It’s official, our family are Annual Passholders! We realized that being only 3 hours away, that we needed to take advantage of weekends off. We made the commitment and signed up to be Annual Passholders. Since signing up, we have gone once a month to Disney and learned ways to make the best of the experience. Here are my 5 tips to making it the best experience possible!
1. Create a My Disney Experience account: Head to this page and create an account. Once you have an account you can manage your vacation, any time from the app.
You can select your fast pass+ reservations, manage dining plans and view all of your photos.
You can view real time wait times for rides and attractions. You can also, if you’re like me, select a location within the park that you would like to get to and it will provide step by step directions. No need to circle the park to find your destination. Since we are AP holders we get all of our photos linked directly to the app to store/save.
2. Order Magic Bands: You will automatically receive a MagicBand if you stay at a Disney Resort hotel or if you are a Walt Disney World Annual Passholder. If you are not staying at a Disney Resort hotel and are not a Passholder, you will receive a card when you purchase tickets for park admission.
You can use your MagicBand or card to:
- Unlock the door of your Disney Resort hotel room.
- Enter theme and water parks (with valid admission).
- Check in at FastPass+ entrances.
- Connect Disney PhotoPass images to your account.
- Charge food and merchandise purchases to your Disney Resort hotel room (only available during your hotel stay).
If you know that you will be returning to Disney more than once or you’d like to get creative with your band there are many other options through the Disney Store. My husband actually has his Magic Band in a Puck Keeper on his apple watch. Check them out HERE.
3. Get Your Fast Pass+ Ready:
- Fastpass reservations begin at 7:00 AM EST.
- You can make FastPass reservations from the My Disney Experience App or sign-in from your computer. I suggest using a desktop for making your reservations.
- You may reserve 3 FastPass attractions per day. After you have used all 3, you can continue to get one, use one. You can do this for a different park if you are hopping. This can be done from your phone!! Often we would do it while waiting for our attraction.
- Your first 3 FastPass must be at the same park.
- There is limited availability as the day goes on. Some FastPass will be gone or sold out.
- FastPass are connected to your MagicBands.
- FastPass are hourly. You can’t get two in the same time period. So for example you could get a 9:00am-10:00am window and a 10:00am-11:00am window, but you couldn’t get a 9:00am-10:00am and a 9:30am-10:30am.
- You may arrive at a ride that you have a FastPass for and find a short wait. If the wait is 20 minutes or under, ride in the regular line and change your Fastpass while you wait.
4. Stay at a Disney Value Resort: You spend only your sleeping hours in your room so spend your money elsewhere. Stay at a value resort and take complete advantage of the complimentary transportation to and from the parks. Staying at these resorts guarantees your receiving a Magic Band, so SCORE!
- On-site guests can make FastPass reservations 60 days in advance. This starts on the day you check in to your resort. If you arrive on a Saturday but do not go to a park until Sunday you can start making reservations Saturday. -VS-Off-site guests can make FastPass reservations 30 days in advance. This is from the day you will arrive at the park.
5. Rent A Stroller: Save the space in your car and rent a stroller. If you’re flying, save the cost and risk of possible damage to your stroller in transit and rent. There are quite few companies available that offer strollers. You simply make a reservation online (24 hours ahead) and your stroller will be delivered to you by 7AM. How cool is that? They offer single or double strollers and they offer free coolers with your rental as well. You can use it anywhere you go while on vacation, not just in the park.
Our last trip we were lucky enough to snag a rental and drove the 2018 Mazda CX-9. It was BEAUTIFUL inside and out. The backseats offered a DVD player with wireless headphones. This kept my tiny tot & my husband entertained the entire duration of the road trip.
The ride was so smooth I often caught myself checking the speed limit. The pickup was incredible. I would have never thought that an SUV had such a smooth ride.
I went grocery shopping before we left for the trip and stacked this trunk with goodies I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of trunk space that the SUV crossover had to offer.