Yes, I am one of those people. I love Disney! Being a Florida resident has its perks. The parks are not too far away, and I am fortunate enough to have an annual pass. I have most definitely been to Disney more times than I can count. So, here’s a couple of recommendations from an expert 😉
1. Pack food.
Most of the time, we go to Disney on a tight budget. Because we have annual passes, our tickets are already paid for, and parking is included. Often times we will go on a whim, knowing that it won’t be too much of a financial burden if we do it right. To stay on budget, Jason and I usually pack our own food. We grab a backpack that’s insulated, pack up some sandwiches, snacks, and waters. That way, you’re not spending as much money in the parks. Plus, it’s much healthier! My favorite picnic spot in Magic Kingdom is actually on Main Street. There’s a great little pocket that has a few tables with umbrellas on the right-hand side. (And yes, you’re allowed to bring food into the parks. Make sure any drinks are sealed up though!)
2. Schedule your fast passes (and well in advance)
Fast passes allow you to plan your day out ahead of time, up to 30 days in advance. If you want to get on really popular rides like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Magic Kingdom or the new Frozen ride in Epcot, you’ll want to schedule that exactly at the 30 day mark, otherwise you’ll be waiting an hour or more for these rides. (PS- you’ll want to make dining reservations too if you want to have any sit down meals. Often times sit-down restaurants are all booked up by the time you get in the parks.) Better to plan ahead!
3. Know the photo spots.
Two things: The best place to get a photo by the castle? Go all the way down Main Street, hang left, then turn right up towards the castle, you’ll find a great, clear spot to take a photo. Epcot? Head towards guest services, it’ll be easier to get a photo with the great big golf ball back there than in the front. (Also, you can get a good one by the bridges in Italy while you’re in the World Showcase!)
4. Remember, there is more to Disney than the parks
Disney is full of awesome activities and places to see, even outside the parks. There’s Disney Springs, The Boardwalk, ESPN Wide World of Sports, lots of spas, Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, Golf Courses, and even the resorts. You can go spy some animals at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, or head over to Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-Along show is at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground. You can even watch movies under the stars at multiple Disney resorts. Imagine afternoon tea at The Grand Floridian? A Kitchen Sink sundae at Beaches & Cream Soda Shop? Yes, please!
5. Character Dining
If you have little ones, I highly recommend doing Character Dining. There’s multiple options across the parks, with various characters. Make sure you look up the characters ahead of time, the last thing you want to do is book a character experience with characters you aren’t really that fond of. (And YES, you must book this in advance, and make sure to get there early, even if you have a reservation.) Character dining is a little more expensive, but great one-on-one time. You don’t typically get a lot of that by simply waiting in line for a photo with the characters.
6. Magic Bands
If you’re going to Disney multiple times or for more than just a day, do yourself a favor and get some Magic Bands. They are so much easier than digging out your ticket every time you want to use a fastpass. Also, set up your photopass (free for annual pass holders) and link it to your band. Some rides have special videos that link to your band/app automatically. Don’t miss out on capturing the memories!
7. Eat a dole whip.
Just do it.
Yes, Magic Kingdom has some magical fireworks with the the castle in the background. However, some of the other parks have amazing firework shows. Some of my favorites are are Fantasmic in Hollywood Studios and Illuminations in Epcot.
You can get SUPER cute ears on Ebay, and don’t underestimate the power of a dress in a theme park as far as breeze goes.
10. Staying on property with little ones?
When you check in, ask for a wake up call from the man Mickey himself! (totally free)
Pack hand sanitizer that smells good to make you feel good. Take an Emergen-C, and an Echinacea pill each day to keep from getting sick. Pack sunscreen, and a first aid kit… you don’t want to pay park prices for those necessities. Stretch each morning and night before and after you do a ton of walking. If you’re staying overnight, bring Epsom salt to soak your feet in at night.
All for now,