No one knows Walt Disney World better than the Cast Members who bring the magic to life every day. Day in and day out, they see the best and the worst that the Most Magical Place on Earth has to offer, so when a Cast Member (particularly a long-time one) gives a bit of advice, you can treat that moment as true pixie dust. Many Walt Disney World tips have become common knowledge (e.g. wear celebration buttons, visit in the off-season, use both sides of lines, etc.), so we wanted to dig to find some tips that weren’t as well-known, even to many veteran guests. We love trip hacks here at Theme Park Tourist, so we gathered ten of our favorite tips we’ve heard over the years straight from Walt Disney World Cast Members. Our #10 choice is also a great way to give some magic back!
1. Take the resort monorail when leaving Magic Kingdom
We’ve discussed before that Magic Kingdom’s Transportation and Ticket Center might just be the most un-magical place at the Most Magical Place on Earth. When guests are arriving and at the end of the day, Magic Kingdom transportation can try even the most stalwart guest’s patience.
On a popular ongoing discussion thread at WDW Info, Cast Members suggested that if lines are long for the Express Monorail and Ferry, opt to take the Resort Monorail instead. Most visitors don’t realize it also stops at the Transportation and Ticket Center. The wait is almost always lower than the Express Monorail, and if you’re going to have to wait anyways, better to wait on the beautiful monorail for a few short resort stops instead of in a huge line.
Oh, and as far as the ferry? Cast Members suggest skipping it entirely. It is almost always slower than the other methods by a long shot.
2. Always get a to-go drink from table service restaurants
A helpful server at Epcot’s Rose and Crown Pub pointed this one out to us. When you’re finishing up a meal at a table service restaurant, always ask for a drink to go. You can either get a refill on whatever soda or tea you were drinking with your meal, or you can opt for a large water cup. This seems like a miniscule tip, but it can seriously be a game changer on a blazing hot Disney day.
We’ve mentioned the tip of taking advantage of Disney’s free water cups before, but at most quick service locations, Cast Members are instructed to give guests tiny child-sized water cups which aren’t nearly big enough to contend with Florida’s heat. Using this tip not only will score you a proper sized cup of filtered water, but you can refill that cup at water fountains throughout the parks!
3. If you’re a Passholder or DVC member, buy snacks/drinks from retail shops
Dining discounts are a huge perk of being a Walt Disney World Annual Passholder or Disney Vacation Club member. However, most guests realize quickly that it’s difficult to find discounts on snack carts and quick service dining stops.
If you’re looking for a quick drink or snack, opt to pick up your sodas, candy bars, etc. at a merchandise shop. Unlike snack carts and quick service windows, your discount will apply. Particularly in Epcot, some of the sodas and snacks available in shops throughout World Showcase are way better than anything you’d pick up from a soda fountain. We’re especially big fans of the Coffee Crisps in the Canada pavilion and the unusual sodas at both China and Japan’s megastores.
Want to save even more? Cast Members also echo a tip we’ve given in the past: bring your own snacks! You’ll save big and be able to put those savings towards extra magical treats on your vacation.