I asked and you answered! Earlier this month I posted a question on the ‘You Might Be a Disney Addict…” Facebook page asking Disney Addicts what is their #1 tip for a Disney World Vacation. There were 175 comments, some including more than one tip! Let’s face it, when you love Disney you just can’t help yourself.
I spent time reading through each comment and tallying up the results. Let’s countdown the Top 10 Disney Addict tips for visiting Walt Disney World:
10. Stay on Site – I love this advice! Disney World has amazing resorts and I would just about guarantee that there is something for everyone, whether you want to save money or live it up big! Staying on site gives you advantages like 180 day Advanced Dining Reservations, Extra Magic Hours, Free transportation, being close to the action, and making FastPass+ selections earlier. Not to mention that special Disney feeling that you can only get from a Disney hotel!
9. Take a Midday Break – this is something that my family does each day at Disney World. We go to the parks early (which was another Disney Addict favorite tip) to get in rides when the crowds are lighter and then break after lunch. We relax in our room or go for a swim at our resort, take naps and do laundry. Sometimes you just need to get away from the busyness of the parks and have a little time to relax. Many Disney Addicts recommend taking a break during your day. This is another reason that #10 makes a Disney vacation so much easier, you can use free transportation back and forth to your resort and don’t have to fight the crowded parking lots.
8 & 7. Book Advanced Dining Reservations and Use FastPass+ – Disney Addicts tied on these two tips, but they go together nicely. When you stay on site you can make your dining reservations 180 days before your check-in date and you can make your FastPass+ selections 60 days in advance. If you want to make sure you get the reservations you want for meals that are important to you (think eating inside of Cinderella Castle) you had better be ready 180 days in advance. FastPass+ times for the most popular rides can go pretty quickly, so you want to stay on top of this as well. If you have no idea what I am talking about when I say FastPass, it is a time that you reserve to go on a specific ride. You receive a time slot and when you show up to the ride during that time you get to skip the Stand-By line and go right to the front. It’s a great feeling when you are walking past a long line of people to the front of the ride and you know you just saved yourself some time that will let you enjoy another fun Disney World ride or experience!
6. Slow Down – Disney Addicts love the Disney Parks and they know that you will enjoy your vacation so much more if you slow down and enjoy the experience. Don’t try to rush from one side of the park to another or always be in a hurry. There are so many details around the Disney parks that you will miss if you are always in a hurry. Look for hidden Mickeys (my daughters love to find them in the aquarium after going on The Seas With Nemo and Friends), find the horseshoe print that Maximus left near Rapunzel’s tower, listen to the music that fills the air and notice the amazing aroma while walking down Main Street. Take a deep breath, slow down and observe all that is happening around you at the Happiest Place on Earth!
5. Wear Comfortable Shoes – Comfortable shoe means something different to each person, but everyone does agree that your Disney vacation is not the right time to break in a new pair of shoes. Wear something on your feet that you are comfortable in. A lot of Disney Addicts recommend a good pair of tennis shoes. I prefer my flip-flops that I wear all summer long. Whatever it is that your feet are used to walking in and comfortable in… wear them in the parks. And, don’t be surprised if they are still a little tired and sore by the end of the day.
4. Be Spontaneous – There are tons of books and websites out there to help you plan your perfect touring day. They will advice you which ride to be at during which time to maximize your time in the parks. While there is some great advice and plans out there, make sure to leave time to be spontaneous. Some of the best vacation moments happen when they aren’t planned and Disney is great at surprising you with a little magic. On our first trip to Disney we were headed to a ride and I noticed a cast member with a blue shirt standing around (classic sign that a character might be on their way), so I asked if there was a meet and greet and sure enough Tigger and Pooh were showing up in a few minutes. We were the first ones in line and it will now forever be remembered because it was two of my daughters’ first time meeting a character. Another time we were sitting on a bench and we were invited into a building where we got to meet Captain Barbossa. If you plan every moment of your day you will miss the little fun things that pop up along the way.
3. Plan ahead – I love Disney Addicts! This might sound like it contradicts with #4, but it doesn’t… if you do it right. While it is important to allow yourself to be spontaneous, your Disney vacation NEEDS a plan. If you don’t know what an ADR or FastPass is or that Disney World is more than just Magic Kingdom and that there are actually four parks, you are going to be overwhelmed. I am convinced that those people who visit Disney World and walk away miserable either did not do enough planning, or they did too much planning. It is a fine line to walk, but from my experience, the more planning you do before you leave home, the more spontaneous you can be while on your vacation. Do not try to “wing it” at Disney, especially if you have never been there before, it is sure to be a mistake (find out other mistake made on Disney trips here).
2. Have fun – This might seem like an odd thing to have to mention, but it was the #2 recommended tip from our Disney Addicts for a reason. Disney World can be overwhelming and it can actually be easy to forget to enjoy yourself. Let yourself act like a kid again. Don’t worry about what others around you are doing, just enjoy yourself. One addict recommended that when you are walking into Magic Kingdom you take the first moment to enjoy the castle. Call me silly, but my eyes tear up every time I see the castle the first time each trip. When your trip starts and you first step foot on Disney property, let real life and all it’s troubles fade away and enjoy the magic that Disney World has to offer. Smile. Laugh. Skip. Hug a character. Enjoy yourself!
1. Don’t Try To Do and See Everything – Walt Disney World is a big place and between the four parks, resorts, and Disney Springs there is a lot to see and do. If you try to do it all you will drive yourself crazy and walk away disappointed. Even if you stay a full week, you will not see every show, witness each parade, and go on every ride that Disney has to offer. We try to always allow 2 days at Magic Kingdom on each of our stays and 1 day at the other parks, and we don’t even come close to touching all that Magic Kingdom has to offer. This is where #3 (Plan Ahead) comes in handy. Research the parks, the rides, the restaurants, the shows and see what things are important to you. Our family of 5 makes sure that each person picks their #1 thing they want to experience for the day and we make sure that all 5 of those things happen. After that we do the best we can to hit our favorites or try something new, but we never try to do it all.
There you have it, the Top 10 Disney World Tips From Disney Addicts. While those were the top, there were lots of other great tips that were provided and I wanted to take a moment to mention a few of my favorites:
- Buy ponchos and stay if it rains – or better yet, bring ponchos with you… it rains in Florida, but not usually for the whole day. Don’t leave if it starts to rain, wait it out and you will find a less crowded park to enjoy. I also recommend if you have a stroller buying a cheap clear plastic shower liner to cover your stroller with if it rains. It works great to keep the stroller and any children in it dry.
- Get the dining plan – I love the Disney dining plans! I like to pay for my meals before I go and then not think once about the cost of food while I am on vacation. I don’t like to nickel and dime while I enjoy my Disney meals and snacks.
- Buy magical sunglasses – This is an amazing tip I wish I knew a few years ago. Some children are terrified of the Disney characters and don’t enjoy meeting them, this can be a problem if you have multiple children or are eating at a Character Meal. A Disney Addict recommended giving your child “magical” sunglasses and telling them they allow the child to see the Character without the Character seeing them. Great tip!
In the end Disney Addicts also recommend that you try to never go home once you are there! What are your favorite Disney World vacation tips?
Does this sound overwhelming or like a lot of planning? If you would like to take advantage of FREE vacation planning advice contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook here. I can help you make your ADRs, FastPass+ selections, and choose an amazing resort. Do you want some help but want to handle some things on your own? I can help as much or as little as you prefer. Don’t hesitate to ask me questions or ask for a quote, there are some great promotions available right now!