Must-Do’s BEFORE Arriving To Walt Disney World

Magic Kingdom Castle
Credit: Disney

Booking a vacation to Walt Disney World is a dream come true for many of us.  The waiting and anticipation leading up to the trip can be agonizing.  As you wait for your departure day to arrive, what are some of those must-do’s before arriving at Walt Disney World that will help your vacation be even more magical?  We have those tips for you here!


1. Download the MDE App

One of the very first things you will want to do after booking a trip to Walt Disney World is download the My Disney Experience app.  This app will be the window into the magic while on vacation.  Through the app guests can look at wait times, see dining options, find bathrooms and unlock their resort door.  Guests will also need this app in order to mobile order right now at quick service locations.  There is so much information located on the app so it is a good idea to have it downloaded prior to heading down as well as take some time to mess around with it so you are familiar with what it offers.

2. Book Your Park Pass

After booking your resort and tickets, you will want to get onto the My Disney Experience website and book your park passes.  In order to help manage crowds and allow for social distancing during this time, Disney is having guests book Park Passes.  This is where guests choose which of the four main theme parks (Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, or Magic Kingdom) they will be in on specific days. It is important to get these early to guarantee you can get to the park you want each day.

3. Read Disney’s “Know Before You Go”

Disney has been wonderful at providing guests information daily regarding policies, expectations and overall operation of the resort.  On their website, guests can find the “Know Before You Go” section that provides all the information regarding policies, what is opened, and overall basic information that will help guests have a better time on vacation.  Prior to heading down, make sure to look this information over so you are up-to-date and prepared.

Credit: Disney

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4. Know Policies

Through Disney’s “Know Before You Go” information guests can find the most up-to-date policies regarding masks, security, and more.  As these policies are changing as Disney adjusts and modifies to keep everyone safe, it is important to read through these and know what is expected prior to arrival.  Talking kids through temperature checks, masks requirements and discussing the food and drinking policies is important for everyone to know prior to vacation.

5. Dining Reservations at 60 Days

Before heading down, you will want to make any dining reservations for sit down restaurants that you are hoping to dine at while visiting.  Disney is allowing guests to book these reservations at 60 days prior to check-in through the website or the app.  If you are hoping to enjoy some sit-down meals, make sure you have these booked as Disney isn’t allowing for walk ups right now.

Credit: Disney (Topolino’s Terrace)

6. Check Hours

Disney seems to be updating and changing hours in response to crowds which means the hours when you arrive might be slightly different than what you saw a few months earlier.  Make sure to be checking the app or website so you know the most recent park hours offered.

7. Purchase Extra Masks

Disney’s policy is that all guests ages 2 and up are required to wear a mask at all times on Disney property unless they are stationary and eating or drinking, or taking outdoor photos. This means that you will want to make sure your family has numerous masks to choose from when visiting.  Keep in mind that it gets hot and humid while in Florida so you will probably want a few masks each day to help keep them fresh and comfortable.  Don’t just bring one per day, but consider packing a few for each day.  Unless you want to buy some of the cute Disney themed ones offered right now which is also a great option.

Credit: Disney

8. Practice Wearing a Mask

Because you will have to wear a mask the majority of your vacation, take time to get used to it.  Wear it around the house, on walks or for extended periods of time.  This will allow you to not only figure out which masks work well for you, but also allow you to get used to them prior to vacation.  This is especially important for kids that might not be used to wearing them out of the house.

9. Take time to Walk

Along with practicing wearing your mask is practicing walking.  Even if you are in shape, most people aren’t used to walking anywhere from 7 to 10 miles per day for an extended period of time.  Get out and get the family walking ahead of vacation.  This will help get their stamina up as well as figure out which shoes work the best.

Credit: Disney

10. List Those Must-Do’s

Prior to vacation, take time to sit down as a family and list out those must do attractions, shows and snacks.  There is no way to see and do everything in Disney, but having a clear list of the family’s top priorities can help make sure everyone gets to experience their top choice.  This can be fun to see what everyone wants to do and to plan out how to accomplish it all.

There is so much you can do prior to going on vacation to Walt Disney World, but these are just a few important ones right now that can help make your upcoming vacation a little smoother.  We hope they help and that you have a magical trip.

About Jennifer Retzlaff

My name is Jennifer Retzlaff and I became a lifelong Disney fan during my first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of my life. I live in Iowa with my husband and two kids who are growing up too quickly for my liking. I started introducing my love for Disney early to my family with a Disney honeymoon and then trips when our youngest of 18 months. Since then, our family has been to Walt Disney World over five times and we continue to plan and dream for the next trip. I love the magic that Disney brings to people through the theme parks, cruises, adventures and movies they create. As a teacher, I try to bring that magic into my classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” I recently reached a dream of mine as I joined Magic Vacation Planner as a personal travel advisor. With this team, I can now help others plan magical vacations. As a passionate writer, I also have my own blog at magicalvacationsbyjen which is also where you can follow me on instagram for trip reviews along with tips and tricks for your next magical vacation.