Planning your FIRST Disney World Trip like a Pro!
10.03.2014 - 18.03.2014
The key to a memorable trip to Disney is PLANNING. If you have never visited what truly is a World unto itself, here are a few tips to start your trip of a lifetime off on the right foot.
1. Consider the context of your visit, then get advice from someone who has been there in the same mode. Romantic trip? A visit with young children? A vacation with older teens? Disney is a VERY different experience in each context, and planning expectations in advance will prevent disappointment.
2. Do not plan to go to more than two parks two days in a row. For example, visit Magic Kingdom Monday, Epcot Tuesday, then on Wednesday, take a day just to enjoy the pool at the resort before you go back to Animal Kingdom on Thursday. Your feet and your sanity will thank you.
3. Plan rest time. If you are staying on property (which I strongly recommend), take the complimentary resort transportation back to your room and rest for 2-3 hours in the afternoon when it is the hottest. Many people will leave the parks during this time, when it often rains, anyway. Especially with young ones, taking a rest is essential, especially if you plan to stay for fireworks, which everyone should see at least once!
4. Research where to eat for lunch, according to your budget. There are both frugal and crazy expensive places to eat. Plan wisely. My best find for a moderately-priced character buffet is Tusker House in Animal Kingdom.
5. Eat breakfast in your hotel room. If you're vacationing on a budget, protein bars, oatmeal, or cereal and milk are easy options (tip: use your refillable resort mugs to use creamer as milk for your kids' cereal). A hearty breakfast will help you avoid spending vacation money on pricey park fare.
6. Take snacks with you. Dried fruits, nuts, granola bars, or protein bars can help keep everyone going and allow you to ride rides when others are seeking vendors.
7. If going to all four main parks, plan for at minimum 7 days, including travel to and from Orlando.
8. If possible, get passes for more days than you plan or get park hoppers. It's nice to be able to go for just part of a day: do the rides in the morning one day, then go in the evening on another day to hit the rides when lines are shorter and see fireworks when everyone isn't on their last nerves.
9. Hydrate. Vendors will give you a large cup or ice water with your order. Take it and drink it. Make sure the kids and older family members drink plenty, as well.
10. Take multiple pairs of shoes to switch among, preferably shoes that can handle getting wet. Wet socks and shoes will ruin your trip.
11. Know that it rains almost every day in Florida. Take ponchos if they are your thing, or at least an umbrella. Plan a way to keep the parts of you dry that matter: feet, bottoms, and hair.
Disney is truly a magical place. Plan your trip wisely and your vacation to Disney will be a vacation your family will never forget.