- Get the app. Downloading the My Disney Experience app gives you all the up to date information when it comes to character meet and greets locations and attraction queue times. On our recent trips to Disney, we used the app to book our dining reservations before we even left for Disney. Its so simple.
- Stopping at a Disney value resort. This might not seem the most glamorous way to spend your holiday, but why pay big money for a hotel you are only going to sleep in? Even then, all the value resorts are great quality and very clean. I do not believe a dirty Disney place even exists, they even clean up the remnants of the parade minutes after its has finished.
- Get the dining plan. We got the “middle” dining plan, which entitled us to 1 snack, 1 quick service meal and 1 table service meal each per day. Pro Tip: use your snack credit and refillable drink for breakfast. You can get a range of items such as muffins, pastries, donuts and fruit. But remember, 1 item = 1 snack credit. We then used the quick service meal for lunch in the parks, which entitled us to a dispensed drink, main meal and a dessert. Finally using our table service meal for the evening meal at the park restaurants or Disney Springs. Some restaurants require two table service credits per person per meal, so be aware and do not be afraid to ask the waiter. On average the bill for two people for the evening meal was $100 not including tip. The dining plan is £49.99 per adult, per day.
- Photopass+ is worth it. There are photopass+ photographers located all around the parks. You can find them at character meet and greets and main photo hot spots such as: in front of Cinderella’s castle, in front of the globe at Epcot and down the main street in Hollywood Studios. Also any in-ride photos taken are all included, just don’t forget to tap your magic band or ticket on the appropriate screens button. All photos go straight to your My Disney Experience app within a few minutes, you can then download them (using the free wifi) to your smartphone for printing off or posting on social media. Remember, this saves you having to take your camera on all the rides.
- Fastpass for fireworks and shows. This may seem like a wasted fastpass however, if you want the best views, prime photo locations and more space it is worth it. We used our fastpass in Magic Kingdom for the fireworks and were given one of the small garden areas located at the end of main street in front of the castle. It was sectioned off and no one could stand directly in front of the area, which meant nobody tall could stand in the way. Please see photos at the end of this post.
- Two weeks is a must! We have visited Walt Disney World Florida twice. Two weeks for Easter and one week for Christmas. One week did not seem enough and we felt rushed to see all parks and attractions, including getting involved with the festivities. The two weeks at Easter gave us plenty of time to spend two days at each park, a spa day at the Swan and Dolphin, a waterpark day and two days at Universal Studios, and plenty of evenings at Disney Springs for shopping and relaxing.
- Character Dining. At Christmas we reserved a table for Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood and Vine. It was a buffet style meal which cost us one table service credit each, and the characters visited each table in their holiday attire one at a time for a photo opportunity. Other character dining experiences include, Tusker House for safari dressed characters, Akershus Royal Banquet Hall for princesses and the Crystal Palace for Winnie the Pooh and friends. Please double check the credits for each meal, as some character dining options may be different.
- Visit Deluxe Resorts (for free). A good excuse to see all the resorts is at Christmas, when each hotel is decorated in its own style. The life sized gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian resort is not to be missed, with cast members serving gingerbread drinks and snacks from inside! If you are into pin trading, then visiting the resorts is great for different pins and more cast members to trade with. From Magic Kingdom, you can take the free monorail to the Contemporary resort including the Bay lake Tower, Polynesian resort and the Grand Floridian resort and spa. The boat at Epcot or Hollywood Studios can take you to the Swan and Dolphin hotel, the Yacht Club and Beach Club resorts and the BoardWalk area.
- (Do not) Try the Beverley. A free drink at Epcot’s Club Cool. There are many free Coca-Cola based drinks from around the world to try, but the Beverley has got to be the worst drink i have ever tasted. You will not forget the taste. Ever.
- Do not underestimate the Kali River Rapids. I speak from experience here. We foolishly left our waterproofs in the locker. It was only when we saw the warning signs that you may get soaked that we started to panic. We ended up going down the main drop backwards and a tidal wave engulfed us, leaving us soaked through to our skin. The Florida sun did not dry us as we would of hoped, and we ended up leaving the park early to go back to the hotel and change clothes. It put a dampener on the day. Pun intended!
Fastpass viewpoint for Main Street parade
Character dining photo opportunities – Minnie’s Holiday Dine at Hollywood and Vine
Some of the Christmas displays at the Deluxe resorts
Thank you for reading, please like and share!
The Travelling Dave