5 Time-Saving Tips for Walt Disney World (1st of a 2-part article)-
1) Stay at a resort where minimal time is spent going to and from parks-
This usually means less bus transportation. Choose the quickest transportation options if you have a choice of more than one. An example is The Beach Club (see my earlier article about The Beach Club) where you can walk to Epcot, take The Friendship Boats to Hollywood Studios and buses to the other 2 parks. The walk to Epcot is about 5 minutes and the boat ride to Hollywood Studios is about 15. You can walk home from Hollywood Studios, but this is only viable if the lines are incredibly long for the Friendship Boat.
Another good example is staying at The Bay Lake Tower (I wrote about this resort earlier, too) which is my favorite resort. If you stay here, you can walk to Magic Kingdom. You can take the monorail to either Magic Kingdom or Epcot. Many times the line for the monorail is so long that it is much quicker to walk to Magic Kingdom. It is less than a 10 minute walk.
Staying at The Grand Floridian (which I will review soon) presents other choices. You can take the monorail to Magic Kingdom or a boat. Take the monorail. You take the monorail to Epcot.
I realize the majority of resorts at Walt Disney World only offer bus transportation to get to and from the parks. Some people tell me it is quicker to drive to the parks (if you have your car obviously) than to take the buses. This is why some people want to stay at the Old Key West resort. You can park next to your room there.
Try to choose a resort with easy access, either on foot, by monorail, friendship, or bus to the park where you plan to spend most of your time. This will cut down on travel time, which can be rather long. In general, the Epcot resorts will have the easiest access to Epcot and Hollywood Studios; Magic Kingdom Resorts to Magic Kingdom, and Animal Kingdom Lodge to Animal Kingdom.
2) Use Extra Magic Hours
Guests staying on Disney property are treated to Extra Magic Hours during which one of the parks either opens an hour early or stays open up to 3 hours late for these guests only. This varies by the season and the day of the week. A schedule is available at every resort. This is one of the biggest perks to staying on-sight, but there are others such as using all of the transportation options. The wait times for e-ticket rides (rides with the longest waits) are minimal with morning Extra Magic Hours. You can almost walk directly onto rides like Rock n’ Rollercoaster, Expedition Everest, Toy Story Midway Mania, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Soarin’. Getting these rides done early allows for extra time and a relaxed pace later in the day. For night time Extra Magic Hours, the lines shorten as it gets later and by the end of the night, you can often almost walk onto the e-ticket rides.
3) Use the FastPass+ for your must-do’s but then go to the attractions with short wait times (reference earlier article) to fill in the rest of your time-
The attractions with short wait times are actually more enjoyable to me at times than the attractions requiring a FastPass. There are so many options. I wrote about some earlier. Two that I mentioned are The Carousel of Progress and Philharmagic. These are both quality entertainment, don’t require a FastPass, and usually have a minimal wait.
4) If you can’t make it to the park with that day’s morning Extra Magic Hours until after they are over, then skip it and go to another park. The park with the morning Extra Magic Hours is usually the busiest throughout the morning and afternoon; sometimes until park closing. You will have longer wait times.
5) If you want to see one of the Magic Kingdom parades, don’t sit for an hour on the curb trying to get just the right seat on Main Street. You can see very well from other locations along the parade route, and you can avoid getting caught in the traffic when the parade is over.
More tips are coming in Part 2 of the article. Your input is appreciated. Please leave comments. If you would like more Disney information, then click “follow” and receive emails of each of our articles.
Elaine (Perdita) – Mom, wife, Disney addict.