• Slow down and enjoy the magic. Resist the urge to see everything at breakneck speed, and take time to enjoy the numerous amenities offered at your resort. You can not possibly see everything, so think of this as your first trip to Disney not your last. There’ll be time for you to pick up what you missed on another go-round.
• Think ahead. Decide your priorities before your holiday begins and plan out each day beforehand.
• Get to the parks early! It’s amazing, particularly in busy season, how many of the popular rides you can knock off before half the”World” gets out of bed.
• Plan for a break in the middle of the day especially if you have children in the parks are open late. Stay at one of the Magic Kingdom or Epcot resorts, allowing a simple return to your resort in the middle of the day for a rest or a plunge in the pool.
• Call or go online exactly 180 days prior at 7:00 a.m. Orlando time (Eastern time) for dining reservations if a meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table or Be Our Guest in the Magic Kingdom is tops on your list. You may get away with sleeping in and booking a bit later but only when traveling through extremely slow seasons.
If you’re caught unprepared just about every store in the parks sells inexpensive rain ponchos.
• Arrive at the water parks in opening time if a sofa chair is a priority, or, better yet, pre-reserve one of the private cabanas or premium beach seat area. And bear in mind that in the busy summer months, water parks are sometimes filled to capacity by mid-morning with new guests kept from entering until late afternoon.
• Use Disney’s FastPass+® alternative which allows up to 3 FastPass+ attractions per day to be pre-reserved 60 days before arrival.
• Make Advance Dining Reservations, especially in the busier times of year (see the Dining In Style at Walt Disney World Resort chapter for a more detailed explanation), to save hours of frustration and waiting.
• Allow a lot of time to reach the theme parks every morning. It’s easy to miss your breakfast reservations when enough time hasn’t yet been allocated.
• Be selectively spontaneous. If something catches your attention, even if it is not on your daily list of things to do, be ready to stop and explore or you may miss something wonderful.
• Be attuned to the limitations of your kids. If they’re tired take a rest; when their feet hurt get them a stroller (forget that they outgrew one years ago); if a ride looks scary to them do not force the situation. It will make your day and the day of other park visitors much less stressful.
Better yet, bring several pairs and rotate them. Nothing is worse than getting blisters on your first day and then having to nurse them for the remainder of your vacation.