There is an almost-infinite number of things you could know that could help you plan the perfect Disney World vacation. Some are obvious — get your Disney tickets for a time when school is in session and the weather is less awesome, and you’ll pay less.
Disney offers a free trip-planning DVD, as well as customized park maps, to those who request them. Be one of those people!
Disney occasionally offers a promotion called the Free Disney Dining Plan that seems to save you mountains of money by making all of your eats come at no cost (up to some amount per person per day). That can feel like huge savings, but the trick is that getting the ‘free’ dining plan means you can’t ever get any of the other discounts that are commonly handed out — for example, if you get the free food but you miss out on a 25% or greater discount on room prices for doing so, you’re probably saving less money than you could be. Research all the different options, and calculate total cost for each before you commit.
The Magic Kingdom has some really amazing ‘bonus material’ for folks who get there before the park opens — or stay after it closes.
FastPass+ is essentially a ‘ride reservation,’ and for some of the most popular rides (Splash Mountain, the Seven Dwarves train, Toy Story Mania, Frozen Meet-n-Greet, etc.), it’s the only way to be able to ride them without waiting for an hour or more. FastPass+ is only enabled when you buy your tickets directly from Disney (expensive), or from a select few ‘authorized discounters’ (less expensive.) If you can’t get FastPass+, don’t buy tickets from that dealer, period. If you can get it, use it. If you find an attraction you need it for but you don’t have it, make getting to that attraction early in the morning a top priority on your next day’s trip, or stay after the gates close — you can’t get into a new line, but you can stay in whatever line you’re in until you get a chance to ride.
PhotoPass+ will save you a ton of money if you’re the type who likes the in-ride pictures — and you can use it to get ‘free’ pics from the PhotoPass photographers that are scattered throughout the parks.
All Disney hotels have package holding — so you can skip some checked-bag fees and even some Disney fees by mailing yourself food or goods you’ll need for your vacation.
When You Eat At Whispering Canyon Café (Which You Absolutely Should)……don’t be afraid to ask for anything you need — but be sure you’ve packed your sense of humor!
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