View Full Version : The Best Touring Tip Ever. . .

05-28-2008, 11:34 AM
What is the best touring tip you have? The majority of us are self proclaimed Disney experts so I assume that we all have some great tricks we've learned along the way. I was wondering what everyone's are?

Some of the best that work for our family are:

Go straight to Fantasyland and ride all of those attractions first thing in the morning
Treat Epcot as two parks in order to see everything, trying to squeeze everything in one day usually means we miss something
Get the kids "passports" for the countries so they do not complain while we are taking in the sights (and hit each and every fun stop along the way)
Character meals cut the time waiting in line for autographs in half

05-28-2008, 11:42 AM
You won't be able to see and do everything in one trip. Pick the things that are most important and do them..... anything else is extra magic. And take time to see relax and see all the details in the theming. Don't rush so fast that you miss seeing what is in the parks.

Madame Leona
05-28-2008, 11:49 AM
Listen to your children. If they are tired, call it a day or take a break. If they are hungry, eat. If your kids aren't happy, nobody will be happy.

05-28-2008, 11:51 AM
Stay onsite and use EMH's.

Get up early and hit a park at or near opening. Go back to your resort after lunch for some R&R. Hit another park late afternoon/evening and stay til close. You miss the biggest waits this way and are ale to get more things into your trip

Do not go to a park that has EMH's unless you are planning on utilizing them.

Travel during value season if at possible.

05-28-2008, 12:49 PM
Slow down, relax, enjoy.

Don't stress out over trying to see everything. Slow down, relax, and enjoy the things you are experiencing.

Don't push beyond your limits. Relaxing by the pool or taking a nap can be just as much a part of your vacation as touring the park.

Don't sweat the small stuff. You're on vacation, relax and allow yourself to unwind and enjoy yourself. Even if things don't go "perfect", you're still at Walt Disney World.

05-28-2008, 12:58 PM
Slow down, relax, enjoy.

Don't stress out over trying to see everything. Slow down, relax, and enjoy the things you are experiencing.

Don't push beyond your limits. Relaxing by the pool or taking a nap can be just as much a part of your vacation as touring the park.

Don't sweat the small stuff. You're on vacation, relax and allow yourself to unwind and enjoy yourself. Even if things don't go "perfect", you're still at Walt Disney World.

:number1: I 100% Agree!

05-28-2008, 01:03 PM
If shows like Nemo, LMA or Indy are a priority, go to the first of the day. They are much less crowded.

Of course, Fantasmic is the exception to this rule, as it is always better to see the 2nd showing, on nights when there are 2 shows.

Grim Grinning Marathon Runner
05-28-2008, 01:16 PM
Stay hydrated when it's hot (pretty much all the time) - drink a LOT more WATER than you think you'll need.

Interact with CastMembers; they are trained to seek out and provide happy moments to guests, and it'll be a fun experience for you and the CM.

05-28-2008, 01:22 PM
-Stay onsite
-Buy park hopper ticket
-Do not go to MK day of Spectro Magic Parade
-Take a break in the afternooon
-When entering a park go to the left as many people will go to the right, this also applies for attractions that have 2 lines
-Go during value season
-Do research into crowd conditions for each park, for each day

05-28-2008, 02:41 PM
Take lots of pictures and video. It seems that no matter how much you capture, it's never enough. So take lots.

05-28-2008, 04:34 PM
At MK watch Spectromagic from frontierland. It's less crowded.

Epcot is 2 parks for 2 different days.

05-28-2008, 04:39 PM
If shows like Nemo, LMA or Indy are a priority, go to the first of the day. They are much less crowded.

Of course, Fantasmic is the exception to this rule, as it is always better to see the 2nd showing, on nights when there are 2 shows.

The same can be said of Spectro Magic when its scheduled two times that night/time of year. ALOT of ppl leave after Wishes. And I would have to disagree with a PP - Spectro is a must (especially if youve never seen it) plus its not supposed to be around that much longer.

05-28-2008, 05:24 PM
The best tip/trick I ever got was to use the resort monorails when entering and exiting MK. its far less crouded, theres always a seat, it takes about the same time and you get a different view of things. We did this a few years ago and found it works wonders. Last year we traveled with my mother in law, brother in law and wife and thier new baby and of course my DW, and it made a huge difference for them ( and me if you know what I mean! LOL )

I also always use the little side paths just off the circle in front of the castle, they are far less traveled.

Other than that, most of the tricks given here on Intercot have also been very helpful!!

05-28-2008, 05:24 PM
If you are park commandos and ride junkies, like we are, the number one tip is: Learn how to maximize the Fastpass system. The first time we went to WDW as a family , we waited for up to an hour a couple of times on different attractions (during Memorial day week). We have since learned how to use the Fastpass system to maximum benefit by hitting less crowded attractions during our fast pass wait time, and getting another fast pass as soon as one is available, even if we haven't used our current fast passes yet. Since that first trip, we have never waited more than 15 minutes for any attraction, no matter how crowded the parks are. Thanks to Fastpasses.

05-28-2008, 06:16 PM
And don't forget to wear comfortable shoes! :mickey:

Polynesian Dweller
05-28-2008, 07:58 PM
Best touring tip I've ever heard comes from Rick Steves: "assume you wil come back" and not try to do everything. He meant it for Europe but it fits WDW just as well.

Try to do the highlights at a relaxed pace and you will see more in them, be able to see the great theming more thoroughly, talk CMs etc and enjoy the attractions more. There's lots of details you can miss if you rush to much. Chances are, you will be back to WDW and get to do everything else.

05-28-2008, 08:09 PM
1) Stay onsite.
2) Use EMH's.
3) Don't jampack your days with schedules, actually have fun on your vacation.
4) Take time to lay out by the pool and swim.
5) Don't ever underestimate the amount of walking it takes to get from A to B.
6) Make ADR'S.
7) Don't wear mascara or white t-shirts on Splash Mountain. :blush:
8) Use fastpass.
9) Buy and bring your own rain ponchos before you leave home.
10) and the number one tip drum roll please.... Don't go when school is off.


05-28-2008, 08:41 PM
- if its your first time going, try not going during a busy week, it will ruin your experience
- if your there long enough, remember: you dont have to see that parade every time, take advantage of short lines during parade and firework times
- mid day breaks by the pool
- those shoes might be cute, but can you walk 10 miles in them?
- DTD has EVERYTHING you see in any other park, dont feel like you need to buy it the first moment you see it (and then find something better later and wish you never bought the first thing in the first place)
- disney transportation is the best
- but that means you MUST stay on property
- free dining season sounds appealing, but ehh i found the reastaurants to be more crouded and crazy because of it

stop. and remember: your on vacation. if for one moment at the "happiest place on earth" you find youre not happy, then its time to chillback

05-28-2008, 09:16 PM
Enjoy the nuances of the parks and make a deliberate effort to notice the little things like:

look for hidden mickeys

read the seemingly meaningless names and wording on decorative items in the lines (they often have a bit of humor imbedded in them).

Do the same things with windows and signs on mainstreet and throughout the parks.

Take a day to stroll around the various resorts and/or schedule a meal in a resort your not staying...especially AKL and WL, their lobby areas are magnificent.

Slow down in Epcot (maybe even turn the kids loose for a few hours..if they are old enough and you can bear to cut the apron strings for a while..) and take the time to really enjoy the music (i.e Off Kilter etc)

Talk to Cast Members...ask them questions like...what's here that alot of families miss out on (We did this once and learned of a slide opening ceremony at the AKL which not only meant my son got to be #1, but he got a cute little (suitable for framing) gift certificate.

Smile at people, give someone a helping hand along the way, willingly let the other person go first, ask someone if they would like you to take a family picture so everyone is in it...doing these things not only brighten the days of other folks...but add to your enjoyment as well.:cloud9:

05-28-2008, 09:28 PM
My #1 tip is to get up early and be at the park for when it opens, or as close to opening as you can! Before the park opens breakfasts are great for this.

The amount of "stuff" you can see and do in the first couple of hours that the park is open is incredible, compared to later in the day.

Also, this allows you to come back and enjoy the resort and the pool in the afternoon.

We also have a mental list of the things we "must do" in each park, the rest is just bonus to us.

05-28-2008, 09:51 PM
We see it as we do not have to do everything since we will be back. With that if we miss something, do not do everthing we know that there is always a vacation comming up to WDW.

05-28-2008, 09:51 PM
Make breakfast reservations in the park...It is a totally different world being there before it opens...
Take snacks with you...It will keep grumpy kids happy...
Go to what you want to try the most first...
Dont over stress...
Know that you are there to have fun...
Let the kids take the lead once in a while...Let them chose where to go next (it helps a lot)...
Dont be too upset when it is time to go home...You know you will be back soon...:mickey:

05-29-2008, 05:19 AM
When approaching a set of turnstiles, take some time to find the one nobody seems to be using. People are sheep. They will follow each other to the longest line in the park every time.
Likewise, at Epcot, two entry lines will become three turnstiles almost every time. Knowing this can be a big time saver when entering behind people who don't know how their finger works.

05-30-2008, 08:43 AM
If you are park commandos and ride junkies, like we are, the number one tip is: Learn how to maximize the Fastpass system... getting another fast pass as soon as one is available, even if we haven't used our current fast passes yet.

One - look at the bottom of your fastpasses when you get them - they will tell you when you are eligible for a new one - it may be before the fastpass becomes valid.

Two - it is ok to split up in order to accomplish different desires (for example, when we go this summer, one adult will take the little children to meet the princesses while the others will go with the older children to Space Mountain!)

05-30-2008, 11:03 PM
Drink plenty of water!
When in Epcot walk through Innoventions. It's a great way to get to were you are going and stay cool.
Make ADRs. With some restaurants it's the only way you'll get to eat there.
Go to Conservation Station. It's less crowded, a good way to cool down and there are great character finds.
Pre-order the Photopass CD. It will save you $25 and if you don't like your photos when you get home you can get a refund. If you do...you'll have lots of great photos.
Stop and get pictures everywhere you see a photographer. It might be the only way everyone gets to be in a picture.
Purchase a good poncho to take with you or at the first site of rain get a Disney one. They can be used for years to come.
Take plastic bags to put your camera or anything else you don't want to get wet in when it rains.
Break your shoes in before you go. And bring a variety. I take sandals, flip flops and sneakers.
Get a lanyard. You can keep your keys to the kingdom, photopass with the barcode facing out for them to scan and your photo ID (if you drink) in it for easy access.
Plan a park route out so you make sure you see the attractions that you don't want to miss.

05-31-2008, 12:36 AM
Make sure you wear sunscreen and reapply as needed.

05-31-2008, 10:38 AM
My number one piece of advise is:

1) Get someone else to pay for your trip.
2) If that doesn't work, don't worry about the money unless you absolutely have to. Your kids will cherish the memories and you don't want to get home and say, "gee I wish we would have done this".
3) Eat a couple of nice meals at restaurants you would not normally eat if you were home, i.e. the Epcot countries.
4) And per a prior poster, take lots of pictures. You can delete them later anyway.

05-31-2008, 01:41 PM
When we were deciding if we should do a Disney trip a few years back, I was mainly stressing out on cost. My Father-in-law told me "We've never regretted taking a family vacation, go." He was right! If you're going to go, understand beforehand that you'll pay $2.50 for a bottle of water, and don't let it ruin your trip!

02-14-2010, 09:31 AM
This was a great post, thanks Kat1811 :thumbsup: As we're planning our next trip, I enjoyed reading all the ideas from the many Intercot "mouse-sperts" :) and it has reminded us of some key points.

That said, the 2 things we always do before an upcoming trip are research/plan and budget. There are many spreadsheets on different sites (we created a simple one ourselves) to help with the budgeting process; as several posters have mentioned WDW is not an inexpensive trip but each and everyone have memories which I cannot put a price upon. Once you get the sticker shock out of the way, then you can focus on what's available at each park. And remember, the budget is to keep you in check; it's ok to go over a bit (it's almost guaranteed you will!) so set a tolerance window you can live with, and start setting aside money NOW!!!

Souvenirs are a big expense for us, and we've found giving the kids an envelope each day w/ their allotment helps them understand to make decisions and not ask us for everything they see. Also, we suggest if they prefer a big ticket item they could save envelopes over a couple of days. A great example is Once Upon a Toy in DTD, so many cool things and they want most of them! We simply refer to the envelope and then they have to make the decision. We look at this as a life lesson and it has saved many a meltdown in the store :number1:

02-15-2010, 12:52 AM
I tell everyone I know that's planning their first trip that the only advice I give is to arrive at park opening! It's amazing how light the crowds are early morning & how many attractions you can get in before lunch!

Take breaks everyday! WDW is exhausting! We love to return to the resort, get lunch & eat pool side!

Also IMHO, it's best to skip high capacity attractions/shows in the AM when you can hit the major attractions & a little back tracking/ retracing your steps in the afternoon or evening is worth it in the long run!

We also don't do any shopping until afternoon, we don't waste those precious "uncrowded" AM hours shopping! In the AM we are "Go GO GO" and it's really rewarding! :thumbsup:

02-15-2010, 08:51 AM
In the AM we are "Go GO GO" and it's really rewarding! :thumbsup:

:funny: Us too!!! I swear anyone not familiar with Disney would think we are crazy! LOL! I'm hearding our four children, us, my parents, my grandparents, and DH's Uncle and cousin on our last trip as quickly as our group could travel trying to maximize our time. It was quite a site but luckily we are Disney veterans and everyone "gets it"!

We always hit Soarin' and Test Track in Epcot first thing, then we slow down. In MK it's Fantasyland before we slow it up a bit (we FP Splash and BTMRR since the little ones can't ride we aim for nap time and take turns while they sleep in the carriage), and in DHS it's RNRC and TOT then we take a look at the map and see where everyone wants to go! At the end of the day we can head back if anyone wants to ride again.

02-15-2010, 09:03 AM
My #1 tip the last few trips has been...make friends with the CMs! They're some really awesome people working at WDW. If you talk with them, interacte, and play around with them, the CMs will be so happy and exciting. It made our trips 100% more magical (and that's saying a lot since it's 100% already :D) to see the faces of the CMs light up. You think they're there to make you happy, but when you make them happy as well, it's like a whole new experience at WDW :)

P.S. - You will also get lots of free things! :thumbsup:

02-15-2010, 09:13 AM
Have fun. Be nice. Talk to people.

02-15-2010, 09:27 AM
I think my number one tip for people on a budget is to buy the dining plan. That way when you get there most of your food is already paid for. Plus you get to eat at some great resturants!

02-15-2010, 12:16 PM
My top tips are:

1 arrive early and see the opening show.
2 have a touring plan ready for what you want to do that day
3 research the best days/times to be at each park/attraction
4 go commando in the morning (I don't mean clothing) and then relax in the afternoon while the park fills up
5 collect fastpasses for those rides you want to do multiple times and remember they are good anytime after the beginning time on that day
6 relax and have fun! Take time to look at all the details and theming.
7 most importantly, schedule in a break to swim/rest every day

02-15-2010, 01:37 PM
Get out of bed!! Be in line 30 mins before rope drop with ticket in hand. Enjoy the parks EARLY, and start collecting those FP

02-15-2010, 01:46 PM
These are great tips guys!

Mine are:

1.Research, plan, explore multiple avenues, set a budget as a guide.
2. Listen to your children, (if they are not with you or you don't have any then listen to yourself) if they are tired or overwhelmed than no one is having fun.
3. Go early, take a break (swim, nap) go back and enjoy the evening (the best time to go IMHO).
4. Stroller fans, a must have.
5. Ice water is free in the parks!
6. Take your time, if someone wants to ride again go for it.
7. Ask everyone what is one ride/attraction they want to do, this way every one gets there way. This works with my children, we lay it out and explain that everyone gets a turn. Mostly they want to do the same things, but this makes sure no one says "I wish we could of..."
8. This is a vacation, not a marathon. We love getting up early and hitting the parks, but don't miss the forest for the trees.
9. Try to stay at Value season, stay on-site and take advantage of staying on-site-EMH, transit, great resorts, pools.
10. Be nice! To each other, CM's, other families. Talk to people on the bus, talk to people in line. Share bubbles, snacks, stickers, etc. Use your manners, be aware that there are thousands of other people around you.
11. Eat nice meals, character dining-breakfast in the parks when the park hasn't opened yet-priceless.
12. Lots of pics.
13. Have fun! :mickey:

02-15-2010, 02:28 PM
Mine would be: don't spend all of your time at the MK. It's a great big Disney World out there, and Epcot, DHS, and the AK all have wonderful things to offer.

Most of the people who complain that they just didn't "get it" about Disney World never left the Magic Kingdom.

The MK is wonderful, but so are the other parks. Don't make the mistake of spending all of your time in FantasyLand.

02-15-2010, 05:04 PM
Take a Camelback to stay hydrated!!! It's very essential to drink plenty of WATER, even in the winter months! Fill it mostly with ice and some water before leaving your hotel in the morning. When we would go back to our hotel in the afternoon/early evening, we would refill ice and water. Plus, the Camelback has the added benefit of being a small to large backpack (depending on the style) and can hold snacks, cameras, and other park essentials.

Take advantage of the EMH!!!! We went to EPCOT in December and did the evening EMH. No joke, we were able to ride almost EVERY SINGLE RIDE in those 3 hours!!!! :woohoo: :coaster:
We also went to the Animal Kingdom morning EMH. We rode EE 3x (grabbed a fastpass for later) then Dinosaur 3x then back to EE to use our Fastpass. All within the first hour!!!!
We attended the MK EMH and were able to walk on to almost everything. The only rides we saw with wait times were in Fantasyland.:mickey:

Take really good walking shoes that you have walked in quite a bit already!!!! And practice walking around your neighborhood to build up to a couple miles before you go.:walk:

Be flexible!!! If you find a wait for an attration to be too long, see if Fastpasses are available for later. Or just go ride some other attractions, grab a bite to eat and try again later. Go to each park with a few key must sees and everything else will be a major bonus! :thumbsup:

Decide where it is important for you to spend your money. If you like to spend a lot of time in your hotel, then maybe a Moderate or Deluxe will work best for you. Then you can save money in other areas if need be. If you are like my hubby and myself and just need a place to sleep and shower, a Value Resort is perfect. This allowed us to set aside more money for food and souveniers. Again, do what works for your family. :mickey:

Money was tight for us, so I looked at menus online to prepare for the cost of food. We ate at POP Century for breakfast every morning for less than $6 for two people. Bagels and pastries are $2 or less each! We also packed snacks into our checked bag. Whenever possible, we would share meals too.:eat:

Enjoy your vacation!!!! No matter what happens, you are at Disney World!!!! Have fun and make wonderful memories to cherish forever! And don't forget to take a lot of pictures!! We took over 1600 pictures and videos (for just myself and hubby) in 6 days!!! :photo:

02-15-2010, 05:48 PM
I tell all my friends to skip getting their picture taken on Main Street - it's crowded w/ people in the background and sometimes there are even waits for a photographer. Instead walk straight over to the rose garden in the morning/afternoon and get a picture. Typically there is a professional photographer there and you may have to wait for 1 family to finish up. The picture turns out AWESOME with the whole castle in the backround and hardly any people from that angle.


02-15-2010, 07:06 PM
These tips are great! :mickey:
My only tip is if you are staying at a Disney Resort take an afternoon to explore. The resorts have so much to offer. Walk around the resort see all the themeing, WL is incredible. Take a bike ride , or rent the water mousre boats. Go for a swim. WL lodge has activites all day, rubber duck races, magic cookie hour and tours.
Also go and explore other resorts. We found the petting area aFW this way and the Horse Barn. Walt Disney World is much more than the parks and there are a lot of things to do for free.

02-16-2010, 09:50 AM
Most of the people who complain that they just didn't "get it" about Disney World never left the Magic Kingdom.

That's so true! A friend from my church said that she would NEVER go back to WDW. I was horrified, of course! But I found out that she only went to MK and didn't even know about the other parks! I still haven't convinced her to try Disney again. :unsure:

02-16-2010, 10:11 AM
That's so true! A friend from my church said that she would NEVER go back to WDW. I was horrified, of course! But I found out that she only went to MK and didn't even know about the other parks! I still haven't convinced her to try Disney again. :unsure:

I find that my friends that dislike Disney so much they will never go back tend to have "issues" :doh:. A disconnect somewhere. They think we are crazy :crazy: for going so much when in reality they are the crazy ones! The same ones who drag their kids to Europe and the Caribbean and convince themselves that the kids are having more fun than they would being in Disney digging on the beach while they lounge about drinking their frozen drinks or playing in the kids club, or even better being dragged from museum to museum.

Just being a bit :fresh:

02-16-2010, 10:39 AM
Be at the park when it opens, do the most popular rides first. Also, most rides empty out into a giftshop, resist the urge to look until the end of the day when there are long lines for the rides

02-16-2010, 03:28 PM
1. Research before you go and have a plan.
2. Go with the flow. Things happen that you can't plan for.
3. Your group is only as happy as the unhappiest member.

When I was there with my 2 DDs in October a few years back there was a heat wave. When we'd left home it was snowing so to go from that to temps in the 90s was a huge adjustment. The first day my youngest was done in by noon. So we went back to the hotel and had some much needed pool time. It put a smile back on her face.

02-16-2010, 05:37 PM
great tips! My tips:
1. again, go early. my nephew was in love with SM at MK so we went early one morning and there was no line so he would ride it, go back thru and ride again. Did this 4 X and got a fastpass!
2. If you are there for more than 4 days, consider taking a day in the middle for "lazing". We do this each time and it makes a huge difference in our energy level.
3. The hotels at Disney are awesome and have some really great restaurants (love O'Hanas!) and their gift shops will have sales on merchandise you won't see in the parks.
4. If you have young ones and it is warm outside, take a towel! There are water fountains thru the parks and they will not resist!
5. True, water is free, but if you have a drink preference and want to bring you own, you can always get a free cup of ice at any disney restaurant. I do this a lot.
6. Remember that children in the strollers are closer to the concrete and they get REALLY hot down there.
7. If you have young kids, the viking ship at Norway in Epcot will keep them amused for a long time.
8. Use the boards at the front of each park that gives the waiting time and fastpass times for the rides. This will help you decide where to go first.
9. Most of the "nice" restaurants are fine for kids, but my niece and nephew love Buzz Lightyear pizza at DHS. It's sort of like Chuck E. Cheese, but if will sure give the grownups a break while they play
10. Remember, just because the lines look long at the end of the day, it doesn't mean they really are. Sometimes they make it look that way to discourage you from entering. Also, if Peter Pan or Dumbo are "Must" rides for your family, ride it EARLY.

02-16-2010, 08:42 PM
Tips for traveling with young kids (5 and under):
1) Disney can be too stimulating and overwhelming for some kids - remember to give them plenty of breaks from the parks to "chill out".
2) For some kids - staying at a hotel is as much fun as going to the parks - so bring toys & coloring books for the hotel room during chill out times
3) Don't be crushed if your child would rather spend the day at the pool instead of going to the parks. We had to lie to DD (then 4) on our first trip by telling her that the pools were closed in the morning as it had to be cleaned. I even got a Lifeguard to go along with the lie. ;) We had to promise her that we would swim after lunch everyday and trust me she kept us to that promise. But it made her happy which meant we were happy - know what I mean...
4) Bring small toys to keep the kids entertained in the parks while waiting in lines, for parades, and mom/dad taking turns on rides. We usually bring small bottles of bubbles, mini magna doodles, match box cars, polly pockets, etc.
5) Dollar store ponchos work wonders beyond rain - ground covers for sitting on, stroller covers during rain, wrapping wets clothes, etc
6) WDW restauarants do not have paper & crayons to occupy kids while waiting for meals to be served, so bring your own.
7) Remember it's your trip too - not just for the kids. Don't skip rides, like SM, RnRC, etc., because your kids are too young. Take advanatge of parent swaps and single lines. Trust me your not being selfish for going on ride your kids can't - you're showing your kids that your brave and that the vacation is for the entire family and everyone gets a chance to go on rides they want too.
8) For shy, skiddish kids, bring their favorite kids size throw blanket and let them bring it to the parks. It can be used as a security blanket, cover for when cold in the stroller, pillow, mat to sit on while waiting for parades, towel for when they run through the fountains, and a cape for when they want to fly...
9) If your child is afraid of being in the dark, give them a cheap small flashlight to carry with them on rides. (Ours had a clip that we clipped to her belt loop.) Tell them to flash it on the ground whenever they get scared.
10) Bring your own snacks from home as 1) they are cheaper and 2) can become a comfort to your child as it's a food they know they will like.

Most important - enjoy your trip as a family and that it's okay if you don't get do everything you wanted to do. There's always next year to go back...and the year after that and the year after.....