There’s no place quite like Disney World in Orlando and if you are a Disney fan it’s the perfect location for your honeymoon! We took a trip for our seventh wedding anniversary and had a total blast. It ranks up there as one of our favorite trips. This blog post will focus on our tips and tricks to making your Disney World honeymoon the best it can be and we’ll discuss other things to do and see throughout Orlando in a future post. If you’ve never been to Disney World, haven’t been in a long time, or even if you go every year hopefully you learn something new about visiting that you didn’t know before!
If you’re not staying in a Disney World Resort hotel for your Disney World honeymoon you won’t have the chance of reserving your fast passes before the normal public does. If there is a newer ride, chances are by the time fast passes open for you to reserve, all of the passes for that ride will be gone. When that happens you have a few choices. You can skip the ride all together, wait a LONG time in line the day you arrive, or you can get to the park early and be one of the first ones on the ride.
When we went for our anniversary trip in 2018, Flight of Passage in Pandora at Animal Kingdom had only been open for about six months. We knew in advance by reading online and by watching in the app that the wait times for it were extreme (4 or 5 hours in line). We knew we had to go on the ride at least one time while we were in Animal Kingdom, so we did our research online and learned that we should arrive at the park 1.5 hours before it opened to make sure that we were one of the first people in line in the morning. Since we rented a car, it wasn’t hard to do. If a person were taking a shuttle from their hotel, it would be a lot harder to pull off because of shuttle schedules. Even though technically we were in line for 1.5 hours, it didn’t feel like it because of how fast we moved from place to place. We were able to cruise right through the line all the way to the ride entrance without a problem.
When we visited the Magic Kingdom we used the same strategy for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride. It wasn’t as new, but still had no available fast passes and always had a consistently long wait time. It worked out just as well and we moved through the line quickly. Though if we were to pick only one ride to use this strategy on when we went in early 2018, it would have been Flight of Passage. It was totally worth every second to experience it! We are however, anxiously awaiting the opening of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge soon in the park. When that area opens, being early may be the only way to get on the ride in a reasonable amount of time!
Be sure to stop by one of the ticket booths, larger stores, or customer service areas to pick up your free buttons to celebrate your Disney World honeymoon. They have buttons for celebrating anniversaries/honeymoons, first time visits, birthdays, etc. We love getting our buttons and wore them proudly throughout our visit. They are amazing conversation starters with cast members and it’s a lot of fun to be told congratulations multiple times daily throughout your visit. On our anniversary trip we also had a fun cast member at the 50’s Prime Time Café take our buttons and write a special note on them!
The other perk of wearing your button everywhere you go during your Disney World honeymoon is that sometimes if you meet the right person at the right place you’ll be offered free things in honor of your visit! We received free cupcakes and slushies during our trip. It’s totally random though, and may just depend on who you run into!
If you have the choice, totally go in the off-season! Orlando and Disney World are a bit different because they attract so many visitors from around the world, so they really are busy all year long. We did find that when we visited during the months when kids were in school that it was a bit easier to navigate the park. The other bonus of going when kids are in school is that the Orlando weather is perfect! Summers in Orlando are hot and humid, but other months of the year are awesome!
Whether you go in the off-season or busy season be sure to download and use the Disney World App. We mentioned the benefits in an earlier paragraph, but it really does help you navigate the crowds and wait times. Unlike at Disneyland where visitors reserve their fast passes day of at the park, at Disney World, guests reserve their fast passes 30 days before their visit (60 days before their visit for Resort guests).
One more related tip we have is to make sure that you don’t go into a park the same day it is listed for extra magic hours. For example if Epcot has extra magic hours on Tuesday mornings, that’s the day you want to go to a different park. The reason for this is because all of the resort hotel guests will be going to that park on that day to take advantage of the additional hours, which will make it busier than it normally would be. To find out what parks have extra magic hours on what day, simply visit the Disney World website and view their calendar. It’s also listed on the Disney World App.
Food at Disney parks is expensive, but it can totally be reasonable if you manage it correctly. Eating on property is a part of the experience and we recommend trying one restaurant or quick service at least once each day during your Disney World honeymoon. Some of our favorites are Be Our Guest in the Magic Kingdom (that French Dip!), the waffles at Sleepy Hollow in the Magic Kingdom, Satu’li Canteen in Animal Kingdom, Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe in Epcot, and the 50’s Prime Time Café (get the Peanut butter and Jelly Shake! Trust us!) in Hollywood Studios. It’s also fun to take a short drive over to some of the resorts to try their quick service or restaurants. For example, the Polynesian Village resort is one that has a lot of popular dining areas.
One more tip related to making reservations is that if a place you want to eat is filled up, keep checking back. Restaurant reservations fill up so fast because guests can make those reservations months in advance and because people can reserve as many times as they want at one time. There isn’t a fee to cancel the reservations until 24 hours before… so what you’ll find is that a lot of people will start canceling their extra/unneeded reservations about a week before up until 24 hours before the day of their reservation. We actually had something like this happen to us. We wanted to try the Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Magic Kingdom. Months before our trip we continually jumped on the app to try to find openings, but we never did. Miraculously a week before our trip we got on one more time and we found a lunch opening available! Moral of the story, it can definitely happen!
We talked about pin trading in our blog post about honeymooning in Disneyland, and we’ll say it again here. Just DO IT! It’s a total blast and completely worth it to try it out on your Disney World honeymoon or vacation. When you first start out go to one of the stores and buy a set of pins. The best starter packs are around $30 and come with eight or so pins. Use those to trade with cast members around the parks and on pin boards. Also keep in mind that the best pins are found early in the morning. Some parks even have special pin boards in the form of pin strollers, pin trash cans, etc. One of our favorite parts of pin trading isn’t even the collecting of the pins, it’s getting to talk to all the cast members in the parks. It’s a lot of fun to meet and talk to them. Sometimes they will even share some of their insider secrets!
The Magic Kingdom is always updating and creating new free games and challenges for guests to participate in. When we went in 2018, they had two different games to play. One of them was modeled after Pirates of the Caribbean. For that game you use treasure maps to follow clues and find different pieces of Calypso’s treasure with Jack Sparrow. It was awesome to see all of the special effects that were set up and hidden throughout the Pirates of the Caribbean queue and in Adventureland. Honestly, if you weren’t to play the game you wouldn’t even know they existed. That’s the beauty of Disney details. You have to pay attention to notice them. There are multiple maps and challenges to complete, but after you finish three of them you get free fast passes to Pirates of the Caribbean! We had a total blast and finished them all and received a few more fast passes too. Free fast passes aren’t easy to come by and this would be an awesome game to play on a Disney World honeymoon or vacation!
The other game at the Magic Kingdom is called Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. This game is interactive and uses trading cards, cameras and magic mirrors. The purpose of the game is to help Merlin defeat Hades and stop him from taking over the Magic Kingdom. It was a lot of fun to hold up cards, and have the different abilities from those cards attack the villains in the mirrors. We also loved collecting the cards and we came home with a large set from doing one level. The only downside was that it took a long time to complete the first level. We spent about three hours walking back and forth throughout the park to finish it, but we enjoyed it and discovered a lot of different things in the park. The other reasons we completed the level was to get the reward (lots more cards!) and because we spent two days at the Magic Kingdom, so we felt we had the time to spare.
A Disney World honeymoon or vacation sounds like a perfect trip idea to us! The last tip we would give would be to take your time and enjoy every minute. Don’t stress about running ride to ride, take a moment and pin trade, or play a game. We loved every second of our trip to the parks and would do it again in a heartbeat. We’ll probably just wait a few years until Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge opens!