Disney World - Orlando, FL

Were you really just going to travel to Florida and wing it?  I mean, this is Disney World we’re talking about, where your wildest expectations are usually surpassed with a flair unsurpassed anywhere in America.  With a trip this extensive and memorable, you should leave nothing to chance.  Lucky for us all, there are many ways to help you plan and prepare to have the best Disney World Vacation EVER! 

Here are a handful of quick tips to help you make the most of your Disney World Vacation.

1. Save some extra dough and ship stuff to yourself.  Really.  Most Disney resorts will accept packages delivered to you – at the resort – up to two weeks before you arrive!  So ship yourself some bottled water, goldfish, cereal or anything else you think would cost an arm and a leg once on Disney property.  (All the better if you ship through Amazon Prime, as you will also get free shipping!)  This tip alone could easily save you a hundred dollars or more.

 2. Stay safe with free water.  Disney is all about creating magic for its guests, and they go above and beyond in so many ways.  For example, many park vendors will gladly give you free cups of ice water, which can be soooooo valuable and necessary on hot and humid days.  The bottled water is great too, but sometimes a free cup of ice water can do the trick and save your hard-earned cash for those makeup, hair and nails princess makeovers.

3. Bring your own dress.  Speaking of the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, where girls can undergo a royal princess makeover….yes, it really is a magical experience.  Disney sure knows how to make our young princesses feel like royalty.  One tip that can help make the price a little easier to swallow is to bring your own dress.  Rather than purchasing one at the store, pack her favorite in your suitcase.  This also allows better temperature management during the hot summer, and you are making sure your little princess will be dressed in something she loves.

4. Use your own foldup strollers and backpacks.  This strategy is great for quick maneuvering onto busses, rides, restaurants and crowded Disney back streets.  You can hang your backpack full of necessities – sunscreen, drinks, snacks, phone chargers, etc. – over the stroller handles for ease and comfort.  When you reach each destination, simply slip the backback off and you are set to go.  At a bus stop, quickly fold up the stroller and race for a seat.  (Definitely practice this before your trip, so you won’t end up stomping your stroller, struggling to get it to fold, as a full bus waits on you.  It’s actually quite humorous to watch, though.) The single-child, fold-up strollers seems much more nimble than the double-child models.  The stroller-backpack method is what Disney pros use to maximize their speed and efficiency.

5. Develop a smart FastPass+ strategy.  FastPass+ allows you to “cut the line” legally at three, or more, rides per day.  First, don’t fast pass the rides with a short line.  That’s just a waste.  The time of day is a huge factor here, as many high-demand rides have short waits either early or late in the day.  Second, think about what time is best for you to ride the specific attraction.  Use your fast pass to maximize your efficiency and be in and out of your favorite long waits.  This way you can build the best schedule that works for you, and craft the rest of your day around your most prized attractions.

These five tips will help prepare you for an enjoyable trip to Disney World.  Keep in mind, however, that you will witness both the best and worst of humanity.  Long lines, heat, hunger and adrenaline can do that to folks.  You’ll probably see a kind woman gladly give up her seat on a crowded bus.  Shortly thereafter, you’ll see two grown men racing their strollers down Main Street, bumping each other, sweat pouring down their faces as they jockey for the best possible spot in line for Anna and Elsa.  Be ready for anything.

Disney World is a magical place.  Prepare for the best and plan to have a wonderful time!