Hey guys & welcome back , so if you’re reading this I’m guessing you’re planning on taking a trip to Disney or you’ve already booked one , soooo exciting.
I’m heading off in May & I can’t even tell you how excited I am seriously, it’s too much like , anyways so I’m popping together a little guide of must dos before your Disney vacation because there are some important things to know before you go so let’s get into it.
1. Book those FastPasses
Ok so if you didn’t know Walt Disney world in Orlando give free FastPasses , that’s right you don’t need to pay for them yaaayyyy. A FastPass is basically a way of jumping the regular queue thus cutting your waiting time to little or nothing which is amazing & FREE , nothing is free in Disney so this makes me excited lol. An important thing to note is that these FastPasses are available 30 days in advance if you’re not staying in a Disney resort hotel so I would highly recommend buying your Disney tickets before you travel because most of those FastPasses for the popular attractions will be booked up & some have very long wait times like hours.
We’ve purchased ours from Here , so there’s a great offer atm of 14 days for the price of 7 & you get a memory maker which is basically all your photos from your days at Disney from the rides to cast members taking photos which saves you like €200 & it’s included with your ticket & also a magic band which you use to get into the park or your hotel room in Disney & it’s a pretty cute souvenir from your trip.
Ok so what if you’re staying in Disney well you can book your FastPasses 60 days in advance yep 60 days , so that’s definitely a bonus of staying onsite in Disney plus you’ll be close to all the Disney theme parks & there’s free transportation which is great . To book your FastPasses you can link your tickets & hotel to an app , it’s called my Disney experience but you need to be on the ball with this literally as soon as the day hits you need to be on there booking FastPasses for things like flight of passenger or frozen or slinky dog coaster, these are the most popular rides atm & you could be waiting up to 3 hours each for these so definitely try book those FastPasses.
Also another thing is once you use 1 of your FastPasses you can book more so basically you can reserve 3 at a time per day but once you’re finished using you’re first one you can book another one to have 3 in total again & you can do this across your stay in the parks which is great . So let’s say your going May 1st & you’re going to magic Kingdom, you can pop into the app 30 days ahead (once you have your tickets of course) & book 3 FastPasses for that day in magic Kingdom but try to book them close in time so you’re not waiting 6 hours for you’re next 1 if you can .
Another thing to note is Epcot has a tier system for booking your fast passes, so basically you can choose 1 fp from tier 1& 2 from tier 2 or 3 from tier 2 .
Meet Disney pals
The seas with Nemo
Living with the land
Pixar shirt films
Journey into imagination
So the FastPasses I’ve picked for each park are
Snow White mine train
Nemo & friends
Flight of passenger
Tower of terror
Toy story mania
Rock n roller coaster
2. Dining reservations
Ok sooo dining reservations open 180 days in advance, yep I know super early & crazy to be thinking about where you’re going to eat but people do take advantage of this & a lot of popular restaurants in Disney get booked up so try to book even 1 or 2 you definitely don’t want to miss. Like for example for us be our guest restaurant & Cinderella’s dining table are all booked up right now so we can’t do either of these & they are the most popular right now but there’s still get counter service places to visit & you can do character dining in a few hotels like the contemporary resort have a dine with mickey option pretty much all day .
3. Staying on site in Disney
So we’ve booked through a travel agent for our flights & accommodation & we’re staying on international drive but we’ve booked a few days to stay in Disney too & surprisingly it’s not that expensive we’ve booked 3 nights in the all stars movie resort for €334 just over €100 a night but the 3 days we’ve booked have extra magic hours which is amazing. Extra magic hours are basically selected timeframes either before the park opens or after it closes that are exclusive to Disney resort guests so for either 1 or 2 hours you have the park to yourself & all the other guests but the lines will be significantly shorter & you’ll get to ride some of the most popular attractions which is totally worth the money & you get to check out the other resort on Disney property & Disney springs that you might not if you’re just staying in i drive.
3. It rains a lot
Ok so if you’ve never been to Orlando before you may not know that it’s rains pretty much everyday from spring to autumn so if you’re there in the summer months it will definitely rain. The rain in Orlando is not like the rain in Ireland, sometimes it’s torrential rain & comes out of nowhere so definitely pack a poncho because you’ll need it for sure but it’s only lasts like 10mins so you won’t be wet for long. There’s usually a lot of thunder & lightening to , last time we went it was pretty much every night . Pack for all weathers , it can be very humid but you may need a jacket in the evenings depending on the time of year so be prepared. Oh & buy your poncho off site if you can at a dollar tree store you’ll save so much money.
4.There will be lines
Ok something not everyone expects is to queue in long lines but the way Disney is now even the slower days are busy & you will definitely wait in long lines for popular rides averaging 120 mins but for flights of passengers it’s more like 180mins which can be exhausting so make sure to have plenty of breaks. Standing around in the sun all day really takes it out of you so take some down time when you can. Another important thing is not to rush , you won’t do it all , trust me I’ve been there like 8 times & there’s always new things to see & do so take your time soak it all up & enjoy being in the magical moment. Another good tip is to try get to popular rides during parades or fireworks because most people are watching those & the lines maybe shorter.
5. Bring a reusable water bottle, at all the counter service stations around the parks you can get free ice water , they do put it in a cup so if you’ve a water bottle just pop it in there . It’s so important to stay hydrated because it’s sooo hot & walking 20k steps in that sun is exhausting so keep yourself hydrated .
6.Pack a park bag
So essentials for me are
Snacks(you can bring your own food into Disney so be sure to pack snacks & lunch for everyone to save a few dollars)
Zip lock bag (keep my phone dry in water rides)
Poncho or umbrella
Extra socks (if it rains or you get wet on a water ride it’s not pleasant squealching around in wet runners)
Minnie/Mickey mouse ears
disinfectant wipes& gel
Mini fan for those hot days
A small towel
Magic band & purse
Sunglasses & a hat
Light jacket as the air conditioned restaurant can be cold
Of course if you have kiddies with you this list will include a whole lot more but for me these items are super important.
Be sure to check the list of what WDW don’t allow to bring into the parks to because that’s a pretty long list & you don’t want to start your day off by having to leave stuff behind.
7. Take a day off
Another important thing to do is a non park day were you just hang out at the pool or check out the resorts or outlet shopping or have a few drinks but just have time to relax because it is a holiday & the parks are very busy & can really take its toll on you so definitely have a rest day to recharge those batteries.
8. Buy your merchandise at home
Ok so you all know how much I love penneys & their Disney range is unbelievable for adults & the kiddos for a fraction of the price that you’d pay in Orlando so buy it all here . It will save you so much money & personally I like the Penney’s range much more then the merchandise clothing in Florida so definitely get it all here . Bring comfortable shoes & break them in before you go , trust me on this one you will walk miles & miles & the last thing you want is blisters & cuts.
9. Go to the parks at rope drop
So rope drop is basically when the parks first open & they have a big rope & they officially open the park for the day . If you get to the park about 30 minutes before rope drop you’ll get into the park & hopefully get to ride some of the most popular rides with a relatively short wait time as the parks are generally not too busy at these times so it’s a great tip to get to the park early & ride your favourite attractions. Check out all the times of shows,parades & fireworks too because some of there are amazing & you don’t want to miss them & it can help map out your day in that park.
10. Plan ahead
Ok so with all these FastPasses & dining reservations that need to be booked way ahead of time it does really help to try & plan your days out in each park but if it doesn’t go to plan which sometimes it won’t don’t stress. Just go with the flow , you’ve probably saved super hard for this trip & put a lot of effort in organising every bit of it but if it doesnt go to plan just enjoy your experience because it really is such a magical place filled with amazing things to do & see. Decide what are your must dos, make a list of your top 10/15 rides or attractions & prioritise those ones.Be sure to check out Disney springs,they have amazing food places & world of Disney store & sprinkles cupcakes, it’s still Disney but less of a tasking day.Take the time to enjoy the theme parks & the atmosphere because there’s no where like it , enjoy your family time even though you’ll probably want to kill each other at times just remember you’re only there for a week or 2 so soak it all up & have a blast.
Congratulations if you’ve made it this far , it’s a long list but full of some really important tips to help make your trip to Walt Disney World unbelievably & a little bit easier on yourself, so if you’re heading off soon , enjoy your trip guys ekkkkk.
Love Lorna Jane xxxx