(I hope this quick tip sheet is helpful!)
Low-down on Disney World: There are a total of 6 parks (including water parks)! Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Typhoon Lagoon, and Blizzard Beach. There’s also Downtown Disney, which has lots of dining, shopping, and even an all-out arcade.
How to have the best time at Disney World:
- If you want to see the parades and are going to WDW for more then a couple days (which you should definitely do!) then space them out and prioritize them so that if it’s not a parade you’re dying to see or you know you can see the next day, you can take advantage of everyone being at the parades to go ride the rides with little lines.
- Decide what you want to do the most and keep a constant check on the ride boards, cause they can give you a good estimation. This way you cut down on ride times and can enjoy the experience to the max.
Buy the Park Hopper tickets.
- Trust me. They’re amazing because you can go from park to park all in one day. You can spend the morning in the Magic Kingdom, lunch in Epcot, the afternoon in the Animal Kingdom, and then dinner at the Magic Kingdom again.
If you can, stay at a Disney Hotel.
- Guests who stay at a Disney hotel get SERIOUS perks.
- They usually will leave a park open later or open one earlier just for guests staying at their hotels. The lines are so short!
- They have buses to all the parks that run all day long and have different levels of hotels so you’re not stuck with a giant hotel bill.
- Also, airlines typically have deals for flight, hotel, and dining plans if you do it all through them. Check Southwest because they usually have the best. On Disney World’s website, they break down all the hotels by level so it’s easy to see which one you would like to stay at that is within your budget.
Get the dining plan!
- You will save SO much money by doing so.
- Make your dining reservations before getting on the plane. It sounds lame to say that you should plan your vacation around your meals, but the restaurants in Disney are experiences in and of themselves. Between the Hoop-de-Doo, the Luau at the Polynesian, the Prime Time Fifties Cafe and so many others, you can pretty much count getting into them at all goodbye without a reservation. Trust me, eating in Disney is just as amazing as the park experience itself.
Take advantage of the early park openings.
- On certain days of the week, some of the parks open early and you can get a bus there from any of the Disney hotels for the early time. These are the BEST TIMES TO GO b/c not everyone has access to the early opening and there are NEVER any lines.
- If you’re just heading in for a regular opening, go to a major ride first and either ride it right then and there or get a fast pass (UTILIZE THE FAST PASS IN DISNEY WORLD). Then go to the next big ride and do the opposite (so if you got a fast pass at the first, ride the second). This is the best way to get the big things done without the lines or the wait.
Be ready to walk and not get much sleep!
- There is so much to do at Disney World and you’ll never be able to do it all. Be okay with that. But know that Disney World is a HUGE place. So have good walking shoes with you.
Try to do each park in a day or two, depending on the length of your stay.
- Park-hopping is great, but if you’re staying say 7 days, make MK your first and last day. Make Epcot at least 2 days. MGM (Hollywood Studios) and Animal Kingdom can be done in one long day if you do them right. It’s all right to want to see certain fireworks shows, etc., but each park can be done really well in about 2 days (some less).
Don’t forget about the Fast Pass system!
- Whenever you have a member of your group who doesn’t want to do a particular ride (Rockin Rollercoaster, Tower of Terror, Splash Mountain, etc.), give them your hotel keys so they can get you Fast Passes for another attraction. Instead of letting them shop or eat, they can be a vital tool for you to get off one awesome ride and right onto another!
- If it’s a light drizzle, go on Splash Mountain. A lot of people won’t do it because it’s outside, and the lines aren’t as long. And after all, you’re going to get wet anyway. Might as well go all or nothing!
- Bring your own ponchos, especially if you have small children with you. Everyone buys the Disney ponchos, and it becomes really easy to lose a member of your group.
- It rains almost every day around 4pm (whatup, Florida weather!) so be prepared.
- Also watch if you’re heading down during hurricane season (you’ll get very, very wet). But the good thing about rain is there aren’t as many people out (and most of the rides are undercover) so you get to enjoy Disney without the lines.