In no way do I think that after spending only 6 days in DisneyWorld that I am the Disney guru, but I did learn some helpful hints along the way to make other peoples trips run more smoothly,to save some money, and to make the absolute most of your time spent in the most magical place on earth. Tips that I will now share with you to make your stay easier and more fun.
1. Do not rent a stroller from Disney if you have kids young enough to be able to make use of one. Unless you’re staying for only one day, it’s just not worth it. They are expensive, plastic, and uncomfortable. With our kids, especially Parker, they spent a lot of the day sitting in the stroller so we could get from place to place a lot faster. We rented an amazing stroller from an outside company called Orlando Stroller rentals. They delivered it to our resort so it was there when we arrived and we could use it instantly, and then picked it up from our resort when we were done. There was no waiting in line to rent a stroller that looks just like everyone elses. It was easy to find in the HUGE stroller parking areas instead of having to search for a small name tag through the hundred other ones that are identical. We could take it WHEREVER we went, whereas a Disney stroller you have to turn in at the end of the day. No taking it to the buses like we could with ours, no taking it on the boats or the monorails. At the end of a long and hot day, the last thing you want to do is pull your exhausted kids out of a stroller and have to carry them to whatever mode of transportation you’re using. That stroller was a lifesaver.Big, comfortable, breathable, fast, lightweight.
2. GET THE MEAL PLAN. I cannot stress it enough. It takes so much worry about how much you’re spending off of your shoulders. You can go wherever you want, whenever you want, give them your card, and not have to pay anything other than gratuity. It covers character meals (which for 3 people costs nearly $100), snacks, fast food. I had a lot of people tell me that instead of buying food at Disney, that they would instead go all the way back to their hotel and cook food in their kitchen. That’s all well and good, but when you have limited time in the park, spending hours on transportation and cooking takes a lot of time away from the time you could be spending riding rides and having a blast.
3. Stay on the Disney property. Look, I know it’s more expensive to stay in Disney than it is to stay outside of it, but you’ll also be saving money and time by doing so. Disney isn’t all 4-5 star resorts. They have hotels that can accommodate just about any budget, and the benefits that come along with staying on Disney property far outweigh staying off of it in my opinion. You don’t have to worry about driving your own car, or getting a rental. Spending money on gas, only to have to park MILES away and then taking a tram just to get in. You can use Disney transportation to get just about anywhere and they drop you off right outside of the gates to the parks. The best part about staying on property are the magic hours, which ONLY people staying in Disney “resorts” get to use. Magic hours are when one park will open an hour early each day, and another park will stay open 3 hours late. I know it seems miserable to have to wake up at the ass crack of dawn to hop a bus and get to Disney when the sun is still rising, but getting to experience the parks when it’s still cool outside and the sun isn’t beating down with NO crowds is an experience all in its own. The days we took advantage of the morning magic hours, we blew threw entire sections of the parks before breakfast. We rode some rides multiple times, most of the time alone, no lines whatsoever. Rides that during the peak hours have hour + long waits. We got to sit back and munch on HUGE cinnamon rolls (for free) while everyone else was rushing to get to rides that already had long lines. In what is called the “second busiest week of the year”, we had almost no issue with lines, all thanks to morning magic hour.
4. Plan to stay there for more than a few days. We stayed for 6 and still didn’t get nearly everything done. If you have older kids, it’s much easier, because they can stay up later, but ours were exhausted and passing out at 8pm, meaning we missed out on a lot of the less busy times in the park, missed the light parade, and a lot of the evening shows. We didn’t get to enjoy our resort as much as I would have liked, never even got to go to the pool. Six days seems like a long time, but it felt like we were running a marathon and could never see the finish line. Ideally it would have been nicer to be able to relax a little more (and we did a lot of relaxing on our balcony once the boys were in bed, again I say, if you have older kids, getting everything you want to get done in 6 days would probably be no problem at all). Yes it’s expensive to stay longer, but it’s Disney! Most people can’t afford to go every single year, or even every few years, so make your trip the best it can be.
And those are my tips! Take them, use them, you will not regret it!
I've gotten to the point where I'd let my kids summon a demon with a Ouija board before I'd let them play Monopoly together again.
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