5 Things I Wish I Knew About Before Planning My Walt Disney World Trip

When you research/plan a trip to Disney World, the information on the web can be overwhelming. Blogs and YouTube channels want to spill their secrets. Many of the tips are great! But you will see the same ones repeated many times. These are the tips I wish people had told me before I had started planning my trip. 

However, if you are looking for some new tips, these may be a total game changer.

 Starting later this month at Disney�s Boardwalk Resort and Disney�s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts, the Minnie Van service is a whimsical, point-to-point transportation service that will help Guests get around Walt Disney World Resort in a jiffy. Guests can order their own private Disney vehicle right from their smartphone and a Disney Cast Member will drive them wherever they want to go around Walt Disney World. (David Roark, photographer)

Skip The Minnie Van

A lot of families love the Minnie Vans because they offer free and clean car seats. The price is costly. Considering  a Lyft fare is about $15 versus the Minnie Van which is typically $30.

If you are late for a character dining reservation and the bus line is long, sometimes the cost is worth it.

If you don’t have a car seat and need to use a rideshare, there is a hack. Order an inflatable booster seat from Amazon. You can inflate and deflate the seat and stow it in your stroller. This way you can use a regular Lyft which is a little cheaper than Uber.

If you have an infant, this won’t work! But for families with toddlers and children who must ride in booster seats this can save you a lot of money.

Take The Disney Vacation Club Tour On Arrival Day

I get it. No one enjoys a long sales pitch. Especially if it takes 60-90 minutes. However, the DVC offers a few amazing things like free AC. Cold drinks. Some offices have a playroom. And 3 free fast passes per family member who comes with you for the tour.

We all know how hard it is to snag certain Fast Passes. Sure you may lose an hour but in the long run you gain time back.

You can use the FastPasses on Flight of Passage a hard to snag a FastPass. Or Seven Dwarves Mine Train. Or Slinky Dog Dash.

I promise you at least one of your top choices for FastPass will never be available. So these little passes can save you 3-4 hours of time waiting in long lines. And they do not require you to join the Disney Vacation Club. The FastPasses are a gift for taking part in the tour. So why not?

Be Our Guest Restaurant

You Can Snag Hard to Get Dining Reservations

This one is not so new. I am sure there are Disney blogs telling you to be persistent. I get it you want to eat at Ohana or Be Our Guest but they are booked! Remember the odds are someone will cancel theirs.

Most of us plan 6 months in advance where we want to eat. A lot can change in 6 months. So check with the restaurant you want to dine at. I checked Ohana reservations twice a week and snagged mine this way.

The closer to you get to your arrival date check daily if needed.

At thirty days before arrival check once a day with my Disney experience and see if there is an opening. I have found checking late at night works best for me.

If that doesn’t work call Disney dining. Every single day. It’s a pain to do this daily but if you want to eat at Be Our Guest, then you have to be persistent.

I also have a post about visiting Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party without kids you can read here. I shared one of the easiest ways to snag a Be Our Guest reservation is to attend a hard ticketed event. Like MNSSHP or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and get a reservation during the party. You may miss about half an hour but it is worth it.

Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World

You Can Get Toy Story Land All To Yourself

Well, kind of. If you’re willing to pay. Disney Early Morning Magic is available at the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. Which means you get Fantasyland or Toy Story land all to yourself. Not really. But you understand what I mean.

The price is $69 for adults and $59 for children. Which can add up but you get all you can eat breakfast included in admission. You must have valid theme park admission for that day. If you plan, you can visit the entire park in once day thanks to the Early Morning Magic. 

This hard ticketed even lets you into the park an hour and a half before opening. Which means only guests who paid for the event are the only people in Toy Story Land. Moms in a huge Disney group I belong to raved about it. They could ride Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers 2-3 times each.

The price for Early Morning Magic is worth considering. You can ride some of the most popular rides a couple times before the park even opens. My plan is to wait until nine to eat breakfast as they only serve breakfast until 10 am.

As you know guests who make rope drop dash to Toy Story Land. The lines will still become a 20-30 plus minute wait.

This is a great way to enjoy Toy Story Land before it becomes hot and crowded. Not to mention you can save your FastPasses for other attractions. When securing FastPasses 60 or 30 days before your trip this can save you a lot of stress.

 Pictured: A scene from Avatar Flight of Passage, a 3-D thrilling adventure on Pandora � The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Avatar Flight of Passage offers guests the chance to connect with an avatar and soar on a banshee over Pandora. The journey begins in the queue, as guests get a peek inside a high-tech research lab to view an avatar still in its growth state inside an amnio tank. The room features charts and screens that show just how humans will "connect" with a fully developed avatar for their upcoming flight on a banshee. (Disney Handout)

Flight Of Passage Hack

This may or may not work. It depends on the Cast Members working the attraction. If you cannot secure a Flight of Passage FastPass and there are small children in your party, this hack may work. This is what I heard from several mom’s in my Disney groups.

Approach the standby line half an hour before closing. Bring your entire party. The Cast Member needs to verify you have a child who cannot ride. Ask the Cast Member for a rider switch you may get on almost right away.

Remember you need at least one child who won’t go on the ride. Someone has told me so close to closing some rider switch parties will be sent through the FastPass line. Several mothers in a Disney group I belong to said they got on the ride within 10 minutes. They had not planned this, and it was luck. However, I heard of this happening in several groups.

Remember this may not work but it’s worth trying.

I hope these tips help you plan your Walt Disney World Vacation and save you a lot of time and stress. Which tip did you find most helpful? Comment below.

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