Disney World is full of magic and fun for the whole family to enjoy, but it can be hard to find the time to experience it all. Whether you’re planning a weekend visit or you want to visit multiple theme parks while vacationing in Florida, these tips can help you make the most of one day at Disney World.
1 – Download Disney’s smartphone apps before you head to the parks
There are two official Disney smartphone apps: My Disney Experience and Play Disney Parks. Both of these apps will help you make the most of your day at the parks, from planning the trip to entertaining you while in line!
My Disney Experience
The My Disney Experience app has all the tools you need to make a day at Disney World happen, from planning the trip to navigating the parks and everything in between. Within the app you can purchase park tickets, make Fastpass reservations, and organize your itinerary in the “My Plans” section. You can also share your schedule with the other members of your party so that everyone is on the same page during the day.
The app’s interactive map can help you move through the parks with ease. It offers walking directions to attractions, restaurants, restrooms, shops, guest services, character experiences, and transportation areas. Most importantly, the My Disney Experience app allows you to mobile order from participating restaurants around the resort. This is crucial to your efforts to making the most of your time in the parks.
When you click on any dining area you can view the menu and place a mobile order where applicable, which allows you to avoid waiting in long lines for food at quick-service locations. The newest feature of the app is the Mobile Dine Walk-Up Waitlist Service. It allows you to check the wait times at any of Disney World’s table service restaurants. If available, you can add up to seven guests to the walk-up waitlist at participating dining locations! When you’re in the park, you will be able to view which restaurants have walk-up availability on the map.
Play Disney Parks
No matter how hard you try to avoid it, there are some times that you will have to wait in lines at the parks. However, the Play Disney Parks app can help to make that idle time a little more exciting. Available for both Apple and Android smartphones, the app has fun themed games, music playlists, Disney trivia, and digital achievements to enjoy at all four Walt Disney World parks.
2 – Arrive Early
This might sound like a no-brainer, but it’s definitely worth including on this list. It can take a long time to get inside the parks, especially if you need to stop at the ticket windows for any reason. In order to beat the crowds and get through security, aim to be at Disney World when the park you’re visiting opens for the day.
Current Park Hours
- Magic Kingdom – 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM
- Epcot – 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM
- Hollywood Studios – 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM
- Animal Kingdom – 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM
3 – Plan your reservations around the things you want to do most
Before arriving at Disney World, you’ll need to make a reservation to enter the park. If you’re planning to use a park hopper ticket, you only need to make a reservation for the park you want to start your day at. Due to COVID-19 guidelines, park hopping is currently limited to 2:00 PM-9:00 PM so it’s a good idea to start at the park that has the attractions you most want to experience. Because Disney World is still operating with crowd restrictions, there’s not a guarantee that you will be able to get into a second park during park hopper hours. Once inside the parks, start your day by heading to the attractions you want to ride most. As it gets more crowded, you’ll be spending more time in lines and might not get to check every ride off of your to-do list unless you plan wisely. These are the attractions that typically have the longest lines at each park:
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Splash Mountain
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Space Mountain
- Test Track
- Frozen Ever After
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Millenium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
- Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
- Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Avatar – Flight of Passage
- Na’vi River Journey
- Kilimanjaro Safari
- Expedition Everest
These tips are helpful to keep in mind whether you’re planning one day at Disney World or you visit the parks regularly. For more theme park tips, here are some tricks to making the most of a day at SeaWorld Orlando!