I recently took my four year old daughter on her first trip to Walt Disney World, Orlando. Coming from England it was quite a big trip for us and we were both really excited about it. We chose to visit Magic Kingdom as it is most relevant to the cartoons and movies my daughter is currently interested in.
I think we did a lot of things right, but there were also a couple of things I would do differently next time. So in case anyone is about to embark on their first visit to Disney World I’m going to share 10 Tips I learned from my Disney experience.
1. Arrive early with pre-booked tickets
The earlier you arrive, the better. We arrived one hour after the park opened and it was already very busy! Some of the popular rides even had wait times of up to 70 minutes! Arrive when, or even before, the park opens and head straight to one or two of the more popular rides to get a chance to ride them without having to spend over an hour queuing. Also arriving with tickets (especially if you manage to get yourself discounted ones) makes life easier.
2. Go on rides during parade times
Although the parades are fun, there are a few on throughout the day. Perhaps pick one or two that you want to see the most (we saw the night time electric parade and it was great) and use the other parade times while lots of people are in another part of the park to enjoy slightly shorter queues on rides.
3. Use the fast pass service
The fast pass service is FREE and it lets you reserve your place on rides, and gives you a one hour slot in which to use your pass. You then get to skip the queue and walk straight onto the ride. Why queue when you can skip the wait time?
4. Avoid public holidays
This piece of advice was given to me by a member of Disney staff. She told me that public holidays can get twice if not three times busier than the day I was there. And the day I was there was busy. No thanks!
5. Bring your own food to the park
You are allowed to bring your own food to the park as long as it doesn’t require heating. If you enjoy healthier food options or you have any dietary requirements this is probably a really good one to take advantage of.
6. Plan around the weather
If you are able to be flexible with your tickets definitely check the weather forecast the week or so before you go. We didn’t check. The first day we attempted to go we got caught in a severe tropical storm, and the day we actually made it there it was so hot we struggled.
7. Three essentials: comfy shoes, bottled water andamp; sunscreen
Disney World requires a whole lot of walking and it gets tiring on the feet. Wear your comfiest, most supportive shoes. And in addition to that take bottled water with you to the park. You can refill your bottles at the drinking fountains. And of course, protect your skin and make sure to wear sun screen.
8. Use the train to hop around the park
Using the train service is much quicker than walking and helps save your feet from getting too tired. It’s a really easy way to get from one part of the park to another.
9. Buy Disney merchandise before your visit to Disney World
Disney merchandise isn’t exactly cheap. I let my daughter choose one thing from the gift shop to really make it a special day. However next time I would buy a Disney gift prior to going to Disney World, ideally on sale or clearance, and take it with us to give to my daughter in the park.
10. Use the My Disney Experience App
Download the app and, if it lets you, set up your account before arriving at the park. This app gives you up to date wait times for rides, times of shows and parades, character greeting locations and much more!