No matter what your age, you’ll always remember your first trip to Walt Disney World. A place where dreams really do come true, your visit to Florida is guaranteed to be full of magic, wonder and excitement.
Whether you’re heading to Disney as a couple, with friends or with family, there are a few things every first-timer should know. With so much to see and do, you’ll want to make sure you spend some time planning ahead in order to squeeze everything into your visit!
Don’t underestimate the size of Walt Disney World
An area larger than Manhattan, Walt Disney World is a huge place that can’t be tackled fully on foot. With four theme parks and two water parks, over 20 hotels and many dining and entertainment venues there are plenty of places to visit. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to do everything in a day or two, so make a list of your must-see attractions and start planning the most efficient route!
Download the Disney App
Downloading the My Disney Experience app is an absolute must for every single visitor. Getting lost won’t be an issue thanks to the interactive, GPS-enabled map which can provide directions to rides, shows, character greeting locations and so much more.
Wait times are available in real time for all rides to help you avoid the busiest areas and fast passes can be booked through the app too. You can also create your own itinerary in the app and share it will other members of your group so everyone knows where they need to be at what time.
Advantages of staying in a Disney Hotel
If you’re considering staying over at a Disney Hotel, you might be unaware of some additional advantages available to guests who choose to stay on-site. Possibly the biggest perk is the extra time guests are entitled to in the park. Exclusive access before the park opens or once it has closed (this varies so check before you go!), means you can quickly head to the most popular rides and avoid the queues.
As we’ve mentioned, Walt Disney World is pretty big! Disney hotel guests can take advantage of free resort transportation and even complimentary transport to and from Orlando International Airport.
If you have little ones, they’ll also love the hotel wake up calls. You can request a character to do this, so they’ll hear Mickey, Minnie or one of their other favourites first thing in the morning.
Planning is key, so whenever you can make sure you book in advance. Not only does this ensure you won’t miss out on something you’ve really been looking forward to, it also helps to add structure to your day.
Particular restaurants take reservations, such as STK Orlando and Tokyo Dining. There’s no denying Disney can get incredibly busy during peak times, so if you know where you want to go (perhaps you’re planning a special evening for a loved one or want to treat the kids to a character dining experience) we recommend to always book ahead!
First time guests might not know it, but fast passes are also included in the price of their ticket. So many people forget to use these, but they’re great for cutting queues. You can book them up to 30 days in advance (or 60 if you’re a guest at a Disney hotel) online or via the app!
It’s not all about the rides
Disney can be a tiring experience, especially if you spend all day walking to and from rides. Plan a day or two of downtime and enjoy Disney’s other attractions. Make sure you visit Downtown Disney and the BroadWalk, as well as the Polynesian Resort Ohana and Hollywood Studios.
Whether you can’t wait to meet Belle or you’re excited to brave Space Mountain, we have a feeling your first trip to Disney wonât disappoint if you do a tiny bit of planning before you go!