10. Choose the right time to go
One of the most important parts of planning a Walt Disney World vacation is making sure you choose the right time to visit the parks. While you are likely at least somewhat limited by things like school and work, I would still recommend choosing the time of year with either the best weather or the lowest crowd levels. I’d suggest making a list of all the possible dates that you could travel, and narrow down when the best time to go would be from there. Don’t forget to double check the dates of special events in the parks if any of them are on your must do list as well.
9. Stay on property
Some guests believe that staying in resorts outside of Walt Disney World can be a better deal, however I believe that the added benefits you’d receive from staying at a Disney resort fully justify the added cost. When you stay at a Disney resort, you are able to take advantage of complimentary transportation to and from the Orlando International Airport. You also receive complimentary transportation to all of the theme parks and attractions located within the Walt Disney World Resort. Yes, you do have to pay overnight parking now, but there are even more perks. One of the best perks of being a Disney resort guest is the ability to participate in Extra Magic Hours. Extra Magic Hours allow Disney resort guests access to the theme parks an hour before they open and a couple of hours after they close to day guests on select days. And of course, if you want to be surrounded by the Disney magic for your entire vacation, staying on property definitely makes the most sense for you.
8. Plan your dining in advance
Some restaurants at Walt Disney World will have their reservations fill up quickly, so if there is somewhere you really want to eat at during your trip, make sure to book an advanced dining reservation. If you’re not one for making tons of plans in advance however, don’t stress. Plenty of my favorite Disney restaurants typically still have some room for walk ups, and quick service meals can be an excellent alternative as well, as these locations do not take up as much of your time as a table service restaurant would.
7. Pack only the necessities
Walt Disney World is one of those vacation destinations where you really don’t want to over pack. Little space remaining in your suitcase at the end of the trip can make air travel very difficult, and you don’t want to have to sort through a suitcase full of things you don’t really need when you first arrive at your resort. Similarly, you want to make sure you pack all of the necessities, so you won’t spend time and money getting those items while you’re on vacation.
6. Budget wisely
Any vacation can turn sour really fast if you realize there are things you want to do or purchase, but cannot afford to spend the money on them. The big problem with this is that you are on vacation, and it’s a special occasion where you would probably really like to treat yourself. Even while visiting Walt Disney World on a budget, you really can still splurge a little. I would recommend putting money aside on a weekly basis, perhaps on a Disney gift card so you don’t spend it before the trip. By doing this, you’ll be able to save some extra spending money, or you can carefully budget other vacation expenses, like the cost of tips or dining.
5. Know your Disney movies
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to Walt Disney World with someone who didn’t really enjoy a certain attraction because he or she didn’t know the story. While many experiences at the Disney parks really do immerse you into a well-developed story, there are still instances where you need to have seen the movie to fully understand what’s going on. This whole problem, thankfully, has a very easy solution—watch the movies you may have missed (or just haven’t seen in a while) before you go.
4. Talk to cast members
Definitely make sure you talk to some of the cast members working during your next Disney vacation. Disney cast members are very enthusiastic about where they work and they would love to answer any questions you have, or just hang out and have a fun conversation.
3. Take lots of pictures
And more specifically, take lots of fun and unique pictures. You’ll probably come home with tons of pictures of Cinderella Castle anyway, but it is fun to focus on the different, candid pictures too. And I would definitely recommend taking advantage of Disney’s PhotoPass service. Even if you don’t want to purchase Memory Maker, or any of the photo products, PhotoPass cast members would be happy to take your picture using your own camera for free.
2. Make safety a priority
This point should really happen in day to day life anyway, but for whatever reason, people sometimes tend to leave their common sense at home when they go on vacation. Even though Disney cast members are constantly looking out for your safety, you should definitely be looking out for your own safety as well. Making plans ahead of time for where to meet if your group is separated, and always using adequate protection from the hot, Florida sun, are just a few ways that you can make sure to stay safe during your next Walt Disney World vacation.
1. Have fun!
The most important tip anyone can give about a Disney vacation is to relax and have fun! Act like a kid again, and enjoy every minute because it’s not every day that you’re on vacation in Walt Disney World. Any don’t sweat the small stuff—just be happy you’re there, and have an amazing experience.