Quick tip-palooza – PREP100

This is the 100th episode of the WDW Prep To Go podcast, and we're celebrating it with a whole episode full of quick tips about dining, touring, traveling with young children, and more.

I also have recent news to share with you, including some recently announced promotions and new things coming.

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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Dining quick tips

  • Purchase snacks ahead of time and group them in Ziploc bags for each day of your trip. Each night, put a new bag into your park bag. -Kacie from Indiana
  • Split Quick Service meals so you won't be lethargic after meals, to allow yourself a break in the air conditioning, and to give yourself a chance to try more restaurants. -Lynsey from Tennessee
  • Use snack credits for Starbucks drinks. Adding extra syrups and espresso shots is included and can make a snack credit worth $8-9. -Walker from Alabama
  • Bring rubber bands or Ziplocs to store/close unfinished bags of snacks. -Selena from Ohio
  • Bring cereal supplies from home and grab a milk from the food court or gift shop for a quick breakfast. You might also pack sandwich thins and sandwich toppings for an inexpensive meal. -Colleen from Illinois
  • Make separate dining reservations if you can't find one for your entire group. -Tim from Pennsylvania
  • Call The Boathouse directly (407-939-2628) if you're having trouble finding reservations in the Disney Dining system or on OpenTable. -Tarryn
  • If you need to cancel a dining reservation, you can reschedule it for 2 days later so you can cancel it without a penalty. -Emily
  • Consider going to Contempo Cafe at the Contemporary Resort on your Magic Kingdom day for good food and atmosphere that's only a monorail stop away. -Nathan

Touring quick tips

  • When making bonus FastPass+ reservations, book whatever is available and then you can go into your My Disney Experience app to modify it later. -Kelly from Ohio
  • The third row of Soarin' does not have extra motion like the first two rows, making it a good option for people prone to motion sickness. -Brittany
  • Don't be nervous when meeting characters. Just relax and have fun. -Dustin, The Character Queen

Quick tips for families with young children

  • Make sure to identify your stroller in a unique way since so many strollers look the same. Also, Hollywood and Vine Fantasmic Dinner Package lunch allows young kids to interact with some of their favorite characters, eat lunch, and get good Fantasmic seating. -Rachel
  • Always leave mid-day from around 1-5 to give everyone a break and be sure not to overdue it on activities like swimming. -Casey from DLRPrepSchool.com
  • Since there are two stroller-rental locations at Epcot, you could use one of them mid-day after your child gets tired of walking. -Stephanie from North Carolina
  • Baby wearing infants during your trip can be convenient, but consider alternating between carriers, using moleskin, applying anti-chafing gel, sharing baby wearing duties with somebody else, taking advantage of your resort's hot tub, using Bengay for sore muscles, and make sure you're physically prepared. Check your local baby wearing group where you might be able to borrow or rent a carrier. Make sure your baby is protected from the sun while baby wearing. -Kacie from Indiana
  • Little ones who are under 3-years-old can't have appointments at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique but you can ask the Fairy Godmother for magic dust to sprinkle on their hair. -Rachel
  • Have snacks ready to help prevent meltdowns. -Christy from Mom Approved Costumes
  • Renting strollers from a company like Kingdom Strollers can be really convenient. -Cara from Georgia (Check out my stroller rental comparison for more info on the companies that offer rentals.)

Miscellaneous quick tips

  • People traveling from Canada might consider flying from a U.S. city, or getting a U.S. credit card to save money. -Amy from Canada
  • Purchasing Disney gift cards from Sam's Club can save money since they sell for less than their value. You can also purchase them with a Disney Visa for additional Disney Rewards. -Kim from Louisiana
  • If it's raining while you're in the parks, don't be afraid to still get pics taken. -Buffi from Michigan
  • When driving to a park mid-day, have the driver drop off passengers at the front and they may be able to spot a parking spot near the front that was previously taken by somebody who's already left for the day. -Clare from Australia
  • If you have trading pins at home after your trip, you could display them on a blank canvas that you've painted. -Marcy from New Mexico
  • Visit the shops during the first hour the parks are open for lighter crowds or use the shops as a nice air-conditioned break in the afternoon. -Bryan from Tennessee
  • Pack a few Shout Color Catchers to combine laundry into one load. -Bronwyn

Final quick tips

  • Use your local library for books and CDs to help your family get acquainted with the movies and music from the parks. -Adrianna from Washington
  • Watch See Ya Reel Soon on YouTube for family-friendly Disney videos. -Sharon
  • Before leaving for a trip, freeze some meals, buy some groceries, and put clean sheets on the beds to make it easier to return home. -Heather, WDW Prep assistant
  • Planning is important, but the things you will likely remember most are the things you didn't plan, so allow time for the unexpected. -Cheryl, Key to the World Travel


  • Appetizers are now part of Fantasmic Dinner Packages. Get my Fantasmic tips and tricks for more info.
  • Fall promotions have been released. Get the details on that.
  • Colortopia is coming to Innoventions East at Epcot in late fall.
  • Osborne Lights are returning to Hollywood Studios November 6-January 3.
  • To have breakfast with me at Epcot, email [email protected] for info and to reserve your spot.
  • My Disney Experience updates were made recently, including Touch ID for iOS devices and the ability to decline new MagicBands. Check out the complete list of recent MDE changes for more info.

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Amy W

Can anyone confirm this tip: If you need to cancel a dining reservation, you can reschedule it for 2 days later so you can cancel it without a penalty. -Emily. If so, how far out would you need to reschedule it?


When you say make bonus fastpass is that after you’ve used your first 3? I’ve never tried making a fastpass at the kiosk that I see why is that better then using your phone?


Loved, loved, LOVED this episode. I’m a new listener and planning our first family trip to Walt Disney World. I can’t get enough! The show lengths are perfect. The topics are so interesting. I have a pocketful of note cards I’m carrying around of helpful suggestions. I feel so much more comfortable about planning our trip than I did before I listened to your podcast. Thanks for all the great information. And congrats on living your dream! 🙂


Shannon – I’m a first time WDW traveller and I am SOOO glad I found your site. I feel so prepared for all the various aspects of the trip now after listening to and reading all that your site has to offer. We are staying on resort in October. I just have a question about having purchases returned to your resort/room. Could you elaborate or provide a link about how this works? And i’d love to read a review of it. Has anyone ever had trouble not getting packages, delays in packages arriving at your resort? Thank you for all… Read more »


I love these tips! Especially the one about freezing meals and clean sheets to make it easier coming home, because who really wants to leave Disney?!!


Awesome information as usual. Thank you. I was wondering if anyone could give more detail into how to redeem multiple give cards, as in the Sam’s club quick tip. As I understand it, Disney will not combine gift card values into one card under any circumstances. So I could save a lot by buying 45 of the $50 gift cards. But then I’d need to physically carry all 45 cards to Disney. Also I’ve heard that they will only accept up to 3 forms of payment per transaction. Meaning I could use only 2 cards and 1 credit card to… Read more »


Happy 100th episode! For our next trip we are definitely trying to go with exactly what you said- trying something new! We are planning on going to Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie for Breakfast in Epcot. Do you by any chance know if this bakery accepts Quick Service credits or is it just snacks?

Thank you!

Jennie Thomas

As a fanatic vacation planner, I have fallen in love with Shannon’s site, podcast and 6 step plan!!!! I can not wait to implement the touring tips, extra magic she inspires, and the ‘stay flexible’ advice. My husband has even picked up a lot of information during the new podcasts on Sundays. If you see this, please listen to all podcasts because there are unexpected nuggets of wisdom in each episode.

Great tips. I did want to comment that the Sam’s gift card tip is great, however, you cannot use your Disney Visa in stores to purchase as they do not accept Visa. I am not sure if this is same online.


Target is a great place to buy Disney gift cards if you have a Target charge/debit card which give you 5% your purchase of the Disney gift cards!

Amy Morse

WHAT A GREAT POST!!!!!! Congrats on your 100th episode. Your podcast is my “happy time” on Sundays. We have been re-listening to all of you old podcasts with all of our summer driving. Thanks for all you do for all of us!!!!

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