Walt Disney World is a bucket-list kind of place. It’s somewhere everyone should go at least once in their lifetime (and if you’re like me, at least 20 times in your lifetime…guilty as charged), but for your first visit in particular, it’s important to be prepared. For those planning the perfect first Disney World vacation, we’ve compiled a list of 8 crucial tips for getting the most out of your trip, and they work from the first visit to the 100th.
Have A Plan
With four theme parks, 139 restaurants, nearly 100 different attractions and over 130 attractions including water parks, seeing all there is to see in Walt Disney World’s parks is a truly formidable task. Even if you’re coming during the off season, the park is still reasonably busy (although not as much), so having a plan of attack is a must. Download the Disney app and know how to use it. Definitely use the available maps to find your way around the park, and before you get to the park, decide with your loved ones what the most important rides or attractions are, because odds are, you won’t get to everything in one day.
Know FastPass+ , Love FastPass+
Let’s face it, Florida is fun, but Florida is hot, and no one wants to stand in line for hours on end during their first trip to Walt Disney World. FastPass+ lets you reserve a time to get on a ride rather than wait in line. You just walk up to the attraction, pull a ticket, and come back at a later time. Meanwhile, you can explore the rest of the park. The best thing to do is to grab tickets from each of the rides you and your party would like to hit at the beginning of the day, that way, you have an itinerary and you know where you need to be and when.
Know Your Limits
While it may be tempting to try and do it all, you have to pace yourself and be prepared to miss out on certain things. It’s not a sprint. Your first trip to Walt Disney World is a marathon. You’ll have much more fun savoring and enjoying what you do get to do, rather than trying to pack a million activities into a four day trip and rushing through everything. Anything you don’t get to see is just another reason go back! Try to appreciate the little things, and take PLENTY of pictures. After all, you only have one first trip to Walt Disney World. Don’t torture yourself walking ten miles a day, waking up at the crack of dawn just to get the parks early, otherwise, you’ll feel like you need a vacation from your vacation.
Make Advanced Dining Reservations
One of the greatest parts about your first trip to Walt Disney World is the variety of delicious food you get to experience! But some of the more popular restaurants in the Disney parks require advanced reservations, sometimes as much as a couple months out. One example is the Be Our Guest Restaurant, where you’d be lucky to nab a reservation two months in advance. You make advanced dinner reservations on the Disney website here (https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/).
Wear Comfortable Shoes. Really, WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES.
For your first trip to Walt Disney World, we really can’t think of a more important piece of advice. Don’t buy new shoes planning to break them in. Don’t buy cute sandals or wear rubbery Crocs. Dry socks. Comfortable, old, ratty tennis shoes that you’ve been wearing for years. You’ll be glad you listened!
Your stroller is your friend.
If you have little ones, your stroller will serve as a home base during your day at the park. It will help mama shuttle the kids between rides (the distance can be longer than it looks on that tiny map) and serve as the resting spot for all your gear. Even for your kids who have been out of the stroller for a couple years, bringing one along is a good idea as little ones usually tire after a couple hours of walking.
Water bottles, all around!
It’s no secret that anything inside Disney is expensive. Water is no exception at about $4 a pop. Yikes! For your first trip to Walt Disney World, plastic refillable water bottles are a must. There are plenty of places to refill with some cold H20, and trust us, with the hot Florida weather, you’ll need it!
Stop and smell the roses.
It sounds cliché, we know. But if you’re brining along the kids, try to remember that you really only have ONE first trip to Walt Disney World. Try to be patient, don’t rush yourself and really take a couple moments during the day to soak up the experience. Enjoy the Florida sunset near the Cinderella Castle, take pictures of the kids with all their favorite characters, and don’t take any of vacation’s little stresses too seriously.