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Hot Takes: Tips From Disney Veterans

Vacations at Walt Disney World are one of our favorite things to do as a family. As veteran Disney goers, we have learned some important lessons. We will share some of these hot takes to help you have a less stressful, more magical vacation to Walt Disney World.

Learn from our mistakes, struggles, and big wins by taking these big tips before your next Walt Disney World vacation.

Walt Disney World Gate
Credit: V Mills

Hot Take #1: Do Research

We understand that only some are as passionate Disney fans as we are; however, taking time to do some research before your trip is essential. Dig into the four Disney parks so you know what each park offers before you arrive.

By knowing the general layout of the parks, you will avoid frustration and extra steps during your trip. As you watch your favorite show, hop on the My Disney Experience app and look at the map feature. This is a great way to get familiar with the overall layout of Walt Disney World before you arrive.

Understanding where things are in Walt Disney World will make your trip smoother. There will be less frustration and less time wasted figuring out where to go.

Family planning for Disney

Hot Take #2: Have a Plan

Once you understand where things are in Walt Disney World, take time to create an overall plan. This doesn’t have to be an hour-by-hour, detailed itinerary but a general list of must-do experiences.

Families that show up and don’t know which rides they want to see or when the fireworks are each night end up missing out on a lot during their Walt Disney World vacation. Before heading into the parks, have a good idea of the must-do rides and attractions for everyone. By knowing this information, you can have an overall plan of attack when you arrive at the park that day.

Veterans, even those who visit weekly, head into the park with a plan for what they want to do. It might just be sitting and people-watching; however, a plan is essential for getting the most out of your day in a Walt Disney World theme park.

Disney Skyliner; Disney Monorail
Credit: V Mills

Hot Take #3: Plan for Transportation

We love that Walt Disney World provides free transportation throughout the Walt Disney World Resort Property. It is fantastic not to worry about driving, parking, and navigating during a trip to Walt Disney World.

Walt Disney World is huge; veterans know traveling between their Walt Disney World Resort and Disney parks will take time. Make sure you plan in enough transportation time so you aren’t rushed when making dining or Genie+  reservations.

Understanding how big Walt Disney World is before you arrive, you will know how to plan accordingly and be much less stressed overall.

Family using my disney experience
Credit: Disney

Hot Take #4: My Disney Experience is Essential

We know disconnecting from our phones is important, but Disney’s App, My Disney Experience, has become essential to a Walt Disney World vacation over the past few years.

Veterans have this app downloaded before arriving, have taken time to practice navigating the different features and know how to use it to help enhance their vacation.

As we mentioned, My Disney Experience has maps of all the Disney parks, making it an excellent resource for seeing where you are in the Park and helping you navigate to where you want to go.

This tool will be critical to your experience in the park as you Mobile Order, Mobile Shop, use Genie+, and so much more.

We know the app has so many features to help navigate Walt Disney World, so we highly recommend taking time before heading down to learn some of those.

Related: Prepare Your My Disney Experience From Home

magic kingdom entrance crowd
Credit: Fab 5

Hot Take #5: It is Busy

No matter when you visit Walt Disney World, there will be crowds. Veterans know they must be prepared for crowds and pack their patience.

As mentioned, planning is the first step to successfully navigating the crowds at Walt Disney World. There are great ways to manage the crowds. Get to the parks early, stay late, purchase Genie+, or attend one of the special ticketed events.

Go into the day knowing there will be lines, but have a plan to manage them. With some patience and a plan, the crowds won’t bother you.

Shoes with good support

Hot Take #6: You Will Walk Miles

Any Disney veteran will tell you you will walk often during a Walt Disney World vacation and skip the fashion for comfort. Wear shoes that allow you to walk up to 10 to 15 miles daily.

Don’t bring brand-new shoes, and expect to be able to wear them comfortably throughout your whole vacation. Try shoes out at home to ensure they are broken in and won’t cause problems for your feet.

Blisters and Disney are not fun, but they happen all the time. Come prepared with moleskin, bandaids, and other first aid items to help if blisters impact your vacation. Get your feet and shoes ready for Walt Disney World, and you will be glad you did.

Dad and son walking through Cinderella Castle
Dad and son walking through Cinderella Castle

Hot Take #7: Slow it Down

The final hot take from Disney veterans is to slow it down. Getting wrapped up in rushing from ride to ride in the parks can be extremely easy. Although it is fun to experience so much, make sure you have time to slow down and enjoy the magic.

Schedule time to take breaks, relax at the pool, enjoy a nice meal, or people-watch. Doing these things is just as crucial during a Walt Disney World vacation as the third ride on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Those are some quick hot takes from Disney veterans as you prepare for your Walt Disney World vacation. We hope these takeaways will help you have a fantastic time during your Disney 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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