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8 Things Most Walt Disney World First Timers Don’t Know

8. Taking breaks is important

People who have never been to Walt Disney World generally tend to underestimate the size of the resort, and therefore end up stressing once they arrive trying to figure out how they can fit everything they want to do into a five day stay. Because there really is so much to do at Walt Disney World there is no possible way to do every single thing the parks have to offer in one trip. Instead overdoing it and trying to fit everything into one vacation, you’ll be better off taking some breaks throughout the day and taking a more leisurely pace in the parks. I would suggest taking breaks in the afternoon and going back to the pools at your resort to relax, so you’ll be reenergized for the evening in the parks.

7. Heat will be a factor

One of the reasons why people have meltdowns in the parks is because they’re simply exhausted from the combination of heat and walking more than they’ve ever walked on other vacations they’ve been on. People who are first time guests severely underestimate how the heat and humidity in central Florida will impact their time spent touring the parks. To fight the heat and humidity it is very important to take breaks during the day with some air conditioning, shade, or sitting by the pool, and to drink plenty of water.

6. There’s no avoiding lines

One of the things that first time guests always end up disappointed about how much time they’ll spend waiting in line. Unfortunately, even if you take advantage of Fastpass and have some excellent planning skills there is no avoiding lines in Disney World. Instead of underestimating this fact and being disappointed once you see the lines, understand that this part of a Disney vacation cannot be avoided, and instead focus on things that can keep you entertained while waiting in long lines.

5. Which time of year to go

Some first time visitors do not realize certain times of the year will be more crowded than they would have anticipated. One such example is Christmas. Sometimes first time guests go to the parks during Christmas thinking that they’ll be empty—for someone whose never visited the parks before, he or she might assume that most people would be at home with their families and not on vacation. Unfortunately, this week is the exact opposite, and Christmas is one of the more crowded times of year at the parks. If you’ve never been to the parks before, do some research into which times of year would be the best for you to go.

4. Knowing different ticket options

Before you book a Disney vacation for the first time, make sure you know about the different ticket options that are available and choose what will be the best for you. For instance, a park hopper ticket costs more than a base ticket, but is only useful if you know you’ll be going to more than one park each day. Before paying for tickets, research the different options and choose the one that’s best for you.

3. Fastpass+ is free and easy to use

Some first time guests are unaware that Fastpass+ is a free service. Because Fastpass+ is included with your theme park admission, it’s a great perk to take advantage of to have little or no wait for some of your favorite attractions.

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2. Disney requires a lot of planning

Some vacations do not require lots of planning to make your trip enjoyable, however Disney is not so easy, especially for first time guests. First time guests often do not realize that they need to book some dining reservations in advance, or that it’s helpful to plan out which parks you’ll be on which days. If you’re not sure where to start with planning for your first Disney vacation check out websites like this with tips and tricks designed specifically for first time guests.

1. You need to do research

Disney will be a much more enjoyable vacation for a first time visitor if you do some research before you arrive for your trick. It’s always better to have some basic knowledge of the parks before your trip so you spend your time on vacation doing what you want to do instead of learning about what there is to do. Even though cast members will be everywhere and willing to help, navigating the parks will be much easier if you’ve done some research beforehand.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a graduate of St. Anselm College, where she earned her bachelor of arts degree in History. She completed two Disney College Programs, one at Dinoland U.S.A., in Animal Kingdom, and one at Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show at Hollywood Studios. She is the author of “Brittany Earns Her Ears,” a memoir about her experiences on the college program, and she currently resides in Massachusetts.