The One Thing That Could BLINDSIDE You in Disney World

There’s a LOT that goes into planning a Disney World vacation.

Cinderella Castle

We do our best to prepare you for your trips with all the latest news and updates from the parks, but that’s a TON of posts! Our readers have recently reached out about the thing that blindsided them in Disney World, so we’ve compiled a list to save you from surprises!

Gratuity At Table Service Meals

Now, we’re not talking about the choice of adding gratuity (which we always think you should do and support those cast members!), but if you have a party of 6 or more, many table service restaurants in Disney World will automatically add on 18% gratuity to your meal.


Our DFB reader that recently shared this with us was not aware of this when she dined at Boma, so the bill was a bit of a surprise! Keep this in mind when you’re dining with a big party in the parks. If you’re traveling with a group of 6+, always check the restaurant’s page on the Walt Disney World website or the My Disney Experience app before booking your dining reservation to see if an automatic gratuity will be added to your bill!

Staying in Magic Kingdom After Closing

Don’t misunderstand, we’re not saying you can stay for a WHILE.

Main Street Confectionary

You can mobile order a snack from the Main Street Confectionery BEFORE the park closes and sit on a bench on Main Street while you wait for some of those exiting crowds to die down! It’s a good way to avoid the mad rush for the monorails and buses, and take a quick breather at the end of your day.

Outdoor Rides CLOSE in Bad Weather

Yep. If it’s raining or storming on your Disney day, outdoor rides will likely close.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Rides may continue to run in light rain, but once it really starts, outdoor rides will close until it’s deemed safe again. This means that you really need to take a look at the weather before and during your park day and make a plan of what you’d like to ride before potential rain hits.

After Hours Events WILL Close Parks Early

In early 2023, Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom both have after-hours events on select nights.

An empty Galaxy’s Edge

This means that if you haven’t bought a special after-hours ticket, the parks will close EARLY. It’s so important to check the park hours before you book your park pass reservations so you can work around any special events. You want as much time in each park as you can get!

Virtual Queues For Rides

There are a few rides in Disney World that do NOT have a standby line.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Currently, these rides are:

  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in EPCOT
  • TRON Lightcycle / Run in Magic Kingdom (when it opens to the public on April 4th)

This means that the ONLY way you can ride these rides is by getting a spot in the Virtual Queue, or by purchasing an Individual Lightning Lane selection. We’ve got guides to both of those on our website, so you can do all your research ahead of time!

Whew! We know that planning a Disney World trip is A LOT. And this Genie+ thing can be so confusing – which is why we bring you posts like this so often. But we’ve also put together a complete guide in ebook format that gives you all of the info you need, all in one place! Use code WDW2023 for 25% off our DFB Guide to Dining at Walt Disney World.

You can take our DFB Guide with you!

Not All Rides In The Parks Open Early

If you’re staying at a Disney-owned resort or Good Neighbor Hotel, you have access to Early Theme Park Entry.


However, it’s important to note that not all sections of the parks are open for this extra time. In Magic Kingdom, you can only head to Tomorrowland and Fantasyland to ride rides before the park officially opens. When in doubt, just ask a cast member!

Crowds around the castle

And now that you’ve read the post, these things won’t catch you off guard anymore. As always, be sure to stay tuned to DFB for all the latest Disney news!

Check out our ULTIMATE guide to planning your Disney World vacation here!

Join the DFB Newsletter to get all the breaking news right in your inbox! Click here to Subscribe!

Don’t Miss Out on Any Disney Fun!

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You’ll get a Reference Guide, a 101 Plan, and a Printables and Resources Guide! With mini-reviews of every single restaurant, bar, lounge, kiosk and more; an entire chapter on the best snacks in Disney World; full Disney Dining Plan analysis; and a full chapter on discounts and deals; you’ll have everything you need to plan your best vacation yet.

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Did you know about any of these? Tell us in the comments!

The post The One Thing That Could BLINDSIDE You in Disney World first appeared on the disney food blog.


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