Monday, February 4, 2013

Spotlight: Walt Disney World General Tips

This is a start of a seven week series of my tips for visiting Walt Disney World. 

To book a Disney vacation or to get all these tips in one document, please email me at 

Walt Disney World General Tips 

First thing at the park: Get your Fast Pass for your must-ride ride at that Park. Always check the bottom for when you are allowed to request another Fast Pass. For instance, you may arrive at 9:00 am at Soarin’ in Epcot and get a Fast Pass for 5:00 pm. At the bottom of the Fast Pass it will indicate if you can get another Fast Pass before 5:00 pm. Also check the daily schedule for what shows you may want to see.

Bring Water Bottle and Snacks: Disney World lets you bring in food and beverages. I always have a refillable water bottle that I replenish at the water fountains in the park and a couple granola bars or your snack of choice. It’s a nice break to use the time waiting in line for a quick snack.

Be Flexible: My personal philosophy is no ride is worth more than a 45 minute wait. Keep moving and checking back to see if the lines get shorter.

Dining Reservations: Dining Reservations fill up quickly. I’ve found the easiest way to make reservations is to call 407-WDW-DINE. They do a great job helping you figure out your options. You can also find it online:

Single Rider lines: Some of the more popular fast rides have a single rider line. This means you aren’t guaranteed to sit with your party. They use you to fill up the cars. This line moves much faster than the regular line.

Photo pass: Disney photographers are all over the park. The first one you encounter will hand you a “photo pass” with a bar code on it for free. From then on, if you see a photographer, you show them your photo pass, they take your picture and then you can choose to buy the photos at the end of your trip.

Characters: Characters are throughout the parks so keep your eyes open. Each Park also has a central location where several characters appear at once.

Park Hours: These can change daily so be sure to check the daily guide. It’s a blue sheet you can pick up at the Parks or your hotel. If you are staying at a Disney hotel – also check for extended hours. You get extra time in the Parks as a benefit of staying in a Disney Property.

Parades: Check the parade route and find a ride you’d like to go on near the route. When you come out of the ride, it’s usually time for the parade.

Shows: If you don’t mind sitting to the side or the back – there is no reason to get there early. One exception: The Epcot Candlelight Processional during Christmas. If you want a seat at the Processional, you have to get in line early or buy a guaranteed seat dining package. It’s worth it.

Food Allergies: Disney World does a fantastic job with food allergies. I have listed the quick service locations that can accommodate special dining requests. When you get to the counter, let them know you have a special dietary need. Usually, they have a special binder with the key menus Dairy Free, Gluten Free, etc. They also list all the ingredients for everything on the current menu. 

What other tips do you have for Disney? 

Check back here next Monday for tips for Walt Disney World Animal Kingdom. 

1 comment:

  1. In addition to being able to purchase your pictures with photo pass, you may instead or in addition to, go online and design your own album with a combination of pictures you had taken and the ones available on their website. It was way cheaper for us to do this. Instead of paying about $18 per picture, we paid about $100 for an entire album we designed online and it was sent to us via mail. Keep in mind this was about 4 years ago, and things may have gone up in price or changed since.