Thank you for being a friend. I get by with a little help from my friends. You’ve got a friend in me.
One of the biggest tools in my bag of Walt Disney World Planning Tricks is the unashamed ability to ask SOOO many questions of my friends.
And you know what? They’re SO giving of their time and knowledge. From family to co-workers to life-long friends – they’ve gone through Disney with kids and now are here to help me with my DADventure planning.
Here are some of my favorite nuggets of information I’ve gathered. I’m sure you’ll find some useful tidbits here!
It’s expensive, just get over that part. You’re already there. Enjoy it! – Jennifer
We can’t be Scrooge McDuck. Sure, you should budget and sure, you shouldn’t spend more than you can afford to. However, if you try to count every penny and always look for the cheapest thing on the menu, I believe you’ll ruin your good time.
We already know that Disney charges a LOT of money for a LOT of things. But we still CHOOSE to go and be a part of this magical place. So, lessen the grip on the purse strings – eat well, buy some fun mementos, splurge on the kids a little. This is vacation. Enjoy it!
Running shoes. Always running shoes. – Robby K
I know, you own really great shoes that match your Mickey shirts every day or you can’t be without yor favorite flip flops or you just like to slip into some old sneakers. That’s fine for strolling along the beach or doing yard work at home.
This is Disney World. This isn’t a stroll people, this is a marathon. Treat your feet well, they are going to carry you a LOT in the time you’re there. No joke, you will do 10 – 15 miles per day – EASY. Avoid sore feet, blisters, stubbed toes. Get some sneakers and socks. Treat your puppies well!
The app was very useful when we went. – Dave
The My Disney Experience app is a FANTASTIC tool for Disney World planning before your trip and helps even more IN the parks.
You’ll find all your reservations. You see park maps. You see wait times. You have your FastPass (Mike’s favorite tip!) there. You can find where all the characters are. You can see the bus timing at your resort. SO SO much more.
Bring a portable phone charger. – Nellie
You’re going to take a LOT of photos. You’re going to be on the My Disney Experience App. You need your phone battery to keep up with you. Chargers aren’t nearly as expensive as the used to be – IF you bring them from home. You may need to take out a small loan if you buy one in the parks.
NEW!! You can also charge your phones on the new buses that just came out!
If your kids are still awake, during fireworks is a great time to go on smaller rides. Being on Dumbo is a great view! – Karen
The same advice goes for parades – when everyone else is enjoying a big spectacular, it means they aren’t on the rides. Go for it!
Bring one of those refillable, expandable water bottles. – Kelsey
Its hot at Disney. You know this. It’s really hot in the summer. It’s kinda hot in the winter. It’s Florida – it’s always hot!
You have to hydrate. The refillable mugs from the resorts are nice, if you’re on the dining plan. (We aren’t on the dining plan – find out why.) Water bottles from home are great, but you lug them around. They now have amazing water bottles, mostly made of silicon, that collapse for packing. PERFECT to pop out when you need a drink and fold back up when you’re done.
Bring some newspaper. – Reed
No, not to read. It’s going to rain on your trip. It’s Florida – it rains. The drainage at WDW isn’t the best. Your shoes will get wet. Nah, your shoes will get SOAKED.
Crumble up some newspaper and shove them in your wet shoes at night. They’ll dry right up for the next day!
See the views from all the rooms and make your room requests, with help. – Meaghan (@HomeAwayFromDisney)
There are two great websites to help with this. Our friends at Touring Plans have a great system for checking out views from many rooms within many of the resorts.
The Frugal South has a website designed to help you send your room requests directly to Disney World.
Rope drop as often as possible. – Chris
It’s totally worth waking up early, getting to the parks early and being among the first guests in the parks after they literally ‘drop the rope’.
Pick your favorite ride and head there. Unless it’s Smuggler’s Run or Flight of Passage, there’s a good chance you won’t have a HUGE line to wait in first thing in the morning. The crowds usually start showing up a few hours after rope drop.
Remember you can’t do it all. – Geoff
This may be my favorite piece of advice I was given. I’m 44. My kids are 5, 3 and 1. There is NO way we’re going to do everything we want in 6 days. I am at peace with that. I know the most important things we want to do and see. My kids have let me know what their priorities are, my wife too.
I’m going to remember to slow down and enjoy this DADventure. It’s the first for my kids. Everything else is gravy.
Thanks for reading and remember to slow down and enjoy the DADventure.