Walt Disney World® Vacation Tips

Our travel agents and travelers are sharing some of their best Walt Disney World Vacation tips with you!  We want you to have a great experience at Walt Disney World, so we’re starting you off with some of our best Disney tips.  Call a travel agent specializing in Disney Vacations to help plan your getaway and get even more of our insider tips!

Vacation Tips

It’s definitely important to book the free dining offer as early as possible if you’re interested.   This offer has only been available about a week and there are already dates sold out, especially for moderate resorts.Soarin’ at EPCOT and Toy Story Mania at Hollywood Studios are super popular and if you want to do a fast past for those rides, get there before 11 am or they are gone for the day and then you will have to wait in a long line.
Marisa Pifher, Travel Agent
The My Disney Experience Smartphone/Tablet application is so great!  It syncs to your online profile you’ll make, offers maps with GPS, show times and lists, wait times, character locations and more. 
Kim Roethel, Travel Agent

Best place to pack a fancy picnic basket: Gourmet Pantry at Downtown Disney Marketplace.

Traveling in September is one of the best times as you receive the perks of free dining, the lines are short for rides and the weather is superb compared to the heat of peak summer.

Go to the far end of the park or your favorite thrill ride first thing in the morning, and utilize the Fast Pass feature.  The fast pass allows you to get a return time pass to get right on the ride. Some of the more popular rides like Space Mountain do not open until later, so you can get your Fast Pass right away and then have the flexibility to come back later.

If you want any character meals, you HAVE to set that up ahead of time.
Marisa Pifher, Travel Agent

I highly recommend making your dining reservations as soon as possible.  I can recommend some of the most popular restaurants and character meals to reserve.

If you are traveling with children under five, I recommend taking along your own travel stroller.  You’ll want something that folds up quickly and conveniently as you get on and off shuttle buses.  We never worried about our stroller being parked in the designated areas as we explored rides and shows, and it was so much more convenient than renting one.  The Chico Travel Stroller was awesome.
-Katy Kegel, Senior Marketing Coordinator

If you stay on Disney property, and buy something in one of the park’s stores, you don’t have to lug it around.  The shop will deliver the package the same day to the gift shop area of your hotel.

Food and drinks can get expensive; when in the parks, bring an empty water bottle to fill up at the water fountains. Water is cold and free!
Dawn Zarnoth, Travel Agent

If you are using a stroller in the park, bring bright ribbons to attach or make your first purchase a balloon and tie it to the stroller.  This will make it easy to find the rest of the day.

There are four main theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot and Animal Kingdom).  I recommend a minimum of two days at Magic Kingdom to really experience the different areas.  We found that one day at the others worked well, but we could have always used more time!
-Katy Kegel, Senior Marketing Coordinator

In Epcot I love to do the walk up restaurants in the countries and sample some of the great foods!! We usually just eat our way through the countries.
Marisa Pifher, Travel Agent

You’ll find characters throughout the parks, both outside and in specific buildings.  The lines to meet the Princesses at Magic Kingdom can get long, so be sure you check the My Disney Experience App for locations and character times and meet the princesses early on.
-Katy Kegel, Senior Marketing Coordinator

There are some amazing activities at night at the parks, including Fireworks, Illuminations, and the Electric Parade, and Wishes Nighttime Spectacular at Magic Kingdom.  If you are traveling with younger children, I recommend getting a nap in, even if that means taking a 2-3 hour midday trip back to your hotel.  If you have the park hoppers this shouldn’t be a problem and makes for a nice evening when everyone is refreshed.
-Katy Kegel, Senior Marketing Coordinator

Splitting appetizers, entrée and desserts at Disney’s finer restaurants saves a huge amount of money and dining credits (if on Dining Plan).  The portions are usually large and you won’t need to worry about where to store leftovers.
Jennifer Skaar, Travel Agent

One of the best tables for viewing “Illuminations” is to sit on the outdoor terrace at the “Rose & Crown” Pub & Dining Room in the United Kingdom at Epcot.

Animal Kingdom is a relaxing park. Try and get there 15 minutes early before the park officially opens so you can get through the gates and then head straight back to the African Safari.  You’ll walk right through with minimal wait time and the animals are more active in the morning. Also, don’t miss the Lion King Show and be sure to take the kids on the train back to Rafiki’s area for a nice educational experience.
-Katy Kegel, E-Marketing Coordinator

Staying at a Disney Property really is so convenient when it comes to the bus transportation to and from the parks.
Lynn Timmers, Travel Agent

I would definitely recommend getting a park hopper pass opposed to the basic day pass. This is especially helpful when you have small children, offering flexibility.  The price difference is so minimal and then you don’t have the pressure of having to stay at park all day.