10. Use the Fast Pass System
One of the most impressive aspects of Disney World is the Fast Pass system. The four Disney parks rank at the top for the most visited parks in the world, yet I waited in line for much less time than I have at any other park in my life. The Fast Pass allows you to essentially reserve a time to come back and go on the ride, or participate in the attraction. With a Fast Pass you get to stand in a special line, cutting your wait time by multiples. The system has recently gone online and allows you to book your time slot ahead of time. Make sure you do this- you will regret it if you don’t.
In fact, fast passes are so effective that I felt incredibly guilty. Here I am (below) at Space Mountain feeling like a horrible person for walking past hours worth of line with my Fast Passes. I felt like I was cheating! In addition to these you can also check wait time boards around the park so you can go on the rides with the shortest lines. Other parks need to adopt these techniques- pure gold.
9. Bring Water/Sunscreen/Hats
You wont enjoy your time at Disney World if you are experiencing heat stroke. Learn from me and make sure you keep yourself hydrated and out of the sun.
8. Plan Ahead
Every park at Disney World has their busy days and their not so busy days. We chose which order we would do the parks in based on this information and we were pretty happy with our wait times. Also, plan to do the popular rides first thing and you will save a lot of time. The information is out there if you want to use it. Get a map of the park, do some research and plot out a path around the park. Planning ahead can save you hours of time- it did for us!
7. Live in the Moment
One of the worst things you can do at Disney is worry. Plan as best you can, but be prepared for something to go wrong. At huge amusement parks with thousands of people it would be a miracle if everything went smoothly all the time. Don’t stress about the details. If you miss a ride, miss a character, or one of the rides is shut down take it in stride and enjoy what you CAN do. Years later you wont remember the hiccup, but you will remember the fun stuff you did.
6. Act Like a Kid
If you can’t act like a kid at Disney then where can you? Unleash your inner child and let loose! Even if only for a few days, it’s great to act silly in a place where not only do people not care, it’s expected! Children don’t care if things aren’t perfect and neither should you- enjoy the simple things and make the fun you deserve.
5. Stagger Lunch/Bring Snacks
If you can, bringing your own snacks and/or eating lunch earlier or later than the norm will save you time. When everyone else is waiting in line ups at the concession stands, you can probably squeeze in a couple of rides. People are creatures of habit, so take advantage of that. The food at Disney World isn’t as expensive as I would have thought, but if your goal is to do as much as possible, snacking while you are en route can save you lots of time.
4. See the Fireworks
No matter how stressful a day you might have had or how many things went wrong, fireworks can make it all better. There is something magical about fireworks that can put a smile on anyone’s face. Look up into the sky and appreciate the grandeur of what is possible. Always leave on a positive note!
3. Wear Practical Shoes
This is VERY important. It always baffles me when I see people at theme parks in high heels or other impractical shoes. You will be walking- a lot. Don’t bring your new pair or shoes that you haven’t broken in or your white sneakers that you can’t get dirty. Nothing ruins the theme park experience more than bleeding blisters or throbbing toes.
2. Buy Tickets in Advance
Don’t ruin the excitement by having to stand in line once you get to the park. Buy your tickets in advance and not only will you save time, but money too. Find a coupon or deal online and your Disney experience just got that much better! Check out MouseSavers or Undercover Tourist for the best tips and deals.
The number one way to survive Disney is to smile. Smiling, even when you are feeling down, can help you feel better. And it’s contagious. Smiling people have fun. Put on a hat or some ears and enjoy the experience!