Planning a Disney vacation was one of the most exciting things that I have done in my two decades and some change of living. Yes! Actually, planning was fun to me, but visiting the Parks of Disney World was an unbelievable experience. This post will help you prepare for your upcoming, or possible future, trip to any Disney Theme Park.
(Side Note: I don’t think that there will ever be a time that I do not gush about the wonderful experience that I had with visiting Disney World. Disney Land… I’m coming for you next!)
Disney Vacation Do
Take Advantage of the Magic Fastpass+
I am so happy to have never visited Disney before the Magic Fastpass+. Ironically, when I first found out about visiting Disney, I found several websites and learned as much as I could. Why?
Well… I wanted to make the best decisions when it came to planning my trip. Literally… our days were planned around the Fastpass+ reservations. I changed park days and our scheduled itinerary because certain rides were not available until certain times.
While this may not seem like a big deal, it makes the world of difference. It’s so serious that there are several websites dedicated to helping you make the best decisions. The Fastpass is worth every bit of the research, staying up late, and planning. (Yes, it is really that serious to me.)
When we booked the Fastpasses, we booked the rides that have the longest wait times. Let me tell you… it made our park days a breeze. We booked major gaps between the Fastpasses, which allowed us time to walk around, shop if we wanted to, and ride a few other rides. If you’re not an early morning person, then book for the afternoon. If you’re an early bird, then book for earlier in the day. Personally, we booked around lunchtime, because it gave us the options to sleep in or get, and leave, there earlier.
Disney Vacation Don’t
NOT Prepare for Unpredictable Weather
If you’ve ever been to Orlando, Florida (home of Disney World), then you know how unpredictable the weather is. I am from Houston, Texas, home of the world’s most unpredictable weather (so we Houstonians think). We can experience all four seasons in one day. Therefore, I know to always prepare for all kinds of weather no matter where I go. Orlando is very similar. It can thunderstorm and pour down rain one minute, and it can be sunny and dry twenty minutes later.
I am telling you, always prepare for all of the elements when visiting. This is not just for Orlando, this applies to anywhere. If you are unsure of the weather, then try to wear/bring universal pieces that can apply for different weather climates.
Sorry! Back to the DON’T of the moment.
You do not want to be unprepared for the unpredictable weather. It’s not fun, I can promise you that. The first time that I went to Orlando, we got caught in some serious rain, and it was not cute for us. We got drenched and had to scramble to find expensive park ponchos. My mom had gotten her hair done before the trip, but the water washed her cute curls away.
Rides stop with the rain, everyone ducks looking for coverage, and it’s like torture to be in a theme park in the rain. On our latest Disney trip, it rained, but we were prepared with ponchos. Our hair was safe, and we continued walking to our ride while others were ducking for cover. It helps to be prepared.
Disney Vacation Do
Be Prepared to Wait for a While (at some point)
Waiting at any theme park is inevitable. Whether it’s waiting for a ride, for food, for a photo, or even for the restroom. You WILL have to do some kind of waiting at some point. Personally, my patience is thin. I hate waiting for too long, and my attention span is very short. When I go to theme parks, I plan ahead and prepare myself to stretch my patience as far as it can go.
Download some games or books, bring a crossword puzzle, or enjoy the company of whoever you’re with. The longest wait that my cousin and I had was waiting for the Frozen Ever After (EPCOT). I brought my iPad with me and read a book. We talked and played on our phones so that the hour and a half that we waited in line would not seem so bad.
What made me upset, however, is that we stood in line thinking it was the meet-and-greet when it was a water ride. Once I got on the boat, I lost my patience. I wasn’t prepared to NOT meet Elsa and Anna, and I definitely wasn’t prepared to get wet. By the amount of water sitting on the floor and seats, I knew that there was no doubt we were going to get wet. It was quickly appeased when I went through the ride because I became an excited Frozen fan.
Disney Vacation Don’t
Do you remember how I told you that I did a ton of research before this trip? It came in handy. How? I thought you’d never ask!
- I could easily eliminate the rides/attractions that were not interesting to me. (This is not to say that they are boring in any way. It’s just simply saying that some rides are for tiny tots (young children), and not necessarily for adults. Some rides just were not exciting enough for us, and because it was our first time, we didn’t want to waste any time.)
- With the research came the preparation and strategizing. We were able to score a couple of restaurant reservations during our trip. Therefore, we had to plan to work our way to the areas near the restaurants so that we would not be late. (By now you should be able to tell that I am not really a go-with-the-flow kind of person.) We planned rides closest to each other, planned the shortest walking routes to others, and worked around their average wait times. How could we do this without research first?
- Be aware of theme park problems/complaints in general. Lines can get long. Wait times can get lengthy. Food and drinks can be expensive. Stores may charge $40 for a doll that you can get at Walmart for $10. It all comes along with theme parks. You can save yourself a lot of stress and aggravation if you realize this before going. (I gave myself a strict budget per day, and I came in under budget. I budgeted more money for our reservations, and saved in other places, such as souvenirs, by finding a souvenir shop. It worked just the same for me, and it saved me a ton of money. And again… remember… this is a theme park!
BONUS! Disney Vacation Do and Don’t…
DO have a MAGICAL time, and DON’T forget to let go and have fun!
When you go, there is honestly a magic that springs upon you. You may not feel it right away, but you WILL feel it. I don’t know a single person who has gone and has said they would never go back. It’s literally one of the most magical experiences. Let yourself be free to live in the moment and enjoy Disney. Enjoy being surrounded by the beautiful scenery. Hug a few characters and take pictures while you’re there.
Get a pair of ears and rock them all day. Forget how old you are. Turn off those work email notifications. Put your phone on silent. Take tons of pictures. Wear whatever Disney gear suits you best. Enjoy being in the park with whoever you’re with. The magic cannot happen if you don’t give it your all. Leave the personal life outside of the park entrance. Pick it up on your way out, but enjoy your Disney vacation while you can.
Someone once told me that work will always be here waiting when you get back. Take the time that you need. What better time and place to release your inner child than the Wonderful World of Disney? Have a magical trip!
Do you have any Disney vacation do’s and don’t’s? Let me know in the comments below (they could be featured in another post). If you have not already, you should check out 3 Magical Reasons to Visit Disney and this easy Disney Ear Tutorial. Also, please share, share, share! Thanks! -AmberLynn