Seven Dwarf Mine Train at Magic Kingdom

12 Disney World Tips for Families 2024

Are you planning a Disney World family vacation? There is so much to see and do at Disney World. Here are tips for Disney World in 2024. 

Disney World Epcot
Disney World Epcot

1. It is Worth It to Buy Lightning Lane at Disney World

It is worth it to buy Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane at Disney World. For $15+ a day, you can save hours of standing in line. When Disney World Lightning Lane reservations are done right, you can breeze through the rides and not have to stand in line for more than 10 minutes! It’s that good! 

If you are still on the fence about buying Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane check out my in-depth analysis of Disney’s Lightning Lane- Is it Worth it to Buy Lightning Lane at Disney World?

2. Don’t Bring Water to Disney World

Don’t bring water to Disney World. You can get ice-cold water for free at any quick-service restaurant at Disney World. Instead of bringing water to Disney World, bring your own Powerade since that is $5.50 at Disney World or bring other flavored juice/drinks/soda. 

If you are at Epcot, you should stop by Club Cool. It’s the Coca Cola shop where they give out FREE Coca Cola drinks. There is a wall of drinks dispenser and you can drink all you want! It’s pretty cool because you get to try drinks (bubbly and non-bubbly) from different countries!

Tip: When you ask for water, they will usually serve it in a small kid’s cup. If you are very thirsty, ask for water in large adult-sized cups. 

3. Bring Ponchos and Umbrellas to Disney World

It rains almost every day in Orlando, so chances are you will encounter rain during your visit to Disney World. Buy ponchos and umbrellas in advance from outside retailers so you don’t have to buy ponchos at Disney World. It will save you from paying high Disney prices! 

From personal experience, umbrellas are great for mild rain but if it’s a heavy downpour, you will get soaked if you only have an umbrella. Ponchos are much better at protecting you when there is a heavy downpour. I suggest bringing both if you have space in your bag. 

Tip: Bring one poncho/umbrella per person in your group (even kids). Sharing will not work if there is heavy rain. 

Disney world Magic Kingdom

4. Preferred Parking is Worth It at Magic Kingdom

I tried both standard and preferred parking at all the Disney World parks. I think preferred parking is only worth it at Magic Kingdom. At Magic Kingdom, preferred parking will get you to a spot that is within walking distance of the Transportation and Ticketing Center. It will save you a lot of time by bypassing the Tram. 

At Hollywood Studios and Epcot, the difference between preferred parking and standard parking is minimal. In fact, both types of parking are within walking distance of the entrance, and oftentimes they are only a few rows away from each other!

At Animal Kingdom, preferred parking is within walking distance to the entrance while you may have to take a short tram ride to get to your standard parking. But it’s a short tram ride, unlike Magic Kingdom. 

Disney world Magic Kingdom

5. It’s Worth it to Buy Disney MagicBands

It’s worth it to buy Disney MagicBands for everyone in your family. I know what a major hassle it is to have to pull out your Disney tickets or Disney app every time you check-in for a Lightning Lane ride or when you enter the park. Trust me, you will be doing it a lot! Make your life easier by getting everyone a MagicBand. Put a stop to the stress of having to keep track of everyone’s Disney tickets! No more rummaging in your purse/pocket trying to find everyone’s Disney tickets!

6. It’s Worth It to Stay at a Disney World Resort 

It’s worth it to stay at a Disney World Resort. There are 3 reasons why I recommend staying at a Disney World resort. The first reason why it’s worth it to stay at a Disney World Resort is you get Early Theme Park Entry at Disney World. That means you can get a headstart on rides since you can get in the park 30 minutes before the park opens! You also get Extended Evening Theme park hours if you are staying at a Disney Deluxe Resort or Disney Deluxe Villa Resort.

The second reason why it’s worth it to stay at a Disney World resort is you can book Individual Lightning Lane rides at 7 am while everyone else has to wait until the park opens.

The third reason why I think it’s worth staying at a Disney World resort is the ease of transportation. Especially at Magic Kingdom, you get dropped off right at Magic Kingdom while guests staying off property will have to park, take the tram, ride the ferry/monorail just to get to Magic Kingdom!  

Disney world Magic Kingdom

7. It’s Worth It to Buy Disney’s Photopass Memory Maker Package

It is worth it to buy Disney’s Photopass Memory Maker package. Disney Photopass Memory Maker gives you unlimited photo downloads. The more photos you take, the more photos you can download! You come home with a lot of fun photos and the best part is everyone in your group is in the photo! Plus, you will also be able to download all the post-ride photos. Many photo booths are also included in Disney’s Photopass. Disney’s Photopass Memory Maker is definitely worth it.

8. Wake Up Early to Start Booking Lightning Lane Reservations at 7 am

Lightning Lane reservations for popular rides at Disney World do sell out. You need to set your alarm and book Lightning Lane for the most popular rides at 7 am. Don’t assume you have all day to book Lightning Lane because some rides sell out! You don’t want to be stuck having to wait in line because you couldn’t get a Lightning Lane reservation!

Check out my Park Specific Lightning Lane Strategies:

Epcot Lighting Lane Strategies

Magic Kingdom Lighting Lane Strategies

Hollywood Studios Lightning Lane Strategies

Animal Kingdom Lightning Lane Strategies

9. Reserve Your Star Wars Experience As Soon As Possible

Disney World Star Wars experiences such as Build a Droid and Savi’s Workshop are hard to come by. They book up really quickly! The moment you buy your Disney ticket, go and make your reservations for Build a Droid and/or Savi’s Workshop. On Disney’s website, it says there may be some same-day reservations available- from personal experience that’s not true! Trust me, you need to reserve way in advance if you want to build a custom lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop or if you want to build a droid at Droid Depot!

10. It’s Worth it to Buy the Individual Lightning Lane for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is the most popular ride at Disney World. Standby wait times are at least 100 minutes or more. You can easily spend 2-3 hours waiting in line! For $15, it is worth it to buy the Individual Lightning Lane for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. It will save you hours of standing in line! 

Tip: Buy the individual Lightning Lane for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance early because it sells out by mid-morning! Buy it at 7 am if you are a Disney resort guest or buy it when the park opens if you are not a Disney resort guest. 

11. Don’t Go to Disney World When It’s Hot

Orlando can get unbearably hot in the summer- over 90F days! It’s just miserable to be walking around Disney World in that heat. Spending your day at Disney World is already physically demanding as it is, avoid it when it’s really hot. If you have kids, they will complain and not want to walk. Everyone in your group will be grouchy and cranky- it’s not a fun way to spend a day at Disney World! If it’s a hot day, you are better off at the hotel pool relaxing than spending hundreds of dollars at Disney World!

12. Don’t Book Dinner Reservations During Theme Park Days

I never understood why people feel like they need to make dinner reservations at Disney World. Spending a day at Disney is exhausting and physically demanding. You don’t need to add another activity to your day. Just enjoy the attractions and rides at Disney World and grab a quick lunch/dinner at the quick-service restaurants. After all, you are at Disney World for the rides and attractions, not the food! It’s also a time-waster if you go to a sit-down restaurant at Disney World.

I suggest you book your Disney World dinner reservations during your non-theme park days. You will enjoy it better because you are not showing up at the restaurant all gross and sweaty!   

Tip: Book your Disney World Character Dinner during non-theme park days. Do it at one of the Disney World Resorts so you don’t have to pay for theme park tickets.

For Park Specific Tips:

Tips for Families Visiting Hollywood Studios

Tips for Families Visiting Magic Kingdom

Tips for Families Visiting Animal Kingdom

Tips for Families Visiting Hollywood Studios

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What to Splurge on at Disney World

Is Lighting Lane Worth It at Disney World?

How to Avoid Meltdowns at Disney World