17 Best Disney Travel Hacks to Save Money and Time

Yes, there are many Disney travel hacks out there. I’ve personally managed to save over 310 dollars through them.

That was done through registration perks and discounts that are offered by Disney and 3rd parties.

Obviously, you might not get to see Disneyland during a pandemic, but at least you will be knowledgeable on where you can save money and time once you have decided to visit Disney places.

Save this article for future reference!

In the meantime, why not prepare yourself.


Disney Travel Hacks That I Can’t be Without

These are the ones I have used.

By the time you read this, something might have changed, so make sure this article isn’t 5 years old or something 😉


#1 – Always use ‘My Disney Experience App’

Disney Travel Hacks - My Disney Experience App

As almost everything has turned to digital, Disney is not making any exceptions.

I use My Disney Experience to see queues, find places, request access, view Disney-related photos, make reservations, read guides, and much more!

It’s really becoming an all-in-one virtual assistant.

If you want, you can even resort to hotels that are nearby, as well as transportation, housekeeping, dining, etc.

The app is free, so just download it from Google Store or on Apple App Store.


#2 – Know about the Fastpass+ System that Disney Offers

Fastpass+, as you may or may not know, allows you to skip queues for certain attractions.

The good news is – they are free! The bad news is that you are only allowed to make 3 reservations per once.

One of the first hacks I recommend considering is to book Fastpass+ selections 60 days prior.

Normally, people can only do it 30 days prior, BUT what many don’t know is that if you stay at Disney hotels, you get some extra perks. So, this is where you should consider staying:

  • Disney Resort Hotels
  • Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
  • Walt Disney World Swan Hotel
  • Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World
  • Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel
  • B-Hotel Disney
  • Doubletree Suites Orlando Lake Buena Vista
  • Hilton Buena Vista Palace Resort
  • Hilton Orlando Resort Lake Buena Vista
  • Holiday Inn Orlando Disney Springs Area
  • Wyndham Garden Hotel Lake Buena Vista
  • Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort
  • Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
  • Waldorf Astoria Bonnet Creek

By booking Fastpass+ earlier, you get to plan your day better compared to others.

Advanced Fastpass+ hacks:

As I mentioned before, you can reserve times for three different times only (at once).

So, the following trick is used by a select few.

Book your times to 10, 11, and 12, for example.

Once you use your first Fastpass, modify your 2nd Fastpass time to 10:15. When the second is used, modify the 3rd Fastpass booking to 10:30.

Once you have used up all your Fastpass+ selections, the real hack begins.

Find an attraction that you like, and even if it’s at 6 pm, book it anyway. This will make sure that your selection is always in the front, even if you refresh.

Once you booked it, refresh it for a few minutes non-stop. You will notice that a better time has popped up. Take that!

Return to refreshing, and you will find a time that is at 1 PM!

The more you refresh, the better times you will find. The reason is, people oftentimes just cancel their bookings, and it will open a window for you to take.

Caution though! It will use up your phone battery a bit, so make sure that your phone is at 100% when leaving your hotel.

Or better yet, invest in battery banks 😉


#3 – Make use of hotel reward points

Each night you get a certain amount of points that you can redeem in the next hotel you stay at.

Although the hotels vary greatly in terms of cost and how many points you can get, it’s always smart to take advantage of their programs.

One of the best hotels to stay at for points alone are Swan and Dolphin hotels. They are both owned by Marriott, not Disney, but they still offer Disney perks like 60 Day Fastpass+ booking, free parking, and Extra Magic Hours. Update: Turns out they suspended it last summer.

Early Theme Park Entry is replacing it.


#4 – Airline Miles are useful!

Every airline offers its own rewards system so that it can build its own loyal customer base.

Currently, I will not recommend you an airline that offers the best Miles/Points system. So currently it’s up to you to choose. (I will make a separate article on it soon, so follow me for news on it).

For now, the most important point is to not forget to take advantage of those Airline points 😉


#5 – Make use of Disney Visa Cards, but be smart!

disney visa cards

Disney offers a solution for people to use Disney cards for payment.

As much as the design of the card itself is cool, I would not use it for everyday payments. That is even if you get accumulative points with them, which can be used on everything Disney-related.

In my opinion, for everyday spending, I’d use cards regular bank cards that are great for traveling (I’ll make an article on them soon).

However, Disney Credit Cards are good with a statement credit. By that I mean, if you make a Disney Credit Card, and you spend 500 bucks within 3 months, you get $250 worth of statement credit. That money is transferred to you within 8 weeks.

Note: Things can change over time, so make sure you read the official text thoroughly!

You can use that money towards restaurants within Disney parks.

But I don’t want to spend 500 bucks, you may say! That is why should:


#6 – Buy Disney Gift Cards at Target

disney gift card at target

One good way to spend those 500 dollars is to buy one or more $500 Disney Gift Cards that are sold at Target.

Target is my preferred recommendation due to its RedCard option.

If you register for RedCard, you get 5% off from certain stuff. Disney Gift Cards is one of them.

So if you do all these steps, using reward points, Airline Miles, registering for statements credits, and applying for RedCards, the amount of money you can save reaches thousands – and that is just for the Disney trip!


#7 – Send your luggage to the destination beforehand

sending items beforehand to the destination

That is one of the tips that I have talked about in my article about saving some packing weight during travels.

I love using it myself. One of the main problems I faced during my travels was that I was stressed. Visiting places like Disneyland can be very stressful, especially with so many variables that can happen.

Reducing the load that I carry helped me with stress tremendously.

If you are with a group that is quite big, consider sending your luggage and all the heavy and large items to a hotel beforehand.

Not only do you save time, but you lighten your physical and mental weight, as well as spending.


#8 – If possible, avoid peak periods

disneyland peak interests

Especially now that viruses are all around us.

But let’s take physical safety out of the equation. You still get to enjoy a lot more different attractions by having a shorter line.

We can’t rely on the Fastpass+ system all the time!

That is why I personally avoid visiting popular places during the holiday season like a plague (and now I kinda do it literally huh).


#9 – There are single rider lines

On top of Fastpass+ and avoiding certain seasons, you can further shorten the time in line.

That is done by choosing the right attractions.

Many are for group rides, and those are packed with tourists, parents, children…

So why should I waste enormous time on them? I rather spend my Fastpass tickets on those.

In the meantime, focusing on Single Rider lines is a better option. To find these kinds of lines, use the Disney application that I advised before.


#10 – My Disney Experience App opens doors even

disney app opens doors

What many don’t know is that if you choose one of the hotels that are connected to Disney resorts, you can ditch keys for apps.

You just register your room through the MyDisneyExperience app, and you can open doors with a QR code reader.

With this, you have even fewer worries about stuff that might go missing.

All in one, one for all!


#11 –  Golf balls help more than you know

golf balls help your feet after long walks

Golf balls may have other uses other than being hit far away to a distant hole.

I actually didn’t think about it either till I read some research on it.

What you basically do is, after you had a long and tiresome journey in Disneyland, put the golf ball on the ground, and then roll it around. Do it in a way that touches all the spots under the feet.

It should be quite painful at first but trust me, you will feel much better once it’s over.


#12 – Bring a water bottle, as you can refill it for free

take water bottles with you

Most kiosks that are around the Disney world offer fountain drinks.

That is a great way to save some money instead of spending it on overpriced bottles.


#13 – Make use of Guest Service Stations

What is interesting is that many are not even aware that they exist!

Knowing that they aren’t really advertised much, I shouldn’t really be surprised.

But don’t think for a second they are for medical help only.

They provide many types of care for children, as well as for adults. For example, they have places to change diapers, apply sunscreen, microwaves for food, sinks…

You can even get water entirely for free! Just go to the counter area and ask for a cup of fresh water.

It’s very useful during hot summer walks.


#14 – Always take zip-bags with you

One thing users don’t take into account when they visit places like Disneyland is the amount of water that will be sprayed on you throughout the day.

That comes from the weather, as well as water attractions.

You might think that your pockets will save electronics, but they may not when the water amount exceeds your expectations.

Just have one handy in the back pocket in case you start to notice you are wetter than you thought possible 😉


#15 – Use inside areas to move through Main Streets faster

cut through shops in disneyland

One of the curses of such popular places is the mass of people.

They are just everywhere.

You might have your Fastpasses, your navigations maps, plans… but when everything is crowded to the gill it’s good to know some shortcuts.

One of the best ways to cut through the crows, as Reddit has said, is to cut through shops. Shops sometimes have fewer people than the outside area.

Not only do you save some time, but you get to experience more items that are for sale.


#16 –  Rainy days bring some awesome reactions from animals

Even if it happens that you visit Disneyland during rainy weather, do not feel down.

In fact, according to a safari driver in Animal Kingdom, he sees the most action during rain:

I used to be a safari driver on Kilimanjaro Safaris in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. On this ride, people would hop onto my safari truck and enjoy a 20-30 minute drive through a replica savannah, seeing real, free-roaming African animals go about their business while I shared fun facts about the animals we saw along the way.

Some of the best animal encounters I ever saw during my time there were in the pouring rain: baby elephants would cannon ball into the watering hole and splash around, rhinos would roll around in the mud and chase each other through the bushes and trees.

I will never forget the cool things I saw on rainy days, but I usually didn’t have a lot of guests on my truck to experience these things with me, because the trucks have no windows and people would avoid the safari in the rain.

Too bad—they missed out on some pretty phenomenal animal encounters that just didn’t happen on sunny days.


#17  – Want to get a free ticket to Disneyland? Disneyland employees get them for free 😉

disneyland workers get free tickets - travel hack

Although the pay for Disneyland employees may not be as big for beginners, they do get some awesome perks regardless.

One of these perks is getting free tickets so that they can bring their friends or family members to Disneyland. According to Yahoo Finance, the number of free admissions depends on how many hours you work there.

So, if you have a friend or relative that works there, try asking them if they are willing to spend a free ticket on you, or at least give you a personal discount. The personal discount is given to workers, but the percentage isn’t bigger than 15-20%.

You can also try befriending an employee if you meet one of them. Just don’t have your hopes up too high and definitely do not bother them furthermore. No worker wants to hear a daily pleading for free tickets, especially when people start to get rude reactions due to unwillingness to give out tickets to random people.

That Goofy on the picture above would give his resignation the next day if he had that kind of experience.

However, even if the discount they offer is a measly 20%, it’s still a big number that can save hundreds of dollars for a medium-sized family.

It’s really worth a try if you know the person.


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