Taking up 40 square miles, across 4 theme parks, Walt Disney World can be a pretty overwhelming prospect when you first arrive. After a pretty epic trip to the parks, here’s my top 10 tips to have the best Walt Disney World Trip ever.
buy a rain poncho
Look, I know you’ve spent weeks planning your holiday wardrobe or your Disney bounds, and you don’t want to wear those highly attractive rain ponchos, but honestly? Suck it up. Florida rain, especially in the summer, is no joke, and it will happen and it will be torrential. Disney’s own ponchos are about $10 each, so I’d suggest being more organised than us and buy some much cheaper ones before you go. You can buy a box full on Amazon for less than £6.
Hydrate for free
It’s Florida. It’s probably hot. Disney’s cast members are constantly reminding you to hydrate, so do it. There are water fountains around the park (often in queues, which is a great idea) which you can use, and you can ask for a cup of water in the restaurants too which they’ll give you for free.
Get the my disney app
Before your trip, you can add your whole party to the app, and you can use it to book fast passes before you go. When you get to the parks, you can keep booking fast passes, access your memory maker photos, find park maps, get directions, check queue times, reserve tables for restaurants, browse menus, order food and see which characters are out and about. It’s really helpful, and we used it almost constantly.
Grab a badge
If you’re celebrating virtually anything, Disney have a badge for it. Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, engagements, family reunions…there’s even a badge for first visits. Cast members do chat to you more with the badges, and I’ve heard rumour of some lucky badge wearers getting freebies. You can pick these up from guest services, or from the till in any of the shops.
Get on the wifi
I guarantee you’re going to take approximately eight trillion photos and want to bombard your Instagram with your snaps. save your data. There is free wifi across all parks (it kicks in right by each park entrance, I found), and it’s strong, fast and reliable.
Get the picture
Charge your camera, and make sure you have plenty of memory space. I found I was taking around 150 photos every day. The Memory Maker pack means you can get professional shots taken at popular locations all over the park. If you haven’t gone for the pack, the PhotoPass cast members will take photos for free using your own camera, if you ask them nicely.
Hunt for hidden mickeys
There are several books and apps to help you hunt for Hidden Mickeys, but there are lots around the park. It’s a fun extra game for kids and adults. There’s also an Imagineering Field Guide which helps you spot some of the amazing hidden details around the park.
Ditch the shopping
If you’re staying at a Disney-owned hotel, you can have any shopping you buy in the park sent to your hotel so you don’t have to carry it around all day. Much easier if you’re on rides!
Consider ditching your group to dodge the queues
Some rides have single rider lines that will save you a lot of time if you don’t mind splitting up from your group. You can save up to an hour on queue times.
Be ready for bag checks
Bags are checked as you go into all parks. The queues were moving pretty fast when we were there, but if you want to save time, ditch the bags and you can go through a seperate line. Be aware that Disney do not allow anything vaguely weapon like. This includes selfie sticks, and we saw lots being take away at the gates. You can leave it with guest services or take it back to the car, but save yourself the time and just don’t try and take one in.