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Secret Planning Tips for Walt Disney World

A lot goes into planning a trip to Walt Disney World. As you start planning, we have a few secret planning tips we want to share. You will want to know these tips before departing your Walt Disney World vacation.

These simple tips will help make your Walt Disney World vacation more magical and less overwhelming.

Shoes with good support

Plan to Walk a LOT

Our first tip is focused on the walking that you will do at Walt Disney World. The Walt Disney World Resort is massive. Because of how big it is, you will walk many miles each day of your vacation.

As most of us don’t do this each day, you want to ensure the whole family is prepared before your trip.

Start by making sure that everyone has good, broken-in walking shoes. Don’t wait until right before your trip to purchase new shoes. Instead, make sure you have put some miles on your shoes before leaving for Walt Disney World.

Take time at home to head out as a family on walks. Getting everyone used to walking can make a huge difference when you arrive at Disney Park.

If you are traveling with early elementary-age kids, think about a stroller. We understand that your son/daughter might not use one home anymore; however, they probably don’t walk 10 miles daily either. With a stroller option, you can always pull it out when they get worn down at the end of the day.

Secret tip number one is to ensure everyone has good walking shoes and has practiced a few miles before arriving at Walt Disney World.

Family planning
Family planning

Create an Overall Plan

We will be the first to tell you that it is essential to have a plan before you head down to Walt Disney World. We highly recommend making those Park Pass Reservations early to ensure you get into the Park of your choice.

Once you know what Parks you will visit, we suggest discussing what must-do experiences everyone wants to ensure they get to while on a Disney vacation. Knowing ahead of time what those top rides, shows, snacks, etc. everyone wants to experience while on vacation will help you have an overall plan when you arrive.

What we don’t recommend doing is trying to schedule out every single minute of every single day. No matter how much you plan, something will throw it off. Rides break down, kids (and adults) have meltdowns, lines are longer than you expect, and all can cause those well-made plans to go out the window.

Instead of planning out every second, have an overall idea of where you want to start your day and then a general plan for touring Disney Park. Going about your goals this way will make it less stressful when things interrupt, causing you to adjust.

Overplanning can take away from the magic of the trip, as you might miss some incredible experiences if you are so focused on keeping a schedule.

Related: Must-Do Experiences for a First Visit

TRON Entrance
TRON Entrance

You Won’t See it All

As you make your general plan, make sure you understand that you won’t be able to see and do it all. No matter how long your trip is to Walt Disney World, there won’t be enough time to see and do it all during one trip.

This is where focusing on your must-do list we mentioned before, is essential. By knowing the must-do experiences for everyone in the group, you can focus on making sure those get accomplished during your trip.

Go into your vacation knowing that you won’t be able to see and do it all. This just means that you will get to head down again for a trip in the future.

Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool
Credit: V Mills

See Experiences Outside of the Four Main Parks

As you plan your trip to Walt Disney World, getting wrapped up in the four main Disney Parks can be easy. A lot of Guests don’t know that there are a lot of experiences to do outside of those four main Parks as well.

Start with the Disney Resorts. If you are staying at one of Disney’s amazing Resorts, schedule some time to enjoy it during your trip. Take time to swim at the pool, enjoy the poolside activities, and even have a meal. There are also activities throughout the Resorts days, and you can often catch a movie under the stars at night.

Disney Springs also has so much to offer, from fantastic shopping, outstanding dining, and great entertainment; you will want to take some time to visit.

Also, visit other Disney Resorts for a meal or to look around. These Resorts are themed so well and are genuinely part of the magic. We would also recommend looking into mini-golf and the Water Parks at Disney. These are great experiences that Guests often miss out on.

Take some time on your vacation outside of the four Theme Parks to truly enjoy all the magic Walt Disney World has to offer.

Topolino's Terrace Breakfast, Disney's Riviera Resort
Credit: Visit Orlando

Table Service Restaurants Pop Up Later

Don’t give up hope if disappointed because you didn’t get your top dining reservation. Many dining reservations open up at the last minute.

Check the My Disney Experience app to see if your must-do restaurant is available. You can also check to see if you can join the walk-up waitlist once in the area. Keep checking, as things at Walt Disney World are constantly changing. Use the app to see what is available throughout your trip.

As you prepare for your Walt Disney World vacation, make sure that you use these secret planning tips. They will help you have a more relaxing and magical 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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