Disney World Secrets & Tips

We are actively building our Disney World Secrets page and you will see updates here as they happen, thanks!

MAGIC KINGDOM

  • FOOD: Everyone always needs a Dole Whip, don’t miss out on that Hawaiian treat. There are great views from the Pinocchio Village Haus during the day and night. Book character meals early.
  • FIREWORKS: There are many places to see the fireworks show – most people think they need to be right in front of the Castle, but try behind the castle, a lot of people say this is a great place to view them.
  • Hit the Magic Kingdom towards the end of the week, most people hit it first so you can avoid crowds this way.

EPCOT

  • The sidewalks twinkle at night along with fireflies in the trees, see if you can find where this is (ask a Cast Member)
  • You can see the American Flag taken out of the World Trade Center in the American Pavilion
  • You really need two days to see everything in Epcot. Go early in the week when everyone is at the Magic Kingdom.
  • If you love festivals try to go for the International Flower and Garden festival in late March- early June. Or the Food and Wine Festival in late Sept mid November.

HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS

  • Visit early in the week when most people are at the Magic and Animal Kingdoms.
  • If you want to watch Fantasmic! get there at least one hour before showtime.
  • If you want a fast-food lunch, get it before 11am or after 2:30pm to avoid the lines

ANIMAL KINGDOM

  • It is very crowded on the weekends, try to visit during the week
  • Morning is a great time to do the Safari because the animals are the most energetic during this time.
  • The Tusker House in Africa and the Festival of the Lion King are great places to meetup with others.

POST YOUR TIPS AND SECRETS BELOW THANKS!

39 Comments

  1. Oh, man, I can give you guys tons of tips. I guess one of the most important tips I can give you at this moment is that making dining reservations is way more important in Disney World than it is in Disneyland. Because of free dining plan offers and an online reservation system, popular eateries tend to book very quickly. The reservation window opens 180 days before your intended check-in day and you can make reservations up to ten days in advance of that date.

    On a related note, if you want to try to wing it, be sure to take advantage of Disney World’s mobile online dining site. You can search by specific locations or resort wide for specific dining times or meals, as well as narrowing it down further by quick service, casual, character and signature dining experiences. It’s very user-friendly and is great for finding day-of reservations.

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    • Been looking for the newsletter can’t find it

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  2. Make sure you visit Disney World’s website and sign up for their monthly “Hello” newsletter. In addition, while logged in, save a couple of vacation package options. Getting your information into their system gives you the opportunity to receive special demographic-specific PIN codes that can be used to gain fantastic savings on room rates (sometimes as much as 35% off of value and moderate options or 45% off of deluxe villas)! These PIN codes are not common, but they do exist and are well worth staying on the radar, so to speak.

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  3. Located at the top of the Contemporary Resort just outside of the Magic Kingdom, you will find the California Grill, a signature-level restaurant specializing in delicious food inspired by the diverse cultures of the Left Coast. It’s a popular restaurant, where it can be hard to get a table, but here’s a great tip, especially for couples: Make a reservation for two hours before the evening’s fireworks show (which should be early enough to avoid the crowds), and when you are taken by elevator to the top floor, request to be seated in the lounge near a window. You can order from the full restaurant menu from the comfort of cushy chairs in a laid back environment and have front row views of the fireworks with the music piped in and the Electrical Water Pageant on the Seven Seas Lagoon below. It’s a long night, but the wait staff is warm and accommodating. You’ll feel right at home.

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  4. Disney World is built on a large expanse of land, as large as one and a half Manhattan islands. Because of this Disney has devised several different methods of complimentary transportation between the resorts and theme parks. A huge network of bus routes connect every hotel to every park (including the two water parks and Downtown Disney) and it is possible to go resort to resort by transferring buses. Many hotels, however, have alternate transportation options to some resorts. All of the resorts on the Seven Seas Lagoon outside of the Magic Kingdom connect to each other and the Magic Kingdom via monorail. From All of the Epcot area resorts, you can access both Epcot and Disney Studios by foot (Epcot even has a “back entrance” that serves only the resorts) or by boat. Old Key West, Saratoga Springs and both Port Orleans resorts also have alternate boat transportation to Downtown Disney.

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  5. Visit Planet Watch at Animal Kingdom first thing in the morning to see the vets work on the animals. At the very least they are doing annual check ups, we got to see them perform surgery on a male lion in April. Very cool!!

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  6. Visit Conservation Station first thing in the morning to see the vets working on the animals. At the very least they should be doing an annual check up, we saw them perform surgery on a lion in April, very cool!!

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  7. Hit popular rides during parades and fireworks the lines are shorter and most of the time no line at all.

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  8. Hit popular rides during parades and fireworks the lines are shorter and most of the time no line at all.

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    • Heard you the first time. lol

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  9. Ride splash mountain at night when the castle is all lit up.
    You can have food and drink in any outdoor queue (though ask a cast member first).
    At Animal Kingdom Lodge, they have a program at night where you can look at the savanna with nightision goggles.
    Tommorwland Transit Authority is great for getting a rest, seeing tomorrowland, or pass time waiting for a fastpass or dining rez.
    Disney Dining Plan can save you money. If you plan on doing a lot of 2-credit dining experiences, upgrading to Deluxe may be very worth it.
    If ur looking for Disney Merchandise, go to World of Disney in Downtown Disney. If they dont have it annd cant tell you where to get it, it prolly doesnt exist.
    On hot days, spray fans (sold practically everywhere) are very useful.
    If you plan on going to a location on the other side of a parade route, cross well before a parade occurs. If you dont, you have to wait until after thr parade is over!

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  10. There is a hidden ice cream shop when you are on the lazy river in typhoon lagoon.

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    • Where at on the lazy river?

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  11. The only thing you will accomplish when trying to do everything in one visit is total exhaustion. Take your time and enjoy the details.

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    • I totally agree with u on that !

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  12. Received a pin code for our October trip! I did not expect one. The operator offered it and was happy to book it! Pin Codes really do exsist!! Mickey Mouse here we come!!!!!!

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    • What is a pin code?

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    • Can anybody tell me wat a pin code is?

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      • A PIN code is a special deal that is normally sent out through an e-mail to a select few. They are typically room-only discounts that offer percentages off by level of hotel, and the deals are typically better than you will find anywhere else. They cannot be requested. They are distributed randomly amongst a demographic that Disney is targeting at any given time. To ensure that you are in the pool to receive them, sign up for the monthly “Hello” newsletter on the WDW website and always complete any surveys you are offered.

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    • Do they email pin codes?

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  13. Pressed pennies are great keepsakes. Pennycollector.com has a list of machine locations with pictures of the pennies.

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  14. Fastpasses do not expire at the time printed on the pass. As long as it’s the same day, you can arrive ANY TIME after the arrival time on your pass, and you can still enter the FastPass line.

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    • They are in the works to change the fastpass tickets so that you have to come back by the printed time so make sure you ask the cast member

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  15. The beach at the Polynesian is an awesome place to watch the MK fireworks. Also Captain Hooks has Dole whips. :)

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  16. If you happen to get a pin code do they email you? And do they pick random people?

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    • Very random, and you will either get a postcard or an email. There is no way to use someone else’s pin code either, they are attached to your information. however, if you have a friend or family member who gets one, you can book 3 rooms with it. Even if the pin code holder cancels, your room should still be alright.

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      • How do you sign up for the hello newsletter?

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  17. Right when you get in the park go to the buisiest rides first,go on them then get fastpasses so you can beat the crowd.

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  18. Do not bring a bag with you. Bag checks are the real hang up to getting into each park.

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    • If you are going to Hollywood Studios and have bags take the side entrance instead of the main entrance it will save you a lot of time in baggage check.

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    • Not that bad with a clear backpack

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  19. Did you know that the tree of life in the Animal Kingdom park is actually an oil rig.

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  20. Check mouse wait earlyer in the week to see what parks are buisy to determine where you are going to go.

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  21. Great place to watch fireworks is from the beach at the Polynesian. They have the music from the show on the beach and the tiki bar is open

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  22. Another great tip I’ve used for many yrs is when you arrive at Transportation Ticket Center I always take the Resort monorail to Magic Kingdom. Not nearly as crowded as express monorail to Magic Kingdom is.

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  23. Take time to notice the details throughout the resorts and parks. You’ll be amazed at how well thought out everything is.

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  24. Finding hidden Mickeys is a lot of fun for kids….and parents. We make a scavenger hunt out of it and the team that finds the hidden Mickey first gets a Disney dollar. Great thing is that you can do it anywhere at Disney…they are everywhere!

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  25. I found out today tax on items in DHS is higher than MK since they are in different counties

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