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5 Small Changes That Have A Big Impact On Your Vacation

October 30, 2020

Believe it or not, but you may be doing the Disney Parks all wrong. But, not all is lost. By tweaking your planning a little bit, you can make some very small changes that’ll end up having a big effect on your trip.

And best of all, you won’t be spending more than you already are.

Not only will you enjoy your trip more, these small changes will make you look like a Disney Pro (even when you’re not).

5 Small Changes That Have A Big Impact On Your Vacation

Mobile Ordering

Thanks to the pandemic, Mobile Ordering is more of a requirement than a convenience at the moment. But, I have seen enough of its benefits to continue using it once things go back to normal.

Thinking back at my first time using Mobile Ordering, Toy Story Land had just opened. As you can imagine, lines were long all day at Woody’s Lunch Box.

While I normally avoid lines when they’re ridiculously long, everyone had been talking about the delicious Lunch Box Tarts. So, long lines or not, I was going to get one.

When we were ready to order, I decided to order online while my “non-techy” parents waited in the regular queue. In just a few minutes, my name was called and I had our snacks in hand.

By the time my parents made it back to our table, our snacks were long gone. Of course, we waited for them to finish before we continued on with our day. But, the amount of time I saved waiting in line was huge!

Simply put, if you have the opportunity to use Mobile Ordering, do it!

On the App

Although my experience using Mobile Ordering was in Walt Disney World, Disneyland uses the same technology.

Simply download the My Disney Experience or Disneyland app, find the little plus sign at the bottom of the page, and choose “Order food.”

Have allergies or on the dining plan? These are both on the app now, as well.

Riding Test Track in Epcot

Plan Your Fastpasses

Despite all the information out there about FastPasses, I still get questions asking me whether or not they’re worth getting.

FastPasses are included in the cost of your Theme Park Admission. By using them, you’re drastically reducing your wait time for the attractions.

The frugal pat of me is always questioning whether something is worth the price or not. Luckily, with FastPasses, you don’t have to question it. It’s free and it lessens the amount of time I have to wait for an attraction. So, it’s a win for me.

But, the change comes with how you plan them. With the overwhelming number of attractions, shows, and time slots to choose from, it’s easy to just start clicking away.

But, before you start grabbing whatever you can find, try to have a plan in mind. It’s one of the small changes you can make that will make your experience in the Parks better.

PhotoPass photo from Expedition Everest in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Small Changes You Can Make To Your Planning

Once FastPasses make their comeback in the future, you can put these tips to the test…

Choose Busiest Times

Everyone has their own idea of what works best. But, the one thing that mostly everyone agrees on is not wasting your FastPasses in the morning.

Although it may seem busy at rope drop, the crowds will be much worse later in the day. Unless you’ll only be in the Parks for a few hours, save those FastPasses for when the Parks are at their busiest.

Plan Nearby Attractions Together

Think about where your desired attractions are before you grab them. There is so much to do and see in each Disney Park. But, you miss so many details if you’re constantly running from one end of the Park to the other.

If your family wants to ride Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear, plan those attractions together. Since they’re both in Tomorrowland, it makes sense to ride them both around the same time.

Adventureland and Frontierland are on the other side of the Magic Kingdom. So, book those Pirates of the Caribbean or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad FastPasses later in the day. That will give you time to explore the area you’re in before running off to another area of the Park.

Bonus Tip

Take a screenshot of your FastPasses that day and use it as your wallpaper.

I also have an apple watch, so I add my FastPasses to my calendar. Whenever I want to see when my next FastPass is, all I have to do is look at my watch.

Phone batteries drain extremely fast during Disney vacations. And unless you have a really good phone charger, you’re going to run out of battery long before your day is over.

Standing outside Magic Kingdom, in front of the train station

Familiarize Yourself With Security Procedures

Unless you opt to go to the Parks without a backpack, you will need to go through Disney security.

Although it may seem strange to pack your bag with Disney security in mind, it’s one of the simple changes that will help you start your day off right.

Disney security will have to look into every nook and cranny before allowing you to enter the Parks. So, help them out by unzipping everything before you get to the head of the line.

If you can, place smaller items in clear bags. As long as they can see what’s inside, you won’t have to open them up, reducing your chance of spilling your contents all over the table.

Bus stop at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort

Ask for A Room Near Transportation

I don’t have to tell you that after a long day in the Parks, getting a room close to Disney transportation will make you feel like you won the lottery.

Although room requests are free, many Guests simply don’t ask. Disney does state that making a request doesn’t guarantee it’ll be granted. But, I’ve always had great luck with my requests being granted.

Guests who want to be close to amenities will usually book a Preferred Room. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with this, especially if you absolutely need to be close to certain amenities. But, these rooms do cost more than a standard room, which isn’t an option for all families.

Since larger Resorts have more than one bus station or mode of transportation, adding small changes (like a room request) goes a long way.

You may be placed further away from the lobby. But, in return, you’ll be placed right next to a bus stop, at no additional cost that a standard room. And at the end of the night, your feet will thank you.

A typical day in the Magic Kingdom

Avoid Parks with Extra Magic Hours (unless you have a Park Hopper Ticket)

This may be a list of small changes. But, one of the biggest changes that came from this whole pandemic mess is the inability to Park Hop.

With the want for things to go back to normal, I thought I should still add it to the list. After all, when it comes to ways to avoid the busiest Park, this has always been at the top.

With ticket prices continually increasing every year, Guests try justifying that cost by choosing the Park that is open the longest.

And since everyone has the same idea, crowds gravitate towards that Park.

Guests who don’t purchase Park Hoppers can only enter one Park during the day. And if they’re trying to justify the cost of their ticket, they’re not going to leave.

If you can’t purchase a Park Hopper ticket, simply choose another Park. The extra Park hour you gain in the Park is not going to be worth it’s too busy to enjoy it.

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ExploreWithCatherine.com is not authorized or endorsed by, or officially connected with The Walt Disney Company, or any of their affiliates. For official Disney information, visit http://www.disney.com.

Hawaii Destination Specialist

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