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Top 10 Time-Saving Tips for Theme Parks, by Leap

by Leap on March 3, 2014

The Frog Family has saved what equals an extra day using these time-saving tips. An added bonus? Some of them save us money, too!

Time-Saving Tip #1 – Buy Your Tickets in Advance

The first thing the Frog Family does after we decide on our next trip to Orlando is purchase tickets. We don’t have to wait in ticket lines, we have the best-suited ticket combination for our trip, and we save money since we aren’t paying gate price.

Time-Saving Tip #2 – Follow a Plan

Following a plan literally saves us 3-4 hours each day at the parks. Our daily plan includes which park or parks we’ll visit according to the Crowd Calendar, a touring plan or sequence of attractions, which parades and shows we want to see and where we will eat our meals.

Best time to visit Disney World in 2014 - Cinderella Castle

Time-Saving Tip #3 – Arrive at the Parks Early

It’s tempting to sleep in and mosey into parks around 10:30 a.m., but what a mistake! We ride all our favorites in those first few hours while the parks are still pretty manageable. By midday, we can relax during a show or go back to the room for a quick nap or dip in the pool.

Time-Saving Tip #4 – Bring Food & Drinks With You

The Frog Family saves at least 4 hours on a week-long trip to Disney by bringing snacks and water with us. It can easily take 10-15 minutes to get to the front of the line just for a Coke and popcorn. Time spent recovering from hunger melt-down? Zero with this tip.

Time-Saving Tip #5 – Dine Before or After Regular Mealtimes

It’s not uncommon to wait 30 minutes in a Counter Service restaurant line during regular mealtimes. Eat lunch at 11 a.m. instead of noon and dinner at 8 p.m. instead of 6:30 p.m. … save the line-waiting for the fun stuff.

Time-Saving Tip #6 – Master FASTPASS+

Since you can only hold one FASTPASS at a time, don’t get a FASTPASS for attractions with wait times of 25 minutes or less like Jungle Cruise or Mission: SPACE. Save them for attractions like Toy Story Mania!, Soarin’ and Peter Pan’s Flight. While we wait for our FASTPASS ‘return time’ we go on rides with commonly short stand-by lines like Pirates of the Caribbean or Living With the Land. Learn more about FastPass+.

FastPass+ RFID tickets

Time-Saving Tip #7 – Read Between the Lines

Tad and I use the Single Rider lines for Expedition Everest at Disney's Animal Kingdom and Test Track at Epcot. We may end up in separate vehicles, but we only have to wait 5 minutes as opposed to waiting 35-45 minutes in the Stand-By line. Use the Rider Swap system if you have a tadpole in the group that’s too small for the ride. Both parents will be able to enjoy the ride without standing in line twice.

Time-Saving Tip #8 – Bring Might-Needs With You

Packing a “survival kit” in our backpacks with things like Band-Aids, pain reliever, sunscreen, ponchos, batteries and hand wipes saves us the 10 minutes it takes to get to the nearest gift shop and the 15 minutes it takes to pay for the “might-need” that has just turned into a “need now.”

Time-Saving Tip #9 – Make Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs)

If it’s not a Counter Service restaurant, you will need ADRs. There’s a slight (and I mean, slight) chance you’ll get a table without a reservation, but you may end up spending 30 minutes just to find out. If you want a Table Service or Character Dinner, make ADRs as soon as you start planning your trip. See where The Frog Family makes reservations: 10 ADRs Worth Making for Your Family.

What are your time-tested time-saving tips? We're always looking for more ways to Skip the Lines!

Happy Traveling!


Keep hopping, Leap!
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Highlights from This Year’s Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party - The Frog Blog: travel tips from the family frog at Undercover Tourist Sep 24, 2012 at 5:03 p.m.

[...] We ate an early supper before the party started so we didn’t have to worry about long lines and had much more time to enjoy all the fun things going on around the [...]

Shannon Apr 26, 2015 at 3:25 p.m.

Hi, I love your website and videos. We've been to Disney too many times to count, but we've never used the FastPasses, and we're going Thanksgiving week this year (2015). Can you explain a bit more how to effectively use the FastPass? For instance, should we be running to a new kiosk each time we use a FastPass, or is that too much? We plan on dining in the parks before it opens; therefore, is it smart to jump on those rides that are busiest on those days and save FastPasses for later? Thanks, and have a great day!

FrogBlog Apr 29, 2015 at 8:18 a.m.

Hi Shannon,

The new system allows you to book reservations in advance, with the option to use the park kiosks. We've got some helpful posts on this subject. I would recommend you start with this one:

Keep hopping!


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