10 Things You MUST Know About Walt Disney World

1. It requires planning and research.

While Disney does offer a variety of packages that can essentially make your vacation be inclusive of most things, the trip overall will take more planning than most other vacations. Even if you have your hotel and tickets booked, and you’ve even purchased the dining plan, you’ll find that there is a lot more that goes into planning a Disney vacation. You’ll want to make FastPass+ selections in advance, plan your advanced dining reservations, check showtimes and park hours, and more to get the most out of your trip.


2. It’s going to be expensive.

There are plenty of ways to help cut the costs of a Disney trip, but even so it is going to be an expensive vacation regardless. You can only cut the costs so far, and even a “cheaper” Disney vacation will still be costly. You can skip the Park Hopper Tickets, stay with friends and family off-property, and bring your own lunches, but your travel expenses, souvenirs, and basically anything else you would still need to spend money on will not be cheap.

3. The weather is unpredictable.

Thinking your summer trip to the Walt Disney World Resort will live up to the name of visiting the “Sunshine State”? Think again, it rains almost daily in the summer, and even though it doesn’t typically last for the whole day you may be in for some downpours that you just weren’t expecting. The same logic goes for the winter months—you may think a winter trip to the parks will be warm (because it is Florida) but it can regularly drop down to the 40s despite being the Sunshine State.

4. Even “slow” seasons are still crowded.

There really is no “slow” season at the Walt Disney Word Resort. While it will certainly be less crowded if you do not travel during Christmas and school vacation weeks, it’s important to remember that the Magic Kingdom is the most visited tourist attraction in the world. Regardless of the time of year, you’re still going to find yourself sharing the parks with thousands of other guests, and you’re still going to find yourself waiting in at least some lines.


5. It isn’t just for kids.

There is a common misconception that Disney is just for kids, but this simply isn’t true. The Walt Disney World Resort is truly for everyone, with a range of adult-centered activities appealing to the 21+ crowd and attractions and entertainment that are perfect for kids and kids at heart.

6. You can’t do it all in one trip.

If planning a Disney trip has you overwhelmed, don’t worry—it’s perfectly normal. There is so much to do that you really cannot get it all done in one trip. Even guests who visit the parks frequently often mention how they have not done all there is to do. Rather than trying to squeeze everything into one trip, determine what your priorities are and focus on those.

7. It can be exhausting.

Even guests who consider themselves to be in excellent shape can easily become exhausted during a Disney trip. If the walking doesn’t get to you the heat and humidity certainly will, as will the standing in line which tends to be worse on your tired feet than walking. Be sure to pack comfortable shoes and drink plenty of water throughout the day and you’ll be good to go!

8. Theme park food includes more than burgers and fries.

Worried you’ll be eating fries all week? Don’t be! The Walt Disney World Resort really excels in the variety of food offered in the parks. Even quick service restaurants have so much to offer besides the standard theme park meals of burgers and fries. Whether it’s German food in Epcot or fajita bowls at the Magic Kingdom you can easily find plenty of options that won’t feel like you’re eating fast food all week.

9. There are lots of complimentary services for Disney resort guests.

From complimentary transportation (both to and from the Orlando International Airport and the theme parks), package pickup to ship merchandise from the parks to your resort, free parking in the parks, and Extra Magic Hours. (Disney recently began charging for overnight parking at the resorts, though parking in the theme parks is still free for resort guests.)

10. The My Disney Experience app can make your planning easy.

Still feeling overwhelmed? One of the easiest ways to get started with your planning is to download the My Disney Experience app. From there, it’s easy to view all of the information you need to plan your trip, and you can even book dining reservations and FastPass selections right from the app.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."