Tips for Visiting Walt Disney World

We’ve compiled our top tips for visiting Walt Disney World to ensure you maximize your time in the parks and get the most out of your vacation.

Getting Your Ticket

  • Purchase your tickets in advance to save time during your trip.
  • Purchase your tickets either directly from Walt Disney World or from a trusted agent.

Where to Stay

  • If your budget allows for it, consider staying at a Walt Disney World on-site hotel. Each hotel features various accommodations, expansive pool areas, hotel activities, and its own unique theme. Staying at an on-site hotel provides you with early park entry and complimentary transportation throughout the property.
  • If a Walt Disney World on-site hotel doesn’t match your budget, browse hotels nearby and take note of online reviews. Some hotels may provide complimentary shuttles to Walt Disney World.

What to Pack

  • Bring a small bag to the parks so that you can pack your belongings, including personal items, snacks, water, etc.
  • Bring an empty reusable bottle so that you can refill it with free refills of water in the parks.
  • Always pack a poncho when visiting. They provide more overall coverage than umbrellas and are easier to use in heavy crowds. Florida may be known as the sunshine state, but thunderstorms are common, especially during the summer. It’s better to be prepared for the weather; otherwise, you may be spending money on more expensive ponchos in the parks.
  • Pack a portable fan to keep cool in the heat, especially during the summer.
  • Bring sunscreen to protect your skin from the effects of the sun.
  • If you’re visiting during wintertime, keep track of the weather in the area at least a week prior to your trip. If cool/cold weather is expected, pack warm clothing.
  • Be sure to bring comfortable shoes. You’ll probably be walking all day your entire trip. Comfortable shoes are essential to getting through the day.
  • Consider packing a portable charger to keep your phone charged throughout the day.
  • Adults should always carry their passport or ID when visiting Walt Disney World. They may be required for park entry or to purchase alcoholic beverages.
  • If you plan to visit a water park or go on a water ride at a regular theme park, bring towels and flip-flops.

Avoiding the Lines

  • Use our FREE touring plans and resources to get the most out of your trip.
  • Download the official My Disney Experience mobile application on the App Store or Google Play Store to view wait times for attractions in the parks. You can use the app to easily view which attractions have short lines and long lines. You can use this information to decide which attractions to ride.
  • Arrive ahead of park opening to be one of the first to experience the attractions and shows in the parks. If you’re staying at a Walt Disney World on-site hotel, you can take advantage of early park entry.
  • Consider using the Single Riders line to experience shorter wait times for some attractions. You may be separated from your group, but you can reduce your time in line for popular attractions.
  • Consider purchasing Disney Genie+ and/or individual Lightning Lane(s) on busy days to skip the regular lines at participating attractions.

Saving Money

  • Disney Visa Credit Card members, Disney Visa Debit Card members, and annual passholders should take advantage of discounts at various dining and shopping locations throughout Disney. Use your Disney Visa Credit or Debit Card or show your annual pass at a participating location to receive your discount.
  • Bring a small snack to avoid purchasing unnecessary food. Be sure that the items you pack comply with Walt Disney World’s rules. Click here to learn more about items prohibited in the parks.

Getting Through the Day

  • Try to limit the number of items you bring to the park. It can be a hassle to carry a lot of items all day long. If needed, consider renting a locker for a fee.
  • Dress comfortably for the day. Be sure that the shoes you’re wearing provide enough cushion and aren’t tight.
  • Take short breaks throughout the park, if needed. Walking and standing all day can be tiring. Sitting down and stretching can help relieve your discomfort.
  • Drink cool beverages throughout the day to stay hydrated. You can take advantage of free cups of water at any dining location. Bottled water, however, is an additional charge.

Traveling with Children

  • Assign a designated meet-up location where your child is likely to remember and locate. Should your child get lost, you can meet them at that location.
  • You and your child can alert a Walt Disney World cast member should you become separated. Doing so will help locate your child.
  • Take advantage of Walt Disney World’s Rider Switch service. The service is designed to accommodate those traveling with younger guests. If a child does not meet an attraction’s boarding requirements or doesn’t want to experience an attraction, all other members can still experience that attraction with no hassle. With Rider Switch, at least one guest waits with non-riders while the rest of the group enjoys the attraction. When they return, the supervising guest(s) can then experience the attraction without waiting in the regular line again while the other members watch after non-riders. Rider Switch is available at select attractions. Check with a cast member at the entrance to the attraction you’d like to experience to see if this service is available for that attraction. If so, you can inform the cast member that you’d like to utilize it, and they will provide additional information.
  • Walt Disney World’s parks are designed to be kid-friendly, so kids can enjoy various attractions and areas.

Going on a Water Ride

  • If you have a lot of items with you, consider renting a locker when visiting a water ride. They’ll keep your valuables safe and prevent any water damage. Free lockers are available for smaller items at Animal Kingdom’s Kali River Rapids attraction for a limited number of hours.
  • If you aren’t visiting with many items, bring waterproof sealable bags. You can use them to prevent your items from getting wet. Simply place them inside the bag and seal them.
  • Pack a towel so that you can dry off afterward.
  • Wear flip-flops on water rides so your shoes aren’t soaked all day. You can switch to your shoes afterward.
  • Consider bringing extra clothes to change out of your wet ones.

Have a tip you’d like to share with our readers? Submit it to [email protected] with the subject titled “Walt Disney World Tips.”