Hey guys. My name is Allison. Big shout out to Lindsay for letting me be a guest blogger on her page. I am very excited to share my tips and tricks for Walt Disney World. But first, a little something about me. Here is my life in a nutshell….
allison caldarone. twenty-seven. new homeowner. teacher.
part time youtuber (@themissalliecakes).
professional taco taster. donut enthusiast. lover of all things disney
allergic to caffeine. future wife of mr. johnny depp.
loves running…. to the store to buy cookies. high on happiness.
and without further ado… here are my tips and tricks for Walt Disney World
How to Disney World: Tips & Tricks 2015
#1 – Where to stay: One of the first things to consider when planning a trip to Walt Disney World, is where to stay. There are really two options. You can stay off site, or you can stay on site. If you stay off site, the hotels are typically cheaper, but you will not have access to as many amenities as guests who stay on site, and you will have to find your own transportation to and from the parks. If you stay on site, Disney World has hotels to fit every budget and family size. By staying on the Walt Disney World ground, you have access to extra magic hours, the Disney Dining Plan, complementary transportation to and from the airport, complimentary magic bands, and early access to booking dining reservations as well as fastpass+ reservations. Also, if you buy anything from the parks or surrounding Disney World areas, cast members will send your goods straight to your hotel, so you won’t have to worry about lugging around heavy bags all day. If you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World in the near future, make sure to check out the Disney Deals on their websites. Disney is always running specials ranging from 15%-30% off of their rooms per night to free dining plans for the length of your stay. It’s an amazing way to save buck or two.
#2 When to go: This is a very tough question to answer because I am a teacher and there are only certain times I can visit each year (Christmas Vacation, February Vacation, April Vacation or Summer Break). Each of those times are peak visiting times for Disney, so it tends to be over-crowded and potentially hot and humid if you visit during the summer months. I have never been to Disney World during their off season but it has been said that September and May are their best months to visit, for they are the least crowded and the Disney deals offered are the best.
#3 Get familiar with the parks. Once you have your hotel reservations booked. The next thing to ask yourself is which parks you plan on visiting during your stay at Disney World. Are you going to only one park, all four parks, two parks a day, etc.? Once you map out which parks you plan on going to, go to the Disney world website (https://disneyworld.disney.go.com) or download their free “My Disney Experience” app from the app store. Both website and app will allow you to explore each park, and will keep you up to date with all of the attractions in each park, where to meet the characters, dining, entertainment, and events/tours. They even have an interactive map that you can browse of each park before your magical stay. Being familiar with the parks can save you a lot of time and frustration.
*In my personal opinion, you want to spend the most days at Magic Kingdom. If I am going to Disney World for an extended period of time I like to spend 2+ days at Magic Kingdom, 2 days at Epcot and at least one day at both Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom.*
#4 When to get to the parks: I always suggest getting to the parks right for opening. Along with a wonderful pre-opening show done by the cast members and characters, you will also be able to bang out a couple of the more popular rides with a much shorter wait time. I also suggest if you are staying on site for an extended amount of time, use the afternoon to go back to the hotel and rest for a bit if you’re feeling overtired. Then come back to the park feeling refreshed and ready for the parades and nighttime festivities.
#5 Disney Dining Plan: Being a foodie, eating at Disney World is one of my favorite things to do. But it can get quite pricey. That’s why I suggest doing the Disney Dining Plan. The dining plan can be used at over 100 selected restaurants across Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts. They even have different plans to accommodate your budget. They have a “Quick Service Dining Plan” (two quick service meals & a snack per day), a “Disney Dining Plan” (one quick service, one snack & one table service per day), and a “Deluxe Dining Plan” (three meals & one snack per day). Dining plans are pre-paid before your vacation. All you have to do is leave a tip. My biggest suggestion when it comes to dining is to make your reservations as soon as you book your room. Dining at Disney is very popular and some of the more admired restaurants, such as Be Our Guest and Cinderella’s Royal Table, should be reserved as far as 180 days in advance.
#6 FastPass+: Along with booking your dining reservations in advance, book your fastpasses as soon as your window opens. If you are staying on site, you can book your fastpass+ selections 60 days in advance. Make sure to make this a priority when planning, as many of the popular rides will book up on the specific day you are staying.
#7 Single Rider Lines: If you don’t mind making a new friend, select the single rider line. Many rides at Walt Disney World offer a single rider line. Taking advantage of these lines could cut your wait time in half; if not more. Here’s a little tip… if you’re with a group of people and you all go in the single rider line, odds are you will be placed on the ride with at least one member of your group. Single rider lines are an amazing way to get a little more bang for your buck.
#8 Have a Plan: Okay, so this might just be the teacher in me, but I love making excel sheets. Something that has been very beneficial to me is having a plan and sticking to it. Once my resort is booked and all of my dining/fastpasses have been reserved, I go to good ole’ trusty Microsoft Excel and I map out my whole vacation. I even get down with color-coding each park. I find this to be the most organized blueprint of my whole magical stay and helps me make the most out of my trip.
This is the end of Part 1 of my Disney Tips and Tricks. Please stay tuned for Part 2 where I list my last 8 suggestions tips and tricks to making the most of your magical stay. I really hope this article was helpful. I appreciate you checking it out. I thank you for reading and I hope you are having a beautiful day. Below is the link to the youtube video I made on this subject, if you’re interested in checking it out. Thank you all so much again.
AWESOME tips and tricks–Allison is totally making me want to drag my boyfriend on a trip to Disney now!! Although if you knew my boyfriend you’d know he’d never go for that, but that’s another story. I seriously enjoyed reading about these suggestions and I am really digging the whole “Disney Dining Plan” sounds like college but wayyy better. Thank you so much Allison–can’t wait to read part 2!