Disney World is a vast and wondrous place. It’s also an overwhelming place, especially when you’re planning your first visit. There are also a few misconceptions out there about Disney World and what guests can see and do there. Here is a list of 12 things that most first-timers don’t know about Disney World.
12. Resort Benefits
Staying on property at a Disney resort has many benefits. You are immersed in the Disney magic and details throughout your stay, there’s complimentary parking and transportation, great recreational options, and there are even Extra Magic Hours. Certain parks are open for extra hours each day, and resort guests are the only ones who can benefit from these Extra Magic Hours. They’re great because it means less people in the parks, and less wait times for rides!
11. Special Events
Walt Disney World has special festivals and events throughout the year, especially around the holidays. Knowing about these events beforehand can be beneficial when planning your vacation so you don’t miss out. There’s Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, which are fantastic events at Magic Kingdom. They require a separate ticket, so purchasing one in advance is highly recommended. The festivals and events at the parks are often why people choose to go at a specific time of the year.
10. There is Help Available
Planning your first trip to Disney can be overwhelming and a big task to undertake. But there is help. There are blogs and websites like this one, you can order a free planning DVD from the Walt Disney website, and you can contact an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner to help you plan your vacation. All of these options can be very helpful, and even make the planning experience enjoyable. And best of all, they’re all free!
9. You Need a Week
A week is what you need at Disney. Of course guests can visit for one day, or a few days, but for a real vacation experience that allows you to do a lot of what Disney has to offer, a week to ten days is the ideal. That may sound like a lot, but it really isn’t because there really is that much to do. One day at each park isn’t enough to experience it all, and it’s fun to go back a second day to each park to re-ride some attractions or dine at a different restaurant. And, the longer you go, the less you pay each day for your park tickets.
8. There are Lines to Meet Characters
The characters at Disney don’t just wander around all day so guests can waltz up to them at have their picture taken. Characters appear at designated spots, many at designated times. They have cast members who accompany them, and there are Disney PhotoPass Photographers there as well. There are standby lines to meet the characters, some can get to over an hour wait, and FastPasses are available for some character meet and greets.
7. Disney Springs
Disney Springs is the shopping, entertainment and dining district at Walt Disney World. It’s a fabulous destination when visiting Disney, and it doesn’t require any kind of entrance fee.
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6. Water Parks
Not everyone knows that Disney World isn’t just four theme parks, but there are also two themed water parks. There’s Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. Both are incredibly themed, with a ton of water slides, a lazy river, and of course a wave pool. The water parks are great half day, or full day options.
5. Free FastPasses
FastPasses allow guests to skip the ride line and walk right onto the attraction. Some other theme parks charge for their FastPass+ equivalent. Disney World doesn’t charge for this. It is limited, but you can choose which attractions and when from their tiered system. It saves guests a lot of time and helps them plan their day. It’s a wonderful service that everyone needs to take advantage of.
4. Spaceship Earth is a Ride
That big golf ball that is the park icon for Epcot, isn’t just for looks. It actually has a wonderful attraction housed inside. The attraction/geodesic sphere is called Spaceship Earth, and it is a must-do when at Epcot. It’s a slow moving dark ride that takes guests back in time to view the history of communication through Audio-Animatronics.
3. The Weather
The weather can change quite a bit at Disney World, depending on the time of year. It’s not always summer-like temperatures. In fact, in the winter months it can get quite chilly at Disney. It’s also an area that is prone to a lot of rain in the summer and fall months. Knowing what the weather might be like when you are there will help you prepare and lead to a more enjoyable vacation.
2. The Food
Disney has some truly delicious and incredible food. It’s not just fast food hamburgers and chicken nuggets (although you will find that there!). Disney has some top rated restaurants and some wonderful quick-service options. The food at the Disney Parks and Disney Springs are part of the reason many Disney fans continue to go back. It’s entirely possible that you will have one of the best meals of your life at Disney.
1. You’ll Want to Go Back
And soon! First timers who get bit by the Disney bug won’t realize just how soon you’ll want to go back. Chances are you’ll be planning your next vacation before you even leave your first one. Disney is that magical. They are the best at what they do, and they will make sure your first visit is not your last.