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First Time to Disney? Make Sure You Know These Tips

Traveling to Walt Disney World for the first time is highly magical. So many unique experiences await you throughout the Parks and at your Disney Resort. As you prepare for your first trip, you might feel overwhelmed.

To help you have the best trip, we have some tips that you will want to know. These are often things that first-time travelers to Walt Disney World aren’t aware of before they arrive. We want to ensure you understand and can be ready for a magical time.

Planning Disney
Credit: Fab5

Research Is Key

The first thing you need to know about heading to Walt Disney World is that it will take some planning and research. Before booking your trip, take time to research Disney Resorts. Learn what they all have to offer so you can find the best option for your family.

Once you have booked your trip, keep digging into the research. Read our blogs at How to Disney about planning, touring, and dining so you can feel confident heading into your trip. Stay updated on Park hours, menus, and other details by visiting the Disney website and checking the My Disney Experience app before your trip.

You will feel a lot more confident when you arrive by taking the time to research before you travel. A Walt Disney World trip is unlike visiting your local theme Park. It truly is a world within itself, and you must learn a little about how it works before you arrive.

Stormalong Bay Rain, Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resort
Credit: V Mills

It Rains

If you haven’t been to Florida, you might think it is always sunny and 80 degrees. Although the weather in Florida can be gorgeous, it also can be tricky. Come prepared for rain during your trip.

No matter what the weather app tells you before leaving home, make sure you pack your ponchos, rain jackets, and umbrellas. Rain happens all the time in Disney, and if you aren’t prepared for it, you can pay a lot of money for ponchos and even miss out on some of the magic.

For those traveling with a stroller, bring a rain cover for it as well. It might be sunny when you head into your dining reservations, but you might come out and find that a sudden rainstorm soaked your stroller and everything in it. Toss those covers on to keep everything dry.

Family planning
Family planning

Have a General Plan

Once you have done some research about Walt Disney World, take time to create a general plan for each day. This doesn’t have to be a detailed list, but knowing your daily must-do experiences is essential.

Take time to create a list of what rides, shows, attractions, and snacks you want to make sure you get to in each Park. Knowing this before you arrive will help you use your time in the Parks more successfully.

Disney Skyliner; Disney Monorail
Credit: V Mills

Free Transportation

A significant part of Walt Disney World is the complimentary transportation provided to Guests. Before you arrive at Walt Disney World, take time to learn what transportation options there are around Walt Disney World.

Start by figuring out how to get from your Disney Resort to each of the four Disney Parks. Does your Resort offer buses, boats, monorail, or skyliner? Knowing this will allow you to be ready to hit the Parks when you arrive.

If you have dining reservations planned at other Disney Resorts, ensure you know how to get to them during your trip. Disney doesn’t provide transportation between Disney Resorts. Because of this, you will need to have a plan on how you are going to get to your reservation. It might be a ride-share option or heading to a Park and then transferring to the Resort.

Disney transportation is a huge perk, but learn how it works before you arrive.


You Will Need a Break

A big mistake that many first-time visitors to Walt Disney World make is that they don’t take breaks during their vacation. A trip to Disney is magical; however, it isn’t always relaxing. The many miles of walking combined with heat, humidity, and crowds can take a lot out of everyone.

To prevent major meltdowns, schedule some downtime during your vacation. If you are staying for a longer time, consider taking a whole break day where you enjoy your Resort. Take time in the Parks to slow down and have a break. Enjoy some ice cream, and people watch or watch a show in the air conditioning. For little ones, make sure that they have time to take a nap or swim.

It can be hard to slow down at Walt Disney World, but breaks are crucial to keeping the magic going during a trip.

Contemporary Resort
Credit: Disney

Visit Other Resorts

Schedule time during your trip to visit Disney Resorts. The Walt Disney World Resorts are part of the magic, so often, first-time visitors miss out. One of our biggest tips for visiting other Disney Resorts is to schedule meals at them. We love taking time during our Park days to step away and visit a nearby Resort for a meal.

At Magic Kingdom, we love Steakhouse 71 at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Grand Floridian Cafe at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Catch the skyliner over Disney’s Riveria for a quick meal at Primo Piatoo or a nice family-style dinner at Sebastian’s Bistro in Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.

Some of the best Disney World restaurants are at Disney Resorts. Enjoy a nice meal and explore these outstanding Resorts during your trip. You might find your next Resort!

Those are some quick tips that first-time visitors to Walt Disney World should know before their trip. We hope that these help you get started in your planning for a magical time.

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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