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Disney World theme parks: tips to make visits more enjoyable

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Avid Disney fans will agree that Disney World deserves the nickname, "The Happiest Place on Earth". There are few places in the world that can transport a person into the past, back to the present, and then into the future all in one day. Dedicated fans travel through the various lands inside Disney theme parks as often as possible. Due to their frequent visits they're able to share their wisdom about how to navigate the world of Disney in a more efficient manner. The following are tips for making a day at any of the Disney World parks more magical.

  • Rain or shine, bring an umbrella (especially during the summer months). They keep the rain off and provide shade from the sun.
  • Wear comfortable shoes with good soles. (Flip-flops or sandals with no foot or ankle support could mean blistered feet at the end of a long day.)
  • Wear comfortable clothes. (Silk and satin get sticky in summer months. Loose cotton fabric works well year-round.)
  • Map out the day based on attraction locations to prevent walking from one end of the park to the other over and over again.
  • Plan ahead and ride the most important rides as soon as possible. Or, get FastPasses for "must ride" rides.
  • Decide who will ride together for each ride in advance to prevent holding up the line.
  • Be prepared to wait in line. (Get light refreshments and go to the restroom before getting in long lines.)
  • Pick up free souvenirs. Buttons are available at Guest Relations locations (for first time visitors and guests celebrating birthdays or anniversaries). Some cast members hand out free stickers to younger guests.
  • Kids can collect stamps from each country and create free personalized souvenirs at eleven World Showcase Kidcot craft stations at Epcot.
  • Save money on drinks at Epcot by visiting Club Cool in the Innoventions West Pavillion. Guests are allowed to sample complimentary Coca-Cola soft drinks from around the world.
  • Pre-select good viewing locations and sit down to eat snacks and meals in those spots just prior to parades and fireworks. It's a good way to secure the best viewing locations.
  • Park-hop (which means to visit more than one park in the same day) based on the closing times of the parks. Go to the park that will close the earliest first [unless seeing a specific night-time show is a part of the plan].
  • Buy souvenirs at the end of the day/evening so that it's not necessary to carry them around all day.
  • Let the crowd die down first if exiting the park at closing time. (There's no need to rush to wait in a crowded line for the monorail or ferry at the Magic Kingdom.)
  • If park-hopping, park the car where the day will end so it's not necessary to travel back to another park at the end of the night. Use Disney transportation (the monorail, the ferry, or buses) to travel from park to park during the day.
  • If an item is lost in one of the parks, it may be turned in to the specific park’s Lost and Found at Guest Relations. After the park closes, items are delivered to the theme parks Lost and Found at the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC). Items found at resort hotels are turned in to the lobby concierge. Valuable items are held for 90 days. Less expensive items are held for 30 days.
  • Visit the My Disney Experience page to plan a trip before ever leaving home.

Purchasing an annual or multi-day pass makes it possible to enjoy the parks without the pressure of trying to do it all in just a few days. Families that live close enough to the parks to make multiple trips can save money with an initial splurge for annual passes. There are several kinds of pass and multi-day ticket options. Each has its own appeal and price. Seasonal Passes and Weekday Select passes have blackout dates during peak vacation and holiday travel seasons. But visiting a Disney theme park during the "off season" could mean riding more rides, seeing more shows, and experiencing smaller crowds.

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