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10 Basic Facts To Know About Disney Before Your Trip

You are ready to head to Walt Disney World but know nothing about it. We are here to give you ten basic facts to help you have a fantastic vacation at Walt Disney World. This is designed to provide a general overview of Walt Disney World before you begin your planning adventures.

You will want to look into a lot more while planning your trip to Walt Disney World; however, these ten basic facts will prepare you.

Walt Disney World Map
Credit: Disney

10. Walt Disney World is Truly HUGE

First, you must know that Walt Disney World is a city all on its own. Walt Disney World is about the size of San Francisco or twice the size of Manhattan. Around 25,000 acres, it takes around 20 minutes to travel across the property via the highway.

This is important to know as you begin your planning. Knowing Walt Disney World’s size will help you plan your travel time. Often first-time travelers are shocked at how long transportation takes between the different Resorts, Parks, and Disney Springs. Even though you might hop between these areas, it will take time.

four parks
Credit: Disney

9. Walt Disney World is More Than Magic Kingdom

As you plan your Walt Disney World trip, ensure you know what is included. Disney has four Theme Parks: Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. There are two water parks for Guests to enjoy Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. Finally, Disney also includes an extensive shopping and entertainment district with Disney Springs.

Disney also includes around 20 Disney-owned resorts, golf courses, and mini-golf courses. Walt Disney World is a lot more than just Magic Kingdom. Know what your vacation has so you don’t miss out on anything.

Universal Harry Potter
Photo Credit: Universal

8. Not Harry Potter

Even though Walt Disney World includes all those Parks, it has nothing to do with Harry Potter. If you are looking for Harry Potter experiences, that is down the road at Universal Studios. Many fans get this confused and head to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, thinking they will find Hogwarts. Don’t make this mistake.

girl in the Magic Kingdom
girl in the Magic Kingdom

7. You Can’t See It All

No matter how many days you plan to visit Walt Disney World, you can’t and won’t be able to see and do it all. It doesn’t matter if you are doing a quick weekend trip or a long extended stay; there is always something to do at Walt Disney World.

As we mentioned before, Disney includes four Theme Parks. With this in mind, most trips to Disney are around seven days. This allows for travel days, a rest day, and a chance to visit all four Disney Parks.

Don’t go into your trip thinking that you will be able to experience all the magic. As you plan, narrow your focus to a few must-do experiences for each Park. This will make it more manageable as you tour.

My Disney Experience App

6. There is a Whole Disney Language

As you prepare for your Walt Disney World vacation, you must familiarize yourself with the Disney lingo. Knowing the names of the Parks, rides, and shows you want to experience to be familiar with all the acronyms that Disney uses will be extremely helpful when enjoying Walt Disney World.

Speaking the Disney language will allow you to enjoy the magic even more.

Related: Disney’s Secret Language and What It All Means

Disney Skyliner; Disney Monorail
Credit: V Mills

5. Disney Offers Free Transportation

As you head to Walt Disney World, know that you will have access to free transportation. Disney offers buses, boats, monorails, skyliner, walking paths, and even Minnie Vans between the Disney Parks and Resorts.

This means you don’t have to rent a car; if you don’t want to rent a car to get around Walt Disney World, you won’t have to. Disney transportation is part of the magic of Disney. Keep in mind that getting around takes time. You will want to schedule transportation time when using Disney’s complimentary transportation.

Related: Disney’s 5 Free Transportation Options You Need to Know

Disney Deluxe Resorts
Credit: Disney/D23

4. Disney Has Resort Categories

One of the first decisions you will need to make will be about where you want to stay. Walt Disney World offers three main categories when it comes to its Resorts. Each Resort category provides a different price point and amenities for Guests.

With over 20 Walt Disney World Resorts, you will want to break down these categories (value, moderate, deluxe). Think about what is important to you regarding your Walt Disney World Resort and use that to guide where you want to stay.

Related: Discover How to Choose the Perfect Disney Resort for You

Related: Why a Disney Value Resort is Right for You

Related: Why a Disney Moderate Resort is Right for You

Related: Why a Disney Deluxe Resort is Right for You

3. Disney is More Than Rides

Although we love the rides at Disney, there is so much more to see and do throughout the four Parks. You will find Broadway-like performances at the Parks and unique high-end table service locations to enjoy.

Don’t miss out on the other magical experience beyond the rides during your trip. Do some research to discover what shows and other entertainment can be enjoyed.

Related: Where to See the Best Shows in Disney

Disney adult

2. Disney Isn’t Just for Kids

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that Disney is only for kids. There are many unique experiences for adults to enjoy throughout the Parks and Resorts. From great lounges for enjoying a great beverage to live entertainment, each of the Parks has fun experiences for adults.

Even if you don’t have little ones to visit Disney with, take time as an adult to enjoy the magic. We have a lot of posts on How to Disney for adults-only suggestions. Check those out to find activities that you will enjoy.

Related: Six Reasons Why an Adults-Only Trip to Disney is Fantastic

Family planning
Family planning

1. Make a Plan

Our final basic fact about Walt Disney World is that you need a plan. There is a lot that goes into a Walt Disney World vacation. Take time to plan so you aren’t frustrated when you arrive. Think about what your goals are when it comes to meals, rides, shows, and entertainment. Knowing this can help you navigate the Parks with a clear plan when you arrive.


Planning a trip to Walt Disney World is a lot of fun, but before you get into the planning, make sure you know these basic facts. Doing so will set you up for success during your trip.


Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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