Here's How To Plan the *Perfect* Disney Trip

Planning a trip to Walt Disney World can be very stressful. Visitors spend the day waiting in lines for rides, more lines for food, and more lines for meeting characters. Not only that, but Disney is expensive.

I have been going to Disney for years- I love it there! The place is truly magical, and I take up any opportunity I can to go to the parks. With that said, I have learned plenty of tips and tricks to planning the most successful trip ever.

(Gif Credit: Giphy) ​

#1 Book Your Fastpass+!

FastPass+ is a free service that Disney included in your ticket price. You can book up to 3 FastPass+ tickets in a day; they are “tickets” that place you in a separate line from the standard queue (typically, the line is shorter, getting you to the attraction quicker!). A FastPass+ can be booked for rides, shows, or character meet-and-greets. If you are staying on Disney property, you can book your FastPass+ 60 days before your trip. If you are not staying on property, you can book in 30 days. 

My tip: I have two vital tips for booking a FastPass+ on my Disney trips. The first is to book all your FastPass+ as early as possible! Yes, it may leave you running around the park if you don’t strategize the attractions you choose, but once you use up all three, you can book another FastPass+! Once you use up the first one, you can continue to book another FastPass+ anywhere in the park! On a trip to Magic Kingdom, I did this trick and waited in the standard line for only two rides (only because they were a 10 minute wait!) and everything else was scanned with a FastPass+! This is probably the most important trick you can take away from my list- book your FastPass+ attractions!

 

 

(Image Credit: Emma Delamo)

#2 Stop Waiting in Line for Food

Disney has introduced mobile food and beverage ordering to its app recently. The app allows you to order food, drinks, and snacks from various restaurants in the Disney park. You will get a notification of when your food is ready to get picked up and you save yourself so much time from waiting in line (and in Disney, time is money). Save some time and order online- you get to browse the menu with ease and order food from anywhere in the park (if you order early enough, your food will be ready by the time you get there).

My tip: If you are paying with a card or have a dining plan, try online mobile food and beverage ordering! In Hollywood Studios, I went to get lunch at Woody’s Lunchbox, a small restaurant inside the crowded and popular Toy Story Land. The restaurant was packed! By online ordering, we were able to wait for a table and sit while we waited for our food instead of standing by with trays of food looking for an empty table that just wouldn’t open up.

 

(Image Credit: Disney Food Blog)

#3 Think About Buying a MagicBand

A MagicBand is a device that makes your Disney trip 100% easier. They’re relatively cheap (a plain band is $14.99, designs are $24.99+) or they are a part of your package if you are staying on Disney property. They also sell lanyard pieces if you’d rather clip your band to your bag instead of wearing it on your wrist. A MagicBand is literally the golden key to your Disney trip, just look at everything it does:

  • The key to your Disney resort hotel room

  • Holds your theme park admission ticket 

  • Holds your FastPass+ entrances

  • Connects with Disney PhotoPass, an additional photo service at Disney World

  • Links your Disney Dining Plan, credit, or debit card so you can purchase without having to take your wallet

My tip: Buy a MagicBand! They’re extremely beneficial because you don’t have to worry about taking out your wallet or fear about losing your Disney ticket (which not only grants you admission to the park, but holds your FastPass+ too). They’re also reusable because once you link them to your Walt Disney World account, it’s linked forever! Don’t worry about losing your band either; they can be deactivated on the Disney app if you do.

(Image Credit: Emma Delamo)

#4 Download the My Disney Experience App

Ah, the My Disney Experience app is the backbone to a successful Disney trip. This app truly has it all: an interactive map of the park, wait times for park attractions, mobile food and beverage ordering, FastPass+ selections, and so much more. Without this app, nothing would be possible! 

My tip: Download the My Disney Experience app before your trip. I recommend before you book your FastPass+ tickets. Look at the parks on the day you plan to go (so if you want to go to Magic Kingdom on a Thursday, check the park on a Thursday). The wait times will give you a rough estimate of how busy the park will be. You can also serarch “Orlando Wait Time Calendar” online, which will give you another estimate. See the attractions that have the higher wait times and book your (early!) FastPass+ for those. I did this for my trip to Animal Kingdom and only waited an hour and a half for Flight of Passage (without a FastPass+, sadly), the park’s most popular ride, which averages at about a 2-3 hour wait!

 

(Image Credit: Disney in App Store)

#5 Consider an Special Event Ticket

If you think you’ve never heard of a special event ticket at Disney, you surely have: Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Disney Villains After Hours, or the After Hours Events at each park. These are events that are sold with seperate tickets; in other words, your standard theme park admission won’t cover these. The events are at night and have lower crowd levels because they are not standard tickets.

My Tip: You can get into the park earlier than the ticket says! For Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) in 2018, my ticket said the event begins at 7 PM. However, guests are allowed to enter the park for MNSSHP at 4 PM. That’s a whole three hours early! It gets better… since the event is not officially beginning until 7, you can book FastPass+ until 7 (FastPass+ are not allowed in the event because the crowd levels are much shorter)! Get there early, book your FastPass+, and skip those lines!

(Image Credit: Emma Delamo)

My list can go on and on, but I believe these five tips will get you the most out of your Disney trip. I have tons of fun when I get to go to the parks, and the trip is just what it needs to be- fun and stress-free!

(Image Credit: Giphy)