PlanningThe ParksTips

Key Things to Know Before Your First Disney Park Day

The first day in a Walt Disney World Park is truly magical.  All the planning and waiting is finally over.  It is time to enjoy all the hard work and saving.

As you walk into your first Walt Disney World Park there are a few things that you will want to make sure you are aware of.

Walt Disney World Map
Credit: Disney

You Can’t Do It All

First and foremost as you walk into your first Disney Park know that you won’t be able to do it all.  It doesn’t matter if you are heading to Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you won’t be able to see everything.

Set this expectation right away.  Being realistic about what you will be able to accomplish is key to feeling successful and not stressed.

My Disney Experience App

My Disney Experience Is Key

My Disney Experience is the official app for Walt Disney World.   This is where Guests will see wait times, open their Resort room door, make mobile orders, and use Genie+.

Because this app is so essential, Guests walking into the Disney Park for the first time will want to be familiar with it.  We highly recommend taking time prior to your first Park day to get the app downloaded and get familiar with it.

Check out our many articles on How to Disney about My Disney Experience prior to your trip.  Knowing about what the app has to offer and where specific things such as mobile ordering, Genie+, and wait times are located will be helpful.

Have Your Park Pass

Before heading into a Walt Disney World Theme Park, you will want to make sure that you have made a Park Pass Reservation.  All Guests heading to Walt Disney World need to purchase Disney Park Tickets as well as make a Park Pass Reservation.

Guests will log onto their My Disney Experience account and choose one of the four Disney Parks for each day of their tickets.  Guests can choose Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or EPCOT.

Walt Disney World is using Park Passes to help regulate the crowds within each of the Theme Parks.  You won’t be able to walk in if you don’t have both a ticket and a reservation.

crowds- Disney Tips
Credit: crowds- Disney Tips

There Will Be Crowds

No matter when you schedule your Walt Disney World vacation you will come across crowds.  Although there are a few times of the year when crowds remain lower, overall Walt Disney World is crowded.

As you prepare to head into your first Park of the day, you need to be prepared for crowds.  Know how to avoid them, where to hide from them, and where are good places for breaks.

We have a few suggestions on How to Disney that can provide suggestions when it comes to crowds.  Use these before you head down so you are able to handle them when you walk into the Park.

Lines Will Happen

Along with crowds come lines.  Be prepared and have your kids ready for lines.  Even if you go during a slower time, you will still have some lines.

Prepare your phone with games and other activities to keep little ones entertained as you wait in line.  Having snacks in your Park bag is another great time waster.

Lines are part of a Walt Disney World vacation so make sure you have thought about how you are going to handle them before you walk into your first Disney Park.

You, Will, Walk a Lot

Another big part of a Disney Park day is walking.  Lots of walking.  As you get ready to head into your first Disney Park, make sure you have taken the time to prepare for all the walking.

Doing practice walks at home is a good start.  Walking around the neighborhood and breaking in your shoes is key to getting your feet and shoes ready.

Planning Disney
Credit: Fab5

Have a Plan

Make sure you take time to create an overall plan before you walk into your first Disney Park.  Although you don’t have to have a minute-by-minute plan, you will want to have a general idea of what you want to do.

Knowing what are your top rides or experiences for the Park will help you have a plan when you walk in.  Doing this will give you a general plan and will prevent you from wasting time walking back and forth around the Park.

General plans are a great thing to have before walking into your first Disney Park.  Knowing in general where the main rides and attractions are in the Park will help you feel more prepared.

Credit: Disney

You Can Pay to Skip Lines

As you walk into your first Disney Park, you will want to know that you have the option to pay to skip the lines.  Guests can choose to add Genie+ each day of their vacation.  Genie+ gives them the option to skip the standby lines to a variety of experiences throughout the Park.

Even if you aren’t choosing to use this feature, being aware that it is an option is important.  This will help you understand what other Guests might be doing in different lines as well as what Genie+ is referring to on the app.

Take time to look into what Genie+ has to offer to determine if it will be something that is helpful for your family.

Credit: Inside the Magic

Plan for Weather

When you walk into your first Disney Park, you will want to make sure you are prepared for the weather.  Rain is very typical in Walt Disney World, so make sure you are prepared for it as you get ready for the day.

We have lots of tips and tricks at How to Disney on how to deal with rain.  Take time to have a plan on how you are going to deal with it when it happens- because it will happen.

Also, make sure you are ready for the heat and humidity.  This can be hard to deal with if you aren’t used to it.  Look into suggestions on how to prepare so you aren’t surprised when it hits you.

Drink Water

Make sure that you have a method for staying hydrated.  The combination of a lot of walking, heat, and humidity can really causes issues for your body.  Make sure that you have your water bottles or stop and get water in the Parks.

We also suggest looking into hydration packets.  These are great for getting those electrolytes back into your body.

Be Flexible

Finally, before you walk into a Disney Park for the first time, make sure you are ready to be flexible.  Walt Disney World is truly magical, but there are so many variables that you can’t prepare for.

Because of all these variables, you need to go into the Parks ready to be flexible.  Things will go wrong, meltdowns will happen, it will rain, and rides break down.  Even with all of that, Walt Disney World will be magical if you allow yourself to be flexible.

A first-time trip to Walt Disney World is truly magical and so special.  As you prepare for your trip, make sure that you take the time to be prepared with these tips before you head into the Park for the first day.  Doing this will help you feel more prepared and ready for a fantastic 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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