Orlando Attractions > Walt Disney World Tips

Walt Disney World Tips



Best Walt Disney World Tips - Top time and money savings ideas for your next Disney vacation. Avoid the busy crowds, get into the parks early, experience the rides faster!



Visiting Disney World is an experience that every child should have, and millions of people prove that they agree by flocking to the Disney theme parks every year. You too can enjoy Disney World, but there are some great Walt Disney World tips that can help you save time, money, and a whole lot of waiting in line.

Walt Disney World Tips: Avoiding the Crowds

It's true that Disney World theme parks get crowded and lines become long, as well as being irritating, long waits cost you money! Money carefully saved and then spent on your long awaited getaway turns into standing in line for hour after hour...

However, with a little pre-planning you can avoid most of these hassles and 3 hour wait times for rides using this free theme park calendar. It will show you which parks get busy on which days and which months of the year.

When are the busiest times? When are the least busy times to visit Disney? Find out now using this FREE theme park crowd calendar.

Another Walt Disney World tip for avoiding the crowds is to take you own vehicle or rental car to the theme parks - read more in our guide to Disney World parking

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Walt Disney World Tips: Hotel Stays

There are many benefits to staying on-site at a Disney World Resort Hotel. There are the Value Resorts, Moderate Resorts and Deluxe Disney Resorts. No matter what your hotel budget is, each Disney hotel offers basically the same benefits:-

  • Any purchases you make at Walt Disney World can be sent to the resort gift shop for free, up until your last day before you check out of the resort. This can save you a lot of toting gifts around, and you can simply purchase the gifts and have them all sent to the gift shop where you can collect them in one bunch on your last day.
  • Extra Magic Hours - this program is a great time saving tip for anyone staying at a WDW hotel, the Hilton at Downtown Disney, Shades of Green Resort, Disney Swan and Dolphin Resorts. Extra Magic Hours allow access to a theme park either one hour before the park opens or one to three hours after the park closes - for Disney Hotel guests only - yes! Check Extra Magic Hours timetable
  • Disney Magical Express - a free shuttle service taking you from Orlando International Airport to your Disney World Hotel and back again. Disney will even take your bags door to door. Visit our guide to Disney Magical Express for more information.
  • Free theme park shuttles - get complimentary shuttle services to all 4 Disney World theme parks and 2 water parks (Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach). Bus shuttles run all day as long as the parks are open - there's no need to drive or pay for parking each day.

If you are staying in a hotel off-site of the Walt Disney World resort, try to book one that has free shuttle services to and from the amusement parks. You will save a lot of time and money by using the shuttle services, but be sure that you know what stop your hotel is on the shuttle route.

  • We have found some great cheap Orlando hotels near Disney - many of which provide free shuttles.
  • Here are some more Orlando resorts - many of which have free shuttles to Disney theme parks.

Stay at the Polynesian to enjoy the beautiful evening fireworks of the Magic Kingdom, where you will enjoy an excellent view of the entire show from the comfort of your beach resort.

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Walt Disney World Tips: Souvenirs

In the Magic Kingdom after dark, they sell a lot of  glow sticks, necklaces, and bracelets - your kids will be pestering you to buy them. Instead, you will find that you can save a lot of money by purchasing a box of them at Dollar Tree ahead of time, instead of buying them for a dollar each at the Disney theme parks.

If you want to purchase Walt Disney World souvenirs, don't spend money on the overpriced items in the Disney theme park gift shops. Instead, find the Character Corner store in the Lake Buena Vista Outlet Mall, as the items in that store are off-season Disney merchandise at a much lower price. Don't worry if you don't have a car - the Lake Buena Vista Outlet Mall offers free shuttles from hundreds of near-by hotels.

If you do buy Disney theme park merchandise, put off your last minute gift shopping until the last rides are closed, as the gift shop stays open for another hour after that.

A good place to buy more unique gifts and souvenirs are the shops at Downtown Disney Stores. There are many Disney and non-Disney shops here to explore. Disney themed stores include World of Disney, Disney's Days of Christmas, Pooh Corner and Mickey's Mart where everything is under $10!

Walt Disney World Tips: Rides & Shows

Try to find times that the lines in the park are fairly empty, such as when most people are eating. Usually around noon the lines will be short because people are enjoying their lunches. 

It may seems obvious, but always try to get up early in the morning to be at Disney World the minute it opens. It's really not that early - usually the parks open at 9am sometimes during low season 10am. You'll be surprised! Usually the park is deserted at that time, and you can spend a couple of hours enjoying yourself with your family before all of the late sleepers arrive at the park.

Fastpass - Always get a free Fastpass to ensure that you don't spend hours of your day waiting in line. The Fastpass system is a free one (not like the Express Pass paid system at Universal Studios).

  • To get a Fastpass, insert your admission ticket into one of the fastpass machine locations inside the theme park.
  • It will give you a ticket with an allotted time in which you can return to the ride/show.  Times to return vary according to how busy the park is that day - usually it's an hour or two.
  • Simply arrive back at the ride/show later and go through the fastpass line straight to the front! 
  • Hold on to your pass as Cast Members will double check them once you're in-line. This is a good thing as it means anyone line jumping is quickly caught out.
  • After the time on your fastpass expires you can get another fastpass!

Parades - If you want to see a parade, you may have to arrive an hour early. People start lining up for the parades well in advance of the actual performance, and you will need to arrive early as well if you want to get a good view.

Extra Magic Hours - Staying at one of the Walt Disney World Resort will get you early entrance into the parks before the gates open to the general public! Extra Magic Hours also operates for one to three hours at night - during peak season it can open 10pm-1am just for WDW Resort guests! Check Extra Magic Hours timetable

Walt Disney World Tips: Other Random Tips!

Getting Money Together - If you have booked your Disney vacation well in advance, you can make regular payments towards the cost of the vacation up until the date of your departure. This saves paying the entire cost of your vacation in one lump sum. This will allow you to spend more money on your vacation, but without it being a burden on your finances. 

Food at the Parks - You can bring a collapsible cooler bag into the parks and water parks. Pack then with snacks, frozen water/juice bottles and keep them in one of the lockers. You can then get a drink or snack at anytime and not pay the high prices for food inside the theme parks.

Grocery Shopping - Yes even on vacation you can still do some grocery shopping - it might seem like a chore, but it could save you a lot of money! Stock up on cereals, yogurts, sandwich meats and drinks (and anything else!) and store them in your hotel room. You can have a light breakfast and even bring some lunch snacks with you to the parks in a cooler. That way you can enjoy an evening meal at one of the resort restaurants later.

Publix supermarkets are everywhere in Florida. They are nice and clean and have good quality food. Nearest locations right outside Disney are shown in the map below.

Your Disney resort can arrange a taxi round trip service for you - even if you go by taxi you will still save money on eating out for 3 meals per day per person. Here's a list of local Orlando taxis.

Map of Publix Supermarkets Near Disney World


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