Your first trip to the Walt Disney World can be exciting, stressful, thrilling, and scary all at the same time. There is so much to do and experience at all of the parks, resorts, and Disney Springs, and it’s easy to fall into some traps early on in your trip. With everything Disney has to offer, you will constantly be learning new things every time you go. However, if you’re looking into going to the Walt Disney World Resort for the first time soon, here’s a couple of practical tips that can help save you some headaches along the way.
1. Not drinking plenty of water
So, I know this may seem pretty obvious, but you have no idea how many people get sick in the Florida sun because they aren’t drinking enough water. While running around the parks, it’s easy to loose track of time and forget about staying hydrated. However, with all of the drink carts and water fountains Disney offers, there’s really no excuse. As an additional tip, Disney will even give you a free cup of water at any Quick Service Restaurant. While you may not feel like you’re getting hot, it’s important that you and the family keep the water flowing in order to make sure everyone is hydrated while being out in the sun.
2. Not wearing good, comfortable walking shoes
I had a great idea my first time to the parks. Wear flip flops. After all, I hate getting my tennis shoes wet, and missing Splash Mountain wasn’t an option, so let’s just wear flip flops so they can dry faster! I’ve never been more wrong about anything. When visiting Disney, you’re going to do A LOT of walking. I mean….A LOT! Make sure your shoes are comfortable enough for you to be on your feet just about all day. You’ll probably walk about 20,000 steps a day (this isn’t even an exaggeration. It’s been logged using a FitBit), so just be prepared for that.
Now, are sandals out of the question? Not necessarily. We actually found a pair of Sketchers sandals that had extra padding that worked out great for my daughter. Regardless of whether it’s tennis shoes or sandals, just make sure there’s enough padding in there to keep you comfortable all day.
3. Not being flexible
I love it when a good plan comes together. However, just know that if you’re going with people other than yourself, your plans could change on a dime. This is especially true with families that have kids. While you may want to head over to one side of the park, a child might want to stick around another, or meet a character you didn’t have scheduled, or even go on another ride that you didn’t plan on. If you go into the park, have a plan. And if you have a plan, be flexible. This will make the trip so much more enjoyable for everyone. I know you spent the last 6 months planning this trip, but things change. Plans change. People change. Be flexible.
4. Not being there for rope drop
People. Listen to me. I know you like to sleep, but be there in the morning for rope drop. You are going to want to be there right when the park opens. Here’s why. You have a limited number of FastPasses, and some are very difficult to get. So, if there’s something you really would like to do that you could’t get a FastPass to, be there for rope drop and do that first.
For instance, if you’re at the Magic Kingdom, I suggest you get FastPasses for other things other than the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. You can hit that first thing in the morning, and save your FastPasses for other rides. Yes, there is still going to be a wait, but it will be a lot shorter in the morning as compared to later on in the day.
5. Not using your FastPasses
Speaking of FastPasses. Use them. All of them. There are a lot of people who think that you only get 3 FastPasses, but you can actually get a 4th one. After you’ve used all three of your FastPasses, you can get a 4th one. So, we suggest that you keep your smartphone handy after you’ve used that last FastPass. That being said, if you have a large party, it might be difficult to get everyone on some of the more popular rides, but it’s always worth a shot. Also, you’re going to want to make sure you have the MyDisneyExperience App loaded on your phone to take full advantages of that 4th FastPass.
6. Not sleeping
Okay. So I know I said that you need to be there for rope drop, but make sure everyone is getting some rest too. This is true especially if you have little ones. Please know that there is nothing wrong with heading to the resort in the middle of the day to take a nap. In fact, we suggest it! If this sounds like something you might do, we highly suggest you stay at one of the Disney Resorts. That way, you can take a bus or the monorail to your resort, take a quick nap, and then hop right back on the transportation system to the parks again.
It’s easy to make these common mistakes. I’ve definitely made them. However, good planning, and great preparation can save you from these rookie mistakes.