This time of year many families are planning trips for the summer. If this is your first time going to Disney, you’ll need to be prepared: it’s a huge experience! Here is our checklist for traveling to Disney that all first timers need to know.
1. Make advance dinner reservations
If you plan on having a nice family dinner at one of Disney’s restaurants, you’ll need to make Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs). These reservations are made 180 days in advance of the day you arrive at the park. Some restaurants get fully booked within minutes once the ADR lines open up so you need to plan in advance which restaurant you want to reserve a table at and be persistent in calling if you can’t get the reservation you want.
2. Grab a Guide Map
Once you’re finally at the park, pick up a guide map and times guide to also help plan out your day. This will list all of the show times, character greeting times/locations and other special events to attend at the park. It’s also good to check out because it will tell you any show cancellations.
3. Create your itinerary
Disney World is so big and has so many attractions that you must create an itinerary in order to see everything over a couple of days. You’ll feel lost if you get to the park without having done your research and everyone wants to do something different. Plan together so you can all agree on where to go first and what attractions to save for your last day at the park.
4. Pack light and smart
You’ll be doing a lot of walking throughout the day so keep this in mind when packing and bring your most comfortable walking shoes. You also want to take the weather into account and dress in layers. It gets very hot during the summer but is cooler at night so a light jacket to tie around your waist is a good idea if you’ll be staying out the entire day. Bring a poncho just in case of unexpected rain showers. Also, don’t forget your sunscreen!
5. Book a vacation rental home instead of a hotel room
Disney World resorts can be very expensive to stay in if you have a large family. Instead, opt for a vacation rental home in Orlando, Florida to accommodate your large family. Each of the rental homes come equipped with all of the necessary amenities.
6. Get the Park Hopper
The Park Hopper is a pass at Disney World that lets you visit multiple parks in one day. This is great for when the park you planned to go to one day happens to be extremely crowded. You can just choose to visit another park for the day instead. It’s also good for any last minute change of plans. Plus, if you’re at Animal Kingdom (which closes at 5pm), you can go over to another park when it closes and take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours.
Guest Blog by Steve Casey of Florida Sunshine Vacation Rentals
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