No matter how old you are, there is one place you can be a kid and never grow up. What is that place you may ask? Well, that magical place is Walt Disney World. Ever since I can remember, Disney is the one place I love and never grow tired of. I always thought that anyone who has been to this magical place 10 plus times is an expert. Well. My family just booked our trip to Disney, making this my tenth time to visit. In this post, I am going to give you my top tips for visiting with the famous mouse. In future posts, I will talk about dining options, hotel options, and entertainment options, and some of my other favorite things about Disney.
1. Know before you go
There is alot of information on the internet that can confuse you, especially if you have never been to Walt Disney World (WDW). The WDW website is a good source of information to start with. I personally also like AllEars.net and WDWinfo.com. These are definitely the two sites I keep tabs on in the days leading up to my trip.
Another good way to gather information is to talk to friends and neighbors. Surely, you know at least one person who has vacationed with Mickey and his friends. Take their advice and ask as many questions as you need to to get a feeling of whether you want to go at the same time they went. While Disney is a great place, it is not that much fun in the middle of Summer, while waiting in 2 hour plus lines for a major attraction.
2. Where to Stay?
When planning, make sure you know your budget. That can be key in deciding whether to stay on Disney property or off. Growing up, my family (mom, dad, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc) would rent a condo for a week and drive to the park we wanted to go to for that day. While this was great, as we saved money on the hotel, we spent alot of time driving to and from the parks, and wasted money on paying to park. Yes, the rooms may be bigger and cheaper, but you don’t experience that magic that is Disney.
Now that it is just my parents and I traveling, we stay on Disney property. We absolutely love it. We arrive, check in, and hop on the first bus that pulls up to start enjoying our vacation. Yes, that’s right I said bus.
Disney offers those guests staying on the Disney property to enjoy free transportation to and from the parks. This means you don’t have to worry about driving to the park, waiting in lines to get into the parking lot (if you show you’re resort key you will not have to pay), and then remembering where you parked at the end of the day. Once the fireworks are over, just exit the park and wait at the bus terminal to take you back to your room.
3. What to Do?
I love Disney. From the time we check in to our hotel and drop our bags off to the time we leave, I want to be in a park meeting characters and going on rides. I hate spending time at the hotel. What I’m about to type pains me, but after last year, I think it is good. Spend time and relax by the pool. Yes, I said it, and it pains me. However, last year when my family went, we really didn’t have a plan, so one day while Dad Disney went to play golf, Mom Disney and I relaxed by the pool. It was nice not doing anything all morning but soak up some Florida rays.
When not soaking up the sun at either a pool or beach, enjoy the parks. For my family, Magic Kingdom and EPCOT are musts. I truly believe a trip to Disney does not start until I’m walking down Main Street USA. I recommend spending at least one day, if not more at each of these parks.
Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios (which I still refer to as MGM since that is what it was called the first time I went), are not must go to parks for Dad Disney. When we go to these parks, we normally spend half a day at each. Personally, I won’t cry if we don’t go to Animal Kingdom. I may cry this year if I don’t get to go on Toy Story Mid Way Mania at Hollywood Studios. The past two years there have been over a three hour wait and the fast pass tickets have been sold out. Sorry, but I’m not about to waste three hours standing in line.
4. Leave the real world at home
Always remember, you are on vacation. Be a kid and forget that pile of paperwork on your desk. It will still be there when you get back. If you’re lucky, maybe someone will throw some pixie dust and it will even be gone when you return. Enjoy the time you have with your family. You never know when someone will not be there.