To put it simply, Disney World is AMAZING. And who doesn’t, really? Although we live approximately 12 hours away, I’ve admitted that we go about five to six times a year.
We usually spend over forty days a year in Disney World. Woah, that’s a lot of Mickey Mouse. So, I thought I’d spill the beans on some of my favorite insider tips for Disney World that can help you have an even more amazing vacation.
1. You Should Double-Check All of The Available Booking Options
It’s a magical experience, and you should definitely spend the night there. On the other hand, Disney World’s hotel options aren’t always the best.
TripAdvisor often has better prices, but occasionally we do as well or better. Not even our Annual Passholder discount can beat these prices sometimes.
Get the facts straight, since following this piece of advice might save you a cool $1000. You can connect a reservation made through a third-party site to your Disney account up to 24 hours after making the original booking. You can enjoy the same benefits (such as Extra Magic Hours) at a reduced cost.
2. The Meal Plan Has to Be Revised
There is typically a free meal plan promotion in the late fall. Since paying as you go for food is typically much more cost-effective, this is the only instance in which I recommend adopting it.
My husband and I often share a meal by ordering an appetizer, main course, and dessert to share between the two of us. In fact, if you tell your server you’d like to split an entree, they’ll send you a second plate.
3. Send Bulkier Necessities to Your Accommodation in Advance and Rest Easy
The most cost-effective solution is to purchase one on Amazon for roughly $60 and have it delivered to your hotel, rather than checking it at the gate on your flight.
When it’s time to depart on the final day, consider passing on your stroller to another family so they, too, can experience a little bit of the wonder.
4. Book “Unforgettable” Dinner Reservations
This is a trick I picked up from a Disney Cast Member. If you want to eat at a particular restaurant but can’t seem to make a reservation, start looking at least a week before you travel.
Some people will decide the day before that they no longer want to go, and others may cancel at the last minute (you must cancel 24 hours in advance or pay a fee.
You will have a better chance of being admitted if you are willing to be somewhat adaptable and try every day up until the day you depart, or even while you are already there.
It’s quite competitive to reserve a table at Ohana for breakfast with Lilo and Stitch, but we managed to take our daughter there as a Christmas present by making the reservation only three days in advance.
5. If You Want to Save Money on Character Meals, Book Breakfast
These snacks are a lot less expensive than a full meal. Booking a brunch at Magic Kingdom before the park opens gives you the added benefit of entering the park before the masses.
6. Don’t Make a Reservation Before Checking Out The Menu Online
Check menus ahead of time if you have a picky eater or a diner with special dietary requirements. I have trouble finding something to eat at restaurants because I’m a vegetarian with soy protein sensitivity (albeit the rest of my family isn’t).
Although I once had the head chef cook me a special dish (at her insistence), my family and I now make sure that everyone’s tastes are accommodated before settling on a restaurant.
7. You Should Schedule Your Preparations for The Upcoming Year During the Off-Season
Traveling during the off-peak times of the year means fewer people, shorter lines, and more time to enjoy yourself. Do a search for “Disney World Crowd Calendar” to learn when it’s the least crowded to visit.
8. Use a Target Red Card to Purchase Disney Gift Cards
Because they are considered “entertainment cards” rather than gift cards, you are eligible for a 5% discount. Visit Target’s website and sign in.
When you buy Disney Gift Cards, you’ll save 5%. When used for purchases like meals and trinkets inside the park, that 5% can quickly mount up. If you want to save $50, you can simply buy $1,000.
9. You Should Get Your Kids Gift Cards
Before you go to Disney World, give your children a Disney Gift Card with a predetermined spending limit. Usually, we give each of the daughters a $100 gift card, and when that’s gone, that’s it. We don’t give out any extra cash for tchotchkes, pins, or souvenirs, but they’re free to spend it whatever they like.
10. Have Garden Grocer Deliver the Staples
These days, you can order practically anything online, even your weekly grocery supplies. Take advantage of Garden Grocer’s in-room delivery service to stock up on snacks and other necessities before hitting the parks during your Disney World visit.
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