Five Disney World Hacks We Learned On Our NYE 2017 Trip

1. BYCLB - BRING YOUR CLUB LEVEL BEERS

Thrice we had dinner at hotel restaurants, and thrice we brought our beers down from the club level lounge rather than paying for drinks at the restaurants. This is a pretty elementary hack, but it served us really well.

Bring it everywhere!

Bring it everywhere!

2. Consider Your Disney Visa for Tours (and other discounts)

Some of the tours, like the Keys to the Kingdom backstage tour at Magic Kingdom, offer discounts if you book on your Disney Visa. It might not be my favorite card, but for a $100 tour, I'll take $15 back any day. You'll also get discounts at various dining establishments using the Disney Visa.

3. Double Up With Memory Maker

This was a fun one I came up with earlier in the month. We went on a three-night DCL cruise in early December and did Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party the night before we embarked. We wanted some of the photos, but it didn't make sense to get Memory Maker (no, we're not annual passholders, despite its great value, that's a story for another day) for such a short trip. Luckily, because Disney can't really identify what counts as a single "trip" (e.g. if you split a hotel stay) the Memory Maker rule is days-based. Photos are retrievable for 45 days from production, or longer if you purchase an extension. Memory Maker (other than advance purchase) is valid for 30 days following activation. This means you can potentially capture 74 days of photos by purchasing memory maker on day 45 of one set of photos, downloading those, and then using it for your next 30 days of photos.

4. Book Early Tours and Reservations for Better Photo Ops

More a tip than a hack, because you're pretty much paying for what you get, but one of the best things of having the 9AM Keys to the Kingdom your was how empty Magic Kingdom was when we arrived. We had a great chance to take plenty of photos, and we even got to see the march down Main Street once the park opened.

It's almost like our own private park!

It's almost like our own private park!

5. Get the Perfect Score on Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin

I'm a Galactic Hero! Much to Emily's chagrin, I spent much of the late parts of one evening saying "excuse me, galactic hero coming through, no need to take pictures, I'm just an ordinary person like you, except I'm a galactic hero" to everyone we passed. I'm going to leave the details out of this post because they're spoilers, but suffice to say a quick search online can hook you up with this hack. Don't think it comes easy, though. Knowing the high-value targets is only half the battle, you still have to hit them!

We both knew what to aim for...

We both knew what to aim for...

Bonus: Get Free Taxi Rides

I'm leaving this out of the main list because I haven't been able to determine exactly how it worked, but as a Club Level guest at Animal Kingdom Lodge, the club concierge gave me a hotel voucher to get to Animal Kingdom before buses ran for the Backstage Tales tour. I'm not sure if this was a feature of club level, of the tour, or of a generous concierge, but as with all things Disney, ask and you may receive.