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“What is the best advice you can give to others who are about to go to WDW?
This question was emailed to me and I thought I would blog about it this week in my newsletter. First off this is a difficult question to answer because everyone has their own ideas about what is important to their family.
My most important piece of advice…..is to stay on property! This is so tough because the obvious answer is to plan. Without proper planning your trip may not be set up for success. I will assume you have already done that part.
Why would I say stay on property is the most important piece of advice? If you are a first timer to Walt Disney World you want to be immersed in the Disney “magic”. It surrounds you 24/7 no matter which resort on property you stay at. If you have younger children you want them to experience this magic and on property resorts offer this.
Next if you stay on property you get many perks, such as Extra Magic Hours, which offer you the opportunity to enter a certain park an hour earlier than non-resort guests, and stay an extra three hours after closing. This alone is worth it to many. Disney also offers guests free transportation throughout its property by buses, boats and monorails. The buses will pick you up in front of your resort and take you very close to the front entrance of each park. There is no need to drive your car in you don’t want to, Disney takes care of everything. This perk is great for those who have families with kids in the teens as well as younger ones. The teens can stay at the parks while the younger ones can go back to the resort with a parent for a nap, or swim. Then everyone can meet up later in the day.
If you stay off-property you are less likely to leave the park and then return later. The hassle of fighting the traffic, the inconvenience of parking, and the fact that if you take one car and someone wants to leave, the family usually all leaves with them, makes it probable that you will not return later in the day.
With all that being said it truly depends on what you can afford and what type of experience you want. If you are a family that has been to Walt Disney World numerous times, you may not need or want to experience the magic 24/7. There are also larger families that vacation at Disney and they can find vacation homes much cheaper than anything comparable in size that Disney offers.
For many, if you have chosen to spend your hard earned dollars for a family vacation at Walt Disney World, you most likely are willing to be immersed 24/7 into the magic. But the best part about any trip to Orlando is that there are plenty of options available to meet the needs of every family. Our vote is to stay on property and experience all that Disney has to offer. This would be our most important piece of advice. Now for the second most important piece of advice……that will be for another time.
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I agree with everything you said, Unc. Depending on who asked me this question, I might say exactly what you said. However, I might also say that the most important thing is to remember to have fun. People in WDW are, after all, on vacation. Sometimes, when a newbie asks me for tips/ideas, I can tell that they're way too focused on "seeing it all". I think that if you go in with the attitude of "I have to see everything I possibly can while I'm on this trip!", you'll tire yourself out and really lessen the amount of enjoyment you derive from your vacation. So, I might say that the most important thing is to have fun.
My best advice to anyone is don't try to overdo it. Don't even begin to think that you can see everything in one trip. Go at a pace that everyone is comfortable and happy and take breaks often especially if it's hot out.
my advice is
1. research. Get an idea about what is at each park and what actvity you think you'd be iteresdted. develop a "Must Do" "Would Liek to Do" and "do it if I have time" list.
2. Check for special events in advance, know the park hours, extra magic hours etc. before you get there. be prepared!
3. pace yourself! Do nto try to do it all! start with the "must do" list and go from there.
4. if you feel stressed stop! When youa re doing somehting just to do and find you are not enjoying it, just stop, Go back take a break.
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reseach - so you know what your top choices of things to do are and then be flexible
relax - WDW wasn't built to be done all in a few days - so don't try
have fun - you're supposed to be on vacation to recharge your batteries
pretty much what everyone else already said -
A key to having a good time is in the planning. As part of the planning advice, ADR's(advance dining reservations) are a must if you want to catch a good sit down meal. Also buy a park guide and study it closely and plan your days so that you don't get too busy and miss something.
DO NOT WEAR NEW SHOES!!!
To me, good shoes make the difference between a good trip and a bad one.
It's okay to let go and act silly. No one is going to think any less of you, and you'll have alot more fun in the long run. When you have kids with you, and they see you being silly, it makes them smile and have more fun in the long run.
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Pack Snack Food! I cannot tell you how much money we've saved on snacky-food in Disney by packing a few nutritious snacks in our bags
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Must get a new trip on the books! I'm dyin' here!
I agree with the post on new shoes. Also you will need to pack ponchos and mist fans. These items come in very handy and are a lot cheaper outside the park.
My best advice is to not take it so seriously. Have a fun, laid back trip and it'll be something you talk about for years to come. Try to plan every step of the way, every ride and in what order, every minute... and you'll just end up frustrated and irritated when it doesn't go the way you had planned. Take a moment to step back and enjoy where you are. Look at the theming and the story telling the Imagineers have worked so hard to create. Find the magic.
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Read lots before you go. I have seen so many people standing around - usually just inside the entrance to the park, trying to decide what to do. I don't think you should plan every minute, but a bit of background knowledge goes a long way.
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take a break
and if you are going "off times" that is while the parks close early, eat less at resorts if you can
My advise for anyone is don't try to overdo it.
Just a side note about the shoes... I took well broke in shoes but still failed. The only thing I can say is that Mole skin saved the week! (found at drugstores or targets/wal-marts)