A trip to the happiest place on Earth should be easy right? Magical as it may be, Disney World can be draining and overemotional for all ages so here are our top tips for surviving Disney World and making the most of your trip.
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1 Time your visit carefully
Key to surviving Disney World is to plan your timing correctly. In terms of costs and crowds, school holidays are the worst time to go, so if you can, aim to visit out of season. Check the crowd levels on one of the many Disney crowd calendar websites before you book and aim to steer clear of June when you are almost guaranteed rain and July when the heat will make even die-hard Disney fans cranky. Late August or early September tends to be a bit quieter so works well for UK school holidays.
2 Do your planning early
Make any restaurant bookings well ahead of time to ensure you don’t miss out on lunch with the princesses or any of the other many character options available. Once you’ve bought your tickets utilise the Disney FastPass system to save you hours of queuing. Get everyone in your party involved in picking which rides to use it for, maybe each of you could pick a Fastpass for each day of your holiday.
3. But aim to be flexible
There is so much to see and do, make sure you take time to stop and look around, soak up the atmosphere. You might come across Winnie the Pooh signing books in Fantasy Land and just have to stop for a picture, if that means you miss your FastPass on the other side of the park just try to get one for later in the day. Don’t try to cover everything, the parks are so big, the queues can be so long and there is just so much to see it’s unlikely you will get to tick off EVERYTHING on EVERYONES list.
4. Build in some break days
Staying on site at one of the resort hotels can be brilliant fun. It makes travelling too and from the parks easy. It also allows you to visit during “extra magic hours”. Staying off site gives everyone a chance to step away from the madness (I mean magic). There are loads of great value villas all around the parks. A day spent by the pool enjoying the Florida heat (rather than cursing it) can be just what you need to recharge your batteries. A trip out to the beach or to a pretty nearby town like St Petes can be a great way to shake off the Disney!
5. Take the right equipment
You will walk miles around the parks each day so comfortable shoes and clothes are a must. Even if the kids don’t use a buggy at home they will appreciate being pushed for at least part of the day. And you’ll appreciate having somewhere to dump your bags when they’re walking. Take layers to keep you warm in the air conditioned shops and restaurants. A cheap poncho is a good idea for the water rides and inevitable rain storm. Take plenty of water with you to stay hydrated. Empty bottles can be filled up from the many water fountains around the parks.
6.Try to embrace the magic
Not everyone loves Disney but Disney loves everyone! So enjoy talking to the cast members and try to play along with the characters when you interact with them. If you look hard enough there is something to make everyone smile.
If you’re visiting Disney with kids, make sure you also visit Harry Potter World at Universal studios. These are my very best Wizarding world of Harry Potter tips.
If you’re still looking for things to do in Orlando with kids, a visit to the Kennedy space centre would make a superb distraction from Disney, we love this photo review by Jessica Foley from A Modern Mom’s Life all about their day at the Kennedy Space Centre.
What are your top tips for Surviving Disney World? Tell me about them in the comments.
If you’re in the USA with kids, you may also like:
Everything you need to know if you’re planning a family holiday to Washington DC.
Our destination guide to visiting Philadelphia with kids