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8 Things Rookies May Not Know About Walt Disney World

8. Every seat is a good seat

One thing that rookies might not know about a Disney vacation is that every seat really is a good seat at a show in the parks. When you go to a show while the parks are crowded, you will most likely be asked to move all the way to the end of the row and fill in every available seat by the cast members working in the theater. While you may initially be uncooperative because the center seats seem like they’ll offer a better view, it’s important to know that Disney’s shows really have all been designed to offer a great view from every seat. If you’re still stuck on the fact that you’d like to sit in the middle, the solution is simple—let some other guests into the theater in front of you, so with everyone moving all the way down you’ll still be seated in the center.

7. Get your spot early

Even though Disney’s theater style shows offer a perfect view from each seat, parades are a different story. If you have your heart set on seeing the parade from a specific spot, you’ll want to get there early and wait in that spot for the parade to start. Disney’s parades are extremely popular, and many guests know that if they want a certain spot they’ll need to camp out and wait for it. There are still plenty of good spots to see the parades from even if you don’t camp out, particularly in Frontierland instead of Main Street. If you arrive later to the parade but still want a good spot, avoid disappointment and head over to Frontierland where you’re more likely to find a spot.

6. Off times for rides

Another tip that rookies might not know is when the off times are to go on rides. If you’re not interested in watching the parade or fireworks, these can be excellent times to hit some of the attractions that generally have longer waits. Other good times to hit the rides can be in the morning, or later in the evening, especially after Happily Ever After if you’re in the Magic Kingdom.

5. Take advantage of Fastpass+

Fastpass is a great program that allows you to have little or no wait for some of your favorite attractions. While Fastpass can be really helpful for getting on rides faster, it’s not necessarily worth it for shows. Shows have so much more capacity compared to rides, that you can show up to a show without a Fastpass and still have a seat. Save your Fastpasses for rides, and try not to book them for the times of day when you think the lines will be short anyway.

4. Make dining reservations in advance

Rookies may not realize how important it is to book dining reservations in advance. Disney’s restaurants are extremely popular, and getting reservations late, or just walking up and trying to get a table may be difficult. If you’re planning on dining at one of the more popular restaurants, or even if you’re just visiting the parks during one of the busier times of year, you’ll want to make reservations in advance. No advanced dining reservations? Be sure to take advantage of the Mobile Food and Beverage Ordering on the My Disney Experience App at multiple quick service locations throughout Disney World.

3. It requires some research

One of the things that is hardest for some rookies to grasp about Walt Disney World is how much research goes into a smooth Disney vacation. Like many vacation destinations it’s extremely important to do some basic research before you arrive at the parks. Before travelling to Walt Disney World, rookies need to learn basic things like what each park has to offer, where the attractions are in relation to each other, what the hotels are like, and what ticket options would work best for you.

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2. You’ll want to go back the second you leave

Assuming rookies are first time guests or guests who do not get to go to Disney very often, they may not realize how quickly they’ll want to go back after they leave. Disney is different from other vacations, in that there are so many things to do, and there is such an emotional connection that you can’t help but crave more once your trip is over.

1. You can’t do everything in one trip

Rookies do not realize the size and scope of Walt Disney World, and therefore they don’t usually realize how many things there really are to do at the resort. With four parks, two water parks, Disney Springs and the resorts, there is so much to do that you cannot possibly do everything you want to do in one trip. Instead of using this point as an excuse to be disappointed, take this information and know that it just means you’ll be looking forward to your next trip so you can finish everything you really want to do.

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.