Walt Disney World is a huge property. With four theme parks, dozens of resorts, two water parks, the grounds are vast and can be overwhelming. Take some time before your vacation to orient yourself with the following 9 things to give yourself the best chance for a fun and enjoyable vacation.
Each park has different hours, different days, at different times of the year. Disney World releases their park hours a couple months ahead of time. Before your vacation, know what the parks hours are for the parks you will be visiting on the days you will be visiting them. You don’t want to show up for what you expect to be park open, only to realize the park has been open for an hour. You can find this information on their website:
You can also find this information on the Disney World app.
If you are staying on property, find out where your resort is. Is it far from the parks, is it within walking distance of the parks, is it around other resorts, and so on. Knowing where your resort is on the map can help you gauge how long it will take to get to the parks. It also may give you more dining options, if you are closely located to other resorts.
Take time to examine the theme park map before your vacation. Have an idea of where it is you want to spend your day, which attractions you want to get to and where they are all located. This can also help when choosing dining. If there’s a certain route you want to take through the parks then let that decide where you’ll eat.
Methods of Transportation
There are several methods of transportation found at Walt Disney World: monorail, buses, boats, skyliner, and pathways. Check to see what is available from your resort to which parks before your park day. Not every resort offers bus service to each park. If there’s another method of transportation they don’t always supply a bus. So check, otherwise you could get down to the bus stop and realize there’s no bus coming.
You want to have your park tickets purchased and reserved before your Disney World vacation. The current reservation system does cause parks to be sold out during peak season. You don’t want to leave that to chance. As soon as your plans a firm, buy your park passes and book your park reservations.
Most table service restaurants require reservations ahead of time. There are a few restaurants that take walk ups but that’s rare, and you could be spending time wandering around for one that has tables available. So have your dining booked ahead of time, even book more than you need. It’s easier to cancel reservations you don’t need, than grab a last minute reservation. This also applies to quick-service restaurants, plan ahead where you think you’ll want to eat. Not all quick-service restaurants offer the same menu. For more on that click here.
Look at the Walt Disney World map to see where the different parks are located. This will help you understand how long it will take to get to the park and how long it will take to get back to your hotel after the day is done.
Epcot always has a festival happening. Whether it’s the Festival of the Arts, the Flower and Garden Festival, the Food & Wine Festival or their Christmas Celebration. Special performances coincide with these festivals. Sometimes they’re bands from decades ago, sometimes its broadway performers, at Christmas time there are celebrities narrating the Christmas story. Before your trip, check to see which festival is happening during your dates and see if there’s anything you want to add to your itinerary.
Beyond the every day offerings at Walt Disney World, there are special events happening throughout the calendar year. From Halloween parties at the Magic Kingdom to DVC Moonlight Magic Parties at any of the parks, Mother’s Day brunches at the Contemporary Resort to July 4th fireworks at the Magic Kingdom. Check back to our website for the monthly updates of what is happening during your planned visit. Simply write the month into the search bar and you can see what special activities are happening during your Disney World visit.
Knowing these 9 things before you even go to Walt Disney World will help make your visit more enjoyable. You’ll be more prepared and able to truly enjoy all that Walt Disney World has to offer. For more tips on planning your Disney World vacation check out these previous posts: