10 Things to Know Before Your Trip to Disney World

A trip to Disney World is a magical experience for most everyone who visits. However, some experiences are more magical than others. If you want to make the most out of your Disney vacation, you will definitely need a bit of research and planning.

Here are the Top 10 Things to Know Before Your Trip to Disney World.

Research the different parks

The major difference between Disneyland and Disney World is that Walt Disney World is much more spread out with larger parks and lands. Determining which parks you want to go to will help you planning the length of your vacation and what Disney Resort you might stay at. Disney World has Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom as the four main theme parks. Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach are Disney’s two waterparks.

Some parks have more thrill rides, and others have more things that children can enjoy. It’s important to really find out what you and your group wants out of your Disney experience. But, if you can spend a whole week at Disney World, you will definitely want to visit every theme park!

It matters what time of year you visit

Although summertime is one of the best times to plan a vacation, it is the worst at Disney World. The Florida heat is insane and it’s extremely crowded. If you want to decrease your wait times for rides and shows, consider going during the fall or winter.

The weather is more favorable and you can even catch seasonal events like the Epcot Food and Wine Festival or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas. Also check out websites and resources online that tell you what days of the week are better for different parks and the months with the least crowds!

Staying in a Disney Resort is worth it

Disney World has dozens of hotels in different price ranges that can really enhance your stay. These resorts are Disney themed, with character meals, Disney gift shops, and hidden Mickeys all around. One of the best things about staying at a Disney hotel is the transportation to the parks. They offer buses from every hotel to every park that run all day until the park closes. Some places also have walking paths to the parks or boat rides as well!

Magic Bands are a lifesaver

If you haven’t been to Disney World in recent years, you probably haven’t heard of a MagicBand. These are Disney’s way of keeping everything related to your vacation in one place. MagicBands are colorful, waterproof wristbands that every member of your party can wear to keep FastPasses, pay for meals, open your hotel room door, buy merchandise, and store photos. It will improve your Disney experience by simplifying everything about your vacation.

Get your FastPasses ASAP

FastPasses are free, virtual placeholders for Disney’s most popular rides and rollercoasters. With a FastPass, you can get an hour time slot to ride something and decrease your wait time by going in a special, shorter, line. For example, your FastPass tells you that have from 2:15 to 3:15 to ride Space Mountain!

However, the number of FastPasses for each ride is limited, so you need to plan ahead. Disney Guests can reserve their FastPasses as early as 60 days ahead if you’re staying in a resort, or 30 days with your normal ticket. Everything can be done online for an easy, fast, park experience.

Use the app

The My Disney Experience app is free and something you should download before your stay. It gives you a map of the parks, wait times in each ride, and stores your FastPass and PhotoPass information for you! The app also shows rides that may be broken or temporarily shut down, so you can stay updated with everything in the park.

Consider the single rider line

Single Rider lines are a great way to skip long wait times if you don’t have a FastPass. In these lines, the cast members will assign you a random ride car that needs an extra person, so you will be split from your group 99% of the time. This is not something everyone will want to do, but if you have older kids or a group of adults that want to avoid a long wait, try it out! Single rider lines are currently available at Expedition Everest, Test Track, and Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster.

Make dining reservations ahead of time

Although you can grab some chicken tenders or ice cream at any point in the parks with no problem, the fancier restaurants will be packed. Character dinners and iconic Disney restaurants will let you make a reservation online ahead of time similar to the FastPasses. These are ideal if you want to enjoy something nicer- like a seafood buffet, or have lunch with Mickey and Minnie.

Characters are on strict schedules

Meeting the princess and other characters can be the highlight of your trip – but you can’t just find them anytime you want them. If you’re counting on meeting Belle during your day, make sure you know what times she is available. Using the My Disney Experience app, you can find out what characters are doing meet and greets at what time of the day and where. Also, there is most likely going to be at least a 5 minute line for every character, but it’s definitely worth it for a bit of magic.

Know the seasonal events

Disney World is open year long and there’s always something exciting happening. From Halloween parties to half marathons, you should be aware of what’s going on when you visit. If you love nature, you might want to visit Epcot in the spring during the Flower and Garden Festival! Or, if you hate the busyness of the holidays, you can skip the Christmas festivities and visit in January.

A trip to Disney World is exciting, adventurous, and fun. No matter how well you plan, there will be some long lines, some dropped ice cream cones, and some unpredictable weather. Some things you can’t control – but you can do a bit of research and planning to make your vacation truly magical! Those were our top ten things to know before going to Disney World.

No trip to Disney is complete without the right outfit! Be sure to grab some Minnie ears, a cute top, and an awesome bag to hold all of your goodies!

For more Disney scoop, check out Top 10 Quotes From Disney’s “Godmothered” and 15 Stylish Disney Necklaces!

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