How To Get The Most Out Of My Disney Experience

I am not the only person at work visiting Walt Disney World this year.

Two of my friends, Kath and Mary, are also looking forward to Disney holidays, and in terms of holiday booking and organisation they are polar opposites.

You see Kath is fairly organised and knows where she wants to go, she is ready and waiting to set her fast passes and pre book her meals. Mary is a bit of a turn up at the airport kind off gal, hubby does all the booking and arranging, and this suits Mary down to the ground.

A couple of weeks ago Kath and I were discussing our booking at the Be Our Guest restaurant. (Which I must say, we are beside ourselves about dining in the Beasts castle, with the snow falling at the windows outside) Mary declared she had never heard of ‘Be Our Guest’. (Yes, I too though she may have been living under a rock) Kath and I started by finding a Youtube video of this amazing Disney restaurant, which she fell in love with instantly.

How To Get The Most Out Of My Disney Experience

We couldn’t believe that she literally had no idea how to plan her holiday to get the best from the Disney Parks. So we set about telling Mary all she needed to know and how to plan a trip to Disney.It actually shocked me that Mary didn’t know all of this information, but the fact is, if you do not access My Disney Experience , and if somebody else is arranging the booking, you could miss it. As Mary is staying off site she thought pre booking did not apply to her, however it doesn’t matter whether you stay on or off site, you can still access and pre book via the My Disney Experience website and app.

Let me take you through the benefits of My Disney Experience. Firstly you need the Walt Disney World Little Big Book of Magic. This is a pocket sized guidebook that is full of hints, tips and maps for Walt Disney World.

It has great advice such as height restrictions for rides, and tips for exploring Florida. The great thing is it comes in a downloadable version so you can add it to your bookstore to save on extra luggage.

Free Walt Disney World Planning Tools

Next you need to sign up for My Disney Experience, this is incredible. You can book restaurants, book a fastpass, check out Disney Park opening hours and completely personalise you whole Disney experience all via the website and app. For me this has made the whole experience so exciting, I can visit my Disney holiday once a week and get absorbed in planning my experience.

Here are my favourite features of My Disney Experience.

Firstly you can see the park opening hours for the day you are visiting, if you are staying on site you can also see which parks are offering the extra magic hours. I went through and wrote a plan of which parks were open longer on which days. This is a great starting point to plan your restaurant bookings.

How To Get The Most Out Of My Disney Experience

Once you have planned your Disney Park schedule you can then plan meals. I know this may seem weird booking so far in advance, but there are so many exciting themed restaurants and they do get busy. Booking in advance guarantees you will get a table at your chosen time.

How To Get The Most Out Of My Disney Experience

You can also search character experiences and plot where they will be at certain times throughout the day, you can save these times to your reminders, now this does not serve a fast pass. But I don’t know about you, I sometimes forget with all that’s going on, and miss the boys favourite characters. This way its in your schedule so you don’t forget.

And last but not least fastpass+, this is amazing, and so exciting. You can now book fast passes from home. The great thing is that this is not restricted to on site guests. If you are staying off site you can book your fast passes 30 days in advance, and 60 days if staying on site. I just love this, as I know we are not going to miss our favourite rides, we can set them as fast passes and they will show in our itinerary. See the short tutorial I have made below on how to use you fastpass+.

As you can see there is so much on the My Disney Experience site and app, and even better; WiFi is free at Walt Disney World. You can access your plans and even change them whilst you are on the go in the parks.  I adore the fact that when we arrive at Disney I will not be stressing about booking restaurants and getting to parks early to book fast passes as I will have it all under control.

How To Get The Most Out Of My Disney Experience

And you will be pleased to know that Mary has now booked into Be Our Guest and is happily setting fast passes and bookmarking experiences ready for her trip.

Check out my top Walt Disney World Booking Tips here.

36 Comments

  1. 6th March 2015 / 4:45 pm

    OMG Sarah you’re making me want to book it all up now!! My girls are a bit young right now but I can’t wait for when they’re old enough and we can go. I’ll definitely be the planned one, booking up ‘Be Our Guest’ or whatever the new ‘big thing’ is at that time. Great post xx

    • SarahJChristie
      SarahJChristie
      Author
      6th March 2015 / 8:25 pm

      Thanks Heledd, it really is the most exciting place on earth I love it x

    • Jen O'Callaghan
      14th June 2015 / 7:28 am

      There is no such thing as to young ???? you just take different things away from your holiday. When we went in 2013 it was for my eldests first birthday. We were there for easter this year and christopher was just over two and a half and Edward was 6 months! They both had an amazing time!! They won’t remember it but we will remember it! And we have a million photos!

      • Jen O'Callaghan
        14th June 2015 / 7:29 am

        Sorry, I meant to put exclamation marks not question marks!!

      • SarahJChristie
        SarahJChristie
        Author
        14th June 2015 / 7:54 pm

        I totally agree Jen, we have taken our 2 since being little and been a few times since and every holiday is different as they grow, we love it xx

  2. 6th March 2015 / 5:50 pm

    Oh. My. Gosh! I think I’m in love… All this pre – holiday excitement is amazing!
    And be out guest? I had no idea this restaurant existed either but am starting to think of going literally just to eat there xx

    • SarahJChristie
      SarahJChristie
      Author
      6th March 2015 / 8:26 pm

      Ha ha I know Katie, I am so excited about dining in the Beast Castle, it is one of my favourite Disney films. I too feel the Disney love x

  3. 6th March 2015 / 6:08 pm

    Same as Heledd! I want to go now!! I love that you can book it all in advance like that, I am a control freak and so this is right up my street!

    • SarahJChristie
      SarahJChristie
      Author
      6th March 2015 / 8:27 pm

      Ha ha Kate, do you know what, it really is perfect for you. I love to be organised and this is just organisation heaven x

  4. 6th March 2015 / 6:12 pm

    this is brilliant and completely up my street. I think I will become obsessed with this! Thanks for sharing.

    • SarahJChristie
      SarahJChristie
      Author
      6th March 2015 / 8:27 pm

      Thanks Karen, you so will and I know that because I am, it has made the holiday booking experience all so exciting x

  5. 6th March 2015 / 6:29 pm

    What great information Sarah. As you know I am also a massive planner and the My Disney Experience is fantastic. And as for be our Guest I can HIGHLY recommend it. An amazing dining experience. We sat in one of the smaller rooms which was so atmospheric and the food is amazing. Oh my god I NEED to go back now !

    • SarahJChristie
      SarahJChristie
      Author
      6th March 2015 / 8:29 pm

      Oh I just can’t wait, I am seriously beside myself with excitement, I think we are Disney soul mates ha ha x

  6. 7th March 2015 / 7:12 am

    That is amazing!! Just makes me want to go to Disneyworld, last time I went there weren’t even any smart phones and we thought a fast pass machine was exciting! It’s so great that you can book so much in advance, and important, I woul done so excited to be there I’d need everything set up as reminders! Great post xx

    • SarahJChristie
      SarahJChristie
      Author
      7th March 2015 / 8:37 pm

      Thanks Hayley, I know we last went to Orlando 7 years ago and so much has changed I can’t wait to get a wrist band and use fast pass plus x

  7. 7th March 2015 / 7:47 am

    I feel like I am all ready to go after reading this! So handy for people who are planning a trip. I like to be organised and when we go on holiday it is usually me who does the booking but my husband likes to plan places to go while we are away! I bet you are so excited! X

    • SarahJChristie
      SarahJChristie
      Author
      7th March 2015 / 8:38 pm

      Oh Julia I am beside myself with excitement I love Disney the atmsphere is so incredible it all feels so special xx

  8. 7th March 2015 / 10:26 am

    Wow! I can only imagine how much fun you are going to have. What a wonderful experience xx

    • SarahJChristie
      SarahJChristie
      Author
      7th March 2015 / 8:38 pm

      Thanks Aby, yes I can’t wait to get there x

  9. 7th March 2015 / 10:55 am

    I cannot WAIT until the Twinkles are big enough to go to Disney!!! I’m so excited about it already!! We have been twice — to the Florida park — and my boy and I ran round like big kids. We LOVED it!!! This is such great advice for anyone planning a Disney trip Sarah — brilliant tips xx

    Caro | http://www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk

    • SarahJChristie
      SarahJChristie
      Author
      7th March 2015 / 8:40 pm

      Thanks Caro we took both the boys when they were 2 and even though people think they will be a bit young it is so magical seeing it through their eyes it was such a special time xx

  10. 13th March 2015 / 8:36 pm

    What fantastic advice lovely lady! Sharing is caring and this is a must for anyone planning to go. I love Disney and have fond memories and can’t wait to take the girls. #SundayStars xxxx

    • SarahJChristie
      SarahJChristie
      Author
      13th March 2015 / 9:10 pm

      Ah thanks Kat, yes i love it too, I am so excited about going x

  11. 3rd April 2015 / 8:12 am

    Sarah – you make it all sound uper exciting! I went to Disney world with my parents when I was 18. And they didn’t have any of these amazing resources to help you plan your stay. We just had to rely on lots of guide books. If I was arranging a visit now then I would definitely use “My Disney experience” to help me with all the planning. It certainly beats the 50 page holiday itinerary that I wrote for us last time. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

    • SarahJChristie
      SarahJChristie
      Author
      4th April 2015 / 10:01 pm

      Thanks Mrs H and yes the first time we wend 12 years ago none of these resources were available. I can’t wait to test them out x

  12. 18th May 2015 / 10:06 am

    we’ve just booked our second trip for next year. I am so excited and can’t wait to get planning.

    • SarahJChristie
      SarahJChristie
      Author
      18th May 2015 / 10:40 pm

      I know the planning is just as exciting isn’t it, I am loving every minute x

  13. Jen O'Callaghan
    14th June 2015 / 7:55 am

    Hi, I’ve just found your blog when it popped up on my Facebook, I can’t wait to go back and read your other posts 🙂

    I love Disney, in fact love doesn’t even cover it!, obsessed is more like it! My parents bought a villa in 1997 and it is literally the only place we ever go to! We just got back from our latest trip for easter and I have to say, although to was my 22nd trip I was so disappointed (I am loathed to say that because it was my youngest’s (6 months) first time) but this “booking rides in advance” just doesn’t work for us! We go often, and my parents even more so, and because of this reason we don’t tour the parks like guests, we tour them like locals. We pop in on a morning and ride a couple of things and catch a show, then we might go and swim before deciding if we are eating in our out.

    I’m not posting this so that people will think “oh, spoilt little (31 yrs!!) brat”! I’m posting this because Disney seems to have forgotten about the people on their doorstep, their bread and butter business, who enjoy going to the parks, probably have spent a lot of money on AP’s, and now have to decide what they want to do a month in advance!!

    Imagine if you lived 10 mins from Alton towers and might pop in and ride a ride or two after school in the summer once or twice a week. If they brought in this system, you would have to chose what you wanted to do 30 days before you got there!

    Again, don’t want to be a misery, but it wasn’t broken, so why fix it?

    Have a great time! Enjoy Be Our Guest! It’s amazing! Say hi to Connie it you see her when your are checking in for your ADR!! xxxxxx

    • SarahJChristie
      SarahJChristie
      Author
      14th June 2015 / 7:57 pm

      Thanks Jen , its funny isn’t it for us it is so great but I suppose it wont suit everyone, I hope you re able to learn to love it and get the best out of it.Wow i would love to visit every year it must be incredible and yes so excited to visit be our guest and I will watch out for Connie xx

  14. Lorna
    14th June 2015 / 11:24 am

    OMG you have just got me all the more excited reading this. I too am an organiser, I have been booking and planning still January and can’t wait for 30 days (Monday)before so I an book fast passes. The screenshot of your plans is the same as ours 15th July magic Kingdom and we are too booked in to eat with the beast, eeeeekkkk super excited.

    • SarahJChristie
      SarahJChristie
      Author
      14th June 2015 / 9:48 pm

      Ha ha Lorna you sound exactly the same as me, I was so so excited on booking day and keep looking at my reservation, I have loved all the planning, have a great time when you visit x

  15. Michelle
    12th November 2015 / 2:44 pm

    Just getting started planning a Disney trip. Probably a silly question but, do you have to have your vacation paid for to start making reservations ?

    • SarahJChristie
      SarahJChristie
      Author
      13th November 2015 / 8:40 pm

      I don’t think you do for the restaurants I am sure we hadn’t paid when we booked our restaurants, but had payed when we booked fast pass plus Michelle x

  16. Mike
    17th May 2017 / 9:10 am

    Just be warned that even 2 weeks before your trip disney will still change the park hours! I know because we are going in 2 weeks and guess what? Yes they exstended hours…..again…. and again. Damn you disney get yourself together lol

    • SarahJChristie
      SarahJChristie
      Author
      17th May 2017 / 9:25 am

      Mike I am so jealous I wish I was going in two weeks, I suppose on the bright side it is more time to spend in the Parks? I never want to leave at the end of the day. Have a great time x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.