Tips To Planning a Memorable Walt Disney World Trip
Planning a trip to Disney can seem like a daunting task but it's very easy if you follow a few tips:
1: Know where you want to stay.
If you are heading to Orlando and only going to Disney then staying Inside a Disney Resort will usually be the best option. All Disney Resorts provide free transportation to and from the parks as well as Downtown Disney. So there is no need to rent a car. Free shuttles will actually take you from the airport to your Disney hotel, and even drop your bags off in your room.
If you plan to visit some of Orlando's other attractions such as the Universal Resort or Sea World. Then staying on site at a Disney hotel wouldn't be necessary. Ofcourse you would need to rent a car but you can usually stay offsite for alot less money than you would at a Disney Resort.
2: Plan where you would like to eat in advance
For the most part Disney does a good job of offering "theme park food" but alot of it revolves around your typical theme park choices like hamburgers and hot dogs. If you would like to eat at more upscale restaurants that provide more than just typical theme park fare or if you would like to meet some of the Disney characters from the comfort of your dining room table, then booking a reservation at one of their many restaurants would be the best choice. Try and book your reservations as early as possible, as most of the restaurants that require reservations usually fill up fast and it would be hard for you to get a table on the day of.
3: Use fastpass wherever availale.
Lets face it, Disney is full of lines, Disney recognized this and implemented a system called fastpass. Fastpass is available at all the major attractions. Its like a reservation system that holds your place in line so you can go and enjoy something else and then come back to the line at an appointed time with a minimal wait. Just go to the attraction you would like to ride, and usually near the entrance there are a bunch of kiosks that say "fastpass distribution" you simply put your park ticket into the machine and you will recieve a printout with a specific time window on it. Simply come back to the attraction during that time window and you will be let on the ride with a minimal wait.
4: Take advantage of "extra magic hours"
If you are staying at a Disney Resort, you have the option of enjoying 1 park each day for extra hours in the morning or night. Parks and times vary, but usually it means that you will be allowed to enjoy the much less crowded parks and experience minimal wait times.
5: Know when to take a break.
I know people who do the parks "commando" style non stop from the time the parks open til the time the parks close. Typically mid afternoon is always the most crowded time in any of the theme parks. So if you are staying at a Disney resort, the best way to experience the parks is enjoy them in the morning, then go back to the hotel for an afternoon nap, or a swim in the pool, and head back over to the parks in the early evening. The parks will sometimes be alot less crowded and it will definitely not be as hot.
6:Take your time.
Nearly all the parks (with the exception of the Magic Kingdom) can be done in 1 day. without rushing. Disney's Hollywood Studios as well as Animal Kingdom have much less to do than Magic kingdom. So if you are there for a couple of days, just relax and try to enjoy everything as much as possible.
7: All Parks have characters.
Alot of people seem to be under the impression that you can only find the characters at the Magic kingdom. This is not true. Every park has dedicated meet and greets. You will pretty much be able to find Mickey, Minnie, Goofy , Donald and Pluto at every park. Some of the other characters will vary depending on which park you are at. All parks have character times and dedicated meeting spots so you can meet your favorite, take your picture with them, give them a hug, and be on your way.
These are just some of the basics, there are numerous sites out there that can go a bit more in depth to planning and enjoying your Walt Disney World Vacation. But if you follow these simple guidelines (especially the first 3) you will more than likely have a very enjoyable time at The Walt Disney World Resort.