First time going to Disney World? How Exciting! You are in for the trip of a lifetime.
Disney is such a magic place and it is a top destination for so many people. Disney sees close to 50 million people a year! That is a crazy number of people going to see Mickey Mouse!
The other crazy thing is most of those people are first time visitors or people that haven’t been in many years. Things at Disney do change- they are always looking to improve on the guest experience and the magic of Walt Disney World.
But if you haven’t been in a while or its your first time, it can be overwhelming!
Because the people at Disney are constantly there. They don’t see it through fresh eyes. Its also kinda crazy because there are so many things to do and see. And so many FREE things to get and do too!
Yes, they try to help you as best they can. They have signs, and the Disney app, and they have maps and dedicated TV channels filled with information. But it can be seriously overloading to go on a trip when you haven’t been in a long time!
There are some things you need to know about Disney- So here are my top 10 tips for a smooth vacation for the First Time Visitor!
Especially because it can be fun and magical!
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1. The Florida weather is crazy ☁️☀️⚡
This is not an exageration. Florida weather is super crazy! During the summer we have these gigantic rain storms that come out of nowhere!
Literally. You go into your fastpass and by the time you come out, there are huge black clouds overhead and you see everyone running to grab ponchos and their strollers.
And in the winter, your weather man will say its going to be 70 degrees all week and then BAM! It’s 35 outside and windy. (and still kinda humid, yuck!)
So all those cute outfits you packed won’t keep you warm.
Florida is super strange with the weather, so you need to pack accordingly. Bring Ponchos no matter when you come to visit, and make sure you bring both hot and cold clothes (Even just one outfit) when you come.
If your anything like me, you’ll want to be prepared for the rain! Check out the 9 things to do at Disney World when it rains!
Besides the rain, you can also get SUPER hot at Disney World.
In the summer the paramedics from Reddy Creek run on a lot of heat exhaustion, and dehydration. Don’t let the sun ruin your vacation!
Make sure you stay hydrated.
And take breaks when you need to (you can always call the Disney Line if you think you might be late. They do try to work with you!)
If you are going int the summer, learn how to survive the summer at Disney World. Which is super important, because summer lasts like 6 months out of the year.
2. You can have amazon delivered to your resort
Isn’t this the coolest thing ever! We have Amazon delivered almost every time we visit because we are an allergy family. We order what we need and have it shipped to the resort.
– ordering baby supplies like diapers and wipes so you dont have to bring them while traveling
– ordering souvenirs for the park. That way you dont spend extra and your kids dont find them by accident.
– suprising one of your family member with whatever you are celebrating. Doing a Birthday at Disney? Get them lots of stuff to celebrate at the resort or bring it into the parks!
– forgot something important? Order it and you could have it within 24 hours. The Magic of Orlando!
>>>> Check out these 16 things most Disney World Visitors don’t know<<<<
You can also order grocery delivery from somewhere local like target or Publix. Several places deliver, like garden grocer and Instacart.
This is a great way to save money at the parks too! Just water and snacks alone could cost you over 50 dollars a day for a family of four.
3. 👟 The shoes you wear make all the difference
Oh yes. I’m going to write a post one day about all my shoe mishaps- but lets just say that the right shoe makes a huge difference on your day (and for your kids!)
Getting sore feet and blisters is NO FUN.
I recommend packing several pairs of shoes. I’m a huge fun of crocs for kids, since they air out nicely and dry quickly.
I also recommend bringing some moleskin for hot spots and some body glide for damaged feet.
The last thing you want to do is wake up and hit the floor… with sore feet. 😟
Don’t forget about the kids either! Make sure they have several pairs of socks and shoes! When the little ones get blisters its the end of the world.
Disney sells shoes too, so if you get in a hard spot you can always go grab a new pair of kicks!
4. Know what to pack 🧳
I know for a fact that most people forget the important stuff when they come to Disney. Wanna know how I know?
The resort gift store, and the main stores in Disney are PACKED full of items that you wouldn’t find in a regular gift shop.
They know people are going to forget everything from toothbrushes to underwear to phone chargers. (PSST- you can still order them from Amazon and have it same day delivery if Disney doesn’t have your favorite brand!)
While I have a Free Printable Packing Guide, most of what you need to bring is pretty standard. I do recommend three items for every trip!
Insulated Water Bottle– It’s hot and you cant have straws at Animal Kingdom, and paper straws throughout the parks. Make sure you grab plastic or stainless steel because you can’t have glass.
Portable Phone Charger– The My Disney App drains your battery. And if your phone dies by lunch you are stuck going to guest services to ask about your fast passes and food reservations.
Body Glide– I mentioned it up above, but this stuff is a life saver.
Forget the souveniers, if you are in pain, you wont enjoy your trip! This stuff is like Disney Magic, it’s not greasy but it keeps your skin from chaffing due to friction.
Extra shoes, extra clothes- Disney does have clothing and shoes for purchase, and you can always do laundry on vacation if you need clothes. It’s probably better to just bring them though!
5. You literally can’t do it all
Everyone I speak with is pretty overwhelmed about what fastness and what character meal.
Or they avoid stuff because it gives them anxiety.
But let me tell you, you can’t do it all. Even after going for years and years. Disney does this so you can’t get bored!
At all of the Parks there are random bits of entertainment, fun hidden things to do, and parades that will literally block you in.
Plus, Disney Transportation isn’t exactly award winning at their speed. 🙃
My recommendation is to pick your top 3 things and to plan them no matter what. That way you go home satisfied at all you did do (and all that you didn’t do!).
You can also check out this list of items you don’t want to miss on your next vacation so that you can prioritize them!
6. Disney is expensive
But you knew that right?
What I mean is- the stuff in the resorts and inside the parks is often double what you could buy it for at Target or Amazon.
Which is fine and all if you have one souvenir you really want, but it does tend to add up quickly, especially with food! I have a great guide here about saving on food at Disney.
Basically, I want you to not get sticker shock. Be prepared for high prices, like 40 dollars for mouse ears and 50 dollars for a jacket.
Disney also changes their prices based on the season. Nothing crazy drastic, but enough that it does add up.
7. Cast Members do their best to give you pixie dust
Pixie Dust! It’s what they call a cast member that goes out of their way to make your trip magical.
Not all of Disney’s cast members do this- but most of them are amazing.
Offering you helpful suggestions, catering to your children, making you feel extra special.
I love when we get pixie dust! We tend to give a shout out on Twitter with their name (or their location if we can’t remember) so that Disney can thank them.
The cast members truly are part of the magic of Disney World!
8. You can bring food into the park
You CAN but you don’t have to. We normally bring in snacks every time we go. I get hungry on the way there ok?
But this also works if you want to bring in your lunch and have a picnic at Disney. We’ve done this many times and it’s always a fun a peaceful expereince.
Sometimes I just don’t want to deal with characters or lines- I just want to eat!
This is also a great way to optimize your time. If you are trying to get a lot done during the day, I definelty recommend bringing lots of snacks or a lunch into the parks to help with your time management.
It can easily shave off 20-45 mins (actually a character buffet could be close to 2 hours!) so you can get back to the rides and attractions!
We normally order all our snacks from Amazon because PRO TIP the Walmart and Target by Disney are ranked as some of the busiest stores in the US.
You can not pay me to go there. I do like to go to Publix if we need cold goods, and I normally grab my kids some balloons there for 4-8 dollars.
9. Disney is full of animals 🐾
You’ll see all the standard animals, like small birds and squirrels but Disney is home to many more wild animals!
It’s common to see deer in the parking lots (and sometimes raccoons and opossums at night!).
Inside the parks you’ll see many species of ducks, fish and turtles. YES, we’ve even seen Peter cotton tail hoping around in the bushes.
This is INSIDE the parks, I’m not even talking about all the amazing animals Animal Kingdom has.
I’ve also seen a CAT. He was just chilling in the bushes. Yep, Disney has a hoard of cats that they let out at night to keep any rodents in check at the parks.
But please, don’t feed the animals, and don’t let your kids play with them. They are still wild after all.
10. You can have your souvenirs mailed to your house!
My favorite tip is last but not least! Find something that you love and want to buy, but you have 8 more hours at the park.
Disney has a solution! You can have it sent directly to your resort for pickup so you dont have to carry it around with you!
Not staying at a Disney resort? No big deal, there is a pickup station located at the front of the park where you can grab it before you leave.
Don’t want to deal with it at all? Have it shipped to your house!
Yes, they have made it way to easy to spend money!!!
Don’t worry about Disney World overwhelm- the cast members are helpful, there are plenty of resources online, and Disney has lots of maps and info shows and signs to point you in the right direction. If you go knowing that you will be overwhelmed by the whole thing, and that you can’t control every time and meet up, you will have a magical time!
These top 10 tips are items that I tell everyone I know when they are planning their first Disney Vacation- mostly because I want them to have a magical trip!
Disney World is just so much fun- especially when you are prepared.
Do you need some more information for your trip? I have a Beginners Guide to Disney World!
This Mini Series Breaks down all the essential information into easy to understand, bite-sized pieces for busy people on the go. Check it out!