Walt Disney world, the place of dreams or the place of stress and frustration if you don’t plan it right, yes you heard me planning! You want a lazy, spontaneous, restful holiday in the summer sun? Then save yourself a few thousand pound and go somewhere else. Personally I would rather have an adventure get up and go explore and see amazing things, you agree? Great Disney World will be perfect for you!
So now you’ve decided you want to go the Disney let me give you a few hints and tips….
1. Expect rain… and sun, of course but everyone’s heard of Florida being really warm and that’s because it is but it’s also very rainy most rain will usually happen around 3-4PM but there are days where it’s simply summer showers all day long .Talking of summer showers surprisingly in Florida you get more rain in the summer than the winter. In England you get cold, icy days followed by the rain soaking you to the bone in Florida the rain is a blessing due to the humidity, but do bring a poncho or rain coat pack one in your suitcase don’t buy one over there it’s very expensive (your stuck in the parks so they know you’ll pay it) in the UK you can buy one from about a pound. If you must have a Disney themed one check out this Minnie mouse one on EBay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Disney-Minnie-Mouse-Polka-Dots-Adult-Hooded-Rain-Poncho-/391173389930
2. Get Disney gifts from a gift shop. I went to Disney world thinking I’ll get genuine Disney stuff it’s better, right? Wrong! If you look on the bottom of WDW merchandise they all say the exact same thing as the much cheaper alternatives from the gift shops: ‘Made in China’. Sure in VERY fine print they’ll say Disney parks but you might need a microscope. Just look across the road from Disney and you’ll see lots of Disney gift shops. When I go I like to get a few pieces of stuff from WDW itself and the rest from a gift shop this will save you a lot of $$$
3. Buy autograph books and pens from the gift shops as well, seriously they’re like no different and who wants to pay $10.99 for a PEN? Character autographs bring me onto my next point…
4. Check where the characters are. I envisioned WDW to have lots of characters wandering about especially in the magic kingdom, it wasn’t until I actually went to Disney world that I realised the characters are all over the place and they’re not always easy to find. You couldn’t see the signs for Cinderella and Rapunzel until you got really close. So if there is a character you want to see or you simply want lots of character photos and signatures make sure you plan that ahead. Personally I would recommend meeting Pooh and Tigger they are lots of fun and will give you the best photos and lots of hugs!
5. Be wary of fake ticket vendors! Buy your tickets from a genuine retailer or at the gates even if it means paying a little extra don’t follow the signs to the cheap tickets as they tend to be scams and Disney will not take kindly to it when you try to use an invalid ticket. I bought my tickets from Attractions Tickets Direct they were super helpful you can get tickets to most of the other attractions such as Universal studios as well. This is what a genuine Disney ticket looks like, you can also get magic band:
6. Avoid the eat and play cards or dine for less cards, these don’t actually save you that much and it takes forever to find somewhere to set them up since you have to do it in Florida. If you want to save money pick up any free magazines you can find as these usually have discount vouchers or ask at check-in for a welcome pack .
7. Remember which finger you used at security this is done on entry to WDW to stop someone stealing your tickets. If you do forget however just tell them which park you last visited, smile for a photo and they’ll let you through.
8. Be prepared for bag search, at WDW there is two queues, bags and no bags, make sure you get in the right one and have all your bags open and ready and it won’t take a minute. Oh and be nice to the people at security they’re usually pretty friendly, especially since they’re out working in the boiling heat all day!
9. Get a misting spray fan, these make you soo much cooler! If you buy one from a supermarket they’re a little cheaper but you’ll need your own ice if you get one at Disney anyone with ice will give you it for free. (Although it probably wouldn’t hurt to ask at the refreshment stalls even if you haven’t bought it from WDW.)
10. Go early, this will get you through the queues much faster.
11. Book your fast passes early you can only book up to three at once at first but once you’ve used them you can book more, but only when all of the first three fast passes are used so book them earlier and you can book even more!
12. Get the My Disney Experience app it’s free and is so useful for planning your trip. If you can’t get the app use the fast pass machines in WDW instead.
13. Want a little more flexibility? Book fast pass everyday even if you don’t use them all you can cancel or change them on the day using the app.
14. If your small or claustrophobic take the boat don’t take the monorail these are very disorganised and are a bit like a pile on where everyone squashes each other! There was one occasion that I did consider pointing out that I am not one of the handle poles.
15. Don’t buy pins from the parks, actually I would advise you to steer clear of pin trading and just buy the one pin that you really want. As one very nice Disney employee once said “It’s Disney’s money making scheme”
16. Get a 1st visitors or birthday badge from guest relations you’ll get attention from cast members and characters sometimes you get freebies not always though here’s an image of the coin I got given to me last time I was wore a birthday badge at WDW:
17. Don’t take children who are afraid of the dark on the haunted mansion ride it’s quite a long ride to be stuck on if you’re scared. It is however a great ride which I would definitely make sure to go on if you have older children (or no children) be sure to fast pass this one.
18. If you like bigger rides go to Epcot, this park is undersold and whilst it is my least favourite park it is worth a visit. It is also where you can meet Belle in France but this varies.
19. If you prefer smaller rides go to the Magic Kingdom this was my favourite place. Be sure to book the Seven dwarfs mine train its really popular and gets super busy but it’s so good.
20. Going earlier or later for that matter does not make your parking any cheaper, Disney must have got wise to this one as it has been reported by many that they got parking for 6 dollars at certain times during the day this is no longer happening I checked with the parking person.
21. You can get free parking go to Downtown Disney however you do have to get transport which can lose half your day and mean that you lose the advantage of getting there early and you’re sick of the lines by the time you get there personally, I’d pay the $17 and have a stress and hassle free day!
22. Ask for free stickers… Just ask a cast member and you get free stickers the best come from the vacation club stalls or the Animal Kingdom.
23. Finally if you’re going to a parade and then the wishes night time spectacular only fast pass the spectacular as when I went they let you in early and you got to see both the parade and the wishes night-time spectacular just for booking wishes! Two fastpasses in one!
FUN FACT: when you’re going to WDW you’re going somewhere that Walt Disney himself never got to see which is sad and cool all at the same time!
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