The truth is, we love going to Walt Disney World. We also love the planning, the anticipation, and almost every step we take closer to a magical Disney vacation. We also love being in the midst of a crowd with a feeling of confidence because we “know.” We know what time the park will open and where we will go first and second and know that we will plan from there making the most of every minute we are at the most magical place on Earth. And, while we didn’t do too bad in the “knowing” department for our first couple of trips, our experiences have added up and we can share what we have learned with others.
So, here they are, the top tips for making the most of your Walt Disney World vacation:
- Use Fastpass and better yet, if you have a chance, use Fastpass + and decide your touring plan and attraction schedule before you even hit the parks. If only using Fastpass, still have a skeleton plan and know which attraction(s) to hit when you arrive at the park. Just this evening, we were talking about a day we have planned for EPCOT and the boy wanted to know if we would ride Maelstrom, as we were also dining at Akershus. I said, “Sure, we will get Fastpasses before we eat.” Using Fastpass allows you to use time to your advantage. It’s FREE and available to all guests!
- Pre-order your Photopass CD. Yeah, I know I sound like a broken record with the whole photograph thing, but trust me, you are going to want a picture of your little princess hugging an adorable character and the Photopass Photographers are there to capture just that moment. Let them! Relax, put your camera away, and let Disney handle the photography for you. If you pre-order your Photopass CD, you’ll save $40.
- Tour the parks either early in the morning, also known as rope drop, or late at night. The parks are most crowded in the middle of the day, so by taking some touring time on either end of the day, the crowds are lighter and you will be able to make the most of your time.
- Make your Advanced Dining Reservations 180 days prior to your vacation or as soon as you have a trip booked, whichever is soonest, especially if you want character dining or to eat at new restaurants, Trust me on this, we made ADR’s at 175 days and could only get a late reservation for a new restaurant.
- Comfortable shoes and preferably two pairs—alternating each day. Walt Disney World is huge and guests walk an average of 9 miles per day while park touring—not counting the amount of time guests spend standing—in queues, waiting for the bus, waiting for parades, etc. This can take a toll on the legs and feet. If you normally walk 9 miles in your flip flops and stand all day in them, then by all means, bring them along. Comfortable, sturdy shoes. Oh, the stories we could tell about this one, including how the husband ended up with Mickey croc sandals.
There you have it. . .our top 5 list for getting the most out of your Walt Disney World vacation. And, we follow our own tips, mostly. Still working on toughening up the husband’s feet in combination with finding the best shoes!