Since we’re Passholders, we go to Disney a lot. People-watching is one of the most fun things to do, but I’m always so disappointed when I see people wasting their time at the parks. Whether you’re a newbie or you go to the Mouse House regularly, make sure you’re making the most of your time there with these tips to do Disney like a pro.
Getting to the Parks
Know when to go. The least crowded day of the week is Tuesday, but that doesn’t work for everyone’s schedule. So if you’re going on a weekend, shoot for Sunday morning and you’ll likely have your run of the place. As far as time of year, if it’s a school vacation season (summer, spring break, Christmas, etc.) it’s probably going to mean busier parks, so you’ll want to plan accordingly.
Park smart. You don’t have control over what spot you go to, but when you’re going to the gate to pay for parking/show your Magic Band you’ll want to be at the farthest gate available. Everyone gets in long lines in the middle gates and the outside gates usually have much shorter lines.
Don’t ride the tram and don’t worry about preferred parking. You’re going to be walking ALL. DAY. LONG. Just hoof it to the gate (or the TTC, if you’re going to the Magic Kingdom) and you might even beat the tram. Preferred parking really doesn’t make that big of a difference in your distance from the park.
Bring your own snacks. It’s way easier, and cheaper, to bring some granola bars and bottled water than it is to purchase them on site and Disney has no problem with you bringing your own food in (just don’t try to lug an entire Igloo cooler and you should be good).
Trade pins for souvenirs. Most Cast Members have pins on a lanyard that they will trade with you if you ask. These pins are provided to them at no cost just to trade with guests, so take advantage of that! Buy a few cheap pins that you don’t care much about and trade up for something you like better. It’s fun to talk to the Cast Members and you’ll get a cool souvenir out of it as well.
Managing Your Time
Don’t wait out the parades. There’s no need to claim a spot on a curb hours before the parade begins. You should be able to stand a couple people deep and still be able to see it, especially if you’re toward the end of the parade route (marked on the park maps).
Don’t get in a line that’s over an hour long. There’s always a better way to do it, whether it’s Fast Passes, going on a less crowded day, etc. Save yourself the time and the frustration.
Saving Your Sanity
Find the quiet places in the parks when they’re busy to give yourself a few minutes to just regroup. The Magic Kingdom in particular has several of these. My favorites are a big top tent in Fantasyland and Tom Sawyer Island.
Find things to do that don’t have a line. Pin trading, finding hidden Mickeys, etc. These are fun and they don’t cost much at all!
Cut through the shops. If you’re on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom or Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood Studios all the shops connect. You can walk in the air conditioning while you avoid having your ankles run over by strollers!
Make sure you also check out my tips on how to blend in with the locals while traveling!
What are your favorite tips for going to Disney? Share them with me in the comments!