PlanningThe ParksTips

Secrets Revealed: Tips Every Disney First Timer Should Know

Being a Disney First Timer at Walt Disney World can be a lot of work and sometimes feel overwhelming. With four theme parks, two water parks, and Disney Springs, Walt Disney World has much to see and do, making a Disney vacation a lot of work.

Figuring out where you want to stay, what to eat, and what entertainment you don’t want to miss can be a lot, even for Disney veterans. As a Disney first-timer to Walt Disney World, you might find all these decisions almost impossible.

Luckily, we have some secret tips to help you with your first trip to Walt Disney World. These tips will help you prepare for a magical time with less stress and more excitement. From top places to eat to hidden gems, we have secret information you won’t want to miss out on.

Satuli Canteen Kids Meal

Order From the Kids’ Menu

If you want to save money or room for dessert, consider ordering from the kids’ menu at a quick-service location.

We enjoy ordering these smaller meals because of the smaller portions, which often come with a fruit or vegetable. This can be a great way to ensure your body gets more than just ice cream and treats throughout the day.

You can ask your server about ordering a smaller portion at a table-service location. Also, consider sharing an entree at these restaurants. Portions are so significant that it is easy to share.

Don’t make yourself sick by overeating during your trip.

Disney Resort Pool_Wilderness

Take Breaks

This might not be a super secret tip, but it is crucial for a successful trip at Walt Disney World. It is exhausting at Walt Disney World, and taking breaks is essential to let everyone recover.

Getting wrapped up in rushing from ride to ride can be easy. Make sure that you take time during the day to slow down.

Breaks are an excellent time to eat, nap, or enjoy a show. Make sure you have it scheduled for your family, no matter what break time looks like. If you don’t, it will be easy to skip.

We recommend scheduling a full break day if you spend a week at Walt Disney World. That means taking a whole day to stay out of the Parks. Enjoy an entire pool day. Sleep in and relax. It can be hard to do, but breaks are so important.

Mickey Mouse with Kids
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Meet Mickey Mouse

If it is your first trip, make sure you meet Mickey Mouse. Luckily, Mickey is available to guests at all four Disney parks and a few resorts. There is something extraordinary about meeting the main mouse while at Walt Disney World.

Get ready for big smiles and hugs as you say hello to him at one of the Disney parks or during a meal at a fun location such as Chef Mickey’s.

Early Theme Park Entry Sign, Disney's Hollywood Studios
Credit: V Mills

Experience Extra Time in the Parks

As you plan your park days, be aware that if you stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, you can have extra time in the park. Each morning, all four Disney parks are opened thirty minutes before the posted opening for resort guests.

If you aren’t aware of this, it can significantly impact your day. You don’t want to show up at the park thinking you will rope drop only to discover it has been open for a while already.

Also, if you stay at a deluxe Disney resort, check out the extended evening hours. Disney offers guests of these resorts extended time in the parks on select evenings. This is a fantastic way to experience low crowds and cooler temperatures.

If you aren’t aware of these additional park times, you might be surprised when you show up for the day.

Family using my disney experience
Credit: Disney

Download My Disney Experience

Many Guests show up at Walt Disney World knowing the basics of what My Disney Experience offers. The secret to a great time at Walt Disney World is learning what great information My Disney Experience provides.

Dig into the app before your trip so you can easily navigate it during your trip. Look at the maps to understand where rides and experiences are located within the parks. Check out mobile ordering so you can easily navigate it during your trip.

Being comfortable with My Disney Experience before you arrive can make a huge difference in your experience at Disney and with the app.

Memory Maker

Take all the Photos

As you are taking in all the magic, make sure that you also slow down and take some photos throughout your trip. We love capturing the icons at each of the four Disney Parks. Take advantage of Memory Maker by having Disney PhotoPass Photographs capture your photos.

These magical moments will allow you to enjoy them for years. Many guests aren’t aware that these fantastic Cast Members will take pictures for you. This is a beautiful way to get everyone in the picture during the trip.

Also, slow down and take pictures throughout the parks and at your resort. Walt Disney World is beautiful. Don’t miss it by rushing.

Minnie and Little Girl at Chef Mickey's
Minnie and Little Girl at Chef Mickey’s

Eat at the Resorts

Head to Disney Resorts for great dining experiences at Walt Disney World. Many of the top signature dining locations are found at Disney Resort.

While at Magic Kingdom, head to one of the monorail Resorts. You can enjoy a character meal at Chef Mickey’s or a signature meal at California Grill, Narcoosee’s, or Citricos. We want Captain Cooks or Grand Floridian Cafe for a quick dinner.

EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios have various options for dining at the Boardwalk Inn or Beach and Yacht Club. Beaches and Cream is always a top choice, as is Ale and Compass.

Guests often focus on finding a reservation or a meal within a Disney park but take time to step out of the parks to enjoy some of the best meals at Walt Disney World.

Those secret tips can help you have a magical time at Walt Disney World. We hope the variety will help in all areas as you plan, from dining to touring.


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.

Related Articles


Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker