Everyone who goes to Walt Disney World, whether it’s your first time or tenth time, has secret Disney World tips that they find out about. Maybe a secret entrance to a park, maybe a quick way to get from one place to another or a way to get special freebies at Walt Disney World.
Well, we knew a few ourselves and I’ve also polled a few people to find out what their secret tips were and I’m going to divulge the top 10 secret tips that you won’t hear many people talk about.
1. Free Parking
Someone told me that when they were still in school and tight on money, they would park at the back of Disney Springs, walk to Saratoga Springs via the golf course, and take the buses to the parks.
This is a really hot tip if you know someone who is staying off property, and as far as we know it still worked as of summer 2017.
2. Magical Upgrades
Many people have told us that they tend to have fantastic luck with NOT checking in on their phone before they arrive for a Disney vacation.
You just go to the front desk and attempt to request a room that’s already clean and ready to go.
Most of the trips before our friends became DVC, they would get a room with an upgraded view by doing this. A couple of times they got a room with fireworks views, and they only used to book a standard view room.
If you have kids, then this can be a really magical treat. Some of the best Disney World resort kids rooms are absolutely unreal. For example, the Royal Rooms at Port Orleans Riverside. Now that’s a magical upgrade, my friends!
3. Magic Kingdom Fireworks
At the Magic Kingdom, watch the fireworks from behind the castle. It is a much better view of the fireworks and definitely fewer people. Our friends do this every time, it makes you feel like you are IN the fireworks, and its a very neat experience
Our personal favorite is to book a meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table right before the show. The secret is, they block off the walkthrough under the castle and there are usually fewer than 20 people watching the show from there. This is a great way to get photos of the Magic Kingdom fireworks without the crowd.
4. Best Seats on Kilimanjaro Safari
Want the best seats on the Kilimanjaro Safari? Then the back row is where you want to be, as it’s the best seat on Kilimanjaro Safari.
If you ask the cast member for the back row, they will accommodate, even if you have to wait a few extra minutes. It’s well worth it though!
I’m going to warn you right up front, this trick may lead you to buy into DVC! What you do, is sign up for the DVC sales pitch at one of their kiosks in the parks or resorts.
While listening to the sales pitch, you get free snacks and free gift cards, from what I understand the gift cards are $50 and can be used anywhere in the parks. Of course, this has been hindered a bit by the pandemic, but I fully expect it to make a comeback soon.
This is something useful to do with that time on a rainy day when you are not sure what to do.
6. Festival of The Lion King Finale
One of our friends has kids that are huge Lion King fans. Given that those kids have been picked to participate in the Festival of the Lion King finale at least the last 8-10 times in a row. They figured out the trick!
You have to make sure that your kids are sitting on the outside right of your section, in the first 5-6 rows up, preferably smiling and looking happy! This seems to work for them every time! Even though every time those kids get cautioned with “you know, they may not pick you this time”.
7. Freebies On Your Special Day
If you’ve never been to Disney on your birthday or special occasion, then you really have to do it at least once. You definitely get the magical treatment.
You get to wear a pin all day alerting the cast members that it’s your special day. Make sure that you are always wearing the pins when celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, honeymoons, etc.
Why am I so adamant about this? Well, you are WAY more likely to score a free dessert or a couple of glasses of bubbly!
8. Freebies For Veterans
While you are on property, if you are a veteran, wear a hat or something that indicates this. You are a lot more likely to get handed a freebie here or there along with the standard “thank you for your service”!
9. Secret Exit From Fantasmic
One of the biggest problems we were faced with when leaving Fantasmic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is how to get out in a timely manner. Especially if you are trying to get a good viewing spot for the Star Wars Fireworks.
I’m here to tell you that we first heard about this trick from our friend Shannon Albert over at WDW Prep School. We preach about it every time we get a chance!
You will enter Fantasmic via the upper left when entering the seating area. You may leave the park through the upper right entrance after the show if your goal is to see fireworks. That will enable you to exit the park with ease or to watch fireworks from one of the great vantage points. Check out the map below.
10. Secret Entrance To Animal Kingdom
The Rainforest Cafe to the left of Animal Kingdom’s entrance actually has a small gate to the park. Once you get through the bag check, just enter Rainforest Cafe and walk through the gift shop to the back entrance. Exit out those doors and head to turnstiles right into the Animal Kingdom.
More Disney World Tips
Check out the many articles I have written about tips for playing throughout the Walt Disney World parks, resorts, and much more below.
Everyone has their favorite tips and tricks for the Walt Disney World theme parks, and we’ve given you ours. Now it’s your turn! Go over to our Facebook page and after you like us, make sure you leave a comment with one of your favorite Disney World tips, tricks or hacks.