Disney Park Tips You Need to Know – September 2018
When you go to a Disney theme park for the first time, you’re visiting a whole new world, as the song says. You need every bit of advice you can get so that you’re better prepared. And even if you’ve visited several times, there are still a few things you may not know. Here are six Disney park tips that should help you on your next vacation!
Some people simply aren’t planners, and I get that. In fact, I’m one of you in a lot of ways. A trip to Disney requires a bit of strategy, though. You’re going on a vacation that will cost some money, and you want it to be worth the investment. Should you choose to show up without doing any research, however, you’re not going to have the best possible time. You need to do a bit of homework, and reading MickeyBlog each day is a great start.
You should learn which rides appeal the most to you and the other members of your traveling party. If someone you love is a big fan of puns, they’ll want to take a ride on Jungle Cruise. Fantasy story lovers can step into the pages of their favorite fairy tale at Enchanted Tales with Belle. Animal lovers will feel transfixed by Kilimanjaro Safaris. Do a bit of research to decide which rides work best for you and yours.
Also, investigate the best reviewed attractions at Walt Disney World. You never know when something might pleasantly surprise you. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is a wonderful example of a conventional ride concept, the drop tower, elevated to unprecedented heights thanks to the genius of Imagineering. And Expedition Everest will force you to reconsider your opinion of Disney as the home of family rides only.
Start Early or Stay Late or Both!
Are you a morning person or a night owl? My wife is the former, while I’m the latter, which is probably why our relationship works so well. We both have our alone time when the other one is asleep. At Walt Disney World, we face the same challenges as everyone else. We must decide how to approach the parks.
Based on a (wildly excessive amount of) personal experience, here’s what I’ve noticed. The parks tend to start slowly during the morning, eventually reaching their largest traffic levels early in the afternoon. Yes, the time when the parks are hottest is also when they’re the most crowded. You don’t want to be bumping into other guests at these times, but a great park strategy helps you avoid this fate.
Arrive at your morning theme park about 15 minutes prior to its opening. You can participate in Rope Drop to get in an E-Ticket attraction ride at the start of the day. More importantly, you’ll have the edge on later guests. You’ll get to see and do more things due to lower crowd volumes during the early morning period. By the time everyone else is arriving, you’re ready for lunch, a break, or a change of venues.
The corollary to this strategy takes place at night. Not everyone is nocturnal by nature. Many park guests get tired and turn in early, heading back to the hotel to relax after a full day. As closing time approaches, you’ll notice the same phenomenon of thinner crowds. Take this opportunity to ride anything that you haven’t done yet. Alternately, get back in line for your favorites throughout the day.
While I’m not saying my strategy will work for everyone, my wife and I are ambitious. We arrive at park opening AND stay until park closing. We get our money’s worth when we visit a Disney theme park. If you have that type of stamina and determination, you’ll maximize your park time and ride quota. The only downside is that you’ll feel like a zombie for a week after you return from vacation.
Outsmart the Crowds with Mobile Ordering
Have you used mobile ordering at a place like Chick-Fil-A, McDonald’s, or WhichWich? All of these fast food restaurants have gotten ahead of the curve by adding this clever piece of technology. No matter where you are, you can pull out your smartphone and order your next meal. Then, you can skip the line at the restaurant and head straight to the pick-up counter to grab your food.
Disney’s always investigating emerging technologies. They appreciated the value of Mobile Ordering as a concept and implemented it at Walt Disney World last year. When you use this feature, you can save a massive amount of time at the parks. Ordering line queues at Quick Service park restaurants are frequently mobbed. With Mobile Ordering, you sidestep this aggravation.
Thanks to the technology in place, Disney will notify you when your food is ready. You can even control the timing on the start of food preparation. By using Mobile Ordering twice a day during your park visits, you’ll save yourself as much as an hour of waiting in lines and for food to be made. That’s another two or three attractions you’ll get to do instead!
Save Money on Merchandise!
When you’re at the parks, you’re going to spend money. That’s the reality of the situation. You don’t have to spend all of your money, though. Even better, there are ways to stretch your vacation budget that you may not even realize.
The merchandise retailers at Disney’s parks sell their goods at a high mark-up. Let’s be honest. Most of us happily pay it since the products are all so adorable. Savvy shoppers know that they can do a bit better, though. Disney owns and operates a pair of merchandise outlets in Orlando, too. At these stores, you’ll discover huge savings on discontinued and overstocked Disney products. They’re the same items you just saw in the parks, only they’re a fraction of the cost!
One of the Disney Character Outlet stores is at 4969 International Drive. The other is at 8200 Vineland Ave #1252. Both places are at outlet strips, the Orlando International Premium Outlets and the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets. You can grab an Uber for a few dollars and then save a ton of money on Disney gear.
Our friend Jenna from ResortTV1 frequently visits the outlet. You can see some of the less expensive merchandise in this video. The eye-catching part is that some of the products are from international parks like Disneyland Shanghai! You’re not just saving money at these goods; you’re also getting access to items that are unavailable in the American parks.
Save Time at the Security Line
Disney has safety measures in place at all of their parks. You’ll have to pass a checkpoint in order to enter your destination. It’s for your protection, and it keeps the Happiest Place on Earth as one of the safest places on the planet. You can save yourself some time and aggravation by preparing.
At the security entrance, Disney will check your purse, backpack, and other large items. They may check your clothing if you have weird bulges anywhere. And you’ll have to pass through a metal detector. Plan for this. Pack light for the parks when possible. Thanks to the Magic Band technology, you legitimately can get away with a minimalist approach.
A smartphone, a charger, and some personal identification are enough for some. Parents and guests with special circumstances will need more stuff, obviously. No matter how much you’re carrying, be prepared to clean out your pockets and walk through the metal detector.
Also, you should understand that random screenings are a possibility to the point that if you visit for several straight days, odds are good that you’ll experience one. It’ll slow you down a bit, but it’s a couple of extra minutes in exchange for total park safety. Disney’s phenomenal about protecting its guests.
Use an Official Disney Travel Agent
Every customer has the same goals. You want to spend the least amount of money to buy the best possible goods. A Disney vacation is an esoteric exercise that requires a great deal of attention to detail. Some people, Disney travel agents, specialize in this field, and their knowledge will help you to maximize your investment.
What would you pay for such services? Well, I can guarantee that the price is right, because our recommended agency, Mickey Travels, is FREE to you! You can lean on their expertise with these and other Disney park tips, and save a great deal of money in the process.