People come from across the world just to live their Disney dream. Thousands of people visit Walt Disney World every single day, all year round.
When it comes to planning your Disney dream vacation, it can be a little overwhelming. There are so many things to do and see that it can be almost impossible to do everything. Unless you’ve been before, there are just some things you can’t plan for!
It’s Disney, no matter how you spend your days it will be magical. If you want to get the most for your Disney dream vacation, there are a few tips.
As a seasoned Disney veteran and an annual passholder, I’m here to give you some important tips you’ll need for your first visit to Disney World!
Disney World Is HUGE
Are you ready to fulfill your Disney dream? If you’ve only been to Disneyland, or you have never been to Disney World, the most overwhelming part can be the size. Disney World is huge! It sits on 25,000 acres of land and is still growing. They have four parks, two water parks, twenty-four Disney World Resorts, and so much more.
This can be a great thing as you’ll never run out of things to do. It can also be a little scary since there is SO MUCH to do.
This also means that your time is limited. You can realistically plan to do about one park per day. And the transportation can be a little slow sometimes even if you drive. You cannot cover the entirety of Disney on foot, so you will need to commute at some point.
Shoes Will Make Or Break Your Park Experience
One way to make sure you have a terrible Disney World experience is by bringing the wrong shoes.
You will be walking miles throughout the park, and if you’re not wearing comfortable shoes, it can make your day at the park miserable (not to mention the rest of your days too!).
Resist the urge to choose fashion over comfort, and this is no place to break in those new shoes.
Wear something that you would be comfortable wearing. And if you must buy new shoes to go with your outfit, be sure to break them in ahead of time.
Wearing comfortable shoes will make sure you are staying in the park as long as you can. Rather than taking a break because your feet hurt, you’ll be spending your time on rides!
Don’t let your Disney dream become a nightmare.
Bring Your Own Water Bottle
If you remember to bring your water bottle into the park, you can save some serious cash throughout the day! To buy a water bottle in the park may cost you around $5, so if you forget to bring one, it’s worth the investment.
And any counter service restaurant in any of the parks will let you refill your water bottle or get a cup of water at no cost!
There are also drinking fountains located around the park which you can refill your water bottle at. If you’re not sure how you feel about drinking from a fountain, you’ll want to bring a water bottle that has a built-in filter.
Make Your FastPass And Dining Reservations In Advance
FastPasses are Disney Worlds way of making sure everyone gets to ride at least 3 rides a day with NO WAIT. If you are staying at a Disney Hotel/Resort then you can make FastPass Reservations up to 60 days before your trip. Otherwise you can reserve a time to ride your favorite rides 30 days in advance.
The most frustrating thing that has happened to me at Disney was when my family was hungry and we couldn’t find any good restaurants to eat at because all the tables were taken by people who had made reservations. I was unaware that any guest can make Advance Dining Reservations up to 180 days before your trip.
Once you’ve decided which park you are going to explore each day, check for the restaurant options (or plan your meals by bringing your own food) to figure out if you want to eat at a restaurant that will require a reservation (any “Table Service” restaurant is the ones that you’ll need a reservation to get a table).
You don’t necessarily need to plan out every meal you eat. But if you plan on eating anywhere that offers table service, you will be much happier to have a dining reservation beforehand.
Waiting Lines Are Shorter Than The Time Posted
My family is convinced that Disney “pads” the ride times to try and reduce the number of people willing to wait. When you go to stand in line for a ride, we always find it typically takes less time than the posted wait time.
Sometimes it is spot on (so you have to expect to wait the time posted), but we usually find it is 5-20 minutes less than posted.
Wait times are determined by a card they hand someone in line. When that person makes it to the front, they update the time. This means that if it’s been a while since they’ve done it, the time could be off.
Disney Doesn’t Have To Break The Bank
There’s a stigma around Disney dream vacations that they are so expensive, and are only for the wealthy.
The truth is that with some careful planning, you can enjoy multiple trips to Disney time and time again for less!
Even though the exit for nearly every ride may lead you to a gift shop, you don’t have to buy anything!
There are plenty of places both off and on-site that are affordable for those on a budget. And you can even bring your food into the park! Don’t miss this extensive article for more tips on how to save money on your Disney vacation!
You Don’t Have To Pay For Photos
If you want to take a picture in front of the castle in the Magic Kingdom, you don’t have to pay a photographer to take your photo.
In fact, every place where there is a Disney Photographer, they will be happy to take your photo using your camera or phone. They will also take one with their camera, in hopes you want to buy it later, but you don’t have too. And they never make you feel obligated to do so.
The photos are expensive to purchase individually and a memory pass is almost $200, yikes!
Save your money and develop your photos on your own once you get home!
When it comes to tips for first-timers, I’ve just brushed the surface here. I know this is a lot of information to take in, but remember that your trip to Disney is supposed to be a vacation. Don’t forget to schedule some downtime, and enjoy your trip!
There is so much to do in the parks that it’s easy to get caught up in the magic. Use these tips to get the most out of your Disney dream vacation. And remember to take breaks, so you don’t burn out on day one! Most people will spend a few days at the park. So you don’t want to be too tired for the rest of your trip after just one day at the parks. Take it slow, and take in all the magic!
I just want to mention again that if you’d like some help planning your Disney Vacation, contact Jeffrey at Mouse Vacation Planning to make it super simple. He’s been a game-changer in making my vacation actually feel like a true vacation because he coordinated all the details. He has even been integral in getting us free “upgraded” rooms on several occasions. So I’m a big fan and I’d love to see his Disney Vacation business grow by telling you about him. You can get a free, no obligation quote here.
YOUR TURN: Which Disney Park are you most excited to go to? Let me know in the comments below!