The Best Walt Disney World Hacks for 2024

Planning a trip to Walt Disney World can be both exhilarating and overwhelming. With four theme parks, dozens of attractions, and countless dining options, it’s easy to feel like you need a bit of pixie dust to make the most of your visit. Fear not, Disney enthusiasts! We’ve compiled a treasure trove of insider hacks to help you navigate the parks like a pro in 2024.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned Disney veteran, these tips will ensure you maximize your fun, minimize your wait times, and create magical memories that will last a lifetime. 

Best Walt Disney World Hacks for 2024

  • Use Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lanes
  • Arrive at Rope Drop
  • Mobile Ordering
  • Stay On-Site
  • Bring Your Own Snacks and Water
  • Plan Your Disney Genie+ Selections Strategically
  • Use Single Rider Lines
  • Make Dining Reservations Early
  • Utilize Rider Switch
  • Explore Beyond the Parks
  • Download the My Disney Experience App
  • Take Advantage of PhotoPass

Use Genie+ and Lightning Lanes

One of the most significant changes in recent years has been the introduction of Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lanes, replacing the old FastPass+ system. Genie+ is a paid service that allows you to reserve access to select attractions, shows, and character meet and greets. Lightning Lanes are essentially the new FastPass lines, enabling you to skip the regular queue.

Hack: Purchase Genie+ early in the day and prioritize booking reservations for the most popular attractions first. This can save you hours of waiting in line and help you experience more rides and shows.

Rope Drop Strategy

“Rope drop” refers to arriving at the park before it officially opens. This strategy allows you to be among the first guests to enter, giving you a head start on popular attractions.

Hack: Arrive at least 30-45 minutes before the park opens. Head straight to the most popular rides, such as Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Avatar Flight of Passage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. You’ll experience shorter wait times and can often ride several attractions before the park gets crowded.

Mobile Ordering

The My Disney Experience app offers a mobile ordering feature that allows you to order food from quick-service restaurants in advance. This can save you a lot of time, especially during peak meal times.

Hack: Use mobile ordering to avoid long lines at quick-service restaurants. Plan your meal times during non-peak hours (before 11:30 AM or after 2 PM) to further reduce wait times. You can even order your food while waiting in line for an attraction and pick it up when you’re done.

Stay On-Site

Staying at a Disney World Resort hotel comes with several perks, including early park entry and extended evening hours. These benefits can give you extra time in the parks with fewer crowds.

Hack: Take advantage of early park entry to experience popular attractions with shorter wait times. Additionally, use the extended evening hours to enjoy the parks after most day guests have left. This can be especially magical at Magic Kingdom, where you can experience the park at night with fewer crowds.

Bring Your Own Snacks and Water

Food and drinks at Disney World can be expensive, and waiting in line for snacks can take up valuable time. Bringing your own snacks and a refillable water bottle can save you money and keep you hydrated and energized throughout the day.

Hack: Pack a small backpack with snacks like granola bars, fruit, and trail mix. Bring a refillable water bottle and take advantage of the water fountains and bottle refill stations located throughout the parks. This way, you can stay refreshed without spending a fortune on drinks and snacks.

Plan Your Genie+ Selections Strategically

With Genie+, you can make one reservation at a time, starting at 7:AM on the day of your visit. Prioritize booking reservations for the most popular attractions first to maximize your park experience.

Hack: Make your first Genie+ reservation for a high-demand ride like Slinky Dog Dash at Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at the Magic Kingdom. After you’ve used your first reservation, immediately book your next one. Keep an eye on wait times and adjust your plans accordingly to make the most of your day.

Use Single Rider Lines

If you don’t mind splitting up your group, single rider lines can significantly cut down your wait times for certain attractions. These lines are available at select rides and are a great way to experience popular attractions with minimal wait.

Hack: Take advantage of single rider lines at attractions like Test Track at Epcot, Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This can save you a lot of time, especially if you’re visiting during peak seasons.

Make Dining Reservations Early

Table-service restaurants at Walt Disney World can fill up quickly, especially popular spots like Be Our Guest Restaurant and Cinderella’s Royal Table. Making dining reservations well in advance ensures you get to enjoy the dining experiences you want.

Hack: Dining reservations can be made up to 60 days in advance. Set a reminder to book your reservations as soon as your window opens. If you’re unable to secure a reservation, keep checking the app, as cancellations do happen, and spots may open up closer to your visit.

Utilize Rider Switch

Rider Switch is a program that allows parents with young children to take turns riding attractions without having to wait in line twice. This is especially useful for families with young kids who may not meet height requirements for certain rides.

Hack: When you arrive at an attraction, let the cast member know you’d like to use Rider Switch. One adult can wait with the child while the other rides, and then they can switch without having to wait in line again. This way, everyone gets to enjoy the ride without doubling the wait time.

Explore Beyond the Parks

While the theme parks are the main attraction, there’s plenty to see and do beyond the parks. Disney Springs offers shopping, dining, and entertainment options, and the resort hotels themselves have unique experiences and activities.

Hack: Schedule some downtime to explore Disney Springs or enjoy the amenities at your resort. This can be a great way to relax and recharge before heading back to the parks. Many resorts offer activities like movie nights, poolside games, and unique dining experiences worth checking out.

Download the My Disney Experience App

The My Disney Experience app is an essential tool for navigating Disney World. It allows you to check wait times, make dining reservations, view park maps, and more.

Hack: Download the app before your trip and familiarize yourself with its features. Use it to keep track of your Genie+ reservations, check wait times, and navigate the parks efficiently. The app also provides real-time updates on showtimes, character meet and greets, and other important information.

Take Advantage of PhotoPass

Disney’s PhotoPass service allows you to have professional photos taken by Disney photographers throughout the parks. These photos can be linked to your My Disney Experience account and purchased individually or as part of the Memory Maker package.

Hack: Use PhotoPass to capture high-quality photos of your trip without the hassle of carrying a camera. Photographers are stationed at iconic locations like Cinderella Castle and the Tree of Life, as well as at character meet and greets. The Memory Maker package can be a great value if you plan to take a lot of photos during your visit.

Final Thoughts

With these insider hacks in your arsenal, you’re well-equipped to make the most of your 2024 Walt Disney World adventure. From leveraging Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lanes to smart packing and strategic dining reservations, these tips will help you navigate the parks like a seasoned pro. Remember, a bit of planning and flexibility can go a long way in ensuring your trip is as magical and stress-free as possible.

Whether you’re exploring the enchanting lands of Magic Kingdom, embarking on intergalactic missions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, journeying through the wonders of Epcot, or immersing yourself in the natural beauty of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, these hacks will help you unlock the full potential of your Disney experience.

So go ahead, embrace the magic, and create unforgettable memories with your loved ones. Here’s to an amazing 2024 at Walt Disney World —where dreams really do come true!

Jerry Joyce

Jerry Joyce has been a Florida resident since 1988 and has lived in a variety of places in the South Florida area. Jerry is an avid boater & water sports enthusiast, beach aficionado, a lover of great food, muscle car fan and a theme park annual passholder for many years. Some of his favorite places in Florida include the Florida Keys, Walt Disney World, Cedar Key, the Loxahatchee River, St. Augustine and Ten Thousand islands.

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