Travel Bloggers Share over 30 of their Best Disney Tips
I love having the opportunity to collaborate with other bloggers. Especially when it comes to Family Travel. Here is a great list of the Best Disney tips from some of my favourite family travel bloggers!
Carpe Diem OUR Way’s Associate Writer Christi Manson (follow her on twitter @christi_manson)
Tip #1 To save buying food and drinks at the park, we pack in our own. I freeze water bottles at night, and throw them in a dollar store cooler bag at the bottom of the stroller. They keep our cold snacks cold and give us cold water to drink all day!
Tip # 2 You need to PRE book your character dinners and experiences (book as early as 60 days in advance) We did GOOFY’s Kitchen. For 3 of us, it was US$121 Is it worth it? Not really. It is a nice buffet. It wasn’t anything out of this world. We DID do the makeover at the Bippity Boppity Boutique with my 4 year old and she loved that. Again, book up to 60 days in advance!
You can read more of her tips here
If you want a great packing list for your day check out: Disney Packing List – What to Bring into the Park
Leslie from Trips with Tykes
Tip # 1: Know How to Maximize Rider Switch. If you are visiting Disneyland with kids too young to too scared to ride some of the thrill rides, there’s no need to skip them. Disneyland offers a service called Rider Switch where parents can trade off watching a younger child and riding the attraction, while only having to wait in line once. Best of all, you can use this service in conjunction with Fastpass to skip even more of the line. Plus, you can also save your Rider Switch return passes to use any time later in the day.
Tip # 2: Bring Your Own Stroller
Even kids who have been out of strollers for a year or two back home might need them during a day at Disneyland. While you can rent strollers at Disney in a pinch, they are expensive, bulky, and hard to spot when everyone else’s stroller looks the same. You also can’t take them out of the parks, so they aren’t a solution if you need to walk back to a nearby hotel. Bring a nimble Umbrella Stroller if you have toddlers and preschoolers to save money and your back.
You can also check out City Stroller Rentals
Silvia from Mama Latina Tips
Tip#1 Hit the outdoor attractions early in the morning or evening, watch shows in the middle of the day when is hotter.
Tip #2 Kids need to run and play at some point, Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island at Disneyland and Redwood Creek Challenge Trail at Disney California Adventure are great options. Take them the for an hour to burn some energy. Everybody will feel better.
Gemma from Two Scots Abroad
FASTPASSES! What a time saving genius idea. And guess what? They are complimentary, free, gratis! FASTPASS dedicates a time for the ticket owner to attend a ride, the park attendee then joins the FASTPASS queue, which is shorter so less time to wait on the big kid”™s rides such as Big Thunder Mountain and more time to explore the magic of Disneyland.
Dana from Calgary Playground Review
Tip #1If your child is interested in characters but doesn’t want to pose for pictures, try using an autograph book to break the ice or let them be the photographer and take pictures of the characters instead of with them.
Tip #2 Recognize When The Kids Are Done Even If You Are Not. At some point during the day your kids are going to crash. Especially if you only have a day or two in Disneyland, this may be long before you were hoping to leave the park. Try to recognize when they have had enough and leave wanting more instead of doing one more thing.
Beth from Cloud Surfing Kids
Pack travel size Woolite or travel laundry soap for washing and re-washing the outfit your child insists on wearing every day. (For us it was one princess dress–when I had packed five!)
Dan from Points with a Crew
Bring your own glow sticks rather than buying them at the park!
Bryanna from Crazy Family Adventure
When you go to Disney, don’t forget that it is a lot on your kids and that they are going to need breaks to just run around and be kids! There is a lot of standing in line waiting for rides, and sitting to eat, but not a lot of free time! So make sure to carve time out to let them play!
Keryn from Walking on Travels
Tip #1 If you want to meet Chewbacca or Kylo Ren at Disney Hollywood Studios, get there around 5 and 6pm. According to cast members this is always the slowest time. We did it around 5 and were in and out in under 15 minutes.
Tip #2Don’t do it all in one trip! You don’t have to see EVERY fireworks show, parade, character meet and greet, etc. Pace yourselves and just have fun. It’s so much better that way.
Corrine from Have Baby Will Travel
Tip #1 Bring a disney costume and/or Disney-themed gifts from home. Helps to avoid getting derailed in the gift shop but your child will still receive some special souvenirs.
Tip #2 Take a picture of your kids every morning, so in case you are separated you have a recent picture in the clothes they are wearing that day.
Editors Note: for safety, we recently purchased wristbands for our children that have our emergency contact numbers on them. While my four year old can easily explain to someone that they are lost and they is mommy phone number, it is much easier for him to show the number on his wristband! Wane more info? check out my post: here
Kristin from My Strange Family
During the Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away daytime show if you stand behind the stage near the entrance for The Great Movie ride you can see all of the characters eating for their turn and going in and out of their “dressing room” tents. They totally stay in character the whole time and is great fun. If you have already seen the show.”ª
Cindy from The Mom Maven
Let the kids have a say in planning the day. At breakfast, each kid in lists 3 Must-dos for the park you will be spending the day in. Focus on accomplishing those attractions first and it helps keep everyone happy. ”ª
Heather from I Love Family Travel
Disneyland and Walt Disney World just switched to seasonal pricing for their one-day tickets, so traveling off-peak can save you some money, whether you buy regular or value day tickets. Also, traveling off-peak means you can squeeze more value into a park hopper ticket as the lines are shorter for everything. We traveled off-peak and found that we were able to get through some of the rides quickly without even needing to use Fast Pass.
Karen from Family Travels on a Budget
Go at your family’s pace. Rushed and worn out kids don’t have magical vacations! ”ª
Debra from A Frugal Friend
Disney Parks will provide you free cups of water, you don’t need to buy anything at all
Ready to Book? Click Here for Disney Deals! Or Click on the image below to be directed to Hotels.com… website! We love their rewards program!
Rachael from Nothing if not Intentional
Tip # 1 I think the app is a necessary tool. I came up with a general plan/schedule for day and used the Disney app (which tells the wait times for the rides) to fill in the gaps.
Tip # 2 if your kids love big rides, keep in mind that most have a height requirement of 40 inches. My three-year-old BARELY made the cut off, and she was measured each and every time she wanted to ride Splash Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Tower of Terror (Hollywood Studios), etc. Lots of kids have been turned away from exciting rides because of the height requirements!
Amy from Pit Stops for Kids
At Disneyland Resort, where FastPass is still a ticketed process, you can avoid any line longer than 15 minutes all day if you first get to the park at rope drop, and second grab a Fastpass first, then immediately ride through stand-by for an adjacent ride.
Carpe Diem OUR Way’s Associate Writer Jessica Brolund (you can follow her on twitter @jessica_brolund)
Tip # 1 Disneyland app is FREE and will tell you everything you need to know about the park! It tells you park hours, ride closures, wait times and character meetings! It helps you optimize your Disney experience by finding which rides in the area have the shortest line or making sure your family doesn’t miss out on meeting their favorite characters! The App does us data, so check with your provider if you are not with a US based carrier!
Tip # 2 There is a baby station close to the Disneyland entrance! They sell diapers (although sometimes they run out of sizes do plan on packing your own diapers if your child needs them and use this service as a back up only) and soothers (and let me tell you that when your child is screaming because they dropped their soother some where in Disneyland you WILL be thankful for this service). It also has an cool private area for breast feeding or bottle feeding if you aren’t comfortable doing that around the park (or just can’t find a comfortable spot to sit)
Tip# 3 Disneyland provides a great service called photo pass! There are photographers all around the park at special attractions, at each character greeting, and at other random places! You will be given a card and they will take your photo for you and these are available online for purchase! You can purchase just your favorite photos of the trip or purchase a package of all the photos! The package is cheapest to purchase BEFORE your trip though so if you think this is a service you want to utilize that is the best option! This is great for families who want to make sure they all get in the photo together! It’s also great if you want professional quality photos without the hassle of carrying your own DSLR camera around the park! If you don’t want to spend the money to buy the package the cast members are happy to take photos with your camera for you but just note that you need to make sure the settings and zoom are where you want them as they will only point and shoot!
Bonus Tip: Visiting Disneyland for the first time or on a special occasion like an anniversary, birthday or honeymoon? Visit town hall just inside the park and let them know! They will give you a special button to let cast members know and you may get special treatment!
Bloggers Best DisneyTips for DisneyWorld Orlando
… Editors Note: these travel blogger tips applied to DisneyWorld Only, so we put them in a separate group. The tips above are Disneyland based or apply to general Disney Parks.
Rachel from Jet Setting Mom
DisneyWorld now offers the ability to pre-book fast passes for those using Disney’s Magic Band system. Now, instead of having to grab a fast pass in the park and wait for it, you can go to the parks with your rides already scheduled and all you have to do is show up in your fast-pass window, scan your band and your off! This is another major time saver, especially with kids and it cuts back wait times by the hours. You can pre-book your fast passes in your My Disney Experience account on the Walt Disney World website.
Michelle from Trekaroo
An often overlooked option is Fort Wilderness Campground especially for larger families when visiting Disney World. Our group of 6 has stayed twice in a “Disnified” cabin with a full kitchen. A option for finicky eaters or families not keen on Disney food. Order from theGarden Grocer and they’ll stick your room and fridge for you!
Diana from Traveling Mom
Which Walt Disney World hotel best fits a multigenerational family of five? Say hello to the family suites at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, with plenty of room to spread out, three sleeping “beds,” a kitchenette, and two bathrooms. Add a liberal dose of Disney’s storybook characters including Finding Nemo, Cars, The Lion King and The Little Mermaid, and your Disney family vacation will be a resounding hit.
Tonya from The Traveling Praters
Save money when you purchase your souvenirs at the Disney Outlet in Orlando. My family has purchased costumes, pins, t-shirts and more.
Kathryn, the Disney Editor from Wandering Educators
Pay a visit to Castle Couture in Disney World there you can watch Aurora’s dress flash from pink to blue and back again as it was at the end of the movie. You can also get a peek at the pink dress Cinderella’s animal friends are working on for her. For an extra magical experience, ask a cast member working there for some pixie dust.
Lisa from Moms That Blog
To fully engage your younger children when visiting the countries at EPCOT’s World Showcase, have them make their own passports. Buy a cheap autograph book and help them print internet pictures and information about the featured countries (i.e., capital, language spoken, landmarks, population). With only scissors, glue and markers, they can create their own “Passport” that can be stamped at each of the Kidcot Funstop Stations. Not only is this cheaper than buying the official EPCOT passports, but your children will learn facts about the countries they will be visiting!
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Lindsay is the founder and editor of Carpe Diem OUR Way. She left her career in Canada to share her love of travel with her two young boys. She is passionate about sharing adventure travel activities for families and to encourage others to explore the world. She resides in the suburbs of Vancouver when not jet setting abroad.