Tips for Disney World: 5 Can’t Miss Ideas from a Pro
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Tips for Disney World? Oh I’ve got them! I’ve been going to Walt Disney World for my entire life. And I’ve gone with kids, without kids, with one child, and with 10 children. So I know all of the best tips for Disney World. When you haven’t been to Disney World before, the whole idea can be very overwhelming. And if you haven’t visited in a while, you’ll need some updated tips. There’s a lot to see and do at Disney World, so get ready for the happiest place on Earth with these tips from a local Mom who’s been there more times than I can count!
1. Check the Details in Advance
As of the time of this writing, you will need not only a Park ticket to enter Disney World, but you’ll also need a Park Pass Reservation. And if you are very familiar with how this works, count yourself lucky! When I visit the Parks, I see people be denied entry because they didn’t know they needed a Park Pass reservation. Disney customer service is legendary, so they will always try to work with you. But as a consumer, you need to be prepared in advance. When I say check the details, I mean to be sure that you have your tickets for the right number of days, and that you have your Park Pass reservation as well. And be sure to get all of the info on Rider Switch! This is absolutely essential for families with small children.
You will also want to check on your transportation, your hotel reservations, and your dining. These are all things that can be booked and reserved well in advance of your trip. So as soon as you start considering a visit to Walt Disney World, check into all of these details. Currently, most dining locations at Disney World allow reservations 60 days ahead of your visit. I know, this is so early! But it used to be 180 days. So be sure to check into all of the details of your trip as early as possible. When you do this, you have the best chance of getting exactly the hotel, dining, and Park reservations that you want.
2. Pack Properly
Here are some things that people often get WRONG about visiting Orlando, Florida.
- It’s always hot.
- The weather never gets cold.
- It really doesn’t rain as much as they say.
- You can’t bring your own food into the theme parks.
- Bringing a wagon is acceptable at Disney World.
All of these things are NOT CORRECT. But they are things that people often seem to not understand about visiting. For example, if you are visiting in the summer, it will be hot and it will rain, nearly every day. So pack and plan accordingly! Bring a lightweight poncho or rain jacket. And if your kids really hate being wet, consider bringing a change of clothes into the Parks.
Also, it does actually get cold in the winter at times. I get so many messages from people who are visiting in December or January, and end up having to purchase jackets and sweatshirts. Central Florida has seen snow! Of course, that is extremely rare, but it has happened. Our plants freeze at times, and even marathons have been canceled because of cold weather. Be prepared!
3. Tips for Disney World: Bring Your Own Food!
Although I mentioned this in my previous list, it’s so important that it needs it’s own headline. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love eating at Disney World. There are some absolutely epic dining locations that you definitely need to try. However, if you have kids, and really, even if you don’t, you’re going to want snacks. And sometimes, you’re not going to want to wait in line. So if you have kids, pack some pb&j, juice boxes, and cheese sticks. Trust me, it will make your life so much easier. When you’re waiting in line and a kid says they’re hungry, no problem! Mom to the rescue with the bag full of snacks! And if you have dietary restrictions, this is even more important. Disney World does do a wonderful job of accommodating almost all allergies and dietary needs. But if you need something quickly, it’s best to have it right with you!
Since we are annual passholders, we bring a full picnic lunch most days we visit. That way, we can eat one meal that we brought from home, and if it’s a full day at Disney, we purchase our second meal. Of course, this is also a huge way to spend money. When you are visiting every week, and you have 5 kids, most people can’t afford to be dining at the Park for every meal. I’m so thankful that Disney allows outside food to be brought into the Parks! And if you’d like to read the full policy, here are all the details: Disney Property Outside Food and Drinks.
And here are some of my favorite Disney Dining locations:
Oga’s Cantina at Hollywood Studios
Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2021 Highlights
4. Get Excited in Advance!
Do all of the things! Check out theme park maps, read reviews, and get excited! It’s really exciting to visit Disney World. And just for a moment like this, I have a list of the 10 movies that you should watch before going to Disney World! Some of these are classics and some are recent. But I bet there are some that you haven’t seen! And it’s much more fun to visit Pandora at Animal Kingdom after actually having watched the Avatar movie.
If you’re doing a surprise trip, this tip won’t work for your kids. But I’m also talking to you too Mom! Take some time to decide what your “must do” list includes. Decide what restaurant you’d most like to visit. And what ride you just can’t miss. This is magical for you too Mom!
5. Best Tips for Disney World? Be Kind to Yourself
Moms have big expectations for themselves. And a trip to Disney World seems to have extra pressure! So my most important tip for Moms planning a trip to Disney World is to be kind to yourself. Whether that means only spending a few hours in the Park per day or adding some money to your budget for room service, make the trip magical for yourself also! The old saying is true. If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. So here are some tips for for how to be kind to yourself on your Disney vacation.
- Plan pool time.
- Include nap time, maybe even for adults!
- Understand that things will go wrong.
- HYDRATE! It’s a lot of steps and it’s hot in the summer!
- Choose one thing for each person in the family and make it a priority.
- Focus on the memories, not perfection.
- Make a budget, and at least attempt to stick to it.
And that’s it! There’s so much more for you to learn if this is your first trip to Disney World. But these are my best tips for success. Take a breath, do your research, and have a wonderful trip!