Wednesday 8 May 2019

Planning our first trip to Walt Disney World, Florida

Girl dressed as Rey meeting Donald Duck at Disney

Planning a holiday is always exciting, but when it's a holiday of a lifetime it can be pretty overwhelming as well. This summer, we will be taking our children on their very first trip to Walt Disney World in Florida. Long term readers of this site will know that we are a family of huge Disney fans, so this really is the ultimate dream for us all. My husband has been three times before as a child but for myself and our two children, it will be not only our first visit to Disney World but also our first time in the United States!

We did take the children to Disneyland in Paris a few years ago and although they had a fabulous time and made some cherished memories, I found it a very stressful trip. Therefore I want to do as much forward planning as possible this time, to make sure I share the magic with them!

We have already booked our advanced dining reservations for the meals we will be having on site, booked our eight year old a princess makeover slot at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Magic Kingdom and of course linked up our tickets in the My Disney Experience App.

Top Tips for your first Disney World Trip from UK Family Travel Bloggers

Having just passed our double digit day I feel like I can really get into geeky planning mode now, we've started to buy bits and pieces ready to pack and we have our 30 day Fastpass+ day marked on the calendar! To help me get prepared I thought I would pick the brains of some fellow bloggers and WDW fans. I've pulled together some of the top tips that they have shared with me below:

Angela who writes a fabulous family travel blog filled with Disney themed content - Life of Spicers - says we should enjoy everything that you are doing and don't worry about what you're not doing, as it's impossible to do everything!

Amy from Livvy Bird Adventures advises her top tip is to get everyone in the travel party to choose one MUST for each park. Then treat everything else as extra. Whether you go for one or three weeks you still won’t get everything done. Do check out her Instagram for lots of Disney memories!

Karen from That Lancashire Lass took her family to WDW in 2017 and she tells me that fast passes are brilliant for minimising queuing time when you have young children.

Louise from A Strong Coffee to Go suggests that if you don’t get a fast pass for one of the really popular rides such as Flight of Passage, either go for rope drop on a day without early magic hours or get in the queue just before closing. Once the fast passes have stopped going in, the queue will go down much faster than the time that was shown. Thanks Louise, I shall remember that one!

Emma Read has written a great post sharing what she learnt from being first timers at Disney World, it's full of great advice and I would recommend popping over and reading it, but one tip I will definitely be taking on board is to take our own food and drinks into the park. As a vegetarian I am expecting that the choice will be limited and I know that eating on park will be expensive too. We have a couple of character meals booked but other than that we fully intend to take packed lunches and water bottles to refill with the free iced water available!

Steph from Steph's Two Girls wrote a great tongue in cheek post sharing her Top Ten Tips for a Florida Disney Holiday following her last visit in 2015. In this she says, 'Stress over planning your days out meticulously if you want to, but be prepared to scrap all those plans and go with the flow every day as soon as your first FastPass+ ride breaks down.'

I think that is the perfect piece of advice to leave this on, we really can plan everything down to the last detail but sometimes things don't go to as we expect, rides may break down, storms may happen or little ones may just get too tired. If you do plan, you also have to allow for things to change and be prepared to just go with the flow!

I'd love to hear your top tips!

Have you been on a holiday to Disney World in Florida? Do you have any tips to share with us as first timers? If so please do leave me a comment as I would love to read them!

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