Top 5 Ride Hacks

Top 5 Ride Hacks

If you have been following for a while, you know we spend most of our time exploring Walt Disney World one ride at a time.  Sometimes though, we like to talk strategy from an overall planning perspective. What’s the best way to enjoy as many of your favorite rides as possible?  Well, today we are going to help answer that question!

I say we, because today we are joined by my good friend Tim Miller.  Tim has been a Top 5 co-host multiple times now, and I love getting to sit down and talk Disney with him.  Tim just returned from Walt Disney World a little over a week ago, and I know he is very excited to share some of the strategies he employed on his most recent trip.  Today’s blog outlines our Top 5 Ride Hacks.  Be sure and listen to the podcast for all the details of these 5 time saving strategies!




You’ve heard of swimming upstream, but today we are going to talk about Riding Upstream.  #5 on our list is…

5. Ride Upstream 

  • Find a schedule that works for your family
    • Early: Rope Drop till early evening
    • Late: Sleep in and stay till closing
    • Midday Break: Arrive early, take a break, stay out late
  • Peak times of day = long lines
  • Pick the least crowded park to visit
  • Riding in the rain
    • Be prepared with ponchos, small umbrellas, covers for strollers, etc.




If you want to be like Aladdin and keep one jump ahead you need to know your surroundings.  Every single time I visit Walt Disney World I see family after family huddled in some corner, looking at a map trying to decipher where they are and where they want to go next.  They waste so much time wandering aimlessly through the park.  That’s why #4 on our list of Ride Hacks is…

4. Have a Touring Plan

  • Create a touring plan before you leave the house
    • Make a list of rides that are must-do’s
    • Make a list of rides you can miss
    • Decide what to use Fastpass+ for
    • Utilize online touring plans, or create your own
  • Have a plan of attack for where you are going to start, when/where you will take a break, and where you want to be by the end of the day



For most families visiting Walt Disney World, small children are part of their world.  Most rides at Disney are designed with this small world in mind, but there are some rides little ones just aren’t big enough to experience.  That brings us to #3 on our list!  Knowing how this hack works, will save you valuable time, and keep the whole family engaged while adults tackle the more thrilling rides.  Of course I’m talking about…

3.  Rider Switch & the Single Rider Line

  • Check out our Rider Switch episode
  • If you have children too short to ride, always obtain a Rider Switch pass!
    • Passes work similar to the old paper Fastpass system
    • Passes don’t expire the same day
    • Passes can be redeemed by any rider meeting the height requirement
  • Check out our Single Rider Line episode


Photo - Truman Media Network

Photo – Truman Media Network

You’re about to enter another dimension.  A dimension with not only an unbelievable sight, but a surprising peace of mind.  A journey into a wondrous land of no lines, no waits.  The signpost awaits outside the queue.  Next stop…

2. Fastpass +

Our #2 Ride Hack is Fastpass+ and when you pass by all those poor unfortunate souls in the standby queue it feels like you have entered another dimension.  It may seem too good to be true, but it’s not!  How you use this ride hack has a tremendous impact on how many rides you can enjoy.

  • Check out our Fastpass+ episode
  • Check out our Top 5 Rides for Fastpass+
  • Your top 3 rides should be your Fastpass+ selections
    • Prioritize the remaining rides on your list and visit them at rope drop or near closing time
  • Time of day strategies
    • Early Fastpass+, obtain a 4th, 5th, or 6th Fastpass+
    • Mid-day Fastpass+, use during peak crowds to avoid longest lines
    • Late Fastpass+, use for Park Hopping days.  Make your Fastpass+ reservations for the park you will visit in the afternoon/evening.


Photo - Disney Wiki

Photo – Disney Wiki

There is no better feeling to me than walking into an empty park.  Its like a Jolly Holiday, walking down Main Street, taking your picture in front of Cinderella’s Castle, and then walking right onto a ride with no wait.  So, what’s the #1 Ride Hack that will allow you to experience this practically perfect start to your day?  Why it’s…

1.  Early ADR’s 

  • The Magic Kingdom offers the best use of Early ADR’s
  • Reserve a time 15 minutes after scheduled park opening
    • If the park opens at 8 am, schedule an 8:15 am time if possible
    • You should be allowed in the park 10-15 minutes prior to opening (7:45 am)
    • Use this time to take pictures with park icons (Cinderella’s Castle, Spaceship Earth, Tree of Life)
    • Be in line by 8:00 am for a short, but popular ride (Peter Pan’s Flight, Prince Charming Regal Carousel, etc.)
    • Arrive at your Early ADR by 8:15-8:20

I hope you enjoyed today’s Top 5 Ride Hacks. For now, it is time to say farewell.  Have a great week, and let’s all make each day a ride worth taking!

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