If you’ve ever been told that Disney is 'just a kids' thing', then it's wrong - I can tell you that Disney World is for everyone! No matter what your age, you can have so much fun in the parks. If you just need a little guidance of what to look out for, look no further, as I have a few insider tips.
Let’s start with the top tips and how you can get the best experience from your trip to Walt Disney World.
I’ll begin by saying that if you plan out your trip before you go, it will save you a lot of precious holiday time and you won't be wandering around not knowing what to do next. By planning, I don’t mean "day one I’ll go to Magic Kingdom... day two is for Epcot", I mean in-depth planning.
You'll never get to do everything in one trip, so to make sure everyone has a great time, ask the family what they want to do the most and try to ensure you do at least one thing for each person.
Booking a FastPass well in advance is incredibly beneficial; not only are you more likely to get the rides you want, but you can pick a more convenient time to visit that suits you during the day. Creating a spreadsheet to mark off your FastPass times and where the rides are in the park, will tell you where you need to be at what time, which is a great help. This allows you to plan what you can do in between, such as character visits, having dinner, or going to shows. Of course plans can change and you can simply jiggle things around.
Book a FastPass
I’ve mentioned a FastPass, let me explain what it actually is. A FastPass, is a ticket that you can use to cut down the time you will be waiting in queues, allowing you to go on more rides, enjoy more of the park and have more fun. Each person is allowed to book upto three FastPasses at a time. So, if you have all your FastPasses in the morning, you can then book more for the evening, using the FastPass stations dotted around the parks. You can book a FastPass 30 days before your trip, or 60 days before if you are staying in one of the Disney resorts. This is really helpful, as it will allow you to start planning your trip day-by-day before your visit.
It can get very hot in Florida, especially if you visit in the summer months. Here are a few things that you can do to help you keep cool and enjoy the trip.
The main thing to remember is to keep topped up on sun cream. Take a water spraying fan, as this is refreshing when the sun feels too hot on your skin. A great way to get out of the heat for a while is to go shopping! All the shops in Walt Disney World have air conditioning which gives you the perfect excuse to get out of the sun and pick up a few treats for yourself.
Keeping hydrated in the heat is essential as you lose a lot of water when you sweat. Preventing dehydration is especially important for the very young, elderly and those with a medical condition. The best way to avoid dehydration is by asking for cups of ice water in cafés and stands all over the parks. They're FREE, and who doesn’t like a freebie? It will save you so much money on buying bottles of water, it saves you carrying it around and it becoming warm. The cups come in a variety of sizes, making them easy to share with your party, and it's great for the environment!
My Disney Experience
Last, but not least, download the My Disney Experience app. It is an advanced way to keep you updated with what's happening in the parks, as well as keeping all your plans up to date. It will tell you all about the FastPasses that you have booked during your holiday and other FastPasses that are available - and you can amend them if your plans change. You can book advance dining reservations and even pre-order a meal in popular restaurants, again leaving you more time to have fun in the parks and less time queuing up.
There is a map of each of the parks showing waiting times for the rides and where and when you can meet the popular characters, such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse. There is Wi-Fi all around the Disney parks, making it easy to use the app.
Finding the best Disney sweet treats
Let’s talk about food! Because who doesn’t love food? There are so many delicious food and snacks all over the Disney parks, so here are a few of my favourites.
You'll find Starbucks in the Disney parks! So, for all you coffee lovers, frappuccino drinkers and refresher cravers, Starbucks has you sorted. You'll find all their usual drinks, and for even more fun, themed Disney snacks too. They have cleverly changed their cups so they are special to the Disney brand, I even kept one of mine to bring home because it was a Disney Starbucks cup, which had my name on it.
If you haven’t visited Disney before, then you might not know that they have many restaurants, cafés and food carts where you'll find lots of different food, snacks and drinks to try. Some are made up especially for Disney, and other foods are inspired from all around the world. Speaking of that, Epcot has a selection of countries within the park that you can visit, where they sell food from that country - Norway, China, Mexico, England, Japan and others all in the mix. As a family, we shared different sweet and savoury treats from around the world. It was a lot of fun trying new food from places I had and hadn’t yet visited. You can learn about the cultures within the countries by talking to any Cast Member and trying new foods or drinks - including alcoholic ones - within the park.
Magic Kingdom has Main Street USA, where you will find lots of shops and cafés. One of which is the Main Street Bakery, selling decorative cakes and scrumptious sweet treats in Disney themes, such as the Mickey-shaped rice crispy bars or character-decorated apples, along with so many other yummy treats. I enjoyed a Minnie Mouse-themed red velvet cupcake - it was delicious!
An amazing, impressive and popular dessert is Mickey’s Kitchen Sink. It can be found on Disney’s Boardwalk, in the ice cream parlour, Beaches and Cream. It is a massive ice cream sundae - all four members of my family shared it, each eating a fair amount of the glorious dessert! It consisted of multiple scoops of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream with huge squirts of cream, topped with sprinkles, brownie pieces, strawberry sauce and a few other surprises too, once you had eaten all the toppings and reached the delicious ice cream underneath. This exciting and heavenly sundae is served in a ‘kitchen sink’ and looks like a pair of Mickey’s shorts that have been turned into a sink. Once the ice cream had been enjoyed we washed it out and took it home as a very cool souvenir; it is now sitting in the bathroom keeping our shampoo and conditioner bottles tidy.
Remember, you cannot go wrong with a Mickey ice cream! A beautifully creamy vanilla ice cream moulded into the shape of Mickey Mouse's head and dunked in chocolate. It reminds me of a Magnum-type ice cream lolly, but it’s more exciting to eat because it’s Mickey-shaped. An all round favourite and enjoyed by everyone!
So, as you can see, our party of adults had every bit as much fun as the kids!
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