Disney World Tips and Tricks
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Check out Disney World's official Disney Parks Mobile Magic App for the iPhone. It provides up to the minute wait times, character location, and even dining reservations. This free app is a must have for any Disney World expert.
While you used to be able to use Fastpasses for attractions any time after the starting time, Disney World is starting to strictly enforce the ending time. Be sure to pay attention to your Fastpass time and plan accordingly.
Get a Fastpass for Toy Story Midway Mania as soon as you arrive at Disney's Hollywood Studios. The attraction is very popular and can run out of Fastpasses by 12pm.
A good way to take a nap without going back to your hotel room: Take a nap in the Hall of Presidents - 23 minutes of air conditioned relaxation. Thanks to Roger for this tip!
Use the single rider line on some of the most popular attractions to dramatically decrease wait time. It is available at Rock n Roller Coaster, Expedition Everest, Test Track, and Mission: Space.
Use Single Rider to save time!
When going to Animal Kingdom, make sure you make reservations for breakfast for before the park opens. That way you get into the park way early and get first in line onto awesome rides :) Also, make sure that you do that on a day the park doesn't open early for some guests. Thanks to Giraffegirl126 for this tip!
When you go to the parks, get there about 30-40 minutes before the park opens because you'll be able to ride all of your favorite rides before the crowds come. You'll have very short waits for popular rides like Toy Story Midway Mania, Space Mountain, Soarin, or Expedition Everest.
If you want to ride both Rock 'n' Roller Coaster and the Tower of Terror, get a fastpass for Rock 'n' Roller Coaster and then get in the standby line for Tower of Terror (or vice-versa). You can ride two of the biggest attractions at Hollywood Studios in less than an hour! Thanks to Sean for this tip!
When you first get to Disney's Hollywood Studios, you need to ride the Tower of Terror and Aerosmith's Rock 'n' Roller Coaster early in the day. The lines get long fast plus both rides are close to each other so ride one and go ride the other quick. Thanks to Robin for this tip!
Use the Fantasmic Dining Plan to save time and grab great seats!
It takes a long time to get into Fantasmic but if you eat at one of the restaurants with the Fantasmic Dining Plan at Hollywood Studios (Brown Derby, Mama Melrose, and Hollywood and Vine), they offer Priority Seating for the show so you don't have to wait in the line to see the show (which was worth it if you don't have to wait for 2 hours beforehand). Thanks to Michelle for this tip!
On Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios, when you enter the first staging room (the library), immediately go to the far corner (furthest away from the door you enter the room in). After the TV presentation, the wall opens up there to the rest of the ride. At that point, choose the left line - it's quicker.
Expedition Everest is the newest attraction at the Animal Kingdom so lines are often very long. Look for the single rider line (located to the right of the Fastpass return - ask a cast member if you can't find it) and your wait will be substantially reduced!
I was at WDW with my family a few days ago. We really enjoyed Epcot, especially Soarin'. It's amazing! If you go, you will repeat as many times as you can. My advice is get to Soarin' early when the park opens, grab a Fastpass, and then ride the ride. Most likely, you'll be able to ride Soarin' a second time shortly after. If the line for the Fastpass is long, just go on the ride first and then grab the Fastpass. Thanks to Walter for this tip!
There is a lot of traffic at the Mouse Gears store in Epcot, and the lines to the cash registers can get quite long. To avoid a long wait in the line waiting to buy something, go to the jewelry section and ask one of the clerks there if they can ring up your merchandise since they are not usually that busy. They will be glad to finalize your purchase while everyone else is waiting in line. Thanks to Arlen for this tip!
Parking tip: We went to Epcot in the afternoon. There were no parking guides to tell you where to park, so we cruised up to the front to see if anyone has left and grab a close spot. We went to Epcot between 3-4 two afternoons-and parked front row both times. This should work for all parks if the parking guides are done for the day. Thanks to Ellen for this tip!
You can sometimes try for a better parking spot in the afternoon.
If you are spending time in another park and want to watch the fireworks from Illuminations in Epcot, drive to the Boardwalk. If you are not driving, take the bus there. Park in the visitor parking area and walk to the World Showcase entrance. (Don't worry, it's a pretty short walk). When you get into the park, head for the Bridge near France. Even if you don't get a spot on the railing, you can see most of the show because you are slightly elevated. When the fireworks are over, head back to the Boardwalk and you will beat all the crowds heading back to the Epcot parking lot and monorail. Grab a snack on the Boardwalk. The Beach Club has a great Ice Cream Shop called "Beaches and Cream"...awesome!!! Try the kitchen sink or the Reese's Pieces Sundae. Thanks to Sam for this tip!
When you're at Epcot, go to the World Showcase as soon as it opens at 11:00 a.m. Finish Future World in the late afternoon. This will help you avoid the crowds.
On the Norway boat ride Maelstrom, get in the front of the line after getting off the boat. When they let everyone in the theatre, you can follow the last group of movie viewers out of the theatre. This saves you the incredibly boring video! Thanks to Gabe for this tip!
If the line for Test Track is long, and your party doesn't mind being separated, go through the single rider line. You will all go through the pre show together, and when it is time to get on a car, they fill you in one by one into the empty 3rd seat when 2 people sit. Sitting in different cars (usually one behind the other) was a small price to pay for this time-saver! Thanks to Laura for this tip!
You can get another Fast Pass once the entry time passes on the first one!
Use Fastpass at your favorite ride but wait until the entry time passes and then you can get another one (it will work again after the entry time) on the same ride or others. Go do another ride then come back before time expires and ride twice in a row or once at Tower of Terrors then Rock and Roller coaster with no wait. Works best in the morning. Thanks to TJ1044 for this tip!
The one thing I recommend everyone purchases before going if you are more than 2 people is walkie-talkies. We had 2 Cobra walkies & they were unbelievably useful. My husband and I could split up with the kids and always be in contact. They are especially useful if someone is going to "meet you by the castle" later. We've done that pre-walkie and always wandered around looking for people. They have a 2 mile range and give you freedom and security of not being separated! Thanks to Elise for this tip!
If you want to ride a FastPass ride but couldn't get a FastPass and the Standby lines are too long during the day, get in line within a half hour before park closing. Two reasons for this: (1) Disney policy is that anyone in line at park closing gets to ride, even if they don't get on until after the official closing time, and (2) there will be very few FastPass riders entering (none after closing), so the actual wait time will be MUCH shorter than the posted Standby time. Thanks to Joel for this tip!
When using the Walt Disney transportation system (mainly the buses from the resorts to the parks) make sure you catch the right bus. Ask the driver where he/she is going and what stops if any there are...you may be farther away from your goal then you think. Be careful if a bus pulls up and the scrolling destination in the window changes...ask the driver where he/she is going. Don't EVER assume a bus is going somewhere, you may be taking a long ride. Finally, during REAL busy seasons, try to get to the bus before the park closes...jockeying for a seat with 100 other tired, sunburned guests can be a nightmare...this is especially true if you have small kids. Leave the park early and it is much smoother. Thanks to Jason for this tip!
We put our clothing together in outfits and packed them that way. So when we got ready to leave each day we weren't trying to figure out what we wanted to wear and what would go together. Its great for people with kids. Let your kids put together outfits, pack them so that when you pick it up you have the whole outfit together, you dress and your off. We also made an itinerary for each day and would go over the next days events. Making changes but at least we had an idea of what we were headed out to do each day. Thanks to Becky for this tip!
To save time in the morning...I brought my own cereal, bowls and spoons. While I was showering, my husband went to the food court to buy milk (for the kids breakfast) and coffee's for us. By the time he was back, I was out of the shower, and one or both kids were out also. While he showered, we would eat and get dressed. This took us about one hour each morning. It sure beats sitting at a table waiting to place orders and get fed. The kids (10 and 7) thought it was fun too. We also brought along snacks (zip-lock baggies with trail mix) so that during the day we weren't spending a lot of money on junk food. We usually skipped a sit down lunch and opted only for a sit down dinner. It worked great! Thanks to Mike and Gina for this tip!
Save time and money - cereal for breakfast, bring your own lunch!
Order your tickets before you leave. You can do this by either going to your local Disney store or on Disney Store Online. This saves you valuable time once you are at the park.
At the Magic Kingdom and MGM, the shops stay open one hour after the last attraction has closed- so you can save your last minute shopping to the very last minute and not miss any late night rides! Thanks to Sue for this tip!
The lines to a lot of rides get shorter around one hour before a parade as people start lining up for the parades. If you have already seen the parade (or don't care to see it), this is a good time to ride the most popular attractions.
Avoid the park that is open for the Extra Magic Hour (even if you are staying on the Disney property). It's nice for the first hour or so, but by 10:00 that park is usually packed, while the other parks are less crowded.
Try going on the rides when others are eating!
We have also discovered that if a ride has a long line we will pass it up and come back to it later, because we eat at a irregular time the lines at 12 are usually very short. Thanks to Patti for this tip!
At high volume rides like Test Track and Rock'n'Roller coaster, take advantage of the "Fast Pass" feature. You swipe your ticket in a machine that gives you a priority reservation for a certain time that day. It may be one hour or longer, but this way you can use that hour to do other things in the park. Then at your appointed time, you can get right on the ride without having to wait in the regular line. Thanks to Michelle for this tip!
Before leaving home, plan what you are going to do each day. Check which parks open early and if you are staying onsite, decide if you want to go to Early Entry. If you have a multi-day pass, plan on going to more than one park each day. Find out what days are for E-Ride Nights for Magic Kingdom and take advantage of it. We did that on our last trip to WDW. We stayed at the All Star Movies Resort and we were able to go back there every afternoon for 2-3 hours; eat lunch, let the kids swim; take a nap. We went to all 4 parks using a 5-day park hopper, and we were able to see and do everything we planned on. So plan, plan, plan! You will be glad you did! Thanks to Debbie for this tip!
Most attractions have two lines -- a right line and a left line. If you cannot see the end of the line, choose the left line. It's usually shorter.
I thought the Fastpasses were a dream and you CAN hold two at a time. If you get one for 1:15 to 2:15 you have to wait until 1:16 to get another. Worked like a charm. Thanks to Anne for this tip!
Fastpass rules! We jammed an extra day's worth of rides into our trip thanks to FastPass. We flew by lines at the most popular rides. Mind you, the first week of February, the longest waits were 30-45 mins (that's nothing compared to summer wait times, I know), but we got to ride our favorites over and over. Since the parks close early in this low season, we more than made up for the reduced hours. Thanks to Sam for this tip!
Use Fast Pass to save time - even during slow season!
Another tip is the “baby swap”. If you have a baby or small child in your group, one person can ride while the other person waits with the baby/child. Then they “swap” and the 2nd person goes right in, doesn’t have to wait in line again. If there are more than 2 adults (or children that are riding) in your party, someone can ride TWICE because the 2nd person can have someone go “right in” with them. We had 2 babies in our group, so 2 of us got to ride twice. Thanks to Carol for this tip!
If you know you want to ride something twice, pull a FastPass AND get in the Standby line. We rode Buzz Lightyear twice in 50 min., when there was a 40 min. wait in the standby line. We pulled a FastPass for 2:00, then got in the standby line at 1:20. It worked great! Thanks to Toni for this tip!
If you have a child, plan your trip so you are at magic kingdom when it opens. The crowd gets really heavy around 11:00am. But it's amazing what you can do in those first two hours before the lines get long. When you get into the park, go straight to Space Mountain and get a fast-pass for the ride then use the stand-by line. You will have almost no wait and after you are done you can use the fast pass for a second ride! Then go to the Buzz Lightyear ride. You can ride that repeatedly with almost no wait until about 10:30am. Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear are two very popular attractions but if you hit them early, you can start your day with a bang without waiting in lines!! Thanks to Jerry for this tip!
Learn to use the fast pass system efficiently! You will be amazed how much time you save by NOT standing in line. Here's the trick: Plan to ride two fast-pass rides that are close together, for example, Rock & Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror. Let's stay it's 10:30am and both rides have a 20 minute wait, and the fast pass return time for both is 11:00am-11:50am. You can actually have TWO fast passes in your possession at once IF YOU GET A FAST PASS FOR A SECOND RIDE 10 MINUTES AFTER THE RETURN TIME FOR THE FIRST! So in this example, you would get a fast-pass for Tower of Terror at 10:30am, then go do something else in the park. At 11:10 you return to get a fast-pass for Rock & Roller coaster, with a return time of 12:00-12:50. So you go back to Tower of Terror and use your fast-pass for that ride at around 11:30am, then go to Rock & Roller coaster and use your fast-pass for that ride at Noon WITHOUT STANDING IN LINE. If you overlap your fast-passes in this way, you can avoid lines and maximize your fun at WDW!! Thanks to Jerry for this tip!
Ask cast members and you may get special treatment!
One time we had a fast pass for Tower of Terror and the return time was 11:00-11:50pm but we really wanted to see the Ariel show at 11:00 without standing in line. We couldn't get a fast-pass for that because we already had one for Tower of Terror so we asked the cast member at the gate if he had any for the 11:30 show. He said yes, and gave us three of them. So we watched the Ariel show, then went to Tower of Terror immediately after WITHOUT STANDING IN LINE! Ask and ye shall receive at Disney World!
I still don't understand why some people didn't use this service. Don't be afraid and use this FREE service. Pick a fast pass for one ride and until it's your designated time to come back do the surrounding rides that don't have this service. This is to great a tool, don't miss it!! Oh, by the way, in Universal Studios have the same kind of service but they call it Express ticket. Thanks to Miros for this tip!
We had bought our tickets Online but were instructed to get tickets issued at the Parks after producing the proof of purchase. I was quite disappointed at this, because the main reason for purchasing Online was to beat the queue. When my husband waited in line for some 15 minutes (while I tried to keep our baby amused), he spotted a cast member and asked me to enquire from her if there was a faster way of doing this. Thank God he thought of that! She guided us to a nearby window which said vouchers/bulk booking or some such and there was but one person at the window! Because of that, we saved a whole half hour! So, if you have purchased tickets Online, do inquire as soon as you reach the Park and don't waste precious time standing in the regular queue. Thanks to Revathi for this tip!
We went to the four parks and Blizzard Beach during our week there so we were pretty busy. It definitely helped to have things mapped out ahead of time. We used the fastpass feature 2-3 times per day, for the key rides and it worked out great. If you fastpass the busiest ride when you enter an area, you can usually work it out so you enjoy the other area attractions and then just walk onto the busiest ride during your one hour window. We never waited more than 15 minutes for a ride. Going straight to the fastpass distribution area of the busiest rides when we first entered the park worked well also; we were usually able to get our fastpass, ride using standby and then ride again using fastpass (by then usually the lines had started to build). Thanks to Stan for this tip!
f you are in a group with teenage children, definitely do the single rider lines. You will probably all be on the same ride anyway and if you don't care about the group ride photo it is a great time saver. Thanks to Jennifer for this tip!
Get a fastpass for something if you arrive when the park opens at, let's say 9 AM for this discussion. The return time will be something like 9:45-10:45. There will not be a line for that attraction at opening time, of course, but there will be at 10:45 when you use your fastpass. While you're waiting, go to another attraction that will be crowded later, but won't be at opening time. And of course, even though you don't use that first fastpass until the end of the return time, you will be able to get another for something else at 9:45. So, get there at 9, and by 10 you will have been able to do 2-3 major attractions, plus have fast passes in hand for 2 others. Thanks to Marc for this tip!
Get your Fast Passes as soon as you enter the parks!
If you want to save time (mostly at magic kingdom) go to the rides in the back first usually there are shorter lines that way. Thanks to Diane for this tip!
When going into the parks around mid-day, check your schedule as to which park opened 1 hour early that day, for it will be the park most crowded for the remainder of the day! Thanks to Randy for this tip!
Take advantage of the Fast Pass's, each ticket will tell you when you can get another one. Please do that as many times as you can during the day. You may not use them all but I have fun trading them out with other people that I run into while in lines for the fastpass machines, that way it works out for both parties. Thanks to Randy for this tip!
Try using the single rider line at Mission:Space and Test Track (at Epcot). If you don't mind riding alone, your wait time will be dramatically reduced.
When the Magic Kingdom is getting crowded, try Epcot for lunch!
We just recently went to Disney World in the first week of February. Towards the end of the week Magic Kingdom was getting a little crowded and needless to say, so where the lunch spots. Since we had park hoppers, we took the train to Epcot and ate in the countries without hardly any crowd at all (we also caught Mailstrome and train of thought). Thanks to Rick for this tip!
When we go to the parks we try to get there early in the morning before the big crowds hit. We usually stay for a couple hours depending on the crowds, when it gets busy we head back to the resort and relax by the pool and catch an early dinner. We then return around 5pm (depending on what park and when they close) the lines are considerably shorter and as the evening wears on the lines keep getting shorter, it is cooler and less humid. Last year we road splash mountain like 4 times in a row (the last time they did not even make us get out of our boat!) . Thanks to Jocelyn and Mike for this tip!
My fiancée and I have been to Disney World a total of 5 times since 2000 and it was really just last year that we started to take advantage of the Extra Hours Benefit offered to guests of Walt Disney World Resorts. What a difference going a bit early or staying a bit late makes in terms of waiting in lines!! First of all, it’s much cooler than in the middle of the day when the sun is its warmest. Second of all, the waits for rides are cut in half!! There aren’t as many people around at these hours, especially at night, so a normal wait for Splash Mountain might take 2 hours, but at night you might only wait ten minutes. I understand that staying late might be difficult for families with young children, but if you can manage it, then I highly suggest you do it. Thanks to Heather G. for this tip!
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