• Slow down and enjoy the magic. Resist the urge to see everything at breakneck speed, and take time to enjoy the numerous amenities offered at your resort. You can’t possibly see everything, so consider this as your first trip to Disney not your last. There’ll be time for you to pick up what you missed on another go-round.
Decide your priorities before your vacation begins and plan out every day ahead.
• Get to the parks early!
• Plan for a rest in the middle of the day especially if you have children in tow or the parks are open late. Stay at one of the Magic Kingdom or Epcot resorts, allowing a simple return to your resort in the middle of the day for a rest or a plunge in the pool.
• Call or go online exactly 180 days ahead at 7:00 a.m. Orlando time (Eastern time) for dining reservations if a meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table or Be Our Guest in the Magic Kingdom is tops on your list. You may get away with sleeping in and booking a bit later but just when traveling through extremely slow seasons.
• Come prepared for an afternoon shower during the rainy summer months even if the sky looks perfectly clear in the morning. Rent a locker to store your rain gear, circling back if skies start to look threatening. If you are caught unprepared just about every store in the parks sells inexpensive rain ponchos.
• Arrive in the water parks at opening time if a sofa chair is a priority, or, even better, pre-reserve one of the private cabanas or premium beach seat space. And bear in mind that in the busy summer months, water parks are sometimes filled to capacity by mid-morning with new guests kept from entering until late afternoon.
• Use Disney’s FastPass+® option which allows up to three FastPass+ attractions per day to be pre-reserved 60 days prior to arrival.
• Make Advance Dining Reservations, especially in the busier times of year (see the Dining In Style at Walt Disney World Resort chapter for a more detailed explanation), to save hours of frustration and waiting.
• Allow plenty of time to get to the theme parks each morning. It’s easy to miss your breakfast bookings when enough time hasn’t been allocated.
• Be selectively spontaneous. If something catches your eye, even if it is not on your daily list of things to do, Orlando Wildlife Control, be ready to stop and explore or you will miss something wonderful.
• Be attuned to the limitations of your kids. If they are tired take a break; when their feet hurt get them a stroller (forget that they outgrew one years ago); if a ride looks scary to them do not force the issue. It’ll make your day and the day of other park visitors much less stressful.
Better yet, bring several pairs and rotate them. Nothing is worse than getting blisters on your first day and then having to nurse them for the remainder of your vacation.