Tuesday, 18 December 2018

8 Tips I Learned from Our Disney World Trip


I still can't believe it's been over a month since we returned from Disney World, although honestly it kind of feels like it was forever ago that we were basking in the Florida sunshine. Although the whole experience really feels like some kind of distant dream, I can't help but look forward to planning my next trip there (although I'm sure that won't be for many years!). A couple of people have asked me for some tips for their Disney World trip, and so I thought it would be nice to share a few things I learned from our recent holiday, from things I wish I hadn't done to things that I would definitely do again! Hopefully they will give you some ideas for your future trip too!

So here are 8 tips that I learned from our recent Walt Disney World holiday! 

1. Don't upgrade the dining plan.

Unless you are huge eaters or you really want to experience every table service restaurant that Disney has to offer, then I wouldn't recommend upgrading the dining plan to the regular one. We had the Quick Service Dining Plan included for free but paid the extra to upgrade. Looking back, it was way too much food and most of the time I didn't even feel like having the table service meal by the time our reservation came around. I also enjoyed the majority of our QS meals more than our TS ones (see more on my TS reviews here). In the future I would 100% keep the free QS plan and just pay out of pocket for one or two sit down meals.

2. Have all your early starts on the first few days.

I already had this planned in, but it was 100% the right decision. We were up at 5am on the first few days from jet lag anyway so it made sense to get all those early starts done and dusted so we could head to the parks later on during the holiday.


3. Ride Flight of Passage (and get a fast pass!).

I was so meh about riding Flight of Passage (the new Pandora ride at Animal Kingdom), mainly because I've never been a fan of the Avatar movie and I also had no clue what to expect. Of course, I won't spoil it for you now, but you HAVE to ride it, and make sure you snag a fast pass at your 60 or 30 day fast pass mark. It's incredible.

4. Get a Memory Maker.

Our holiday included one of Disney World's Memory Maker packages and I'm so pleased it did. It essentially allows you to get all of your ride and photopass photos included and you can download them straight from your My Disney Experience app. It's so easy and worth it for those hilarious ride shots you may not have bought otherwise!

5. Use Mobile Order.

This is a relatively new feature at Disney parks that allows you to order your QS food via the My Disney Experience app to pick up later. It also means you don't have to stand in those long queues deciding what to get as you can see the whole menu on your phone. I used this for pretty much anywhere that would allow it and it was so worth it. It saved time and allowed me to be indecisive for as long as I needed.



6. Stay on site.

This was another thing we did but I definitely didn't regret it. I find staying on site at Disney World enhances the holiday so much and is so convenient too. Not only is transportation included, but I just feel so much more in the magic when staying in a Disney resort. Getting things like Magic Bands, the dining plan and more just makes the stay so much easier too.

7. Plan! Plan! Plan!

I am a serious overplanner, as you know, and my Disney spreadsheet is still to this day one of the most beautiful pieces of organisation I've ever accomplished. To me, planning a Disney World holiday is one of the most exciting parts of the trip and I loved figuring out what we were going to do on what days and which reservations we were going to make. Of course, just rocking up at a park having planned nothing is always an option, but don't expect to be able to go on every ride with no queue or just turn up at a restaurant with no reservation. I always recommend at least lightly planning your holiday, so you at least have a shell of what you're doing. A Disney holiday can be a once in a lifetime trip and so you don't want to miss out on anything!


8. But don't over plan.

Kind of contradicting point 7, however, I did leave space on purpose for plans to change, which on a few occasions we did. For example, the day after we got engaged we were scheduled to head back to Universal Studios (I planned this not knowing that we would be staying overnight in the Grand Floridian!) but when we woke up we just didn't feel like going. So instead, we laid in bed until it was time to check out and had the laziest day napping in our hotel room. In the end, we just did Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay in the same day and it was completely fine. Sometimes it's just nice to go with the flow (even if a bit of overplanning is also good too!).

Those are just a couple of my tips for the next time you book your Disney World trip. Obviously everyone has a very different style of trip depending on who they're with, when they go etc, but hopefully this will give you some ideas nonetheless!

Let me know if you have any more fab tips for a Disney World vacation in the comments! I'd love to hear them for the next time we go!

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