PlanningThe ParksTips

Going to Disney? Have You Done These 10 Things?

You decided to take the family to Walt Disney World. Everyone is excited and looking forward to the vacation. As you look forward to the trip, make sure that you take time to do these ten things. These ten steps will set you up for a successful trip to Walt Disney World. Preparing for Disney can be stressful, but focusing on these ten things will help your Disney vacation.

It can be easy to get overwhelmed when planning a trip to Walt Disney World. You can enjoy the journey more by ensuring you have these ten things completed.

My Disney Experience
My Disney Experience

1. My Disney Experience

After booking your Walt Disney World trip, you must set up your My Disney Experience account. This is where you will link your Walt Disney World vacation package and start planning. Once you have created an account, download the app and start getting familiar with it.

My Disney Experience will be your connection to the make throughout the trip. Take time to learn what is found on the app. You will probably find it frustrating if you wait until you arrive at Walt Disney World to navigate My Disney Experience.

We highly recommend taking some time to figure out what it does.  Check to make sure you have a valid credit card loaded, as well as know your password and how to navigate between the different screens.

Related: Key Features of the My Disney Experience App

Map of Magic Kingdom showing Tron
Map of Magic Kingdom showing Tron

2. Look at the Map

Before heading down to Walt Disney World, look at a map of the four Disney Parks. Walt Disney World is huge. By looking at a map of Walt Disney World and the four main Parks you plan to visit, you will get a better sense of where things are located.

Having a general idea of where rides, shows, attractions, and dining locations are located throughout the Parks can be extremely helpful when you arrive. We don’t think you need to memorize the map; however, knowing where key attractions are located will save you a lot of frustration and steps when you arrive.

Rainbow over Cinderella Castle
Credit: Disney

3. Prepare for the Weather

Be aware as you pack and prepare to go down that weather does happen, even in Walt Disney World. Make sure that you pack rain gear and sunscreen, and if you are going in the winter months like December, January, or February, winter gear.

Invest in rain gear, fans, and other weather-related items to prepare you for whatever mother nature throws at you.

Related: Quick Trips for Dealing with Rain in Disney

4. Dive into Genie+

A feature found within My Disney Experience is Genie+. Before heading down to Walt Disney World, learn about what this feature offers. By learning about how Genie+ works at Walt Disney World, you can make better decisions regarding whether Genie+ will be suitable for you or not.

Genie+ is a great way to skip some of the long lines that form in Disney Parks, but you need to know how it works to use it successfully. Do some research before investing in Genie+ during your trip.

Related: Disney Genie, Genie+, and Individual Lightning Lanes

Food Pictures
Food Pictures

5. Think Food

An essential part of a Walt Disney World vacation is the food. Before heading down to Walt Disney World, know what your plan is when it comes to food.

If you want to enjoy sit-down meals while visiting, you will want to make dining reservations through the My Disney Experience app 60 days before your trip. Popular dining options such as character meals fill up quickly and must be made early.

For those that are more on-the-go eaters, you will want to be familiar with mobile ordering on the My Disney Experience app. This feature will save time in line during mealtime as you can preorder your food.

No matter what dining style you want to experience in Walt Disney World, make sure you have a plan before going.

TRON Entrance
TRON Entrance

6. Discover New Experiences

One of the reasons we love going to Walt Disney World is because there is always something new to experience. From new attractions like Tron: Lightcycle Run to recent dining locations like Space 200, Disney constantly adds new experiences for Guests.

Before heading to Walt Disney World, look at new experiences you don’t want to miss. What rides, shows, dining, and other occasions are new. Ensure you are aware of these so you know to prioritize them.

Slinky Dog Dash
Photo Credit: Disney

7. Check Height Restrictions

As you begin to look at those rides and attractions, make sure you also pay attention to the height restrictions. If traveling with little ones, be aware of their height as you plan.

To avoid meltdowns, ensure you are well aware of the rides with height restrictions so you don’t promise something you can’t follow through on. Knowing this information ahead of the trip will help everyone in the long run.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, EPCOT
Credit: V Mills

8. Make a Must-Do List

Once you determine what new experiences are waiting for you and what height restrictions are, start making your must-do list. Have everyone traveing with you come up with one or two experiences that are a must-do for them each day.

These experiences might be a snack they want to try out or a new ride they just can’t wait to ride. Must-do experiences might also be swimming at the Resort pool. Knowing what everyone wants to accomplish will help with daily plans.

Family planning for Disney

9. Make a General Plan

Take those must-do lists and start creating a general plan for your days. These don’t need to be highly detailed; instead, think of it as an outline. Each day you should process what Park you want to visit, a handful of rides you want to focus on, and of course, what food locations you will try.

By starting when a general plan each day, the whole group will be able to know the goals for the day. Sharing this before the trip will help everyone understand the plan once you arrive. These general plans can help prevent meltdowns and lost time in the Parks trying to figure out what to do next.

cartoon mickey relaxing at disney resort

10. Plan for Downtime

Our final tip for preparing for Walt Disney World is to plan for downtime. This can be extremely hard when you feel there is so much to see and do. Rest time is so important during a trip to Walt Disney World. The combination of walking, many people, and often sweltering temperatures can lead to frustration.

Planning downtime during the day can allow everyone time to rest and be ready for more magic. We suggest taking breaks in Magic Kingdom HERE to get you started.

A trip to Walt Disney World is full of magic, but it can be overwhelming. Ensuring you have these ten things done and ready for your journey will make you less stressed during your vacation.

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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