Florida Guide > Disney Parks
First visit to Disney
We’ve often had guests who have said they want to do all of Disney – some staying just five days – including travelling time. However, they don’t recognise a fact we read recently that Disney is 47 square miles, the size of two Manhattan Islands or nearly as big as San Francisco! Less than a quarter has been developed and another quarter a wilderness preserve.
There is Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Downtown Disney, Pleasure Island, Disney Quest, Boardwalk, Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Winter Summerland Miniature golf, Fantasia golf …. .
When you start to plan your vacation think about the things you most want to experience. What time of year are you visiting – will it be hot to walk around or perhaps cool in the early year? How many are in your group and what age are they. For example grandparents may not want to do Space Mountain twice or toddlers may want to try Dumbo’s ride whilst older siblings want to visit The Haunted Mansion. It makes sense to split for some rides but arrange to meet up at specific points and times. There has to be some thought in advance to give and take so all can have a wonderful time.
When you have prioritised the parks you want to visit then make a list of the ‘must do’ things in order. Look at the days the parks you want to visit are open. Think about if you want to visit just one park a day or ‘hop’. Hopper tickets can be more expensive but allow you to visit, for example Animal Kingdom on a day it may close at 5pm and then ‘hop’ to another park for the evening. Tickets you purchase from the OV website can also be non-expiry or expiry tickets. Expiry tickets need to be used within a certain time whereas if you find you can’t do everything in Orlando and want to return, have a continuous life on them.
You may wish to organise a character breakfast in a park. These are best booked in advance and are great fun – but remember to allow time for the breakfast (which you will enjoy) but should be treated as part of your day with time made for it. Other meals can also be booked eg lunch, dinners.
Make use of Disney’s ‘Fast pass’ system. Choose a popular ride – for example Splash Mountain, Mount Everest, Test Track or Rock n Roller Coaster when you first arrive and get a fast pass ticket for the ride. Fast pass are well signed ticket machines at the side of the ride entrance (there are usually Disney staff close on hand to help if you are new to the system or have a problem). The ticket will tell you the time when you can go for that ride as well as when you can next get another fast pass ride.
Then, in the meantime, you can go off and enjoy the park or queue for a different ride allowing you to make more of your day.
So happy planning, take your time, and do remember you are in Orlando for a vacation. Remember to build in time to relax, enjoy the villa you have rented and maybe its community facilities. . . We’d love to have you back for a second vacation to see the things you didn’t manage on your first visit!
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