10 Things To Do Before You Arrive At Walt Disney World

Art of animation Sign
Credit: Disney

Any Walt Disney World vacation is sure to be an unforgettable experience for guests thank to the abundance of experiences to enjoy that include something for every member of the family. While the vacation is sure to be amazing, there are certain things that all guests can do before they even leave home to ensure that each moment of the trip will go smoothly and be as packed with magic as possible. From simple planning steps to conducting some research and making some decisions ahead of time, checking off these items from a list before leaving for vacation is the perfect way to prepare and get ready for a wonderful time. Here are ten things that every guest should ensure that they do before their arrival at Walt Disney World to guarantee an unforgettable vacation!


1. Choose the Right Disney Resort

The first step to planning the perfect Walt Disney World vacation is making sure that guests choose the right Disney Resort for them. With over twenty options to choose from, Disney Resorts are broken down into three price categories, are scattered all over property, ad each feature pros and cons depending on what a guest is looking for. Those who are looking to be close to the Magic Kingdom at all times should consider a deluxe Disney Resort situated on the monorail. Those looking for a small and intimate feel might opt instead for Disney Port Orleans Resort French Quarter thanks to its compact layout. Others still might opt for Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge thanks to its amazing theming and grounds. No matter what Disney Resort a guest chooses, they are sure to love their experience!

2. Choose the Right Tickets

In addition to choosing the right Disney Resort, guests also need to consider which type of ticket works best for their vacation needs. Tickets can be purchased for a specific number of days and a base ticket includes admission to one Disney Park per day. The Park Hopper option can be added on for an additional fee and allows guests admission to multiple parks per day, and guests can opt to add in additional admission to the water parks and Disney’s Wide World of Sports. Deciding which type of ticket to purchase ensures that guests are able to experience everything that they want throughout their trip.

3. Download the My Disney Experience App

Another crucial thing to do before leaving home is downloading the My Disney Experience App. This easy to use app connects guests to their reservations and important information like park maps, wait times, dining menus, and more. The app also allows guests to view and edit their dining reservations, FastPasses, and more, making it easy to make new plans or alter existing ones on the go. Having this app on hand is the perfect way to feel connected to the magic and manage aspects of a Disney vacation while on the go without losing any time!


4. Create A Packing List

Being prepared for a Walt Disney World vacation is key in making sure that guests are comfortable throughout their trip, and one way of doing so is by creating a packing list. Gusts should plan on packing the essentials in addition to items that might be overlooked such as ponchos, extra shoes in case of rain, aloe vera, band aids, and more. While many of these items can be purchased in the gift stores of each Disney Resort or even conveniently ordered through a delivery service like Amazon, having them on a list ahead of time takes away the stress of forgetting something.

5. Create A Tentative Schedule

Before arriving in Walt Disney World, guests should plan on making a tentative schedule where they map out what Disney Park or location they would like to visit each day. After considering park hours and other factors, guests can tentatively decide where they would like to visit each day which then enables them to book other experiences and reservations that must be made ahead of time. While schedules are important, guests should also remember that it’s a vacation and they should remain flexible!

6. Make Advanced Dining Reservations

Guests who are looking to enjoy full service meals while in Walt Disney World absolutely need to plan on booking Advanced Dining Reservations as far in advance as possible. Advanced Dining Reservations, or ADRs, can be made up to one hundred and eighty days in advance which is absolutely necessary for some of the most popular eateries on property such as California Grill and ‘Ohana. Most locations can be booked closer to the reservation date, however reservations are recommended to ensure that guests have a table and can enjoy the meals that they would like.

7. Book FastPasses

Another advanced reservation that guests can take advantage of are FastPasses which help to save lots of time on each Disney vacation. Guests who stay on property at a Disney Resort can book FastPasses up to sixty days in advance and they allow guests to make reservations of sorts for attractions and experiences and visit those places at certain times to enjoy them with little to no wait time. FastPasses for popular attractions ensure that guests can enjoy them without losing a lot of time spent waiting on lengthy standby lines.

Photo Credit: Disney

8. Customize Magic Bands

All guests who stay on property at a Walt Disney World Resort are entitled to Magic Bands that are their all access key to their vacations. Magic Bands act as room keys, tickets into the parks, access to FastPasses, and even payment as they can be liked to credit cards. Before leaving home, guests receive their Magic Bands in the mail so that they are ready for their vacation, and they have the option of choosing a color to customize their band. Guests can choose from fun and bright colors including yellow, blue, pink, green, and more!

9. Make A List of Must Dos

Since there are simply so many amazing experiences to enjoy in Walt Disney World, a great thing for guests to do before leaving home is to make a list of their absolute must dos. Having a list of must do attractions, snacks, and other experiences ensures that guests don’t miss out on a single thing that they are looking forward to while enjoying a Walt Disney World vacation!

10. Know How To Get Around

No one wants to waste time on any vacation feeling lost, especially while in Walt Disney World. A great thing to do before leaving home that will help guests save time once on vacation is checking out maps of the Disney Parks and their Disney Resort and having a general idea of where things are located and how to get around. This ensures that once on vacation, guests have a general idea of how to get around and where they are headed which can save lots of time and stress in the long run.

About Caitlin Kane

Caitlin Kane first started visiting Walt Disney World when she was two years old, and despite spending most of that trip quarantined with the chicken pox she managed to fall in love with the place. Visiting WDW every year since, she especially loves learning all about the history and small details of the parks and eating/drinking her way through the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival each fall. When she's not in Disney, Caitlin lives in New York and spends her time counting down the days to her next trip.