I’m no Disney World expert, but I’ve been twice in the last year and have gathered a few tips to share:
1. If you’re there for a short amount of time, invest in a park hopper. This allows for you to visit as many of the parks in one day. The gates open fairly early, so I’d suggest trying to beat the crowd. Bonus: knowing someone who works for Disney. They can get you tickets for a huge discount and free parking. We obviously took advantage of this. My friend got us in to the park and we were ready to conquer from there. (thanks friend!)
If you dont have any Disney friends, parking isn’t outrageous. The second visit we paid parking and I believe it was $20ish for our vehicle.
2. Download the Disney App
Don’t wait until you get there! Learn how to use this app and become familiar with the parks. Disney is no joke! It is huge. And if you’re traveling with children, bless your heart but you got this! This app allows you to view wait times for rides and schedule fast passes. The fast pass was a little confusing to me. My previous idea of a FastPass was that you bought it and skipped the line. Here, they are free! Except you’re only allowed a limited amount. You can have a certain amount and then after that, you have none until you use yours. I’ve read people suggesting to book your FastPass 6+ months ahead. But don’t worry if you don’t. I didn’t and we were fine. We would book our ride, ride the ride, and let go of the fast pass. Then we would refresh the app a few times in hopes of grabbing someone else’s fast pass. When someone else releases theirs, grab it , and you’re off to your next ride!
3. Use the app above to book meals! You reserve your spot. I’d suggest checking a few weeks ahead of time to see what you’d probably enjoy most. These reservations do fill up fast. But like above, people will release theirs. So don’t worry if you don’t book ahead. Just keep an eye out for any openings. We started our morning at Hollywood Studios where we wanted to ride the most rides. So we kept that for the morning knowing we wouldn’t want to eat anything there. Then we took the ferry over to Epcot. We ate at France. It was amazing!
Food at Disney is incredible so be sure to try anything and everything! I’d suggest eating a big breakfast before heading to the park so you can eat a late lunch. We did this and then enjoyed an evening snack. Meals can be pricey so if you are wanting to budget I’d really recommend only enjoying one meal in the park and eating a midnight meal after you leave the park.
Epcot is beautiful so cool off and wonder around! Odds are, you will be STUFFED after your lunch. So explore around the worlds and see if you can get a fast pass for a few of the rides. There are several nice ones in Epcot.
4. Afternoon snacks should include ice cream. If you know me, you know I very much enjoy ice cream and Disney has the BEST.
The first two pictures above is where we had our first ice cream there and is actually a picture of a returning trip to it. Cool off with a sweet treat and try to catch a parade. It’s a nice way to cool off and rest your feet. Get there early, though, as it gets extremely crowded extremely fast.
5. Clothing is essential. Orlando is HOT and being in the heat all day for pretty much 12+ hours, you need to be ready to endure it. First trip I made the mistake of wearing jean shorts. As cute as they are, don’t do it! Wear bottoms that can get you through a day full of walking and sweat. You do not want uncomfortable wedgies all day! I wore either a sports bra or bralette. I suggest wearing something that is comfortable to sweat in. No underwire bras. You do not want that to rub against you. Also, wear comfy shoes. No sandals. Really…! Don’t forget nice socks. No “no shows”. Those will fall and you will get blisters! We walked 11 miles on the day we went to all four parks. You don’t want to be in sandals for that.
I’m going to include bags in this section! So, I know if you’re going to want to carry some sort of bag for this trip. Make sure you read up on what are allowed and what aren’t. Bags cants be bigger than certain dimensions. Sounds painful, but it’s for your convenience, honestly. No lockers and no one stealing them while you’re on a ride! You are allowed to carry them with you onto rides. They have compartments for them. I carried a small back pack that I filled with: mophie chargers, sunscreen sticks, chapstick, ibuprofen packets, sunglasses and croakies, small wallet with my ID and money, extra hair ties and anything else I may have needed.
Wear a hat, too!
6. Bring your camera. Disney is awesome and you WILL want to take pictures.
You can have you pictures taken, which are linked to your account. You can also ask the employees to use your camera to take a picture! Which I did. This also saves you money. Why buy pictures when you can get them on your camera?!
The employees are nice and they never said no to this!
Extra: Magic Bands.
We bought magic bands the second time around and they were handy. The first time we used our phone and the app. The employees just scanned our code. But with bands, you use your wrist to get in parks, ride rides, and get pictures from rides to your account.
Disney World is amazing and hard to fathom without actually ever being there. I underestimated it!
If there is something that I addressed and you need some more info, leave a comment and I’ll help! Or if you’d like to ask something I didn’t address, feel free to ask away!