When it comes to theme parks, no one does it quite like Disney. The entertainment giant has created a total of 12 amazing theme parks in six different resorts across the world, attracting millions of visitors every year. In fact, in terms of attendance, Disney World is the most popular family-friendly destination in the world. Known as the “The Happiest Place on Earth”, Disney World represents a celebration of childhood spirit and imagination where anything is possible and dreams come, so it’s no surprise it has become a staple on many families’ travel bucket lists.
But while there’s no denying that a trip to Disney promises a magical experience for kids and adults alike, planning such an adventure can be rather overwhelming given the large variety of attractions and activities that these resorts offer and the numerous decisions one has to make prior to their visit. So, what is supposed to be a fun and exciting vacation can easily turn into a stressful and exhausting experience.
Fortunately, there’s nothing a bit of planning and preparation can’t fix. If you want to avoid the usual mayhem and make the most of your vacation, these tips will ensure your visit to Disney World goes as smoothly as possible, no matter which resort you plan to visit.
Plan your trip in advance
The best way to maximize your vacation time and enjoy your Disney World experience to the fullest is to come prepared. Covering thousands of acres, Disney World resorts are incredibly large and complex and almost feel like cities in their own right. If you don’t do your homework, it’s going to be difficult to make your way around the resort and that can cause you to miss out on a lot of fun.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t leave some room for spontaneity, but it’s generally a good idea to allocate some time to researching the resort and start planning your trip in advance. Make sure you book tickets early and make Disney pass park reservations for each day of your trip. Downloading the My Disney Experience app on desktop or mobile can make it much easier for you to plan every aspect of your trip.
Choose the best time to visit
While you can have a great time at Disney World no matter the season, if you are flexible about your trip dates, you might want to plan your visit during less crowded periods. Disney resorts are usually the busiest in spring, and summer and around major holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas and New Year. School breaks also bring in more visitors to Disney World than usual.
So, if you could work your way around these peak times and book your trip when the resorts are less crowded, you’ll be able to enjoy a more peaceful vacation. If not, you can still have a blast even if you have to fight the crowds and wait on longer cues. In fact, for many visitors, the hustle and bustle only add to the atmosphere and charm of the place, so it’s not something inherently bad.
Make a wish list of attractions and experiences
Disney World offers so many attractions, activities and experiences that it’s virtually impossible to pack them all into one single trip – unless you intend to live in the resort for a couple of weeks.
Since you can’t do everything, you’ll have to decide on a few must-do experiences. If you’re visiting as a family, each family member should have a few favorite attractions and activities on the list to make sure everyone is happy. Then, if you are left with some extra time on your hands, there are plenty of attractions, rides, parades, and shows to keep you busy, so you can flip the coin and improvise on the spot.
It’s sort of a custom to dress fashionably when visiting Disney World, but comfort should be your main priority. You won’t be able to enjoy your trip if your feet start hurting after a couple of hours or if you are always conscious of your attire.
We highly advise wearing comfortable sneakers and bringing a sweatshirt to keep you warm early in the morning or late in the evening. And if you want to be stylish, you can always spice up your outfits with accessories like Disney Loungefly backpacks or the iconic Mikey Mouse ears.
No matter what time of the year you decide to visit, there’s a variety of accommodation options you can choose from. However, if your Disney experience spans multiple days and you don’t want to visit anything else beyond the resort, it’s best to stay at one of the many hotels that Disney provides on-site.
As you’ve probably guessed, the main advantage of staying on-site is proximity and easy access to the parks, so you won’t have to worry about travel time or renting a car. Besides, staying at a Disney hotel ensures a truly immersive experience in the magical Disney universe and numerous other perks that can make your trip even more special.
As a final, but equally important tip, you should set your alarm clock to wake you up as early as possible so you can get to the resort before the crowds swarm in. Lines are usually shorter in the morning and it’s going to be easier for you to access your favorite attractions.
Also, as fun and exciting as Disney World can be, don’t forget that there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. This means you should also plan for breaks and maybe do some other non-theme park activities that allow you to relax a bit.
We hope that these tips can be of use to you and make you feel more prepared to design your own Disney World experience and create magical memories with your family that will last a lifetime.