Do you want to see and do as much as you can at Walt Disney World? Of course you do! There are some ways to hit all your “must dos”, and not feel rushed or stressed while you are at Walt Disney World. With some planning and reasonable expectations, you can see and do more at Disney and have a magical time!
There is no denying it, Walt Disney World takes planning. You are visiting a property larger than the size of Manhattan, and you need to have a plan. That’s not to say you need to plan every minute, but there are ways to see and do more at Walt Disney World so your family can have a great time and make some memories! I have some tips and tricks to share with you to see and do more at Walt Disney World so you can maximize your time and enjoy your family vacation to the fullest!
Get to the parks as early as possible. In Disney terms, this is called “Rope Drop”. This is when the park opens, and getting to the park entrance about 20-30 minutes before the park opens gives you a nice start to your day. We learned that if we try to get to the park half an hour before opening we can get in lines more quickly and make the most of our morning. All the parks open a tad earlier than the posted time, and guests are led to an area to wait until the official opening. This gives you a huge jump start to your day, and even gives you a few minutes to formulate a plan as you start your day in the park.
Pick up a map at the park entrance. While the maps are fantastic on My Disney Experience, sometimes a paper map is perfect. It is easier to access than pulling your phone out of your bag, and sometimes quicker to read. You are also given maps at check in when you arrive at your Walt Disney World Resort. When you arrive, take the time to check out the map and talk about what attractions each of you wants to see so you can firm up any last minute plans before heading to the parks. You can also check the Walt Disney World website before your trip to have an idea of where everything is too. But a map the day you are there is really helpful. It helps you get around the park more efficiently. The map also marks which rides have fast passes, height requirements, and more.
Book your Fastpasses in advance. This is a huge timesaver, and gives you the opportunity to work a plan before you arrive in Orlando. These allow you to get your absolute “must dos” booked, so you aren’t waiting in line forever. This then allows you to see more and do more during your day. Attractions that accept FastPass are marked with FP on your map. This option allows you to come back at a certain time and get on the ride without waiting in ridiculously long lines. The FastPass Return time has an hour long window, so you can ride non-Fast Pass rides and have an hour leeway of when you get to the Fast Pass ride.
Don’t try to do EVERYTHING. Seems kind of opposite of this post, right? But don’t stress yourself out! It’s easy to get caught up in trying to do it all, but if you are running from attraction to attraction and not enjoying your time, it sort of defeats the purpose.
Plan an afternoon break so you can go back to your room for naps in the afternoon. With young kids, or even adults, you pretty much have to. Even if you don’t nap, everyone needs a break to refresh and relax. After naps, grab a bite to eat and go to the parks for a few more hours in the evening. After that afternoon reprieve, you are all rested and can enjoy the evening much better than if you hadn’t.
Consider booking a special event or fireworks seating during your trip. Early Morning Magic, Disney After Hours, and a dessert party at every park allow you to take advantage of lower crowds and a special experience. I would not recommend booking all of these for your trip, as that can get expensive. But weigh your options. Many guests have found that Disney After Hours is so worth it, and after experiencing Villains After Hours, I agree. I have also had good luck with great fireworks viewing at the Happily Ever After Dessert Party. This has now become a “must” for us on our trips. While these events all cost extra, the lower crowds and ease of getting on attractions with practically no wait are priceless. So choose one, splurge, and enjoy!
Book just a few table service meals. Now, this is from the girl who LOVES her sit down meals. But, they do take a lot of park time! If you want to see and do more at Disney, book only 1 or 2 character or sit down meals. There are so many great quick service locations, and fantastic snacks, you certainly won’t go hungry!
With these tips and reasonable expectations, you can have a fantastic Disney trip. Your family will be able to see and do so much, and you will go home with fantastic memories!