companies and ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft also offer car seats for an additional fee.
If you are staying at a Disney World resort and plan to use Disney’s complimentary transportation, you will not need a car seat as they are not required on buses, monorails or boats.
Familiarize Yourself with Disney Maps
When planning a trip to any Disney theme park, it is important to do your research and familiarize yourself with the layout of the park beforehand. One helpful tool for this is to look at Disney maps before you go.
These maps can give you a sense of where different attractions, restaurants, and restrooms are located, as well as help you plan out a route for your day at the park. By studying the maps in advance, you can save time and avoid getting lost during your visit.
Walt Disney World Maps
More Disney World Tips For Families
- Plan ahead and make a schedule.
- Get to the parks early.
- Stay on Disney property.
- Take advantage of Extra Magic Hours.
- Use Genie Plus
- Wear comfortable shoes.
- Dress for the weather.
- Use the Baby Care Centers.
- Take advantage of PhotoPass.
- Use the Mobile Ordering feature.
- Bring a portable phone charger.
- Use the Disney Transportation system.
- Take advantage of the Disney Skyliner.
- Use the Disney buses.
- Use the Disney Monorail.
- Use the Minnie Van service.
- Bring a poncho or rain jacket.
- Take advantage of the Disney Dining Plan.
- Take advantage of the Disney Vacation Club.
- Use the Disney Springs shopping and dining district.
- Use the Disney BoardWalk.
- Use the Disney Water Parks.
- Use the Disney Golf Courses.
- Take advantage of the Disney World Speedway.
- Use the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
- Use the Disney World Railroad.
- Use the Disney World Express Transportation.
- Take advantage of the Disney World Character Dining.
- Take advantage of the Disney World Parades.
- Take advantage of the Disney World Fireworks.
- Take advantage of the Disney World Shows.
- Take advantage of the Disney World Tours.
- Take advantage of the Disney World Special Events.
Planning a trip to Disney World can be overwhelming, especially for families with young children. However, with the right tips and strategies, your family can have a magical and memorable experience.
By following the tips outlined in this blog post, you can save time, money, and stress during your visit. From choosing the right time of year to visit to packing essential items and planning your itinerary in advance, there are many ways to make the most of your Disney World vacation.
Remember, the key to a successful trip is to plan ahead, stay flexible, and have fun! With a bit of preparation and a positive attitude, you can create lifelong memories with your family at the happiest place on earth.