7 Things to Know Before Your Walt Disney World Vacation

  1. You will walk and be on your feet a lot. Walt Disney World is big and even getting from the transportation to the turnstiles will be a walk. Of course while in line you will also be on your feet.  The best help for this is to wear comfortable broken in shoes and socks and make sure to take breaks!  Check out Shannon’s article on prepping to walk.
  2. You cannot avoid the lines. You can use FastPass, but you will still be standing in lines for your FastPasses. You’ll definitely spend time waiting in the standby lines and if you need food, chances are good you will wait in line for a little bit there as well.  Just go in knowing that you will stand in some lines just about everywhere at Walt Disney World.
  3. FastPass is free and easy to use. FastPass is included with your park ticket, so use them! And they are indeed easy to use.  You get to choose an initial 3 but after that you can make more, one at a time.  FastPass gives you a lot of flexibility to change plans on the go using the My Disney Experience app.


  1. There are a few ticket options. Choosing the best ticket option for your party can require some planning, but knowing what options are available are important. There is the base ticket which is 1 park per day, or the Park Hopper which allows you into multiple parks per day.  Then there is the Water Parks, Fun, and More ticket which allows you entrance into the two Disney water parks as well as mini golf, Disney Quest and other extras.  Knowing what you will use on a vacation can save you a lot of money.


  1. Check the park hours and know about special events. You will want to do some research on these events as they can have an effect on hours and closures. For instance starting in September and October Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and in November and December, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will cause the Magic Kingdom to close at 7pm.  This can really change your plans if the park closes much earlier than expected and you will be unable to see fireworks during your visit.  Other special event such as Food and Wine, and Flower and Garden can have an effect on crowds as well.



  1. Don’t overlook attractions. It is easy to judge an attraction but a spin on the People Mover can be relaxing and fun. These smaller attractions can end up becoming favorites if you give them a chance.


  1. You can and should enjoy your resort. The resorts are so well themed, they have amazing pools and some cool amenities. Many resorts have multiple restaurants and bars so there are great places to get bite to eat or drink.    It is very tempting to spend all your time in the parks, but the resorts have great activities such as movies under the stars, campfires with s’mores, and fun games around the pool that you should make the time to check out.




Magic Kingdom Tips

Here are some of my favorite tips for the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.

Get there early to see the Welcome Show! It really sets you up for the magic of the day and you may even leave with a tear in your eye.

When you are entering the park walk up the sidewalk. Of course it is really fun to walk right down the middle of Main Street USA, but it tends to be packed with strollers and people taking pictures or posing for pictures so it is really stop and go. Taking the sidewalk next to the shops will be quicker.

Go for Fantasyland first. You don’t have to go right through the castle though. If you go to the right or left paths closest to the castle you can cut right behind it for a pretty view and you might miss some of the crowds. Also something to note is that the path through the castle is closed at times. I wouldn’t dream of missing walking through it castle on any trip but you can do it later in the day for less crowds.

The flag pole near the train station on Main Street USA hosts a flag ceremony each day at 5pm and it features current or former members of the US Armed Forces. And you can even be a part of it if you are a member of the armed forces.

If you want a good spot to see a parade or Wishes be sure to get there at least 30 minutes early. If you plan to leave right after the parade or fireworks then get a spot close to the Main Street USA Train Station for a quick and easy getaway.

Or alternatively this is a great time to check out the shops on Main Street USA or get a Dole Whip while people are either watching the parade or fireworks or getting onto attractions. Stay late, this one is easier said than done if you have kids. You can accomplish a lot in a couple hours when the crowds are dwindling. The shops are also open one hour after the parks close so that is a great time to do some shopping or just relax on a bench while the park clears out.

Bring change! If you have a child they will very much want to throw a coin in the fountain or in It’s a Small World. There are also lots of pressed penny machines in the park.

Book an early breakfast- you can get into the parks early and beat the crowds to attractions.