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With 4 parks, 2 water parks as well as Disney springs, Walt Disney World does need some planning.
Here is how to do it the right way and get the most out of your Disney days.
1. Start with a plan.
First timers expect each park to be next to each other but Disney World property is massive!!With hotels and theme parks spread widely out a plan of action is the place to start.
2. Arrive at the park early.
We always try to get there for opening. Firstly because the queues are not as long and secondly because it is cooler.By midday the parks are filled with people, queues are long and the weather can become unbearable.
3. Pack right.
We always pack as though we plan to be stranded. Being at Disney especially if your staying off-site leaving something behind can turn in to a nightmare in trying to get back to retrieve it.
So we pack the night before and make sure we have all our essentials. Sun cream, water bottles, a poncho etc.
4. Crowd calendars.
Always check before you plan your holiday what time of year is best to visit and then find a crowd calendar for your dates and plan your Disney parks visit around those.
Do not, I repeat do not plan to break in a new pair of shoes at Disney. Flip flops and heels are also a big no!! Find something you know you’ll be comfortable in or break those new shoes in before you go. You will walk so much around Disney so you need to make sure your feet are happy.
6. Do not park hop.
I think park hopping wastes so much time. Getting from one park to another when you can slow your pace down and enjoy a whole day in one park. It is also exhausting so I really would stick to one park per day.
7. Plan your travel to the parks.
Don’t expect to be up, out and straight on to a Disney bus or monorail heading in to the parks. If you want to be there for park opening or aiming to get to the park for your first fastpass factor in travelling times. If your hiring a car and staying on-site then parking at the parks is free so we like to make use of that and avoid the Disney transportation system.
8. My Disney Experience.
This app will become your best friend. Download before you go and set up all your plans. Fastpasses, dinner reservations and check out the times for character meets and parades.
If your wanting to experience the fine dining of Disney then it is best to book 180 days in advance. Popular restaurants will fill fast so you need to be quick. In saying this though a lot of people prefer to go with the flow and quick service restaurants cater for everyone in your party and there is a lot of nice food to be had.
For guests staying on-site you can book your fasstpasses 60 days in advance and for the whole of your stay. Off-site guests need to book 30 days in advance of the park your planning to visit. You can book 3 per day and more once you have used them through the my Disney experience app.
11. Only Fastpass+ what is needed.
When you come to book your fastpasses you will be given lots of options to choose from. Use the my Disney experience app a few days before to gauge what queue times are like for certain rides. People waste fasstpasses on rides and shows that really have little waits.
12. Fireworks viewing.
If you plan to stay to watch the fireworks you will find the best spot really isn’t in front of the castle. We find the best spot is upon leaving the park. Its less crowded and makes it easier to head back to the transportation that Disney offers.
13. That mad rush!!
If you do stay for park closing you will undoubtedly experience the crazy rush of people getting to the buses, monorails and back to their cars. We find it best to wait it out and grab a drink.
You will literally want to buy everything that Disney has to offer and you wont want to carry it all around. Make use of the services Disney offer when buying your souvenirs. If your staying on Disney property these can be delivered to your hotel. For off-site guests Disney can hold them until your ready to leave the park.
15. Take it all in.
Disney is magical and for some its once in a lifetime visit. Slow your pace down, enjoy every moment, make memories and take it all in.