Last week, my family vacationed at the magical Walt Disney World. The week was perfect even though a tropical storm threatened to dampen our fun.
Throughout the planning and visit to Disney World, I learned some tricks that I would like to share with you!
1. If you are able to plan your Disney vacation months in advance, make sure to call or visit the Disney website to make your reservations for popular attractions 180 days from the start of your visit. Example: I called 180 days in advance and was able to get my dinner reservations for Be Our Guest at my requested time.
2. When making your hotel or restaurant reservations, make sure to tell your Disney Operator if you are celebrating any specials occasions. Plus, at any Disney Restaurant (price packages available), a special birthday celebration can be arranged for your prince or princess.
4. If traveling by plane and staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel, take advantage of the Disney Magical Express (free service) to get you from the airport to your hotel and reverse. Plus, Disney will take care of your luggage; and it will be waiting for you in your hotel room.
5. Disney Meal Plans – Typically, you save 15%. We chose not to get one since we don’t eat large breakfasts and we wanted alcoholic drinks for dinner. No real savings for my family. Warning: Cinderella’s Royal Table takes two meal tickets per person. (My favorite meal was at San Angel at the Mexico Pavilion in Epcot.)
6. Everyday a different Disney Theme Parks opens early at 8 a.m. Get up, throw a hat on and get there. There are less lines for some of the most popular rides. Example: At Disney Studios, the Toy Story line wait is normally 2 hours. We waited 25 minutes.
7. This is my favorite tip for vacationers. Get up early and do the parks. Then around 11:30 am/Noon eat lunch either at the parks or at your hotel; and then relax by taking a nap or swimming at the pool. Around 4 p.m., arrive at the parks again and enjoy your evening. At 3 or 4 p.m., when we were entering the parks, lots of people were leaving. Again, we were able to ride popular attractions fast and then enjoyed dinner. Plus, if you stay at a Disney Resort Hotel, the extra relaxation will enable you to enjoy park extended hours.
8. Buy ponchos and don’t be afraid of the rain! We had heavy downpours for a few days, but that didn’t stop us. The lines for rides and character visits were short. As long as your clothes stay dry, the rain doesn’t matter. Example: At Epcot, we rode Nemo’s Adventure and participated in Crush’s Q&A without the hours of waiting.
9. Participate in the Disney Subculture: http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2012/07/sorcerers-of-the-magic-kingdom-trading-card-game-coming-to-walt-disney-world-resort/ Receive free trading cards and map at the Firehouse in the Magic Kingdom. Go to locations in the park and watch movies relating to your cards. People were trading and wanting very special cards that were only available during Halloween and Christmas celebrations.
10. Finally, while at the Magic Kindgom, head to Adventure Land and enjoy a Dole Whip.
If you are planning a Walt Disney World vacation, I hope my tips helped with your itinerary. Disney is truly a magical place that brings out the kid in all of us.