Simple Tips for Visiting Disney that I Wish Someone Told Me Ahead of Time

Our Magical Time Visiting Disney

Okay, that’s a lie.

No, we did not have a magical time visiting Disney… and like usual, it kinda goes along with the famous saying, “we don’t have it all together, but together we have it all“. This was our very first real family vacation so it was awesome, regardless of everything that went wrong! We usually take little ‘get-a-ways’ that last 2-4 days but never a real vacation like this. This was awesome.

We drove from Illinois down to Florida. Stopped at Rock City Gardens in Georgia, and then made our way to Sanibel Island, Florida for a week. After that week was over, we spent a few days visiting Orlando. We visited SeaWorld, Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom. Not a whole lot went right in Orlando, but we most definitely have a vacation to remember!

This is why I want to share some simple tips for visiting Disney with you. If I would’ve known a few simple tips for visiting Disney, our visit may have been much better. Some of these tips we learned as we went along so I definitely want to share with you.

Tips for Visiting Disney

Before Your Visit:
  • Make Reservations for meals, etc. 6 months in advance. Everything books up really quickly. We planned on taking Gracie to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique (enchanted salon) and didn’t make it, they were booked really far out. We did make reservations many months in advance to dinner at Beast’s Castle, Be Our Guest, but had to take 9:05pm reservations. That’s the last time slot they had available. Unfortunately, we didn’t get seated until after 10pm which was not fun with a 4 year old and a 1 year old… but it was amazing meeting the Beast. The other bummer about getting seated so late was that this particular night the park had late hours. The park was open until 1am with an extra parade at 11pm. We could not make the 11pm parade, even if it wasn’t thunderstorming. Anyway… reservations at Walt Disney World restaurants can be made by calling (407)-WDW-DINE or visit http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/restaurants/ up to 180 days before your visit to make your dining reservations. Other reservations can be made by calling (407)-WDW-STYLE.
Don’t Forget to Bring:
  • Stroller (yeah we forgot ours). I have a million strollers from my stroller reviews and I forgot a stroller. Hey, I never claimed to be the brightest crayon in the box! Anyway, you do NOT want to rent a stroller from the park. Trust me. Ok well let me explain. If you have younger kids and you plan on being at the park all day long, then your kids will probably doze off a couple times. Mine do. My four year old and my one year old will doze off when we go out all day. Well the strollers the parks available for rental are plastic, not comfy at all, do not allow for reclining and do not have very good straps and buckles. We learned this at SeaWorld the day before.  Don’t do it.
  • Baby Carrier. You might want a baby carrier, wrap, etc. for when you go into the shows or buildings for rides that do not allow for strollers. My one year old gets heavy and my arm goes numb – I am so glad I had that baby carrier!
  • Sunscreen, preferably spray-on. Okay, I am all about safe, chemical free sunscreen which does not come in the spray-on kind – but in this situation I was very happy when my one year old fell asleep in the stroller but needed another application. I sprayed him and he slept right through it.
  • Ponchos. Maybe. You’ll definitely need a poncho no matter what, Florida plays this cruel joke on all of us by downpouring on us every afternoon. It’s wonderful. Not. You can buy ponchos at a regular store for about a buck or you can buy one at Disney for between $8-10 but it has the Disney logo on it… so it’s a great souvenir to take home with you. Your call.
  • Water Bottles. I was told that you can walk up to any vendor or restaurant and ask for a cup of water, which is great. But with the heat you have to deal with, you’re much better off bringing in water bottles and refilling them at the drinking fountains so you can guzzle a bunch of water down.  We brought in 6 regular sized water bottles so me, Mike and Gracie each had two and just rotated them. Once one was gone, we tapped into our second. This was a lifesaver in the heat. We didn’t want anything except water and we were dying of thirst all day and all night.
  • Two Cameras. I suggest each adult has their own camera. That way if one breaks or gets lost, you still have another to capture your vacation. If some pictures come out blurry, most likely you will have some shots on the other camera. It’s also great to see two different peoples point of view when the day is over.
At the Park:
  • Take a photo of where you park. Trust me. It’s much easier than trying to remember.
  • Write your cell phone numbers on your child’s arm in permanent marker and cover with liquid Band-Aid. If they ever get separated from you, this is how you can be contacted. You could also buy the Safety Tattoo’s that you put on your child and include your info in case of this situation.
  • Agree to a meeting place. This most likely will only work with the adults but in my case, was much needed. Both of our cell phones died while at the park… and Mike and I did get separated. I stayed put, and hoped he’d find me. He did, but it took forever. It would’ve been much easier if we had a planned meeting spot.
  • Order Food Off of the Kids Menu: The portions are nearly the same, but much cheaper. You’re allowed to, so why not?
  • Purchase a Disney Water Bottle Fan. You know, those fan thingies that squirt water at you. This not only is an awesome souvenir to take home with you (because it has the Disney logo on it), but it’s also logical. It really helps in the heat.
  • Don’t See the Shows Right Away. Wait until you’re dying of heat. It’s a great way to relax a bit and cool off.
We really learned much of this by trial and error. Knowing these things in advance might have made our day go a little smoother. I hope these simple tips for visiting Disney that I have listed will help someone out.

Our Visit to Disney

So… wanna hear all about our visit to Disney?

If so, then visit Our Not-So-Magical Visit to Disney!


Comments

  1. The idea of writing the cell phone number on your kids’ arms is genius! When we went to Disney years ago, I ran into the same thing regarding things being booked. We were lucky to know about our trip 6 months in advance and even that wasn’t enough notice to reserve some of the things we wanted. Crazy!

  2. That’s a memorable one huh? Wearing color coding uniform is also a good idea especially when we have little kids.

    Jheylo http://fitnesszdanceandme.com/2013/07/finally-back-at-the-gym/

  3. M-I-c-k-e-y…..:D

  4. Great tips – we bought a sit and stand stroller for cheap on Craigslist – best $40 I ever spent. Our girls were 2 and 4 when we went last year – definitely needed the stroller!

  5. Those really are some great tips! I can see how they would not only save time, but make things a lot easier and less stressful!

  6. Glad you had a good time even though a few things were crazy! Great tips. Now that you know all of this, your next vacation will be better!

  7. I am addicted to Disney and last year went 3 times in one year! I went for my 30th birthday and didn’t take my kids. I met my Aunt and Cousin for a girls long weekend 🙂 Anyway I know a lot about the ins and outs of a Disney vacation. From magic hours to best dates to go to certain parks. Each park has different crowed levels. So we always plan accordingly. If you ever go again please feel free to get a hold of me I can help you with anything! I also get vacas cheap lol All my friends come to me. I saved over $900 on my last vaca. HAHA I am so bad.

  8. Thank you thank you thank you! We plan to go with our kids in the next few years and I could totally see myself making all these same mistakes. Now, thanks to you, we will be better prepared 🙂

  9. Wow thanks! We plan on going next Christmas so thus will be VERY helpful! We don’t vacation much either!!

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