Walt Disney World in central Florida is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the US. Tens of millions of people flock there every year in pursuit of a magical experience complete with their favourite Disney characters, great attractions, exceptional dining, and fantastic shopping. And yet, far too many leave central Florida not feeling so magical. Why?
The Walt Disney World property is as unique as it is exciting. What many people do not understand is that you cannot apply the same travel principles to a Disney holiday that would apply to most other venues. The experience is just too different.
Are you planning a Walt Disney World holiday in the near future? If so, this post is for you. Below you will find a number of helpful tips for making the most of your holiday. These tips come directly from those who know Disney inside and out.
Use a Travel Agent
Let us begin with the understanding that there is far too much to do in a Disney holiday than can be accomplished in one week’s time. You might not even get everything done in two weeks. Add to that the fact that there are more than three dozen onsite hotels, hundreds of dining options, and four separate theme parks to enjoy and you suddenly have a lot on your plate.
Despite popular opinion, utilising a travel agent is still the best way to maximise a Disney holiday experience. However, there is one caveat here: it’s best to use a travel agent whose services are free to you. These are agents paid by Disney on a commission basis. Their pay is performance based. It is in their best interest to make sure you are 100% satisfied because they do not get paid until you complete your travel.
Also, choose a travel agent with direct knowledge of the Disney property. Choose an agent who visits it regularly. Why? Because things at Disney change constantly. What was true last year may not be true this year. It’s best to have an agent who lives locally and makes a point of staying abreast of all things Disney.
Plan with Safety in Mind
The next tip is to plan your holiday with safety in mind. For those of us here in the UK, Florida is a very foreign place. It is so much hotter and more humid than anything we are used to. As such, it is really important to plan to have to deal with extreme weather conditions.
It is a good idea to carry a travel first aid kit with you whenever you go into one of the parks for the day. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. A kit that contains some burn cream, pain reliever and bandages should suffice. You can find pretty cheap travel first aid kits online.
You also want to carry sunblock and make sure everyone in your party wears a hat. Sunglasses are another great idea. The Florida sun can be brutal, so don’t take it lightly.
Limit What You Carry
Travelling light is always a good idea. An extension of that concept is to limit what you carry into the Disney theme parks. You will have to go through at least one security checkpoint to enter each park, and that takes time. Getting through the line is faster the less security has to inspect.
You will also want to limit what you carry due to the size of the crowds. The Disney property is equal to a fairly large town in terms of its population. Between all four parks, there can be upwards of 100,000 guests on site every day. In the parks, you might find yourself shoulder-to-shoulder at peak times. That is not the time you want to be lugging around a backpack stuffed full of things you do not really need.
Go with the Flow
All of the practical tips aside, you will get the most out of your Disney holiday by just going with the flow. Understand that a lot of what Disney does is intended to encourage spontaneity. So have your plan but be willing to flex without getting bent out of shape.
A good example is transportation. You might plan to hop on a bus from a park to your hotel in time to make a dinner reservation. Understand that the bus might get delayed. Build in extra time and, if that time isn’t needed, you’ll have a few minutes to go sit by the pool before dinner.
By the way, this is yet another reason to use a local travel agent with Disney expertise. Your travel agent can help you formulate a good plan but also build in enough of a buffer to handle unexpected circumstances and allow for spontaneity. This truly is the best way to enjoy Walt Disney World.
A Walt Disney World holiday is like any other holiday in the world. If you have never visited before, you owe it to yourself to try it at least once. It may turn out that you don’t like it all. But you should at least appreciate the uniqueness of the experience.