If you’re traveling to Orlando for vacation and are planning on spending only one day at Walt Disney World, then you will want to come armed with a strategy. WHY do you need a strategy, you might be wondering? Well, the reason is – there is SO MUCH to do and see at Walt Disney World that your instinct will be to try and cram it all into that one day. RESIST that urge – trust me – you will be much happier if you slow down, and use these tips.
Here’s my list of “Do’s and Don’t’s” for doing WDW in one day:
Research: Especially if this is your first time to WDW, you will want to do some reading up on the different rides, theme parks, shows, and food you will find at Disney. There are plenty of places to do this research – my personal fave being the chip and co website of course! And there are tons of great guidebooks out there, and the official Walt Disney World Site is helpful, too
DO Plan: Once you’ve done some research and reading up on all that Disney World has to offer (which is a LOT!), you can make a rough itinerary for your day at WDW – read more on that here. In addition to picking out which parks and rides you want to hit, I also recommend you make an ADR for at least one meal (ADR stands for Advance Dining Reservation – read more about that and why it’s important here
DO Prioritize: This goes hand in hand with planning – Let each person in your family pick their one MUST DO ride/attraction, and if you can, try and get a fastpass+ reservation for most/all of them. And keep a mental (or real!) list of everyone’s second choices – and try and do them if time permits. Make sure everyone – especially the little ones – know that they might not get to ride everything they want to ride, and prepare them for that ahead of time to avoid park meltdowns!
DO Pack Smart: No one is thrilled about the idea of lugging a bag around all day, but when you’re visiting Disney World there are some things you just HAVE to bring along with you – and to tote them I recommend a backpack with decent padding on the shoulder straps. Ponchos are a must have (one time use versions can be purchased at the dollar store), as is sunscreen, a refillable water bottle, snacks (things like trail mix, nuts, hard candies, granola bars, and pretzels are good choices), a small first aid kit (stocked with normal first aid items, and also with some over the counter pain meds and tums, too!) , and a spare pair of socks (your feet will sweat a lot in the Florida sun and heat – gross I know, but a smart thing to pack nonetheless!). Read more about packing for Disney here
DON’T Over Plan: I mention planning and an itinerary in the “Do” section – and while I wholeheartedly believe in the benefits of both of those, I caution against overdoing it. Don’t plan out every minute of every day, and leave some room for spontaneity! Be realistic, and be flexible when it comes to checking off items on your Disney “to do” list
DON’T Try To Do It All: Is it physically possible to do all 4 theme parks in one day? Yes…but do I recommend it? NO WAY! It would be way too much to try and cram in, and you wouldn’t have any time to slow down and enjoy the fact that you’re at the most Magical place on earth! So I recommend you choose one or AT MOST two WDW theme parks to visit, and focus on enjoying the rides, shows, and atmospheres at each of them!
DON’T Skip the following items: sunscreen re-application every hour, hydration, and wearing comfortable sneakers for your day at Disney (seriously –as much as you may want to slip on those flip flops, your feet will be hating you by noon for it)
Follow these tips, and your day at Disney will be the most magical day ever!
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