Visiting Disney World is supposed to be a happy time. However, waking up early, standing on long lines and paying a lot of money for food can be a big turn off. As Florida natives and frequent visitors the the Happiest Place on Earth we’ve learned a lot. Below are our tips for a pleasant Disney experience.
You May Be Interested in Reading: 5 Reasons to Take Your Toddler to Disney World
Avoid peak dates when visiting Disney World
I realize Disney is always packed but avoiding holiday weekends and spring and summer breaks will make the crowds more bearable. We went the weekend after Labor Day which I believe by this time all schools across the country had started and although it was still crowded the crowds were manageable and most rides had no more than a 35 min wait time if you didn’t have the FastPass. Visiting Disney for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween? Read my specific tips for this special event here.
Sign up for My Disney Experience and buy your tickets online and have your My Disney Card mailed to you to avoid the lines at the gate. You can also select your first 3 FastPass attractions so you won’t have to wait on line.
Download the My Disney Experience app
It gives you a map of the park and shows you your current location. It also lists the current wait times for rides, allows you to make reservations for lunch and dinner, and lets you reserve your FastPass for attractions.
Get to Disney World for Opening Time!
Believe me I know it is hard getting out of the house early with kids but you will get to the park and be able to get on 2-3 of your must do rides before the lines get outrageous. Not only that but depending on the time of year you go the Florida sun can be extremely overbearing especially from 1:00PM-4:00PM (did someone say lunch and nap time) so that allows you a good amount of time to enjoy before you possibly decide to take a break.
Bring Snacks and Lots of Water
With a bottle of water in the park ranging from $3-$4 bring your own! Freeze half of them so they stay cool all day. You are allowed to bring a soft cooler as long as is not larger than 24″ long x 15″ wide x 18″ high.
Consider Bringing Your Own Stroller Or Rent From an Off-site Location
Below are pictures of the strollers available to rent at Disney. The seats do not recline and they provide limited storage to put your bags. If you are traveling with an infant and don’t want to baby wear them the entire time there is no place to snap in their car seat like in a travel system or car seat caddy.
How to Avoid Long Lines at Disney World (Updated December 2017).
On our 2nd trip to Disney World this past December we noticed after we already waited in line for 40 mins to order our food that Disney World implemented a new mobile food and beverage ordering when ordering through the My Disney Experience app. You can view the menus of the participating restaurants order and pay for your food in advance. You can place the order immediately or wait until you actually get to the restaurant and have them prepare it then but still avoid the long line to order.
You May be Interested in Reading: 24 Fun Things to do in Orlando Besides Disney & Theme Parks
Another way to avoid long lines at Disney is to visit the park on special event days. We loved our experience at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. The lines were so short and seeing the characters in their Halloween outfits and trick or treating throughout the park were highlights for my kids. Read my full review here on what to expect.
We love going to Disney World and while we’ve never stayed on property we always stay nearby. Our favorite is the Holiday Inn Club Vacation at Orange Lake followed by Margaritaville Resort Orlando. Looking for things to do in Orlando besides Disney World? Check out my ideas here. Did you find this blog post helpful? Please share it!
Disclosure: “Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. The commissions earned help me offset the costs of running this blog so please support if you choose to purchase, it is much appreciated.”