25 Top Insider Disney World Tips and Tricks for 2024

Let’s face it – it’s not easy to plan the perfect Disney World trip nowadays. Between Park Pass Reservations, choosing where to stay, securing your dining reservations, navigating the crowds, keeping up with the ever-changing technology changes, and everything in between, even getting the basics right can be hard. Luckily, there’s a way to take on the parks like an expert, even if it’s your first time!

We’ve got the TOP 25 tips and tricks so you can leave the stress of planning a Disney trip behind and make the most of your next vacation – let’s get to it!

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Tips For Planning Your Disney World Trip

Plan for a 4-7 day vacation

Walt Disney World is a massive resort with four theme parks, two water parks, and Disney Springs, and more. To experience everything it has to offer without feeling rushed, plan for a 4-7 day trip. This will give you enough time to visit all the parks, ride your favorite attractions a few extra times, and catch all the daily and nighttime entertainment. For a truly relaxing vacation, we also recommend planning a resort day (or two!) where you skip the parks and enjoy all that your hotel has to offer.

Don’t overschedule yourself

It’s tempting to try and fit in as many attractions and activities as possible, but you want to avoid planning every minute of your trip! It’s important to take breaks, relax, and enjoy the experience. Make sure to schedule some downtime, whether it’s a mid-day nap or a leisurely meal, to avoid burnout.

Consider working with a travel agent if you’re a first-timer

If you’re a first-timer or simply overwhelmed by the planning process, consider having a travel agent help you plan your trip. They can help you navigate all the Disney ticket options, hotel reservations, and dining reservations. Plus, they can provide insider tips and tricks to make your trip as magical as possible and it won’t cost you a dime!

EPCOT Festivals

Park Day Tips

Take advantage of (and have a plan for) Early Theme Park Entry

If you’re staying at a Disney World Resort hotel, you have access to Early Theme Park Entry. This exclusive hotel guest perk allows you to enter any of the four Disney theme parks 30 minutes before they officially open in the morning. This means that you’ll have first dibs on the most popular rides in the parks, so plan ahead! Tackling the rides that usually have the longest lines early in the day can save you a lot of time.

Get in line right before the parks close

Many guests start leaving the parks before they officially close, so the last hour or so can be a great time to get in line for popular attractions with shorter wait times. Keep in mind that Disney doesn’t close the attraction lines until the park closes, so you can hop in line even if it’s one minute before closing. This also means that you’ll be one of the last guests to exit the park which can be a unique experience.

Use the Single Rider Line

One of the best ways to save time and avoid long lines is by utilizing single-rider lines. These lines are often much shorter than the regular lines and are a great option if you don’t mind splitting up your group. Some of the rides that offer single-rider lines include Test Track, Expedition Everest, and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.

Choose your lines wisely

It’s not just long lines for rides that you have to be worried about…there’s also the lines to park, to get into the park, order food, and buy merchandise. In these instances, there’s usually more than one line that you have to choose from. Instead of heading to the first one you see, take a look at the other lines! There are usually some lines at the opposite end of where the traffic enters that are super short.

Consider purchasing Genie+ if you’re visiting during a busy time of the year

Genie+ is a paid service that allows you to skip the line for certain attractions. While it comes at an additional cost, it may be worth it if you’re visiting during a peak season and want to avoid long lines.

Plan for the unexpected

There’s a lot that you can’t plan for during a Disney World trip. For example, the weather can be unpredictable in Florida or you might find that a ride you want to go on is unexpectedly closed for maintenance. Be sure to pack rain gear even if the forecast is clear and be flexible!

The best place to watch fireworks

If you’re watching the fireworks at Magic Kingdom, the best place to view them is from Main Street U.S.A. since the show involves special projection effects all the way down the street that you’ll miss if you stand too close to the castle. And, for EPCOT’s show, try watching from the bridge between the UK and France pavilions for the best view.

Disney World Tips

Don’t sleep in on your Magic Kingdom or EPCOT days

While most attractions in Disney World have regular standby lines that you can enter at any point during the day, there are TWO exceptions – TRON Lightcycle / Run in Magic Kingdom and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in EPCOT.

Both of these attractions have a virtual queue that requires you to reserve your spot in line through the My Disney Experience app in advance. The virtual queue only opens up twice a day (at 7AM and 1PM) and they can fill up fast! Be sure to set your alarm early so that you have the best chance at riding these popular new attractions.

Disney World Dining Tips

Set calendar reminders for your advanced dining reservation window

If you’re planning on dining at any of the Table Service restaurants in Disney World, it’s important to make reservations as early as possible. Reservations can be made up to 60 days in advance, and some of the most popular restaurants fill up quickly. To make sure you don’t miss your reservation window, set a calendar reminder for the day your window opens.

Check for dining reservations…then check again…and again

Even if you don’t manage to secure a reservation at the restaurants you want to eat at during your initial booking window, don’t give up hope! People cancel reservations all the time, so keep checking for availability. You might be surprised to find a reservation at your desired restaurant a few days before your trip or even on the day of your visit.

21 Big Changes to Disney World in 2024: Here's What You Need to Know

Where to get FREE water

Staying hydrated is important, especially in the Florida heat. Luckily, you don’t have to spend the $3.50+ on bottled water at Disney World. You can get free cups of water at any Quick Service restaurant or snack stand that serves fountain drinks. Just ask a Cast Member for a cup of water and they’ll be happy to provide it.

Mobile order your food to save time at Quick Service restaurants

You can mobile order your food from nearly every Quick Service restaurant in Disney World through the My Disney Experience app and we recommend that you do! All you have to do is download the app, find the restaurant, select a pick-up time, and place your order. Once your pick-up window starts, your food will be ready and waiting for you so you don’t have to stand in the long lines to order.

Disney World Tips

Disney Hotel Tips

Consider staying off property to save money

While staying at a Disney World Resort hotel has its perks, such as early access to dining reservations and complimentary transportation to the parks, it may not always be the best option for your budget. Consider staying off-property at a nearby hotel or vacation rental to save some money. Be sure to check in advance to see if they offer complimentary transportation to the parks or any other Disney hotel guest perks as several do.

Choose a hotel closest to the parks you plan to frequent

If you do decide to stay on property, choosing a hotel closest to the parks you plan to frequent can save you time and energy. For example, if you plan to spend most of your time at Magic Kingdom, consider staying at Disney’s Contemporary Resort or Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, both of which are just a short walk or monorail ride away from the park. Or, if you plan on frequenting EPCOT during your stay, check out Disney’s BoardWalk Inn and Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club, which are all within walking distance of the park.

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It’s also important to consider what transportation options are available at the hotel you choose, as some offer more convenience than others. Depending on where you stay, you may be able to get to the parks by bus, boat, monorail, or Disney Skyliner – the more options you have from your hotel, the better!

Disney Transportation Tips

How NOT to forget where you parked your car

If you’re driving to the parks, it’s easy to forget where you parked your car, especially if you’re visiting multiple parks in one day. To avoid this, Disney has added a Car Locator feature to the My Disney Experience app. Just click the three bars at the bottom right of the app and scroll down to find the feature and save your vehicle location. This will save you time and frustration when it’s time to leave.

Take advantage of Disney’s free transportation

Disney offers free transportation to all guests staying at a Disney Resort hotel. This includes buses, boats, monorails, and the new Disney Skyliner gondola system. Using Disney’s transportation can save you money on parking fees and the hassle of driving in heavy traffic.

Plan ahead for peak times

During peak times, such as holidays and weekends, transportation wait times can be longer than usual. To avoid long lines, plan to arrive at the parks early in the morning or later in the evening when crowds are lighter. If you’re staying at a Disney World hotel, you can also use the My Disney Experience app to check wait times for transportation and plan accordingly.

EPCOT Inernational Flower and Garden Festival

Know your transportation options

Each park has its own transportation options, so it’s important to know which one to use. For example, Magic Kingdom can be accessed by monorail, ferry, or bus, while Disney’s Hollywood Studios can only be accessed by bus or the new Disney Skyliner. Check the park map or ask a Cast Member for the best transportation option for your destination.

Disney World Money Saving Tips

Check Costco, Sam’s Club, Target, and other local stores for ticket discounts

Before you buy your tickets directly from Disney, check with your local Costco, Sam’s Club, Target, or other stores in your area that sell discounted tickets. You may be able to save a significant amount of money by purchasing your tickets this way. And, even if they don’t have ticket discounts, you may be able to save on Disney gift cards that can be used to purchase your tickets, pay for your hotel, or buy souvenirs and food.

Always check for Disney hotel and ticket discounts

Disney often offers discounts on hotel rooms and park tickets, especially during the off-season. Check the official Disney website and other travel websites regularly to see if there are any deals available for your travel dates. And, if you already have a vacation booked when a new deal rolls out during the time you’re visiting, contact Disney and see if they can add the discount to your reservation. If not, you can always cancel and rebook with the discount, just note that the same hotel may not be available, so check in advance.

save money on Disney World

Buy souvenirs BEFORE your trip

Souvenirs at Disney can be expensive, so consider buying them before your trip. You can find Disney merchandise at many stores, including Target and Walmart, and online retailers like Amazon and the Disney Store. Pack the souvenirs away in your suitcase and bring them out to surprise your kiddos when you get to Disney.

Save money on food by eating big snacks or opting for kids’ meals

A full meal at Disney World is going to cost you at least $10 (and, in most cases, more), but there’s an easy way to save on dining that most people don’t think about! Disney has some of the best food, but even better snacks…and some of them are HUGE. So, instead of opting for chicken nuggets and fries that cost you $15, grab a Mickey Pretzel for $7.25. You can also order from the kid’s menu at Quick Service locations regardless of your age and get a filling meal for less.

So, are you ready to take on Disney World like a pro? These Disney World tips are sure to make you look like the expert you are among your family and friends!


What good advice have you received from friends and family when planning a Disney World trip? Have you ever received bad advice? Let us know in the comments what Disney World tips you’ve learned over the years!

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