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We completed Disney World at the Magic Kingdom! Wow, one more thing to check off our family bucket list.
Before we move on to the next activity, I want to share a blog post with you on how to maximize your time at Disney World to get the most out of your time spent there, because let’s face it, Disney isn’t exactly nice on the family budget.
So with every opportunity that comes, we need to know how to maximize our time wisely while there. Here are a few tips and tricks to consider, before planning your first Disney World family vacation.
I admit we were able to get a lot done in just one day. So if we can do it with two kids under 6, you can do it too with proper planning.
Are you ready to plan your next trip to Disney World? What would you love to know? Please feel free to share your own experiences or ask your questions or concerns below. I will be happy to help you!
1. Plan in advance
Don’t wait until the day of Disney to start looking at rides or attractions that are on your “must-do” list.
Research those activities way in advance, to ensure that you are able to attend all of them, especially If you have a limited time.
I confess I waited until I was on my way to Disney to see what rides I really wanted the kids to go on. Therefore I am letting you know from now to do your prep before heading there.
I used sites I found on Google to review the different rides and the height requirements before putting them on my to-do list (also download the Disney World app).
You don’t want to get to Disney and then have to figure out which ride is suitable for your child and their age or height requirement restrictions.
2. Bring Snacks
Either you plan to splurge on all the snacks at Disney for twice the price, or you plan to carry enough to munch on throughout the day. I strongly advise that you carry enough snacks for each person to have throughout the day.
The reason is that the lines and wait time for snack purchase is long. Therefore it will take up a lot of your time trying to get snacks for your family quickly.
I also recommend that you bring suitable snacks, that will provide you with extra energy for the long walks around the park or for gaps of waiting in the lines to get on rides.
Snacks that are super helpful include:
- Peanut butter crackers
- Snacks with nuts
- Snack bars
- Fruit snacks
These are mostly lightweight and easy to carry around especially when waiting in line to go on rides.
FYI: We carried a backpack that we filled with our snacks and water. The backpack was allowed on all the rides at Magic Kingdom. Therefore it will not limit you, or delay you if you carry a backpack around. Just don’t bring a carry-on!
3. bring Water
Another way to save time trying to purchase water around the park is to bring your own. Try to bring enough water that each person will need throughout the day.
I don’t know what your water intake is for the person in your family, however, have enough to at least begin with and if you do run out, you can purchase it at lunch or dinner time depending on your length of stay.
4. Plan to arrive early
Plan to arrive at Disney World at least a minimum of 30 minutes before the park opens.
I wish I knew this in advance to really save some time on the journey. Just the transition from the parking lot to the front gate of Disney and into the actual park was pretty long.
There is also an option to walk to the monorail station to catch the train, or you can take the trolley to get to the train which takes you to the actual front of the park. However, the lines will be longer if you choose to wait or arrive after the park opens.
Early arrival gives you a much bigger headstart before the general crowd appears and parking is further to the front of the parking lot than to the back.
5. Rides and wait time
Now that you are finally at Disney and ready to hit the rides, you are going to be discouraged a bit, if you plan to go to the big rides first.
The wait time, in the beginning, is going to be super long. I am not kidding like wait times of 40 minutes or more. Be reminded we went on a Sunday, however, if you choose to go on a holiday or during busy summertime, then expect even longer than the 40 minutes wait time (weekdays and off-peak seasons are the best times to go).
The big rides took forever for us to get on and the waiting in line with two anxious kids was quite a drama in and of itself.
So plan to get them more excited for the bigger rides by getting them on the rides with the quickest wait time at the beginning of the day. That way you will get a lot more rides accomplished before the bigger ones.
Here’s what I also observed which is why I insisted that you hold off on the bigger rides. Close to the evening and nighttime, the bigger rides are seriously emptier, meaning much shorter wait times.
We did a couple of the bigger rides that had ridiculous wait times in the day closer to the nighttime and got on so much quicker. We were able to accomplish everything we wanted to do at the end of our visit. We only missed one popular ride we wanted to see, however, it was because the kids were tired, even though the wait time was not long.
FYI: Download the Disney APP prior to your trip. It helps with knowing the wait times for rides so that you can plan which ride to go to next.
Purchasing meals was a bit complicated I admit. You have to pre-purchase meals on your phone outside and then pick up the meals inside. I know these changes are as a result of covid-19, however, they do waste a bit of your time trying to figure them out.
Also, they do have a pay cash option which is available if you are not tech-savvy or in our case had a really bad internet connection. That took up a lot of our time trying to figure things out.
We opted in for the cash option, however, they had limited cashiers available and mobile ordering was found to be so much quicker.
I, therefore, advise you to get mobile ordering done if you do have a better signal than we did. It’s much faster and won’t waste much of your time.
Thankfully we had enough snacks to last us throughout the day, which limited our need for restaurant purchases. We limited that to two purchases, one for the lunch period and one around dinner time.
If you plan to see fireworks to end your Disney celebration, please make sure to get closer to the site at the castle as much as you can before the start of the fireworks.
If you wait last minute to get to the site, you will be further away than you want to be. The crowd is really heavy as it gets closer to the time before the fireworks, therefore plan to not go on any more rides and head instead closer to the site.
You can also choose this time to have dinner at the restaurants close by there and then you would be right where you need to be to see the fireworks.
8. bathroom break
Don’t forget to take rest breaks throughout the day, especially if you have little ones. Plan periodic rest stops for the bathroom. This is important because it is more difficult to grab your kids to do potty when you are in a long line, especially after having waited for a long time.
Therefore, I recommend either checking with your kids if they need to stop for a bathroom break before going in a long line or like us, we just did quick bathroom breaks throughout as we spotted them.
9. use shows as rest breaks
Instead of wasting time doing rest breaks, we did our rest breaks at shows, where we were just sitting down and relaxing for the most part. That enabled us to still enjoy some fun programming while resting.
Therefore save the rest breaks for slower pace entertainment, that way you can accomplish a lot more in your day.
10. boat ride option
If you took the monorail to get to the entrance, you can also take the ferry to get back to the parking lot. The ferry is sometimes even less of a wait time and has shorter lines than the train. We did the boat ride back and it was fun for the boys to experience something different to end their magical day at Disney World.
Overall I do hope that you have found this article helpful and you’re ready for your trip to Disney World.
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If you are interested in learning how to DIY your own Family Disney T-shirts, visit my blog post on:
Did you find the strategies listed in this article helpful? What were some of your favorite tips? How have they worked for you? Leave a comment below, I’d love to know what you think.
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