I’m back to talk a bit more about some tips that will only enhance your fun at Disney by giving you back more time! Last time, I mentioned watching the waiting in line, counters, extra magic hours, Fast Pass +, avoiding peak hours, utilizing standby and single rider lines, and the Undercover Tourist app. Today, let’s cover a few more time-saving tips so you can have even more fun and less frustration at Disney!
Plan ahead just a bit. Look at each park map online. Zooming into the different parks will
open the individual parks for you, the closer you zoom in the more details you will see for that area of the park. These interactive maps even allow you to filter according to height restrictions, individual interests, and accessibility options. They also will show you which attractions offer Fast Pass+ and gives you an option to purchase your tickets. Pick out the must-see/do attractions for you and your family. Be sure to note the hours each attraction begins to make your plan even more efficient. Go to your chosen attractions first when you get to the park of the day. Since you have noted the time of each event, you have an intoner! Once those are done, take a break and then see what else strikes your fancy for the rest of the day.
Be sure to buy your tickets before you arrive at the park. Undercover Tourist offers some great deals for online purchases. Undercover Tourist also has a great crowd calendar to help you plan the less crowded dates during the year at each park. Not only will this allow you to shop for the best deals on tickets (yes, there are discounts and deals on Disney park tickets.), but you won’t have to stand in a long line (we have stood up to an hour in the heat before) to get inside the park.
Staying in a Disney resort is not just time-saving but provides a number of perks as well! There are many options but one way to choose which resort is stay in, is to select the one that is closest to your favorite park, because that is where you are going to spend most of your time! For example, if you have a kid who is fascinated with animals, stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Not only will they be closer to Animal Kingdom Park but there are tons of animals in four savannahs around the Lodge Resort. If you are the Hollywood fan and/or the adult seeking the gardens and countries of Epcot, you should chose Boardwalk, Yacht Club, Beach Club Resorts or Swan & Dolphin (which while on Disney property, is not an official Walt Disney World resort): all are within walking distance to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. If you are the park hopper at heart, stay at the Polynesian. You will be a hop, skip and jump to the Ticket and Transportation Center, where you can get to everything Disney! Another saving tip, two actually, the All-Star Resort or one of the other bargain hotels and renting a car, will save you time and money! Of course, if you aren’t sure which is best, you can always get some free help!
Don’t spend valuable park time shopping! Shop on your way out of the park at closing time. Although the rides shut down at park’s closing time, the shops stay open until the guests are gone. Cast members don’t run guests out of the parks at closing time either. Rides back to onsite resorts run for about 90 minutes after the park’s official closing time. Store cast members are just as courteous when park has officially closed as they are when the park opens. So wait to shop till you are going out of the park for the day. This will also save you the aggravation of hauling those bags around with you through the parks.
Oh, that brings to mind another reason to stay in an onsite resort! If you are staying onsite, when you make purchases in the park, they will deliver your packages to your resort within 24 hours, so you just give the cast member your resort and room number after buying your heart’s desire and proceed to more carefree time!
Last but not least… making your advanced dining reservations ahead of time (either online or on the phone) ensures you can eat at your favorite restaurants in a timely fashion! Some restaurants book up months ahead of time so it is a great idea to make those ADRs as soon as you are eligible, up to 180 days in advance. (If you need help with this, consider booking your vacation with a Disney travel agent, who will do it all for you!)
Till Next Time! Leigh Anne
Leigh Anne, originally from Mississippi, lives in North Alabama with her husband and a menagerie of furry kids (FIDS), including dogs, cats, exotic birds, fish and a lionhead rabbit. Figment, her African Grey parrot, is named after Disney’s small purple dragon, Figment. She works as a motivational speaker and pastoral counselor. In 1974, Leigh Anne marched with the Enka High Marching Band in the Magic Kingdom daytime parade. Leigh Anne fell in love with Disney while on her Disney honeymoon with her husband in 2002. They have made an annual trip back to Disney to celebrate their anniversary every year since. Since they own a piece of the mouse with their Disney Vacation Club (DVC), some years they go twice! She also plans to be the grandmother that introduces all her grandchildren to Disney World first. She has a great start ~ 2 out of 3 so far! As a DVC member married to the best Disney shopper in the world, Leigh Anne has lots of experience in finding the most frugal way to have the most fun in the parks and resorts! Leigh Anne admits to being spoiled as a DVC member but is always on the lookout to keep their WDW vacations fun and frugal! She blogs at Queen of Hysteria and tweets @la_haygood