Planning a Walt Disney World vacation can be totally overwhelming. Believe me, I know. My family is planning a trip for Spring 2018, so I’ve been on the hunt for the best tips and tricks. It turns out there is more to know about Disney than I ever imagined and more experts and tips littering the internet than there is magic in all the kingdom. So, to save you time, I’ve picked out the most helpful Disney travel tips to maximize your time and save you money.
Here are 22 things to consider when planning your Disney vacation.
1. Use an authorized Disney Vacation Planner.
These travel agents know everything and anything about Disney. They can score you discounts and help make the somewhat daunting task of planning a Disney vacation a little easier. Plus, they are free to you! Use google to find one in your area.
2. Use websites that offer touring plans.
If you want complete control over your trip, consider using a website like TouringPlans—where you can quite literally make your “touring plan.” You might also check out Kenny The Pirate or Disney Dork Tom. These guy knows all the ins and outs of Disney World. The crowd calendars are a useful tool for deciding when to go.
3. Ship essentials to your hotel.
Think diapers, wipes, sunscreen and snacks. You can order from Amazon and ship directly to your hotel—saving you precious (and potentially expensive!) luggage space. Just make sure to include GUEST in the hotel address.
4. Use Disney’s Magical Express for airport transport.
Disney’s Magical Express is a complimentary roundtrip service for Disney Resort guests that takes you and your luggage from Orlando International Airport to select Disney Resort hotels via a deluxe motorcoach. Just select this option when booking your Disney Resort hotel reservation.
5. Kids under three are free.
That means the littlest Disney guests do not need a ticket to enter the park. They also don’t need a MagicBand. Because they don’t need a ticket they cannot have FastPass+, but fear not—they can enter at the same time you use yours.
6. Buy Disney gift cards at Target using your RedCard and save 5%.
This is easy and genius. If you know you are going to spend money at the parks (and c’mon, who isn’t?), buy gift cards ahead of time and save 5% right off the top of all those snacks and souvenirs.
7. Get to the park early for Rope Drop.
Each morning Magic Kingdom opens with a ceremonial Rope Drop. Not only will you see cast members (this is what Disney calls its employees) quite literally “drop the rope,” but you’ll beat the large crowds as you and the other early birds can head to your favorite attractions while most guests are still snoozing.