Whether it’s your first or fiftieth visit to Walt Disney World, visiting the theme parks can be stressful and sometimes downright bananas. But, there are super simple ways to ease the press and stress. From necessary photos to planning ahead, here are 14 unexpected things to save your sanity at Disney World!
How to Save Your Sanity at Disney World
During my dozens of visits to Central Florida, I’ve learned a bunch of super simple tips for making my life easier at Disney World. This post was written for those of us that need some “why didn’t I think of that?” tricks for keeping clam and staying sane while in the theme parks.
Take a Photo of Your Resort Room Door
No matter if you’re staying at a Disney World Resort, at Disney Springs, or off property in a hotel/resort or condo, take a photo of your resort room door and building as soon as you check in.
For me and my family, after an exhausting day at the parks, it sometimes comes with a bout of forgetfulness as to exactly where our room is located, especially for massive resorts.
It comes especially helpful if you’re the one to get up in the morning to get coffee in the food court (a great place for counter service dining)and it’s still dark out. I’ve literally been unable to find my resort room based on landmarks alone and spent nearly 30 minutes walking around quietly to locate it.
Take a Photo of Your Parking Location
Walt Disney World theme park parking lots are massive, and I mean massive. And when you’re hustling to get into a park after you’ve parked your vehicle, it’s super easy to forget where it’s located.
My advice is, again, snap a quick photo of your vehicle’s parking spot number and the area/row you’re in. When it’s time to hop onto a tram to drive back to your resort, it will be a snap to find.
Remember Your Child’s Outfit – Take a Daily Photo
The last thing we ever want to think about is losing your kiddo in a Disney theme park. But, it does happen everyday. Instead of a “lost child”, Disney likes to spin it “lost parent”.
Each morning before you leave your room, take a photo of each of the kiddos and their outfits – just in case.
Add A Phone Number to the Back of Your MagicBand
Adding your phone number to the back of your MagicBand is a good thing for two reasons. First, if you do lose it and another guest finds it, they can call you to let you know. I’ve actually had that happen with my daughter once – she left hers in the bathroom at Magic Kingdom.
Second, if your kiddo walks off, a castmember can call the number on the back to alert you.
Take Screenshots of Reservations
The My Disney Experience app works much better now than what it did when it first rolled out, but I never assume it will be up and running when I need it to be.
So, when you make an advanced dining reservation, snap a quick screenshot that includes the date, time, and confirmation number.
Plan Your Outfit the Night Before
Planning your outfit the night before a theme park day is immensely helpful for my family. Not only does it make our morning go smoothly, but it takes the guess work out of “what are we going to wear?”
While you’re settling into your room for the night, take five minutes to get your complete outfits ready including socks, hair accessories, Minnie ears, and even jewelry.
Take a Photo of Disney Gift Cards
I love using Disney gift cards to help budget for our trips. I use them for dining, shopping, and necessities. And when you’re fiddling with what’s in your Disney theme park bag, they’re easy to lose.
So, take a quick pic of the gift card numbers, phone number for a balance check, and other codes just in case you lose it.
Determine a Meet Up Point
As my daughter got older, we have her some free time to spend in the park. Not only did she get an hour or two to herself to go on rides and attractions that we didn’t want to, it gave my husband and I some time to do whatever we wanted as well.
Before you split up, lock down a meeting point (and make it pretty specific, ie, the Walt Disney and Mickey statue by Cinderella Castle) so you don’t have to comb the park looking for each other. This is a great thing to do just in case you accidentally get split up as well.
Don’t Carry Around Big Items All Day
If you can’t resist the urge to purchase giant items when you first get to one of the theme parks, remember this tip: you can ask the castmember at the register to have it sent to the front of the park to pick up before you leave for the day.
Generally, they do ask for a few hours until you’re able to retrieve it.
Make Sure your MagicBand Works Before You Leave the Resort for the Day/Arrive
With multiple trips to Disney World Resorts comes multiple MagicBands. For me, I like to coordinate mine to my outfit, so I take several with me on each trip.
But sometimes my MagicBand simply doesn’t sync up with my resort room door and it won’t unlock. Do yourself a favor and test yours ahead of time to make sure you don’t have to make a trip up to the front desk to get it reprogramed – especially after you’ve walked miles in the parks.
You know all of things to do with MagicBands – here are 5 things not to do with MagicBands!
Make a Customized Stroller Tag
If you’re renting a Disney stroller, make a customized stroller tag for yours so it’s easily locatable in the sea of strollers at stroller parking. It will also deter other guests from grabbing yours by mistake.
Want the scoop on Disney Stroller no-nos? Here are 6 things not to do with Disney Strollers.
Measure Your Child Before You Go
Walt Disney World has height restrictions for rides in each park to keep the kiddos safe. And while there are rides for everyone at Disney World, your child may be asked to stand next to a height measuring area if a castmember isn’t sure they’re tall enough.
So, do yourself a solid and measure each of your children with their shoes on to see how tall they are before you visit. That way you’ll know which rides to avoid and which ones your traveling party can split up on. It will save some heartbreak and disappointment and that sad face on your kiddo that you never want to see.
Advanced Dining Reservations – Make Sure Your Credit Card Is Linked
I’m always surprised how often advanced dining reservations open up just before park rope drop when I’m visiting. And I’ve also been locked out of making one because my credit card or Disney gift card wasn’t entered into My Disney Experience correctly.
So now, I make sure all of the information is entered and ready to go so I can score a last-minute ressie in a snap.
Learn The Park Shortcuts
This may be the last one on the list, but it’s definitely not one you’ll want to avoid. Before you hit the park for the day (or even when you’re at home planning your park days), make sure to check out the theme park shortcuts to save your feet some steps. After spending hours in the parks, those shortcuts add up!
Her’es the scoop on the best Magic Kingdom shortcuts you’ll be happy to use.