Well hello there! First post of 2020 here, and what better way to start the new year than with a trip down memory lane. I’ve got a Disney World Guide for any of you planning a trip there this 202o! If you follow me on Instagram, you know that in November (and into December) we took a two week vacation to Florida with family. It was such a jam packed two weeks full of non stop fun! We spent four days in Disney World, and four days at Universal Studios Orlando. I wish I could have done just one more day at Disney, but we got an amazing deal at Orlando Studios, and well… Disney World is expensive! haha The boys also did a full day at SeaWorld with their cousins and G’ma and G’pa. That gave Skyler and I a little break from the older (more rambunctious) kids, and we were able to take Cruze to Disney Springs. So, to say we played hard would be an understatement. We averaged about 10+ miles of walking a day, but had such a blast! The boys especially loved spending quality time with their cousins and aunts and uncles. It was such a blast!
While Disney is magical in every sense of the word, heading there during the busiest weeks can be exhausting. So, I’m here to offer you some insights as well as a few tips and tricks we learned during our trip. Introducing, the Dyer Disney World Guide. 😉 I am NO expert (only went the once) but lets bare in mind that we attended Disney World during the week of Thanksgiving. It is notoriously one of the busiest weeks of the entire year. Again- No expert, but basically everything I read online did us no good. So, these tips are for those who plan to attend during a day that is supposed to be crowded. You can check HERE, to get more insights on what days are the busiest.
- GET THERE EARLY!!On a busy day, your best bet is to show up EARLY! Im talking at least an hour before rope drop. That way, when you can go straight to the ride you simply cannot go without, that’ll likely have the longest line.
- Choose Your Park dates Wisely- If you’re planning on hitting a few parks in during your stay, make sure to plan wisely. You can use Crowd Calendar to see which dates are good and at what park. For instance, our plan as a family was to head to Magic Kindgom on a Monday. We looked at the Crowd Calendar, and it told us that date was too busy. However, it was not too busy for Hollywood Studios. So last minute we switched the two dates, and had a bit less crowds.
- STRATEGIZE YOUR FAST PASSES- I say this because everywhere you read online will tell you to get all of your fast passes for the morning, because you can get new fast passes once you’ve used the others. Well, if you’re heading to Disney on an extremely busy day, then you’ve just used all of your fast passes first thing in the morning (when ride lines are actually shorter), and guess what? It’s so busy that even after you use your others, there are still no other fast passes available! So then you’ll have to wait in extremely long lines for other rides during the busiest park hours. YIKES!!! My opinion is to get your fast passes for the afternoon or maybe even night, and arrive to the park BEFORE rope drop. Ride as many rides as you can in the morning, and then use your fast passes during the more busy hours of the day.
- Take Advantage of the Disability pass- Do you have someone in your group with a disability? My son Beckham has CP, and for YEARS we were going to amusement parks and were only able to stay for half the day (sometimes less) because he would tire out so easily. It wasn’t until a friend of mine mentioned the disability pass last year that we even knew something like it was available. With a disability pass you can bring up to six people in your group through the fast pass lane. You simply go to the ride you want, and you’re given a time to come back. In the meantime, you can walk around or find another ride to go on while you wait. This was honestly so great for us, because Beckham could rest while we waited and we avoided long hours of standing. It made our trip 100X’s more manageable and enjoyable for B.
- Take Advantage of Discounts- Discounted Disney tickets are very rare to find, but they are possible. For instance, the Air Bnb we booked had a discount included for guests who stayed at their villas. If you plan to stay at a Disney resort, they offer discounts as well. Beware of scams! There are little to no online websites that will give you real discounted Disney tickets. Undercover Tourist is the only one I’ve found beside Disney themselves, that can offer discounts.
- Bring sacked lunches and snacks! I personally love that Disney allows food. Honestly on busy days, I have no idea how people are able to stop and eat! There is NO time! So, packing lunches for us was a must. We literally lived off of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, turkey sandwiches, and other snacks in between. We saved our treats for at night while we waited for the shows to start. There were no complaints because we were just too busy having fun. Plus, id rather spend money on their amazing treats than a $10 slice of pizza. Am I right?
7. Plan your fast passes and ride around the shows-Alright, this last one doesn’t really have much to do with navigating Disney on a busy day. It’s just something I wish I could go back and do. You guys, if you’re going to Magic Kingdom and have small kids; the SHOWS are what you should be planning you day around (in my opinion). Any show that’s placed at the front of the castle is bound to be magical. Those usually start around 5 or so, and maybe a couple here and there during the day. We were so busy trying to get to all of our favorite rides, that we forgot to work in the shows! There was one show in particular that I was really kicking myself for missing. Anna and Elsa came up and lit up the castle at dawn, and I was so dang mad at myself for not scheduling that in. We completely missed it, but heard about it from several others. 🙁 Another tip on that note. DO NOT separate before the shows. It gets so crowded that there will be no way to reunite until after the show. Just take it from me, don’t do it!
8. Take Advantage of Child Swap- If you’re traveling in a large group and have young kids, child swap will be your best friend. One stays with the child, while the other goes on the ride. The you switch. The great part about this is that (depending on the ride) you can bring up to six people with you each time you swap. So a lot of the time my kids were able to ride twice, and members of our group were able to go again too.
9. Take Pictures first thing in the morning. I know everyone will want pictures throughout the day, but getting them done first thing in the morning is always the best bet. There will be less people in the background too. Win, win!
10. Arrange Rides- Finding someone who is willing to drop you off and pick you up, will save you a lot of time and hassle. Plus, you wont have to pay for parking either!
I hope you all enjoyed our tips and tricks for navigating Disney World even during the busiest of seasons. Who’s planning a trip this year? I for one am already thinking about heading back for the boys Spring Break! Here’s to the most Magical place on Earth!