Brian and I are big Disney fanatics. We love the parks, the characters, the food, the movies, all of it. We have been to Disney World three times since we have been married and we both fully agree that those have been some of our best vacations.
Our two older girls joined us on our last two trips, so we have gained some experience in doing Disney with small children. There is something completely magical about going with little people who still believe that the characters are real and the fireworks truly give wishes.
This weekend was our third trip to Disney World. We went down to celebrate our middle's third birthday. It was a very quick trip- we went down Thursday, spent time on the grounds on Friday, enjoyed Magic Kingdom on Saturday, and drove home Sunday. We would all agree that we would have loved more time, but we also truly believe that this was our best trip yet.
Today I am sharing my top 5 Basic Disney Tips and will share my top 5 tips for photographing Disney soon. They are our opinions, but they have also provided some of our very favorite memories in our past 9 years.
5 Basic Disney Tips
- Our biggest tip is to get to the park early. Almost every tip after this goes along with getting there before the park opens. Because we were only spending one day at the park, we wanted to make the most of the day and planned to be there early from the beginning. We found out late Friday night that MK had changed their schedule and had morning extra magic hours starting at 8:00 am, so our early became insanely early. We left our hotel room by 6:15 and were the second family to the park by 6:50. But, to our incredible excitement, we were also chosen as the family to open the park with Mickey.
We were the first people to our set of turnstiles. Aside from AG wearing a Happy Birthday button, there was absolutely nothing to set us apart from the crowd but the fact that we were there early.
It truly was magical and made for a trip that we can never ever beat.
2. Our second tip is to get a fast pass for the Festival of Fantasy Parade. I know lots of people would argue with this, but our trip was focused solely on two of our small girls so this made it worth it for us. Also, we were at the park early so we were not worried about missing rides.
They have changed the fast pass location since we went in 2014 and the new location is amazing. We sat on the curb facing the center of the parade with the castle right in front of us and were in the middle of everything.
3. Don't hurry to leave after the fireworks- it is a gigantic traffic jam. In our case, the park was open until midnight and the fireworks were at 10, so we were able to fit in a few more rides with no wait before heading back, but even on a normal night the shops on Main Street stay open an hour past the park closing.
4. Use your fast passes during the mid-day and enjoy short standby lines in the morning. We had a pretty solid list of what we wanted to ride going into the day, but by being there early, we accomplished 3/4 of the list before 10:00 am. We were able to have short wait times for big rides early in the morning, then we used a rider swap pass later in the day when the lines were long. We were also able to get a rider swap pass on our prescheduled fast pass rides, so we were each able to ride things like Splash Mtn and the 7 Dwarfs Mine Train with EA while the other hung out with AG.
5. Finally, enjoy your time. I love planning and had a list 20 rides long going into our trip, including the order we would ride them and when and where we would stop for lunch and dinner. But the reality was that we were traveling with a 4 year old and a 3 year old and we really wanted them to have fun, which meant some of my schedule went out the window. Because we were there early, we rode every major thing that we wanted, but we also rode the Goofy Barnstormer five times and Dumbo and the Teacups two times each because that is what our girls wanted to do. When they wanted a break, we rested; when they were ready to go, we went. I would never say that our kiddos were perfect the whole time, but we all enjoyed the trip a bit more when we were flexible.