Well, we are back from our Disney vacation and we miss it already. So much has changed since the last time we were there 5 years ago. I will NOT wait that long to visit again. Everyone has their tips and strategies for navigating through the parks so here are my top 5 tips/favs from The Walt Disney World Parks.
1. It makes sense for us to stay at a Disney resort as you can take advantage of the magic hours and those magic bands are great as that is really all you need to carry with you. Who wants to lug around a bag with stuff all day especially if you have older kids.
2. Early in, rest afternoon, late night, back at it – Here is our strategy as our kids are a bit older (10 and 13) – Get to the park early, get your favorite rides in first thing and schedule fast passes for either late morning or later in the evening. My kids like to go on multiple times but with long lines that is not possible. We took a break each day at around 2 and we enjoyed the rides early in the morning with no lines, some days had the fast pass mid-morning and when we got back in the evening we enjoyed the sites and did not stress about the long lines. (at Magic Kingdom there were no lines at 11:00 pm lol)
3. Eat where you like and it doesn’t have to be a big sit down meal each day – we did not do the meal plan. We had one lunch reservation (so we could have a Fantasmic show pass) and of course the most coveted meal -a dinner reservation at Be Our Guest). The other meals we just went with what we liked – dinner at Epcot in Italy and Germany. We also like Downtown Disney as our favorite restaurant is Wolfgang Puck Express. It’s casual, the food is great and you do not need a reservation.
4. Treats! Get the Dole Whip treat at Aloha Isle in Adventureland which is the popular frozen treat blended in pineapple, orange, vanilla or swirled flavors. I kept seeing that frozen banana on a stick everywhere! It was so good! The kids loved the Coke slushie in Animal Kingdom as they never drink it so that was a special treat. Another favorite in Downtown Disney is Ghiradelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop. LOVE the one scoop sundaes.
5. Disney is not a relaxing vacation -it is very fun but it’s non-stop and tiring. We were lucky as it was 85 and sunny each day so relaxing by the pool each afternoon was a real treat. That is one recommendation – to take a break and relax each day. There can be so much shuttling back and forth on those buses and waiting in line and running to the ride you want. TRY to relax each day if you can. We also spent our last day by the pool and got a ride to the airport at 3:30 (yes my kids were in the pool at 3:05….didn’t want to leave the 85 temps for 25 degrees back home!) so at least we got to have a bit of a wind down period. As I kept saying to my family, “you can rest when we get home!”