There is no holiday like a Walt Disney World holiday, it’s a full on experience with rides, parades, fireworks, character interactions, water parks and much more. Walt Disney World is huge at 40 square miles. There are four theme parks, two water parks and Disney Springs, formerly known as Downtown Disney.
Planning a holiday to Walt Disney World can be mind-boggling. There are numerous accommodation options, not only are the more than 25 Disney resorts, there are hundreds of hotels in Orlando and villas to choose from. Dining options range from quick service counters in the parks, to fine dining as well as all of the restaurants off of Disney property. Transportation can be the usual hire car, or for those that don’t wish to drive there are buses, boats and monorails ready to get you around Disney property.
The excitement of stepping inside the Magic Kingdom is enough to cause grown adults to cry. The sounds, smells and crowds are enough to make even a die-hard Disney fan feel completely overwhelmed so here are ten tips to help get the most from visiting Walt Disney World this summer;
- Freeze bottles of water overnight and take them to the parks. As they defrost they will work as a cooler and will provide a cool drink later in the day. Speaking of water, most quick service
- For a better chance of seeing more animals, ride the Kilimanjaro Safaris at Animal Kingdom early in the day. Once the sun gets hot many of the animals retreat into the shade and are harder to spot.
- Be prepared for the weather to change quickly. Summer in Florida means unpredictable weather. It can be boiling hot one minute and pouring with rain the next. It is advisable to pack ponchos in your bag so that you can be ready when the rain starts to fall. Heavy rain often means that the crowds disperse and head back to the resorts, for those visitors that are happy to brave the rain this could be good news as the queues for rides will be considerably shorter. It is worth noting that some rides close when the weather is bad, especially when there is lightning in the area.
- If visiting with babies and toddlers make use of the Baby Care Centres located in each park. They are a great places to stop and cool down or let little ones sleep. They are equipped with highchairs and changing tables as well as quiet areas for breastfeeding mothers.
- Make you pushchair stand out! There are hundreds of buggies, or strollers as our American friends call them, in each park everyday. Tie something to the handle of your buggy so that it is easily identifiable – the Cast Members often move them around to make more space, so it may not be in the same place that you left it.
- Let the kids cool off. Florida in the summer is hot, so let the kids cool down where they can such as the Casey Jr. Splash n Soak Station at Magic Kingdom or the Test Track Cool Wash in Epcot. Kids also love playing in the fountains that pop up from the ground at Disney Springs. It is advisable to have some dry clothes as the air conditioning can be cold, especially when wearing wet clothes!
- Wear comfy shoes, this is the not time to break in new shoes or to wear your favourite Louboutins. Walt Disney World = lots and lots of walking, so be sensible with the footwear.
- Make dining reservations early. The restaurants across Disney World are usually full at peak times, especially during the summer months and the possibility of walking up and getting a table is very unlikely. Dining reservations can be booked 180 days in advance. Guests staying at a Disney resort hotel will be able to book meals for the first 9 days of their trip 180 days in advance of arrival.
- Take rest days. A holiday to Walt Disney World can feel exhausting so a few rest days are essential. Enjoy the pool at the resort or villa, visit one of the water parks, soak up the laid back atmosphere of Celebration, or do some shopping at one of the outlets or malls.
- Remember to slow down and enjoy it! Grab a hot dog from Casey’s Corner or an ice cream from the Plaza Ice Cream Parlour then sit and people watch for half an hour. Take in the details on the windows on Main St, or look for Hidden Mickeys. Watch the fountains at Epcot whilst sipping on a Starbucks or watch the performers around the World Showcase. See the Gorillas at Animal Kingdom or look for DiVine. Have a coffee and a cupcake in The Writer’s Stop or visit some of the Disney resorts, each one is uniquely themed and they are all worth a wander around.
Have a magical trip to Walt Disney World!
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