Must-Do’s BEFORE Arriving to Walt Disney World

Planning a trip to Walt Disney World has always included a lot of little tasks that work together to make sure your vacation is a remarkable one. A Disney World preparation to-do list, if you will. This is a fact that will likely never change, as there is a lot to think about when planning such a big vacation. All that said, while some of those little tasks remain the same, many others have changed significantly or disappeared from the lineup entirely. Meanwhile, a few new to-dos have snuck their way onto the list. The problem? Many people are planning trips without this information, meaning they are arriving at the gates of Magic Kingdom completely unprepared. Lucky for you, you’ve come across this article. Here we will discuss the 8 most important must-do tasks before you visit Walt Disney World.


1. Stay Healthy

First and foremost, you absolutely must stay healthy for your epic vacation. No vacation, not even one to WDW, can be magical if you end up sick throughout the entire thing. Not only that, you absolutely will not be let into the parks if you have a fever. Not that you’d really want to be there anyway. Therefore, it’s incredibly important that you stay well before your trip and while you’re in Walt Disney World. In order to do this, we recommend taking a daily multivitamin, eating a healthy diet, and getting plenty of rest. Additionally, you’ll want to wear a mask whenever you go out and avoid groups of people.

2. Learn What to Expect

While the magic remains, a lot has changed at Disney World. Nobody likes being surprised by less-than-stellar changes, especially on vacation. For this reason, it’s probably best if you learn what to expect from the parks ahead of time. Go in knowing that:

  • The FastPass+ system is not currently being used.
  • There are fewer Character meals and include only social-distanced character interactions.
  • There are no character meet-and-greets in the parks.
  • Shows and parades have been canceled.
  • Masks must be worn in all indoor locations and attraction queues.

3. Download the MDE App

The My Disney Experience app has been an important part of any Disney World trip since it was introduced. This remains true today. This app can be used to view wait times, make and check dining reservations, find out park hours, and more.

Credit: Disney


4. Make Dining Reservations

It used to be that guests could make Disney dining reservations up to 6 months ahead of time. While reservations aren’t taken quite so early now, they are still a thing, and you will want to snag the reservations that are important to you, as seating is limited in restaurants due to social distancing protocols. Wondering when you can begin making your reservations? All park guests may make dining reservations 60 days in advance. Those staying onsite can make reservations for their entire trip (of up to 10 days, anyway) beginning 60 days from the first day of their trip, meaning they do get a slight edge over those staying offsite.

Credit: Disney (Topolino’s)

5. Schedule the Magical Express

One of the perks of staying in a Disney World Hotel is the free airport transportation known as Magical Express. Some people believed that this particular service had been put on hold, but that is not the case. While the Magical Express will no longer deliver your bags to your room, the service itself is still up and running and waiting to transport you, so be sure to reserve your spot on the bus before you leave home. NOTE: Disney’s Magical Express Service is scheduled to close on January 1, 2022.

6. Buy Extra Masks

You’re probably going to want to change your mask at least a couple of times throughout your vacation. For this reason, we highly recommend stocking up on extra masks. If you’ll be using cloth masks, be prepared to wash them during your stay. If you’ll be using disposables, buy more than you think you’ll need.

7. Invest in Sanitizer

While Disney is wonderful at keeping things clean, and pretty good at providing hand sanitizer often, there will be times when you feel the need to wash your hands but simply won’t have easy access to a sink or the Disney-provided sanitizer. Other times, you might feel the need to wipe down a table or a bench before sitting. In these cases, it’s extremely nice to have your own hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes on hand. Stock up on these things and toss them in your park bag so you always have them close at hand.

8. Check Into Your Hotel Online

Lastly, we highly recommend using the online check-in option offered by the Disney Resort Hotels. This option actually allows you to skip over all in-person interaction and walk straight to your room, unlocking it with your MagicBand. Not only is this quicker and easier, it also gets you out of common areas, away from others, and into a clean room as soon as possible, helping you maintain social distancing from the very first minutes of your trip.

About Chelsea Gonzales