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Planning A Disney World Vacay: What You Need To Know

Updated: Jul 25, 2023


Disney World Walt statue

Disney World, the happiest place on earth — sometimes you simply have to go discover the magic. At least that’s how I felt after hearing that it was Disney World’s 50th anniversary and the company had planned some special events and attractions with that in mind. Making the trip was a must.


For those of you who are also feeling that pull to go to the Disney World theme park (or “parks” I should say) and it’s time to plan your or your family’s/friend's trip there, you also might be feeling a bit stressed, confused and annoyed when looking to buy tickets, make sense of the Disney World website, and decide which park to go to when and where to go once you get into each park. So, let me present the ultimate planning guide, particularly for those trying to keep costs low.



What you’ll find in this Disney World Guide:



 

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Disney World Pinterest Pin

 

Snow White at Disney World

Questions To Ask When Planning Your Trip

What’s my budget?


The answer to this question will affect all of your decisions when planning your Disney World adventure. For example, it determines if you can afford to stay at a Disney World resort or if you have to get an off-site hotel that’s near the parks. It determines if you are going to eat all of your meals at the park and resorts or get your own groceries. It also determines how many days you’re going to be at the parks.


So, get a general overview of how much every portion of your trip could realistically cost, and from there, decide what your budget is. If you have a lot of money to spend on this vacation and want to live the high life while you’re there, then do it! Or, if you’re like me and really want to go to Disney World but can't afford most of it, take a look at how you can save some money here.



When should I go?

On a whole, my suggestion is to visit Disney World before March 2023, as that’s when the 50th-anniversary celebration ends and there are a lot of fun extra features that go along with the park’s golden birthday. Past that, there are many things to consider:


Do you want to save money? Go whenever the Disney World tickets or your flights are cheapest. Does the heat really get to you and put a damper on your vacations? Don’t go in the summer.


Do you have kids? You’ll likely have to take a vacation during their Spring Break or in the summer. For those who don’t have children in school, if you want to skip the crowds, go during the off-season: in the fall after school starts (September is probably best) or after New Year’s and before Spring Break.


Do you want to spend a holiday at Disney World? The amusement park has special events, festivals and decorations for certain holidays. So, for example, if you want a Disney-themed Halloween, head there in October.



Should I drive or fly there?

Flying is definitely faster, and possibly easier depending on your situation. But if you fly, just keep in mind that you’ll have to fit everything in a suitcase and you’ll have to pay for an Uber, Lyft, etc. to and from your hotel and to and from the parks unless your hotel has a shuttle. (FYI, Disney no longer offers its Magical Express service for airport transportation, so don’t bank on that if you’re flying.)


Driving takes a lot longer, but you can bring everything you need with you, and you have transportation to the parks and other places like the beach or grocery store. That said, with the heightened gas prices, this could still be an expensive option. Plus, you will have to pay $25 a day to park at the parks.


My suggestion? If you live fairly close to Florida, drive. However, if you don’t have a lot of time and a road trip would cost you a day or more, find a flight.


kids train area Disney World

Which type of Disney World tickets should I buy?


Your first question after seeing this question might be: There are different types of tickets? And the answer is, yes! There are four: the standard option, the water park and sports option, the park hopper option, and the park hopper plus option. Let’s break each of these down.

  • The standard option allows you to visit one park per day. Overall, this is the cheapest, most basic ticket.

  • The water park and sports option allows you to visit one park per day plus some of the extra Disney World fun, including water parks, golf courses, miniature golf courses and a sports complex.

  • The park hopper option allows you to visit more than one park per day. Keep in mind that you can only switch to your second park of the day after 2 p.m.

  • The park hopper plus option allows you to visit more than one park per day and enjoy some of the extra Disney World fun, including water parks, golf courses, miniature golf courses and a sports complex.

Some other things you should know when buying your tickets is that the average price is about $125 per day for anyone over the age of 10. The price is cheaper for children ages 3-9 and any child under 3 doesn’t need a ticket. Additionally, the price does decrease as your number of days in the park increase and vice versa.


Disney also requires you to reserve not only the days you’re going to go to each park in advance but also which specific park you’re going to visit (even if you get the park hopper). You can do this on the app.


To get the typical Disney World experience, I suggest buying standard tickets for at least four days, as this allows you to visit one park per day. While, in the past, each park might not have taken a day to get through, you can definitely spend a day or more at each of them now. With this in mind, I don’t suggest you get a park hopper if you’re just doing four days. However, if you want to visit some of the parks again after four days, the park hopper might be a great option for the extra time. And if you have the money and availability to do the other fun Disney experiences, check out the water and sports options.


You also don’t have to do all four of your days in a row. If you know you’ll need a break or perhaps you want to check out the themed resorts or Disney Springs, simply skip a day or more when reserving the parks. For example, if you buy a four-day ticket, Disney allows you to choose four days to go to the parks out of a full week.



Little Mermaid ride Disney World

Ways To Save Money On Your Disney World Adventure

The first thing you should understand when budgeting for Disney World is that there’s no possible way to do this type of trip cheaply (unless you live in Orlando… and even that’s questionable). On the Disney World budget scale, you'll only find “absurdly expensive,” “expensive” and “less expensive.”


Go in the off-season: This is something most of us know we should do, but it can be really hard to make it happen if you have children who have to be in school or if you can only get off work at certain times throughout the year. (I get it. My sister and I went during Spring Break since she’s a teacher and we were unsure of summer plans. It was extremely busy!) However, if you can go during the off-season, you’ll find that Disney World tickets are slightly cheaper, flights are cheaper and accommodations likely are, too.


Get your flights in advance: We flew through Allegiant, and our flights there were pretty cheap. However, I waited to get our return flights, thinking they would depreciate a bit more. That was a big mistake as flights were only increasing in price at the time due to inflation and the fact that it was getting closer to our trip dates. So my main advice is that you should get your flights as soon as you know you’re going to Disney World. And, of course, use the cheapest possible airline and find the cheapest possible flights.


Don’t stay at a Disney World resort: Although most of your time will be spent at the parks, meaning you’ll only need accommodation to shower and sleep, where you stay will, unfortunately, be what you’ll have to spend most of your money on. Hotels and other types of accommodation aren’t low-cost in Orlando. So, if you know someone that you can stay with there, do it! If that’s not an option, I wouldn’t recommend staying at a Disney World resort. The resorts are very pricey and hard to reserve during the busy seasons. When I looked for Spring Break, I couldn’t find anything for two people, and the cost was averaging $600 a night! So, I suggest looking for a hotel or other accommodation near the parks. If you can find one that has a shuttle going to and from the parks, that might save on costs, too. If not, you can always use Uber/Lyft or rent a car (though currently, renting is more expensive than a transportation service from what I can tell.)


Take a look at potential discounts when buying Disney World tickets: Disney does have special offers going at different times of the year, so check those in case they relate to your specific situation. (For example, they do military, teacher and first responder discounts at times.) Past this, look for other organizations/companies in your life that offer discounts when going to Disney World. For example, we bought our tickets through AAA, since the company offers a lower price for tickets. I also found out that Sam’s Club has a Disney World deal. As another example, Disney World suggests senior citizens check in with their senior citizen organization if they’re a part of one. Finding discounts requires a fair amount of research, but it is worth it if you land a great deal.


Bring a bag into the park with necessary items: Did you know you can bring just about anything into the parks? Items like snacks, water, sunscreen, hats, ponchos, etc. can be extremely expensive at Disney World, so consider bringing them with you. There are water fountains all over the parks to refill your water bottles, and you never know when it might rain in Florida and you’ll need a poncho. In addition to snacks, if you don’t care about eating nice meals at the parks, you can also bring meals with you! We ate breakfast before we left our hotel, brought lunch (sandwiches and chips) every day into the parks, and then ate at a cheap location in the parks for dinner. And don’t be too concerned about where your bag will go during the day. Most rides at Disney World are for kids, so you can carry your bag during them, or they will have spaces to put your bag within the carts.



Epcot Flower Garden Festival

Get To Know The Disney World Parks Before You Go

If you haven’t been to Disney World in some time, it’s important to get an idea of what you’ll find at each park, especially since Disney has been busy adding rides and attractions over the past few years. This will help you decide how to spend each day and make the most of your trip. Below you’ll find an overview of the four main parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom — how they’re set up as well as some tips before you visit each of them.


Magic Kingdom street

MAGIC KINGDOM


Magic Kingdom is likely every visitor’s favorite and was the first park built for Disney World! Not only does it include the famous Cinderella Castle, but it also has the most rides. This also means that it will be extremely crowded.


As you might have already guessed, the big Cinderella Castle is located in the middle of the park along with “The Hub,” which is really just a more open space with pathways and gardens so that visitors have room to watch the nighttime show, and every other area of the park has been placed around it. So, from the entrance going clockwise around the hub and Cinderella Castle, here are the various sections you can expect.


Main Street: This is basically the entrance where most of the big restaurants and shops with all of the Disney merchandise you’ll ever want are located.


Adventureland: The features in this section live up to the name and are themed from Aladdin, Pirates of the Caribbean, Swiss Family Robinson and Jungle Cruise. Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room can also be found here in addition to many other food and drink stops.


Liberty Square: As you might be able to guess, this area is very patriotic. The American attractions include Liberty Square Riverboat (which floats around Tom Sawyer Island), The Hall of Presidents, the Liberty Bell, etc. Oh… and the Haunted Mansion is here, too?


Frontierland: Walk around the wild west at Frontierland, which houses Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Country Bear Jamboree and Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade.


Fantasyland: You'll feel that classic animated film nostalgia in At Fantasyland, which is located right behind Cinderella’s Castle. Everywhere you look you’re in a Disney movie. There is a bathroom building decorated with Tangled designs, a restaurant inside the castle from Beauty and the Beast, and a cafe in Pinocchio Village. The list of rides is also long with movie themes like Snow White, Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh and The Little Mermaid. And don’t forget “It’s a Small World.” In the Storybook Circus portion, check out the flying Dumbos, Alice in Wonderland spinning teacups, Barnstormer featuring Goofy as the Great Goofini and Big Top Souvenirs located in a circus tent.


Tomorrowland: Blast off into space and into the future at Tomorrowland where the rides and attractions take inspiration from characters like Buzz Lightyear, Stitch and the monsters from Monsters, Inc. You can ride the dark and winding Space Mountain, drive on the Tomorrowland Speedway, fly in the Astro Orbiter, spin on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, or tour Tomorrowland from above on the Transit Authority PeopleMover.



Gaston's Tavern in Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom Tips:

  • This is a park in which you have to plan ahead because there is too much to do and see in one day. Decide in advance what rides and attractions are top on your list and which ones you could do without if there’s a time constraint. Then pay attention to wait times when visiting, and take advantage of short lines.


  • Due to the long list of features at Magic Kingdom, it will take you more than a day to do everything, especially if it's a busy season. But if you only have a day, you can still get to most of the attractions if you purchase Genie+ Lightning Lane. This will eliminate your wait time for some of the bigger roller coasters and allow you to make it to your other magical adventures.


  • There will be an incredibly large, tight crowd at the firework and lights production, Disney Enchantment, showcased on Cinderella’s Castle. To be sure you get a good spot, show up at the hub 30 minutes before the nighttime spectacle begins. To get an even better view, hold your place even earlier.


Epcot at night

EPCOT


I recall not being too fond of EPCOT when I went to Disney World as a teenager. However, much has changed since then. Not only am I older now, so I really enjoy the international food and drinks, but Disney has also added more features to this park, such as the Frozen Ever After ride and 4D Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure ride, and is continuing to add more. (I saw that they were building a Guardians of the Galaxy attraction when I was last there.)


EPCOT basically consists of two circles, one above the other in the shape of an 8. You’ll enter the park at the top of the 8 where the big sphere sits. That top loop is called World Celebration and includes World Nature (Finding Nemo ride as well as educational attractions showing the beauty of the earth) and World Discovery (think space-themed roller coasters).


The lower loop of the 8 is called World Showcase. In the middle is a large lagoon where the light and fireworks nighttime show (EPCOT Harmonious) takes place. And the walking path around the water is where you’ll find the various sections showcasing the culture of different parts of the world: Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Morocco, Japan, America, Italy, Germany, China, Norway, and Mexico.


Some of the countries include rides, some show informational videos, some have museums, and some house music performances. All of the different areas include food that is related to the specific location’s cultures and traditions as well as gift shops.


Mickey Mouse Dessert Epcot

EPCOT Tips:

  • Trying to decide which part of the year is best to visit EPCOT? Go any time from March through June when the International Flower & Garden Festival is taking place. The lush greenery, blooming flowers and creative garden sculptures of so many Disney characters are beautiful additions to the park and provide fun and bright photo opportunities.


  • Get to EPCOT early and do the Frozen Ever After and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure rides first. The lines for these get long very quickly but are much shorter in the morning.


  • If you’re saving money by bringing your own food but plan on eating a few meals at the parks, consider saving your food budget for EPCOT, as it has a lot of fun, unique and cultural options.


Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios


This used to be a park in which it was better just to spend a half-day. However, now it’s brimming with attractions and is particularly best for older kids who like roller coasters (Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith goes upside down and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror will do some terrifying drops) or Star Wars fans, as there are now three Star Wars rides there.


Although there’s not a big castle or tree or geodesic sphere at the front of Hollywood Studios, walking through the entrance and seeing the Crossroads of the World and finding yourself back in the past (and present) of the classic Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard is pretty cool. There are merchandise shops and restaurants down both of these “streets,” which are reminiscent of Main Street at Magic Kingdom.


Hollywood Studios is still broken up into sections, but it’s not in an organized layout per se; rather, it’s more like one big conglomerate of features. That said, the main hub is the classic Hollywood area with Echo Lake, the TCL Chinese Theatres replica, which houses Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Commissary Lane, and a 3D Muppet show as well as a Mickey and Minnie animated short.


The other sections include: the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge; Toy Story Land where there are two very different but fun rides; the bigger roller coasters mentioned above and the "Fantasmic" show are past Sunset Boulevard; and a few attractions sprinkled throughout, such as Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular and Pixar Place.


roller coaster at Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios Tips:

  • Since Hollywood Studios has the longest lines of any park during the on-season (some were more than 3 hours), do the big rides first and smaller ones last (particularly Star Wars And The Twilight Tower of Terror), as you might not have time to wait in line for them later on in the day and there will be fewer people early in the morning.


  • This is a park in which it would be beneficial to purchase Genie+ Lightning Lane. Even though there aren’t a ton of rides, the lines are extremely long, and waiting in all of them won’t allow you to make it to every attraction. This pass will cut your wait time for some of the rides and allow you to get on the biggest ones.


  • If you’re in the mood for some Disney history and indoor respite from the hot sun, make your way into the Walt Disney Presents building. But rather than watching the movie clip that’s being shown, walk through the Walt Disney museum and learn more about the man behind the magical movies and places you love.


Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom


The best way to describe Animal Kingdom is that it’s a zoo with some amusement park rides. If you or your children are animal and nature lovers, then you’ll be very entertained here. Another thing I love about it is that everything and everybody seems more relaxed there — they take the day slower. My guess for the reason behind this laidback mood is the nature that surrounds visitors on all sides, from shading trees to the blue water to the animals lounging in their habitats.


The crowds are also thinner in Animal Kingdom when compared to the other parks. Disney has designed this nature escape so that there are walking trails and the different themed areas are more spread out, creating more space.


What you need to know about Animal Kingdom’s layout is that Discovery Island, which includes the Tree of Life, the “It’s Tough To Be A Bug” show, some restaurants and gift shops, sits in the middle with the Discovery River flowing around it, and everything else is situated around that. Think of the walking paths like they’re the roots of the tree branching off from their source of life. You can get to all of the areas from the center where the Tree of Life is located. (Disney was creative, am I right?)


Going clockwise around the tree, here are the various sections you’ll find at Animal Kingdom:


Oasis: This is the entrance of the park, and it includes guest/visitor centers, Rainforest Cafe, a gift shop and animal viewing exhibits.


Pandora - The World of Avatar: Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey are the two rides you can enjoy in this area. There are also some restaurants and beautiful spots with waterfalls and luscious plants to stop and take a break.


Africa: The best thing to do here (and probably one of the top features at Animal Kingdom) is Kilimanjaro Safaris. You’ll see white rhinos, giraffes, elephants, flamingos, crocodiles and more on your drive. You can see more animals after your safari by walking the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail. Africa is also a big food hub.


Asia: This is the biggest area at the park, and it includes the Maharajah Jungle Trail, Kali River Rapids (a water ride), and Exploration Everest—Legend of the Forbidden Mountain, which is the best and biggest roller coaster at Animal Kingdom. When I was at Disney World, Expedition Everest was down and getting a makeover, but you’ll be able to see what rides are closed on your My Disney Experience app.


DinoLand U.S.A.: Your dino-loving children will especially enjoy this part of the park, as everything is dinosaur-themed! There’s the main roller coaster, DINOSAUR, TriceraTop Spin, a fossil dig play area and different types of shops.


monkey area at Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom Tips:

  • It’s a pretty well-known fact that animals don’t typically like to be out and about in the heat. So, to see the most wildlife, do the animal-centered attractions early in the day (Kilimanjaro Safari, Maharajah Jungle Trek, Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail). Granted, the wildlife might be entertaining if it’s a cool evening, but you’ll also beat more of the crowds by doing these activities in the morning.


  • While there is a lot to do at Animal Kingdom, you’ll likely find that you have more downtime than you might have at the other parks after getting to all of the rides. This park is a great place to consider watching some shows. And there are a variety of options, including smaller music performances along the walking paths like "Chakranadi," a stage production called “A Celebration of Festival of the Lion King,” animal-themed events such as “Feathered Friends in Flight!,” and even a kite spectacle over the Discovery River known as "KiteTails."


  • You’ll see a lot more Disney characters in Animal Kingdom compared to Magic Kingdom or Hollywood Studios, particularly during Covid-19. They just won’t be walking through the crowds. Instead, be on the lookout for Disney characters floating on the Discovery River throughout the day.



Toy Story ride at Disney World

Making The Most Of Your Time At The Parks

If the main reason you’re going to Disney World is to enjoy the parks, then be sure to use your time wisely while you’re there. However, it can be especially frustrating trying to get to all of the rides you want during a peak season. So here are a few tips to help you check everything off your list, even when the crowds are everywhere.


Get to the park as soon as it opens, and leave when it closes. The best way to make the most of your experience is by being at a park the entire day. Not only will that allow you the time you’ve paid for, but you can also beat some of the families by going early, as it might take them some time to get around, and by staying late, as some of them might be tired and have left by then. For example, there is about an hour left once the Magic Kingdom firework and light show ends, and many people leave after it's over. Stick around and catch another ride or two.


If you’re staying at a Disney resort, guess what? You get a 30-minute early entry into the parks. You've got to take advantage of this benefit! (Disney has included a few other hotels in this early entry list, so be sure to check it out.)


In lieu of the 50th anniversary, guests of some select resorts and hotels are also given the benefit of extended evening theme park hours. This allows you to stay later at three of the parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT and Hollywood Studios — though which parks have extended hours on which days vary. Check the list before you go.


Don’t spend a lot of time waiting on meals. Unless food is your top priority at the parks, don’t go to the sit-down restaurants. Instead, look for food and drink vendors as you walk around the park. The meals are still good and don’t require a long wait time. That said, there are a few quick restaurants that won’t be quick due to everyone lining up for them, so also be sure not to choose food lines that are really long. This is time you could be waiting in a ride queue.


Remy's Ratatouille Adventure

Use the app to look at wait times. You must download the My Disney Experience app for many reasons: you can put your Disney tickets and other passes on it; check out every ride (how tall someone needs to be to get on them, whether it’s an outdoor or an indoor, 3D or regular roller coaster, etc.); look up all restaurants, shows and special attractions; get a personalized daily itinerary; and, play some games while you’re waiting in line. All of that is helpful, but one of the app’s most important attributes is showing you a map of every park and how long the wait times are for every attraction. It also provides a forecasted wait, so you can see at what times the lines will be shorter or longer.


Check the wait times throughout the day so that you can decide on the best plan for reaching every ride. If an attraction has suddenly gotten shorter and it’s a great time to go, then go! Or if you see that the line for a ride is supposed to get shorter at a later time, hold off on going until that time.


To find the current wait times on your app, click the vector/location icon at the bottom of your screen. This will bring you to a map. Next, click “filters” at the top left of your screen. This will bring up a list of locations. After clicking on the park you would like to look at and then “apply,” you should see that specific park’s map. It might automatically show you the wait times of the rides, as that might be the app’s default setting, but if it doesn’t, go to the category selection at the top middle portion of your screen and you should find the “wait times” option.


From here, you can look at the current wait times OR click on a specific roller coaster’s name and the details about it as well as the day’s forecasted wait will pop up. (You can also get to these detailed pages by simply searching the ride’s name.)


It's A Small World ride Disney World

Get Genie+ Lightning Lane. Disney World’s newest lightning lane option, Genie+ has been built into the My Disney Experience app. This add-on can be extremely helpful, particularly when it’s a busy season (and for Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios specifically). When using it, my sister and I passed guests who would be in line for 2 hours and get on rides in five minutes. It was amazing!


But while this can be an incredible benefit, you also must recognize that Genie+ Lightning Lane has some stipulations:


1. Genie+ Lightning Lane does include a lot of rides but not the top 1-2 at each park. (You’ll still have to wait in line for those or pay more through Genie+ Individual Lightning Lane.)


2. You can only sign up to get on a ride using the lightning lane every two hours. So, I suggest getting your first one as soon as you’re able (7 a.m.) so that you aren’t behind the rest of the day. Also, set an alarm for every two hours to remind you to sign up for another ride.


3. You can only use the lightning lane entrance on a certain ride once per day. So if you want to go on the coaster a second time, you’ll have to use the standby lane.


4. Whether or not you can use Genie+ Lightning Lane to get on a ride is dependent on its availability. To be sure that the lightning lane remains quick, Disney has a cap on how many people can use it for a ride during its availability throughout the day. So, for example, if you’re wanting to use Genie+ for Splash Mountain, you might not be able to get on it until the evening if it’s already booked up in the morning and afternoon. OR, it might be fully booked all day if you’ve waited to try to check into it until your sixth hour of using Genie+. It all depends on what’s open or not when the end of your next 2-hour wait time comes around.


5. You have a certain window of time to be able to use a ride's lightning lane entrance after you've signed up for it. Don't miss it!


Yes, these might seem like a lot of downsides, but if you are organized, set your timers and plan well, Genie+ Lightning Lane can yield great results. My sister and I used it at Magic Kingdom during Spring Break. We got to go on 11 rides, and Genie+ allowed us to pass the long standby lanes for six of them.


The price also isn’t bad: $15 per day. If you buy Genie+ in advance, you have to pay for it for each day you’re at the park. For instance, if you have tickets for four days, your total will be $60 plus tax. If you only plan on buying Genie+ for one or two days, you can purchase it beginning at 12:01 a.m. the morning of that specific park reservation.


Where can you find Genie+ Lightning Lane and all of the options? Head to the bottom right corner of your My Disney Experience app. Once you click on it, you’ll see the screen has a lot of options, but at the top, there should be a Tip Board and My Genie Day. Both places will show you what rides are available, but I prefer the Tip Board as you can see the list immediately. Under each attraction, you can view the wait for the standby lane and then if there’s a Genie+ option underneath, and if so, what time it’s available.



Get Genie+ Individual Lightning Lane. Let’s go back to the one or two top rides at each park. Is there a faster option for them? There is! Genie+ Individual Lightning Lane requires more money (prices vary by attraction), but it can be a way to skip the long standby lane. (During the busy season, these top roller coasters can have more than a 3-hour wait time.)


The rides on the individual lightning lane list typically include:

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (Magic Kingdom)

  • Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom)

  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (EPCOT)

  • Frozen Ever After (EPCOT)

  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Hollywood Studios)

  • Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway (Hollywood Studios)

  • Avatar Flight of Passage (Animal Kingdom)

  • Expedition Everest (Animal Kingdom)

Similar to the Genie+ Lightning Lane, this individual option only allows you to use the lightning lane for a ride one time per day. The second time you ride it, you must get in the standby lane. Additionally, availability varies. The same capacity rule applies.


It is important to note that guests at Disney resorts and other select hotels can make their first purchase for these top roller coasters at 7 a.m. All other guests must wait until the park opens to purchase Genie+ Individual Lightning Lane.


Disney World 50th Anniversary statues

Research any special events Disney World is putting on when you visit. There is often something different and exciting happening at Disney World like food and wine festivals, concert series, kids club, etc. These events might help determine how you spend your days at the park and possibly even give you and your family a fun break from walking.


It's also important to be aware of any big milestones Disney might be reaching as they will be celebrated at the park and will be a noticeable theme. For example, Disney World recently had its 50th Anniversary, and the celebration included 36 golden statues throughout the parks, new merchandise, bigger firework and light shows, among other things.



Castle Firework show at Disney World

Everyone wants to have a magical time at Disney World, but as is the case with most vacations, that requires some work in advance. This basic guide is your first step to understanding Disney World and planning your trip. From here, it's up to you! Go create a Disney adventure that you, your family and your friends will remember and that will have them wishing they were back in it for years to come.


 

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