When you visit Disney World with kids, it’s A LOT different than taking a trip as an adult… and I’ve learned a lot since my family grew… and grew into a Disney-obsessed family.
Now, I have two kids in tow. I’m also discovering lots of tips and tricks to make the vacation better!
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So, do you want to know my top five ways to save time and money at Disney World?
1. Fast Pass.
Unlike Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, this is FREE! You can “fast pass” three attractions. It’s basically making a reservation for the three things you really want to do or see, but want to bypass the standard line.
For example, the wait for Enchanted Tales with Belle was about an hour long when we went, but because it was one of the attractions we selected, we waited five minutes.
My only suggestion – select what you want early! Like days, weeks or even months early. (Yes, you can do that.) We tried to “fast pass” a meeting with Elsa and Anna, but it wasn’t available because so many people already reserved all the time slots for that day.
2. The My Disney Experience App.
You will use this app to select your fast pass attractions, but it’s also great to see the wait times for everything else. They are all listed right there – how long it’ll take to get on a ride or to meet a Disney character or princess.
Everything you want to know about the restaurants, shopping, shows and even a map of the park is also included.
3. Think of your schedule.
I’m not talking about your daily schedule. Try to avoid the busy times of the year if you can. This means avoid:
- holidays (and days around holidays)
- spring break
I like to go on a weekday, during the school year. It’s still busy, but not as busy as it could be.
4. Three-day pass.
You save A LOT of money as a Florida resident if you buy a three-day park hopper pass. Even if you are going for just two days, this will save you money.
My sister bought one of these while we were there and it was good for a month and a half! One person – three visits – $139.
5. Stay at a Disney resort.
But, there is NOTHING better than staying on Disney grounds. The resort is like a vacation destination itself. We recently stayed at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and were blown away.
Oh yeah, and you also get these cool wristbands with your name on them that take care of everything – your admission, fast pass, credit card, they even act as a key to your hotel room door!
If you can’t stay on Disney ground, try Priceline.
If you are picky, this may not be for you because you will pay for your hotel before you know what it is. You pick where you want to stay by looking at a map and clicking a specifically highlighted area. You also choose how nice of a hotel you want to stay in.
I always go with at least a 4-star hotel. You can either name your price and wait to see if it’s accepted or you can see the “express deals” and choose one. Then, you get an email with your hotel information. (Surprise!)
We did this once (last minute) and we stayed at a 4-star hotel right across from Disney property for $87 a night… with a pool the kids (and their dad) loved!
If you plan on taking a road trip to Disney World, I have some tips for you here.
In the meantime, buy your princess costume, lift weights to impress Gaston, and start planning your trip to the happiest place on Earth.