Back with another round of Tuesday Travel Tips, and since we are talking about Walt Disney World this week, here are my favorite Disney Travel Tips:
Plan, Plan, & Plan Some More
You can never over-research your upcoming trip to Disney World. Grab what ever learning tools you like best when planning your vacations (my favorites are Birnbaum’s Walt Disney World and AllEars.Net) and spend quality time with them. You will learn great tips like the best snack at Magic Kingdom (Dole Pineapple Whip), what the best times for the Hoop Dee Doo Revue are, or where the best view of the Electric Water Parade is. There are tons of websites dedicated to WDW, just pick a few you like and go to town!
We Don’t Go to Disney World to Eat!
Oh, yes you do!! In fact, some of the highest rated restaurants are located on WDW property. Not to mention, Disney does such an amazing job of making every meal an experience. So, as I mentioned above, research what restaurants you would like to go to (ask your friends – they will be happy to tell you their favorites!! Mine are Ohana’s at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, Le Cellier Steakhouse at the Canada Pavilion in Epcot, Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, and Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort – thanks for asking).
Here is the key – listen closely – Make sure you call and make your reservations 180 days to the dot of the first day of your vacation. I’m not kidding – I called at 6 AM (EST) to make my reservations and I still couldn’t get one of them.
At 8 AM, we will be boarding the bus to Epcot, by 8:20, in line for Soarin….
Ok, so my WDW itineraries are not that bad (only cause hubby wouldn’t let me plan our day like this). But I do strongly reccomend you make a plan for the days you are there. I typically schedule the parks we will go to based on where our dining reservations take us AND Disney Magic Hours. Certain parks will open early or close later for WDW resort guests and tend to be the busiest. We also enjoy paying extra for the Park Hopper pass – this allows us to enjoy a morning at the Magic Kingdom, and hop on the monorail just in time for our lunch dining reservations at Epcot.
But Mom, I Don’t Want to Watch Another Parade!
Yes – those words actually came out of my then-8-year-old’s mouth. We had over-done it that day, so we headed back to the hotel to wind down with a swim, early dinner and a Hidden Mickey Treasure Hunt. And it was one of the best evenings we had all week. Every WDW resort offers great activities for families – just reseach them online and plan an evening at “home”. Your family will thank you.
Laugh.Play.Be a Kid too!
After all the hard work you put in planning the trip, make sure you allow yourself some time to relax and enjoy the time with your family. Take pictures, but don’t spend your whole vacation behind a lens. Allow the kids to explore (even if it’s not in the schedule) and play with them – one of our favorite things to do is take a boat over to Tom Sawyer’s Island and chase each other around!
Disney World is an incredible place in the eyes of your children…..try to see it through their eyes too and don’t bring the outside world in. Don’t get bothered by the occasional long line. Enjoy the experience and you will come home with tons of amazing memories!