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Disney

Insider Tips

Insider Tips

There’s so much to pack into your trip to Walt Disney World, so we’ve pulled together a list of hints and tips; just some of the things we think you should know before you visit, that will help you make the most of your time away.

General

  • General – make sure you wear comfy shoes, there’s so much to see and do that you’ll do your best to fit it all in, on average you’ll walk between 5-10 miles a day.
  • General – make sure that you stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water. The heat and humidity can make children and adults overtired very quickly and with all the walking that you’ll be doing, plenty of fluids will aid tired legs.
  • General – during the summer months the rain hits Florida mainly in the afternoons, ponchos and umbrellas are available to buy whilst you’re there however they will be cheaper to buy here before you go.
  • General – if you don’t mind braving the showers in the afternoon, stick around the parks as most people run for cover which leaves smaller queues for your favourite rides.
  • General – pushchairs (strollers) are available to hire for your time in the parks for approximately £10 a day for a single, invaluable if you want to avoid the moans of tired children.
  • General – hidden Mickey’s are a great way for younger children to enjoy the magic. There are books and apps available to help you make the most of your time in the parks.
  • Parades/Shows – if getting to the front and finding the perfect spot to view the parades is important to you, remember you can use your FastPass+ to get priority access to the best viewing areas. Otherwise we recommend arriving approximately 30 minutes before the parade starts and find your spot along the route to ensure front row views. The earlier you get there the better views you’ll have.
  • Parades/Shows – second showings of shows and parades are much less busy and the viewing areas are less crowded, if you plan it well and get to the viewing areas early you can beat the crowds and avoid a restricted view.
  • MagicBandsMagicBands are waterproof so there is no need to remove these when you take a dip in a hotel pool or splash around in the water parks.
  • Dining – during meal times don’t use any of your snack credits to get a bottled drink (eg. coke or water) as you can get a drink from the ‘Fountain’ drinks dispenser which are unlimited and don’t use any of your dining credits.
  • Dining – whilst in the restaurants you can get cups of iced water for FREE if you ask the waiters, this saves you having to buy bottled water which can work out expensive.
  • FastPass – use your three FastPass+ choices in the morning, so that when you’re in the park you can visit the FastPass+ booths to make more selections for the afternoon.
  • FastPass – it is best to use your FastPass+ choices on attractions in the same area to ensure you have enough time to get to all of your options, with so many visitors and the heat it will take longer than you think to get around.
  • Queues – some attractions have single rider queues, if you don’t mind being separated from your group this is an easy way to avoid queuing for hours.

Parks

  • Magic Kingdom Park – ‘Wishes’ is a spectacular sound and light show projected onto the front of Cinderella’s Castle, Main Street is a great place to see this, however for something extra special head to California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Enjoy dinner before the show then watch the fireworks from their rooftop terrace, the view from there is unrivalled and will add a little extra magic to the whole experience.
  • Magic Kingdom ParkCasey’s Corner snack bar is a great place to grab a hot dog or some nachos before the parades start, there is an outdoor seating area where you can see the parades pass by but you must get there early to get a seat.
  • Magic Kingdom Park – the shops on Main Street are open an hour after the rides close so don’t waste your time shopping whilst the rides are open.
  • Magic Kingdom Park – opposite the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse is a small refreshment kiosk called Aloha Isle, it is one of only two places in Florida to have the famous Pineapple Dole Whip.
  • Magic Kingdom Park – arrive at the park entrance 15 minutes before the gates officially open to see Mickey and Minnie arrive by steam train above the entrance gate. They put on a little Welcome show with dancing and music. A nice way to start your day in the parks!
  • Magic Kingdom Park – don’t be in a hurry to leave after the park closes, every 30 minutes Cinderella’s Castle is lit up in a magical display of lights to the infamous Disney theme tune ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’. This is a perfect way to end your day in the park and a great photo opportunity.
  • Magic Kingdom Park – book a table at the Plaza Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom for the best view of Tinkerbell lighting up Cinderella’s Castle. Spoiler alert – look for the wire that Tinkerbell flies down and if you sit below or near this you’ll get a spectacular view.
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park – Expedition Everest located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, FastPass+ this roller coaster in the morning as this is one of the first rides to close when the weather gets bad.
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park – as soon as the park opens head straight for the Kilimanjaro Safari tours, the animals are more likely to be seen on your tour before they all take cover from the midday sun.
  • Disney Hollywood Studios – Fantasmic is one of Disney’s most popular shows, and with over 20,000 spaces available to view this, using your FastPass+ is essential to guarantee entry. There are two showings of this, as with all Disney shows, the second is less busy. It is important to note that as the amphitheatre is outdoors the show can be cancelled due to bad weather.
  • Epcot – if you’re thirsty Club Cool (sponsored by Coca Cola) is the place to go to sample a range of soft drinks from around the world, and what makes the experience even better is that all the drinks are FREE!
  • Water parks – due to Florida’s tropical climate the afternoons can see storms moving across the state. To avoid these the rain and make the most of the warm weather, lots of people plan to visit the waterparks in the morning.
  • Water parksDisney’s Blizzard Beach – there are plenty of fun group slides to enjoy. Top tip – take the chairlift in the single riders’ queue and wait for your friends at the top, rather than joining the long queue for Group riders.

Character Experiences

  • If you don’t fancy trawling through all four parks to find your favourite Disney princess, go straight to the Princess Fairytale Hall in the Magic Kingdom Park. One ‘meet and greet’ venue that hosts some of the most popular princesses all in one place.
  • Look for the pay phones dotted around Tomorrowland or in the hat shop on Main Street, Magic Kingdom Park. If you pick up the handset you’ll be able to hear Disney characters having their own conversation.
  • Book a Disney character wake-up call whilst staying at one of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels. What better way to start the day than by being woken up by a call from your favourite Disney character.
  • If there is a particular character that you want to see but keep missing, find a cast member either in the parks or at the hotels. They have a specific number that they can call to find the character you are looking for and will point you in the right direction.
  • ‘Meet and greet’s are meant to be fun, don’t forget to interact with the characters. Top of most people’s lists when they meet a Disney character is to get them to sign their autograph books (these can be bought in the parks), however they will also sign clothing, provided you are not wearing it at the time. Hats are a popular choice and make great souvenirs.
  • Character ‘meet and greets’ take place in all parks at various times and places, their timetable changes each week so when you arrive make sure you grab a leaflet to ensure you know where to go when.
  • As you would expect meeting the Disney characters is high on most visitors to do list so our top tip is to avoid the most popular character spots in the Magic Kingdom Park and head to Epcot. The ‘meet and greets’ are still popular here but some of the characters are indoors (where it’s air-conditioned) whilst the ones outside are in shaded areas away from the Florida sun.

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