The Most Brilliant Disney Hacks, According to Former Employees

Disney vacations are incredible. They’re also very expensive. The best way to ensure you have the best possible experience is to do your research, and that includes talking to former Disney employees who are “in the know.”

Luckily, Disney employees (former and current) are usually more than happy to share their best advice. Here’s how to have the best time ever at the happiest place on Earth.

Explore the park from the back

People stand in line to ride The Magic Carpets of Aladdin ride at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

Use your time wisely so you don’t get stuck in the longest lines. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Think about it: When the gates open, everyone will naturally flood the front of the park. Head straight for the back and you’ll often find shorter lines.

Speaking of shorter lines…

Mickey in the Walt Disney World Parade

Enjoy the best rides while everyone else is distracted by parades or fireworks. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

If lines are a concern (and they should be), just plan to ride the most popular rides during typical meal times and fireworks shows. That’s when most of the guests will be distracted.

Bring a Sharpie for character autographs

You wouldn’t want to miss the chance to get your favorite character’s autograph. | Matt Stroshane/Disney via Getty Images)

Keep in mind that some of those characters can barely see through their masks. If you give them a Sharpie and plenty of room, their signatures will be more legible.

 The back of the Animal Safari is better than the front

Entrance of Walt Disney World in Orlando

This is an important tip for visiting Animal Kingdom. | Manakin/iStock/Getty Images

If you sit in the back, you’ll be able to turn around and see any animals you’ve missed. That doesn’t work if you sit in the front.

Go to the parks the day of a half marathon or a “Run Disney!” race

close-up of runners's feet as they compete in a race

This is a great day to take advantage of shorter lines. |

On race days, almost every park guest will be running. So the attractions, especially the Magic Kingdom, are practically empty.

Catch the best sunset of your life


It’s a great way to end the day. |

When you return to the Magic Kingdom Park at the end of the day, book the Boat Ride to Wilderness Lodge. You’ll see a spectacular sunset.

Ask for the front row of Soarin’ Around the World

Soarin' at Epcot at Disney World

The front seat is worth waiting for. |

The front row is where you want to be for this amazing ride. You won’t have other people’s feet dangling in your face, and you’ll avoid seeing the edges of Nikes and Sauconys as you “fly” over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Use your Fast Passes strategically

Swiping Disney magic band

A fast pass will make your trip so much easier. | Disney Parks/Kent Phillips

Snag a Fast Pass for Space Mountain, race to the back of the park for Splash Mountain and the other rides in the area, then return to the front of the park to use your pass once the initial crowds have dispersed from Space Mountain. Again, starting at the back of the park pays off.

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