If you are experiencing any stress over your future trip to Walt Disney World, let me share with you some of the tips that are sure to reduce the stress. Disney is a great place to visit when you need a break from the stress of everyday life, if you do these simple things to prepare for it. My family would sigh collectively once we walked off the Magical Express bus at our Disney resort. We made it through the hectic days of college finals, or end of the year recitals, etc. and now we were finally at Disney. There is just something special here you don’t find anywhere else.
Read as much as you can online or in Disney Guidebooks that can be picked up at your local bookstore or library. The more you understand about the resort, the easier it will be for you to know what to expect. Understanding what is available makes it easier to plan what is best for your family on this trip. Pre-trip planning will make your actual visit less stressful and it could save you money. If you don’t do research you may not discover things like Disney’s Magical Express that is complimentary for Disney resort guests. Magical Express will be at the Orlando airport waiting to pick up you and your luggage and take you in comfort to your Disney resort.
5. Have a Budget
Include your resort, resort parking fee, dining, ticket, snacks, souvenirs, travel costs and tips in your budget. This will cut down any panic or stress when you are visiting the Walt Disney World resort thinking you may not have enough money left for your last days of vacation. Tell your children how much money they are going to have for any souvenirs and it is their responsibility to spend it wisely. Use it as a teaching moment. Ask for Disney Gift Cards for Birthdays or Holiday gifts that you and your kids can use in the parks.
4. Research the attractions and then select your FastPass+ times
FP+ gives you a minimal wait to board an attraction, and you can select up to three in one park for each day. After the first three are used you can go to a FP+ kiosk or use your My Disney Experience App to select another FP+, either in the same park or after you park hop. Use that fourth FP+ and get a fifth… and so on until the park closes. This cuts down significantly on your wait time for popular attractions, leaving you to enjoy more during your day. Understand height or age requirements and don’t make FastPass+ selections for something they cannot enjoy. The same for attractions that may be too scary for young children. Make use of the Rider Switch for attractions that some of your children may not be ready for. This allows one parent to ride then switch with the parent who did not ride because they were attending the child that could not ride. This second parent will go through the FP+ line and can take up to two of your party with them so they don’t have to ride alone.
3. Be at the park when it opens, whenever possible
It is vacation and who doesn’t dream of sleeping in on vacation? If you want to do as much as possible in the park each day, you will want to be there when it opens. If you are a Disney resort guest, make use of Extra Magic Hours. EMH’s are either in the morning or the evening where resort guests will get to enter a park 1 hour early or up to two hours after regular park hours. You can get a lot of ground covered, especially in the morning EMH’s. That will give you a more relaxed visit the rest of the day because you were able to experience so many attractions before the park got crowded with non-resort guests. If you are more of a night owl, by all means use those late Extra Magic Hours to extend your fun!
2. Get an Annual Pass
Consider this as a cost-saving move. If you will be visiting 10 days or more in the next 12 months it will save you money, and since you have that pass there is less pressure to try and fit everything in this one trip. The Annual Pass is available to regular guests and also has special pricing for Florida residents. The AP brings additional discounts on the resorts, dining, merchandise and other tickets you may want to buy. You will get the Mickey Monitor magazine quarterly to keep you up to date on the parks and resorts. Having Annual Passes had a huge effect on the way my family approached our visits because we knew if we somehow did not get to a favorite attraction this time that we could catch it for sure the next time. We did not have to walk as fast and feel the pressure of having to do all of one park in a day so it was a great stress-reliever.
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1. Stay at a Disney Resort
You don’t have to fight the traffic or walk-in from the parking lots. You know you will have a ride home either via monorail if you are staying at the Polynesian, Contemporary, or Grand Floridian, and Disney buses for everyone else. You will have the Disney resort guest benefit of Extra Magic Hours affording you a more leisurely day in the parks. When you stay at a Disney resort that means you are immersed in the Disney experience from the time of your arrival until you leave. Nothing removes you more from what is going on in the outside world than taking the Magical Express from the airport to your Disney resort, use Disney transportation, and just enjoy the magic all around you. It is very relaxing and the pools and other amenities are there to enjoy when you don’t want to go in a park one day. Look for current specials that may give you free Disney Dining plans, Memory Maker, or other discounts. If you do get the Disney Dining Plan you will have the comfort knowing all your food and snacks are going to be covered and you are going to dine in some spectacular restaurants.