My Top 10 tips when visiting Disney
- Download the App ‘My Disney Experience’. It is great and allows you to link all your reservations, you can use your fast track vouchers for rides, make dinner and lunch reservations , link your photo pass for pictures, search waiting times for rides and much more.
- Miss the crowds by arriving at the parks just before they open. 7.30am is a good time. You will not regret it. Thousands of visitors will start arriving by 12pm. Especially at Magic Kingdom as it gets crazy busy.
- Go on the popular rides when people are watching the parades as the queues will be a lot shorter.
- Every person gets 3 fast passes which enable you to partially skip the queues. You can book the rides up to 60 days in advance. So I advise you to do it as soon as you know as there is limited availability.
- If you have children, I recommend to rent a buggy for $20- $25. It is the best investment, It can take the weight of kids up to 8 years old as well as your belongings. The parks are very large and kids (and parents) will get tired.
- If you can afford it pay for a guide as they will get you fast track access for everything and save you hours of queuing. Don’t use the Disney one as it is very expensive use an external company that is not part of Disney as it is cheaper.
- Buy an ice box and bring a picnic, snacks and soft drinks as the food at the parks is deep-fried crap and very expensive for what you get.
- Make sure you bring waterproof clothing and umbrellas as it is Florida with a tropical climate. It will rain at some stage throughout the day.
- The photo pass is great. Disney have professional photographers that capture all the special moments at Disney.
- Don’t stay within the parks unless you want to go Disney crazy. Most hotels within a 5 mile radius offer complimentary shuttle busses. So you can escape the madness at the end of the day.
My Personal Experience at Disney World
I finally took the plunge and visited Disney World Florida. I was never taken as a child as my parents could not stand crowds. But now that I have a daughter myself I wanted her to visit while she was still innocent enough to enjoy the magic of Disney and while my husband and I tried to survive it.
A two days ticket at Disney costs £150 pounds. That is over £400 for a family of three which is not cheap. Everyone gets 3 fast track tickets per day per park which means three rides without a long queue. The £150 is without souvenirs, food and pictures. So the amount you spend can add up quickly. They also offer large solid buggies which I would highly recommend. They cost 20 dollars and children up to 8 years can fit in them size dependant as well as all your bags etc. It is well worth getting them as the days can be long hot and tiring . So these buggies provide kiddies with a nice seat during their tour through the magic kingdom whilst the parents can use it to carry smaller bags as well.
I personally hate crowds and queueing so enquired about Disney Fast Track. It was $500 per hour minimum 6 hours. I could not justify an additional $3000 not to queue up. If you had a bigger group this could work for you as it covers up to ten guests. Anyway I started calling around and found other companies that offered VIP access services. I eventually settled with a company that charged £900 per day for the service that guaranteed fast track on all my rides so I went with this. We arrived on the two days just before the parks opened to be one of the first to enter. So the mornings were early 7am entering the park. The guide took us straight on the rides that would get busy at the beginning and we were first on many of the rides which was good. The one negative thing I would say about the company and the guide was that it was a little rushed. We could not watch the opening parades as we were told the queues would be too long so we missed a bit of the Disney Magic. Especially for my daughter. The company managed to get us on all of the attractions we wanted to visit and we were finished and back to the hotel pool by 2pm which was great as as the crowds walked against us as we were trying to leave. which was good without using the fast track vouchers so I work out how these companies manage to do it. They get you to the parks very early before the crowd arrive to be ahead of all the queues and when they need to add fast tracks for you. My advise if you can’t afford a private guide is arrive early and research the most popular rides and go to them first.
Day 1 Magic Kingdom
I have to admit on arrival at Magic Kingdom I was a little emotional as who does not love the sound of Disney songs as well as the characters. It brought me back to my childhood. The one thing that I was a little disappointed in on entering the park was the size of the castle. I had always imagined it to be gigantic. Yet it was a normal size but beautiful of course. Things obviously get smaller with age.
We arrived very early at the park before the hordes of people arrived. So it was nice timing.
On the first day we met all the princesses from Belle to Cinderella, Rapunzel to Elena of Avalor. They are beautiful and with the music to accompany them it was magical. What was there not to like. We also met Jasmin and Aladdin, we went on to the Peter Pan ride. We then went on the adrenaline rides like Splash mountain, Space mountain (not for the faint hearted) and the Seven Dwarfs mine train. All in all good fun and – as we arrived at the park for 7am – we were back on the sun-lounger having lunch by 2pm.
We went to a firework display in the evening which was magical. We went and paid for to have deserts in a designated area as again I wanted to enjoy the fireworks without being pushed about. a little more civilised.
Day 2 Hollywood studio
We arrived on the second day at Hollywood studios for 7.30am. We were one of the first to enter the park with our guide. We went straight to Toy Story Land as it had only opened earlier that month and would get very busy. I loved the Toy Story movies and enjoyed this section of the park very much even as an adult.
We went on the Slinky dog rollercoaster which was great fun, we then went on Toy Story Mania playing computer games while being spun around. We then met Buzz, Woody and Jessie and had some pictures taken. My husband and I then went on the Twilight zone and Rock ‘n’ Roller coaster which again is not for the faint hearted. We watched Frozen Ever after which was a live singalong with extra surprises thrown in (fantastic), Indiana Jones stunts, Star Wars troopers, Beauty and the Beast on stage which was like the west-end musical great. My daughter also met Doc Mc-Stuffin, Sophia the First, Olaf, Jake and the never ending Pirates, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Daffy Duck, Goofy. It was really good fun Hollywood studios and the reason why I like it so much is because it catered for all ages where as the Magic Kingdom was mainly aimed at the younger clientele. Hollywood Studios had something for everyone.
I have to say I enjoyed Disney very much and would return again and do some other parks next time. It is all about not overloading and trying to get too much crammed in. As well as having another holiday after to recover afterwards. Of to Mexico we go.