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!
Talking Strollers, Storage and Lockers
Bring a stroller- or rent one- even if you don’t have kids. They are amazing for storing all your stuff.
Personally I bring my own with the kids, or I rent through a reputable company like Kingdom Strollers. (You can purchase small umbrella strollers (like the ones you’d find at walmart or target) at Disney World for 39. )
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 (putting lights on it is such a good idea!)
You can also rent a locker if you have larger items, or you have kids and want to bring in several things. But you don’t HAVE to rent a locker for most rides. All the rides you can bring an average sized back pack/book bag.
I also LOVE a 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.
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)
Disney World also has free wifi all around the resort. The Parks have the best coverage, and then it can be hit or miss at the resorts depending on where you room is. The Buses also have wifi. This means you can bring a phone or tablet not connected to data and hook it up to internet.
Celebrating a Special Occasion?
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.
Consider custom shirts, especially to memorialize someone who didn’t make it on the trip. They say we ‘celebrate the way we mourn’ and lots of people head to Disney World when they are grieving.
Plan custom photos using Disney World’s Magic your way custom photo sessions. It’s recommended to use a travel agent who can help you get all those special options booked ahead of time.
Life Hacks at Disney World
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.
Bring some Ziploc/Plastic Baggies. 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 😈
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. (Also helps if you loose your child! putting your phone number on their clothing somewhere, or one their arm is a great idea if you have runners/ elopers)
You’ve heard it 1000 times and I’m going to tell you again. Pack the dang reusable water bottle. You can easily spend over 50 dollars a person (per day) on water/cold drinks just because your thirsty.
Don’t do that to yourself. Just bring the water bottle, stay hydrated, and buy drinks you actually want to try.
Optimize your time in the Theme Parks
You’re paying good money to be inside the theme parks, make sure you respect your time there!
Make a bucket list/can’t miss list for your trip- so you can prioritize the most important things without regret at the end of the night that you missed one of your favorite things.
Plan for pictures in the morning, or when you first get to the park, so you look fresh and don’t forget to remember your trip!
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 in the time you spend!
Plan to spend the whole day at the parks, with a small break in the afternoon. If you are staying on property, head back to the resort to freshen up and then come back for the evening. If you are staying off property, book a table service or character meal around 2-4 pm to enjoy the air conditioning and plan the rest of your night.
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.
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
Great Ideas for the Resorts
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.
Plan a resort rest day. Enjoy sleeping in, grabbing a character meal, spending time at the pool, going mini golf etc etc
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.
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!
In case you didnt know
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)
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.