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.
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.
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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Sunday 2nd of August 2015
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?
Thursday 15th of May 2014
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 a resort guest. We also liked parking at the Boardwalk and then entering Epcot from there. We spent 2 afternoons/ evenings there so that worked well.
Friday 21st of February 2014
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?
Saturday 22nd of February 2014
You can request a taxi to bring car seats if you want to use a taxi. I think it works best if you know ahead of time when and where you'll need a taxi so you can make sure they'll be ready for you.
Monday 18th of November 2013
Is there a list of character dining locations that provide the printed photos when PhotoPass+ is being used?
Friday 18th of October 2013
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!