Disney World is a dream vacation for many people. If you are planning on taking a trip to Orlando, Florida, for the first time, you will want to make sure that you make the most of everything Disney has to offer! Booking your first Disney World trip can be very overwhelming. There are so many things to do and so much information to take in. However, there is no need to panic, as we have put together this blog post to give you a helping hand. Continue reading to discover some insider Disney hacks that will ensure your first Disney World Experience is a raving success.
- You can get groceries delivered to Disney World - If you are staying at Disney World and you are looking to keep your costs down, you should look into getting your groceries delivered for free at Disney World. This will enable you to prepare some meals yourself so that you can save money. You can still enjoy some of the incredible restaurants Disney World has to offer, but you can stop costs from getting completely out-of-hand by preparing some meals and snacks yourself. Plus, you won’t have to pay for the delivery, so this will make your money go even further.
- Download the My Disney Experience app - Without this app, you’re going to find it incredibly difficult to manage your stay at Disney World. Within the My Disney Experience app, you can link your Disney Hotel booking and park tickets to your account. You can book dining and Fast Passes in advance, as well as viewing park maps, adding photographs, and adding to your itinerary. You will also need this app to use your complimentary magic bands. It is basically your travel diary, planner, and tour guide all-in-one!
- Pack a good pair of walking shoes and break them in - You are going to be doing a lot of walking at Disney World - you have been warned. Therefore, it is imperative to make sure that you pack a good pair of walking shoes. We would highly recommend that you take a few long walks before you go on your vacation so that you can break the shoes in. No one wants to start their dream Disney Vacation with blisters on their feet, right?
- Book your Fast Pass 60 days ahead if you’re staying at a Disney Resort - There are a lot of perks that come with staying at a Disney World Resort Hotel. One of the perks is that you can book your Fast Pass ahead of other park guests. As the name suggests, a Fast Pass will enable you to skip the extra-long queues for a certain number of rides per your stay. It will reduce your wait time by as much as 75 percent. As a Disney World Resort resident, you should download the My Disney Experience app so that you can access the Fast Pass booking system 60 days prior to your trip. The most popular rides will be booked up very quickly, so you need to act fast.
- Stick to the right-hand side of the walkway - As you can imagine Disney World is a very busy place. You will probably find it a lot easier to walk around the parks if you stay on the right-hand side of the walkway. This is because Americans instinctively tend to walk on the right-hand side, so it just helps to keep things moving easily.
- Call up for a savannah view at Animal Kingdom - Animal Kingdom is a good place to stay if you’re looking for a deluxe Disney experience at a more affordable price when compared with a number of the other resorts. When booking a standard room, you can actually call up beforehand and request a savannah view, as this is included in the cost.
- Watch the shows at Hollywood Studios in the evening - If you are planning to watch a show at Hollywood Studios, we recommend going for the evening show. This is a good way to cool down after a busy day at the parks. Plus, the morning and afternoon shows tend to be the busiest!
- Always bring your ID - Don’t forget to bring your ID with you! In the United States, the legal age to drink alcohol is 21-years-old. Disney World takes this very seriously, and if you’re 30-years-old or younger, you can expect to be asked for ID. Accepted forms of ID include a passport, US driving license, or international government-issued ID, meaning your driving license from another country will not be enough.
- Frontier Land is the start of the parade route - Disney World parades are a real highlight. They start from Frontier Land, which means it tends to be a bit quieter in this area if you are looking for a good place to watch the parade without feeling like a tin of sardines.
- Give yourself at least one hour to get to any dining reservation - A lot of people underestimate the time it is going to take them to get from A to B when they are at Disney World. It can take anywhere from around 15 minutes to 90 minutes to get about, so you really do need to allow time for this. There is Disney transport available, which is great. However, this does get busy, which means things can take longer than expected.
- Don’t put pressure on yourself to do everything - You won’t be able to do everything. This is the harsh reality. There is simply too much to do at Disney World, which means it is impossible to experience everything in one trip. You should prioritize the rides and experiences you want to enjoy the most. Anything else should be considered a bonus! Plus, do remember that Disney World is always improving and making changes. Rides can be under construction, so we always advise that you don’t pin your hopes on certain attractions.
- Don’t take a selfie stick with you - We understand that you are going to want to capture photographs and videos of your incredible vacation, yet selfie sticks are banned at Disney World, so do keep this in mind. Also, it is important to be mindful of other guests when taking photographs.
- Take some flip-flops with you for those rainy showers - In Florida, it does storm a lot. Therefore, no matter when you head to Disney World, you are probably going to get some rain. The only time of the year whereby you may be lucky enough to have a dry vacation is between December and March. Because of this, it is a good idea to take some flip-flops with you. Once it starts raining, put your flip flops on so you can keep your trainers nice and dry and avoid anything horrible blisters or irritation.
- Meeting characters can require some planning - Some characters will be around the park at all times. There are then others that have designated times, for example, Snow White at Epcot. You will need to line up for the majority of characters, so do keep this in mind. Fast Pass is available for some of them, which is worth considering if your child is desperate to meet a certain Disney character.
- Measure the height of any little ones prior to your trip - If you are going to be traveling to Disney World with small children, it is definitely a good idea to measure their height prior to your trip. You can then look at the height requirements on the Disney website for the different rides. This is an essential way of managing expectations and ensuring your little one doesn’t end up upset once you arrive at a ride and find out they cannot go on it.
- Head to Disney’s Character Warehouse for cheap merchandise - It is a good idea to head to Vineland Avenue, where you will find Premium Outlets if you want to pick up some merchandise and souvenirs from your trip. Here, you will find Disney’s Character Warehouse, which is a truly magical little store. There is official Disney Parks merchandise on sale here. This is a great way of making your money go further.
- Once you have used your three Fast Passes for the day, book for the following day - A lot of guests don’t realise that you can book your Fast Passes for the following day as soon as you have used up your three for the day in question. So, this is a good little hack to take advantage of to ensure you get to go on your favorite rides.
So there you have it: some useful and helpful insider hacks that can help you when it comes to planning the Disney World vacation of your dreams. There are so many things to do and see at Disney World. It is simply impossibly to cram everything into one trip. That is why careful planning is a must. Plus, the costs at Disney World can easily get out of hand if you are not careful, so pre-thought in this area can make a massive difference and save you a lot of money too.
*Post contributed by Dionne Simon, a peer travel writer and Disney lover.*