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Stress-Free Guide to Visiting Disney World

Disney World Empty Early Magic Hours

There are a LOT of “How To Do Disney World” articles on the Web. I do know this as a result of I’ve learn each single one in every of them. Okay, that’s a lie. However I’ve learn quite a bit through the years. Most of them stress me out virtually instantly. A variety of the Disney World suggestion websites simply find yourself screaming, “YOU ARE GOING TO FAIL THIS VACATION, MICHELE!” as a result of they give attention to itineraries, FastPass+, reservations and principally earlier than you realize it, each single second of each single day you’re there’s crammed up.

Personally, I don’t take pleasure in planning a trip inside an inch of its life. I do this at house all day, day-after-day. If I don’t plan my on a regular basis life, whereas elevating three little boys ages four, 7 and 11, somebody will miss a soccer follow or overlook a lunch. Or, I’ll overlook to pay the piano instructor and I’m slightly afraid of the piano instructor. Once I go away, I would like to be freed from a demanding schedule, as a result of demanding schedules imply I’ll inevitably miss one thing and lacking one thing makes me really feel dangerous. Holidays aren’t supposed to stress individuals out. So these Disney World websites with all their info? They make me really feel like a failure earlier than I’ve even failed.

Let’s say you’re not likely a Disney World fan however your child is BEGGING you to go. Perhaps you see Disney World as overcrowded, filled with screaming youngsters, monumental turkey legs, and lengthy strains. (It’s!) Perhaps you’ve been the individual to say, “Why would anyone want to drop thousands of dollars on a vacation that screams consumerism and gluttony?” I get it. However! It doesn’t have to be that method. You are able to do Disney World your method. We go to Disney at the very least as soon as annually. Typically twice. And I’m unsure we’d do this if we adopted a “typical” Disney trip itinerary. It’s far too overwhelming and subsequently by no means enjoyable (notably for the grownups).

The record under took us years of errors earlier than we found out how to make our Disney holidays not simply tolerable, however really gratifying as nicely.

Rule #1: Embrace Your Mornings at Disney World

I do know that is simpler stated than achieved. I’m an early riser. And I married somebody who’s ABSOLUTELY NOT AN EARLY RISER (like, my youngsters are sometimes afraid to wake him up). And overlook getting him out the door with out no less than three cups of espresso. However I stand by this rule. Attempt. It’s only for every week. Attempt to rise up early.

Disney World Empty Early Magic Hours

As a result of when it comes to visiting Disney, the cliché is usually true: the early fowl will get the worm. (This can make extra sense additional down on this submit.) That doesn’t imply that there isn’t a ton of enjoyable stuff to do at night time! However hitting the parks earlier than they open (Sure! You are able to do this! We frequently arrive a full hour earlier than a park opens.) is a large profit. I swear by it.

Rule #2: Plan Very Little However Be Strategic When You Do

Don’t fill your days with FastPass+ and different reservations. Why? As a result of you will have NO IDEA the way you’re going to really feel that given day and also you don’t need to be tied to a packed schedule the place you are feeling rushed and like you will have to do one thing. That isn’t a trip. That’s a job.

Additionally: since most of us go to Disney with youngsters and youngsters have a tendency to have a thoughts of their very own, with all totally different temperaments and sleep schedules, you haven’t any concept when considered one of them goes to lose their proverbial shit. And also you don’t need to be that man within the park with the limp princess, coated in chocolate, snot and who is aware of what else. Belief me.

Soarin ride at Disney World Orlando

Photograph supply: Disney World

What we often do on any given trip is guide a only a few FastPass+ for rides that have a tendency to have lengthy strains.  (Examples: Mine Practice, Avatar Flight of Passage, Check Monitor, Soarin’, Slinky Canine Sprint, Splashdown Mountain, Exhibition Everest). Bear in mind, nevertheless, you’ll be able to solely e-book one high-trafficked/in style experience per park. So, for instance, you’ll be able to’t do Avatar AND Exhibition Everest. However! You don’t want to! I clarify a hack underneath Rule 7 (see under). So e-book one main experience in a park and guide two much less fashionable ones in that very same park. In different phrases, we often decide two to three (relying on the size of our keep) FastPass+ days. Meaning we’ll ebook one common experience on a selected day after which two lesser common rides as nicely. (Once I say fashionable, I don’t imply by my requirements. I imply rides like Avatar, Soarin’ and Mine Practice.)

For instance: Quick Move for Splash Mountain for 10 AM. We’ll guide Winnie the Pooh for the next hour, have lunch after which e-book Pirates of the Caribbean after which head residence all earlier than 2 PM.

Rule #three: Go for no less than 5 days, longer should you can swing it

Should you’re flying to Disney World or driving there and it takes greater than eight hours, don’t go for lower than 5 days. If you’d like to benefit from the journey, something much less will stress you out. Even for those who don’t intend on over-planning the journey, you’ll find yourself doing so. It simply occurs. Since you really feel like you will have to. I don’t know if it’s parenting guilt or if it’s about making an attempt to please the youngsters, however I’ve discovered that shorter journeys to Disney have a tendency to be probably the most annoying.

Rule #four: Pack VERY little.

We’ve got mastered this. Every of my youngsters takes one backpack. My husband and I pack one, carryon-sized suitcase. Disney World properties have laundry. Some rooms have a washer and dryer, but when they don’t, all of the resorts on property have coin-operated laundry machines. It’s a godsend.

I’ve seen mother and father within the airport wrangling far too many gadgets and suitcases and it simply provides to the stress. Much less is extra. You’ll really feel higher having much less stuff. I promise. You additionally don’t want almost as a lot as you assume you do. Plus, the much less you’ve got stepping into, the extra room for souvenirs which your youngsters will beg you for.

Rule #5: Guide A Disney World Property

That is one among my largest options to individuals. Whereas it might be costlier to keep “on campus” you’ll like the convenience of getting to and from the parks. The buses, boats and monorails make it tremendous straightforward to get round. Simply getting onto Disney property from motels outdoors of Disney can take up an honest quantity of your time. Right here’s the best way I like clarify it to all those that haven’t visited Disney earlier than: in the event you make a journey to NYC, you don’t sometimes ebook a lodge in New Jersey. Individuals guide resorts in Manhattan or Brooklyn to allow them to get round simply. Counting on driving to and from NYC from outdoors, cuts into visiting time. Staying at Disney World is analogous. The free transportation is faster and getting round doesn’t reduce into your Disney time.

Kitchen at Key West Villas Disney World

Photograph supply: Disney World

Additionally: should you keep at a Disney lodge, you mechanically have entry to the Additional Magical Hours, which offer you an additional hour within the morning (from 7 AM till 8AM) in addition to within the night, after the park closes. These hours range so ensure to examine their web site forward of your journey to discover out which parks have what day. (Please observe: there are a couple of inns within the higher Orlando space that additionally embrace Additional Magical Hours, resembling Hilton Orlando and Vacation Inn Lake Buena Vista, however I nonetheless really feel the convenience of getting to and from is value it.)

Lastly, you don’t have to pay for parking in the event you keep at a Disney World lodge, which is between $25.00 (Commonplace Parking and $50.00 (Most popular Parking) per day.

We additionally guide rooms that include kitchens. Whereas rooms with kitchens have a tendency to value just a little extra, it additionally helps us get monetary savings as we all the time have groceries delivered to our room the day we arrive. We have a tendency to eat in our room quite a bit. I’ll additionally pack sandwiches and snacks for the parks. In case you are fascinated about having groceries delivered, we’ve used Backyard Grocer quite a few occasions.

Rule #6: Don’t go to multiple park per day*

It’s greatest to hold your visits to one park. Park-hopping takes far too lengthy. It’s a terrific concept in principle, however you waste a lot time commuting to and from, I’ve discovered it’s greatest to stick to one park, discover it and head again to the lodge.

*With an exception of mixing Hollywood Studios and Epcot as there’s a good boat experience that takes you from the doorway of Hollywood Studios to World Showcase in Epcot, which is a favourite of ours.

Rule #7: Take Benefit of the Additional Magic Hours (particularly within the morning) and Do The Reverse of Why Everybody Else Is There

All of the parks have what is known as an Additional Magic Hour, whether or not it’s within the morning or at night time. (Please observe:  you have got to be staying at a Disney property or collaborating property to use these– see above). So, say Animal Kingdom opens at 7 AM on a Thursday morning. Get on a bus at 6 AM (or each time they begin operating) and as everybody runs towards Avatar Flight of Passage, go within the different course. It is possible for you to to journey each different experience in that park earlier than billions of individuals end up with Avatar. It’s superb. My son and I walked on Exhibition Everest and rode it 3 times in a row.

Expedition Everest ride at Disney World

Photograph supply: Disney World

We rode Kali River Rapids twice. We went on the safari journey, Primeval Whirl and had quiet breakfast all earlier than the strains began. This additionally has the added bonus of not getting tremendous stressed preventing the huge blob of people oozing their approach towards Avatar. You possibly can watch all of them push and shove each other as you’re taking the street much less traveled.

Rule #eight: Depart the Park Earlier than 1 PM and Hit Lodge the Pool

Each time I inform individuals to do that, they typically give me that skeptical, side-eye look. Like, wait. What are you saying to me? Why would you inform me to do this? I simply spent a small fortune on Disney World park tickets and also you’re telling me to depart at lunchtime?

Sure. Sure, I’m. For therefore many causes. And I discovered this after years of messy journeys: Go in early. After which get out. Arrive at opening, journey some rides after which run. Return to the lodge and chill out on the pool. Take a nap! Watch some TV. Principally, decompress. My youngsters love to swim and each lodge we’ve ever stayed presents day by day poolside actions. They love the actions. Eat lunch. Sit back. Benefit from the serenity as everybody else offers with the noon warmth, lengthy strains and crowds. You’ll be able to all the time return in later that night.

Disney World Resort and Kids Free Pool Time

We aren’t a lot of a late night time household as my youngsters love night time swimming, and two of them hate fireworks. (“TOO LOUD! TOO LOUD!”) Nevertheless, the firework shows at Disney World are SPECTACULAR. They aren’t to be missed. So, for those who’re heading again into the parks, I might go after dinner, say round 7 or eight PM. Bonus if the park is open late. Typically they keep open as late as 11 PM or midnight. So when you’re an evening owl, I’d recommend taking a late nap with the youngsters and heading again as late as 9 PM.

Rule #9: If touring with youngsters underneath 10, ebook dinner reservations for early within the day

We name this Linner or Dunch. (I do know. Unique!) We often feed our youngsters at round three PM that approach we’re again on the lodge earlier than 5 – 6 PM hour when my youngsters have a tendency to turn into insane. This additionally means truly getting reservations (as they refill later within the day). This manner, you don’t have to ebook to date prematurely.

We love Teppan Edo in Japan at Epcot. The youngsters love watching the cooks prepare dinner the meals in entrance of them. They’re tremendous entertaining. We often eat there twice every journey as a result of the youngsters take pleasure in it a lot. It’s by far their favourite place to eat in Disney World.

Dining at Teppan Edo Epcit Disney World Orlando

Photograph supply: Disney World

One other restaurant we often all the time guide a reservation with is Rose & Crown in Nice Britain at Epcot. We love the meals. The employees is all the time pleasant. And we simply love the entire vibe. Plus, they’ve outside seating proper on the lagoon.

We’ve additionally loved the Biergarten Restaurant in Germany. They’ve stay music and dancing. It’s not a quiet meal! It’s buffet type and also you sit at lengthy, picket tables. It’s an absolute hoot for the youngsters. Plus: beer.

In any other case, we don’t guide an excessive amount of and wing it different days. Nevertheless, if there’s someplace you completely MUST attempt, undoubtedly e-book prematurely simply so that you don’t miss out. I’ll say this a lot: we haven’t ever not been in a position to discover someplace to eat whereas visiting Disney. There’s all the time one thing to select from. And we love the spontaneity above all else, rather more so than having a plan.

Rule #10: Put Apart AT LEAST One Non-Park Day

Relying on how lengthy you’re visiting, put aside a minimum of one if not two or three days the place you don’t step foot in a Disney park. As talked about earlier, Disney inns supply up a ton of actions, most of that are FREE. That is the little hidden gem that not an entire lot of parents use they usually have a tendency to be probably the most memorable for my youngsters. We’ve made tie dye t-shirts, painted pottery. We’ve performed pool and hit the sport room. We’ve discovered about Africa whereas staying at Kidani Village which is part of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas (additionally features a kitchen and an an awesome pool.) We’ve performed board video games, taken half in trivia challenges alongside different visitors. There are artwork workshops, scavenger hunts, and beaded challenges. You possibly can lease motorboats or bicycles. It’s properly well worth the time to merely sit back collectively.

Disney World Resort Free Kids Activities Tie Dye Shirts

Individuals joke about needing a trip after visiting Disney. I consider that’s as a result of they overdo it. Don’t overdo it. You’ll be able to’t see every thing. It’s inconceivable. Spend time doing what you possibly can and throw the remaining apart for the subsequent go to.

Rule #11: Go to Disney World Throughout Off-Peak Occasions, If You Can

Whereas it’s completely lovely, the vacation season tends to be the busiest and subsequently the costliest. For those who don’t need to break the financial institution, keep away from something after mid-October. January is a superb time to go because it’s a lot cooler.

We frequently go in the summertime, and because it’s Florida it is rather scorching. (By the way, this one of many causes method again when that we began to depart the park noon, now we do it virtually on a regular basis as a result of it simply is sensible for our household.) Whereas summertime isn’t perfect due to the warmth, it’s when everybody has off from faculty. We’ve additionally discovered some fairly candy offers when it comes to rooms, particularly should you have a tendency to ebook final minute like we do. We’ve gotten some final minute rooms which are comparatively cheap as Disney World is wanting to fill them.

Rule #12: Don’t Learn any “How To D0 Disney” Articles. 

Simply don’t. The extra articles you examine “how to do Disney,” the extra overwhelmed you’ll turn out to be. The one article value studying earlier than you go is that this one. Simply kidding!

Bonus Info

Lastly, when you’re a runner Disney throws some killer races. I’ve run a number of half marathons in addition to the complete. They’re superb. It’s a flat race they usually understand how to get together. It’s additionally one of many few occasions you’ll be able to have your image taken with the characters with out having to wait in an extended line. All you’ve to do is run 13.1 or 26.2 miles! However, I imply, that’s so EASY! Simpler than ready in a 2 hour line, amiright?