I paid a discounted fee to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Land & Sea Celebration. Although I received accommodations, park tickets, some meals, gifts and special perks from the sponsors and Disney, all opinions are honest and my own.
Growing up in Grenada, I recall watching hours upon hours of Mickey (& Minnie) Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, the Mickey Mouse Club and all the Disney classics. As I grew into adulthood, I continued to enjoy the magic of Disney through movies, but I somehow convinced myself that going to Disney World was mainly for kids. I quickly realized that I was so wrong and added Disney World to my “list of places to visit”. Fast forward to last month, I (we) officially made my (our) first visit to the happiest place on earth as part of the Disney Social Media Moms Land & Sea Celebration.
Because I attended as part of the DisneySMMC almost all of the planning and scheduling was taken care of by the amazing Disney team, and for that, I am so grateful. As I made my way through the parks and experienced the magic of Disney, I realized how much (more) overwhelmed I would have been as a first-timer if that was not the case.
If you’re visiting Disney World for the first time. Here are five tips to help you enjoy your trip.
1) Wear comfortable shoes – Disney World is HUGE and you will do tons of walking. You can easily get your ten thousand steps in within a matter of hours of entering any of the parks, so comfortable shoes are a MUST. We wore our Converse (the cushy ones) and while they are pretty comfortable, by Day 3, my feet were starting to feel a bit sore. For our next visit, we’ll definitely need even more comfortable walking shoes.
2) Download the My Disney Experience App before your trip – The App is your one-stop place for managing your entire trip. You can plan your days, buy tickets, book fast passes, order food, make reservations, see your photos and keep updated on what’s happening in real time.The App also lists all the attractions (and their current wait times) so you will know how long you will potentially have to stand in line.
3) Stay at a Disney Resort – If you can afford it, I highly recommend staying at a Disney Resort. In addition to having access to free transportation to & from the airport via Disney’s Magical Express, you also have access to daily, free and reliable transportation from your hotel to all of the parks. The Disney Magic starts from the moment you board the Magic Express at the airport and staying at a Disney resort just takes that up to another level.
When we first arrived at Disney we stayed at the Coronado Springs Resort for the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. It was breathtakingly beautiful. When we returned from our Disney Cruise, we stayed at the All-Star Music Resort which was so gorgeous. Another amazing perk of staying at a Disney Resort is that you get to enjoy what is called “Magic Hours”. This is open only to resort guests who get to experience late night shows, fireworks and spectaculars at the parks. One of our favorites was the Happily Ever After Fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom.
4) Book FastPasses in advance but bring your patience – Did I mention that the lines at Disney World are LONG? Disney allows you to book guest 3 pre-planned FastPass+ uses per day and these initial FastPass+ reservations may only be used in a single park per day per ticket. Once you use up your FastPasses, you can book more (one at a time), but since there limited passes per attraction per day, you will inevitably have to do some waiting.
Watching people stand in line as we breezed through the lines with our FastPasses made me so grateful that the Disney team made sure we had them.
This is where the My Disney Experience App will come in handy. You can keep up to date with what’s available, wait times and more. For popular attractions like Pandora Flight of Passage, the wait can be up to 3 hours. It is definitely worth the wait, so bring your patience.
5) Make a plan but don’t over-plan – There’s no way around it, visiting Disney World for the first time (or the 20th time) requires planning. There are always new rides and attractions to see and enjoy so you will need to have a plan of action. However, you also need to leave a little breathing room in your plans to just take in all the magic happening around you. Outside of the rides and attractions, there is so much to see and enjoy at the Disney parks. There are tons of details, hidden Mickey’s, Disney history and more than you can miss if you’re just ripping and running from ride to ride.
Whew! Are you overwhelmed? Breathe, we got you ;). Hopefully, these tips will help to make your first visit to Disney go a bit smoother. As mentioned before, I’m teaming up with some of my blogger friends for #WaltDisneyWednesdays.
Check out these posts for even more Disney preparation tips.
Bernetta – 9 Must Haves When Packing for a Disney Trip