45 Best Walt Disney World Travel Tips

45 best Walt Disney World Travel Tips

If you are looking for the Best Walt Disney World Travel Tips, look no further than our list!  We’ve spent many vacations in Orlando, and love this region.  Walt Disney World is a perfect family getaway, and these are tips we’ve gathered over our multiple trips to the park that we are sure you too will benefit from!

Don't miss our 45 Best Walt Disney World Travel Tips! This list is a great resource before planning your next family WDW Vacation!

45 Best Walt Disney World Travel Tips

  1. Save money by renting a condo in Kissimmee.  While everyone enjoys the resorts at WDW, the cost can be a budget breaker.  Renting a timeshare or condo in the Kissimmee area is an excellent budget-friendly option. Consider staying in a vacation home! It’s a great way to save money, plus have all the amenities of home! 
  2. Shop early in the day.  Park gift shops are usually less crowded the first few hours the park is open since most people gravitate toward rides right away.
  3. Plan to visit in September or May.  These months are typically the slowest times for the park.  With fewer visitors, you have a better experience and the weather is still warm.
  4. Make dining reservations early.  It is well-known that spots fill up within minutes.  Plan ahead and if your travel date is at least 6-months out, you can attempt to get into the coveted locations.  If you don’t snag a reservation, don’t fret, there are tons of great dining options on site.
  5. Buy tickets in advance.  One of the biggest benefits of buying your tickets in advance is the option of using the FastPass and setting up reservations early.  Unless it is a last minute trip, plan ahead and buy as early as possible. For the most popular rides, you want to use the FastPass options and secure those early! 
  6. Plan trips around holiday events.  While the crowds are often a bit larger, there are many special events worth viewing near holidays.  The lights and decor around Halloween and Christmas are a unique experience that is highly recommended.  Plus, there may be special ticket pricing for “after hours only” park time.
  7. Don’t follow the crowds.  A lot of times people follow the direction of the crowd in the park.  Don’t just follow the crowd.  You may be missing a shorter line or a better route.  Stop, and take a look around you before just going with the flow of the crowd.
  8. Check the Times Guide for character appearances.  Wondering how to get those coveted character pictures?  Check out the Times Guide to find out when and where they will be meeting.
  9. Book character meals outside the parks.  There are multiple options for character meals at hotels and resorts right outside the park.  These can be much more budget-friendly, and still, give your kids the experience they want with their favorite character.
  10. Use the Magic Kingdom railroad for breaks.  This is one of the best Walt Disney World travel tips.  The railroad is a great place to sit down, relax, and get some rest.  With an approximately 25 minute ride, you can take a nice break and see new parts of the park.
  11. Use the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover.  Not only is it a great way to move around that area of the park, but it is a wonderful place to relax and catch a break from the constant running around.  Lines are almost always short here as well.
  12. Install My Disney Experience App.  This app helps with so many aspects of your experience.  Not only can you book reservations through this app for dining, but you can use it to check out wait times on rides to make the best FastPass choices in the park.
  13. Grab free buttons at Guest Services.  The park has buttons for birthdays, anniversaries, first-time visitors, and more!  Make a stop as you enter the park to grab yours!
  14. Grab a free cup of water.  All counter service restaurants in the park will give you a free large cup of water upon request.  This saves money, and comes in handy!
  15. Don’t be afraid to ask cast members to trade pins with you.  Pin Trading is a big thing in all parks, but many don’t realize how easy it is to trade with a cast member. They all wear pins for that purpose.  See one you like? Don’t hesitate to initiate a trade!
  16. Use single rider lines.  If riding together isn’t a must for your family, watch for the single rider lines that seat you in any opening.  This will help cut out wait time at a lot of rides.
  17. Evaluate free dining plans before booking.  If you choose to stay at a park resort, there are a lot of free dining or discount offers.  Do the math before you book to make sure it really is going to be “free” or the best financial choice for your family.
  18. Visit Fantasyland after dark.  Since this is most popular for younger children, it makes sense that it will be slower after dark when they are likely to be asleep or exhausted.
  19. Skip the taxi and use Uber instead.  Depending on where you are staying related to the parks, a taxi can be much more expensive than using Uber.  Plus Uber rideshare features can cut expenses even more.  Definitely worth downloading the app and taking advantage.
  20. Use Bell Services to store luggage.  Disney resorts and hotels offer to store your luggage on day of check in or check out so you can get the most of your time in the park without worrying about luggage.
  21. Don’t forget to pack a poncho.  Florida is notorious for sporadic rain showers.  Packing a poncho is an inexpensive must.  No need to leave the park for a bit of rain.
  22. Ask for free tours.  Walt Disney World offers many tours including a few great free options.  Check with Guest Services to book your own special free or inexpensive special tour of the park or behind the scenes action.
  23. Buy a stroller outside the park.  If you are traveling with youngsters and will be in the park for more than one day, save money by hitting a local discount store before you enter the park.  A collapsible umbrella stroller can be under $30 versus paying $15+ per day in the park.
  24. Visit The Castle Couture shop for Princess pictures.  If you aren’t doing theBibibidi Bobbidi Boutique experience but your daughter still wants a special picture, check out the back of the Castle Couture shop near the castle for a room staged just for pictures.  Anyone can take pictures here, and there are also PhotoPass options!
  25. Order kids meals instead.  Adults can order kids meals just like the kid’s can.  If you aren’t using a dining plan, this is a great way to get plenty of food at a lower cost.
  26. Don’t skip Disney Springs (a.k.a Downtown Disney).  While not in the park itself, this area is chock full of amazing places to visit.  Especially make time to stop into the Disney Character Warehouse for great deals on souvenirs and Disney themed items.
  27. Plan for free drink refills.  Eating and drinking in the park create a lot of expense.  Plan ahead to visit Sunshine Seasons, Electric Umbrella, Tortuga Tavern, Backlot Express, Restaurantasaurus, and Be Our Guest when possible to grab free drink refills with your meals.  While these restaurants are in various parks/locations, there are options for every trip.
  28. Find character meet & greets in the Animal Kingdom for shorter lines.  They tend to be easier and faster to access than those in the Magic Kingdom.
  29. Use the free in-park Wi-Fi.  Always take advantage of free wi-fi for your social media updates while in the park.  With such a crowded location, many cell networks are slow to accommodate.
  30. Wait for the second parade when available.  Sometimes there will be two evening parades.  When this is the case, wait to see the last one since the crowd will be thinner.
  31. Check out Epcot’s Cool Club.  This is a must for fun Coke flavors from around the world and a great afternoon break that is also refreshing!
  32. Ask PhotoPass employees to use your camera.  Don’t worry about paying for the image, they are more than happy to grab that shot using your camera!
  33. Pack refillable water bottles.  Collapsible water bottles are a great inexpensive option that fit into bags or pockets.  Refill around the park for free and stay hydrated without the expense.  You can often find these for $1 each at the Dollar Tree!
  34. Have purchases sent to your hotel.  If you are staying at a Disney Hotel, you can have your purchases sent directly to your hotel.  This is a great way to not have to carry that around all day long.
  35. Choose indoor attractions.  Don’t forget that Walt Disney World has more than just rides.  Check out Country Bear Jamboree, Carousel of Progress, the Enchanted Tiki Room, and the Hall of Presidents for amazing shows that are indoors and air-conditioned.
  36. Ask for special deals after you have purchased regular price.  If you purchase things through the Disney site (events, passes, etc.) and find a special deal before your trip on their special offers page, you can call customer service and request the new price.
  37. Use the Magical Express for free.  If you stay on site, you can use the Disney Magical Express for free to travel from the airport to your hotel/resort.
  38. Ship items to your resort or hotel ahead of time.  Most resorts and hotels on-site will accept packages for you up to 2 weeks ahead of your visit.  This is great for shipping items like snacks, souvenirs, etc. instead of adding to your luggage if flying.
  39. Use free First Aid if needed.  Need something for a headache or a band-aid for a blister?  Don’t hesitate to ask a Cast Member to direct you to First Aid.  This is free and can be a huge help.
  40. Pack your own snacks.  You are welcome to bring in your own food and beverages to the parks in a soft-sided cooler.  Just remember you have to carry this around all day.
  41. Skip the fries and chips on meals.  When ordering counter service, skip the sides like fries and chips to save money.  Instead, eat the entree and add a specialty dessert!
  42. Make pressed pennies on every trip.  One of the best Walt Disney World travel tips is to make pressed pennies.  These are obviously inexpensive, and a great souvenir.  Pack a few dollars in quarters and some fresh new pennies to make them every trip.
  43. Watch fireworks from the beach at Polynesian Resort.  This is a favorite location with far fewer crowds after a long day in the park! {and you can find Dole Whip here as well– and you don’t need to be a guest to watch the fireworks or grab Dole Whip!}
  44. Have your kids do the Kids Discovery Club in the Animal Kingdom.  This is a fun way for kids to look for specific things and get a prize at the end for free!
  45. Get a haircut in the park.  Take your boys to Harmony Barber Shop for a haircut in the park.  This is a fun experience that doesn’t happen every day, so well worth the little-added expense ($5-$15 depending on cut or style usually).

Don't miss our 45 Best Walt Disney World Travel Tips! This list is a great resource before planning your next family WDW Vacation!

As you can see, we are full of great Walt Disney World travel tips to make your next visit even more amazing than you imagined!  We even have some great specific tips from our past trips to Orlando for you to check out below!

Top Things to do at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Night

Why Every Kid Should Go to Disney at Least Once in Their Lifetime

Easy Disney Souvenir Hacks

Visiting Disney World on a Budget

7 Day Wardrobe for a Disney Vacation

Frugal Family Friendly Adventures in Orlando

8 Adventurous Reasons to Visit Gulf County, Florida

It doesn’t just start with our Walt Disney World travel tips!  We have tons of other amazing travel tips that are great for any destination your family can imagine!

How to Start Saving Money for Vacations this Summer

How to Travel with Kids One on One

5 Tips for Road Trip Travel with Kids

20 Ways to Use Your Smartphone to Plan Trips

36+ Best Apps to Use When You Travel

How to Fund My Travel Living Frugally

5 Ways to Save on Plane Tickets

Best Time to Buy Airline Tickets

18 Road Trip Must Have Essentials

What to Pack for a Weekend Getaway

How to Handle Illness While Traveling

How to Keep Costs Low While Traveling with Kids

What to Pack in Your Travel First Aid Kit

Previous Bacon-Wrapped Baby Back Ribs
Next Mom's Summer Survival Guide


  1. July 3, 2017

    All great tips and ones that I personally use as well, except for #1. I generally stay at a Disney resort so I can have them pick me up and drop me off at the airport, it also includes all transport to the parks and Disney Springs. 🙂

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