I want to write down the tips and tricks I used so I will remember next time we go.
#1. Read some books on the Parks. This will help you determine what your must dos are at the park. There is so much to see and do. I like Passports - had the best maps and the one for people with disabilities listed what each ride had, dark, scary etc etc. Another good one is the unofficial Guide to Disney World.
#2. Get a budget and stick to it. You could spend, spend, spend at Disney. Staying off Disney property is cheaper but then you have to drive everyday and it is $14.00 per day to park.
#3. Buy your Disney tickets before you go. Do not buy park hopper until after you have been at the parks. It costs the same to buy before or after you arrive. If you don't use it then you just wasted about $35.00 per ticket. I got my tickets at Undercover Tourist but CAA is good as well.
#4. Use the crowd control calender at The unofficial Guide to Disney World. This tells you what parks to go to for what day based on crowd levels over the last couple of years. It does make a difference.
#5. Make a plan for the day. Either get a touring plan from one of the books or make your own. I made my own as we did not need fast passes as Isaac had his special pass. You can be flexible but you don't want to be walking all over the parks if you don't have to.
#6. Know the people in your party. Can they go all day, do they need breaks, do they like scary rides etc etc. Cameron is our scared kid so we did had a different thing for him to do when the big kids did scary rides.
#7. Take a break in the afternoon. All the books stress this but they are right. Even if it just sitting on a bench for 10 minutes. As we had 10 day passes we did 1/2 days. Cameron is only 4 and still had a nap.
#8. You need to make your reservations ahead of time. Even though we went on a less busy time I still did not get some of the restaurants that I wanted. I could not get one at the Canadian one at Epcot for any time we where there. It sucks as you have to plan what day you are gong where in order to make those reservations. This is only for table serve meals. The counter service ones do not need reservations.
#9. Go early to the parks. This does help with crowd control. All the books tell you to do it. We tired to get there by 9 am. However we where going at a non busy time.
#10. Take a picture of your parking spot if you drive. We did and we had to view it everyday. It saves trying to find your car in a parking lot with 1000 of grey van's. Another hint is buy something to put on your car to make it stand out. We purchased a rainbow Mickey Head. It paid for itself the first day.
#11. Use the resort you are staying at. Relax, swim, go to the play area.
#12. If you eat lunch at the parks instead of supper you can save some money.
Also bring your own water with you.