About the Column

Is it possible to have too many Disney tips? Well, yes, if they're from your crazy uncle Louie, but not if they're straight from the experts, the folks who plan perfect trips for others day-in, day-out: Disney travel agents! Keith Anderson, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner and co-owner of Mouseketrips, has been doing that for years. He's learned a lot about Disney, especially how to save money on a Disney vacation without skimping on the frills or the thrills. Every week, in Disney Travel Tips from Mouseketrips, Keith will distill new Disney wisdom - just for you! Don't tell Uncle Louie...

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FROM: Disney Travel Tips from Mouseketrips Published Saturdays

Time Saving Tips for Your Disney Vacation

The most magical commodity at any Disney park isn't the characters or the shows or the attractions (it's not even your rapidly dwindling budget): it's time. The clock starts ticking the moment you arrive. Here are some tips for slowing the ticks.

One of the easiest ways to improve your Disney vacation is to find ways to save time so you can get more Disney per stay. Here are our best tips for doing so:

  1. FastPass: Disney offers the FastPass on quite a few of the more popular rides in their theme parks in the U.S. A FastPass basically gives you access to the front of the line. When you get a FastPass, you will have to return later in the day, but it will keep you out of long lines. Learn how to use the FastPass system before you go, and use it often. Stop by FastPass.info for a walkthrough and list of available rides.
  2. Get to the Parks Early: Find out when the parks open each day, and make sure you are there before that time. We try to be at the parks 15 minutes before rope drop (opening). The Magic Kingdom has a great opening ceremony show - don't miss it. The first few hours of the parks are the most quiet, and lines are short, so take advantage while others sleep in.
  3. Eat at Off Hours: This mostly applies to lunch and counter service restaurants. It seems everyone gets hungry for lunch around the same time. As a result, counter service lines become long, quickly, and it can be hard to find a table. Try to eat early, even if it is 11:45 AM, or eat late. The lines will be shorter, and it will save you time.
  4. Use Extra Magic Hours: One of the great advantages to staying on Disney property is access to Extra Magic Hours, during which the parks open an hour earlier and close three hours later (usually one park is designated each day as having Extra Magic Hours - check the calendar you'll receive at check-in for the schedule). The parks are usually much less crowded during extra magic hours, since only guests staying on Disney property can take advantage of them.

Enjoy the parks. There is a lot to see, and if you can save yourself a bit of time each day, you will have a better vacation.

While you're waiting for Keith's next Disney tip, why not ask him to plan your next Disney trip? Mouseketrips does nothing but Disney - and they're really good at it! Hook up with them at their website, through Twitter, or on Facebook.