You can bring your own food and drink into the parks! Don’t get too excited, because they don’t allow alcohol or glass bottles anywhere. We wouldn’t really recommend bringing any food that needs heated up because they will not heat anything up for you at a park. They’re pretty amazing, but heating up a tv dinner is certainly pushing it!
Ditch your purse and go for a fanny pack. Leaving your strollers are a frequent thing while waiting in lines. Keeping all of your important items on you will save you a lot of trouble and keep your hands free for wrangling your kids. We suggest this over a backpack because a number of rides won’t allow a backpack.
Stay on Disney property! Especially if you are flying in, this is certainly the best option. No rental car needed this way. Disney World has a complimentary shuttle that will bring you from Orlando International Airport to your resort. They also have shuttles that take you from your resort to all of the Disney Parks as well as Disney Springs. Another perk of staying on property is if you have to switch resorts during your stay they will move your luggage from one resort to the next. See Perks Of Staying At A Disney World Resort for more helpful tips.
We always suggest the park hopper pass. You wouldn’t want to miss an awesome last minute character dining experience that popped up just because you didn’t get the park hopper. There’s numerous other perks that come with the hopper. We hop back and forth when parks close early that way we still have a few hours to experience the Disney Magic at other parks.
Prebook your Fastpasses and make sure you take full advantage of them. Check out our blog Disney World Fastpass Hacks & Tips to learn how we benefit from these so much!
Use the My Disney Experience App to order food, book dining reservations, see wait times, book fastpasses, and view your photopass pictures.
Magicbands are another life saver much like the fanny pack. If staying on property this is your room key! This is also your park ticket, fastpass, your dining package, and even your wallet! You can link your debit card to your Magicband and it allows you ti keep from taking your wallet to the park.
Take advantage of Extra Magic Hours. What are Extra Magic Hours you may ask? Its additional hours that the park is open on top of their normal operating hours each day. Yes they are just as amazing as they sound! When planning out our trip, we always choose which park we go to each day based solely off of the Extra Magic Hours.
Dining packages could be your friend or enemy. This depends on if splurging on your Disney Dining is something you are planning on doing. If you’re planning on incorporating Cinderellas Royal Table, Be Our Guest for dinner, and Victoria and Alberts then I would say a dining package is for you. However if you’re trying to make this a low budget dining trip and planning on holding as much back in order for your other experiences then this isn’t really an option for you.
Do you want to catch all of the characters? Character Dining is the best way to accomplish that! You literally eat in an air conditioned building and the characters literally come around to your table and take photos with you and give autographs. Also make sure you take advantage of Extra Magic Hours for this as there is generally few people and almost no lines to see your favorite characters.
Buy all of your Disney themed items before your trip to help save on expenses. Check out our other blog Everything You Need For Disney World On A Budget for some price friendly ideas. This includes dress up outfits! It will save you tons!
Use plastic bags to pack your children’s outfits to help speed things up to get out of the hotel and to the parks faster in the mornings. This also helps keep clothes more organized in your bag that you take to the park.
Disney Vacation Club or DVC is pretty amazing! Probably not the best choice for a first timer, but if you fell on love with Disney then maybe it would be an option for you. (Yes its a timeshare, however they are not pushy about it).
Plan out what time of year you want to go on your trip, but also remember that this will also determine how much money you will be spending. If you go during the most popular times like Halloween, Christmas, and summer times then you will experience peak seasons and experience the highest prices.
Disney Springs is amazing and definitely something you don’t want to miss. You can certainly spend all here just like you would a park. There’s a Coca-Cola Store that you can experience Coke flavors from around the world. There’s a Lego Store as well as a Bippity Boppity Boutique. Make sure you try out T-Rex as well!
If you happen to be going without children or have a sitter, then make sure you check out the Dance Club on Disney Boardwalk. 21 and Over.
Take advantage of all the night time activities even if its past your bedtime. Trust me they are totally worth it. (Fireworks and Watershows).
Become a Landry’s Reward Member. This is the best Rewards Card! It only costs $25 to sign up, but the $25 goes towards your first meal. Then you get $25 for your birthday every year. You can also earn points every meal and you can redeem them $25 at a time. T-Rex, Rainforest, and Yak and Yeti’s are all on Disney property.
Don’t forget a stroller. $15 is a bit steep to pay to rent one per day. Also they are not available to rent at the Boardwalk or at Disney Springs. On top of that, transportation isn’t near as fun carrying a child across Disney property until you get to the Park.
Don’t forget your ears!
Make sure you plan ahead! We can’t stress this enough. Plan plan plan! Fastpasses, Dining, etc. All in all have fun when you get there. Don’t stress the little things.
Gum! No where on Disney property sells gum, so if you’re are a big gum chewer then make sure you stock up.
Bring handheld fans, stroller fans, and spray bottle fans to save you from the heat.
Make sure you bring comfortable shoes! A trip to Disney World is not the best time to break in new shoes.
Bring a portable phone charger. Trust us, you will need this when you are taking pictures and checking My Disney Experience App all day. You certainly wouldn’t miss out a photo opportunity on any amazing experiences.
Speaking of photgraphs.. Photo Pass is amazing and a must have. When you go to Disney you will see a line of people waiting on a Disney photographer to capture the “Money Shot”. They will then scan them to your MagicBand Photopass. Also the photographers will take pictures using your own device. So there’s no excuse to not have your entire family in a picture.
Passholders get special treatment and discounts if you plan on going for an extended amount of time, then we certainly recommend looking into this. Season Passes run around $900 per ticket and they last an entire year from the time they are activated. Which it is activated when you use it the first time. Last year we went to Disney 25 days and it saved us so much money. We opted for the Platinum Passes which included water parks, photo passses, park hoppers, and a 10-20% Discount at a ton of Disney restaurants, concessions, and retailers. They also have a discount for the following years season passes if you decide to do it again.
Don’t forget to get your free buttons for almost any occasion.
When you get to Magic Kingdom get your magic playing cards that way you can help Mickey and the gang defeat evil.
Don’t forget to pack an essentials bag and your fanny pack or small bag with valuables so that you don’t have to carry a large bag everywhere with you.