Before we have been truly on-property at Walt Disney World I had no understanding of its measurement or how to plan something. I knew Disney World can be a very totally different expertise than Disneyland, but that’s all. Right here are ten issues you need to know for a Disney World vacation (and two bonus tips that are lifesavers).
To start out you off, these are our prime six tips for planning a Disney World vacation:
- Guide every little thing you can prematurely
- Choose your lodge based mostly on its location and worth level
- Plan your time in the parks with as few transfers as potential
- Understand what’s most necessary to experience for your group
- Separate yourself from the thought that it’s like Disneyland
- Permit yourself downtime, both in a park or lodge, to recharge
As you learn on you’ll perceive each of these bullet points. These are key ideas you need to know for a Disney World vacation that really will make your time there more fun an magical than you might hope for.
- 1 Locale of Walt Disney World
- 2 Getting to Disney World from the airport
- 3 How is Disney World arranged: the lay of the lands
- 4 Getting round Disney World
- 5 Planning your time in every park
- 6 The whole lot concerning the Magic Band
- 7 How to select your superb Disney World lodge
Locale of Walt Disney World
Disney World is situated in Orlando, Florida, between Kissimmee and the Area Coast. It’s a 1.5 hour drive from Tampa, St Pete, and Daytona Seashore (love Daytona Seashore!), three hours from Miami and Jacksonville, and about seven hours from Atlanta, GA and Cellular, AL. In relation to other Orlando sights, take a look at the drive time chart under and map to perceive just where you are and what you can do.
While you can do a whole journey that is simply Disney World, you can even add day journeys to different theme parks and natural areas. For many, a trip to Florida is a lot to plan and a huge expense, so taking advantage of your time in FL is necessary
Getting to Disney World from the airport
That is where things get difficult. One of the things you need to know for a Disney World vacation is how to get there from the airport. You DON’T NEED A CAR. Until you are driving to Disney World from one other location, you don’t need a automotive for anything. From Orlando International Airport (MCO) you have three primary transportation options for how to get to Disney World:
- Disney’s Magical Categorical bus service
- Disney’s Minnie Van personal transport
- Lyft/Uber/Taxi/Town Automotive
Depending in your finances and what number of are in your journey group, you can decide which choice is the most effective for how to get to Disney World.
Magical Categorical to Disney World
This is the bus choice to take you from Orlando International Airport to Disney World. You do need to guide it prematurely, nevertheless it does not value you something. This is a good choice if you’re joining up with others at Disney World or if you want probably the most value efficient choice for a family of 4 or much less. Buses depart from MCO (the Orlando airport) every jiffy and make stops at all Disney World resort resorts. THIS NEEDS TO BE ARRANGED IN ADVANCE.
Notice: this is NOT the choice for you if your aim is to get to your lodge in probably the most well timed style or if you are staying outdoors of the Walt Disney World resort area. The buses do make a number of stops, so if yours isn’t the first cease, your transport to your lodge might take longer than anticipated.
Value per individual: COMPLIMENTARY if you’re staying at a Disney Wold resort lodge – awesome!
Website: Disney’s Magical Categorical
Utilizing Disney’s Minnie Vans
You possibly can ebook the Minnie Van service prematurely for a personal transport to any of the Disney lodges. Relying in your celebration measurement or the option you select, you could also be in a Suburban or minivan of types. The driving force will meet you inside the terminal to assist with luggage and ensure you’re all set. As soon as within the car, they provide refreshments (waters, candies…) and all types of details about Disney World. For families of four or extra, that is our prime suggestion if it matches in your finances and you’re pressed for time.
Value per airport switch: $150 every approach
Notice: Minnie Van service across the resort can also be obtainable via the Lyft app. That service doesn’t have to be pre-arranged, but will not be as obtainable as a commonplace Lyft.
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Whereas it’s not our prime decide for how to get to Disney World, Lyft and different experience providers and taxis are out there to get you from MCO. Since it is about a half hour journey, relying in your time of day you can plan on spending about $40 to get to most inns on Disney property.
How is Disney World arranged: the lay of the lands
There are 5, no… 34 areas to Walt Disney World. Of the issues you need to know for a Disney World vacation this is likely one of the most necessary: NOTHING IS CONNECTED. We’re west coasters, so we visit Disneyland in California ceaselessly and have written all about it many occasions. Disneyland is all shut together and it’s straightforward to hop between parks and even return to your lodge room if wanted. Disney World is unfold out with miles between parks and motels.
The theme parks are the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and Disney Springs (Downtown Disney). Every park is extraordinarily totally different than the subsequent and none are comparable to the opposite. And no, the Magic Kingdom is neither higher or not as cool as Disneyland: it’s totally different.
Getting round Disney World
Okay, this is number 2 of massive issues you need to know for a Disney World vacation. If you haven’t picked up on it but, Disney World is large and you will spend a truthful period of time getting between parks and lodges. From each lodge there are shuttles, either by boat or bus, to get you to the totally different parks. From each park, there are buses to get you to the other parks. There’s also the monorail which matches between the Magic Kingdom and a few inns, as well as the Transportation and Ticket Middle and Epcot; a ferry system between Magic Kingdom, inns, Epcot and Disney Springs; and opening fall of 2019 there are gondola strains connecting Hollywood Studios and Epcot to a handful of resorts.
As a result of the parks are so spread out, you ought to allot your self a minimum of 40 minutes to get between two factors. That time accounts for ready to board transportation, walking from the drop off level, going by way of safety, and ultimately making it by means of a park gate. 40 minutes is a tight schedule that goes as deliberate. 60 minutes is right and leaves room for error if you have one thing scheduled that you’re making an attempt to get to.
Word: getting from Disney Springs to anyplace is definitely a nightmare and you ought to solely visit Disney Springs if you have time to kill or a dinner reservation. You can’t get a shuttle from Disney Springs to any theme park, so before you plan a stop there, know you’re going to need to take a Lyft or Minnie Van between there and anyplace else in addition to your lodge.
Planning your time in every park
Once we created our information to planning an superior Disneyland vacation, we talked about considering your crew and figuring out what experiences are most essential to them. One of the factor issues you need to know for a Disney World vacation is what everyone needs out of the trip. For our youngsters it was to be wowed by every little thing from characters to exhibits, not so much by rides. For us dads, it was to see the youngsters have enjoyable AND to get to do some enjoyable points of interest that packed a thrill.
Right here’s how you plan your park time in Disney World:
- Evaluate the exhibits and points of interest in each park
- Ask your family/travelers what they know about Disney World and what they assume they need to do
- Make a listing of the highest experiences/exhibits/rides and type them out by park
- If there’s one park that most issues fall into, plan to have two days/visits to that park
It truly is okay to not do each single journey or hit up each single character meet and greet. It’s robust to tell your self that you don’t need to do every little thing, however really, it’s okay to skip some issues. It’s extra essential that you take pleasure in your self than that you run round hitting every part and sporting your self out (until that’s your factor). And that’s why FastPASSes are so great.
Word: these parks are very totally different from California and you need to approached planning your Disneyland trip in a different way. Take a look at our article!
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The FastPASS system was truly my biggest thriller before truly being on property. Understanding how to use FastPASS is among the key issues you need to know for a Disney World vacation. Here’s the essential rundown:
- FastPASS is a system for saving your home in line for an attraction on a set date and time
- Once you buy your Disney World tickets you can guide your FastPass occasions, up to 2 months prematurely if you’re staying on property
- You possibly can e-book three FastPasses per day together with your tickets (no additional value) – they can’t overlap in time slots and can’t be in several parks
- You CAN PURCHASE FastPASS+ as an add-on to your ticket. It will give you 5 further FastPASSes you can simply walk up to use, not having to e-book them prematurely
Utilizing the My Disney Experience app and website
Here is your massive time/stress saving thing you need to know for a Disney World vacation: get accustomed to the My Disney Expertise app earlier than your trip. This app is on the market for both iOS and Android and as soon as you get the hold of it’s really easy to use.
Inside the My Disney Experience app you’ll discover park maps with attraction wait occasions, dining options with particulars about each restaurant’s menu, FastPASS booking, Photograph Cross and more. We advocate enjoying with the app an familiarizing yourself with it before you even arrive in Orlando. You will get signed in and manage all issues Disney World via it. You’ll be able to even unlock your lodge room door by means of the app!
If you can turn out to be accustomed to each park’s format and present schedules, you’ll feel extra snug planning your Disney World vacation and even really feel a bit versatile and stress-free once you’re truly onsite and having fun with the parks.
Tip: log into My Disney Expertise online or within the app to add your credit card prior to arrival. It will permit you to cost again to one central account and avoid any delayed with examine in when you arrive on the lodge.
Planning your dining
You don’t actually have to plan your eating at Disney World. If you are high quality walking up and getting meals inside the park at the many Quick Service Eating places, go for it. There are some fairly good choices. But if you would really like to sit down and chill out, have a properly plated meal and an adult beverage, booking your dining reservations prematurely could be a nice help.
We found that the more well-liked restaurants in the Magic Kingdom booked up greater than a month out, but there have been nonetheless quite a few options within the other parks with open availability a day or two prematurely. So how do you plan your Disney World dining? Plan it based mostly on the park you might be in vs the eating you want to do.
Here’s how you plan your dining for any of the parks:
- Know what park you’ll be in on what day
- If you scored an necessary FastPass, give that priority over eating (until it’s Cinderella’s Royal Table in Magic Kingdom, that wins every thing)
- Learn the descriptions for the eating places within the park you’re planning and select based mostly on their menu and any private recommendations from pals
- Guide your dining time understanding that it’s approximate and you may linger longer than expected
Keep in mind, we’re talking about sit-down dining here, not Fast Service. We found that having a nice lunch or dinner labored into a busy day of rides and walking between places actually allowed us and the youngsters to recharge. Quiet eating environment does wonders for calming the senses and giving adults a reboot to get back on the market.
Tip: the Jungle Skipper Canteen is a fantastic eating choice within the Magic Kingdom with a quiet environment and really scrumptious Pan-Pacific cuisine. The meals quality was wonderful (shocking even) and the wait employees was straight off the Jungle Cruise with their wit and sass.
Adding Character Dining to a Disney World journey
Character dining in Disney World has many options. Know that they are all a pretty penny and you’ll spend greater than twice what you would for a common meal, but if it’s in your finances and it’s really essential to your Disney World expertise, go for it. For us, it was necessary as a result of it was our first Disney World journey and we don’t have endurance for ready in strains for characters, and we actually beloved our time together doing it.
We noted above that Cinderella’s Royal Desk is the holy grail of character eating, but few get to experience it. If you’ve acquired tickets and may guide it, do it. We couldn’t score it, however heard superb issues concerning the food and the character interaction. We did two character eating experiences in Disney World they usually have been each good and completely totally different.
We did the Disney Junior character breakfast at Hollywood and Vine in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It had some enjoyable characters, together with Goofy, however for our youngsters who don’t watch TV they weren’t invested in meeting anybody. However then our Tusker Home Character Lunch, that was totally different. Situated in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Tuskers is absolutely enjoyable and SO DELICIOUS. Mickey, Goofy, Daisy and Donald have been all there they usually truly came round a few occasions. Actually fantastic experience for all of us.
Tip: character dining in Disney World has plenty of decisions, but ensure if you’re investing in it that you choose one that your youngsters will connect with. It’s a waste of a lot of money to choose a character dining experience with unfamiliar stars or characters that they’re afraid of.
The whole lot concerning the Magic Band
The subsequent key to unlocking an awesome trip is the Magic Band. This is likely one of the issues you need to know for a Disney World vacation and it’ll be involved with every little thing you do in Disney World. The Magic Band is a wristband that is linked to My Disney Experience. You employ it for every little thing… truly every little thing:
- Park entry
- Photograph Cross
- Purchases within the parks and resort lodges
- Unlocking your lodge room
- Magic Kingdom’s Sorcerers of the Magic Kingom
Critically, the Magic Band is related to something. Before you arrive at Disney World, you truly can customize the Magic Bands. If you have a minimum of two weeks prior to arrival, you can select the colours of your bands, and any time you can set permissions for the bands. For instance: I forgot to select shade so all of us ended up with grey bands. I did keep in mind to log into My Disney Expertise and set up Chris and I to have the ability to cost back to our Disney account but the prohibit the youngsters from doing it. Do this prematurely and you’ll be all set from the second you’re on the Walt Disney World Resort.
Tip: for younger youngsters and tiny wrists, the Magic Band truly comes with a removable measurement buffer. Remove the outer two-toned band section to make the Magic Band fit any measurement visitor properly.
Utilizing PhotoPass and Reminiscence Maker
Since we’re speaking about Magic Bands, one thing else you’ll use it for in Disney World is PhotoPass. When you hear “PhotoPass” you may assume that this is only one other thing to pay for, and you are right and flawed. Sure, you should purchase photographs via Photograph Move by permitting the Disney World photographers to snap your pic with their digital camera and then scanning your Magic Band to add it to the app, however you also can use them for common family pics.
In both Disneyland and Disney World we have now taken full advantage of the PhotoPass photographers to seize household footage for us. Positive you can ask a stranger, but the Photograph Move forged is there to assist make your Disney Vacation as fantastic as potential in any method, together with taking footage with your personal digital camera.
There’s a further service you can buy together with your Disney World vacation referred to as Reminiscence Maker. This is full access to any photographs taken by the Photograph Cross group with their cameras, footage snapped by automated cameras on points of interest, and additional pictures with Disney magic added to them. Between not having to worry about capturing pictures your self and the extra bonus pics, Memory Maker is a cool addition to a Disney World vacation.
Notice: the Reminiscence Maker is a further value to your park ticket, so you determine if it’s value it. Think of it this manner: if you plan on buying the attraction pictures (Splash Mountain, Expedition Everest…) or any of the photograph cross options you might recuperate the fee shortly by simply getting the reminiscence maker.
And if I wasn’t clear earlier than, Memory Maker offers downloads of you pictures and any videos captured. It’s not printing every thing out for you there in the Parks, nevertheless it’s all downloadable for your personal use at house.
How to select your superb Disney World lodge
I tread frivolously when discussing selecting the best Disney World lodge, as there are so many and every one serves a very totally different expertise, worth point and general visitor experience. Right here’s the primary things you need to know for a Disney World vacation when you’re truly booking a lodge:
- Every lodge has totally different transportation choices to totally different parks – perhaps a boat to Magic Kingdom, perhaps gondola to Hollywood Studios… or buses.
- Research the space from your main park as that will impression the travel time each day, notably if you’ll be visiting a park a number of occasions
- Learn up on every motels’ swimming pools and on-property providers. Some inns have Character Dining, others have MANY pools, some have walkable access to a park…
- Consider general Disney World package deal costs evaluating the day by day value vs the journey occasions. If you’re spending an hour in the morning and evening simply getting to and from the lodge, what is that time value to you?
- Will you be having any downtime on the lodge? In that case, e-book one that suits your wants for pools, recreation rooms, outside films or even spa time.
We simply spent five days on the Art of Animation Resort, and while it was very removed from the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, it was fairly shut to Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, which was best on totally different days. We beloved it for the theming (liked our Automobiles suite) and the pools (three totally different ones). The eating on property was restricted to the primary dining hall, however it had scrumptious, healthy options and many various meal options, so was great for us.
If you have any questions on planning a trip or if there are things you need to know for a Disney World vacation that we didn’t cowl, allow us to know! We’re pleased to assist in any approach. A visit to Disney World is an funding and might be disturbing; permit us to help!
And be happy to pin this for your personal Disney World vacation planning. 🙂