For many, a Disney World vacation is a once-in-a-lifetime event. You spend months, even years saving and planning for a trip to “The Most Magical Place on Earth”. With that much effort invested, you’ll want to use your time wisely. Here are 10 tips to help you make the most of your Disney vacation.
10. What time of year to visit – If you have school-aged children, your choices will be limited, unless you are willing to take them out of school for a week or so. Keep in mind that the summer months are busy and the heat and humidity can be taxing, at best. A mid-afternoon break is a must. On the other hand, the winter months are milder, but park hours are shorter and rides and attractions are often under refurbishment.
9. Stay with Disney – One of the great things about staying at a Disney hotel is that you are in the Disney “bubble”. The outside world, with its troubles, concerns and stress is left behind. Plus, you are eligible for several “perks” such as: free transportation to the parks, extra magic hours, and room-charging privileges throughout WDW.
8. Magical Express – If you fly into the Orlando area, consider using Disney’s free transportation service to your hotel and back, at the end of your vacation. The magic will begin for your family before you ever leave the airport! Plus, Disney will handle your luggage, leaving you stress-free.
7. Memory Maker – Which member of your family is tasked with taking the pictures, and therefore is left out of your vacation photos? If you purchase Memory Maker, a professional Disney photographer will take your photos for you. Plus, all your ride photos are included. When you get home, you can add borders and captions to enhance your vacation memories.
6. Character meals – One of the most fun activities at Disney World is meeting your favorite characters. Disney characters are all over the parks. Unfortunately, long lines develop quickly, just like the attractions and shows. A much simpler way to meet the characters is at a character meal. The characters come to you! Hey, you’ve got to eat, right?
5. Rope Drop – At least a couple times during your trip, arrive before opening at your chosen park of the day. Since most families are unwilling to wake up early, you’ll be ahead of the crowds and can enjoy short lines for 2-3 hours in the morning. Use that advantage to experience the most popular rides.
4. Fastpass+ – A recent addition to Disney vacation planning is Fastpass+, which allows you to make reservations to experience the most popular rides and attractions. If you are staying onsite, you can book your Fastpass+ attractions 60 days before your trip. You can book your times for morning, afternoon or evening. That way, you can tour the parks at a more relaxed pace.
3. Dine in World Showcase – One of the most rewarding activities at Disney World is to tour the 11 countries of World Showcase in Epcot. A great way to experience the culture of a particular country is to dine there. While the food choices are “Americanized” to an extent, you can still enjoy ethnic foods from the different countries.
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2. Enjoy your hotel – All Disney hotels have a particular theme, from Disney movies, to the Caribbean Islands, to the savannahs of Africa. In addition, they all offer spectacular pools and activities during the day and evening. Consider devoting at least one day of your vacation to enjoy your hotel.
1. Outside the parks – Unbeknownst to most guests, Disney offers many activities outside the four theme parks and two waterparks. If you have more than just a few days at Disney, you can enjoy the popular family dinner show, Hoop de Doo Musical Revue at the Disney Campgrounds. Other activities offered are: boating, fishing, horseback riding, and golfing.
Submitted by Jimmie Jones
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