Your travel adventure is as unlimited as your imagination when you visit Disney World. Whether you’re vacationing with little ones, teens or a multigenerational mix, Disney World has something for everyone. There’s so much to do in the four theme parks and two water parks. Even if you spend two weeks there, you’ll still leave wanting more.
To help you save time and not miss some of the most magical experiences, we’ve come up with 10 things you need to know before your visit to Disney World.
1. Prepare a packing checklist
Creating a packing checklist in advance will reduce stress and help you pack all the necessities before you leave for your vacation. Pack according to your family’s needs. Parents with little ones will have a longer packing list compared to teens. Packing right will prevent you from spending unnecessarily on overpriced items.
Here are five must-haves for all age groups:
- Reusable water bottles – fill up the bottles in the parks. Water is free
- Bug repellant – Florida has its fair share of bugs. Disney provides complimentary bug repellant but bring your own if you prefer a specific type.
- Ponchos – Florida is known for its brief rain shower. Always have your ponchos ready
2. Stay at a Disney property
MagicBand, FastPass Plus, early park entry, and complimentary transportation are some of the essential perks you get when you stay at a Disney property. Disney offers a variety of hotels for all budgets. Disney’s All-Star Music Resort rate starts at $112 per night. Or you can go to a fancier resort like Disney’s Contemporary Resort at $421 per night.
The extra time given to guests at a Disney property is essential if you want to make the most of your vacation. The Extra Magic Hours varies from park to park – you get early entry and stay a little later after it closes.
3. Buy tickets in advance
You can certainly buy park tickets when you arrive in Disney World but why would you want to miss out on the full Disney experience? Buy your tickets in advance so you can plan on where to stay, get your FastPasses and have a daily plan. You may not get your FastPasses on the day you arrive.
4. Have a daily plan
Get your family members together and find out what their top picks in the parks are. There over 50 rides, 40 shows and more in Disney World. And if you add the water parks, you’ll be adding over 20 waterslides.
Things to consider when designing your daily plan:
- Time to head out each day
- Number of days in each theme parks
- Add the must-do list first and put them as priorities for each day
- How many rides before lunch and after lunch
- Which parades and shows to go to
- Fireworks and illuminations shows
- Meeting Disney characters
Note: Did you know Disney allows outside food? Just bring a cooler loaded with your favorite and healthy meals.
5. Download Disney app
Get GPS, track wait times, show times, parades, character greeting locations and times, select and modify FastPass, make dining reservations and more with My Disney Experience app. All the information you need is at your fingertips when you have the Disney apps. You don’t have to have paper maps when you have the app.
You can even shop online with the Disney app.
6. Skip the Memory Maker pass
With so many friendly crew members in Disney, you are bound to find one who can snap photos for your whole family. No need to pay extra for Memory Maker. Use your smartphone and enjoy your time photographing anything you like for free.
7. Take days off
You’re on vacation and can’t do it all. Take a few days off to relax and enjoy the beautiful Florida weather and resort’s pool.
8. Choose the right time to go
For us, the best time to visit Disney World is in late August, right before the kids head back to school or early December and January. That’s when the parks are less crowded. Avoid Christmas time, spring break, Easter holidays, and school holidays if you can.
9. Reserve your FastPass+
One of the most important perks when staying at a Disney resort is the FastPass+. You can reserve your FastPass+ up to 60 days in advance, three attractions a day using your MyDisneyExperience app. You have 30 days more than those who stay elsewhere. The odds of getting a FastPass for favorite rides are better than those who have 30 days.
10. Fly into Orlando and don’t rent a car
Over 30 airlines are serving Orlando International Airport (MCO). You save more money and time flying into Orlando then to Miami or Tampa. Disney offers complimentary airport pick up and drop off for customers that have a reservation at one of the resorts.
Make sure you include your flight numbers to your reservation. Disney’s Magical Express departs from Main Terminal Building on Side B, Level 1.