7 Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World may be expensive, but that does not stop millions of people from visiting each year. If you have never been before, you might not be sure what to expect. The advice here might help you to prepare. While these suggestions are meant mostly for first time visitors, the information could help anyone. Here are seven tips to help you get the most out of your Walt Disney World vacation.

7. Do Your Research

Walt Disney World is huge. Most people who have never been there before have no idea of how much to see and do there really is. Before you leave home, learn about the theme parks, the water parks, the resorts, and the restaurants. Make a list of what is most important to you. Familiarize yourself with the layouts of the parks so that you won’t be totally lost once you arrive. Knowing as much as possible before you leave home will give you an edge.

6. Make Dining Reservations

Dining is an important part of any Walt Disney World vacation. You have to eat, and there are many incredible choices that will leave you full and happy. You can make dining reservations up to 180 days in advance, and some of the most popular restaurants will fill up that quickly. If you’re having a hard time getting a reservation for Be Our Guest Restaurant, for example, keep trying often. Spots will open up as people’s plans change. Have a backup ready, just in case. Your backup might end up being the best meal of your vacation.

5. Use FastPass+

With FastPass+ you can skip the standby line, meaning that your wait will be shorter. If you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel you can make FastPass+ reservations up to 60 days in advance, for everyone else it is 30. You can initially make three per day, and after you have used those you can add another. FastPass+ is free, so you might as well take advantage of it.

4. Stay on Property

If you want to get the most out of your Walt Disney World vacation, you should stay on property. That is not to say that you won’t have a great time if you don’t, but if you stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel you will be immersed in the magic for your entire vacation. You can save money staying off property, but you won’t be able to take advantage of benefits such as Extra Magic Hours or Disney’s Magical Express. For many people, those benefits are worth the cost of staying on property.

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3. Try a Resort Restaurant

Some of the best Walt Disney World restaurants are not located in the theme parks. You do not need to be staying at a resort in order to eat there. Plan to have at least one meal at a full service resort restaurant. You can look out over an African savanna, watch Wishes from the 15th floor, or have dinner with Cinderella and Prince Charming. Each restaurant is unique, and the food is phenomenal. If you can’t get a reservation, see if there is a lounge. Some of the lounges offer the full restaurant menu, but reservations aren’t required.

2. Plan an Extra Day

Walt Disney World is exhausting. You will wake up early and go to bed late. You will walk for miles each day under the Florida sun. If you have never been before, plan an extra day into the middle of your vacation. Don’t hit a park, instead sleep in and then spend the day at the hotel pool. You can check out Disney Springs, and your off day is a good time to dine at a resort restaurant. Spend one day relaxing, so that you won’t need a vacation after your vacation.

1. Don’t Set Your Expectations too High

Your Walt Disney World vacation is not going to be perfect. Your kids will get tired and cranky, the lines will be long, and the souvenirs will be expensive. You are going to want to get the most for your money, so you might think that you should do it all. Don’t push yourself or your family too far. Instead, just live in the moment. If your kids want to get a picture with Chip ‘n’ Dale let them, even if it means that the line for Splash Mountain will continue to grow. Planning is important, but so is being willing to stray from that plan. Allow yourself to have fun, instead of stressing over every moment of your vacation. Set your expectations high (after all, it’s Walt Disney World!), just not so high that they are impossible to reach.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.