Surviving your first trip to Disney World

Surviving your first trip to Disney World

Your first trip to Walt Disney World will be amazing. Nothing compares to seeing the parks for the first time but it can also be incredibly overwhelming. As a first timer how are you meant to know when to go, where to stay, how much spending money you need and how do you stay sane.

We now have 7 very successful trips under our belts and as a few of our friends and family are going for the first time over the next few years. I thought I would give some of my personal advice on first trips.

Dont try and do it all! 

Nearly everyone says it will be a once in a lifetime trip so I want to do it all. It cant be done – especially if you want to do all the other parks. Apart from Disney there is so much to do in the surrounding area – Universal Studios, Island of Adventure, Seaworld, Busch Gardens, Malls and Outlets, Legoland, Aquatica, Wet and Wild (although this closes in 2016), Gatorland, Orlando Eye, Kennedy Space Centre and so much more. There is even more again if you go a bit further out. Typically a UK visitor goes to Walt Disney World for 14 nights, trying to do 4 Disney Parks, 2 Disney Waterparks, Disney Spings and even a small number of above is tiring.  My advice is dont try and do them all – you will still have an amazing time if you only pick a few

Do your research!

Lots of people just love to go with the flow on holiday and dont want to do any research before they do. If you are reading this them I suspect this is not you but it may be others in your party. Doing some basic research can really help you have a great trip. It will help you know what your holiday must do’s are. It will also help with keeping any disappointments to a minimum.  Wouldn’t you hate it if you only found out that there was a character breakfast with your favourite when you arrived and by that time you couldn’t get a reservation. Or missing out on a ride you really want to do because you didnt research fastpass plus. This is also really important in knowing when to go and where to stay.

Have a plan but remember its not a military operation!

Having a plan can mean you can make the most of your time in Orlando. Its doesnt have to an in-depth plan – just a basic one. It goes along with do your research. There are lots of busy day guides out there and crowd calenders that can help you which parks to visit on which days. For example if your not an early riser plan all you fastpasses in the afternoon or early riser saying onsite make sure you plan to use early magic hours to your advantage.

There are people who go to extremes with their plans – detailing exactly what rides to go to in what order and when the toilet breaks are. I really dont recommend doing anything like that. Being able to enjoy the moment is so important at Disney.


Missing out is not missing out!

This is one on my favourite bits of advice to give. Just because you don’t get the fastpass you want or the adr you want or the queue is too long, doesn’t not mean you are going to have a rubbish trip. There are so many wonderful things to do at Disney that missing something out only earns you get to experience something else. Keep your expectations in check. I have discovered many of my favourite things in WDW because I just couldn’t do the thing I wanted. If you have done a little research before you go you will know there are plenty other characters to meet, shows to see, snacks to eat and rides to ride!

Dont view your holiday through a lens – experience it!

Watch the parade, the show or the fireworks – don’t look at them through your camera. Disney has many wonderful experiences for you to view – Hallowishes fireworks and Fantasmic are tied for my favourites  – and there is at least a million videos of each on you tube. You don’t need to make that a million and one.

Be prepared to be tired and don’t force it!

A holiday to Disney can be tiring.  Our strategy is to go to the parks early and by mid afternoon I am done. Once the tiredness hits I am no longer having fun. Most days we go back to the resort to relax, have a swim or gave a nap. We also have a few early nights. When your tired I really would encourage you to take a rest and don’t force yourself to keep going. A trip to Disney is very expensive – don’t ruin it by forcing the fun.  Often you see children  and adults in the parks who are clearly exhausted and not enjoying themselves. Don’t be those people!


These are just a few bits of advice – I could go on all day. If you have anymore you thing I should add let me know. If you are reading this because you are planning your first trip -don’t worry, it will be really magical! Nothing beats seeing that castle for the first time!

Just for fun……here are a few awkward pictures for my first trip to Walt Disney World

Originally posted 2016-01-22 18:00:01.


1 Comment

  1. January 31, 2016 / 7:03 pm

    All your advice seems right on! I especially love the tip to not experience the whole things through your camera lens – sometimes it is best to just enjoy the experience as it is happening! I love pictures and being able to look back on them, but there are some moments where you just have to live it at the time it is happening.

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