Top 5 Tips for How to Visit the Disney Parks Like a Pro
5 Must-Do Disney Travel Tips That Have Stood the Test of Time at Walt Disney World
There are many details to consider when planning how to spend your time in the Parks at Walt Disney World. This includes which Parks to visit on which days of your vacation, what to see first, how to make use of your FastPass+ allotment and so on.
There are also several more general strategies that the pros use to make the most of their time at Walt Disney World Resort, particularly when it comes to the Disney Parks.
Five Tips for How to Make the Most of Your Disney Parks Visit
1. Get to the Parks for Opening
The number one tip is to get to the Parks before they open. Yes, I know some of you won’t want to get up early and so on, but if visiting the Disney Parks is an important part of your Walt Disney World (or Disneyland, for that matter) vacation, then you must do yourself a favour and get there for opening.
You can do more in Disney Parks in the first 90 minutes after opening than most other guests can do in an entire afternoon, if they arrive after Noon.
This important tip has stood the test of time. It works as well now as it did in the early 1970s (before the concept of FastPasses even existed).
So get there at least 15 minutes before opening (some Parks will open a few minutes early) and have a plan for the first three attractions you want to visit. Know where you are going within the park; it makes a difference.
2. Save Your Disney FastPasses for the Busy Periods
This tip naturally follows tip #1. If you get to the Parks early then you can usually do two or three of the most popular attractions with little to no waiting. This means that you can save your FastPass+ allotment for when you really need them (either late morning or in the evening of that day, if you park Hop to visit a different park).
3. Head to Lunch at 11:30 a.m.
Even though there are a lot of quick service options for lunch in the Disney Parks, they still get extremely busy by the time that the noon hours rolls around (especially the best/most popular ones). Plan to go to your restaurant of choice at 11:30 a.m. You will beat the big crowds and it will be close to noon by the time you sit down to eat anyway.
4. Leave the Park around 1:30 p.m.
This tip is for families and other casual Walt Disney World vacation travellers. At most times of the year the Parks typically get very busy around the mid-day point and into the early afternoon. If you have followed the first few tips then you will likely be ready for a break from the Parks by early afternoon.
Walt Disney World is much more than just the Disney Parks. In fact, you’ll probably find that by 1:30 p.m. or so, you and the kids are ready to head back to the Resort and spend some relaxing time in the pool or doing other fun activities.
Remember, your Disney vacation is not a military operation. So don’t over plan your days and leave some afternoon time to kick back and do whatever you want away from the rush of the crowds in the Parks.
Note: If you are a hardcore Disney traveler without young kids in tow who wants to power through a full day in the Parks, then feel free to power on and skip this one.
5. Shop on the Way Out of the Park: Not on the Way In
Who doesn’t love to browse the shops in the Disney Parks? Just don’t do it on your way in to the Parks — especially if you have followed my first tip.
The shops aren’t going anywhere and even though they will be a little busier when you leave than they are when the Parks open, use your early time for attractions and do your browsing and buying on your way out of the Parks to head back to your Resort hotel.
Also, you won’t have to carry your bags around the park with you if you shop on the way out. Disney does offer a complimentary service where they will deliver your bags back to your onsite Disney Resort hotel for you if you like, but most guests like to keep their goods with them (especially if they have kids who can’t wait to dig into that bag). But keep this service in mind in case you want to take advantage. Simply ask the Disney Cast Member as you make your purchase and they will arrange it for you and take your purchase bags. The only restriction is that you can’t be checking out the next morning.
Planning a Walt Disney World Vacation?
Hopefully these five tips will help to bring a little more efficiency to your Disney Parks visits. Subscribe to the Luxury Disney Travel Newsletter to ensure that you never miss a post, including more Disney travel tips and information. Each month you’ll receive the very best in Disney travel, along with curated Disney travel news from around the web.
Be sure to read my Guide to Planning A Walt Disney World Vacation and my post on the Five Golden Rules of Walt Disney World Vacation Planning.
Mike Belobradic: The Finer Side of Disney Travel
Luxury Travel Blogger – Deluxe Disney Travel Specialist
The Finer Side of Travel™