You’ve been counting the days until your family travels to Disney World and finally… IT’S HERE! You’ve checked into your hotel and are ready for the fun one can only experience at the most magical place on earth! Here are 10 tips that’ll help ensure that you have the best Disney vacation ever!
9. Plan Ahead – Dining reservations, special tours, FastPasses+… these are a few of the things you really must arrange weeks if not months before you travel to Disney. For instance dining reservations can be made 180 days before your trip. For those guests that stay at a Disney resort, reservations can be made 190 days prior. It’s almost impossible to book the most popular restaurants like “Cinderella’s Royal” Table or “Chef Mickeys” unless you plan ahead, way ahead. So, once you’ve booked your travel arrangements, spend some time on “My Disney Experience” or on the phone with a Disney Cast Member to book those special experiences you want. You can also consult with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner like Mickey Travels. They’ll ensure you get the lowest price for your trip and assist you with scheduling every aspect of your trip.
8. Always be Prepared – I never enter Disney parks without a handy, cross-body bag full of essential items. Prescription medication, over-the-counter drugs, cash, sunglasses, snacks, individually wrapped hand sanitizing wipes… a well-stocked purse or backpack is essential and provides convenient access to any number of things that you may need. Check out our article 15 Essentials That You Should Have In Your Disney Park Bag.
7. Florida Footwear – When packing for your Disney trip, your footwear choices are a key element of ensuring comfort and enjoyment while walking around the various parks. You’ll be putting a LOT of miles on whatever shoes you choose to wear. I’m a fan of sandals with a padded foot bed that allow my feet to breathe instead of using sneakers and socks which get all sweaty. If you prefer wearing sneakers, consider carrying an extra pair of socks in your park bag to change into mid-day. These will also come in handy if there is rain in the forecast or if you plan to ride Splash Mountain or the other water rides at WDW.
6. Have Fun in the Sun – Florida sun can be relentless, especially when you’re standing in line on the dark asphalt. Opt for shady spots whenever possible and ALWAYS apply sunblock before you leave your hotel. (Don’t forget the back of your ears!) Make sure you keep a stash of sunblock in your park bag. Neutrogena makes a twist-up sunblock stick that you can apply directly to wet/sweaty skin called ‘Neutrogena Wet Skin’. Its’ more solid formulation keeps it from running into and stinging eyes, a major concern if you’re trying to protect your little ones from damaging radiation. You can also indulge yourself and purchase a Disney themed hat to further shield you from the sun.
5. Take a Break – Early risers rule at Disney World! Getting into the parks at rope drop means you’ll have practically line-free access to rides and attractions. Once you’ve enjoyed a full morning in the parks, head back to your resort/hotel after lunch for a little break. Take a nap, enjoy a swim, explore your resort… whatever you choose to do, you’ll get some rest and avoid the most crowded times of the day in the parks as well as the scorching afternoon sun. Don’t want to head back to your resort? Schedule a character dining experience where you can recharge and enjoy a leisurely visit with your favorite Disney pals while eating mouthwatering cuisine!
4. Best Behavior – You’ve heard the adage -“You’ll catch more bees with honey than vinegar”… remember this as you go about your day at Disney World. With the press of thousands of guests, standing in lines, dining next to families with cranky little ones… Disney can certainly be a strain on the nerves. When faced with an irritating situation or a rude guest, choose to respond with kindness instead of losing your temper. Arguing with a Disney Cast Member about a ride height requirement or confronting a guest who is being annoying isn’t likely to resolve anything. Cast Members have been trained extensively to treat guests with deference and respect and will always go the extra mile to ensure a safe and magical Disney experience. Take a cue from these park professionals and practice good behavior. Choosing to be kind sets a great example for any kids and adults in your vicinity and keeps you in a pleasant state of mind.
3. Accentuate the Positive – No vacation is perfect and a trip to Disney can have its’ share of bumps in the road. Bad weather, long lines, cranky kids… there are a number of things that can potentially sour your vacation. Instead of letting these incidentals spoil your trip, focus instead on the positives. Rainy day – bowl a few frames at Splitsville in Downtown Disney. Cranky, sleep-deprived kids – take the afternoon off one day and make time for naps while you and your significant other enjoy a good book or take turns going for a swim at your resort pool. Long lines – get to know the people standing next to you. Disney guests come from all over the world and I’ve had some extremely memorable conversations with individuals I would never had met otherwise. So, accentuate the positive aspects of your trip, spending time with family and friends and don’t sweat the little things that might go awry.
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2. Let It Go – Disney World Resort is enormous and so full of interesting things to see and do that even Floridians who visit frequently can’t manage to take it all in. While some Disney fanatics can manage getting into a park at rope drop and staying until close day after day, others may want to take a less intense approach in enjoying Disney World. The operative term here is “Let It Go.” You’re not going to be able to experience all that Disney World has to offer in one, two or even three trips, so take your time and drink in the beauty, fun and magic at a pace that’s appropriate for you. Whatever you don’t experience on one trip, you can look forward to seeing during another.
1. Discover Disney Services – Disney offers myriad services that are designed to ensure a pleasant and fun park experience. Don’t want to cart shopping bags around the park all day – you can have them delivered to your Disney Resort or sent to the front gate of the park to collect once you’re ready to leave. Don’t want to spend your money for Disney’s Photo Pass – Cast Member photographers will happily use your camera phone to get a snap shot of your party throughout the parks. Need to wet your whistle but don’t want to spend too much money on bottled water or soft drinks – free cups of water are available at all quick-service restaurants. Disney offers many such conveniences all designed to streamline an enjoyable vacation for its’ guests.