When You Wish Upon a Star: 10 Disney World Tips for Your Next Vacation

Planning your trip to Disney should be as magical as the park itself. With that in mind, following a set of Disney World tips is necessary for ensuring that you get the most out of your vacation. 

Since its reopening last Spring, Walt Disney World requires guests to follow a new set of COVID-19 guidelines. Follow along with this guide to learn how to plan the perfect trip while adhering to the new park protocols!

1. Selecting a Date

The most important Walt Disney World tips consist of steps to take before arriving at the park. Selecting an arrival and departure date may seem simple, however, your park experience will differ depending on when you visit.

Unless you’re visiting the park for a special occasion it is recommended that you book during the slow season. This period is between January and February however due to COVID-19 you may be better off waiting until September. 

Slower season times reflect data collected pre-pandemic and may not be the same following the park’s reopening. Also, the park has implemented guest limits so you might have to wait a bit longer to obtain your tickets. 

2. Snacks and Meals

A good way to get the most out of your food budget is by finding snack deals throughout the park. One of the best deals is the refillable popcorn bucket. Simply buy a bucket on your first day and refill it whenever for $1.50.

Also, it is recommended that you make reservations for specific restaurants 60 days beforehand. Disney’s reopening has sparked great interest and saving your spot has become more challenging than ever before.  

For families, be sure to check out Garden Grill in EPCOT or Hollywood and Vine in Hollywood Studios for character-filled meals. As a new guideline, mask-wearing is required in most areas besides eating and drinking in the park. 

3. Packing

There is nothing worse than arriving at your destination only to find out you forgot your most important items at home. To get the most out of your trip, we recommend that you pack items such as: 

  • Portable charger
  • Camera
  • Compact umbrella
  • Parade blanket
  • Hand sanitizer/wipes
  • Travel backpack

Of course, you can always add to this list as you see fit. Packing a stroller is also a must-bring item for families with young children. 

4. Resorts 

Due to the modified restrictions around park-hopping during COVID-19, you may be spending more time at your resort. For this reason, you should spend a considerable amount of time researching where you and your family stay.

Finding a resort that is open and suits your family’s needs may not be that easy. Some sites may offer you discounts to better help you budget for the rest of your trip. One notable example is the Grand Floridian resale site. 

Be sure to consider factors like resort dining. Some resorts provide kitchens for you to cook yourself while others offer on-site restaurants. 

5. Car Rentals

One of the most underrated Disney World tips and tricks is to consider renting a car regardless of when you visit. Normally, Disney provides public transit throughout the park to help minimize walking distances. 

During COVID-19, you may want to avoid confined spaces and rent a car instead. These eliminate the worry of social distancing with others while helping you get to your location faster.

6. Shopping

Many people don’t know that you can get items shipped directly to your resort while shopping throughout the day. This is a great feature that the park has as it eliminates the stress of carrying your parcels throughout the park. 

As of right now, this service is delayed and your packages may take a few days to arrive at your resort. With that said, Disney World has begun testing a new mobile checkout to ease customer’s experiences during the pandemic. 

Stock availability changes rapidly as the park sees thousands of guests every day. If you see something you like, get it then and there or risk missing out on it altogether.

7. Park Hours

Disney World has a history of changing their hours often. For this reason, you should always check each area’s opening and closing hours before starting your daily trek across the parks. 

Park hours in each area vary much more during the pandemic to limit the amount of exposure among guests. For example, EPCOT is open from 11 AM to 9 PM whereas the Magic Kindom Park is open from 9 AM to 10 PM. 

For maximum fun, it is recommended that you make daily schedules that are unique to your family. In doing this, you can ensure that each member can enjoy time at their favorite location without worrying about closing hours.

8. Attractions 

When you arrive at the park be sure to download the My Disney Experience App on your phone. This app tells you approximate waiting times for each ride to help you better plan your day. 

More often than not, the posted waiting time on the app is longer than the actual waiting period. Also, Disney has started using Rider Switch– a new way of waiting in line that saves you time.

This program lets one adult wait in line with a non-riding guest while others in their party board the ride. Once the first party has enjoyed the attraction, the adults may switch places in line. 

Disney World began implementing this method to help you avoid waiting in line twice. For families with small children, this may be a great option.

9. FastPass

One major difference in visiting the park during the pandemic is that the FastPass will not be an option when purchasing tickets. The park is set to release updates on this feature once the pandemic conditions improve. 

10. Queue Etiquette 

Standing in line for your favorite ride or food vendor may take a bit longer than you’d typically expect. To comply with park guidelines, you should expect to line up 6 feet apart in any queue you come across. 

Also, many queues are typically enclosed and have coverings over them. Due to COVID-19, these enclosures have been removed and guests are expected to line up outside under umbrellas. 

Be sure to dress for the weather and bring the appropriate equipment to ensure your day isn’t ruined by the forecast. Sunscreen or umbrellas are just a few things you may consider bringing. 

Disney World Tips for the Whole Family

Using these Disney World tips, you can start planning your vacation of a lifetime. Although it may not be a traditional park experience, you and your family can still enjoy your time while remaining safe.  For more vacation planning tips, feel free to check out the travel section of our site.

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