Some of my favorite tips to give clients and friends going to Disney…
Jen’s Best Disney World Tips!
Know what you’re getting into. Walt Disney World is made up of FOUR full-size theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. It also has Downtown Disney, Wide World of Sports, two large water parks (Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach), championship golf courses, mini golf, and more. It also has over 20 on-site resorts with more being planned and built almost all the time.
Disney is not just for kids. Yes, everyone knows that kids will have a great time at Disney, but it’s also a wonderful place for adults to have fun as well. Disney is the most popular honeymoon destination in the country!
Pack your best walking shoes or sandals. You will walk MILES every day. I usually have two really good pairs that I alternate. I also take comfy flip flops. My walking sandals are Keens and Eccos and I love my Reef flip flops.
Take pictures of your park tickets in case you lose them. (Or your Magic Bands!) Also have your ID with you at all times – this is another way that lost park tickets can be re-issued.
Take a picture of your child(ren) every morning. If you should get separated, you’ll have a picture of them in that day’s clothing to help the Cast Members reunite you as soon as possible.
Ice water is free at Quick Service/Counter Service restaurants. This is a great way to stay hydrated. If you don’t like the taste of the Florida water, bring drink packets like Crystal Light or similar.
Make your dining reservations as close to 180 days out as possible. The most popular restaurants really do start booking up 6 months in advance. Hardest to get reservations tend to be Be Our Guest, Le Cellier, Cinderella’s Royal Table, O’hana, and Chef Mickey’s.
Learn how to use Fastpass. (FP) You should never have to wait in a long line at Disney if you use Fastpass correctly.
***EDITED TO ADD THAT FASTPASS+ IS NOW FULLY IN USE AT DISNEY WORLD. The old Fastpass system is gone. Your best bet is to choose your Fastpass+ selections on the “My Disney Experience” website before you go on your trip! Once you use your three Fastpass+ selections, you are then eligible to sign up for your next FP. When you use that one, you can choose your next one, and so forth. These additional FP choices can be made at the kiosks found in each park.
Have a plan! Disney is not the type of trip where you can just “wing it.” Choose your priority rides ahead of time and have a strategy.
Don’t even try to do everything on your first trip. It can’t be done. You can always go back and try the things you missed on your next trip!
Extra Magic Hours (EMH) are offered to guests staying at on-site resorts. However, if you are an on-site guest and can’t get up early enough to be at the park gate well before opening time of that Extra Magic Hour do NOT go to that park! Stay away from the morning EMH park unless you can get there before it opens! It will be the most crowded park of the morning if you decide to go there later.
Learn the value of midday breaks. My grandparents started us on this strategy when we were kids and I still do it as an adult. Get to a park when it opens and leave after lunch. Go back and relax at your resort during the hottest part of the day so you’ll be refreshed to go to another park after dinner.
USE A DISNEY EXPERT! Many people nowadays are too busy to spend hours researching for their Disney trip. Let someone help you! Travel Agents like myself are FREE to the clients and know Disney inside and out, so you can make the most of your vacation! Using a travel agent will also be invaluable if anything goes wrong. Your TA can deal with any problems that your resort can’t resolve so you can have a better time on your vacation. Just make sure that your TA is a Disney Specialist! I have been going to Disney World regularly since the mid-80‘s and have eaten at most of the restaurants and stayed at many of the resorts. I know the rides, attractions, and shows and can recommend the best ones for each client. I would love to help you plan your trip!
***updated May 2014