Top Things to Know Before Visiting Walt Disney World

Purchase Tickets in Advance

Purchase your tickets online in advance, preferably at least 1 month prior to your trip. This will better guarantee your entry into the parks. You can buy tickets online directly from Walt Disney World or from a trusted agency. If you choose to purchase from a third-party seller, be wary of possible scams. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

You May Need a Reservation to Enter

Beginning January 9, 2024, theme park reservations will no longer be required for date-based tickets; for other admission types, theme park reservations may still be required. If you’re visiting a Walt Disney World theme park prior to January 9, 2024, you may be required to have valid park admission and a theme park reservation for each day of entry to visit; all party members must meet both requirements. Water parks, however, do not require a reservation. You are not guaranteed entry into a theme park if you do not have a reservation, even if you have valid admission. Be aware that reservations can become unavailable. That’s why we recommend purchasing your tickets at least 1 month in advance so that you can make your reservations. Before purchasing tickets, we advise checking theme park reservation availability to ensure the parks you’re interested in visiting are available. After purchasing your tickets, you should immediately make theme park reservations via the Walt Disney World website or the My Disney Experience app to guarantee your entry. To learn more about Walt Disney World’s reservation system, click here.

Early Entry & Extended Hours Are Available

Walt Disney World on-site hotel guests and select other hotels can take advantage of early theme park entry to get a head start on the day and hit up more attractions in the parks. Guests staying at a deluxe hotel can also take advantage of extended evening hours on select nights to enjoy even more time in the parks. To learn more about early theme park entry, click here. To learn more about extended evening theme park hours, click here.


You Can Skip the Lines

Walt Disney World sells Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane to bypass the regular lines at participating attractions. With the services, you can reduce your time in lines so that you can do more throughout the day. To learn more about the two services, click here.

Some Attractions Use a Virtual Queue

Attractions utilizing a virtual queue do not offer a standard standby line. In order to experience these attractions, you are required to join a virtual queue using the My Disney Experience mobile app. If available, an Individual Lightning Lane may be purchased to bypass the virtual queue. Walt Disney World’s virtual queue system enables you to obtain a boarding group throughout the day, depending on availability, which is used to indicate your place in line. If your boarding group is called, a notification is sent via the app to inform you when the attraction can be experienced. To view which attractions use a virtual queue, visit our Walt Disney World rides & attractions page and select an attraction you’re interested in. If the attraction uses this service, a note will be displayed on the page.

There’s an App

Walt Disney World has a free app on the App Store and Google Play Store. With the app, you can view maps to easily navigate the parks, view attraction wait times and showtimes, browse restaurant menus, and more. It’s a great resource to use in the parks.

There’s a Parking Fee

If you’re planning to park a vehicle at Walt Disney World’s theme parks, you’ll have to pay a parking fee unless you have an annual pass that offers free parking. The parking fee varies based on the type of vehicle you’re parking and the parking option you select. For more information, click here.

Mobile Order When You Can

You can mobile order food and beverages at various dining locations using the My Disney Experience app. It’s a convenient, easy-to-use feature that can help you avoid the long lines of guests ordering food.

There’s a Rider Switch Service

Disney offers a free rider switch service to accommodate guests traveling with children. If a guest chooses not to ride an attraction or does not meet an attraction’s boarding requirements, all other members of the party can still experience the attraction with no hassle. To learn more about this service, click here.

Touring Plans, Tips & More

Enhance your trip with our free Walt Disney World planning guide, equipped with planning resources and in-depth information about the destination.