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10 Critical Walt Disney World Travel Tips

10. Drive if possible

If it’s possible, I would recommend driving to Walt Disney World. This will allow you to bring whatever you like regardless of luggage restrictions put on by airlines, and you’ll have a car for the duration of your stay making it easier to go from place to place. Keep in mind, you can take Disney transportation to and from the parks at no charge. You will be charged however an overnight parking fee if staying at a Disney resort. If you live too far away, and driving isn’t an option you’d like to consider, flying into Orlando can still be super convenient with Disney’s Magical Express.

 

9. If flying, take the Magical Express

If you’re flying into Orlando, I always recommend at least taking the Magical Express to your resort at the beginning of your stay. Not only is this service free, but it also frees up some of your time so you can go right to your resort while Disney delivers your luggage for you later in the day.

8. Make dining reservations in advance

Disney restaurants fill up quickly, so book your reservations in advance if you’re worried about getting a table at your favorite locations. If it looks like some of the places you wanted to go for dinner are booked, try for a lunch reservation. I find that the earlier time you put in for lunch, the more open reservations there usually are.

7. Don’t forget to pack the necessities

In addition to the necessities you cannot simply replace in the parks, such as medication, this point is also referring to things like sunscreen. Even though many gift shops sell it, you do not want to pay extra for something you already bought, but forgot on your dresser at home.

6. Be mindful of the weather

Florida weather might not be something you’re used to, so you’ll want to make sure to take care of yourself regardless of the time of year. The winter in Florida might be quite chilly for you, meaning you might want to think about packing hats and gloves. In the summer, you’ll definitely want to make sure to drink lots of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. It’s very easy to forget how much water you’re drinking while you’re on vacation, however it is also extremely important for you to enjoy your time in the parks and not be dehydrated.

 

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5. Never pay for water (or carry it around all day)

Unless you’re carrying around one single water bottle, that you’ll refill throughout the day, I’d recommend getting free water from the parks, and saving your money and back muscles. You can get free water from any quick service location, which to me means that it is not worth it to pay $3/bottle or carry around a backpack full of water bottles purchased from the grocery store at home.

4. Have a plan for if anyone gets separated

In my opinion, the best plan for getting separated is to meet back at Guest Relations (or baby care if you have small children with you.) Lost children whose parents cannot be found will be brought to the baby care center anyway by a cast member, so it might make sense to make this area the meeting place for if anyone in your party is lost to save some confusion. You can also look into bracelets and tattoos for children to wear with your contact information on them.

3. Have a basic, daily plan

You don’t need to have a whole itinerary written out for your vacation, but it is helpful to have some idea what you want to do. At the very least, be sure to plan what time and at what park you’ll be arriving to each morning, so that everyone in your party will be on the same page.

2. If you’re tired, take a break

Visiting the parks can be exhausting, especially if you’re not used to doing that much walking, in that much heat. If you find that it’s 2:00 in the afternoon and you’re exhausted go back to your resort and take a break. Take a nap in the hotel room, or take a dip in the pool, and return to the parks later that night after you’re more well rested.

1. Stay in a Disney resort

This is completely a matter of personal preference, but my biggest tip is to stay at a Disney resort. If you’re flying into Orlando, this means that you’ll always have access to Disney’s complimentary transportation. It also means that if you do some shopping in the parks you can have the items sent back to your resort for free. You can partake in Extra Magic Hours, when the parks open early or close later for resort guests only. You’ll also have the ability to walk down to the concierge desk and ask any questions you might have to Disney cast members throughout your stay. And to me, the best part about staying at a Disney resort is that you never leave the magic. Your escape from reality will last your entire trip, as the only time you’ll leave property will be to go home at the end.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany DiCologero Bio Brittany is a graduate of St. Anselm College, where she earned her bachelor of arts degree in History. She completed two Disney College Programs, one at Dinoland U.S.A., in Animal Kingdom, and one at Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show at Hollywood Studios. She is the author of “Brittany Earns Her Ears,” a memoir about her experiences on the college program, and she currently resides in Massachusetts.