I have always professed to be a self-proclaimed Disneyland expert. I have been there more than 10 times and it is my favorite family vacation spot. I just love saying, “Remember that time we were at Disneyland and we….. (fill in the blank)”. I know a lot about Disneyland, and feel like I have a wealth of knowledge to share.
I’ve always lived in the west (Seattle and later in Utah) so we had never made the plunge and traveled to Orlando. However, in December of 2011 we decided to surprise our kids and take them to Disney World for their Christmas gift. I’m so glad we did!
Even though our family has only been there once, we have lots of tips to share and have created short videos of each of the parks at Disney World (besides the water park which we didn’t have time to go to and we have a water park close by our house so we didn’t feel that it was necessary to go there) to help give you an idea of what you can expect when you go there.
Here are some Disney World tips and tricks that we gleaned from our first vacation to Disney World.
TIP #1: The first of the Disney World tips is, it gets C-R-O-W-D-E-D. Very crowded, especially at Christmas time when we went. The best tip I can give you is to get there right when the park opens. It’s so very hard to do this because you are so tired and it’s hard to get the whole clan dressed and showered in time, but it’s well worth it! We estimated that because we went early, we were able to get on 30% more rides (and get on them faster) because we beat the rush. At about 10-11 am, it starts getting busier. When things get really busy around 1 in the afternoon, we went home to take a nap and break and went back to the park for the night-time parades and other festivities. You can also plan to not be at the park in the heat of the afternoon if you follow this plan.
TIP #2: Bring food and water to save money. Unlike Disneyland, Disney World lets you bring in food and water as long as it’s not in a cooler or something large, but a backpack or bag is fine. I carried all of the kiddo essentials in my backpack and my husband carried all the food and drink in his. I really liked that we could bring in food because of our gluten and dairy allergies, it made it nice to bring things we knew wouldn’t make us sick on our vacation.
Tip #3: Save money by buying souvenirs at gift shops near your hotel. You would not believe how many little shops there are that have many of the same things they sell in the park. They are fun to look around in and we even found some Harry Potter stuff as well.
Tip #4: Bring something to do with your kids while you stand in line because you will be standing in line. A lot. This Disney Trivia Book is a good thing to bring. Not to mention it’s lightweight and when you get done with the questions, you can simply start over again.
Tip #5: Plan what you want to go on before you go so you don’t waste precious family and vacation time. You can use Ridemax software on your smart or android phone. We found it very useful to tell us what rides to go on in what order.
Here are some videos of each of the “Kingdoms” so you can take a quick tour of each one. We saw each one in a day, even when it was a high-peak time. You can too!
NOTE: This was my first time using my new HD video camera, so please excuse my shakiness and mistakes to being a beginner.
Magic Kingdom Quick Tour
You have to take a ferry boat to Magic Kingdom, so keep that in mind when planning your schedule.
We really loved Magic Kingdom. However, we found ourselves comparing everything there to Disneyland, and guess what, Disneyland won. The rides are just better and the overall feeing of the park is much more magical (and clean). Not to say that we didn’t like Disney World, it just paled in comparison a little bit in Magic Kingdom. However, the highlight for me was seeing Cinderella’s Castle. How stunning!
Animal Kingdom Quick Tour
I can’t express with enough fervent adoration how much we loved Animal Kingdom. It was so much fun and there was so much to see. The grounds were breathtaking and I was just in awe. The kids had a great day and enjoyed seeing animals from elephants to birds to monkeys. Well done Disney World!
Holly Wood Studios Quick Tour
Again, we thoroughly enjoyed Hollywood Studios. My husband had to shut my mouth a couple times because I was in shock at some of the things I witnessed there! We loved Backlot Tours, and Lights, Motors, Action. Those are must see shows! You must see them! They are so well done. We also liked the Little Mermaid ride. Check out our You Tube Channel for the full version of the Little Mermaid Ride.
Last and Least….
I’m sorry this is such a short video, I lost a bunch of video files on a copy-over from my camera to the computer. However, you’re not missing much. Epcot Center disappointed us. It was so incredibly crowded, we could hardly see anything. There were people pushing and shoving and there were just too many people in my personal space. I hated it. I wanted to go home after going there. It might be enjoyable if you go there when it’s not Christmas, however, not many people like Epcot that much. There is one great ride there: Test Track. It’s awesome and one of my favorite rides ever. Ever! But, if you have to go through the rest of Epcot to go on it, it’s not worth it in my opinion. The test track video got lost in the copy-over, but just go on youtube and search for it and you can see what it’s like.
Well, I hope our Disney World tips were helpful to you in planning your next vacation. Please post comments if you have any other tips or experiences you would like to share!
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