After travelling to Disney World in Orlando multiple times over the years, I have enjoyed every magical moment and also learned a lot of “Must Do’s & Don’ts”. If you are thinking about going to live out your Disney dreams soon or in the future, here’s a few of the things I have learned that can hopefully help make it an even better experience!
Research Where to Stay
I know, it sounds generic but if you don’t plan to go back multiple times (or even if you do), it is best to take a lot to see what you want to see/experience, how you want your experience to go, and budget. You can easily spend $3000 for a 5 day trip or you can spend $1500 – it all comes down to what you want to do. There are always deals for trips to Disney somewhere for the tickets, hotels, flights, or otherwise. What you need to figure out is if you plan to go all out or have a magical day and cost-effective stay. For instance, you can stay at one of the local Disney hotels and eat every meal at the theme parks. There are a great number of perks including free bands, complimentary shuttles, longer park hours, and meal packages. This could be a perfect option for those of you who only plan to visit Disney once and want to go all out for that magical experience the entire stay. However, this experience would obviously come with a cost…literally. Your stay in Disney could cost anywhere from $53 (campgrounds) to $300USD a night.
If you want a more cost-friendly alternative, you should look into the resorts that are near the magical parks (search Lake Buena Vista). For myself, I have stayed at various resorts that are about 10 minutes away that come fully loaded with kitchens, jacuzzis, and pools. I prefer this option mainly because I like to cook and snack a lot and the kitchen option is so convenient and saves you a lot on meal expenses as well. These hotels and resorts have shuttles that take you to the theme parks so you won’t have to worry about that if you don’t want to pay for parking either. This is why you need to research, darlings. You have many options available to you that can suit whatever experience you wish to have on your trip.
What to Eat
As I mentioned before, you need to decide what kind of experience you are looking for your trip. If you want to have a relaxing time, then just go and enjoy. If you are a Disney fan and want to make the most of your time there, it is always smart to first see what you want to see and experience so that you don’t end up disappointed if you miss something. For me, this lesson was learned after several attempts of trying to eat at difference restaurants at the theme parks. It is incredibly hard to find a dinner spot at Magic Kingdom if you want the full Disney experience. I highly recommend taking a look at which restaurants you feel like you simply must try and make a reservation ahead of time to ensure you get to try it out.
That said, there is plenty to eat around Disney Springs, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I highly recommend trying Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs for some delicious Asian dishes – including their Laksa Noodles. The decor is gorgeous, amazing service, and the food is delicious. Around the theme parks, there are a various number of snacks and stands that you can try. I would suggest to try something you have never tried before or something that is unique to that theme park. Epcot is the theme park where there is an abundant amount of foods and drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) for my foodie babies to try.
What To Do
Now this is all up to you. You can go and see what there is and be surprised and awed at all the magical things there. If you wish to ensure you see everything, always research what special events might be taking place. There are different shows, festivals, parades, and character sightings at all the parks, so don’t miss out! Take a look to see which rides you must see (It’s A Small World, anyone?) and get a FastPass for that ride to ensure you save on wait times. If you happen to go to Epcot during the Flower & Garden Festival, make sure you take the time to enjoy the gorgeous butterfly tent, the beautiful topiary displays of your favourite characters, and some refreshing foods.
If you want to check out the light and fireworks show at Magic Kingdom, be sure to get seats early because Disney fans start to sit down about an hour or earlier for the show. It is worth the wait and adds that magical touch to end your day. For all the other show times, make sure you take a gander beforehand so that you know where you want to be and when.
- Get the Disney App – it has the wait times, Fast Pass, restaurant information and more!
- Disney World Theme Parks all have free wi-fi for you
- Star Wars fans should be sure to check out Disney Springs and Disney Hollywood Studios for shows and build your own lightsabers!
- Parking is available for $20 (standard)
Disney Springs has free parking and many gift shop items for your last minute shopping needs.