Park Schedules Can Change
Disney adjusts their park schedules constantly. Keep an eye on the calendar, particularly when it comes to park opening hours.
Especially during COVID-19 operations, park schedules can change at any time. Also keep an eye on attraction and event information, as well as dining options.
If you have a breakfast reservation, make sure it doesnt end up happening right at rope drop the last thing you want to do during the parks first hour is be stuck in a restaurant instead of waltzing onto a ride.
Lines To Meet Characters Are Often Long
A lot of Disney commercials show kids and Disney characters romping around the parks hand-in-hand, as carefree as can be. While there are some spontaneous character interactions, most of the time you will need to wait in line in order to meet Disney characters. In some cases, these wait times are longer than what youll encounter for popular attractions.
While Frozen is a bit of an anomaly due to its incredible popularity right now, its not uncommon to wait 30 minutes or more to meet ordinary characters. That can be less or considerably more depending on the time of year you visit, and the characters popularity. To make matters worse, many of these lines are outdoors and do not offer shade.
If you must meet characters, doing a character meal is a good way to save time by having the characters come to you while you eat. Of course, there is an additional charge for these meals, and most of them are not cheap. Still, it can be worth your time, money, and sanity if your kids are really into characters.
Things You Need To Know Before Going To Disney World
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Our first trip to Disney World was several years ago when Jared had meetings in Orlando. Since moving to Florida we have been excited to be closer to the Disney World theme parks.
We have been lucky enough to visit Disney World several times since moving here, but we dont have annual passesyet!
If youre used to visiting Disneyland or havent really visited any of the Disney Parks Im sharing some helpful things to know before you visit the Disney World Parks in Florida.
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Things I Wish I Had Known Before Visiting Disney World
A trip to Walt Disney World in Florida is a rite of passage for many families. The planning of a Disney vacation, however, can be daunting. The internet, your friends and co-workers are all full of knowledge and the glut of information can be overwhelming. Before your trip, you dream of beautiful weather, mild temperatures and low crowds. While Disney World is indeed a fascinating place, full of magic and wonder, reality is almost always different than you envisioned. My family made several mistakes on our first trip, mostly because I did little research prior to. Forewarned, they say, is forearmed! A little preparation and planning can go a long way to making your trip to Walt Disney World Resort a fantastic experience.
3. Get In Shape!
You Might Just Need An Itinerary
If you like to go with the flow, you might not need a step by step timed itinerary, but even the freest traveler will benefit from having some idea of what they want to see on a Disney World vacation and when they want to see it. At a minimum, that means reviewing the list of rides and attractions available at each park and deciding which you must experience.
If youre traveling during peak times, lines can be long, so identifying your must-dos and penciling them in first will help you ensure you experience the most important rides, shows and events.
Having at least a loose itinerary is essential if the FastPass system is ever brought back. An itinerary can help you keep track of your FastPass reservations, so you dont miss any ride-skipping fun.
Its the same for dining reservations. If you hope to dine at some of Disneys popular table-service restaurants, particularly those featuring character meals, advanced dining reservations are critical. Recording these in your itinerary will put you on a time schedule for making your ADRs.
For the more detailed minded, or for anyone who wants to spend as little time as possible in line, it could even mean planning out more popular attractions for earlier in the day and planning others for later. You can find complete guidelines on planning your park visit in our Disney World Itinerary planning blog.
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Things You Must Book In Advance For A Walt Disney World Vacation
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Wearing A Mask All Day Is Tough
One thing weve noticed after a long day at Disney World is that wearing a mask all day can be challenging. Youre talking at a louder than normal volume so that others can hear you and at times breathing breath out the sides of your mask, possibly into your eyes . It can make your throat feel scratchy and your eyes itchy, almost like you have allergies. Dont freak out, though this is perfectly normal!
Wearing Masks in the Parks
Be sure to stay hydrated! That can help with the dry throat feeling. And bring Chapstick because your lips will often feel very dry under that mask. You can also visit relaxation stations at the parks this is where you can go to take your mask off for a period of time and take a bit of a breather.
Relaxation Station at Hollywood Studios
The type of mask youre wearing can also affect how you feel, so be sure to bring a few different types of masks so that you can swap them out throughout the day for comfort. You can also now buy little plastic mask-shapers that you place under masks to keep them from rubbing against your face so much. If you do feel under the weather though, regardless of the suspected cause, we also recommend checking your temperature just in case.
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Bring A Phone Charger And Battery Pack
Since youll be using the My Disney Experience app for several aspects of your vacation, youll want to make sure that your phone is well charged. While there are some places around the parks to stop and plug in, you wont want to waste precious time charging your phone. A portable battery pack and charging cord will be incredibly helpful.
Dont Skip The Shows On Your Disney World Vacation
Members of your group may be simply focused on the rides, which is totally understandable.
But trust me is saying, dont skip out on the shows.
Disney has some incredible shows, street performances, and nighttime spectaculars that will not only blow your mind but will enhance your entire experience.
Both the long-running classic shows and newer, more technologically advanced shows, all have something fun and unique to offer.
For instance, the fact that Disneys Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue has been entertaining guests since 1974 is a testament to its greatness!
Additional Disney tips: Its a great idea to plan for a longer show in the afternoon after lunch. An air-conditioned show like Animal Kingdoms Finding Nemo The Musical will be a refreshing 40-minute break.
All Disney shows and entertainment have scheduled times and various durations to keep in mind. Pay close attention to this, especially if you have other reservations.
What are you still wondering about? Also, if youve been to Disney before, what do you wish you would have known before your first visit?
If you found our Disney Tips helpful, click through the following articles for exclusive tips, checklists, and touring plans for your Disney World vacation!
Disney World Touring Plans:
Recommended Reading: Disney World Year Pass Florida Resident
The Best Credit Cards To Use At Disney World
Disney World is a pretty expensive family vacation, but there are ways to use credit card points and bonuses to make the trip more affordable. The best credit cards to use for a Disney vacation may surprise you.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a popular way to earn and use flexible points for a Disney World vacation. The card comes with 60,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card program allows highest-tier members to earn 2.65 cents per point on all purchases and use those rewards as cash to cover the cost of virtually anything, including Disney World vacations.
Using Chase Ultimate Rewards points used to be one pathway toward Disney World Resort stays and tickets, but sadly that is no longer the case. However, using your Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Citi Premier® Card to pay for your Disney World vacation will still earn bonus points for the travel charges.
Its entirely possible to knock up to $1,000 in expenses off your Disney trip with the right credit card .
Know And Respect The Health And Safety Measures
Ever since the parks reopened, there are several new health and safety measures in place. If youre planning on visiting, make sure to respect these guidelines to protect the safety of those around you. All guests are required to have their temperatures taken before entering the parks, and all the queues youll find are socially distanced.
The biggest change is that all guests must wear acceptable face coverings during their visit. They may only be removed when eating or drinking while stationary or while visiting a Relaxation Station. Guests must also keep their masks on while taking photos.
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Rent A Stroller From An Offsite Vendor:
Dont want to pack that big stroller on your trip, save some serious dough by renting from an offsite stroller company. There are two offsite stroller companies that we recommend and they will save you up to 65% off.
Kingdom Strollers has been around for over 20 years and they will save you a ton of money plus they deliver the stroller to your hotel or Airbnb! You simply place your order and then meet them at your hotel at one of their 5 daily meetup times and grab your stroller. It couldnt be any easier Check em out here!
**Update** Now Kingdom Strollers is available for pick up and drop off at their onsite location at the Orlando Airport. Simply hop off your flight, head to their location at Terminal A and pick it up.
You Will Suffer From Disney Withdrawals
Planning for Disney trips takes a lot of time and effort, so when you finally go on your trip and come home, you may sink into a bit of a Disney depression.
Our solution for curing Disney depression? Start planning the next trip.
Disney makes that even easier by offering what they call Bounceback offers.
These special discounts are typically really good deals, but the catch is they can only be booked while you are currently vacationing.
It probably isnt the best coping mechanism but knowing you already have the next trip booked makes going home after an epic vacation a little bit easier.
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Things To Know Before You Go On A Disney World Vacation
*This post contains affiliate links.*
Planning a Disney World vacation can be daunting the first time you experience it.
There are just so many things to consider: where youll stay, what youll do, what youll eat, how long youll visit, how much youll spend.
And, because a Disney World vacation can put quite a dent in the savings account, it is something you want to get right for your family.
Disney is truly a destination that our family enjoys visiting together. Weve visited the Florida resort at least 10 times in the last 5 years and I could plan a Disney trip in a day if I had to!
I actually think planning a Disney World vacation is fun at this point -figuring out which hotel we will try, crafting the perfect schedule, planning activities, making dining reservations to try new eats.
If youre planning a Disney World vacation, here are some things you need to know.
Saving Time When The Sun Sets
Dont worry, there are opportunities for night owls as well.
One of the easiest ways to save time in the evening is to focus on the fireworks schedule. The crowds will gravitate toward the primary viewing areas, such as Main Street in Magic Kingdom, before the fireworks. That will thin some of the lines out.
Then, right as the fireworks start, the wait times on many rides will plummet. We scored a 15-minute wait on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, a ride where the wait can easily stretch an hour or two, this way.
Just before closing, hop in one final line. As long as you are in line before the official closing time, Disney lets you finish your wait and ride the attraction. The wait times in the My Disney Experience app are notoriously inaccurate around closing time, usually overestimating your wait time.
For the time being, Disney World will continue to offer a bit of late-night access for certain resort guests. Be sure to check if your resort qualifies and what dates and parks this is available for. The parks really clear out in the evening for dedicated hours like this and you can get in a ton of rides in just an hour or two.
If you want to map out your perfect day at Disney World, check out Touring Plans, an organization tool with a lot of free resources . We used Touring Plans for our crazy ride-every-ride-at-Disney World charity fundraiser. When you consider how much youre spending for your Disney vacation, the additional $17.95 to maximize your time can be a wise investment.
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Magic Kingdom Isnt Necessarily Everyones Favorite Park
We said it: even though Magic Kingdom is an incredible park, that doesnt necessarily make it Walt Disney Worlds best park for everyone.
Dont get me wrong: if you love Magic Kingdom and its your favorite Disney park, thats awesome! There is so much to love about it, particularly the parks wide selection of rides and incredible knack for making you feel like a kid again. Theres a false conception, however, that its the only Walt Disney World park worth visiting. That isnt always the case. As a matter of fact, many Disney regulars prefer Walt Disney Worlds other three parks over Magic Kingdom.
If Magic Kingdom is Walt Disney Worlds most iconic park, why do some people like the other parks better?
Its all about personal preference. There is something for everyone at Walt Disney World, and for some visitors, Magic Kingdom might not be the right fit. Some visitors prefer the high adventure and exploration feel of Disneys Animal Kingdom. Others prefer the thrill rides and immersive nostalgia of Disneys Hollywood Studios . Still other prefer Epcots completely unique collection of attractions and festivals celebrating science, history, culture, and culinary arts.
Whatever your family dynamic, include Magic Kingdom in your Walt Disney World experience, but dont limit yourself only to it.
Things To Know Before Going To Disney World
It can be easy to be swept up in the magic believe me, Ive done it. Twice. The promise of a Disney World holiday is enough to bring out the inner-child in you and once the budgeting is done, once the trip is booked and the planning is complete, youre free to lose yourself in the excitement, in the anticipation of finally going to Disney World. Honestly, there is nothing like it counting the days until you finally get there no more days til Disney World! But, dont get too lost just yet. Oh, you can eventually but in order to get the very best from your amazing, hard-earned trip to Disney World, there are a few things you should know before going to Disney World.
*I use some affiliate links in my post. If you make a purchase via my link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps to support my blog. I only include links to brands and products I have personally used and loved! Thank you for your support!*
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Week To 2 Days Before You Leave
- Put a hold on your mail and newspaper delivery
- Schedule bills that might need to be paid while you are gone
- Arrange transportation to the airport. Driving to the airport and parking? Check to see if you can reserve your spot ahead of time. Some offsite parking locations even offer a discount if you pre-book it.
- If you have a security system, notify the monitoring service to them know youll be gone
- Notify your police department
- Use the Ultimate Packing List to help you pack your bags
Disney World travel
- If you plan to drive around Walt Disney World, review how parking works and what other things you can expect when using a car there