We have lots of great Disney World tips for families. These tips will not only help you save money at Disney World but also your sanity.
Disney World tips for families
Many people are thinking about taking a family vacation. It’s the perfect time to check out these Disney World vacation tips for families. Whether you are leaving soon or just getting started planning, these Disney World vacation tips will help you save money and time.
You definitely want to be organized before you go. The entire trip will run smoother and everyone will have a better experience.
Let’s get started.
These tips will help you to have the best trip to Disney World. Start planning today.
1- Stay Organized
I know this is a vacation but a trip to Disney World is something that requires constant organization. Your vacation will be much more enjoyable if you plan ahead and have an idea of what you hope to see and do.
Otherwise, the week will have past and you you will wonder where did the time go. Also, many things you hoped to see or do may not happen for lack of planning.
It is a good idea to make a list before your trip of must see things to do and see. Everyone has their own expectations and communicating them early will be a big help.
Everyone will probably not be able to do everything they want. However, with proper planning, lots of highlights can be accomplished.
You might want to start the initial planning by having a family meeting. Allow everyone to talk about some rides or experience they hope to accomplish.
Let the kids know that it might be difficult to do everything but they will be able to do a lot. This will prevent meltdowns from happening later on.
2- Save on the small things so you can spend on what really matter.
Most families will have a bucket list of sorts they hope to accomplish at Disney World. Whether the list includes character meetings, dining experiences or getting a Princess makeover at the Bippity Boppity Boutique, it all adds up!
Save money on the things that aren’t important to you so that you can spend money on the things you care most about! Why spend $3 or more on a drink inside Disney World when you can pack your own drinks?
The kid’s will not even notice that you are saving money as long as they get a drink. Multiply $3 per each family member times multiple drink stops a day at the parks and you have a very large savings! Take that and use it on something special.
Wouldn’t you rather use that amount of money on a memorable experience? I know that we definitely would.
So, save on water and pack a cooler with water bottles. Instead, use that money for the gift shop or toward Disney World tickets and more.
It is so convenient grabbing a juice box or water bottle from my backpack. While waiting in line for a ride, we can all have a drink and get rehydrated. It is even better saving money and not waiting in line to do so.
3- Don’t expect to see and do everything.
There are plenty of stressed parents and children walking around Disney World because they “have” to do certain rides or meet certain characters. This is such a big expensive vacation that many parents feel the need to cram everything in this trip.
This typically results in kids that are tired and hot. It just isn’t fun rushing around on vacation.
Everyone will have much more fun if you go into this vacation with the attitude that every ride and every character may not be experienced and that’s OK!
Wait times can vary so it is best to plan accordingly. Make a list of things you hope to see at Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and other parks.
Start the day with a good attitude and try to be positive when not everything goes as planned.
4- Utilize Disney Genie
Everything is so streamlined with smart phones. Prior to the pandemic, you could utilize the Fast Pass system. However, that has now been replaced with Disney Genie.
There is a fee involved now but this system allows you to bypass standby lines and enter a faster que for rides.
It can be accessed through Disney World’s My Experience app where available times will be visible. Guests return at their designated time spot and can use the lightning lanes for entry.
This isn’t for everyone but can be a great way to save time. I suggest adding the cost up for your family and comparing it with everything you hope to accomplish.
5- Stay on Site Disney
Families with young children will really appreciate staying on Disney. You get free transportation to and from your hotel and the Disney Parks.
It’s so nice if you have children that want to take a nap but older children that still want to stay and play. One parent can easily hop on the bus back to the hotel with the little ones.
The other parent can stay with the older ones to check out more rides. It’s much less of a hassle then finding your car and leaving and coming back again to get the rest of the family.
We prefer this route instead of using a rental car. It also saves us money.
Not only will you find perks to staying on site but it is just so magical. The hotels are perfectly themed and Disney goes all out.
This will come down to preference but we have thoroughly enjoyed staying in Disney resorts. The perks make it even better.
6- Pack Snacks and Meals for Inside the Parks
This is one of the top Disney World vacation tips for families. Save your money for a nice dinner or a Character Meal Experience.
Pack your lunch to eat on the go in the Parks. Most people don’t want a large meal as they are in between rides and children don’t want to wait in long food lines.
Everyone will be much happier if you can just grab something quick out of your lunchbox or backpack. Our family is never very hungry for a big meal when it is hot. We much prefer packing something light to enjoy in between rides.
We love to make homemade uncrustables for something easy. You can make several of these and put in the freezer if you have one. Take them out in the morning and they will be ready to eat by lunch.
Other ideas include: goldfish, granola bars, fruit snacks and individual packaged snacks. You can utilize small lunchboxes or backpacks with ice packs to carry your food in.
7- Bring Dress Up Costumes from Home
Disney is such a magical place and your kids will see tons of other children walking around in costumes. Why spend tons of money in the parks for the exact same thing you can buy at Disney Store?
Most of these costumes are identical to what the parks are selling. Just look for Disney authentic Parks merchandise while browsing.
Or if you are looking to spend even less, just stop at Target or shop on Amazon. Several are on sale right now and you can order before your trip.
If you do plan on doing character dining experiences, this is another time to pack those costumes to wear to dinner. You will save a lot of money purchasing these prior to the trip.
The savings adds up tremendously. I definitely recommend taking care of this prior to your arrival. Children grow so fast and dress clothes will not last forever.
Save money and time by purchasing these in advance. If your children have birthdays or holidays prior to the trip, these would make fabulous gift ideas.
8- Give your Children a Disney Gift Card
Grab them before the trip and hand them out to your kids. Target carries these and I believe Walmart does too.
Also, Sam’s Club and sometimes Costco will offer Disney gift cards for a small discount. Grab them before the trip and hand them out to your kids.
Explain to the kids they have a budget and once it’s gone, it is gone! We have done this for all of our Disney trips and it works perfectly.
Another suggestion is to pick up a Disney Gift Card every week or so. You can save it inside an envelope for the trip. By the time of the trip, you will have saved a considerble amount of money to use.
This is a great way to budget spending money for the trip. While it is perfect for the kids, it is also a great idea for the adults.
Tip: Make sure you buy the ones for the Parks. Some of the gift cards are only for the Disney Store and that won’t help you inside the Parks
9- Don’t Buy the Park Hopper Passes
This is a fairly expensive add on option to your already expensive park tickets. In theory, it seems like a great idea to be able to bounce between multiple parks.
In reality, the kids will be tired. It is no fun when you are rushing around checking things off a to do list trying to run between multiple parks.
There is so much to see at each park without going to multiple parks in one day. In my experience, one park is enough for the day.
I would rather experience less and really enjoy it then run all day from place to place. Of course, you can do what is best for your family. We have just found it is best for us to limit ourselves to one park daily.
Don’t be tempted to pack more than the kids (or you) can handle in one single day. In my experience, it simply isn’t worth it. Everyone will leave tired and cranky.
10- Have a Day of Rest or a “Free Day”
The resorts have so many cool things to do and activities for the kid’s. I like to have a day in the middle of the vacation where everyone gets to hang out at the pool.
You can often find a list of activities going on daily at the hotel. They usually have games by the pool, movie night and much more.
There is so much to check out and more fun activities at Disney resorts. This “Free Day” really seems to leave everyone refreshed especially families with young children.
Most people enjoy and appreciate the break from going to the Parks. It is a great time to hop on the bus and check out Disney Springs.
Activities outside of the parks are under utilized. Most people are so focused on each of the Disney World theme parks.
Take a day to experience what the resorts and other surrounding places have to offer. You won’t regret it and leave feeling refreshed from a day of rest.
This short break from the parks allows for lots of much needed rest and rejuvenation. Plus, the kids will get to have even more fun experiences.
- Rider switch. This features allows adults to take turns waiting with younger guests or those unable to ride. It is a nice feature to save you time waiting in line. You definitely want to utilize this if traveling with individuals unable to ride everything.
- Extra Magic Hours. This service allows guests at Disney Resort hotels to enter Walt Disney World Theme parks 30 minutes early every day. This extra time before the park opening is a really big deal. You can get in line for popular rides and beat the crowds.
- Disney Dining Plan. This is currently halted due to Covid. They do have plans to add this feature back in the future. Once this resumes, it is a nice feature to consider if you like to have everything taken care of prior to the trip.
Check out all these Disney World vacation tips.
One of my favorite tips is bringing snacks and drinks with you. This saves time, money and meltdowns.
Cast members are always helpful and super nice. If you have a question while there, feel free to stop and ask.
Whether you are looking forward to the world showcase at Epcot or checking out Disney’s Beach Club Resort, there is so much to do. Get started today planning this amazing trip packed with memories.
Planning is crucial to a successful Disney World trip. Make your list and be ready.
I think you and your family will have an absolute blast at Disney World. These memories will be cherished for a lifetime for the kids and adults.