For those that know me, you had to guess that this post was coming. I LOVE Walt Disney World. It is my favorite place in the world. My parents took me when I was three years old, and I’ve been in love ever since. No one in our family is quite sure how many times we’ve actually been, but it’s been a lot. I like to say I’m an expert, but I know there are many people with far more knowledge than I. However, I’m going to share some of my tips for first-timers, and even some tips thrown in for those that have been before! Some are fairly obvious, but I know Disney is a bit intimidating for first-timers, so I’m going to share the “obvious” tips anyway. We’ll split this up into tips before you go, and tips while you are there. P.S. I love talking about Disney, so excuse me if I ramble.
Before you go:
1. BOOK YOUR DINING RESERVATIONS
Disney dining opens 180 days in advance, and depending on the time you go, you may need to book at 6 a.m. in the morning. I’m not crazy, the popular restaurants book up fast. So if you know you want to go to certain restaurants, book them 180 days in advance of the day you go. If you don’t get in, keep calling or checking online. There are often cancellations, and you may just get into one!
2. Check the weather
This is one of those kind of “obvious” tips. But, Florida is not always sunny and hot. I’ve been when it was 35 degrees in the morning and 50 during the day. We bought hats, and gloves, and scarves. In Florida. So if you’re not going in the summer, check the weather!
3. Bring comfortable tennis shoes
I’ve seen people wearing flip flops, flat tennis shoes, boots, and even heels to the parks. Don’t do it. Just don’t. You walk miles each day at Disney, and you will want supportive tennis shoes.
4. Download the “My Disney Experience” app
This app is awesome. You can find your dining reservations, your Fastpass times, maps, wait and event times all in one place. That means you don’t have to walk all the way to the other side of the park only to find out Seven Dwarfs Mine Trains is a 75 minute wait. Make sure to have a backup copy of your dining reservation times with you, in case your internet is slow in the park. I didn’t have any problems getting the app to load, but I’ve heard of others who have had that problem.
5. Avoid busy seasons if possible
Summer is probably the worst time to visit, in my opinion. It’s ridiculously hot and lines are long. Not a good combo. Christmas Break is also PACKED. We went over Christmas once and I’ve never seen the parks so full. So, if you’re a first-timer and want to see and do as much as possible, try to go when it is not so busy because you may not get the chance to do everything you want or it will take much longer to get everything done.
While you are there:
1. Take breaks
Sometimes at Disney you just need a break from walking, the heat, or crowds. Sit on a bench and people watch, walk through the shops, or go back to your room to take a nap. Everyone in your group will feel much better after a break, believe me.
2. Don’t feel like you have to do everything
There is SO much to see and do at Disney, that it can be overwhelming. But, don’t feel like you have to see it all. Make a list of your “We have to do this or else” activities and do those! I still see things I’ve never seen before every time we go!
3. Don’t be afraid to let your inner kid come out
Disney is the perfect place to not care what others think of you. So wear Minnie ears or a Goofy hat, dance to the music of the parades, be in awe of the fireworks, take a picture with the princesses, and shamelessly eat a Mickey ice cream bar.
4. Take pictures
Disney has PhotoPass people everywhere, which is great for family photos. If you want a lot of photos, purchase the Memory Maker, which allows you unlimited downloads of your PhotoPass pictures. Downloads are normally $14.99 each. If you do not want PhotoPass photos, the photographers will gladly take a picture using your cell phone as well!
5. Take in the details
Walt Disney World is all about details. The queue lines are filled with little details, and some even have games! Each park has unique details from the music, to the trash cans, to the architecture. So keep your eyes and ears open!
Well. There is my opinion on top tips for Walt Disney World. I have many more tips and recommendations on what to do and see and where to eat, but maybe that will come in another post.
What are your tips for taking on Walt Disney World? I would love to hear!
Disclaimer: These tips are my own opinions and from personal experience. I do not claim to provide expert advice on Walt Disney World.