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8 Simple Tips For Having An Awesome Walt Disney World Vacation

8. Be prepared for a lot of walking

Many people don’t realize how much walking they’ll be doing on a trip to Disney World until it’s too late. Even if you’re on your feet a lot at home, prepare for your trip by making sure you’ll have comfortable shoes. I usually switch between sneakers and sandals, but any footwear that has support and is breathable will work.

7. Stay hydrated and use sunblock

Because Walt Disney World is located in the sunshine state, it is especially important to stay hydrated and use sunblock, especially during the summer months. Dehydration can happen easily if you’re not watching how much water you’re consuming. I always estimate that I should be drinking even more water while visiting the Disney parks, because I factor in all of the treats I’m eating, and alcoholic beverages one might have throughout the day. A bad sunburn can also put a damper on your vacation, so be sure to wear enough sunblock while you’re visiting the parks. And make sure you bring it with you from home, so you won’t be paying extra for it while you’re there.

6. Catch up on your Disney movies prior to your trip

So many times when people have not enjoyed a certain attraction, it is simply because they haven’t seen the movie that it is based on. If you’ve never seen The Little Mermaid you might not get much out of the show at Hollywood Studios or the ride in the Magic Kingdom. Sometimes were busy, and it’s easy to fall behind on watching Disney movies, just make sure you catch up before your trip to get the most out of every experience.

5. Take advantage of free services

By free services, I mean resort delivery or package pickup for merchandise, free water, and PhotoPass. If you purchase souvenirs in the park either have them shipped back to your resort, or to the front of the park. This service is free, and allows you to shop to your heart’s content without having to carry bags around with you all day. Free water is available from any quick service location—simply go to the counter and ask for a cup of water. Bottled water, at $2.50/bottle, can quickly add up. Even if you do not purchase the PhotoPass photos, or Memory Maker, Disney PhotoPass photographers will gladly take your photo with your camera.

4. Be courteous to other guests and Cast Members

You (and everyone else) will have a better time if you’re courteous to other guests and Cast Members. This may seem like common sense, but sometimes people end up in a different mindset on vacation than they would at home—a.k.a., they go on vacation, but their common sense stays at home. In terms of being courteous to other guests, here are some major offenses that you can try to avoid during your vacation: Going in front of, or between, a couple of guests who are clearly together. If you see a couple holding hands, or a group of people clearly engaged in conversation, do not walk right through or in front of them. Do not take up space on the monorail or buses with your purse (or child who could easily be a lap child.) Other guests, just like yourself, are probably tired and have achy feet at the end of the day, and they could use a seat a lot more than your purse could. Flash photography on dark rides is another no-no—your photos will come out better without the flash, and you won’t distract other guests from the show. In terms of courtesy towards Cast Members, thank them if they do a great job. Cast Members work hard, sometimes for long hours and out in the Florida heat and humidity, during peak vacation times and holidays to ensure that you’re having the time of your life. If someone really makes your day, let them know. Courtesy towards Cast Members also means following directions, and understanding that front line Cast Members do not make the rules, they simply need to enforce them, many of which are for your own safety.

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3. Have an open mind

So maybe at home you’re not exactly a meet a princess and pose for a photo kind of person, but maybe at Disney World you are. Have an open mind to everything a Disney vacation has to offer, and don’t ever feel like you’re being judged for doing something fun and out of the ordinary.

2. Take breaks and don’t wear yourself out

A Disney vacation where you’re going nonstop can be a lot to handle. If you get tired, take a break. Don’t worry that you might be missing out on something, you’ll enjoy your time a lot more if you’re well rested. Even if you don’t want to head back to your resort for a break, you can sit on a bench with a cold drink, or relax for a little bit in a restaurant after lunch.

1. Don’t sweat the small stuff

You’re on vacation! If something small happens that throws off you’re day, don’t make it into the end of the world. Simply acknowledge what happened, and focus on the positives. So the Festival of Fantasy parade you’ve been wanting to see was rained out? Maybe you got to see the Rainy Day Cavalcade instead, and that’s pretty cool since it’s not as regular of an occurrence as the afternoon parade. The Rainy Day Cavalcade didn’t happen that day? I bet the heavy rain emptied the park out though, and you know what that means—shorter lines for attractions and empty park photos! Even if something (sometimes literally) rains on your parade, just look on the bright side and enjoy everything else that your vacation has to offer.

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.