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Tips & Tricks

We hope you find these tips and tricks helpful in making your day at Disney and Universal more enjoyable! While our focus has been on these parks, many of these strategies can enhance your experience at other theme parks too. Whether you're planning a magical day at Magic Kingdom or an adventure at Universal Studios, these insights can help you navigate crowds, find the best snacks, and make the most of your time. Happy exploring!
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Staying on Grounds

Staying at a Disney resort comes with several magical perks:

  • Early Theme Park Entry: Gain 30 minutes early access to all Disney theme parks.

  • Free Transportation: Enjoy complimentary transportation to the parks from all Disney resorts.

  • Free Parking: Parking is included with your resort stay, saving you the daily parking fee.

  • Extra Magic Hours: Guests at Deluxe resorts get additional hours on select nights.

  • Immersive Experience: Staying on grounds keeps you in the "Disney Bubble," allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the magic!


Magic Kingdom

  • Early Entry: Arrive early and head straight to major attractions like Space Mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, or Peter Pan’s Flight. Only Tomorrowland and Fantasyland are open during early entry, so plan accordingly. Remember, you might adjust your plans based on which Lightning Lanes you have or have not purchased.

  • Best Time to Visit Attractions: Morning and after 5 PM are the best times for rides. From 11 AM to 3 PM, focus on parades and attractions or shows with low wait times, such as Mickey’s PhilharMagic, Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor, Carousel of Progress, and the PeopleMover.

  • Favorite Snacks at Magic Kingdom:

    • Spring Roll Cart near Adventureland

    • Gaston’s Tavern (Cinnamon Rolls and LeFou's Brew Slushie)

    • Mickey Bar (Take a picture eating it in front of the castle for an iconic photo)

    • Dole Whip at Aloha Isle

    • Turkey Leg (Available only in Magic Kingdom and Epcot)

  • Favorite Quick Service: Corn Dog at Sleepy Hollow

  • Avoid Fantasyland Midday: This area is busiest with families and strollers during midday, so plan to visit after 5 PM for a more enjoyable experience.

  • Parade Viewing Tips: For lower crowds, consider watching the parade from Liberty Square or Frontierland instead of Main Street, USA.

  • Special Character Meets at Magic Kingdom:

    • Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theater

    • Cinderella, Rapunzel, Tiana, and Elena at Princess Fairytale Hall (Note: Characters can rotate at any time)

    • Gaston near Gaston’s Tavern

    • Jack Sparrow around Adventureland

    • Merida near the Fairytale Garden

    • Characters at the Circus Tent in Storybook Circus: Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck, Goofy, and Donald Duck

  • Fun Fact: No gum is sold in the parks, so plan accordingly!


Animal Kingdom

  • Morning/Sunset Safari: The animals are more active in the morning and at sunset, making these the best times for Kilimanjaro Safaris.

  • Snacks and Quick Service at Animal Kingdom:

    • Night Blossom at Pongu Pongu

    • Colossal Cinnamon Roll at Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery

    • Flame Tree Barbecue’s Ribs, Chicken, and Pulled Pork Sampler

  • Midday Entertainment at Animal Kingdom: During the busy midday hours, check out the Festival of the Lion King, Finding Nemo: The Big Blue... and Beyond!, Animation Experience at Conservation Station, and the Feathered Friends in Flight! bird show.

  • Fun Fact: No balloons are allowed in Animal Kingdom to protect the animals. There's a balloon daycare at the entrance where you can leave them until you exit the park.

  • Special Character Meets at Animal Kingdom:

    • Rafiki and Timon at Conservation Station

    • Mickey and Minnie at Adventurers Outpost

    • DiVine near the entrance of Discovery Island

    • Kevin from "Up!" near the entrance of Discovery Island

    • Pocahontas at Discovery Island Trails



  • Single Rider Line: Use the single rider line at Test Track to save time.

  • Favorite Snacks at Epcot:

    • School Bread at Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe in Norway

    • Macarons at Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie in France

    • Fish and Chips at Yorkshire County Fish Shop in the UK Pavilion

    • Festival Foods: Try all the seasonal festival foods during events like the Food & Wine Festival and Flower & Garden Festival.

    • Food Grown at The Land: Experience unique dishes made with ingredients grown in Epcot’s own greenhouse at The Land Pavilion.

  • Princesses by Country at Epcot:

    • Snow White in Germany

    • Mulan in China

    • Belle and Aurora in France

    • Jasmine in Morocco

    • Anna and Elsa in Norway

  • Disney Visa Meet and Greet: Exclusive character meet and greet available for Disney Visa cardholders.

  • Special Character Meets at Epcot:

    • Mary Poppins and Alice in the United Kingdom

    • Donald Duck in Mexico

  • Ride Timing Tips: The best times for rides are early morning and after 5 PM. During the midday rush, explore the World Showcase and enjoy the diverse food options unless you have Lightning Lane reservations.


Hollywood Studios

  • Early Entry Tips: Arrive very early as a large line typically forms. While many guests rush to Rise of the Resistance and Slinky Dog Dash, if you have these through Lightning Lane, head to attractions like Tower of Terror, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, Toy Story Mania, or Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway.

  • Favorite Snacks at Hollywood Studios:

  • Blue Milk and Green Milk at the Milk Stand in Galaxy’s Edge

  • Gelato near the Muppets

  • Pecan Roll at the stand next to the Muppets

  • Fantasmic!: Book a Fantasmic! Dining Package for perfect, centralized seats at the nighttime spectacular.

  • Star Wars Experience: If you’re a Star Wars fan, book a late reservation at Oga’s Cantina to capture fantastic photos in a less crowded Batuu.

  • Midday Shows at Hollywood Studios: From 11 AM to 3 PM, enjoy shows like Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, and For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration.

  • Special Character Meets at Hollywood Studios:

  • BB-8, Chewbacca, and Darth Vader at Star Wars Launch Bay

  • Disney Junior characters at Animation Courtyard

  • Olaf at Celebrity Spotlight

  • Disney Visa Meet and Greet: Exclusive character meet and greet available for Disney Visa cardholders.

Tips and Tricks for Water Parks


  • Bring Your Own Towel or Rent One: You can save a bit of money by bringing your own towel. However, if you prefer to travel light, you can rent towels when you arrive at the park.

  • Arrive Early for the Best Seats: Getting to the water park early ensures you can grab the best seats. Whether you want to be close to the kids' area, near the wave pool, or in a shaded spot, arriving early will give you the best choice of location.

  • Plan Your Seating Area: Decide what’s most important for your group. Families with young children might prefer being near the kids' area, while thrill-seekers might want easy access to the wave pool and slides. For those looking for a more relaxed experience, choose a shaded area to stay cool throughout the day.

  • Be Cautious with Rideshare Services: If you plan to take a Lyft or Uber back to your hotel, be mindful of sand and water. Drivers may charge a cleaning fee if their car gets dirty or wet. A quick towel off before you leave the park can help avoid extra costs.

  • Stay Hydrated and Use Sunscreen: Water parks can be deceivingly dehydrating. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and reapply sunscreen regularly to protect your skin from the sun.

  • Use Waterproof Phone Cases: Protect your phone from water damage with a waterproof case. This way, you can take photos, check maps, and stay connected without worrying about your device getting wet.

  • Take Advantage of Lockers: Rent a locker to store your valuables and any items you don’t want to carry around the park. This will keep your belongings safe while you enjoy the attractions.

  • Check Height Requirements: Before getting in line, check the height requirements for each ride. This will save time and ensure that everyone in your party can enjoy the attractions that interest them.

  • Be Mindful of Hot Surfaces: Some walking surfaces are sprayed to keep them cool, but not all areas are treated. Water shoes can help protect your feet from hot pavement.

  • Know the Park's Layout: Familiarize yourself with the park map and the locations of the attractions you want to visit. This will help you plan your day efficiently and make the most of your time at the park.

  • Enjoy a splash-tastic day at the water parks with these handy tips! 🏖️💦 #WaterParkTips #FamilyFun #SummerAdventures

Universal Studios

Wizarding World.HEIC

  • Take Advantage of Early Entry: If you’re staying on Universal grounds, you get an extra hour of park time before the general public. Use this time to hit popular rides with shorter wait times.

  • Get a Park-to-Park Ticket: This ticket is essential, especially if Universal Studios is closing early for an event. You can easily hop over to Islands of Adventure and continue your day of fun. Plus, the park-to-park ticket allows you to ride the Hogwarts Express, continuing the magical journey from Diagon Alley to Hogsmeade.

  • Best Food Options:

  • Three Broomsticks: Located in Hogsmeade, this spot offers hearty meals like shepherd's pie and rotisserie chicken. Don’t miss out on the frozen butterbeer or apple cider for a refreshing treat.

  • Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food: This vibrant restaurant at CityWalk offers delicious Mexican cuisine with a lively atmosphere. Enjoy tacos, enchiladas, and margaritas.

  • Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen: Indulge in a steampunk-themed dining experience with an extensive menu of unique entrees and decadent desserts.

  • Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar: A fusion restaurant offering inventive sushi and gourmet burgers, making it a perfect spot for diverse palates.

  • Take a Small Drawstring Bag: Universal does not allow you to take anything on the rides with you, so bring a small drawstring bag that fits in their lockers. This will make it easier to store your belongings while you enjoy the attractions.

  • Express Pass: The Express Pass is a game-changer, allowing you to skip the regular lines at most attractions. This can save you a significant amount of time, especially during peak seasons. For the ultimate convenience, upgrade to a premiere resort where the Express Pass is included with your stay.

  • Non-Private or Private VIP Tours: Consider booking a VIP tour for an enhanced experience. The non-private tour includes approximately 10 rides, while the private VIP tour offers a more exclusive experience with 1 buffet breakfast, 2 sit-down meals, VIP parking, and Express Pass access even after your tour.

  • Stay Hydrated and Take Breaks: Florida’s heat can be intense, so remember to drink plenty of water and take breaks in shaded or air-conditioned areas.

  • Single Rider Lines: If you’re okay with splitting up your party, single rider lines can significantly reduce your wait times for many popular attractions.

  • Character Meet and Greets: Look out for character meet and greets throughout the parks. Universal has a wide range of characters from various franchises, offering great photo opportunities.

  • Plan for Shows: Universal Studios offers fantastic shows like the Horror Makeup Show and the cinematic spectaculars. Plan your day to include some of these unique experiences.

  • Enjoy your magical day at Universal Studios Florida! 🏰🎢 #UniversalStudios #ThemeParkTips #FamilyAdventure

As always, we'd love to help you plan your vacation for free! With our expert knowledge and personalized service, we'll ensure your trip is stress-free and tailored to your needs. Our dedicated agents will work with you from start to finish, providing insider tips, booking accommodations, and securing dining reservations. Let us handle the details so you can focus on creating magical memories. Contact us today to start planning your dream vacation!

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