Top 10 Things Every Disney Rookie Needs to Know
For anyone planning their first trip to Walt Disney World, it’s relatively easy to get a hold of information on the most popular attractions, restaurants, resorts, and characters. However, there are a few things that many Disney rookies may not be aware of on their first trip that can make a big difference during their Disney Vacation. This list shows you my top 10 things I think every Disney Rookie needs to know.
1. It’s Not Like the Commercials.
Unlike what we see on television, Disney Characters are rarely found roaming around the park. Usually, they are found at the end of a line full of children, under the watchful eye of one or two Cast Members. Characters can also leave without having visited with every child, especially if they are in a full costume. Now I’m not saying that character encounters aren’t magical experiences and worth the wait; but it is good to know that some effort may be required because they won’t just appear next to you. For great character experiences that don’t require lines, consider Character Meals. At a character meal, characters come to your table for a few personal moments with you and the kids while you eat. This way, you and the kids get to meet several characters without a wait!
Most of the year, Disney World is very hot and humid. For Disney Rookies who are used to dry heat or mild summers, this can be a big issue. The high temperatures and humidity are draining and cause guests to lose their stamina quickly. Heading to the parks in the morning, leaving during the heat of the day, and coming back in the evening is a good remedy for heat and humidity. Staying hydrated and taking frequent breaks help as well. Also, afternoon showers and thunderstorms are very common in Central Florida; but they usually don’t last long. Disney Rookies should be aware of this, especially if they are spending the day at a Disney water park. Another weather issue that guests should be aware of is that in the fall, winter, and spring, Florida temperatures can be surprisingly cool, even during Spring Break! Therefore, be sure to pack accordingly and never assume high temperatures are permanent. For more check out this article on Hot Weather Touring.
Disney Rookies need to know that they will probably walk more in one day at Disney than they would in a week at home. Disney World and the parks are huge! This is great because it shows how much stuff there is to do and see, but aching feet and blisters are common as a result. Comfy shoes are a must!
4. High Prices
Unfortunately, products at Disney are often more expensive than they would be at home, or even just outside Disney property. This is true for even the most basic items, such as bottled water and soda. Disney rookies are often taken by surprise at this; and it can make a big dent in their wallet if they’re on a budget.
5. Staying on Property
It is really worth the cost for you and the kids to stay on property. A true Disney vacation isn’t complete without experiencing a stay at a Disney resort. There’s nothing like waking up in the magic or returning to your resort after the park closes at night and having the detail, the quality, and the Disney atmosphere continue! It’s also convenient and cost efficient to take advantage of Disney’s free transportation to and from the parks that are available to you as a Disney resort guest! I love this article that tells The benefits of staying on Walt Disney World property.
6. It’s Okay to Take a Break
Many Disney rookies feel pressure to rush throughout their whole trip to see and do it all, and some parents tend to fight fatigue and drag their tired kids through the parks. Disney rookies need to know that it really is okay to sit down and take a break for awhile. You and your kids will enjoy the parks much more if you are rested. This article from Nancy will help you find a nice quiet spot at WDW.
7. Understand Disney’s Transportation System
If you are staying on property and not driving your own car to and from the parks, you need to understand Disney’s transportation system. Most Disney resorts offer mainly bus transportation. The buses will say on the front and on the side where they are going. Also, many Disney buses, depending on the resort, pick up and drop of guests at all of the resort’s bus stops and sometimes at the bus stops of other resorts. Therefore, it can take some time to get to the parks so plan accordingly. Boat transportation is the second most common form of WDW transportation. At park and resort docks, there is often different lines for different destinations; and many of the boats have different colored flags that symbolize where they are going. There is usually a sign nearby explaining which colors go where. Finally, it’s important to know that the monorail system has different loops. Many guests don’t realize this. There are always signs and different lines for different monorail routes; and you may need to stop at the Transportation and Ticket Center to transfer to the monorail loop you need, such as when you want to go to Epcot. Understanding Disney’s transportation system is key to less confusing and more enjoyable vacation, especially when you are trying to make a dining reservation, catch Wishes, or make to park opening. Check out Mike’s article for more on the Disney Transportation.
8. Getting up Early
Most people don’t want to hear this on vacation, but getting up early can greatly contribute to their quality of your vacation. Experiencing the parks at park opening really helps you get to experience the parks and its popular attractions with minimum waits and less congestion. This is also a great time to find Disney characters as many are out and about around park opening.
9. You Can Visit Other Disney Resorts
Many Disney Rookies don’t realize that they can visit other Disney resorts at WDW, even if they aren’t staying there. “Resort Hopping” is one of our favorite activities at WDW! You can shop at the different resorts and take advantage of their dining and shopping opportunities, as well as their scenery and décor.
10. You Won’t Get Everything Done
Walt Disney World has the term “world” in its name for a reason. It’s huge! Even the most regular Disney guests still haven’t done it all so don’t set impossible standards. Prioritize and enjoy to the fullest what you are able to do.
Thank you for reading my first article on Chip and Company!
Savannah is a huge fan of all things relating to Disney, particularly Walt Disney World. She’s been visiting the parks since she was 9 months old and now co-writes her own Disney blog/informational site, A Glass Slipper Vacation. Savannah now pens Disney Top 5 & 10 lists for Chip and Co. If you have an idea for a list drop her a line at savannah@chipandco(dot)com