Believe it or not, there is a lot of planning that goes into a Walt Disney World vacation. Whether you’re an experienced Disney goer, or visiting for the first time, there is a lot to consider when making plans to visit the parks. Here are ten things you should really know before heading to the happiest place on earth for your next vacation.
Disney dining has become quite popular these days, so much so, that you can now reserve your dining experiences up to 180 days prior to your arrival. Many guests still don’t know about how important it is to schedule your dining reservations as soon as you possibly can because chances are that your favorite restaurant will be completely booked if you wait until you arrive there to eat.
9. Fastpass +
Out with the old paper methods, and in with the new My Disney Experience app, where guests can make their fastpass reservations up to 60 days prior to their arrival. Since this new way of reserving fastpasses has started, guests have scrambled to reserve spots to skip the long lines on their favorite rides, attractions, shows, and even character meet and greets as soon as they become available. In order to do this however, you will have to purchase your tickets before your arrival and link them to you’re My Disney Experience account so that you can take advantage of this feature. There are kiosks at the parks for guests that do not purchase their tickets ahead of time to select their fastpasses as soon as they get to the park.
8. Having A Plan
Spontaneity is no longer easy to do at Walt Disney World. With scheduled fastpasses and dining reservations, you’ll want to plan the rest of your day out to make the most of your time at that parks and to make sure you are able to enjoy all of your fastpasses and dining reservations on time. It is very difficult to experience all that the parks have to offer with out some sort of plan for each day.
7. Florida’s Hot Weather
While Florida is known for their sunny weather, you may not be aware just how hot it can actually get. Last year we hit some record-breaking temperatures and that, combined with humidity, calls for one hot day outdoors. It is so important to pack properly for this weather (on most months of the year) to ensure you don’t get overheated. Sunscreen, light colored and airy clothing, tons of water, and a portable fan are your best bet for standing up to the Florida heat.
Disney prices are one of the most popular reasons for why many guests can’t go as often as they would like, but there are still a few discounts you can take advantage of. Some examples include military, Triple A, and Florida residents to name a few. There are also resort packages that will help you save money on your next stay with seasonal discounts on the resorts as well as free dining plans (at certain times of the year). Make sure to ask any Disney agents about what discounts may apply to you so that you don’t have to deplete your wallet.
5. Memory Maker
Pictures are worth a thousand words, and while visiting the parks, you’ll want to make sure you have some great ones to cherish later in life. Memory Maker will help you do just that! For approximately $150-$170 for your entire party, guests can enjoy downloads of every single picture taken in the parks from a Disney photographer or ride. Yes, you read that right! Every single picture you take will be available for downloading so you won’t even have to worry about taking out your camera most of the day. This is a fantastic way to get great quality pictures and the best part is, that you can add borders and stickers to them when you log into your My Disney Experience account. Purchasing this at least three days before your trip will also save you $20!
We all have a vision of what our dream trip looks like and we make our park plans thinking that everything will work out absolutely perfect. The truth is, there are many times where families have inconveniences that may or may not be out of their control. Sometimes when we have these inconveniences (whether they are large or small) we tend to become upset and it sets the mood for the rest of our day. Keep in mind that things happen. Transportation issues may occur with the busses or monorails, which may take more time than what you thought they would, rides or attractions may suddenly close, rain may cancel a show, the list goes on and on. It is important to make some accommodations to your plans in case these issues affect your future trip. Leave some ‘wiggle room’ throughout your day so that if you’re running late to a reservation or fastpass, you won’t have to cancel or rush. You may also want to allot more time for transportation. If there is rain in the forecast, make it a point to enjoy indoor activities. Cast members will also try to do their best to fix a concern if possible. Whatever the complication may be, be sure to think positive and make the changes you need to make to keep enjoying your vacation. After all, you are at the happiest place on earth, right?
3. Costume Changes
If you plan to attend the parks in costume, be sure to be informed with the new guidelines. Events such as the runDisney marathons, Dapper Day, and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (just to name a few) are common for guests to dress up in costume. There are also some guests that enjoy Disney bounding on their visits to the parks. It is important to know that recently, Disney has updated their policies with dressing up for heightened security reasons. It would be such a shame to be told to change your outfit because it doesn’t adhere to the new policy when you reach the entrance of the park. Check the Walt Disney World website to be sure you are in the loop wit the changes and so that you can dress accordingly.
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Staying at a Disney resort definitely has its perks! Guests can enjoy complimentary transportation to all four parks and both water parks, along with Disney Springs, extra magic hours, early access to FastPass planning, MagicBands, Airport service, nightly movies and campfires, and of course stellar customer service by the awesome cast members. Taking advantage of these perks is a great reason to stay on property on your next vacation because believe it or not, they save you a lot of time and money in the long run, and honestly, where else can you get legendary Disney service?
1. Plan Down Time
Vacations are meant for you to unwind and relax, but sometimes that is extremely difficult to do at the parks. You will most likely spend more of your time hustling around to experience everything you possibly can. If your vacation allows it, make sure to plan some down time in your schedule to relax and rest a bit before your next park visit the following day. Relaxing at the resort pools, watching a movie, or taking a stroll around Disney Springs is a great way to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the parks and give your body the rest it is looking for.
BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!
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