Florida Guide > Disney Parks
Tips for your first visit to Disney World
Tips for your first visit to Disney World
Once you have decided to make the trip to Florida and Disney World you need to get a feeling for what you can do. There are any number of books you can buy, plus lots of Florida guides on this web site which give you a wealth of information based on other peoples real experiences. Go to Florida prepared but don’t try to over plan. We have been going to Florida since the early 70’s when there was only one park and now we take our Grand Children. The tips below are based on our experiences and observation of others over the years and we hope you find them useful.
The first tip, funny as it may seem, is to enjoy yourself; after all this is going to be a wonderful holiday. Don’t try to do everything too quickly. Just Disney on its own could fill an entire holiday without all the other attractions. So don’t think you have to do everything this visit, maybe even think about what you might do when you come back.
Make a plan of what you want to do. Think of the things that will appeal to your set of age groups and divide them into ‘must do and ‘nice to do’. Use this as a guide but do not think of it as a fixed plan.
Now you know what you want to do, you need to get into the parks. The opening time is not the time that the front gates open; it’s the time that they let you past a rope that is after the ticket barriers inside the parks. So you need to get there early to park your car and then get the tram to the park entrance and hand over your tickets. You will find that you can do a lot of the popular rides in the first hour with very little in the way of queues.
You will be surprised at how tiring all this can be and you should plan some rest periods into your day. These can be meal breaks or shows that you can sit down and watch with a cool drink. If you are visiting at the height of summer with younger children you might even want to consider going back to the villa after lunch. Cool down with a swim and then return at the end of the afternoon when you can enjoy the later evening shows.
While it’s nice to have new clothes and trainers for your visit it really is something you should avoid. You need to have loose clothes so you don’t get to hot and shoes that you know are not going to cause you pain. Wear them before you go to the parks for the first time so that you do not ruin your holiday with blistered feet.
If you have a range of ages in your party or it is a large one then consider get a pair of two-way radios to keep in touch. You can each do the things that you want and then can arrange to meet up.
Florida in the summer is when you get sudden afternoon showers. The sky can look clear but a few minutes later you will see a fast moving black cloud. Within a few minutes it could pour with rain but have stopped 15 minutes later. If you’re caught unprepared, just about every store in the parks sells inexpensive rain ponchos. If skies start to look threatening replan your schedule and go into a show, chance are it will have passed by the time you come out.
A real time saver is the Disney Fastpass system. You can find this in all the parks but only on the most popular attractions. This system allows you to get a ticket so that you do not have to stand in line. The Fastpass allows you to return within a certain time period printed on the ticket and bypass most of the queue. The passes are issued when you insert your park ticket in one of the machines. Disney limit the number of Fastpasses you can have at any one time but this does change, so check how many you are allowed when you go into the park.If you are planning any special meals in the parks then there are two things you should know. First Disney have a system called priority seating and this is their answer to dining reservations. However on arrival at the restaurant you’ll receive the next table available for your group, when it becomes free, after the time you have booked. The second thing is that certain meals like the ‘Character’ breakfasts and Cinderella’s Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom book up very early. If you want one of these then you should call Disney reservations 90 days before the event as this is the time that you can first make a priority seating booking.
Finally :- Don’t stick to the plan, be spontaneous. If you see something interesting, even if it’s not on your list, stop and have a look. Disney are adding and changing things all the time, you may be the first to see something new. Most new shows have small test openings months before the real start.
We aim to provide accurate and useful information, but if you feel anything provided here is not accurate or out of date, please email us with the address of the page concerned and any comments so we can amend as necessary.
Page added on: 29 October 2005
Viewed 4468 times since 1 September 2008.
The following photos have been submitted by our villa owners for this article.