Disney World is a place full of magic, wonder and where dreams come true, but knowing a little bit about Disney beforehand will enhance your experience even more. Here are 15 things about Walt Disney World you must know.
15. The Importance of Planning
Planning a good portion of your vacation to Disney World ahead of time cannot be stressed enough, especially if planning your first visit. Planning is important when making advance dining reservations and FastPass+ selections. Having some knowledge about the parks, attractions, restaurants and special events will only make your visit better and less stressful.
If you’re celebrating something special, say so with a button! There are free buttons for birthdays, first visits and even engagements available at Guest Relations, the resorts, and from certain cast members.
13. Water Parks
Disney World isn’t just four amazing theme parks, there are also two incredible water parks. Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon are not to be overlooked when visiting Disney World. They offer great family fun, the perfect place to cool off, and that magical Disney theming we all love.
12. Resort Dining
The resorts at Walt Disney World offer some of the best dining around, especially at the Deluxe resorts. There are wonderful character dining experiences at the Polynesian, the Grand Floridian and the Contemporary. These restaurants are fantastic alternatives to dining in the parks, and many of these reservations are easier to obtain than the popular dining spots in the parks.
11. Annual Pass Holders Get Discounts
There are perks to being an annual pass holder at Disney, such as discounts. Pass holders will receive discounts on merchandise and even at some restaurants. There are even special resort discounts available throughout the year. Even if you aren’t a local, but visit Disney a few times a year, it may be worth even purchasing just one annual pass for your family so you can access these discounts.
10. The Holidays
Disney’s celebration of the holidays spans a good chunk of time, making it possible to celebrate Christmas or Halloween long before the actual holiday. This means you can go to Disney and see the fall and Halloween decorations in September and October, and Christmas starts to appear at Disney as early as November 1.
9. Extra Magic Hours
Staying at a Disney resort has a number of benefits. One of those benefits is Extra Magic Hours. When you stay at a Disney resort, one park per day is open for an extra hour before the gates open, or stays open later, but for resort guests only!
8. Visit in the Morning
The mornings are the perfect time to visit the parks. Arriving about 30 minutes prior to rope drop is ideal if you want to beat the crowds and line ups. The parks tend to get busier by 10:30am or 11:00am, giving you some time to get on the popular rides without a long wait, or to enjoy a slightly quieter park.
7. Single Rider Lines
There are three attractions at Disney that have single rider lines. Rock ‘N Rollercoaster, Expedition Everest, Test Track, and Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. These three attractions often have lengthy wait times, so take advantage of the single rider line to cut down on your time standing in line.
6. Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom
There aren’t too many free things at Disney, but Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom is a free interactive scavenger hunt throughout the Magic Kingdom. Guests can pick up their start kit and free spell cards at the Fire Hall on Main Street. This game is great for all ages and a fun way to rediscover Magic Kingdom if you’re a repeat visitor.
5. Disney Springs
The recently rebranded and reimagined Disney Springs is a worthwhile destination when visiting Disney World. If you love food, head to Disney Springs to discover dining for every palate. Disney Springs is also the go-to spot for shopping, for both Disney merchandise and otherwise. Make time in your trip to visit Disney Springs, you won’t regret it.
4. Skip Monday at Magic Kingdom
Monday typically seems to be one of the busier days at Magic Kingdom, with waits getting long early in the day and almost unthinkable for popular attractions by late afternoon. It’s a good idea to avoid Magic Kingdom on a Monday, especially if it has an Extra Magic Hour.
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There are Disney PhotoPass Photographers located throughout the parks who are there to take your photo with your whole group in some of the most beautiful spots in the parks. These cast members will take photos of you with their camera, which you can later purchase online, or through the Memory Maker, but they will also take your photo using your own camera or phone.
2. The Goodnight Kiss
If you can make it to the very end of the night at Magic Kingdom, hang around to see the castle sparkle with the Goodnight Kiss. A special goodnight message will play as the Magic Kingdom says goodbye and thank you to guests as they make their way out of the park.
1. You Will Always Miss It
Even before you leave, as your last day approaches, you will start to miss Disney. You may even start thinking about your next Disney visit, and this is all totally normal and part of being a Disney fan. We always miss Disney, everything about it, the way the water smells in Pirates of the Caribbean, or the way the cast members wave to you as you walk down Main Street. These are the little things you will miss about Disney when you’re not there. And saying goodbye never gets any easier, but arriving is always just as exciting!