Listen, we love good Disney vacation hacks to save serious money or get freebies. It’s like buried gold. But sometimes, the tips you’ll find on blogs or Tiktok are fool’s gold; they straight-up don’t work.
So before you find yourself embarrassed or spending more than you’d planned, you’ll want to be armed with the knowledge that there are some tips that are too good to be true. We’ve done the research to help you out.
1. Disney FastPass isn’t a thing anymore.
Disney officially replaced their FastPass service on Dec 8, 2021, with the new paid Lightning Lanes. These work almost exactly the same way as Disney FastPasses, except you’ve gotta pay for them — to the tune of $20 per person, per day via Disney’s Genie+.
And some rides require “Individual LIghtning Lane” tickets, which cost $7 – $20 each, depending on the ride and season. Regardless of which LIghtning Lane you’ve bought, you can only use one pass per ride per day.
So if you were planning on using the free FastPass to avoid lines all day, you’ll want to reassess — and check out our ways to avoid crowds at Disney.
2. Birthday button freebies are questionable at best.
When you get into the park, we always suggest getting a free celebration button at any shop. You can get a button if you’re celebrating a birthday, anniversary, first visit, or any other celebration.
Unfortunately, this is as far as the freebies go. We’ve heard reports on Disney Tiktoks that people get free food and items, but when we went to Disney, this didn’t seem to be the cast at any kiosks or counter-service restaurants.
3. Free storage doesn’t exist. So don’t send your bags to security.
Some Tiktokers urge folks to take their bags to security and claim it was left there and just pick it up later.
The problem with that is that the items will enter Disney’s Lost & Found system, which typically takes 24 hours to get into their system, and up to two weeks to return to the owner.
This feels like a really risky hack that could end up with you separated from your bags for a long time.
4. Saying the phrase, ‘Do you have any magic?’ doesn’t work all the time.
You might get some mileage out of this Disney Tiktok tip, but odds are, this won’t work all the time.
Essentially, all you have to do is go to any Cast Member and ask “Do you have any magic?” and you’ll get a freebie or a cut in lines. But it really depends on the Disney Cast Member.
5. Free stickers aren’t available through all Cast Members.
Sometimes, Cast Members have some stickers that they can give out to kids, but it really depends on the Cast Member. We’ve heard that if you ask maintenance staff (in white outfits), they’ll be more likely to have stickers to give out.
6. Ride freebies at Disney are largely discontinued.
While you used to be able to get a free Autopia driver’s license or a free toy at EPCOT, these items have been largely discontinued.
If you still want these items, you can purchase them at the gift shop at the end of the ride or at a souvenir shop where they used to have the item. But if your heart was set on this freebie, you’re going to want to look elsewhere or budget around $15 for it.
7. Magic Morning and Extra Magic Hours make the parks too crowded for any real benefit.
You should check the Disney World or Disneyland park calendars before you get into the parks to check if Magic Morning or Extra Magic Hours are happening since they tend to make the parks more crowded — essentially eating up your extra time with longer waits in ride lines.
Since Covid-19, Magic Mornings and Extra Magic Hours have been discontinued.
8. Asking for a better seat on rides might not work anymore.
It’ll depend on how willing your Cast Member is, but since there are social distancing requirements as well as crowd control protocols in place due to Covid-19, Disney has (for the most part) asked guests to respect where Cast Members place them on the ride. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to ask, but your success is far less likely than it used to be.
9. Don’t enter a ride through the exit as parks close.
Disney Tiktokers do this to get on one more ride before the parks close. They find a ride where the exit lines and start lines intersect and hop the barrier, but if you get caught you could be banned from the park. For life. Not exactly worth an extra ride.