Welcome to The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Disney World Vacation!
You are currently reading Chapter #3: 10 Things You Ought to Know About Disney World!
Before you visit Disney World, you should know these 10 things!
These tips will help you navigate the parks, save money, and be prepared!
How to Use This Guide:
This guide is broken up into four Chapters (listed below).
If you haven’t already read Chapter #1, I recommend starting there. However, you can do whatever you like!
1. Best Time of Day to Visit the Parks
Disney’s parks are typically least busy when they open and when they close.
If you have access to Extra Magic Hours, take advantage of them!
If you get tired, feel free to take a break in the afternoon when the parks are at their busiest.
Even though the parks are incredibly busy in the afternoons, if you aren’t interested in watching the parade, you may find that some lines are a bit shorter because there are tons of people lined up watching the parade!
If you’re interested in riding some of the rides that are geared more towards children (Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, etc.), consider riding these closer to closing time. While those rides easily have wait time above 120 minutes during the day, they will largely decrease at night (after a lot of the families with kiddos go back to their hotel room).
2. Not Everyone Gets MagicBands
If you have been looking at booking a Disney vacation, I know you’ve seen the awesome MagicBands.
The MagicBands act as the ultimate Disney World tool. They can get you into the park, hold your fast passes, get you into your hotel room (if you stay on Disney’s property), and so much more!
How can you get one?
If you stay at a Disney World Hotel, Disney will send you a MagicBand for each person in your party!
But don’t worry, if you don’t want to stay on property but still want MagicBands, you can get them anyway! According to Undercover Tourist, you can purchase the bands for $12.99 each!
If you have more questions about the MagicBands, Undercover Tourist put together a great MagicBand Q&A!
3. Lines Are Long, But FastPasses Help!
You can get three FastPasses at a time (for each day). Once you use one, you can get another.
FastPasses are complimentary! So, don’t worry! You do not have to pay extra money for them.
When you get a FastPass, you receive a time that you can return to the ride and get in the FastPass line instead of the regular line.
Those who stay on Disney property get to schedule which rides they want fast passes for before those who do not stay on Disney property. This means that they get the opportunity to request the more coveted FastPasses first.
If you want more information on FastPasses, you can read more on Disney’s website.
Do you need a MagicBand to use FastPasses?
No, you don’t. Your ticket will work for using FastPasses.
But you might find that a MagicBand is more convenient, that way you don’t have to keep taking out your tickets.
4. It’s HOT!!!
It’s Florida, guys. What did you expect?
If you visit from November to February, you’ll probably be pretty comfortable and some days might be a little chilly. But honestly, Florida can still be pretty warm during those months. Make sure you’re checking the weather so you know what to pack!
How should you prepare for hot weather?
Bring a hand-held fan! Seriously, these help. Fans that spray water too might feel good, but I’m pretty sure they don’t really help cool you off. The air is so humid in Florida that your sweat will probably have a hard time evaporating off your skin… so adding more water might feel good in the moment but probably won’t help long-term.
Bring a hat! This will help keep your face from getting sunburned.
Use sunscreen! I really cannot stress this enough. The Florida sun is intense! So, lather up!
Wear light clothes! You should wear light, breathable fabrics. Bonus points if it’s loose. Trust me, you’ll want whatever breeze there is flowing through every layer.
Drink plenty of water! You might not realize that you are dehydrated, but you will most likely be dehydrated at some point during the day. Make sure you are drinking water regularly!
5. You Don’t Have to Pay for Water!
Disney will charge you a crazy amount of money for a bottle of water. Sometimes spending the money on one is worth it, but you don’t have to shell out $4 every time you want a drink!
Go to any concession stand with a soda fountain and ask for a cup of water. They will give you a small cup filled with cold water! Plus, you can ask for as many as you’d like!
And no, you don’t have to buy something to get a cup of water.
6. The Food at Disney World Is Actually Pretty Good
Disney stepped up their food game a while ago! You can get tons of different types of food in the park, and it’s all delicious!
They also offer yummy, healthier options, so you don’t have to eat junk food 24/7!
You should definitely eat at Belle’s Castle in Magic Kingdom for lunch or dinner one day. You must wait in line for lunch, but you may have to make a reservation for dinner. You can check for reservations here.
There is usually a long line, but the decorations are fantastic and so is the food! However, if you don’t like French food, you should steer clear.
7. People Are Pushy…
I hate that this made the list, but you should prepare yourself.
People are pushy. Really pushy.
You will be cut off while you’re walking. People will jump in front of you while you’re trying to get in line for rides and food.
Sometimes, people just suck. And, at Disney, there are tons of people!
So just take some deep breaths.
Don’t worry, as long as you have good mind-set, you’ll still have a great time!
8. You Can Purchase Souvenirs and Have Them Sent Back to Your Disney Hotel!
If you have ever carried bags of souvenirs around a theme park, you know how amazing this feature is!
It’s super easy too. You just have to inform the associate when you make a purchase, and they will get it set up!
What if I’m not staying on Disney property?
You can actually have the souvenirs you’ve purchased sent to the front of the park! That way, you don’t have to carry them around and can pick them up on your way out!
Read more about how you can avoid carrying souvenirs here!
9. Disney Offers Childcare Services
While you’re on a family vacation, you can actually make time for a magical date night if you want to!
You can have a babysitter come to your hotel room and watch your children! It’s a bit expensive, but it might be worth it for you!
If you don’t want to pay for that, however, you can drop your child off at a supervised activity center, which are located at multiple Disney hotels.
10. There’s More to Do Than Just the Parks!
If you want to take a break from the parks but not from the fun, you should visit Disney Springs!
There is shopping, dining, movies, bowling, and more!
Disney Springs is awesome! I love visiting even when I don’t go to the parks!
You can also play a magical round of Miniature Golf! Disney has a Fantasia themed mini golf course, which is a lot of fun, especially for the little ones!
Read about more fun Disney activities here.
If you or your children love lights and boats, you should definitely check out the Electrical Water Pageant! It’s a short boat parade that is fun for the whole family!
You’ve reached the end of this chapter!
You should move on to Chapter #4 next to learn exactly what to pack for a comfortable and amazing Disney vacation!
I hope that this guide is helping you immensely!
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Have any questions about Disney World that I haven’t addressed in this guide? Leave them in the comments below, and I’ll do my best to answer them!
See you in the next chapter!