Country Mornings with Jonathan & Ayla

Country Mornings with Jonathan & Ayla

Country Mornings with Jonathan & Ayla

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - OCTOBER 8: In this handout photo provided by Walt Disney World Resort, Magic Kingdom Park (pictured) is seen on October 8, 2014. Magic Kingdom Park and Disney's Animal Kingdom will begin to reopen on July 11, 2020, followed by EPCOT and Disney's Hollywood Studios on July 15, 2020. (Photo by Matt Stroshane/Walt Disney World Resort via Getty Images)

How to hack Disney World and have the time of your life!

My whole life I’ve been the most milquetoast rebel you’ll ever find. I never go more than 10 miles an hour over the speed limit, but I never go under it either. I would skip high school to go to the downtown library. I once, as a teenager, unchained a pen from a bank and pocketed it. I’m crazy ok? So when my sister told me there was a way to enjoy Disney World without spending any money the suburban rebel in me perked up. And it worked! Keep reading to find out how to hack Disney World!

The Average Cost For Disney World

The average cost for a family of four to spend a 6 days and 5 nights at Disney, travel included is $5,895.26! I have been there and done that. The last time my family went to Disney in 2022 I spent well over $7k on tickets to the park, plane tickets and an Airbnb with a pool. Guess what? My family hated it. My two boys couldn’t have cared less about going to Disney or Universal Studios. And because I was determined to have a good time I just kept buying them things to make them happy. Souvenirs, food, t-shirts. Nothing worked. Do you know what they loved? The pool at the Airbnb. Here is Finn (my 7 year old) sulking in the pool before we left. He wasn’t upset about leaving Disney, he was upset about leaving the freaking pool.

So this year my wife and I decided that we would go to Orlando for the weather but instead of going to Disney we would just get an Airbnb with a heated pool. Still there was a nagging feeling of incompletion when it came to our trip. We were going to be in the shadow of the mouse and not pay homage? My wife and I didn’t want the hassle of Disney but we did want to at least feel a little of the giddiness of being there. We at least wanted to see some fireworks.

That’s when my sister texted me and said “Hey I heard you’re going to Orlando but you aren’t going to Disney? Do you want to know how to get in to see the fireworks for free?”

“OF COURSE!” I replied immediately.

Hacking Disney

That’s when she explained what to do. All you need to do is make a reservation for one of the resort restaurants at Disney through the Disney World App. These are available for anyone to make whether they are staying at the resort or not. Then drive to the resort. You’ll have to show a photo ID to the gate attendant. They’ll check to see if you have a reservation and then let you in. Once you are in you can cancel your reservation and just walk around the resort. (Or you could actually go to dinner at some point and feel less filthy).

You can go to any resort you want. But the cool thing is if you go to The Polynesian Village Resort you can watch the fireworks from The Magic Kingdom on the beach along with the audio and music that plays along with the fireworks.

Fireworks over Disney Castle

(Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

All of this FOR FREE. Also, you can ride the monorail around the park and depending on which resort you book at you can ride the Skyliner Gondolas.

Walt Disney World's Epcot

(Photo by Matt Stroshane/Getty Images)

Illegal? Unethical?

This may feel illegal, it’s not. It may feel like trespassing. It most definitely is not. Is it unethical? Depends on how high your moral standards are. The way I look at it if I’m on the resort property I’m likely to buy SOMETHING (and in fact did buy my family ice-cream as well as a sweatshirt for myself) so it’s not like Disney isn’t getting something out of it.

So that’s how I managed to take my family to Disney World and enjoy my favorite part of the experience (the fireworks) THREE TIMES for free! 

Other Disney Hacks

Here are some other Disney Hacks from reddit that you might appreciate that may make some of you feel a little less dirty.


  • Bring Two Pairs Of Shoes

    Adspiritual advises: “2 pairs of shoes. It’s going to rain so you’ll have one pair that’s dry. Also weirdly enough I found alternating shoes helped cut down on my feet hurting.” 

    I guess make sure you keep a backpack handy for all of those extra shoes. Especially if you have feet like Goofy.

    unisex under armour shoes

    Getty Images

  • Cheapest Meal

    For a cheap meal Intelligent_Step2230 says: Fort Wilderness’s Giddy Up and Go Chicken 8 piece meal with sides and corn bread for the family and only 24.99.

    Holy cow that’s even cheaper than you would get at most places outside of Disney!

    Fried Chicken

    Getty Images

  • Go On Rides During Fireworks

    If you want the best view of fireworks dragonsrevenge has a tip: “At Magic Kingdom, use the two hours of the fireworks period to go on rides. Wait times plummet within that time. On a similar note, watching the fireworks from fantasyland, behind the castle is awesome. They’re just everywhere and it’s so cool.”

    Just don’t get too close!


    Getty Images

  • Don't Leave From The Parking Lot

    For the cheapest way to leave the parking lot Leading-Raise-5012 has that covered: “If you’re using rideshare, walk to a nearby hotel at park close instead of the designated pick-up spot. That way, you avoid a lot of the surge charging and long waits.After the EPCOT fireworks, I always walk to Boardwalk and have no trouble getting a ride and for much less!”

    Uber Introduces New Feature That Allows Pets

    Getty Images

  • Get in line late!

    It’s a little bit of reverse psychology but Zezimalives says you should actually get in line late not early: “Reverse rope drop the most popular attractions like Mine train or Rise of the resistance. Get in line a minute before the park closes – the standby is shorter and once the park closes there are no more people with LL to board, so the line moves faster. Been doing this for over 10 years and it still works, even last month we did this for RotR and didn’t wait more than 15 minutes.”

    Farmers Insurance Open - Round One

    (Photo by Orlando Ramirez/Getty Images)

  • Wait Time Are Lies

    dragonsrevenge advises to not pay too close attention to the wait times listed on rides: “Also, wait times tend to be overinflated as it gets closer to park close cos they want to try to clear guests out.”  I just don’t who to believe any more!!!

    Sorry we are closed sign board hanging on door , closed retailers concept.

    Getty Images

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