Disney World Tips for families planning their first trip to the Disney Theme Parks. Here are a few helpful things to keep in mind before you go.
We visited Disney World for the first time with our son just before his third birthday. I made the magical trip to Disney when I was five so a LOT has changed since then, and my husband had never been. We were so excited for our trip, but I really wanted to plan ahead and make the most of our time. While I am a very easy going traveler and like to leave plenty of room in our schedule to let our adventures unfold as they may, I also like to do my research so I don’t waste time.
Our trip was planned for the last week of October. It was a great time to go, not overly crowded and the weather was perfect. The Mickey’s Halloween Celebration was happening over at Magic Kingdom and Epcot had the Food and Wine Festival going on, even more to enjoy!
We had the best time! It was a truly magical experience and we have so many wonderful memories. I posted tons of photos and videos of our trip on Facebook and Instagram and when we got home I had several emails from moms asking for advice on their upcoming trips. Having time to reflect on our trip and all of our plans, here are my top tips visiting Disney World for the first time:
Disney Tips for First Time Visitors
- Check out the crowd calendar and plan your trip for a time when Disney is less crowded. The holidays tend to be the most crowded times as well as during Spring and Summer break. Mid September through Mid November have the lightest crowds. You can check out the Disney World Crowd Calendar at TouringPlans.com to get more info on when to go.
- Download the MyDisney Experience App to your smartphone. This wonderful app is such a handy helper. It is full of information and completely customizable to your trip. You can find maps and even get directions within the park to make your way between rides. You can make FastPass selections, make dining reservations, check out ride wait times and even view your Disney PhotoPass photos.
- Make your Dining reservations ahead of time. There are so many awesome places to dine inside the Disney theme parks. Some of them require reservations which can be tough to get, especially for the popular character dining experiences. Make your reservations far in advance to be sure you get to sample some of the best eats.
- Use the FastPasses. You want to enjoy your time at Disney World, see and do as much as you can right? Waiting in lines is no fun and some of the best rides carry loooooong wait times. That’s why Disney created the FastPass system, so you can skip the line and ride your favorite rides without the long wait. FastPass is free and can be accessed via the My Disney App on your smartphone or by going to https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/fastpass-plus/ . You can choose from a window of time availabilities for each ride. Each person is allowed 3 FastPass selections per day and they must be for the same park. So if you are setting yours up for the Magic Kingdom, you’ll need to make all three selections for the Magic Kingdom before you can make any further selections for the same day. After using your FastPasses you may have the option of adding on additional FastPasses for select rides.
- Arrive early. Aim for getting to the park before opening to enjoy the least crowded time of day. Disney doesn’t tend to get busy until around 10:30 am so you’ll have the best chance of riding the popular rides and avoiding wait times. Plus you’ll get to see the opening show.
- Give yourself a break. Disney is so much fun, but all the excitement and the crowds can really wear you out. Be sure to plan for taking an hour or two to relax and regroup in the afternoon. If you’re staying at a Walt Disney World Resort it’s easy to hop on the bus or monorail and head back to relax at the pool or get in a nap, then head back out later.
Wishing you a wonderful Disney trip and be sure to stop back by and share your favorite moments with us. We love to see the smiles from Disney first timers! Share yours on our Facebook page.