10 Things You Must Do Before Heading To Walt Disney World

As soon as guests book a Walt Disney World vacation, they begin planning all of the amazing experiences that they are going to have on the trip. Since there is so much to see and do in Walt Disney World, planning ahead of time can help guests save lots of time, money, and frustration once in the parks. By doing these ten simple things before leaving home, guests are sure to have an amazing vacation full of magic, great experiences, and memories to last a life time. Here are ten things that guests must do before heading to Walt Disney World.


10. Book Dining Reservations –

Guests who are planning on dining in full service restaurants while visiting Walt Disney World should make their dining reservations as far in advance as possible. Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) can be booked up to one hundred and eighty days in advance and are absolutely necessary for popular restaurants. By booking their dining reservations far ahead of time, guests will avoid the disappointment of being turned away from a fully booked restaurant or losing lots of time waiting to be seated as a walk up reservation.

9. Book FastPasses –

Guests should definitely book their FastPasses before leaving home to ensure that they save lots of time in the parks and still get to experience the most popular attractions. FastPasses act as reservations for attractions that allow guests to return at a specific time to ride with little to no wait time. Guests who are staying on property at a Disney Resort can book their FastPasses up to sixty days in advance and those who are staying off property can book up to thirty days in advance. Guests should be sure to make their FastPasses for popular attractions which tend to have the longest wait times like Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers, Avatar Flight of Passage, Na’vi River Journey, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Frozen Ever After, Soarin’, and Space Mountain.

8. Learn Where Things Are Located –

A great way for guests to save time once on vacation is to do some research at home and learn the general location of certain things. Guests should be familiar with the layout of their resorts and know where the bus stop, front desk, concierge, pool, and food court are to avoid wandering around trying to find a certain location. Guests should also be aware of the layouts of the parks and the general location of attractions, restaurants, and certain areas to avoid having to constantly stop to consult a map or ask for directions.

7. Learn How To Get Around –

Similarly, guests should look into the different modes of transportation in Walt Disney World and have an idea how to get from one point to another. Guests who are staying on property are treated to complimentary transportation on buses, monorails, Skyliner, ferries, and boats. In order to save time that would have been spent making unnecessary stops, guests should know ahead of time how to travel around Walt Disney World easily.

6. Learn What Attractions Are –

Before arriving at Walt Disney World, guests should familiarize themselves with the attractions found in the four theme parks. By knowing what each attraction entails, guests can determine which ones are must dos and which ones can be skipped if there isn’t enough time. Guests traveling with children should also be aware of which attractions have height requirements and which might be too thrilling or intense for small children.


5. Break In Comfortable Shoes –

One of the easiest ways to be miserable on a Walt Disney World vacation is to wear uncomfortable shoes and end up with painful blisters and sore feet. Many guests don’t realize how much walking there is on a Disney vacation, and breaking in a pair of comfortable shoes before leaving home is imperative to having a great time.

4. Make A Packing List –

One of the easiest things to do before leaving home is to sit down and make a packing list one week before the start of vacation. Having a list ensures that guests will remember all of those important items which often are accidentally left behind like ponchos and toothpaste. Having a packing list also takes some of the stress out of loading up a suitcase which is a great way to start off the vacation in a relaxed manner.

3. Make A Tentative Schedule –

Guests should try and make a tentative schedule for each day that they are going to be in the parks before leaving home. By knowing what the general plan for the day is, guests will be able to make dining reservations and book FastPasses that will be conveniently located. Having a tentative schedule also helps guests to save time that would have otherwise been spent trying to make a plan for the day each morning,

2. Rest Up! –

While a Walt Disney World vacation is tons of fun, it can also be pretty tiring with the combination of lots of walking, early mornings and late nights, and the Florida heat. Guests should try and not stress before leaving for a Disney vacation and try and get a good night’s sleep before their first day. By being rested up, guests will be sure to have lots of energy to enjoy themselves once in the parks.

1. Have A Park Bag Ready To Go –

A great time saver that can be done just before leaving home is to have a park bag ready to go. Guests can pack the bag that they are going to carry with them in the parks ahead of time with essential items like phones, Magic Bands, wallets, band aids, and hand sanitizer to make sure that they will be prepared to head straight to the parks once in Walt Disney World!

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.