Because Disney is a verb… right? 😉
Alright you Mouseketeers. This post is for you! For all you lucky people that are heading to Disney in a few short weeks, I can literally feel your excitement through the screen. And coming from a fellow Disney lover, I totally get it. You’ve been planning and packing and planning some more, and it just can’t get here fast enough!
Well today, I’m here to add some fuel to the ever growing “IS IT TIME TO LEAVE FOR DISNEY YET?!” fire. As a 22 year Disney Vet (we’ve been there more times than I can count since I was 5) I’ve rounded up our best tips and tricks to make you life at Disney extra magical.
Before You Go
The most important thing to remember is that the magic must start before you go. Prepping for Disney is important.
- Don’t leave without a plan. Seriously. If there is any place in the world that you need to plan your trip to, it’s Disney. If you’re looking for a relaxing getaway… you shoulda booked Cabo. If you’ve never been, do your research. Learn about the parks, the attractions, the shows, and plan when you’re going to see them all.
- Know you’re going to spend money. As Coco Chanel once told us, “The best things in life are free. The second best, are very expensive.” There is literally no truer statement when it comes to Disney. So go with the mind set that things aren’t cheap, and you’re going to spend some money. Realizing this ahead of time will help you not to stress about it while you’re there, and will allow you to enjoy yourself so much more!
- Pack your walking shoes. The average Disney guest can expect to walk between 9-12 miles a day at the park. Be prepared for it.
- Also pack for the weather. Central Florida has weird weather. It’s hot, and sunny and in the summer, it rains for like 15 minutes almost every afternoon. (I’m not joking.) Pack ponchos (it will save you from having to buy them at Disney), sunscreen and hats.
- FastPass is your BFF. Skipping the long lines? It’s just as great as it sounds. You can book your FastPass up to 60 days in advance using FastPass+. Check it out here.
- Buy the ParkHopper. If I’m catching you before you bought your tickets, buy the ParkHopper. Yes, it’s more money. But I promise, it will make your life so much easier.
- Make Reservations. Do you have a little princess who is DYING to eat at The Beast’s castle? Make your reservations early, so that you don’t end up disappointed.
- Bring a backpack. Set aside a backpack to bring with you. You’ll want it while you’re at the park. Put a small first aid kit in it too. This way, you won’t have to wait in a long line for a band aid.
- Bring empty water bottles. This is my FAVORITE trick, and it saved my parents millions on water at the park. Bring empty bottles along, and fill them with ice cubes at your hotel before you leave. Wrap them in an insulated bag (or just a towel) and put them in your backpack. They’ll melt slowly in the Florida heat and you will always have ice cold water with you.
- Purchase Disney gift cards. Okay… I’m kind of obsessed with this idea. Do you want to give your kids a souvenir budget? Choose the amount, then let them pick out the Disney gift card of their choice, and write their name on it. This way, you don’t have to keep track of all your kids money. It’ll be done for you, and make your life a heck of a lot easier.
While You’re There
Now for the real reason your here… how to make your life easier at the park. Now, I’m not saying these are the only tips and tricks. There are literally millions out there! However, these are all Edmondson family approved. And have worked for us for years.
- Use the Disney Busses. If you’re staying at a Disney hotel, use the busses to get you to the parks. It’s free! And it’s super convenient. No having to find a parking spot, no having to pay for that parking spot, and you get dropped off right up front.
- Arrive early. Always get to the park about a half hour before they open. They usually end up opening a little bit earlier than their scheduled time. And you can totally get to a ride before the line gets too long.
- Don’t skip out on the parades, fireworks, and shows. Disney know hows to put on a spectacle. The parades, fireworks and shows should never be missed. Plan to stay at the park ’til it closes. Trust me! That being said…
- Take a break every day. When you’re staying on Disney property, the best thing you can do is to hop on the bus and got back to your hotel to chill. Seriously! We would get up early and spend the morning at the park, head back to our hotel to eat lunch and swim and maybe take a nap, and then head back out to the park before dinner. We’d eat at a fun restaurant, do a few rides, then get in our spot for the fireworks. Having the time to rest is ALWAYS a good idea.
- Always go to the left. This is kind of a strange tip, but it has always worked for us. When you’re at Disney, you will undoubtedly have to wait in lines. It’s just how it is. However, we learned in a tip from a 90s guide book that you should ALWAYS choose the left line. Most people are right handed and absentmindedly always go right. Therefore, the left line usually has less people it in, and will usually go faster.
- Take advantage of Extra Magic Hours. If you’re staying at one of these resorts, and have a valid ticket for that day, you can get extra time at the park! Learn more about extra magic hours, and find the schedule here.
- Find your child’s favorite characters. The only guaranteed way to see your favorites is by booking a character dining. (Which I highly recommend. It’s so much fun!) But other than that, it’s kind of a toss up. Look near themed attractions for your favorite Disney characters, because chances are you’ll find them near their ride. There are tons of websites out there too, that will give you specific locations people have found characters. Trust me… Google will be good to you. All you have to do is search!
- Pin Trade. Pin Trading is SO MUCH FUN guys. I still have all of mine, and I love looking through them every now and then. My Tinkerbell pin is still my absolute favorite! Your little munchkins will love this. You can learn more about it here.
- Eat at your resort food courts. The food is actually really good! They are themed to your resort and always have a ton of options. Plus, you can use dining plan credits. Also, buy the mug at the food courts. You can refill it anytime at your resort and they make a great souvenir!
- Have fun. Do I need to say this? Yes. Disney can be stressful. And if you’re going at a time like Spring Break, it’s going to be busy. Just keep reminding yourself you’re in the happiest place on earth, and don’t let the little things get to you. Have fun! You’re on vacation!
And if you want my personally opinion… the best way to Disney is to Disney cruise. But that’s a different story, for another time. 🙂
On a side note… You guys. DID YOU SEE SURVIVOR LAST NIGHT?! That tribal was freakin’ epic.
First, I was all “This is interesting…”
Then, I thought Sierra was gone and I was like…
And Sierra was all…
And I was like…
I did not want Malcom to go home yet! Also, Thanks Jay. For the legit perfect faces for my feelings last night.
Enjoy the weekend my loves!