It’s always a challenge to plan for a trip, but there’s no greater thrill than getting ready for your very first trip to Disney World. Thousands, if not millions, discover Disney World for the very first time each year, and would always make plans to visit the park at one point in their lives. And so today, we’re going to talk about planning first trip to Disney World.
Disney World at a Glance
If you’re not familiar with Disney Orlando, here’s a little general history of the park itself. Disney World was opened on October 1, 1971, owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company. This park is located in Florida at Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista. It includes four theme parks, two water parks, more than 20 Disney Resort hotels, multiple dining and shopping options, recreation, and other fun things. Ever since its opening, it has become one of the most popular theme parks in the entire world. Today, Disney World has parks all over the globe. Many would want to visit it, and so they want to make the preparations. So with that out of the way, what are the steps most of all when planning first trip to Disney World?
Getting ready for the big day!
Walt Disney World is huge! It is even larger than the island of Manhattan. There’s a lot that you need to be prepared for before the big day comes, from simple items to tickets that you buy online via the Disney World website. And while there are many, let’s go through our checklist one by one. Online you can find a lot of websites that talk about a Disney planning guide but end up offering just a limited advice. So when planning first trip to Disney world, here are some insider’s tips that first-timers should consider.
- Do research as much as you can
This is basically common knowledge that you should do research for the destination you’re going to, and Disney is no exception. When planning first trip to Disney World, research into things like schedules, any additional fees when getting on a particular ride, locations of important services like medical stations and the like. Another big benefit for research is that you can discover new attractions that you can add to your FastPass+ reservation. That way, you and your party can better form a travel itinerary, a checklist of the things you want to see and do in Disney Orlando.
2. Be in the know of your vacation options
The best way to maximize your Disney World trip is opting for a Magic Your Way Vacation Package. This includes Disney Resort accommodations, theme park tickets, and resort benefits.
You can personalize your vacation package with so many choices for accommodations and a variety of theme park ticket options. You can also include Disney Quick service dining plan, complimentary transportation, extended park hours and other convenient services. Discover the best package for you.
3. Make an itinerary of all the must-see attractions
With so many attractions available in every theme parks and water parks, it can be very overwhelming unless you have some sort of plan in mind. Remember, you can never do it all in just one day. You will have a lot more fun if you pace yourself and prioritize certain attractions and areas. Do a bit of homework and figure out what you want to do during your visit.
4. Use FastPass+ to make reservations at a much earlier date
Implemented in recent years is the FastPass+ function. What’s FastPass+, you say? It basically lets you reserve access to a select number of attractions, entertainment, restaurants, and more. You can get a FastPass+ ticket as you buy a ticket or an annual pass, after which you can pick which attraction, entertainment venue, or restaurant you want to go as early as 30 to 60 days before you arrive. And the best part about FastPass+ is that there is no extra charge for this benefit.
5. Make sure you have made dining reservations
Disney World is visited by thousands and thousands of visitors on a daily basis, while you can wait on the lines for rides and their other major attractions, a line for a restaurant can mean a lot of impatient waiting for hungry guests. This is especially true Disney Orlando’s famous restaurants, where they get filled up VERY fast, and would always have a line of people waiting to get in. Fortunately, you can always call ahead of time in planning first trip to Disney World, preferably about 180 days before the trip, and book a seat. Also, different restaurants can offer to cancel your booking. Planning first trip to Disney World should definitely start with looking into different restaurants.
6. Try to get in shape months prior
As surprising as this suggestion is, there is a pretty big benefit to staying in shape. Disney World is a VERY big place and is physically exhausting. Guests spend most of their time walking from place to place, about 6 to 13 miles a day. And walking around the parks for a day will tire you out. So even if you’re all prepared and you have everything reserved, it’ll end up going to waste because you couldn’t walk a few miles without stopping to rest. You don’t have to undergo heavy training, as the best way to prepare for these kinds of situations is to just hit the treadmill and walk for about an hour. Or if you don’t have a treadmill, you can also take a walk around your neighborhood, or even take a walk around the local park. The more you’re used to walking for an hour, the better you’ll be once you start walking around Disney World.
7. When bringing shoes, make sure they fit
Now you’re able to walk around Disney World without problems, only for your shoes to cause you a lot of discomforts and leave your soles aching for the rest of the day. The same principle applies when wearing comfortable clothes, that you should also wear some comfortable footwear. And also be advised to bring along some band-aids and some soothing cream in the event your feet become sore from all that walking and running.
8. Get a poncho
Florida weather is unpredictable. One moment, it’s a very hot day, then it’s a sudden downpour a few hours later. Or it’ll be a cold day that would suddenly turn into a warm day later in the afternoon, followed by some rain. In planning first trip to Disney World, make sure you bought some ponchos in advance so that you won’t be soaking wet during the trip, and it’s best if you bought cheaper ones. A poncho would definitely help during a rainy day, which also means reducing the risk of losing time by drying yourself off.
9. Bring along sunscreen and wear a hat
On the flip side, walking around in hot weather would mean two things – You’re going to get a bad sunburn and you’ll most likely be exhausted from the heat. While a hat will protect your head from the sun, sunscreen is far more important because surveys have shown that one in five Americans has been diagnosed with skin cancer from the constant exposure to the sun. And so applying some sunscreen before you set off for Disney World is a huge plus. But you should also remind yourself to reapply the sunscreen every two hours as sweat from your body can wash it off.
10. Have a party before and after the trip
Going to Disney is a big thing especially if you’re living overseas. With the amount of money you’ve spent buying tickets and preparing for the trip, it’s generally a good idea to hold a celebration to build up the anticipation of going to Disney World and then hold another one afterward to share all the memories and photos you took.
Once you’ve kept these little tips in mind, you’ll have little to no problems when you get to Disney World. But the next step is also the biggest, reserving a hotel room at a Disney.
Why even stay at Disney World Resort?
It’s REALLY advisable that you stay at a resort when planning first trip to Disney World because Disney’s hotels aren’t like any other motels anywhere else. But the best you can get when staying at any Disney hotels is the handful of benefits that you’ll be able to get that you won’t find in a regular hotel.
First, you get some extra time in the parks. Because the hotels are located within the vicinity of the park, you don’t have to walk all the way to the main entrance, stand in line, and then pay the entrance fee. But when you’re staying at these hotels, the attractions are much closer, and thus you’ll be less likely to encounter long lines in the morning. This becomes especially useful when paired in conjunction with booking a ride or restaurant in advance because you’ll get a good chance to land a good spot.
Second, guests who stay at the hotel have access to a variety of transportation services, compliments of both the hotel and the park. Not to mention these transportation services connect to different parks, other hotels, and various other areas. This becomes especially useful when you simply want to return to the hotel and the transportation makes it easier and much more time efficient.
And third, you have access to airport services. For example, upon arriving at the airport you can then take the bus directly to your chosen Disney hotel. That’s right, you don’t even have to wait around at the baggage claim waiting for your bags when they’re directly loaded onto the bus to your hotel! From the moment you touch down at the destination, you won’t have to wait for your transportation, either!
What if something goes wrong?
When you’re planning first trip to Disney world, not everything can go smoothly or as planned. And sometimes there are situations that you might not even expect to happen. Sometimes you need patience when things go wrong which results in everything taking longer than they should.
Most of these are a result of things that are beyond your control, and incidents like these are all too common. For example, even if you’ve managed to get a booking schedule and you arrive early, there’s a high chance that many people would think of the same thing, and the result is pretty much the same.
More often than not, you will find yourself realizing that some rides may not be available for guests due to maintenance, “That was no fun at all!” you would ask yourself. Many considered Disney World as one of the more “pointless” attractions because of the fact that it’s mainly about the shopping. But when you visit there, you might be surprised that you will actually love Disney World. The fact of the matter is that everyone has their own likes and dislikes about Disney World, and that’s the reason why many would make a list of what rides and attractions they want to go on not only to try out every ride but to find the ride that they personally find the most exciting.
Long lines are also inevitable. While annoying to many, others would think to themselves, “Why so many people? Must be something good if a long line is here.” This is a common mentality for many park guests in Disney World. And this is why it pays to do research on the park attractions prior to departing because at least you’ll have a basic idea of what it’s like rather than falling in line, get in the ride, and come out underwhelmed.
However, bad things can also be a good thing when you make the best out of it. For example, waiting in line would give you an opportunity to check on your plans, or even encounter some roaming entertainment, or noticing any other detail out of the corner of your eye that you would rather go there instead.
Enjoy and have fun!!!
Planning first trip to Disney World may be difficult at times because of the many things you have to put in mind and consider. Patience is a MUST when doing so especially since that if it’s your first time visiting Disney World Florida. The overall trip may have some hurdles being placed along the way, it’s always important to stay calm and have fun. Like Florida itself, the whole trip may or may not be filled with unexpected things. But as long as you keep your head up high, you can tackle almost every obstacle!