A First Timer’s Guide: The Top 15 Things You Need to Know About Disney World

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Time and time again we hear of amazing things that Disney has or even does!  Disney always seems to have “something up their sleeve” and they tend to have every corner covered!  Each aspect of Disney has been carefully laid out and not one thing goes unnoticed!  Today we will look at the top 15 things as first timer’s we want and need to know about this place called, Disney World!

  1. No Plastic In Animal Kingdom:  Animal Kingdom is known for none other than its thriving wildlife!  In an effort to protect them you will not find plastic straws, cups or lids at this park.  Balloons are also prohibited from this park!  Straws are made of cardboard and cups are all paper.
  2.  No Gum:  You can not purchase gum while at Disney World.  This staple is not sold anywhere on Disney property.  If you chew gum be sure tp bring it with you!  Be sure to take a look around while you are there!  It is a rare occasion to find gum stuck to the sidewalks, table, benches or even the rides!  )
  3. Fairy Dust:  An alternative to making a reservation at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is a quick stop-by one of them for a special “sprinkling” of fairy dust!  This is free of charge for your prince or princess and allows them to have a touch of “magic” for the day!  Be sure to check out the Boutique at The World Of Disney Store in Downtown Disney or the Boutique at the Magic Kingdom!
  4. Hidden Mickey’s:  Be on the look out for Hidden Mickey’s while you are on vacation!  These can be hidden ANYWHERE!  They are in attractions, bedding, rugs, cups, sidewalks, resorts, theme parks, restaurants etc.  If you can see it, you can guarantee you will find a mickey somewhere!  Be on the look out for guide books and scavenger hunts!
  5. Wake Up Calls:  Did you know that you can have a wake up call each morning?  The best part about this is it can be from one of your favorite characters!  Be sure to set this up when you arrive at your Disney resort room!  Happy Wake Ups!
  6. Transportation Time:  Disney transportation will probably take longer then you think.  You always want to plan for approximately 1 hour to 1 and a half hours transportation time between destinations.  My family tends to plan for this so we are not rushing to our dining reservations or to theme park opening.  After all, we are on vacation!  There is no need to rush.  For example, if you have a 6pm dining reservation you will want to be headed to the bus stop by approximately 4:30pm.
  7. My Disney Experience:  Disney now has an app to control choices while you are in their theme parks.  You can make fastpass+ reservations, make dining reservations, check wait times, find characters and much more from this app!  Be sure to download it before leaving and use it regularly while you are on vacation!  This app has a ton of information and can be very useful to you and your family!
  8. Magic Kingdom sits on the 2nd floor:  When you walk into the Magic Kingdom, you are actually walking on the second floor.  On the first floor you will find the Utilidors.  Cast members use them to get around the park and for moving large quantities of merchandise and food around the park as well. There are many break rooms in the utilidors along with a cast cafeteria. There is also a room filled with all of the sounds of the park – like the howling of dogs from the Haunted Mansion. There are arrows pointing you where to go for a certain land.  Check out this map!
  9. Resort hopping is a must:  Be sure to jump on the monorail and ride it around while you are at the Magic Kingdom.  Stop at each resort and check out the shops and restaurants.  All are very unique.  While at Epcot or Hollywood Studios be sure to head over to The Boardwalk.  There are many options for night life, shops and activities happening daily!  Be sure to check out the ESPN Club and Jellyrolls!
  10. Trash cans are never more than 30 steps away:  This was one of Walt’s beliefs.  He wanted to keep his parks clean!  Therefore you will see trash cans very close to each other at all theme parks and resorts.  It has been said that Walt himself, did a ton of research on how long people hold onto their garbage.  This helped him created his vision.
  11. Pet Hotel:  Who would have thought you could bring your pet to Disney World?  Well, you can!  Disney has thought of it all here!  The Best Friends Pet Care Center is where your pet can also enjoy vacation!  This establishment is located on Disney property.  A link to for more information can be found here!
  12. Disney Dining Plan Symbol:  This symbol can be found at many of the quick service restaurants, food carts and snack shops around the Disney World theme parks and resorts.  Be sure to watch for this symbol when making purchases from your dining plan!
  13. Disney Buttons:  Disney has a button for every occasion it seems!  There are buttons for celebrating, first visits, birthday, engagements and much more!  Be sure to ask for your button at check in if you are celebrating something special!
  14. EPCOT is an acronym:  EPCOT opened on Friday, October 1, 1982.  It was Disney World’s second theme park and was Walt’s vision of a Utopian city of tomorrow.  EPCOT is an acronym for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.  You can see Walt’s vision as you ride the People Mover at the Magic Kingdom in Tomorrowland!
  15. Disney has Rider Switch:  No worries here!  Disney has thought of it again!  If your little ones are too little to ride your favorite ride, Disney has the solution!  It is called Rider Switch!  Here is how it works!  You tell the Cast Member at any ride that has a height requirement that you’d like to do a Rider Switch. They’ll give you a Rider Switch pass (like a FastPass) so that after you ride, you can hand it to the other half of your party and they can ride right away without waiting in line.

There are so many things to learn about Disney!  We learn  more and more each day about the hidden “agendas” in each park and the symbolization of each and every detail!  So many secrets and tips continue to make this the most magical place on earth!  I tend to sit in astonishment when I think that this man, named Walt, had such creativity and imagination!  I am very thankful that his dreams became a reality for my family to enjoy!  The memories created here are indescribable!  They touch the deepest hearts and brighten the saddest ones!  Walt would surely be proud of this place!

Be sure to check out our other First Timer’s Guide articles here.

My name is Jen Perkins.  I am a travel agent with World of Magic Travel Services.  I’m a Disney Destination Specialist.  I am also a writer for Chip and Co. and Disney Addicts and author to The First Timer’s Guide series.  I love sharing tips on Disney World to help you enjoy your vacation!  If you would like to chat or find out more tips for planning, feel free to ask!  You can contact me at jen@worldofmagictravel.com.  I would love to hear from you and help you plan your next “magical” vacation!

You can also visit my facebook page here for more details on Disney World, updates on promotions, articles and upcoming events all related to Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, Universal Studios and much more!  You will also find an array of photos of many of these amazing places that will help you with resort choices, dining and much more! 

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