We’ve all been there.
We go on vacation and while we’re there we see something ingenious… something that we wish we would have thought of.
we get totally screwed over because we didn’t realize we would need XYZ on the trip. (yeah, I’ve been there too many times to count! Learn from my mistakes people!)
Especially when it comes to Disney World, planning and packing and enjoying your ‘vacation’ can be overwhelming.
So here’s what we did.
We gathered 30 tips designed with ease in mind, just for you!
This quick fun read will give you some stellar ideas that you can use on your next Disney World vacation (and many can be applied to any theme park 🤩 you’ve got options when you come to orlando)
This post contains affiliate links at no extra cost to you, check out my affiliate disclosure for more information and all the legal mumbo jumbo.
25 tips for Ultimate Disney World Hacking! (you can thank me with some starbucks 😘)
- Bring a stroller- or rent one- even if you don’t have kids. They are amazing for storing all your stuff. Disney has totally changed the way you can rent strollers as of NOVEMBER 1st 2019 (yes I update my posts regularly) SO- you can get rentals at MCO or you will have to meet FACE TO FACE with the delivery company. A total pain if you want a stroller outside of the ones at Disney Parks. Personally i like having this one because I just fold it up smaller than a backpack.
- If you do bring a stroller, have something bright and unique to identify it (or a way to find it with your phone) cast members regularly move the stroller and you don’t want it to get misplace! Especially when it’s dark outside.
- If your on the Disney Dining plan, you can grab sealed alcoholic drinks as your beverage or side– even for kids meals- and even for breakfast. You can just store them in the mini fridge at the hotel for later! (can I get a hell yeah and an amen!)
- If you have younger kids OR from outside of the United States OR on a limited data plan- bring some walkie talkies. No, you won’t look weird, I see it all the time and then kick myself for not grabbing some for our oldest kid to wear on his waist band! (we actually just got him this after a scare last week- I LOVE it! so easy for him to use even when we’re not at disney)
- Always grab a celebration button if something exciting is happening. Birthday? Anniversary? Graduation? It’s not always that you’ll get acknowledgement, but we’ve had more cast members go above and beyond when wearing the buttons than any other time.
- Two Words. Mobile Ordering. You can do this from the My Disney App and it is a serious game changer! We do it for meals but also if we just wants snacks and drinks. It makes a huge difference.
- Bring some Ziploc. Hear me out- they are so versatile. Need a bag for snacks? Need somewhere to put your earrings? Have nasty clothes that need to get washed but you don’t have the time? I ALWAYS bring some reusable wetbags and some ziplocs into the parks. My kids never finish their food and complain about being hungry later… here’s your ziploc with your lunch 😈
- Buy your git cards at Target and get 5% off. I know people that say that it doesnt work- but it still works for me! I mean… they have it in the target app as an advertisement. It works people.
- Put your kids name on their tshirt or their pin lanyard. Normally, I’m not a fan of the names being visible, but it’s so magical at Disney for the character to call your children by their names. It really catches them off guard, surprises them, and makes it special.
- Bit Bands Will save your magic bands! They call them magic sliders at the park. you need to get some! They will prevent your magic bands from falling off your arm- which is a HUGE problem, especially for kids. Or you can get the little magic band socket buddies so you don’t wear it on your wrist at all. THEY. ARE. WORTH. IT.
11. Bring pop up hampers or storage containers with you to your resort. They fold up for easy packing, but are great for keeping things organized. Especially when you are running late and can’t find your ears and socks.
I hope I’m not the only person that runs late! We have these ones and I won’t travel without them ever again.
12. Portable Phone chargers are great to bring with you to a full day at the parks. I really like this one from amazon, but Disney also offers the Fuel Rods, where you can rent your portable charger. Other theme parks have fuel rods too, but charge you to charge them- like 1-3 dollars a pop WHICH DISNEY MIGHT BE DOING. Bring your own, you won’t regret it!
13. Always always always (get it? ok good) have more than one pair of shoes at the resort. If you have the room I’d recommend bringing an extra pair to the parks. Walking around in wet shoes or with blisters is a serious joy kill.
And the shoes at Disney (because you know they got them!) are 30-60 dollars. I’d rather spend that on toys and gear than shoes for the kids because their shoe broke. Legit just happened to me last week. Ugh. My kid walked around seaworld with a broken croc and I wasn’t even mad because the only ones they had (toms) were 50 dollars and UGLY af. So no. It wasn’t gonna happen.
14. Understand that Disney World has seasonal pricing on EVERYTHING.
Yes, all the souvenirs, all the food, the tickets, the resort. If you are planning- keep this in mind. It may only seem like a dollar here and a dollar there but they add up! (best times to go to Disney)
15. Disney has gone plastic-less in many ways. Which I love because 🌎💚
From takeout containers to straws- like I mentioned above, we bring ziploc bags, but also consider bringing in your own straw. The paper ones kinda suck! (and not in a good sucking way!!!)
Theres lots of options. Regular plastic straws, stainless steel ones, and even foldable silicon straws.
WE use these ones for the park because of how compact they are and I don’t have to worry about them taking up a lot of room in our luggage.
17. Keep your stroller dry with a rain cover– or you could pack a clear shower curtain. This way it stays all nice and folded unless you actually need to use it. Sometimes it rains, sometimes it doesnt! They DO sell them at the BABY care centers!
18. I’m not sure about you, but I don’t always sleep the best when the room next door is loud- or the people walking outside are talking at 1 am- or your by the pool that doesnt close till 11 pm.
Get yourself a noise maker or use an app on your phone! It makes a huge difference in how well you sleep!
19. No exaggeration here- chaffing or “chub rub” is a real problem at Disney World (and Florida in general). Obviously, wearing clothes to help prevent the chaffing helps. You know what else works? Chaffe cream. Here’s my tried and tested brand. This stuff is a LIFE saver. TMI? sorry- just trying to save you days of agony in the florida weather while you walk 8 miles a day in pain.
20. You’ve heard it 1000 times and I’m going to tell you again. Pack the dang reusable water bottle. Water bottles as of june 2019 (can confirm they are still hella expensive in November) are OVER 4 dollars a piece depending on what park and where you purchase them from.
Don’t do that to yourself. Just bring the water bottle and stay hydrated.
21. I also LOVE my mommy hook for my stroller. It’s like a carabiner hook on steroids. Here’s one from amazon so you know what I mean. They are perfect for the stroller and they also work well attaching to other backpacks to carry #allthethings.
22. Want to avoid the end of the night meltdown where your kids wants to buy everything in site? Back some gifts ahead of time and bust them out each day. Some parents have a lot of fun theming the gifts, and others like to give small gifts every day to help keep the kids preoccupied.
Nothing wrong with a few souvenirs- just keep in mind that you can easily spend 200 dollars on 4 stuffed animals, a pillow, a purse and a squeeze toy. #askmehowIknow
23. You can skip mousekeeping and get 10 dollars a night if your staying on Disney World Property. Just ask at the front desk. Yes, they still bring you towels. And depending on the resort they will take out your trash or you might just need to put the trash can outside the door. Easy peasy! This doesn’t work at Deluxe Resorts FYI
24. On that note- you can also ask for extra fastpasses. Obviously don’t be rude about it, but simply talking to someone at the hotel concierge or guest services at the park can get you a long way. Don’t forget to ask though- they normally wont give them out to everyone, let them know your interested in getting a few more.
I’ve only done this once (I’m an Orlando Native so I don’t really need them) but I did test it this summer at the concierge at the hotel. I just asked them how I could get extra Fast passes and she just gave me an extra one! WOO!
25. No park ticket? No problem. You can still do quite a few things at the resorts without Park tickets. This is a great way to have fun without breaking the bank. Check out all the things you can do without a park ticket.