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Disney Vacation Hacks 101
First things first. Before you tackle this Disney Pro list of hacks here are a few things to do first to make sure you’re on track.
- Download the My Disney Experience App on your phone.
- Read through the 12 steps of Planning a Disney Vacation.
- Double-check where you are on the Disney Timeline for deadlines.
Disney Vacation Hacks- Disney Vacation Planning
Early Theme Park Entry is a perk for Disney Resort Guests and we highly recommend you take them up on the offer. Resort guests can arrive 30 minutes earlier than non-resort guests and have the best chance of getting on favorite rides. See our best days for each park to help with your planning.
If you’re heading to Florida, at one point it will RAIN! Instead of paying 10-12 bucks for a Disney poncho, grab a pack of ponchos on amazon ahead of time. And keep them in your day bag the entire trip. There is always a little storm when you least expect it.
Trying to find the cheapest way to get to Disney? If you’re lured by the idea of the Free Dining Plan Offer, be sure to make sure Disney isn’t offering room discounts at the same time. When rooms are discounted at 25-30% depending on the hotel, the room discount may be better than the dining offer. Check the math before booking.
Book with a travel agent. Yes! You read that right. If you’re new to Disney planning or feel overwhelmed by all the variables involved consider an authorized Disney Vacation Planner. They are FREE and will catch every deal, and every offer, talk you through restaurant and dining reservations and make the process easier.
Disney Vacation Hacks- Transportation
Want to head to Disney Springs from the parks? Since buses to Disney Springs don’t run until 4 pm, you can take the bus to Saratoga Springs and depart at the Congress Park stop. From here it’s a 5-minute walk down the path to Disney Springs. Perfect if you’re hoping to add some shopping to your Disney day.
Are you at the Ticket and Transportation Center staring down a REALLY LONG LINE at the Magic Kingdom Monorail? Hop over to the Resort Monorail instead. Yes- it takes you to 3 monorail resorts, but Magic Kingdom is the 3rd stop and you can hop off there without fighting the crowds.
Disney Vacation Hacks- Rides and Attractions
Disney Vacation Hack- Crowds
Disney Vacation Hack- Restaurants, Dining, and Treats
Disney Vacation Resorts and Hotels
Don’t believe in traveling light? Or can’t stomach the high baggage fees on the airline? If you’re heading to Disney but plan on taking tons of luggage, or groceries, or birthday gifts, or whatever, think about sending them to the resort ahead of time. Guests can send packages up to two weeks in advance to their Disney resort for a 5 dollar fee.
Want great photos but don’t want to pay for the Memory Maker package? Photographers are stationed throughout the park and will take a pic with your own camera or phone. And then one you’ll see in the app as well. That way you can later purchase the best pics if you want, while still having pretty great pics on your own devices.
Need better Fireworks pictures? Instead of fighting with the crowds in front of the castle, head behind the castle towards Be Our Guest restaurant. From here, you get a gorgeous, overlooked view without the crowds. Check out all our Disney Photography Tips!
One of our favorite free souvenirs is a Celebration Button. Good for any celebration, these buttons can sometimes get you extra special perks. Honeymooners and birthday guests sometimes get free desserts, room upgrades, and extra special treatment. Check out all our favorite Disney Free Souvenirs.
Club Cool in Epcot’s FutureWorld has a bit of a cult following! With international colas, available for free, you can pop in and try a few beverages to hold you over until your next drink stop.
Disney Vacation Tips
Stuck at Disney and need something fast? Order through Amazon Prime for medicines, HDMI cords, or anything you can’t get in the Disney Gift Shops.
Bring a water bottle to the parks every day. This will help you fend off dehydration and crankiness. Plus is Eco-Friendly since you won’t need the plastic cups of water, or bottled water to get your H2O fix. Check out all our tips on how to have an Eco-Friendly Disney Vacation.
Disney Unique Experiences
Want to see the wildlife, but chose not to spring for an Animal Kingdom ticket? Head to Animal Kingdom Lodge. With tons of activities, fun, African culture, great restaurants, and wildlife roaming the savanna, an Animal Kingdom Lodge day help you get away from the crowds for some much-needed downtime.
Can’t really justify the cost of Mickey’s Very Merriest After Hours but have it on your bucket list? You can enjoy almost all the party perks the week of Christmas at Walt Disney World. Just be prepared for the crowds; this is the busiest week of the whole year.
Want to see the welcome show at Magic Kingdom? Plan to be standing in front of Cinderella’s Castle at least 15 minutes before park opening.
Heard about the Beignets at Disney but not sure where to get them. Head over to Port Orleans Resort ( French Quarter or Riverside) to try this special treat. The Hack? You don’t even need to be at a Disney resort. Just grab the ferry from Disney Springs to the resorts, and grab it back to Disney Springs when you’re done. Parking at Disney Springs is free, so it’s a win-win.
Disney Vacation Hacks To Make Your Trip More Magical
While this is not your typical 101 Disney hacks list, there’s enough on here to keep you busy and hopefully get you the best, most budget-friendly, and least stressful vacation possible. Let us know your favorite Disney Hacks and we’ll add them to the list!
Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.