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Top Tips For Visiting Walt Disney World for the First time in 2020!
It is a dream for many children and parents alike to visit Walt Disney World. It is nothing less than magical for the whole family. From meeting your favorite Disney characters to riding the most incredible rides, Walt Disney World is the top family go to spot!
Walt Disney is not only a top notch resort, but it is huge! Roughly the size of Manhattan, Walt Disney World has something for everyone! But that is no reason for a family to be intimidated to go. There is endless things to see and do but for a first time visitor, it does not have to be overwhelming. After we have visited Walt Disney World as a family, we have learned the top tips for visiting Walt Disney World for the first time. These tips are for the first time family who feels overwhelmed about going to Walt Disney World and don’t know where to start!
Get the My Disney Experience App
Our trip was seamless and smooth for many reasons. The cast members at Walt Disney World are friendly and eager to help. The Walt Disney World website is easy to read and calling the help center is perfect for a traveler. However, we wanted something that can be there whenever we needed it. So we have the My Disney Experience App.
Check Ride Times to Plan Your Fun Action Packed Day
This free app has everything that a family can need. Downloading this app has never been so simple. We have broken down the app for you to use as it has so many important functions!
Simply sign in or create an account. You can then access a map of Disney World. Find out the wait times (extremely accurate!!) of each ride that you love. Some of the more popular rides may have longer wait times, so you will be able to plan your day out easier knowing you should wait 45 minutes for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train so you can go for lunch by 12pm. No matter how much planning you do, this app can help you make sure that your family is having a great time and navigating each park easily.
Book Fast Pass Ride Options
Fast Pass is an incredible experience for ride lovers. With the My Disney Experience App, you can book three rides a day where you reserve a time to go on! With the Fast Pass, you skip the line to get on your favorite rides. Make sure to book the rides that you want to try that are the most popular with your Fast Pass. It will save you time and you will be able to enjoy your day and get to experience what you want, on your own time. We find that the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and meeting Anna and Elsa are a few experiences and rides that can become popular quite quickly. Be sure to book your families faves and of course give yourself a lot of time in between rides, especially if they are in different parks. Remember, Walt Disney World is HUGE!
Whether you want to book tickets to an event at Epcot or go to see an NBA Experience, you can book this on the My Disney Experience App with ease. Like everything on the My Disney Experience App, you can do this months in advance. These events and tickets can be popular, so the earlier you book, the better!
Order Your Meals, Before You Even Arrive!
Is there anything the My Disney Experience App can’t do? Book that favorite restaurant or order a pick up to the Walt Disney Restaurants. Your hungry family does not have to wait very long at their favorite spot. We were able to place an order (last minute too!) and eat within 7 minutes at Pinocchio Village House on a Friday at 12pm! Using the My Disney Experience App always saves time.
Get Your Perfect Family Photos
Walt Disney World is great for photos. They have wonderful cast members stationed at many stops across the park and next to Walt Disney characters to take a photo for you. Though you can take the snaps yourself, why not have a professional take the photos for you and get your whole family in the picture instead of Mom or Dad always being the one taking the photos? For a fee, you can have your photos taken (we had them taken with Mickey Mouse at the Town Square Theatre). They are immediately added to your My Disney Experience App. You can then choose to purchase the photos. The cast members are generous with each picture, with over 49 snaps to choose from with our Mickey encounter!
This was great as a parent, because we were able to spend time enjoying our children interacting with Mickey Mouse rather than worrying about photos and video. We were able to focus and make sure that our children were having a great time.
Get a MagicBand for your kids to scan on each ride with ease or get your Disney FUNdamentals on this app. Find the Disney stuff you love and be able to order it and find the store that sells it on the app. You can make web store purchases or find special items only available in store.
Link your reservations for your resort hotel! This only applies if you are staying within Walt Disney World Resort.
Turn wait time to play time! Some of the rides may have lines, but your My Disney Experience app allows your kids to play and answer trivia while they wait in line. You and your kids will always be entertained!
Come To the Park an Hour Early
Walt Disney World has a lot of excited visitors. If you want to go to the park, go an hour before the park opens. If you are driving, parking can fill up fast. When we arrived at the park an hour before it opened, there were already one thousand people arriving. Walt Disney World has big parking lots, so big in fact, that they have a trolley to take you to the ticket counter! Once you are at the ticket counter, you can take the ferry to your destination or the Monorail to Magic Kingdom. From there, you go through security and walk to the entrance. This can take time! Having an hour to get to your destination and get in line for your favorite ride is a great way to start of your day.
Tell Guest Services it’s Your First Time at Walt Disney World
Telling guest services it’s your first time at Walt Disney World is the beginning of your amazing experience. Guest services will get you and your children a badge stating it’s your first time. The Walt Disney World characters and cast members will interact with your children, exclaiming how excited they are that this is their first visit. This will make the Walt Disney Experience for your children one to definitely remember and get them very comfortable at the park very quickly.
Even though you have the My Disney Experience App, get a physical map from Guest Services also so your children can have a keepsake that they will love.
Get Park Hopper Passes
Make sure to get Park Hopper Passes so you can go from Park to Park enjoying yourself. You may think you want to see and do everything in Magic Kingdom but when your child discovers the My Disney Experience App, they may want to see Star Wars in Hollywoodland or visit Epcot for an around the world Experience. We saw Chip and Dale in Hollywoodland so you never know what character you may encounter!
Meet Your Character First!
If your children are fans of Mickey Mouse and I mean SUPER FANS, start off your day right by having your children meet Mickey. This experience fills up fast and you may want to save up your Fast Passes for those exciting rides. Meet Mickey Mouse at Town Square Center. You can also find Tinkerbell there but she is in a different area. The Theatre is air conditioned and the cast members are phenomenal. They know how to make your children feel comfortable and if you have a young baby, they know how to get your little one to look at the photo! They are absolute pros and a perfect companion for every parent wanting their children to have a top experience.
How to Get on Your Favorite Ride With Ease
Everyone has the one favorite ride that they want to experience at Walt Disney World. Fast Pass gives you three awesome rides a day to choose but chances are there are so much more you would like to go on. Coupled with arriving an hour early to the park, go directly to that ride in the morning before most people arrive. You may be able to get a ride (or two) before it starts to fill up. This is a great time to jump on, in the morning when the weather is cooler (Florida can get very hot by about 11am!) and you can enjoy the experience without much of a wait. For all of your other rides, book Fast Pass as soon as you can.
Visit Walt Disney World by Park not By Ride
It can be very VERY tempting to want to run from park to park enjoying each experience. Walt Disney World is very big and you often times need to take the buses from Park to Park. Walt Disney World can equally be distracting with so many things to see, do and experience. You may find that a ride you never considered that is amazing or you happen to see a Disney character walking around and you want to meet them. Whatever the case, it’s best to visit Walt Disney World by park rather than by ride. If you have a shorter stay planned, stay in Magic Kingdom in the morning, it gets insanely busy right before the daily parade, then off to your next park for the early afternoon. If you have a week of Walt Disney World magic planned, choose a day to a day and a half per park. Make sure if you’re driving to park at the park you’re staying at! At the end of the day, it’s always nice to have a shorter walk back to your vehicle.
Use the Fast Pass
I repeat, USE THE FAST PASS. Book your favorite rides at a certain time so you and your family can ride their favorite spot without waiting in line. Even if you come to Walt Disney World on a whim, there are cancelations and you can use them and book your favorite rides and times. It is recommended to book as early as you can (you can book months in advance) so make sure to really discuss with the family what they want to do and how you can plan it out so it is advantageous for everyone. We booked our top three rides THE DAY Of. Though we don’t recommend this, know that if you did not get a chance to get the ride you want on your FAST PASS, there are regular cancelations and you can rebook. You can also change your FAST PASS options at any time before the time your ride is scheduled.
Stay Hydrated! Free Water
Walt Disney World is a great way to stay in shape! You will walk a lot without knowing it. However, it is important to stay hydrated. Between walking around Walt Disney World and Florida’s hot weather, you have to make sure your family keeps as cool as possible. Be sure to ask for water at any restaurant to keep your family cool. They do give it do you in generous cups. We were surprised how much we drank water while at the park!
Take Disney Skyliner!
The buses are available just outside very park to go from one park to another. We love how friendly and helpful the bus drivers are and how prompt the buses were. To be honest, having a child and a baby, we were tired! We were also hot and wanted to have a cool breeze. When going from Hollywood Studios to Epcot, we decided to take a different route. We took the Disney Skyliner!
As long as you are not afraid of heights or enclosed spaces, the Disney Skyliner was a fantastic ride. We soared over the Everglades and landed into Epcot. We got to sit down and spread out. You also get a fantastic breeze from the Skyliner that cooled us off and we were able to regroup and chat about our next moves when going to Epcot. We got a place all to ourselves and it made for excellent pictures as we sailed over the park. This is a great experience and it is included in your Walt Disney World Ticket Cost.
Take A Break and Come Back Later On
Whether there is a rainfall or your kids need a well-deserved nap, feel free to go back to your hotel and relax before reentering Walt Disney World at no extra cost. Yes, that’s right, you can leave and come back later so your kids can be well rested. This is easiest if you are staying on a resort at the park. Simply take one of Walt Disney World’s busses to your resort and relax. Then come back later for more fun!
The Parade is Awesome
Guest Services will tell you when the parade time is at in Magic kingdom, or more importantly, the My Disney Experience App. This parade is gorgeous and filled with fun and adventure. Sit at the curb or stand and celebrate with your family. This is also a great way for your child to see many Disney characters in one spot. The parades are about 15 to 20 minutes so it’s a perfect time to entertain before going on your next adventure. A lot of families use the end of the parade to go to another park, so stick around and make this your time to eat some lunch, get a snack or see if you can get a last minute fast pass ride.
Stay for the Fireworks
After a quick refresh in your hotel or an early dinner, check with your My Disney Experience App or Guest Services for a light show or Fireworks. See the lights and have some epic memories to end your most magical day.
Walt Disney World has so many adventures offered to you. Whether you are staying for the day or a whole week, you will never see enough Disney. With these top tips, your first time at Walt Disney World will be a memorable one where you can get the most out of your visiting Walt Disney World For the First Time!