Disney World is a big magical place and it can take a few visits to really get the hang of how the ‘World’ works. It’s fun and exciting to discover everything at the parks, but it can also be a little overwhelming, so we’ve put together a list of Do’s and Don’t’s to help you plan your next visit and hopefully help you figure it all out!
9. Do Visit Resorts
Make time to visit some resorts while at Disney World. Each resort is themed differently and therefore has something special and unique to offer guests. The deluxe hotels are simply beautiful and three of them are very close to Magic Kingdom. Hop on the Monorail and visit the Contemporary, eat at Chef Mickey’s or see the famous Mary Blair mural. There are great restaurants at the resorts complete with characters and entertainment. There is so much to see and do at the resorts, and it’s nice to get a break from the crowds at the parks.
8. Don’t Buy the Park Hopper for Your First Visit
If you’re planning your first Disney vacation, you can save some money by not purchasing the Park Hopper. There is so much to do and discover about the parks during your first visit that spending a whole day at one park will not be a problem. Save the Park Hopper for your next visit, when you know the in’s and out’s of the parks and the transportation system at Disney and can easily travel between destinations and budget your time.
7. Do Stay on Property
The magic of the parks extends all the way to each and every resort. Staying at a Disney resort has many perks that make it worthwhile to stay on property. Guests have access to transportation from their hotel to the front gates of the parks. Resort guests can also take advantage of Extra Magic Hours, which means they have access to the parks either one hour before the gates open or after they close. Be sure to check park hours to see which parks offer Extra Magic Hours and when. Purchases made in the park can be shipped back to your resort, meaning you don’t have to cart them around with you all day. Being immersed in the magic and theming of Disney resorts will make your vacation that much more fun and relaxing.
6. Don’t Try to Do it All
Guests can visit the parks and resorts at Disney multiple times and still not experience it all, so don’t try to pack it all into one visit. Make a list of what you simply must do and be realistic about what you can do in one day at the park. If you only think about what you’re missing, or that you won’t be able to fit everything in, you’ll find yourself stressed and disappointed. Focus on enjoying your time in the parks with friends and family, and just know you’ll probably have to visit again to do it all!
5. Do Indulge
You’re on vacation and at the happiest place in the world so if there was ever a time and place to indulge, it’s at Disney! For some, indulging is more about food, such as ordering the Kitchen Sink at Beaches & Cream Soda Shop, or having dessert for breakfast. For others, indulging is purchasing souvenirs, maybe going a little beyond their budget or totally splurging on that Dooney & Burke bag. Try not to go too crazy, but don’t feel guilty about indulging a little when on vacation at Disney. Chances are you’ll regret not having given in just a little, more than you’ll regret buying those Mickey ears, or having that Dole Whip.
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4. Don’t Sleep In
At least not every day! Arriving early at the parks for rope drop has quite a few advantages. If you arrive prior to the park opening at Magic Kingdom you can catch the magical welcome show and see Mickey and his friends as they countdown to the opening of the park. The crowds at all the parks tend to be smaller earlier in the day meaning you can get onto rides much faster and pack more into your day. The Florida sun isn’t as hot in the morning either, so you’ll accomplish more without feeling completely drained by the sun and the crowds.
3. Do Come Prepared
While it’s annoying to have to carry around a big bag of things at the park, it is wise to bring along a few items. If you don’t want to carry them all day, there are lockers available at each park. Compact external chargers, or batteries are a good idea if you don’t to miss out on photos due to a dead battery. A water bottle is a great idea, since staying hydrated is very important when spending hours upon hours in the parks. Always bring sunscreen and reapply throughout the day. There’s nothing worse than a bad sunburn at Disney. It also rains frequently, so packing a ponchos is a good idea. The parks sell them, but if you purchase them ahead of time, you will save money. Bringing a few extra things could greatly enhance the enjoyment of your day at the park.
2. Don’t Waste a FastPass+
With only three initial FastPass+ selections to make each day it’s important to choose wisely. The tiered system will determine which selections you can make, but you do have a choice and some are better than others. There are some attractions that you really don’t need a FastPass+ for, such as Mickey’s PhilharMagic, which is in a large theater that seats many guests and plays often. Some attractions rarely have a line up longer than 10 minutes, like Living with the Land or Journey into Imagination, these are rides that you may want to avoid using a FastPass+ on. Some popular characters have very long waits, like the princesses, so do a little research and see which character a FastPass+ reservation may be best used for. Try to make choices that will save you the most time and ensure you do the things on your must do list. Keep in mind, once you use your 3rd FastPass+, you can use your My Disney Experience App or a FastPass+ kiosk to select a 4th FastPass+ from remaining selections. Use your 4th FastPass+ and you select a 5th, and so on until the park closes.
1. Do Meet Mickey
Whether you’re young or old, get your picture taken with Mickey. It’s fun and full of whimsy, and an experience that everyone should have when visiting Disney. Guests can meet Mickey all over Disney. At Town Square Theatre in Magic Kingdom guests can meet Magician Mickey. He’s at Chef Mickey’s in the Contemporary Resort, Sorcerer Mickey is at Hollywood Studios, and he’s with Minnie at Adventurers Outpost in Animal Kingdom. Meet the mouse that started it all and have the complete Disney World experience!