Disney Travel Tips


Are you preparing an upcoming Disney vacation? You've probably been online or looking at the My Disney Experience App and have stressed yourself out. It may seem difficult and challenging at first to navigate Disney. However, I promise you it's not as difficult as it seems. You'll have the app down in no time and after a few hours at Disney you'll feel like a Disney pro. Below are some tips to help ease you into your Disney vacation and maximize your time and experiences.

  1. If you haven't done so yet, download the My Disney Experience app. Nearly everything you'll need to do at the parks will be done with this app. From mobile dining ordering, optional Genie (fast passes), managing park tickets, Memory Maker photos, etc. Once you have the app downloaded you can link your Disney reservation. Play around with the app. All you need is one person in your party to have the app. However, if more than one person would like to have access to the app it can downloaded on multiple devices and linked.
  2. Disney Magic Bands: If you decide to use Disney Magic Bands be sure to link them to your account in the app. Your Magic Band is great. There are sensors on some rides that will randomly scan your band (you don't have to do anything). For instance as you are exiting It's A Small World you may see your name on sign or in the art work. Some Magic Bands light up as well and synchronize with the shows.
  3. If you have an early arrival. Check your bags in at the resort bell hop desk and enjoy the resort (or even go to a park). When your room is available you can check back in to claim your bags. This is free (other than tipping which is common).
  4. Many restaurants require advanced dining reservations. This can be taken care of on the app 60 days prior to your resort check in. Disney has two types of dining: Quick Service, and Sit Down. Quick Service is lower in cost and as the name implies you order your food from the counter, or app, and then carry your food to your dining table. It is not just burgers and french fries. There is a wide variety of food options available. Some of my favorites include: Magic Kingdom: Peco Bills, Casey's Corner, Cosmic Rays, Pinocchio Haus. EPCOT: Regal Eagle, Sunshine Seasons (Land Pavilion), LaCantina. Hollywood Studios: Docking Bay, ABC Commissary, PizzeRizzo. Animal Kingdom: Yak & Yeti, Restaurantosaurus, Flame Tree Barbecue. Quick Service locations are also available at all of the Disney Resort Hotels. Sit Down restaurants are restaurants that you order your dining from menu or buffet. Many require advance reservations. Looking to change it up, there are a ton of great options at Disney Springs. The parks and most hotels also have sit down restaurants. It's hard to list my favorites because there are so many options and they are all great! Check out the app for availability and pricing. You'll see price ranges listed. Kids menus available at every restaurant.
    1. $ 14.99 and under
    2. $$ 15 to 34.99 per adult
    3. $$$ 35 to 59.99 per adult
    4. $$$$ over $60 per adult
  5. You can not eat at a restaurant in a Disney park unless you have a ticket for that park.
  6. Every counter service restaurant offers free ice water. We suggest bringing some flavored powered drink pouches or Powerade pouches to mix in. This doesn't have to be just at meal time. It's hot in Florida. Be sure to keep hydrated.
  7. You can bring snacks in to the parks. Just be sure not to bring them in glass containers.
  8. Don't be afraid to schedule a break from the parks. Disney is a lot of walking and keeps you busy. Often times the kids would love a pool break at the hotel (and so will you). This could be for an entire day, or perhaps an hour break during the day. You can leave the parks and re-enter again. If bringing a stroller be sure the size is correct. Strollers larger than 31” (79 cm) in width and 52” (132cm) in length are not permitted. Stroller wagons are also not permitted. Simple umbrella strollers work great. Easy to fold and carry on Disney transportation. Disney offers stroller rentals as well but you can't remove them from the parks. You may also consider an outside rental company. Kingdomstrollers.com is great.
  9. If you are traveling with little ones who are too short to ride a ride be sure to take advantage of Disney's Rider Switch. With Rider Switch, one adult can wait with the non-rider (or riders) while the rest of the party enjoys the attraction. When the other adult returns, they can supervise the non-riding Guests, and the waiting adult can board the attraction without having to wait in the regular line again!
  10. Genie+ and Lighting Lane can be purchased on the day of your park visit from the app. This allows you to skip some lines. Some rides offer Lighting Lane which you can purchase to skip the line. There are a limited number of passes available, so the park is busy be sure to buy in the morning.
  11. If visiting Animal Kingdom, I suggest you do the Kilimanjaro Safari as early as possible. The animals are most active in the morning.
  12. Arrive before the parks open if you want to experience the rope drop. It's a fun ceremony and it's great to be first in line for rides that typically have a long wait.
  13. Check out the app to see current ride wait times. This is updated throughout the day.
  14. Disabilities. If you are your child have a disability be sure to check in with Guests Services. They are great and will explain procedures that will make your stay more enjoyable.
  15. Take tons of photos and videos. These are fun memories you'll want to relive!