It’s difficult to advise how to create a perfect day at a Disney park since everyone has their own idea of “perfection.” For some it could be hitting every attraction. For others it could be taking it easy and being pampered. However you plan on doing Disney, here are a few secrets to help you plan your version of a perfect day.
8 Secrets to Planning a Perfect Day in Disney Parks
8. Be Prepared For The Weather
Nothing kills a perfect Disney day like being uncomfortable due to weather conditions. Being too hot, too cold, or soaking wet from the rain can make your entire party cranky and ruin the experience. Before you leave, check the weather and pack accordingly. Check the weather again before you leave your hotel room so you’ll know whether or not to bring a poncho, sunscreen, or both, or whether you’ll need shorts and a t-shirt or jeans and a sweatshirt.
7. Arrive Early
Even if your perfect day involves sleeping in, you won’t want to waste too much time as the early morning is the least busy time in any of the Disney parks. That first hour after rope drop gives you opportunities to walk on attractions with little or no wait. Having the park to yourselves is a great way to start you day and get a lot of your must-dos done. Magic Kingdom even has a welcome show a few minutes before the park opens.
6. Pace Yourself
When you first arrive at a Disney park, it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement and race from attraction to attraction. Plan on taking your time and pacing yourself. Your feet and legs will thank you towards the end of the day. A perfect day can turn into a painful evening if you push yourself too hard and get sore muscles and blisters. Besides, if you rush, you’ll miss out on all the little details Disney parks are known for. Take your time and enjoy.
5. Have a Camera Ready
Part of what makes a perfect Disney day are the spontaneous moments you could never plan. Whether it’s interactions amongst your party, with Cast Members or with the characters, you’ll want to bring a camera with you and have it ready. Also take the time to get the cheesy Disney pictures of your group in front of Cinderella Castle, Spaceship Earth, the Chinese Theater, or the Tree of Life. You’ll want mementoes to have of your perfect day and taking pictures with your own camera is free. Cast Members will even offer to take pictures for you so everyone can be in them.
4. Plan for Character Meet and Greets
This can be done in the form of character dining experiences or meeting the characters around the parks, but it wouldn’t be a day at Disney without some kind of interaction with your favorite heroes and villains. Even if you group is quite grown up, you’re never too old to get a picture with Mickey Mouse. It might be silly and childish, but that’s why you’re in Disney to begin with.
3. Incorporate Everyone’s Must-Do Lists
As stated before, everyone has their own version of a perfect Disney park day. Before you leave for your trip, sit down with your party and discuss what the plan for the day will be. What attractions do you want to ride? What characters do you want to see? Disney Junior-Live on Stage won’t be for everyone, but neither will Tower of Terror. Plan to do a few things from everyone’s list so the whole group is involved in the planning process. This will drastically decrease the chances of arguments breaking out that she didn’t get to go on her ride or he didn’t get a picture with his favorite character. You won’t get to everything on everyone’s lists, but by coming to a compromise ahead of time, you’ll have a more cheerful outcome when you’re at the park.
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2. Get Dining Reservations and Fastpasses Ahead of Time
What really makes a perfect day is not having to worry about dining reservation or having to wait two hours to ride your favorite attraction. By booking your dining reservations and Fastpasses ahead of time you take more stress out of your day and know exactly what you can look forward to without any unpleasant surprises. If you wait until the last minute to book your reservations and passes, they’ll be taken up by then. For your dining reservations, also be sure to check the online menus so that no one in your party is left out because they don’t like any of the selections. Again, keep everyone included.
1. Take Your Time Leaving
At the end of the day when the park closes, there will usually be a massive crowd rushing out of the gates. Instead of going with the crowd, savor your perfect day by taking your time and being among the last people to leave. If your perfect day is at the Magic Kingdom, stay for the parade and fireworks, but don’t be in a rush to leave. The gift shops on Main Street are actually open a half hour after the park closes, plus there’s the Goodnight Kiss that the vast majority of park guests miss out on. You’ll want to stay for that. When you’re ready to go, the crowd should be much smaller and you can make your way out without being pushed and shoved along the way.
These tips can be applied to your perfect day whether it means visiting one park or multiple parks. Just remember to take it easy and don’t put so much pressure on making the day perfect. Chances are it will happen on its own if you follow these eight planning tips.
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Photo courtesy of Disney Photo Snapper