Last year Mallory, at Style Your Senses, and I paired up and wrote a post all about Disney World tips. Well, I wanted to refresh it a little bit and add some links for some products that my clients and I think are particularly helpful.
1. Make sure you have the My Disney Experience App on your phone.
That way Park info and hours, wait times for rides and shows, and your reservations and FastPasses are all in one place.
2. Order things to be delivered while you are down there from Amazon Prime or Instacart.
This is a great way to not have to pack too much especially if you are flying. Things to order- diapers, wipes, sunscreen, bottled water, milk, snacks and breakfast bars. We ordered La Croix, Kombucha, Wine for the room, Perfect Bars, Organic Milk Boxes and of course bottle water. We were finishing up at Universal and heading to Disney when I placed my order. When we checked into our resort- BOOM- everything was there waiting for us. It was beyond helpful!
3. Be sure to take a soft-sided cooler to take to the parks for bottles of water.
Water is expensive in the parks and you will be thirsty! Here’s the one we took.
4. Take or rent a stroller even if your kids are older.
It’s a great place for the kids to rest and store things for your day at the park. We put our cooler with bottled waters in the storage basket underneath along with sunscreen and a change of clothes for Hollins. We usually take ours but this year I decided to rent one so we didn’t have to take one on the plane.
It was delivered to our hotel and was waiting for us when we arrived. We used Orlando Stroller Rentals because that’s who my sister used for their trip. I also attach something to my stroller that will stand out in the sea of endless strollers parked in Disney.
5. Comfortable (and already broken-in ones) shoes- for the whole family!
This should be a given but you’d be surprised at the number of people that think wearing new shoes for a full day at Disney is great way to break them in.
Also, inexpensive sunglasses for the whole family. Kids will lose them and you might too but if it’s bright and sunny you’ll need them all day, everyday!
6. Use the Rider Switch if you have young ones that either can’t or don’t want to ride certain rides.
Here’s the low-down on how to do it. Get your whole party in line. Once at the front, tell a cast member that you want to use the Rider Switch option. One parent and a child (or 2 children) ride the ride. Then, when the ride is over, the parent that has already rode takes the child that can’t ride and gets to get on the ride without going to the back of the line.
Check the Disney app for rides that have the Rider Switch option. We used it for the Tower of Terror this year. Nat and Hollins did not want to ride so they took us to a place (inside and air-conditioned!) to wait. Allen rode the ride then came got Nat and Hollins and they walked Jackson and I up to the front of the line to ride.
7. If your children want to dress up like a pirate or a princess, let them!
But be sure to pack a change of cool, comfortable clothes that you can keep in a bag underneath your stroller.
8. If you can, get a reservation for a character meal to meet your favorite Disney characters.
It’s great to not have to wait in a long line to meet them and your time can be spent riding rides or watching shows. It’s also a great way to squeeze in a bunch of characters at one time. Each meal usually has around 5 characters you can meet. We saw Minnie and Mickey at Chef Mickey which was great because the wait time to see Mickey in one park was 75 minutes!
9. Take a poncho.
This applies more to Universal rides but there are a couple of Disney one you could use a poncho on like Kali River Rapids in Animal Kingdom and Splash Mountain in Magic Kingdom.
10. I ordered the Memory Maker for the first time.
Each picture taken of you goes straight to your phone to be downloaded. This counts for pictures of you on rides, the pictures at some character meals and the iconic places you stop in Disney to have your picture taken by a cast member. It’s great because you can ALL be in the vacation pictures and mom or dad is always stuck behind the camera or phone. There are also fun spots that are magical and you will find different characters added to your special pictures.
11. Take portable chargers for phones or other devices you might need.
A full day out and about around Disney can drain a phone battery pretty quickly. And you’ll need that phone for pictures and your MDE App!
12. Take your ears!
As you’ll see in a lots of pictures, Hollins and I are wearing our Minnie Mouse ears. So, I checked online and in our Disney store before we left. I found our ears for $8.99 at our local store. I saw the exact same ones in the park for $24.99!
Ears (Currently online they are Buy one, Get one 50%)
13. Save a day or a half a day to utilize the pool at your resort.
Most of the pools are beautiful and geared towards children and relaxing for the adults. We went to Hollywoods Studios for the first half of the day then, came back, threw our suits on headed to the pool. Hollins was obsessed with the slide at Wilderness Lodge. I think she did it at least 25 times and we were only at the pools a couple of hours.
14. Watch the Happily Ever After Fireworks from somewhere other than inside Magic Kingdom.
I’m sure this a complete faux pas to say this but ugh… even my Disney-obsessed self can’t handle being inside MK when the fireworks start… or end. H-E-L-L on earth for me. Wall to wall people stepping over you, pushing and shoving etc…. So there are other places that we have found we like to watch. California Grill in the Contemporary is great one. You can eat and then watch from one of their many different spots inside or outside. Even if you dined with them earlier, they’ll give you something so that you can come back at firework time.
Your resort…. we’ve stayed at both the Contemporary and the Wilderness Lodge and I never gotten a “Theme Park” Room but we’ve been able to see most of the fireworks from our rooms/ balcony. The resorts play the music for the show too so you really get the whole experience. At the Contemporary, there are plenty of spots to watch the fireworks since MK is right there. At the Wilderness Lodge you can go down to the dock to watch them also. Check your resort to find out other great places to enjoy them without going into the park.
Cozy on our porch watching the fireworks!
15. Make your dining reservations 180 days out and your Fastpasses 60 days out (if staying on-property at a Disney resort).
Use a travel agent!! It doesn’t cost anymore (PROMISE!!!) than booking it yourself but it can be so helpful and they can handle the grunt work for you!
Stay tuned for packing tips and what I wore coming in the next post!