6 Secrets Nobody Tells You Before Going to Disney World

Heading to Disney World soon? There’s a lot of planning to consider before heading out the front door and off to the airport! However, what if we were to tell you that there are some SECRETS floating around out there concerning Disney World that most people would never tell you?

Magic Kingdom

Today, we’re going to shed light on a few of those secrets in the hopes that you can better plan your upcoming Disney World vacation!

You DON’T want to over-plan!

Planning a Disney World vacation is half of the fun! But once you arrive to Disney World and it’s time to put that plan into practice, you can easily become overwhelmed if you wound up planning TOO much into your trip.

You’ll want flexible time to explore at Animal Kingdom!

It can be tempting to plan every minute of every day, especially with the arrival of Disney’s new planning tool known as Genie (as well as its paid counterpart, Genie+), but it is so important to make sure you leave time in your itinerary to relax. Plan an afternoon at the pool, or leave a few hours open to simply wander around the parks.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

You probably won’t get to everything on your  “To Do” list.

There’s a lot to see and do in Disney World. Between four theme parks, two water parks, dozens of resort hotels with their own restaurants and points of interest, plus Disney Springs, plus all of the other recreational activities around the resort…you literally cannot get it all done in one week.

Disney Skyliner

Disney World is HUGE, so it’s important to sit down and prioritize what you actually want to accomplish on your trip (but be careful not to over-plan — see our last point above). Just don’t set yourself up for disappointment when you discover that you can’t fit every single item on your “to do” list.

Big crowds could slow you down!

You’re going to walk a LOT, and the shoes you bring really matter.

Like we mentioned, Disney World is huge — both in terms of things to see and do as well as in terms of how many steps you’ll get in while you’re there. We’re talking tens of thousands of steps a DAY. The shoes you pack will really and truly matter. Pack your most trusted pair of shoes — this isn’t the time to break in new ones!

You’ll do a lot of walking in Disney World!

You may not need a Lightning Lane reservation for every ride.

Expedited queues are back in Disney World. But instead of calling the system FastPass, it’s now known as Genie+. This paid service costs $15 per guest per day and gives you access to booking return times for a ride’s Lightning Lane — formerly known as the FastPass lane.

Lightning Lane for Jungle Cruise

Just like before, you may not need to book a return time for every ride’s Lightning Lane. While it could save you a ton of time on popular rides like Splash Mountain and Slinky Dog Dash, other rides commonly have very short wait times, especially first thing in the morning and last thing at night. So when picking your Lightning Lane reservations, use the time you have each day for the rides you’ll truly save time booking!

Last minute Advance Dining Reservations may pop up — but don’t rely on that!

Some restaurants in Disney World are notoriously difficult to snag a reservation for, like Cinderella’s Royal Table, Be Our Guest, and ‘Ohana, just to name a few. While it is uncommon, last-minute Dining Reservations could pop up, so it never hurts to keep checking as your vacation draws near.

Be Our Guest Restaurant

However, we would recommend you prioritize your Advance Dining Reservation window, which opens 60 days prior to your arrival. That way, your chances of booking one of those hard-to-get reservations is at its highest.

‘Ohana is incredibly popular!

There’s a lot to do OUTSIDE of the four theme parks.

Our last tip for today is this: if you’re ONLY experiencing the four theme parks in Disney World, you’ll have plenty to see and do…but you’re missing out on a huge part of what the resort has to offer!

Polynesian Village Resort Lobby

Disney Springs offers a ton of great dining options as well as plenty of shopping — it’s almost like its own park! To experience all of Disney Springs, you may need to commit a full day (or at the very least a late afternoon plus an evening to check everything out). Just keep in mind you can’t currently get to Disney Springs from another park via bus, so you’ll need to either transfer at your resort or take a rideshare service like Uber and Lyft.

Disney Springs

Your own resort hotel also has plenty of activities! If you’re staying on Disney World property, it’s a great idea to plan a resort day, especially if you’re staying at a Deluxe Resort. You’re paying for those top-tier amenities, so you might as well carve out some time to use them.

Stormalong Bay is a must if you’re staying at Disney’s Yacht or Beach Club Resorts!

We hope these six tips help you plan your next Disney World vacation! One of the keys to a successful trip is to make sure you pencil in plenty of time to rest and recharge — whether that’s sleeping in one morning or spending a day at your resort. Pack those comfortable walking shoes and make sure you are ready to book your dining reservations 2 months before your trip! Be sure to follow along for even more tips and tricks ahead of your upcoming trip to Disney World.

Click here to read about 11 Disney World restaurants where it totally matters where you sit!

Are you planning a Disney World vacation for 2022? Let us know in the comments!

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