The trip is booked, you’ve got your resort, Advanced Dining Reservations (ADR), fast passes, and your daily plan all worked out for your first ever trip to Walt Disney World. A lot of people have tread this path before and you’re wondering to yourself “what am I missing?”. Well we’re here to try and help you with that issue. Our first trip was in February 2020 and within a few days we had a few moments of “wow, I wish I knew that before hand!”.

Use your Disney Dining Plan credits

This one seems obvious, lots and lots of people chime in about your Disney Dining Plan and how you should maximize the usage of your credits, but you have to remember to actually USE those credits as well! We got stuck at the end of the holiday with over 15 stack credits and faced a situation of having to give them up as we didn’t have a spare ounce to spare in our suitcase.

While bottles of water are not the best usage of those snack credits at least you’re using them. Getting the best value isn’t always the best value…

Not all Quick Service is equal

Quick Service meals vary throughout the parks and resorts, and while it may be easier to stick with your home resort quick service you may get better meals and better value at other resorts. Make use of the My Disney Experience app and the Mobile Order option to have a browse around your local quick service restaurants and see what is available on the menus. Each resort has its own spin, meals, and quality so its worth looking around!

Utilise the freebies

The parks and the resorts actually have a lot of hidden and visible freebies you can take advantage of. Some are obvious, some are not, so here is a quick list of the big ones.

  • If you don’t care too much about maid service, ask on check-in to opt out and you could get $10 per night as a gift card.
  • Take or buy a water bottle and save having to buy drinks and make use of the many water fountains available in parks.
  • Pin badges (or buttons) are available from the front desk and guest relations, celebrate your 1st trip, anniversary, or just the first tuesday of the month!
  • Disney Vacation Club will offer you $50-$100 or Fast Passes just to talk to them about DVC, what it entails and to have a look around the showroom. Even if you’re not too interested it could give you some extra spending funds.

A lot more freebies can be found at Disney, which can help enhance your trip without any additional cost on your part.

Consider buying Magic Band “keepers”

On our first trip, we lost a Magic Band in Soarin’, probably somewhere over Egypt. While we asked at the ride entrance and waited some time, in the end it was lost in flight and a extra $15 down the drain. While it isn’t the end of the world to lose one over the course of two weeks we nearly lost 3 Magic Bands due to either them being caught on bags, doors, rucksacks, rides or various other places.

Some smart people on Etsy and other sale sites have come up with Magic Band “keepers”, little plastic rings that’ll go over the strap, much like how you have them on watch bands to hold your excess strap down. These little things will avoid any mishaps, and could be essential for kids.

Remember to Have Fun

I understand, this one is a bit of a “duh, well of course i’m going to have fun” moment, but on the day with your perfectly laid out Fast Passes, dining plans and show ideas its easy to get lost in it all and take everything a bit too seriously. You’re there to have fun right? Lets keep it that way…

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