I absolutely love Walt Disney World, but I can’t deny that it can be overwhelming. There’s so much to do and see, and SO many other people there trying to do it all, too! It can be easy to miss out on things and feel you’ve wasted time and money.
But have no fear! I’ve been to Disney World dozens of times, and while I’m still not an expert, I have some experience and have learned some suitable methods to make the most of your Disney Day. Here are some tips to ensure you have the most magical day at the Most Magical Place on Earth!
I hate to be the one to tell you, but you won’t get to experience everything Disney World offers. It’s not possible. There’s just too much to do. What an excellent problem to have, right? At least you won’t be bored! So, before your trip, or even the night before you visit the park, make a list! You don’t have to be super detailed with a spreadsheet or color-coded schedule (though some people do like to do that!), but list out the things you know you really want to do. What are the top rides you want to ride? What are some you’d like to ride if you can, but if you don’t make it, it’s not the end of the world? Which ones do you not care about at all? Is there a particular snack you absolutely must try? Make a list! Check them off as you go. If you get through your must-dos, try some of your backups!
Get an Early Start
I’m a big fan of rope dropping (getting to the parks for the opening). If you stay at a Disney resort, you can arrive 30 minutes before the official opening. Use that extra time, or even right at opening if you’re not staying on property, to take advantage of lower wait times, crowds, and temperatures. You can always rest during the heat of the day and peak crowds around lunchtime!
This can be a divisive one. And look, I get it, Genie+ isn’t cheap. The more people you have in your party, the more you’ll pay. But if you can add it to your budget, it’s worth it. This will help you work through your priority list more efficiently, especially on a busy day at a Disney park.
Now, Genie+ is more vital in some parks than others. Here’s how I would rank the necessity of Genie+:
- Hollywood Studios – this park, though it has fewer attractions, has some VERY popular ones
- Magic Kingdom – there are several attractions here, and you can certainly get through more of them with Genie+
- Epcot – I don’t think it’s a must-have at Epcot, but there are a few rides that can get very long waits
- Animal Kingdom – this is the least busy park. Genie+ can be handy here on busy days, but it’s usually not essential.
Nobody wants to spend twenty minutes trying to get through security and realizing you must have every pocket of your backpack opened and searched. Pack light! I love to take a Loungefly to the parks. It’s small and compact but holds the things I need. Here are a few of my essentials:
– Hand sanitizer/wipes
– Small snacks (primarily for my kids)
– Insulated water bottle
– Disposable potty seat covers (I use plastic ones for my kids, rather than the flimsy paper ones)
I can fit all of these things in my Loungefly or hang them from carabiner clips on our stroller for things like water bottles and snack containers.
Disney World is a fantastic vacation, but it can be overstimulating. I’m not proud of how I’ve snapped at my family before because things weren’t going exactly as planned, or a line was longer than I wanted to wait. My best advice is don’t take your frustrations out on other people, especially cast members. Cast members get lectured and yelled at daily because a disgruntled guest was frustrated about something. And 99% of the time, it has nothing to do with that cast member. Be patient; you’re with thousands of others who want to do the same things. There will be lines, there may be rain, there will be rides that close for maintenance, there will be disappointments. But luckily, Disney is STILL magical, despite the disappointments!
Author: Ashley Hunt
Ashley co-founded The Midwest Mouse, a Disney Instagram account and blog she started with her husband, Braden. Ashley lives in Indiana with her husband and their two daughters. They are Walt Disney World annual pass holders and visit Disney parks as often as possible. They look forward to crossing more things off their Disney bucket list while continuing to share their adventures on their Instagram (@the_midwest_mouse) and website.
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