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By Soarin’ Diva

I see people complain on Facebook groups often about various things that didn’t quite go their way on their Walt Disney World vacations.  It was too hot.  It was too rainy.  The lines were too long.  They couldn’t get into a restaurant they wanted to eat at because they wanted to wing their vacation and not make reservations.  The Cast Members wouldn’t let them hold their precious baby high up in the air Simba style in front of something they desperately wanted to take a picture of.  The list can go on and on about some of the complaints I see on a daily basis just by scrolling through Facebook.  Because of this, I have decided to impart my glorious wisdom on you by giving you a few totally unsolicited tips to make your Disney vacation go a little smoother.

Tip 1:  Make a plan!  Seriously, it seems like the most simple and logical advice in the world, yet there are so many who ignore this advice.  Check the weather before you arrive and prepare for it, poncho’s exist for a reason.  There’s always someone who goes to Walt Disney World for the first time, thinking that they can just waltz onto every ride they want like Cinderella in the ballroom with no wait because they spent a ton of money on their vacation, so everything should just go their way.  Reality check, every single person in that park spent a ton of money on their vacation.  Every. Single. One.  Don’t get me wrong, I know there are seasoned pro’s who know the in’s and out’s and can get away with winging their vacation, but for those who don’t know the way things work at the parks, winging it is only going to lead to misery.  If you don’t like the thought of spending precious time at home planning out Fast Passes and dining reservations, I highly recommend using a travel agent.  Our recommended travel agent is Patricia at All Dreams for Travel, and you can contact her here to request a quote.  If you are a bit of a control freak, like I am, and actually enjoy planning out your vacation, this shouldn’t be a problem for you.  Just find some great Disney fan site Facebook pages (like Tips From The Disney Diva) to get great tips and advice from.

My Disney Experience modifying FastPass time

Modifying Fast Pass Time Selection

Tip 2: Make those three initial FastPasses for each park day!  Yes, I know this actually goes with the planning, but it’s seriously important.  Why would you choose to stand in an hour-long line for Space Mountain when you can just FastPass it and get on much quicker?  If you are staying at a Disney resort, or at one of the Disney Friends Resorts at Disney Springs, you can get access to make those FastPasses 60 days before your vacation begins.  If you are not staying on Disney property, you can make those FastPasses up to 30 days before your vacation starts.  Make sure you are logged into My Disney Experience right before the window opens at 7:00am Eastern Time. Aren’t able to get all the FastPass+ reservations you want? Soarin’ Diva has tips on How to Score Those Hard to Get FastPass+ here.

Bread Pudding at Walt Disney World's Polynesian Resort 'Ohana

‘Ohana’s Bread Pudding

Tip 3: Make dining reservations at exactly 180 days before your vacation begins.  Again, I know this goes along with the planning advice, but there are so many details that go into planning.  You need to have a very clear idea of which sit-down dinners you want to eat and if you want to dine at Character meals, such as Pooh and Friends at The Crystal Palace.  Many high-demand restaurants stay solidly booked and most of the time will not be able to accommodate someone who walks by the door and decides at the last second they NEED to eat there. Just like FastPass+ Soarin’ Diva also has tips on How to Get Those Hard to Get Dining Reservations here.

My Disney Experience modifying Fast Pass time

Modifying Fast Pass Time Selection

Tip 4: Once you have used your initial three FastPasses, make a fourth.  I’m always shocked when seasoned Disney vacationers don’t realize they can do this.  When you have used your fourth FastPass, make a fifth.  When you have used your fifth, make a sixth, and so on and so on…see where I’m going with this?  There is literally no limit to how many FastPasses you can make in one day.  My husband and I have a record of 22 FastPasses in one day at Magic Kingdom.  As soon as you have tapped your magic band, log onto My Disney Experience to grab another FastPass.  It’s that easy.  Can’t find one for a time you like?  Grab it anyway, then modify it to find an earlier time.  It’s become a game for us, to see how many we can squeeze in for the day.  I mean, why would I stand in a line and wait if I can FastPass it?  I will say, it’s easier to get more at Magic Kingdom than it is at the other three Walt Disney World Parks, but that’s only because Magic Kingdom has many more attractions than the other parks.  I’m not saying you’re going to be able to snag that golden ticket for Seven Dwarf’s MIne Train, or Avatar: Flight of Passage, but you will get some really good one’s, and you never know, you may just get one of the golden ticket FastPasses too.  I was lucky enough to snag a Flight of Passage FastPass for our fourth this last October, meaning we rode it that day three times, once at rope drop, and the other two with FastPasses.

Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom

Photo op wall at Toy Story Land in Hollywood Studios

Wall at Toy Story Land

Avatar – Flight of Passage

Tip 5: Rope Drop.  I think I mention this one in literally every article I write, but there are still a ton of people who can’t manage to drag themselves out of bed to rope drop a ride.  Okay, to be fair, I know that there are a lot of families with little one’s who are exhausted and could use a few extra minutes in the morning.  There are others, though, without littles that will complain about never being able to get a FastPass for Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train, Slinky Dog Dash or Avatar: Flight of Passage, yet they are unwilling to risk life and limb with the rest of us by rope dropping at the park of choice to ride one of these rides without having to wait in a never-ending, eternal line.  Yes, it can be a little scary when you are 5ft 1 & 1/2 inches, rope dropping Flight of Passage, and a seven-foot man shoves you out of his way to get ahead of you, but try to keep your temper in check (because honestly, when you are half his height, you aren’t going to be able to do much to him anyway) and continue in the madhouse, rope dropping line until you reach your destination.  I promise you, it’s worth it!

Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom

Soarin' Diva and husband riding The Many Adventure's of Winnie the Pooh at Early Morning Magic

Riding The Many Adventure’s of Winnie the Pooh

Tip 6: Stop expecting the impossible and try to go with the flow.  Don’t be “that’ person, don’t be entitled.  If you aren’t willing to put in a little work and effort to make your vacation, that you spent thousands on, more enjoyable and go smoother, don’t get mad and rant about it.  No, they aren’t going to just upgrade you to a suite because you asked.  Yes, people have been upgraded, but that’s called Disney Magic and it’s up to the discretion of the Cast Member.  Just because you demand it, doesn’t mean you deserve it.  Don’t whine if there’s a line at the FastPass entrance.  Any line at the FastPass entrance is still going to be much, much shorter than the stand-by line.  Don’t give a hard time at the Cast Member checking people in for their dining reservation when they tell you there aren’t any tables available for someone who didn’t bother to make a reservation.  Don’t get angry and yell at the Cast Member who measured little Johnny and he wasn’t tall enough to go on the ride. Height restrictions are there to PROTECT your child from harm, not as a way to be mean to a child.  Don’t you love little Johnny enough to want him to be safe?  Isn’t safety more important, isn’t little Johnny’s life more important than him being a little upset for five minutes because he wasn’t quite tall enough?

So there you have it, a few of my unsolicited tips to help you get through the misery of having to go to Walt Disney World, the most magical place on earth.  If you are still determined to be miserable on your vacation, I’m sure I can come up with more unsolicited tips to try to ease the pain of playing with Mickey Mouse or feeling the wind blow your hair on Expedition Everest.  Maybe these first six tips will be enough to help you take a little time before you arrive to make sure things go as smoothly as possible though, and help you ensure that you will have fun and make amazing memories with your family.

Are you ready to start planning your magical vacation, but you aren’t sure where to start? Contact our recommended travel agent, Patricia at All Dreams for Travel, and she can do all the work for you. Best of all, all of her services are FREE, all you have to do is click here to request a quote!

***Disclaimer – We at Tips from the Disney Divas and Devos hope you enjoy reading our articles, and encourage you to share any you feel may be of interest to someone else. We do ask, however, if you choose to share the photographs attached to our articles, you give credit to the photographer. Thank you for your cooperation and sharing our love of Disney!