"D" is for Disney World: Tips and Tricks

When planning a trip to Disney World, it pays to do your research ahead of time. From finding the best time to go there to learning about the little hidden things around Disney that most people might not know about that can save you time AND money!

Disney World Tips and Tricks for Inexpensive Trip

We have taken our children to Walt Disney World (WDW) 4 times over the last 12 years. We've flown, we've drove, taken babies & older kids, I've been pregnant, we traveled with others, etc. In fact, our last trip to WDW, we didn't tell the kids we were going to Disney until we were at the airport! They first thought we were driving to the Outer Banks, then when we pulled into the airport they thought we were flying there until I had to put the Disney luggage tags on and the secret was out!

So I thought I'd share a few things I've learned over the years:

-September is the best time to go to WDW as it is the slowest time of the year so often Disney offers great deals (like FREE dining which we've gotten on our last 2 trips), hardly any lines as crowd level is at the all-time lowest since everyone is back in school (another perk to homeschooling, we can vacation whenever) and the weather is still warm enough to enjoy the water parks.

-You can request FREE customized maps of the park that you can highlight certain attractions you want to hit.

-Cast members will use your own camera to take photos with the characters or anywhere at Disney you want a group shot (so you can avoid buying the expensive photos they take). Just ask them as they are more than willing.

-You can take food & drink into the parks with you, just no glass containers. You can also ask for a cup of ice water at any of the counter service restaurants (for free!)

-In Animal Kingdom, watch for the walking tree DiVine & the talking bushes Herb & Flora on the way to camp Minnie Mickey as well as Push the walking/talking trash can in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom who will all interact with you. 

-Pick up some cheap ponchos to take with you. A short-lived rain shower almost inevitably pops up during your time there. Many people up and leave the parks but with a poncho you are good to go (plus you can avoid buying their overpriced poncho's).

-Stop at Club Cool while in Epcot for FREE samples of 8 different Coke products from around the world. Make sure you try the Beverly flavor!

-When in Epcot, there are some old school phones located outside the UK & Canada in the world showcase. They are actually working phones you can call. We stood a little bit away from them when we were there and called them to see who would pick up the phone. We had a lot of fun with this!! (you can even call the phones if you aren't at Disney).
U.K. Phone Booths
Right Booth:407-827-9861
Left Booth- 407-827-9862
Center Booth-407-827-9863

Canada Phone Booth

-While going around Epcot, check out the Kidcot Stations for free crafts & stamps for the kids.

-If you take a stroller, make sure you have something on it that stands out so you can pick it out of a sea of strollers (could be something you tie to a handle, hang a bright sign off of it, etc). Many times the cast members move or rearrange strollers while you are on a ride so having something easy to identify your stroller comes in handy.

-If you arrive at Magic Kingdom when it opens for the day, hop the train and get off at Frontierland. You'll beat the masses that start out at the front (plus the mountain rides can end up with longer wait times depending when you go.)

-If you arrive at Hollywood Studios when it opens, head to the Buzz Lightyear ride first. You could even snag a fastpass before getting on if you want to ride a second time as fastpasses are known to be taken pretty quickly.

-Use Child Swap on rides some of the littlest ones can't go on.

-If you are staying at one of the Disney resorts, when you book your reservation, you can make note of any special requests (like a certain building or staying on the 1st floor especially if you have a stroller). They do their best to accommodate your requests. Also make note of any special days you are celebrating (birthdays, anniversary, etc). Sometime they are known to pull some special surprises (not always, but you never know!)

These are obviously just a few of my tips as I have quite a few I could share. One way I kept our trips organized is I used a notebook and at the top of the page I would write the date (used one page per day we were at Disney). About 3 months prior to your trip, you can find out what shows & fireworks are on what days (they don't do them every day) as well as the hours the parks are open & when they close. You can also see crowd level predictions for certains days as well. From there, I roughly plan what park (or parks if we are hopping) we will go to on each day. I would write that in my notebook along with anything else I needed to keep track of each day such as certain shows & their times we wanted to see, restaurant reservations (which should be made 180 days prior for best time selection). This helped me keep things organized and even though we planned ahead of time what parks we were hitting when, it still was very much a laid back trip.

If you've been to Disney World, what are some of your favorite tips? If you have any questions about Disney, leave them in the comments below and I'll be sure to answer!

Here's a video I put together of our  Disney trip in 2009


  1. Thanks for these tips. We are planning a trip to Disney at the end of August.


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