5 things that are “worth it” for most people going to WDW – PREP012

I get asked several times a week if various things are "worth it" at Disney World.

That's a hard question to answer without knowing somebody's personality or budget.

Today, I've assembled a list of 5 things that I think are worth doing for nearly everybody visiting Disney World.

I also have a quick tip about a secret entrance into 1 of the parks.

These are notes from this episode. There's much more info included in the audio so be sure to listen to the episode for a better explanation.

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Things that are "worth it"

1. Upgrading to a Preferred room at Value and Moderate Resorts
Value and Moderate Resorts are reallllly big (except for Port Orleans French Quarter), and the amount of walking can be decreased by paying a little bit extra for a Preferred room.

At Art of Animation, Preferred rooms aren't an option but you can request rooms that are closer to the main building by looking at the map below.

artofanimationmap 600x388 - 5 things that are "worth it" for most people going to WDW - PREP012

2. PhotoPass+ (now called Memory Maker)
The ability to get all of your PhotoPass pics, ride photos and printed photos at some character dining locations makes PhotoPass+ a great value. You can read more about PhotoPass+ to get details on how it works.

3. Character meals
Being able to multi-task eating a meal while meeting characters makes them a great option for most people. In particular, taking princess-loving children to have breakfast with the princesses at Cinderella's Royal Table or Akershus is usually a big hit.

4. Disney Dining Plan
Having a pre-paid Disney Dining Plan makes a Disney World trip feel all-inclusive and can make it much more fun. For people wanting to maximize their credits and get the best bang-for-the-buck, I recommend reviewing the menus at various restaurants and seeing which ones have the more expensive meals.

For example, Wolfgang Puck Express at Downtown Disney has delicious pizzas that feed 2 people and only cost 1 Quick Service credit.

5. Taxis
For $10 or $12, you can save yourself a lot of time (especially after nighttime entertainment when lines are often the longest) and get where you're going in just a few minutes.

You can use the taxi estimator to get a closer dollar amount for routes you might take.

Quick tip of the day

If you are at the turnstiles at Animal Kingdom and the turnstiles seem really busy before the park opens, you can try a secret-ish entrance by entering Rainforest Cafe and navigating to the gift shop. Just outside of the gift shop, there is a set of turnstiles available to use.

This method doesn't always save time but is worth a look if the main turnstiles seem particularly busy.

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Several years ago we took a family vacation to Disneyworld and used the Dining Plan. It was a great experience, easy, and convenient. Your tips here are awesome. We’ve been to the parks several times, but haven’t tried the new meal plan at Disneyland. Any idea on how it compares?

Nicole T

We have been to Disney twice this past year. Our kids are 3 and 5. It was so ‘worth it’ to stay at a Magic Kingdom area resort because we spent so much time there our first trip when we stayed for a week. We stayed at the Fort Wilderness cabins but the FW resort would have been my second choice. Taking the ferry to MK was very convenient. Then second on the ‘ worth it’ was renting a car and driving to the other parks. Our kids could have their car seats and it was free to park as… Read more »

Erin

I really wish taking a taxi was an option-but with three little people age 4 and under we would need car seats. Are people with little kids stuck waiting for buses?

Courtney

Is there a list of character dining locations that provide the printed photos when PhotoPass+ is being used?

Annie

Using 2 sit down meals for breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table is soo worth it! We were able to take pictures on an empty main street, enjoy a delicious breakfast, walk away with beautiful photos (photopass plus), meet FIVE princesses and then be the first in line for rides!

Angela from Ohio

Tusker house. – great food, fun characters, and with photo pass+. You get a copy of your family photo with Donald. That day too.
Many other great character meals also, research on the best ones and times to do

Amy

We used/did all 5 of these on our trip in August. I believe using them helped to make our first trip a really great and “less” stressful one! Just wish we had known ahead of time, that the taxi would not take you all the way to the Magic Kingdom though! That was the only true stress we encountered!
Loving the podcasts! Enjoy listening on a quiet Sunday morning drinking my cup of tea!

Jen Floyd

May be a silly question, but are the taxis easy to find when you’re exiting the parks and don’t want to wait in those long bus lines? We’ve taken taxis to the parks and other resorts for early breakfasts but never after a long day at the parks. I wouldn’t mind paying for a quick ride back to my resort. 🙂 love your blog by the way. So glad I stumbled across it!

Jen Floyd

Thanks Shannon. I always see them out in front at the resorts….just never at the park exits. Ill keep my eyes open next month. Sometimes those long lines for buses are the worst!

Jay

I seem to remember taxis having their own lane outside of Epcot, in the area where the buses come and go.

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