My first trip to WDW was in February of 1977. Throughout the ’80s I lived in Orlando and watched as it grew to include Epcot and the beginning of what would become Hollywood Studios (originally MGM Studios). Through the years, I’ve visited several times, but, in the past 6 years I’ve ramped up the visits. Five years ago I moved back to FL. I am very fortunate to have friends who are WDW Vacation Club members, who invite me to join them when they stay “on property”. Between those visits and FL Resident Annual passes, I’ve seen a lot. Most of my visits have been without children. It’s been years since I’ve stood on 2 hr. lines to ride Snow White’s ride. Actually, I DON’T stand on any 2 hr. lines. But, I have picked up a few tips that I’ll now share…
1. I’ll begin with where your first dash to get a Fastpass should be, in each Park. Of course, only if you want to ride it. These are from my perspective (adult). I’ll use abbreviations for the Parks. MK …Space Mountain; EP …Soarin’; HS …Toy Story, then Tower of Terror; AK …Kilimanjaro Safari. I do single-rider lines for Rockin’ Rollercoaster and Expedition Everest. This usually avoids needing a FP.
Soarin’ and Toy Story are, by far, the hardest to get. TS is often out of FP by 11 AM.
2. It’s important to stay hydrated while at the Parks. But, buying water is cost prohibitive. Take your own bottle to refill or not. That’s your own decision. There are water fountains through out the Parks. Most water fountains have warm water. Where can you find FREE cold water? I only know of one water fountain that I personally always use at Epcot. It’s in Innoventions West, inside, next to a set of bathrooms, near a door that looks out towards The Land Pavilion.
Besides that fountain, there is a wonderful Disney policy which you’ll find in all their parks. Free cold water! In any park, go to ANY counter service location and ask for a cup of cold water. They will give you one. No charge. No questions. No purchase necessary. And, it’s not one of those little dixie cups, either. I’ve received sm.-med.and lg. cups at different locations. I refill my bottle with the water over and over. For FREE.
3. Your feet will, at some point, want to give out. Or, you just might want a quiet moment. Some will have A/C and some just a quiet breeze. Where to sit and relax? MK… The People Mover and, for comfy seats and A/C, Carousel of Progress in Tomorrowland. Upstairs in Columbia Harbour House, between Fantasyland and Liberty Square, and Hall of Presidents are some of my fav spots. EP… The Land food court can be noisy, but, you can often find a corner to sit (and put up your feet) or ride Living w/the Land. I’ve been known to sit in Morocco and people watch, or buy a cheese plate in France and grab a small wrought iron table/chair and face the beauty of World Showcase Lagoon ignoring the crowds behind me. For A/C and soft chairs try the France pavilion’s movie. HS… ABC Commissary is never crowded and has A/C. Or you can grab a seat at Backlot Express (unless they decide to shut it for the Star Wars expansion). AK… My favorite spot is definitely the pavilions behind Flame Tree BBQ. I go to the last one and enjoy the view of Expedition Everest across the water. For A/C grab a chair in a back room of Pizzafari. If you time it right, Finding Nemo will give you a comfy chair and A/C.
4. Electronics… There is now wifi in all their parks. Disney has come up with apps for smart phones that are helpful and/or fun. But, they eat up battery life. My last visit, I took my old and new phones with me. I used the old one (wifi only) just for the app, until it died. Then I swapped to the new one. (That way I always had a working phone available.) Since then, I’ve bought a “lipstick refill” battery to carry with me. I have friends who take a charger. There are some places you can plug in, but, that takes time out of your day.
5. Been there often? Looking for something new to do? Get the “Hidden Mickeys” book and/or app and play along. I’ve also played the free “Sorcerers of Magic Kingdom” game, currently at the MK. I played and won the first level in just one long hectic and drizzly day. Another day, I stopped every time I saw a short line for a Character Meet/Greet and had my picture taken with them.
Maybe you’ve noticed that I have gone, to Disney, on my own several times. My encore tip is… When you’re on your own (and it can be great fun that way), ask the Cast Members to take pictures of you. They will gladly do it. Even the Photopass photographers will, with your camera.