Disney world tips and tricks

Disney World Tip from Toni: Talk to the Cast Members!

Disney World Tip:  Take time to talk to the Disney Cast Members - they have great tips and stories.

Disney World Tip:  Take time to talk to the Disney Cast Members - they have great tips and stories.

Talk to the Cast Members! They're called "Cast Members" because they are part of the show.  Ask them where they are from and how long they have been at Disney. Chances are, you will hear some great stories or get some good tips.  Many of them live in Florida now but have their city or country of origin listed under their names on their name tag.

The Cast Members in the Epcot World Showcase pavilions are often from the represented country, giving you a unique opportunity to ask questions and visit with someone from another culture...someone who has intentionally chosen to interact with tourist!  This is also true of the Cast Members in the Asia and Africa part of Disney's Animal Kingdom park and the Goodwill Ambassadors over at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Here's another great tip - take time to talk to me, Toni, before your trip.  I can help you plan a great Disney World vacation starting with narrowing down hotels to those that are right for your budget and then we'll tackle dining and FastPass+ reservation and itineraries that keep you ahead of the crowds.  

Click here to read my bio and get a no-obligation vacation quote.

Planning a Disney vacation? You'll definitely want to subscribe to our free newsletter. You will receive a link to 45 great Disney World Freebies in your welcome note and several helpful “how-to” e-guides over the next week. Unsubscribe at any time.

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Disney World & Universal OrlandoTip: Save Indoor Shows for the Afternoons

Monica's Tip o' the Day:

When planning your day at each Disney World and Universal Orlando theme park, try to save all the indoor shows/attractions for the afternoon!  Here's why:

  1. It's a nice break.  If you got to the parks before park opening (which we strongly recommend) you'll be ready for a little time off of your feet.  
  2. Orlando Weather - Afternoons are generally the hottest part of the day so that air conditioning feels great and gives you a little extra energy to push through the rest of the day!  Orlando also gets afternoon rain showers, especially in the summer, which is another good reason to wait on the shows.  
  3. Minimizing Lines - Since crowds are lowest in the first hour or so after park opening, you'll want to get through as many attractions with short ride times as possible in the morning.  Crowds peak in the middle of the day and lines are at their longest so heading to something with a large capacity that also takes more time(most Disney shows are about 20 minutes) just makes better sense.   

There are indoor, air-conditioned shows at every park. Be sure to pick up a Daily Show guide at the front of the parks to get the schedules. (Another quick hint: Pick 1 up at the front desk before you head out to the bus stop, and you can plan when to go while you're waiting for the bus, or riding the bus!)

One of our favorites is to ride Spaceship Earth at Epcot at around 2pm. The ride is about 20 minutes long, it's dark and it's cool! It give me just enough time to take a little rest, relax, and occasionally a little catnap! Of course, you'll want to be awake and smiling when they take the picture for these fun little Jetson-like scenes!

Have a magical day!

Monica

Travel Agent specializing in Orlando theme park vacations

Let Monica help you plan a great vacation!

Our “Quote Request” form is the easiest way to start planning your trip. Just fill in as much or as little information as you know at this time and Monica will be in touch soon. There’s never any pressure or obligation. Just have a question? Click here to email us. On a mobile phone? Click here to call.

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Rain Poncho Tips for Disney World & Universal Orlando

One of my biggest tips for Disney World and Universal Orlando guests (or any other Orlando theme park) is to be prepared for rain! Florida is notorious for rain showers, so be prepared!  You can purchase them for about $10 each in the theme parks but I save money by buying a whole bunch of rain ponchos from Amazon and carry them with me. Most rain showers are over pretty quickly, so when rain comes, we put on our ponchos, grab a little snack (Dole Whip!!) and wait it out!  A lot of people flee the parks when the rain starts so coming prepared is a great way to take advantage of the shorter lines during rain showers.  No need to let a little rain ruin your day!!!   

You can also find inexpensive, disposable rain ponchos at most Dollar stores and in the camping section at Walmart.  My local Dollar Tree had them in the section where hair accessories are sold.   The fashion maven in your family may declare that they would NEVER wear a poncho but will probably change their mind when they see lots of people putting them on when the rain starts. 

Inexpensive disposable rain ponchos for your Orlando vacation are available on Amazon and at Walmart and Dollar Tree. 

Inexpensive disposable rain ponchos for your Orlando vacation are available on Amazon and at Walmart and Dollar Tree. 

Even if it isn't raining, you may want ponchos to help keep you dry on attractions that can soak you to the skin like Splash Mountain in the Magic Kingdom, Kali River Rapids at Disney's Animal Kingdom or Dudley Do-Rights Ripsaw Falls and Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges in Universal's Islands of Adventure

Have a magical day!

Monica,

Travel Agent specializing in Orlando theme park vacations

Planning a Disney vacation? You'll definitely want to subscribe to our free newsletter. You will receive a link to 45 great Disney World Freebies in your welcome note and several helpful “how-to” e-guides over the next week. Unsubscribe at any time.

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Disney World Theme Parks Open Early For Christmas

Disney World will open its theme parks early on select days during the 2015 holidays. For a full schedule, see: http://www.buildabettermousetrip.com/visiting-disney-world/2015/12/5/disney-world-theme-parks-open-early-for-christmas

In anticipation of holiday crowds, Disney is opening an hour earlier at some or all of their parks to the general public.  This is not an “Extra Magic Hour”, this is for everyone whether they stay at a Disney World hotel or not.   The Magic Kingdom will have morning “Extra Magic Hour” most days too.

Magic Kingdom:

  • Dec. 16 / 8:00AM Opening for everyone
  • Dec. 18 – Jan. 2/ 8:00AM Opening for everyone
  • Dec. 19 – Jan. 2 / 7:00AM opening for Disney World hotel guests (Extra Magic Hour)

Epcot:

  • Dec. 25 – 31/ 8:00AM Opening for everyone
  • Dec. 29  / 7:00AM opening for Disney World hotel guests (Extra Magic Hour)”

Disney’s Hollywood Studios:

  • Dec. 25 – Jan. 2/ 8:00AM Opening for everyone
  • Dec. 26  / 7:00AM opening for Disney World hotel guests (Extra Magic Hour)
  • Dec.31  / 7:00AM opening for Disney World hotel guests (Extra Magic Hour)

Animal Kingdom:

  • Dec. 18 – Jan. 2/ 8:00AM Opening for everyone
  • Dec. 20  / 7:00AM opening for Disney World hotel guests (Extra Magic Hour)
  • Dec. 23  / 7:00AM opening for Disney World hotel guests (Extra Magic Hour)
  • Dec. 27  / 7:00AM opening for Disney World hotel guests (Extra Magic Hour)
  • Dec. 30  / 7:00AM opening for Disney World hotel guests (Extra Magic Hour)

Important Information About Crowds

On a scale of 1 – 10, the crowds will be mostly 9’s or 10’s during these dates.

  • Early birds get the most rides: The first 1 – 2 hours of the day are always the least crowded.  Arrive at least 30 minutes before 8AM park opening to enjoy the shortest lines of the day.
  • Please, please please use a touring plan: Use the plans from the Unofficial Guide to Disney World (printed guidebook) or get a subscription to TouringPlans.com – these crowd levels are where a good touring plan provides the biggest benefit so please use those plans.  Contact me if you don’t know where to find the plans or have questions about how they work.  I’m happy to help.   

Click Here for Our Top 10 Tips for Visiting Disney World at Christmas

Planning a Disney vacation? You'll definitely want to subscribe to our free newsletter. You will receive a link to 45 great Disney World Freebies in your welcome note and several helpful “how-to” e-guides over the next week. Unsubscribe at any time.

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How To Get the FastPass+ Options That Will Save the Most Time

Are you wondering which FastPass+ reservations are best? We give an Unofficial Guide or a subscription to TouringPlans to each of our clients.  These fantastic resources are full of powerful and up-to-date information that will help you keep lines and waits to a minimum. 

Click Here to Find Out How You Can Get Free Disney World Touring Plans

If you have the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World (printed guidebook), look at the touring plans found near the back of the book and select a plan that is right for your group. You'll find FastPass+ recommendations and best times so that your theme park touring plan and your FastPass+ reservations work together to give you the best way to keep lines to an absolute minimum.

Disney World Tip - How to pick the FastPass+ options that provide the biggest benefit.

If you have a TouringPlans subscription, look under the "Touring Plans" tab, select a park and you'll find the FastPass+ recommendations in the gray box near the top of the plan.

Where to find FastPass+ recommendations on a TouringPlans.com plan.

Where to find FastPass+ recommendations on a TouringPlans.com plan.

If you aren't using a Disney World theme park touring plan or itinerary, here are the attractions I recommend you try to get FastPass+ reservations for:

Magic Kingdom:

  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train - this is the Magic Kingdom's newest attraction and is very centrally located so long lines are always an issue here.

  • Peter Pan’s Flight - Surprised? Again, the central location is an issue but this ride also has a very low rider capacity and relatively slow loading and unloading so a FastPass here can free up a lot of time you would've spent in line.

Note: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a new roller coaster (you don’t go upside down) that is Magic Kingdom’s newest attraction and that, along with the central location, means that lines are horrific.  Peter Pan's Flight suffers from low loading speed, low rider capacity and a central location so its lines also are terrible.  

How to Beat the Crowds at Magic Kingdom
The 14-minute below shows you where the “hot spots” are in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, and more importantly, how to move to avoid the crowds.

 Epcot:

  • Frozen Ever After – popularity of Frozen plus the fact that this is Epcot’s newest attraction means long lines.

  • Test Track and Soarin' are always popular but Disney will only let you choose one of the rides mentioned in this section so go with Test Track or Frozen Ever After and ride Soarin' using the standby line as soon as the park opens.

How to Beat the Crowds at Epcot

The 11-minute video below helps you plan a day at Epcot that will keep you ahead of the crowds and out of the long lines.

 Disney’s Hollywood Studios:

  • Disney is currently only allowing guests to choose one FastPass from the new Toy Story Land.

  • Slinky Dog Dash is new and will also be very popular - this FastPass option can be hard to get, even 60-days early. Also, a lot of its line is outside which means your wait can be really hot without FastPass.

  • Toy Story Midway Mania – the fact that this is the only ride in this park that is truly appropriate for all ages causes long lines and has no height restriction.

  • Rock 'n Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror are always popular choices for thrill seekers.

  • Alien Swirling Saucers is easier to get and lines aren't usually as long; I wouldn't choose this one.

 Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

 You don’t typically need FastPass+ for shows or 3D movies.

The 9 1/2 minute video below will explain the crowd patterns at Disney’s Animal Kingdom so you can avoid - or at least manage - them and have a great day.

Let’s start planning a great vacation!

Our “Quote Request” form is the easiest way to start planning your trip. Just fill in as much or as little information as you know at this time and one of our agents will be in touch soon. There’s never any pressure or obligation.

Get A Quote
The Unofficial Guide book is full of great information to help you have a better Disney World experience. Learn how you can get this book for free at http://www.buildabettermousetrip.com/free-touring-plans

The Unofficial Guide book is full of great information to help you have a better Disney World experience. Learn how you can get this book for free at http://www.buildabettermousetrip.com/free-touring-plans

Disney World Vacation Planning Services for Busy & Frustrated People

Disney is marketing one promotion under three or four different names:  Early 2016 Offer, Magic Together Offer, and Disney Junior Offer; before that, it was as a Disney Visa offer.   Okay, in all fairness, the Disney Junior offer is ever-so-slightly different because families with preschoolers and get a small bag of promotional items and activities.  (The "Stay, Play and Dine" offer actually is a different promotion.)   It makes sense to craft your message to reach different types of guests; so much sense, in fact, that I thought I would do the same thing with the services we happily provide to all of our clients....

Click Here for a List of /current Disney Discounts & Promotions

 Option 1: "I hate all of this ?#&%! Technology!" Service -  This service is for people that find it just infuriating that Disney now wants you to set up a "My Disney Experience" account, book dining and FastPass+ online, customize Magic Bands, and download an app.  It can be so frustrating, especially if you don't have a teenager handy to do it for you.   Book your Disney vacation through us and our agents will happily do almost all of it for you and they'll walk you through anything you absolutely have to do on your own.  We even offer the Unofficial Guide to Disney World - a printed guidebook - as a thank you gift option to help with your plans.  We still send printed documents and printed copies of the theme park touring plans to you via the U.S. Postal Service and we're happy to discuss your plans and needs over the phone.   

Option 2: "I'm Too Busy for All This Advance Planning" Service - Doesn't Disney realize that the kinds of people who go to Disney World have jobs and families? Do they seriously expect you to research resorts, plan every dining reservation six months in advance, research the best FastPass+ options and then book them at midnight exactly 45 days prior to arrival? Who has time for that?!? If you feel this way, you will definitely want to utilize the services of our agents who eat, sleep and breathe this stuff and can do most of it for you. We can help narrow the choices down to those that are a good fit for you and can book dining and FastPass+ on your behalf.  Do you mill your own flour or sew all your own clothes? Of course not, and there is no good reason not to let us do the leg work for you, especially since our services are free when you book your trip through us.    We'll have everything ready to go when your vacation rolls around.

 Option 3: "Help! I'm Trying To Plan Everything For My Extended Family" Service - Group trips can be a wonderful and memorable experience but they do present some very real vacation planning challenges as you try to juggle different ages and different vacation styles.  Having a travel agent that specializes in Disney destinations is a huge help in this situation because we really do know the resorts, restaurants, and theme parks very well and we can help you create plans that include everyone's priorities and that address everyone's needs. 

 Option 4: "I've Already Booked My Trip but Now I'm Overwhelmed!" Service - It is true that our services are completely free when you book your Disney vacation through us but we may still be able to help if you booked your trip yourself.   1) If you booked through Disney less than 30 days ago and have not paid your trip off in full, we can probably still be added as the agent of record on your existing reservation and you'll get all the benefits we offer just as if you'd booked with us in the first place.   (2) If that isn't possible, we can look at your needs and let you know the fee for helping with reservations and itineraries.  

We can also offer "My Wife Told Me to Plan This Thing" services, "I need a Disney Buddy who is as excited as I am" services, and services for people with allergies or any number of special situations.  Just tell us what you need and we'll let you know how we can help.

Click here to book or for a free, no-obligation vacation quote

Build A Better Mouse Trip brings a lot of experience and expertise to your trip.  Our agents will help you select the right resort for your budget, plan a great "Best Days" itinerary, help with all your restaurant questions and FASTPASS+ reservations, and provide fantastic theme park touring plans that will keep you ahead of the crowds and out of the long lines.  Our services can help you whether you are driving or flying.  We book directly through Disney and Universal and we do not charge a fee or service charge of any kind which means that you get every available benefit without paying extra.  

  • One travel agent who really knows Disney World & Universal Orlando and who gets to know you and includes your priorities in every step of the trip planning process.
  • Expert answers and honest opinions to help you with resort, activity and restaurant selections.
  •  We'll book dining reservations on your behalf - subject to availability.
  • We'll give you excellent Disney and Universal theme park touring plans that keep you ahead of the crowds and out of the long lines. Click here to read more about touring plans. 
  • You always get the best available price

Request a quote today – we use the same quote request form for Disney World or Universal Orlando.  Just skip any stuff that doesn’t apply and one of our agents will be in touch with you soon to help you plan your next adventure.   This isn’t a commitment, it is just the easiest way to get the conversation started. There's never any pressure and we're always happy to answer your questions.

Click here to book or for a free, no-obligation vacation quote

Planning a Disney vacation? You'll definitely want to subscribe to our free newsletter. You will receive a link to 45 great Disney World Freebies in your welcome note and several helpful “how-to” e-guides over the next week. Unsubscribe at any time.

Email: