Disney insiders can be the biggest Disney fanatics. I, myself, am very guilty (and proud of it) of being in this category. All of our vacations are typically to Disney, and when we aren’t at Disney, we are reading blogs, articles and news updates about Walt Disney World and happenings. There are key things that we do every trip to help ensure that each trip is even more fun than the last (if that’s even possible!).
I’d like to share the list with you in hopes that you have the best trip with your family, friends and loved ones….
1. Check out the special events and happenings
Each season at Disney offers different events and activities that are well worth the visit. Insiders get very excited about these events and look forward to them during their trips, and sometimes even plan their trips around them. These are things like the holidays, Festival of the Arts, Flower & Garden Festival, Food & Wine Festival, marathon and race weekends, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, etc. There are many different events throughout the year and Insiders plan for these events to get the most of what they have to offer.
2. Take advantage of Extra Magic Hours
Disney Insiders have learned how to get the most out of Extra Magic Hours (EMH). The parks are at their least crowded levels, especially late evening EMH, and this is a great time to get in popular attractions when you get the benefit of little to no lines for them. This is a huge benefit to resort guests and Disney insiders take full advantage of this one!
3. Enjoy Disney Dining (and make advance dining reservations)
Frequent Disney visitors have taken the time to experience Disney dining and what it has to offer, and keep going back for more. Us insiders have also learned that the popular locations book up quick. We know the dining reservation booking windows (180 days in advance) and take care to make reservations early so that we get our preferred times and locations.
4. Utilize FastPass+
FastPass+ gives you faster access to the rides you select. The system lets you select 3 attractions to receive set times to return and enter a special queue and have a much shorter wait to board the attraction. Disney insiders make good use of this service and make their selections as soon as they can (60 days in advance for resort guests and 30 days for everyone else), so they get the popular attractions. This can help save a lot of time in line so that you can experience even more magic!
5. See the 2nd Nighttime Show
Disney insiders have learned that the 2nd showing of shows like Fantasmic are usually the least crowded. The 1st showings tend to fill up and have the most crowds. Fantasmic is known to get to standing room only during the first show. People tend to leave, especially those with young kids, after the first show so the second show is much more empty and easier to get a good spot for. This is also true for the shows that are shown multiple times a day, the last show is usually the lightest show. This can save you a lot of time when it comes to waiting for shows, as well as help you get a better seat without the wait.
6. Add more items to their collections
Shopping is a must-do for us on our trips. We collect tons of different Disney items…. Star Wars everything, Sorcerer Mickey everything, Vinylmation, pin, snow globes, mouse ears, etc. We are always trying to add to our collection and checking out the new merchandise. For Disney regulars, shopping is likely to rank right with many Disney attractions and is a big part of the Disney vacation! Start a collection on your next trip, but be warned….. it is addictive!
7. Complete the Online Check-In process
60 days before your arrival date, you can complete the online check-in process. This will help make sure that your credit cards, contact info, preferences, etc. are already in place so that you save time when you get to the resort. This will make the check-in and registration process much shorter so that you can get to the magic sooner. This is also an opportunity to share preferences and celebrations. Insiders know what rooms or location within the resort they prefer to be in, and also know that celebrations are a big deal at Disney!
8. Enjoy their Resort
Disney resorts are amazing! Each resort has something unique to offer and explore. Each resort also has a list of activities and games that occur each day so that there are activities that you can enjoy as a family for a little break and relaxation from the craziness of the parks. Quality family time is a huge goal for any vacation, so take time to enjoy your resort and take in that experience. There are details and magic in everything!
9. Have their favorite Disney Treats
I am sure you have heard many fans talk about delicious items like the Dole Whip, Mickey Premium Bar or School Bread. These have become fan favorites and many of us can’t wait until our next taste, and even try to replicate the recipes from home to tide us over until we get back for another one. The treats become nostalgic and part of the comfort of the Disney experience.
10. Try New Experiences
There is so much to do at Disney World, that you could stay there for a year and not do and experience it all. That is one of the things that keep people coming back time and time again. There is the comfort of many favorites, but also the excitement and ability to try something new. it may be a new attraction, a different dining experience, a different resort or one of the recreation activities, but insiders make it a point to try something new each trip and make a new memory!
I hope that this list helps many of you have a great time in the happiest place on earth! Perhaps the most important thing that all insiders do that wasn’t on this list is, have fun! It can be the most magical vacation you can ever have, so enjoy the ride!