My name is Morgan and I am a cast member at Walt Disney World. I’ve been working at the most magical place on earth for a few months now and I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks to make park hoping a little bit easier that I thought I’d like to share, that might make your trips a little bit easier.
Tip #1: Do your Research!
When planning a trip to Walt Disney World or any of the theme parks for that matter, doing some planning ahead is the best advice I can give you. There are a great many sites out there that can help you start to pre-plan your trip and save you the massive headache of getting to the parks and freaking out over how big it is and how much there is to see. If you plan ahead a little you can definitely maximize your time, and it will help insure you don’t miss any of the “must-dos” on your list.
Tip #2: Fast Passes are your friends, but use them wisely.
For those of you that are staying on property and can pre-book your fast passes, I would strongly encourage that you do that. In the summer months the parks are at their busiest and the wait times can be very long on some of your favorite rides. Having your fast passes booked early can save you a headache. And for those of you that are day guests or not staying on property- don’t freak out! Your first stop after you enter the park should be your nearest fast pass kiosk (from Mainstreet USA that is at the Stitch ride in Tomorrowland). There you can book your family’s fastpasses for the day and not have to be too terribly stressed about the two hour wait splash mountain will have by noon. But be aware- use your fastpasses wisely. Now that it is possible to get “unlimited” fastpasses (particularly in the Magic Kingdom) make sure you don’t book Wishes, or the Main Street Electrical Parade as your first three passes. Those events don’t happen until the evening and you won’t be able to grab any other fastpasses through the day. Also note- that at park open most rides don’t have much of a wait so you can go ride splash mountain 4 or 5 times and get it out of the way and save your fastpass for something else.
Tip #3- Be aware of the Size of your Stroller.
This tip is for the parents with little ones that do still need a stroller. After watching parents for 3 months lug those beastly large strollers around the park and get annoyed at every twist and turn I say to you- don’t bring the big stroller. Most of the rides do not allow the strollers in the queue lines so it will be parked in stroller parking for most of your trip anyways. The one attraction that does allow strollers is the Walt Disney World Rail Road (if you happen to ride it come look for me that’s where I work ). That’s awesome since the train will pick you up and drop you off in different locations. That said you do have to fold the stroller up to have it on the train and in the queue line. Folding the stroller can be a hassel but at least you get to rest if you come hang out on the trains with us That said, you will be lugging the large stroller around with you all day, and having to navigate through the packed walkways with a big stroller and people crossing in front of you all day doesn’t sound like the most fun. Small fold up strollers will make your life easier from what I can tell. Lighter weight, easy to fold up, no muss no fuss- happier day at Disney World.
Tip #4- The Train Station is your friend.
I promise I’m not shamelessly plugging my work location, but the train station is a great location to view the parades and the fireworks. The fastpass parade location for Festival of Fantasy is located at the castle hub, but the view from the train station is amazing. If you pitch up right on the balcony you will be eye level with most of the floats, which is fantastic as they are really quite tall. There is also some seating so you could sit down and eat a little something while you wait and watch the parade. It’s also a fantastic location for the Mainstreet Electrical Parade. The parade also passes right by you and you have prime viewing for Celebrate the Magic, and Wishes after. It is also closely located to the exit of the park. At night this is crucial because when the mass exodus of the park occurs you’ll be first in line for the ferries and the monorails.
Tip #5- HAVE FUN
Walt Disney World can be overwhelming and the pressure to do single thing the park might be intense but don’t do that. I met an amazing family while I was waiting to meet Cinderella and Rapunzal and they were telling me how stressful their day had been because they were trying to cram everything in. I understand not everyone gets to come to Disney world often, but with the time you have make sure you have fun. Please don’t spend your time stressing your fastpasses or if you didn’t get to see every show. It’s okay, pick a few things and really enjoy them. And when you do make it back all the other things on your to do list will be right here waiting for you.
These are just a few tips I’ve found to be helpful in my past trips and watching other families run through the parks. As summer goes on I’ll offer more tips and probably have some fun crazy stories to share!
Pixie Dust and Magic