Does the thought of a Disney Vacation excite you, but also overwhelm you at the same time? My first few times to Disney were full of excitement and wonder, but also felt overwhelmed with the fear of missing out on something (FOMO!). How was I going to fit it all in a one-week vacation? Rest Assured – here are some great tips & tricks to stay calm and enjoy your Disney Vacation.
Plan Ahead for your Disney Vacation
A great Vacation should not feel overly planned or have an itinerary scheduled for every second of every day, but at Disney, a great plan goes a long way- especially in terms of what park, what restaurants, what meet-n-greets, etc. This will make more sense as we get into scheduling fast-pass & restaurant reservations. You don’t want to be at Animal Kingdom with a fast pass for Flight of Passage and an hour later need to be at Magic Kingdom at Be Our Guest!
Don’t try to do it all!
Especially if you are just staying the average 3-7 days at Disney, you just cannot possibly fit everything in. There is so much to see and do- but that is by design. Disney offers something for everyone. Pick what is important to you and your travel companions and focus on how to fit those items in. Maybe someone wants to see a great parade or fireworks at the end of the night, and another person is all about discovering Disney Food, and the others could ride attractions from park open to park close. Make sure that everyone in your party has a “must-do” item and try to plan around those types of events.
This goes with the point described above. There is so much to see and do, therefore, people will get tired. Don’t forget to plan for breaks. There will be plenty of walking at Disney. On an average day in the parks, people walk between 7 and 14 miles. Great walking shoes, if you don’t already have them, are a must. Skip the cute or stylish sandals, flip-flops, or dare I say – heels! No way, not at Disney. Drink plenty of water while you are in the parks as well. Hydrating up at the beginning of the day will help you as you get into those dreadful Florida afternoons – especially in the summer. Great ways to take breaks, outside of going back to your hotel room for a few hours, are to enjoy the pool at the hotel, or even grab an indoor show with great air conditioning!
A Disney Vacation should always include a Disney Resort stay
Staying at a Walt Disney World Hotel provides you additional perks and incentives, instead of staying off property. Even though the hotels might be more expensive, the incentives are worth the price. You get access to Disney transportation – this is so important since Disney is its own little city. Travel by Magical Express from the airport directly to your hotel, and jump on a bus, ferry, or monorail to your favorite park or hotel. Transportation is included in the price. You also get access to the best thing ever which is Fast Passes! What does this mean? You get access to three fast passes initially per person in your party. You can split your fast passes up between guests if you have smaller ones that do not meet height requirements.
Use the My Disney Experience App
Disney has designed an all-inclusive app where you can keep up with your reservations for hotels, fast passes, and restaurants. You also have a live update on ride wait times. This will allow you to maximize where you are in the park at any given moment.
Mobile Ordering!!! Don’t you just love to mobile order your coffee in the morning? This allows you to skip the hectic line when everyone else in the park is starving and standing in line. You can be meeting with your favorite Disney Princess and five minutes later be ordering your food to be picked up at the time you designate. We used this during a past trip to Disney, and it took the stress out of our wait since I have a 9 and 3-year-old who do not like to stand in a line when they are starving. (Which is all the time, right parents?)
Check into one of the Disney Dining Plans for your next Disney Vacation
Is the Dining Plan right for everyone? Not always- it depends on how much your family eats and what type of food you wish to have. However, there are three unique Dining Plans – the Quick Service Plan – the Disney Dining Plan- and the Deluxe Dining Plan. (More info in the Dining Plan section). This allows you to pre-pay for a certain number of meal and snack credits in advance. This takes the thinking out of how much you want to spend or how much you’ve already spent each day. We love the Dining plan and have used all three versions of the plan in various locations. As I said, every family is different, and you will want to pick out the plan that is right for you. (Extra Hint- Disney releases “free dining plan” time frames throughout the year. In 2019, the free Disney Dining is July-September, if you book by February 10, 2019.
Book and use every Fast Pass for EVERY Disney Vacation!
For every day that you have a ticket purchased, you can book up to three Fast Passes that can be used on that day in that park. If you are staying on-property, you can book your fast passes 60 days before your first day in the parks (and I believe that you can start this at 5:00 AM Disney Time). If you are staying off-property, you can still book Fast Passes, but you will need to wait until you get to 30 days out from your first days in the park. I suggest you set an alarm to get up and book them, as there are many guest favorites that will book up within minutes of being able to book them (think anything Avatar, anything Toy Story, anything Mountain). My one suggestion is to book all three in the first part of the day that you will be visiting the park. Once you use up all three, you can then begin to book one at a time until the park closes. We go into the ins and outs of this in this post – Prioritizing Your Disney World Vacation Fast Pass Selections, but booking your Fast Passes is a must if you are visiting Disney World!
Well, I think that about sums up a good portion of what you REALLY need to know when you are planning your next trip to Disney World. If we forgot anything in this post, please leave us a message and let us know. Obviously, things change daily, so we will try our best to update you as things happen, so please follow our page, like us on Facebook and Twitter, and join our Newsletter to stay up to date with things as they are happening.
Oh yeah, we have an amazing community of Disney World Fanatics hanging out on our Facebook Page. If you want to join us and thousands of other Disney World Enthusiasts to get all of your Disney Vacation questions answered, check out our Facebook Group – Disney World Questions and Answers.