We all have a child within us. And that child loves Disney. And that child who loves Disney want to share adventures with their own children, grandchildren, nieces, etc. It can bleed your cashflow, so here some tips for you to optimise those hard-earned money when you visit Disneyworld.
These tips are based on my own experiences on several trips to both Disneyland in Los Angeles and Disneyworld in Florida. However, most of these are applicable to Disneyworld. Some things may change and would appreciate it if you drop me a line should you encounter these changes.
1 Disney is strict with their ticket prices. I have heard from others who have bought “highly discounted” Disneyworld tickets only to find out they have been ripped off. As the saying goes, “if it is too good to be true….”. Disney does not normally discount their tickets.
2 Download the Disney app. Do take some time before the trip to test it so that you don’t use your precious time inside the park trying to figure it out. The app gives you a lot of information. One of them is giving you up-to-date waiting times on all attractions.
3 Get the Disney Max Pass. As of writing it costs USD 15 per day per ticket. With this one, you can make fast pass selections on your smart phone. Get your fast passes early.
All of your pictures that Disney photographers take will be also be available for you to download within a time frame.
4 If you have girls in your group, make fast passes to see the princesses. They then get to also have their pictures taken. You can of course see them during the parade.
5 For the boys in the group, they would love the Jedi Training. It is in Tomorrowland and if you can’t find it, there are a lot of Disney Cast member walking around ready to help you. If they are lucky, they may be chosen for the Jedi training class.
6 Use the Rider Switch service whenever you can. Time saving for adults who need to take turns waiting for youngsters and children who are unable to ride.
7 Go early. Disneyworld opens at 09:00 am, but you can already drive in earlier at the parking lot. Parking lot opens at 08:00 am. Trust me, it is worth it. You get most out of your day and you get to park closer to the entrance.
8 Take a picture of where you parked your car. After a hectic day, it is not easy to remember where you have parked. I have seen families using a lot of time trying to look for their cars.
9 Wherever you park your car, just let it stay there the whole day. If you want to transfer to Epcot, take the monorail inside the park. If you drive your car to Epcot, you have to pay another parking fee. The monorail, on the other hand, is free.
10 There are refillable water stations all over Disneyworld. Buying drinks inside the park is expensive. Filling your water bottle is free. And you are going to be thirsty the whole day so save up on those drinks.
11 Make space for breaks and rest. A great way to do this is taking the slow steam boat. Just sit and relax. Or if you are lucky, on one of the benches inside the park.
12 Star Wars just opened this year (2019) and it is jam-packed. If you arrive early, do this first to avoid the crowds later in the day.
13 If parades are not your thing, go on rides while it is going on. There is no or very little lines on most rides.
14 If you are from a country that has a pavillion at Disneyworld, then you can skip the line and enter the pavillion right away. Just tell one of the Cast Members.
15 Space Mountain is popular for the bigger ones in the group. However, not everyone wants to ride it. They have a “single rider line” and you can get done in around 20 minutes, including the ride itself.
16 If it is your first visit to Disneyworld, drop by city hall as soon as you get into the park. You will be given a badge that says it is your first time. Cast members who see you might give you some surprises throughout the day if they see your badge.
17 If you buy something at the shops in Disneyworld, you can have your purchases sent to the Package Handling Counter at the front of the park. Just don’t forget to pick them up when you leave.
18 Whatever the forecast, bring your own cheap rain poncho or umbrella. It is very expensive to buy ponchos and umbrellas inside the park.
19 Disney with family means pictures and videos. And with the MaxPass and Disney app, your smartphone’s battery will be drained in no time. Bring portable charger or extra battery packs.
20 If you do not get the MaxPass, you may want to assign one member of the family to get those fast passes. You only need one person to do this.
21 Have an open mind and enjoy the day. There will be long lines, there will be whining. But just take everything with a grain of salt and have fun.
Keep on travelling!