Tips for Disney World and Universal Studios

If you have been reading my blog posts lately, then you’ll notice that I have been focusing on my recent trip to Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando, FL.  Most of those blog posts have been focused on being more of a travel diary.  However, I wanted to dedicate one post to providing tips for both parks.  I did give some tips on both my Disney World and Universal Studios however, I wanted to give some more details for my tips. 

I know that while I was planning my trip to the theme parks, I was struggling to find the best and most efficient way to explore both parks.  So, this sparked an idea in me and I thought to share the tips that I have gathered from my visits to both of the theme parks. 

Without further ado, check out my tips for Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando, FL below.

Disney World Tip #1:  Genie +

When I booked my trip to Disney, my email confirmation and the Disney website kept mentioning something about Genie+.  I had no idea what it was, so I did some research.  Soon, I found out that Genie+ is the phone app for Disney World.  It’s a well-made app and has some amazing features.

It lets you see the wait times on almost all the rides.  You can also order food on the app and pick it up.  The best part is that you can “favorite” some of the attractions and shows and it’ll come up on your dashboard.  This way, you don’t have to scroll through a long list to see the wait time on your favorite attractions at the park.

One of my favorite things about the Genie+ app is that you can “book” a ride in advance and then go on the “Lightening Pass” lane when your time is near.  For instance, if you book Splash Mountain at 2 pm then you can head over there around 2 pm and walk through the Lightening Lane pass. 

Not only do you scoot past a line and don’t have to wait that long, but you also can experience other rides while you wait for your ride reservation.  The only downside is that you can only book a ride 2 hours in advance.  One tip for this is that, once you get off a ride, then book your next ride.

Disney World Tip #2:  Be Early

One of the most underrated tips is to get to the parks early.  There are many benefits to being in the park early.  One of which is that the popular rides will have less than a 30-minute wait.  This allows you to experience those rides more efficiently.  As well as go on more rides rather than spend time waiting on rides. 

Another benefit to arriving at the parks early is that no one will be coming in your pictures.  You’ll have a clear coast and therefore, a better picture of the family.  This is my favorite part of arriving early at a park.  Most people wonder how I get pictures with no one walking past and assume I photoshop my pictures.  However, the secret is out I just arrive at the parks as soon as they open.

Got this amazing picture at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at 9 am

Disney World Tip #3:  Focus on Your Attractions

One of the best tips that we got from a friend is to focus on the top three attractions that you want to do.  For instance, if you want to go to Splash Mountain, the Cinderella castle, and meet Mickey then focus on those three things.  It will be impossible to do everything that you want to do at Disney World in the couple of days that you have been there.  Also, once you focus on your top three tasks and get those accomplished, then anything that you do beyond that will be the cherry on top of the icing. 

For me, this tip was super useful, and I focused on accomplishing a couple of things a day at Disney World.  For instance, my husband and I were happy with accomplishing everything in the Star Wars universe at Hollywood Studios.  Once we accomplished everything in Star Wars, we felt like it was a day well spent and we crossed those items off our Disney World bucket list. 

Made sure to visit Epcot while we were there.

Universal Studios Tip #1:  Two-park pass

When I visit amusement parks, I’ll usually opt for the ticket at the park that has the thrill rides.  However, at Universal Studios, there are two parks with Thrill rides:  Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.  And if you experience the Hogwarts Express, it’s the only ride in the parks that goes through both parks.  Since my focus at Universal Studios was to accomplish everything Harry Potter, I opted for the two-park pass.

Both parks have their pros and cons so at least you can also experience both this way.  Another perk of getting the two-park pass is that if you don’t have time to take a ride on the first day, then you can head back and take it the next day.  

Universal Studios Tip #2:  Fast Pass

The Fast Pass is exactly what it sounds like – it’s a pass that allows you to get through the rides quicker.  Most of the rides have a “Fast Pass Lane” that people who hold the Fast Pass can utilize to skip the line.  The Fast Pass costs almost as much as the park pass does so just be warned.

For me, since I only wanted to focus on the Harry Potter part of the park, I didn’t get the Fast Pass.  Some of the Harry Potter rides didn’t even offer a Fast Pass Lane so it would have been pointless for me to purchase this pass.  All in all, focus on your priority and know whether this pass will be useful for you or not.

Universal Studios Tip #3:  Download the App

Like my Disney tips above, make sure to download the Universal Studios app.  Just like the Genie+ app, you can track the ride wait times, order food, and see what other shows, etc, are available around the park.  Downloading the app and utilizing it during my visit to Universal Studios was the best thing that I did.  I saved so much time by just looking at the app and looking up wait times, etc.

Overall, I had a great time in Orlando, FL visiting the amusement parks.  I hope you enjoyed the tips that I learned during my visit to these parks.  Do you have any amusement park tips?  Let me know in the comments below!

Much Love,

6 thoughts on “Tips for Disney World and Universal Studios

  1. I definitely agree that getting to Disney at first gate is essential. We have been to Disney (both land and World) way to many times then is healthy, and we are heading to Disneyland in two weeks. But I will be honest, I am a little bit bitter about having to pay extra for genie+ so we are going to try it without. We will see how it goes.

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