Planning and touring your Disney World vacation is, let’s face it, a lot of work. Once home you will wish you had a vacation from your vacation.
But there are some things that you can do during the planning and touring process to help you save both time and money. Let’s take a look at a couple of these in this first part of Disney World Hacks.
Buy Gift Cards Before Heading Down
Disney gift cards give you the option to add and manage 5 different Disney gift cards on a single account.
While I always recommend backing up your gift card here in case you lose it, you can also merge balances, up to $1,000 on a single card.
Traveling the parks with a gift card is a great option, you’re not paying with cash and receiving a ton of coin change and not putting dozens of small charges on your debit/credit cards.
It’s also a good way to control how much you’re spending with your budgets.
The months leading up to your trip I recommend buying gift cards at your local wholesale club (BJ’s, Costco, etc.). Target also has a debit card that saves you 5% on all purchases including Disney gift cards.
All of your individual cards can be loaded across five different ones and used for all of your purchases including dining, merch and festival booths!
Buying them like this can usually save a few bucks per gift card, which could equate to a free drink.
There are also tons of fun designs to choose from!
Use Multiple Devices When Booking FastPasses
Booking your FastPass+ reservations is one of the most exciting and nerve-racking experiences of booking your trip.
With the different tiers of each park and knowing how many people are trying to do the same thing as you there is a way to give yourself the upper hand.
Chances are you already have lined up which days you want to tour which park and what attractions you want to secure. Well go ahead and grab two laptops, a tablet or phone and book multiple days at once!
My Disney Experience does not limit how many multiple logins you can have at once, so go ahead and log in to two different machines.
Logging into to different browsers on a single machine will also give you the same ability.
On one device you can book your Monday FastPass+ for Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom while simultaneously booking your Tuesday FastPass+ for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
It’s more to keep track of but gives you an upper hand to score the attractions that you want.
Book All Of Your FastPass+ Reservations In The Morning
If you can try and make all of your FastPass+ reservations for earlier in the day. If you can secure them all back to back as well. Just make sure you’re not running all over the park.
Once your initial three FastPasses are used or expired you can continue booking additional FastPasses one at a time.
Booking individual passes after your initial ones also give you the freedom to book at any park the remainder of the day.
If you book all your FastPasses for early in the day you can then start booking additional FastPasses earlier in the afternoon and get a few more in.
Also, along with this try to avoid booking FastPasses for nighttime entertainment. Booking those ensures that you will definitely not be able to book any additional FastPasses.
Leave Your Bags With Bell Services
If you have an early morning flight on your arrival day or later flight your last day do not worry about your bags!
You can bring your carry-on bags right to Bell Services and they will hold them for your for free. Although tipping is not required it is customary to tip $1-$2 per bag.
Handing your bags off to the resort will allow you to head out and start getting into the fun!
Or get in a last few rides before heading back to your resort for your Magical Express reservation.
Just make sure you grab your MagicBands!
Use the Disney Transportation To Your Benefit
We have a whole section on this site dedicated to Walt Disney World Transportation because it is the biggest benefit included with your Resort stay.
But the most obvious transportation might not be the quickest. Time is money in Disney and spending it traveling between parks and resorts is the biggest time expense.
Staying at the Contemporary Resort and heading to Magic Kingdom? Utilize the walking path, with its own security entrance! Do this instead of jumping on the monorail and hitting each resort along the way.
You can also walk to any of the Epcot Resorts (Boardwalk Inn, Beach Club and Yacht Club) to quickly get from Epcot to any other part of Walt Disney World, aside from other resorts.
Check your resort map when you check-in and look to see what other options they offer besides buses to get to different areas of the Walt Disney World Resort.
Book Early Morning Breakfasts/Character Meals
Want to get into the parks before most guests and get some great pictures? Book an early morning breakfast reservation. Reservations can be booked at each park prior to their opening.
Depending what time your reservation is set for you can use WDW transportation, a ride share service or Minnie Van to get to the park.
There will be a separate entrance for getting in and you can head to your dining location in a nearly empty park. You can’t walk anywhere you want in the park but can still do some exploring in a nearly empty park.
Character meals are also a great way to get photos and autographs without waiting in extremely long lines out in the heat.
During character meals specific Disney characters will come to your table and pose for photos so you are guaranteed to meet them.
While there is a monetary commitment you do have to eat anyway. Plus, again, time is money so any time not spent in a line is well spent.