PlanningThe ParksTips

Major Tips For Navigating Walt Disney World You Need To Know

Through our travels to Walt Disney World, we have learned some big tips for navigating the Disney Parks and the Walt Disney World Resort as a whole.  To help you as you plan your Disney vacation, we thought we would share some of these major tips.  These will help you get around Disney easier and with less stress.

Magic Kingdom Castle
Credit: Disney

Disney is HUGE

Tip number one that will help you navigate your way around Walt Disney World is to be aware that is it huge.  We are talking about the size of a city huge. Because of this, getting around takes time.  As you plan which Disney Theme Park to visit and where you want to eat, be aware that getting to and from your Walt Disney World Resort hotel and one of the Disney Parks can sometimes take a good 30 to 60 minutes.

There is nothing truly “quick” about getting around Walt Disney World.  Although the Disney transportation is fantastic, just the big size of Disney means getting around takes longer.  Knowing this, make sure you plan in travel time.  Allow yourself extra time to get to those reservations so you aren’t stressed.

By understanding how big Walt Disney World is, you will be able to navigate it a little better.

Running Shoes
Photo Credit: Run Disney

You Walk Tons

Because Walt Disney World is SO big, you will be walking a lot during your vacation.  With all the walking that is required, you will want to make sure you invest in good shoes and break them in before heading to Walt Disney World.  Having happy feet can make all the difference in the world.

As you are walking a lot, make sure you pack items to help if problems arise.  We like to have chaffing sticks and moleskin for those blisters that always seem to show up.  With all the heat and humidity, it seems like things just rub differently than anticipated.

Being aware of how much walking will be done can help you be prepared and ready to navigate all those miles.  Take some family walks at home to get those shoes broken in, but also get your body ready for those extra miles.  This is a great thing to do with kids.  It can help you determine how much walking they can do and if you need the stroller or not.

My Disney Experience App

My Disney Experience is Essential

Once upon a time, Disney was a place where we could put our electronics away and disconnect from the rest of the world.  With the importance of My Disney Experience, that is no longer the case.

My Disney Experience is the official app of Walt Disney World.  It is through this app that Guests will find maps, see wait times, place mobile orders, and book Genie+.  Before heading down to your Walt Disney World vacation, download the app.  Get logged in and start navigating it.  There is so much available to Guests; however, it can be a little overwhelming.  By taking the time to navigate the app ahead of time, you will be ready to use it throughout your vacation successfully.

Planning Disney
Credit: Fab5

Have a Plan

Since Walt Disney World is so big, it is important to have a plan on how you are going to navigate your days in the Disney Parks.  Once you have downloaded My Disney Experience, take time to look over the Disney Park maps.  This can help you get familiar with the layout of the Parks and determine what you want to accomplish each day.

Think about how you are going to get from place to place.  Are you going to be using Disney transportation?  If so, what transportation is available?  Taking time to think through the big picture is important for how you are able to navigate the Parks when you arrive.

We don’t recommend having a strict minute-by-minute schedule for your days at Walt Disney World; however, we do highly recommend having a plan.  Think about having around five must-do experiences for each day.  This could be rides, food, or entertainment that someone in the group really wants to experience.

Once you have this list, you can use those must-do experiences to navigate Disney Park for the day.  Having a tentative plan is important to navigating the Parks successfully.

Disney Planning
Credit: Disney

Have Patience

This might be hard to do, but it is so important for navigating the Parks at Walt Disney World.  You need to have patience.  Disney is crowded and that means you are going to have waited and you are going to have crowds.  Be aware of this ahead of time and have a plan on ways to manage them.

We have a lot of great ideas on navigating crowds at How to Disney.  Use those as a start.  Being aware of how to navigate around crowds can really help set you up for success.  When you do come across a crowd, pull out your patience and take a moment.

Be Flexible

Our last tip for navigating Walt Disney World is to be flexible.  Yes, we think plans are important, but we also think being able to adjust those plans is just as important.  No matter how much you plan for your trip, there will be situations that throw off the plan.  Rides shut down, it rains, kids have meltdowns, adjust get frustrated- it happens.

When things come up, be willing to pivot and adjust the plan.  Head by for a break if the kids are melting down.  Stop and watch the cavalcade again if that’s what they want to do.  It won’t be any fun if you are forcing everyone to stick to the plan all the time.

Some of the most magical moments are the ones that we don’t plan for ahead of time.  Don’t miss out on them by rushing to the next ride.  Slow down and enjoy.

These are the top tips for navigating Walt Disney World successfully.  We hope that they help set you up for success as you plan 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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