I consider myself a very lucky human. I had a fantastic childhood and was blessed with amazing parents BUT I never got to go to Disney World! So I spent 2016/17 saving like a woman possessed to finally book those flights to Orlando. My husband tried countless times to grab time with me to plan our Disney days but it always unnerved me. Why would I plan my days 6 months in advance? Whats the fun in that. Thankfully he had his head screwed on and planned without me or it would have been a disaster! Have you tried researching a Disney holiday? Its a minefield. So here are my 10 SIMPLE tips, learns and observations that everyone should know before traveling to see Mickey and his mates.
- Stay on site. Transportation, Extra Magic Hours, early fast track passes, there are loads of benefits to staying on-site at Disney World. From the Disney coach at the airport and the complimentary bus every few minutes from your hotel to any of the parks you can’t beat this added extra when you stay on site. We chose the Art Of Animation Hotel which was the cheapest and included a 24hr restaurant, themed rooms, movie nights and underwater music at the many pools on offer. Plus you are minutes away from the action. Some are literally within walking distance to a park, and the rest are all just a short bus, boat, or monorail ride away. No parking, petrol stops or traffic. One of the best benefits for guests who stay on-site is Extra Magic Hours. An Extra Magic Hour is time that on-site guests get a theme park all to themselves. This proves invaluable when jet lag kicks in and you are all awake, dressed and eating pancakes at 6am. Look into buying the dining plan package. Saved us a fortune.
- FastPass. These will make or break your day. We used ours and walked straight to the front of the amazing Avatar ride queue at 10am that was 5 hours long. Everyone in your party gets to make three advance FastPass reservations at the SAME park for each day. Book them.
- Magic Wrist band. USE IT! It beeps you into the parks, swipes you onto the rides when you’ve booked your fast pass times and is connected to your bank card so you can use it like one. Its all you need!
- Remain Calm. You will struggle when you are stood in a queue behind 80 people trying to meet Cinderella and 75 of them are 40 year old woman wit autograph books!!! Chill. You can always come back later.
- Download the app. Disney’s official My Disney Experience app is free so download it as soon as you start thinking about planning a Disney trip. It’s your hub for almost anything you could possibly schedule at Disney World. You can view park hours, buy tickets, reserve dining, view your park photos, check ride wait times, plus lots more.
- Pack plasters. You are gonna walk. A lot. Don’t take chances with the kids shoes. Soft pumps with socks. Same for the adults. Fashion does not matter here.
- Disney Springs. You will deserve a cocktail with your steak so head there and enjoy the evenings entertainment. Great shops and restaurants plus a few child friendly bars and street music.
- Plan to do nothing. Don’t rush. Take it all in and plan some rest days away from the parks. Enjoy the hotel pool and head to the park for the evening displays rested and chilled. The rides are open at night too.
- Use the Disney photographers. Get everyone on that picture. Photopass photographers will take your photo with their camera and sync these photos to your My Disney Experience account. Expect the most fantastic photos to appear on your phone.
- Ride single. Keep a look out for the ride single queue. Its a non offensive way to bunk the long queue. Especially on Expedition Everest and Test Track, riding single can get you through the queue in just minutes rather than hours. Great for parents who want to ride the BIG rides solo.
That’s enough to get you through. Just remind yourself daily that this is the best holiday your family will take so watch your kids faces and listen to their thoughts. Its so magical. Oh and join in with everything. Get stuck in. There is nothing quite like a trip to Disney World.