Best Walt Disney World Tips: A Smart Parent’s Guide

After my visit to Walt Disney World, I’ve developed some tips that I believe would serve great purpose for those planning a trip there. These tips are designed to help you save money, save time, and have an overall enjoyable visit. So, here are The Best Walt Disney World Tips (A Smart Parent’s Guide) πŸ™‚

1. Download the App

The Walt Disney World app is a helpful all-around tool for navigating around Disney World. Utilize the app to do the following:

  • View approximate waiting times for rides
  • Preorder food and make reservations
  • Book fast passes
  • View and order your photos
  • Order souvenirs
  • Access to the maps, hours, and information

The app only works with data or wifi connection, but don’t fret; there’s free wifi almost everywhere at Disney World πŸ˜‰

2. Gum

Do you like to chew gum? I know I do. But they do not sell gum at any of the theme parks or stores, so it would be a good idea to bring some!

3. Painkillers

Shout out to the driver who let me sit in his seat for this picture hehehe

On my last trip to Disney World, I experienced a throbbing headache at the Magic Kingdom. I had forgotten my Advil in my hotel room, but was absolutely elated to find that they sell Aspirin and Acetaminophen at any of the gift shops.

4. Souvenirs (a Money Saving Tip)

A few of the souvenirs bought from Walmart for more than half the price

If you want to save money on souvenirs, DON’T buy them at Disney World. Instead, buy them at a Walmart location close to Disney World. They will be considerably cheaper, for the exact same product. No, they are not knock-offs or fakes, they are the real deal; Authentic Disney products by Disney World.

However, if you decide to do this, please note that Walmart only has a small section for souvenirs. So some products that you see at Disney World, might not be available at Walmart (eg. Specialty items such as Avatar, Winnie The Pooh). This did not bother me, as I was more interested in the bargains. At Walmart, I was able to purchase Disney World t-shirts, magnets, mugs, key chains, and water bottles, all for a fraction of the cost, if I had purchased them from a Disney World Gift Shop.

  • Take Advantage of Free Souvenirs at Disney World

Some people don’t know this, but Disney World actually gives away free buttons for anyone celebrating a special occasion such as birthdays, anniversaries, newlyweds, and in my case; My First Visit. You will see most of them giving it away at stands, but if you don’t see them, ask a staff member!

5. Food (Another Money Saving Tip)

If you want to save even more money at Walmart, buy some food there too! When I visited that Walmart close to my hotel and Disney World, I felt like I had hit the jack pot. Everything was so affordable. They had ready to eat meals like sandwiches, subs, cut up fruit, and ready to go salads which we bought for our Disney World visit. (Yes, you ARE allowed to bring outside food into Disney World, however, glass containers are not permitted). This saved us a substantial amount of money. We all know that food at Disney World is ridiculously overpriced.

Don’t want to bring food? That’s fine too. If you do decide to eat at Disney World, it would be best to use mobile ordering through the app, and if you want to eat at a sit down restaurant, be sure to make reservations on the app too. It will save you from waiting in more lines.

  • Book Character Meals

This is a great tip for families with small children. At character meals, several Disney Characters walk around the tables where you and your children are given the chance to take a picture with them and perhaps receive an autograph. This is so much better than waiting in line, just to see one character, and then waiting in another line to meet the next. With character meals, you’re in the comfort of having a meal under air conditioning, and will be able to cross several things on your list in one go!

6. Rider Switch Pass

Do you have small children who don’t want to ride? Or perhaps they don’t meet the height requirements? Don’t worry, the Rider Switch Pass is designed for parents who want to go on rides but need someone to watch their kids. Here’s how it works:

  • One parent can stay with the children/child, while the other waits in line as per usual. When that parent reaches the cast member, let them know you are doing a Rider Switch Pass, and they will give you a pass. Once finished enjoying the ride, the parent will then give the pass to the waiting mom/dad, and the pass will enable you (and up to 2 others) to skip the line without waiting AGAIN. This way, there will always be someone watching over your children, and everyone can enjoy the ride without having to wait twice.

7. Fast Passes

If you are staying at one of the Disney Resorts, you have a great advantage. You have access to book your fast passes 60 days in advance (through the app). If you are not, you can book your fast passes 30 days in advance. Remember, Fast Passes are free, and you can book up to 3. But if you used up all your passes, you can book more at the kiosks!

As a fast pass user, I recommend booking fast passes later in the day. When you first arrive in the morning, there will be shorter lines, and less people. So booking fast passes later in the day will make things a little easier once more and more people arrive to the park.

It would be a good idea to book fast passes for the high thrill rides, as these rides almost always have the longest lines (up to 3 hours). This is assuming you actually enjoy fast thrill rides.

8. Go Early

This seems to be a tip that people often skip. But consider how much you are paying to visit. Don’t you want to make the best of it, with all the available time given?!

Sometimes cast members open the gates and allow people to enter 30 minutes to 1 hour before opening time. They do this so that they can begin lining up for their favourite rides. So if you get there before opening time, you will be able to go on many rides with minimum wait times. So go early!!

9. Buy Tickets Online

You don’t want to start your Disney Trip waiting in line to buy tickets at the front desk. Buy your tickets online, ahead of time. This enables you to also book your fast passes too.

10. Wear Comfortable Shoes

You will be walking A LOT. You will be standing A LOT!!

I made the mistake of wearing my Converse Chuck Taylor shoes (they looked cute with my outfit) to the Magic Kingdom. They were flat and had no arch support. By the end of the day, I was limping and had blisters on my toes. Don’t make the same mistake! This is not a good day to wear your flimsy flip flops (by the way, wearing shoes is a requirement for certain rides; no flip flops allowed!) I suggest wearing Skechers shoes, or perhaps inserting insoles.

11. Bring a Portable Phone Charger (or two)

Yes, you must! With the constant use of the app, checking the time, snapping photos everywhere, or maybe with the little one watching videos, be assured that your phone battery will drain quickly. If I didn’t have my portable phone charger, my phone would have died around 1pm, which is way too early!

12. Animal Safari At Night Time

If you’re visiting the Animal Kingdom Theme Park, go on the safari ride at night. Generally, the animals are more active in the evening; you’ll see more action.

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13. Fireworks

Reserving a good viewing spot to see the fireworks is what people often do at the Magic Kingdom. Ask some cast members of a good viewing spot without all the crowds, they know of good places that many others don’t.

Don’t care for fireworks? Then this is the best time to go on your favourite rides as the lines seem to shrink closer to the fireworks time. My husband and I didn’t mind missing the fireworks, so we were able to go on our favourite rides, without waiting, twice!

14. Be Prepared To Get Wet

First of all, check the weather network prior to your visit because Florida rains, and when it rains, it POURS! Buy rain ponchos from Walmart or the Dollar Store, because buying them from Disney World will cost you nearly $20 for one! In addition to that, bring extra clothes and towels.

Some of the water rides will have you soaked by the time you get off, so even if the forecast says it won’t rain, be prepared to get wet anyway!

15. Prohibited Items and Rules

Here are some items that are surprisingly prohibited:

  • Selfie Sticks
  • Glass food containers
  • Large Tripods
  • Drones
  • Scooters and skateboards
  • Shoes with built in wheels

More prohibited items and rules can be found on the Walt Disney World website.

I hope The Best Essential Walt Disney World Tips: A Smart Parent’s Guide will help you with your future Disney World Plans. Are you unsure where to stay in Orlando? Check out my review of CLC World Regal Oaks Review.Β Β It’s PERFECT for families or large groups, within close proximity to Disney World, AND Walmart.

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