After a whirlwind trip to Walt Disney World, I thought I’d share my tips and tricks for any Aussies crossing the Pacific to visit the parks!
These tips would be handy for absolutely anyone visiting but I feel if you’re going to haul all the way from the other side of the world, you are going to want to make the most of it.
Below I have shared my top 15 tips for planning and getting the most out of your visit to Walt Disney World.
Stay For At Least A Week
Walt Disney World is unlike anything I have ever experienced before. It is an entire city on its own with four theme parks, two water parks, 25 resorts, golf courses and other destinations like Disney Springs and BoardWalk.
You can be in the parks from sun up till sun down, and into the night. And even then you likely didn’t get to see everything.
It can be a full on day and I’d suggest rest days at the water parks or exploring the BoardWalk. So in order to do all parks to their fullest and experience everything Walt Disney World has to offer, then you need AT LEAST a week.
I was there for 3.5 days, and spent a minimum of 12 hours in the parks each day and only made it to half the rides I’d say!
There are actually a few reasons why you should book early. First, because it’s cheaper than at the gate (no brainer). But also because you can book your Fastpass up to 30 days before and even 60 days before if you are staying within the park!
I know this because I’m already planning my trip back 😉 Another tip, kids under 3 don’t need tickets!
Call A Disney Resort Home
I know that being budget conscious it may seem appealing to stay at an off-site hotel or resort. But at Walt Disney World especially, there is a bit to factor into your costs when weighing up which is best.
When you stay at a Disney resort, you have access to the bus and boat system which takes you between all parks and to and from your resort.
This means you will save tonnes in the car rental and transport costs getting around. And trust me Walt Disney World is huge!
You also get things like Extra Magic Hour, which can save you hours in queuing for rides and maximise your time to get around all rides and parks!
There is 25 resorts and hotels to choose from, so there is absolutely one that is suitable for your needs and budget! You can even camp 😉 I’d suggest speaking with a travel agent if you are unsure and needing advice.
Wear Comfortable Walking Shoes
Be prepared to walk, because you will be doing a lot of it! FYI, Disney World is MUCH bigger than Disneyland!! Also, bring bandaids 😉
Take a Photo at Cinderellas Castle
I mean, it’s such an icon, how can you not?! And if you travelling solo like me or you want a photo with the entire family, don’t hesitate to ask the lovely Disney staff who frequent along Main Street taking photos.
They are happy to take on on your own phone or camera. Or if you want that professional shot then have them scan your magic band and find your photos within your Disney Parks app.
As you will likely be out and about all day. Using the Disney app and maps or taking photos, then make sure you bring a portable charger you can plug your phone onto throughout the day.
You don’t want to get stuck with no battery and have to haul all the way back to your resort to charge your phone and miss out on capturing memories.
Bring a Poncho
Trust me you will 100% need it. Even if it doesn’t look like it will rain one second, it can be bucketing down and flooding the next!!
Don’t make the same mistake I did and keep forgetting to take it and “getting caught in the rain”.
I would bring your own as well. They do sell them in the park but they are $12 USD. And you’ll likely be soaked by the time you run around and find a store who sells them.
Use Your Fast Passes Strategically
Not all the rides you need to use Fast Pass. A lot of the smaller rises like Small World, Peter Pan, Ariel and Alice in Wonderland only have a 10-15 minute wait usually.
You have three Fast Pass to use in one park per day. I would suggest doing some research on which rides you want to use these for before you enter the park.’
You can pre-book this up to 30 days prior, or 60 days if you are staying in a Disney resort.
Make Use Of Magic Hour
If you’re at Walt Disney World, you are likely staying for a few days – because it’s impossible to do in just one or two! If you are at a Disney on-site resort then you have access to Extra Magic Hour.
Each day, a different park will have Extra Magic Hour. This is the best way to get into the park early (or stay late) to all the best rides with no lines.
It means you can also save those Fast Passes to use later in the day when the lines get long in the crowds!
My hot tip is to use Animal Kingdom Magic hour to get on Avatar Flight of Passage. That rides line was 3 hours when I went!
Have Breakfast In The Park
Another way to sneak your way in early to the park early? Book one of the breakfasts like at Cinderella’s Royal Table. This means you get easy access to the characters for photos and signings as well as early park entry!
Bring The Pram
This was one of my tips in my Disneyland blog from last year. But it stands even more at Walt Disney World. If you are coming with young children, then this is an absolute must.
There are prams for hire, but to save yourself the cost and hassle I 100% suggest you just bring one! Even if it gets used for lugging all your stuff, it is a life saver.
I find Disney is really great at providing pram parking areas with ample space around the rides.
Use The Free WiFi
If you are an out of towner like myself, then utilise the free wifi in the park! This works across all the parks and will save you from nasty bill shock when you get home.
I found I didn’t always have good reception with so many people around. So WiFi helped solve this problem 🙂
Catch A Bus Or Boat
There is an internal bus system that takes you from any resort or park to the next. They come every 10-20 minutes or so (I never waited longer than 15 minutes).
There is also water transport that takes you between Epcot and Disney Hollywood Studios and many of the resorts (check it out here). Same with Disney Springs, which was accessible from my hotel, the Port Orleans Riverside, by ferryboat.
I think you need to catch the boats at least once, even just for the experience!
Eat A Disney Themed Treat
I think you need to at least indulge in once mouse shaped treat on your visit to Disney. You can find tonnes of goodies at the general store or even the carts around the parks.
My only tip when you get the Mickey Mouse pretzel is GET THE CHEESE!! They’re no good without cheese lol.
Wear Your Badge With Pride
Did you know you can get a free badge from Walt Disney World on your first visit? There are also others I noticed like “birthday” and “happily ever after”. A great little memento to mark the occasion and they’re free!
I got mine from a stall that sold my ears. But guest services might be the best spot for other badges!
I hope these tips have been helpful in planning your next trip to Walt Disney World. If you have any questions you can always check out my story highlights on the park in my Instagram bio.
I have heaps more detail on my visit to the park there!