Your vacation time is precious. Unfortunately it seems like our vacation days are too few and far between. When you choose a destination like Disney World for your vacation, with so many different things to see, do and experience, you want to make sure that you are able to maximize your time. Here are my top 9 timesaver hacks when visiting Disney World.
Top 9 Disney World Timesaver Hacks
#9 Stay at a Disney Resort Hotel
You will save a ton of commuting time by simply staying onsite at one of Disney Resort. The transportation comes on a regular basis (average 15-25 minutes) and you are just closer to the parks than off-site options. You can even select a Disney Deluxe Resort (Disney’s Contemporary Resort) that allow you to walk right into Magic Kingdom. There a lot of advantages to staying on site, but the convenience of location is high on the list.
#8 Online Check-In
I don’t always recommend this, particularly if you have specific requests that you want honored by the resort, but it can save you a little time when you arrive. By checking in online everything is ready to go for you once you arrive at the resort. During the day, you may be greeted at the front entrance of the resort by a Disney Cast Member to just get your room number. You will then go right to your room.
If it is after hours, there is a separate line for online check-ins that moves a little faster and everything should be set when you get to the counter.
#7 Make Dining Reservations
You should always book your sit down reservations, before arriving to Disney World. This will save you hours waiting for a table! In addition, you want to make sure you pre-book your favorites. You do not want to show up to Disney World to find out your favorite restaurant is booked up. Book your dining reservations as far in advance as possible.
Another new dining tip is the advance ordering on your My Disney Experience app. This is another great idea to save time for the counter service restaurants.
#6 Eat Breakfast in Your Room
This is a big time saver! While one person is in the shower, someone else can eat their Cheerios (or muffin, Danish, etc.) It maximizes time and minimizes waiting in line for a Disney breakfast. I highly recommend packing some breakfast items if you can or having a grocery delivery. You can also pick up cereal and other breakfast items in most resort food courts, but they are just a little more expensive than a “normal” grocery store.
#5 Ask for Your Check Early
If you are dining at an all-you-care-to-eat buffet or set-price table service restaurant, this is particularly convenient. When we attend a character buffet, I always ask for the check as we order our drinks. This way I can have that taken care of and as soon as we finish eating or see our last character we are ready to leave.
#4 Minimize your Park Bags
There is a security bag check at the entry to every park. While they normally move fairly quickly, if you show up at a peak time at Epcot and the monorail and tram just let out a swarm of guests you may have to wait longer than you would like. There are a few things you can do here. If you can travel lightly, just don’t take a bag. If you only need a few things, try to put them in your pockets (and those of other family members) along with a folded up drawstring style backpack. Once you’re in the park you can unload their pockets into the bag. These two options allow you to bypass the bag check line. If you must carry a bag, have all of the compartments open as you approach the security guard and try to carry as few bags as possible.
#3 Drive or Walk
Although the Disney transportation system is more convenient than most, it can still be frustrating when you are in a hurry. If you drive to WDW or if you rent a car once you arrive, you can drive to Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The parking is convenient and you don’t have to wait on a bus to arrive. Magic Kingdom is easier to do on a bus, since the parking lot still requires a ferry or monorail ride to get over to the entrance.
If you are able to stay in a location where you can walk to a park that is even better. My family loves Epcot, so Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club top our list of resorts because it is so easy to walk over to Epcot and even Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Boardwalk and the Swan and Dolphin are in the same location. The Contemporary and Bay Lake Tower have a path to Magic Kingdom if you spend most of your time there. Of course, being on the monorail is super convenient when it is operating at full hours.
#2 Arrive to the Parks at Opening
The amount of time you will save waiting in line from opening to 11 AM is amazing. That is the very best time to be in the park, before the lines start to form. There are some exceptions with the particularly popular rides where the queues build quickly, but just use #1 for that and arrive early for the other stuff.
#1 Use FastPass+
Everyone with tickets to Disney World, now has the privilege of FastPass+. It is free, and everyone should take advantage of it. Being able to skip some of the crazy standby lines at attractions like the new 7 Dwarfs Mine Train in the Magic Kingdom or Soarin at Epcot will save you a ton of time.