Advanced Disney Tips for Beginners
One of the trickiest parts of Disney vacation planning is describing the things that you assume others know. Once you’ve visited Walt Disney World several times, you understand vacation strategies that you can’t believe you ever didn’t know. To a larger degree, that’s how all knowledge works. Once you appreciate the inner workings of a process, it seems so easy with the benefit of hindsight. This is especially true with Disney trip planning. My goal today is to work my way backward and describe some advanced Disney tips for beginners.
Think in Terms of Resorts
The first aspect of Disney vacationing is your home resort. I strongly stress to all of my friends that staying onsite at Walt Disney World is the superior option. Official Disney resorts receive special benefits. These hotels also have better locations relative to theme park entrances, an advantage I’ll explore more in the third section.
To think in terms of resorts, you should look at a Walt Disney World map. You can see the entire campus on the My Disney Experience app. For convenience, here’s a map posted by our friends at WDW Info, too. What you’ll appreciate when you look at it is that some resorts are closer to specific theme parks. You may know this already, but some of the information still might surprise you.
For example, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is almost as close to Typhoon Lagoon as it is to Epcot. When you stay at this hotel, you may want to plan a day at the water park, too. In other words, take what Disney gives you in terms of your resort locales. You don’t want to waste a lot of your potential park time traveling. So, pick a hotel that’s close to the activities that you believe your family will find the most entertaining.
Another pro tip here involves dining. Think of your resort as your home base while you’re at Disney. All of your stuff is here, and it’ll provide you a stronger sense of comfort. When you have downtime, you’re most likely to hole up in your room or, at least, at your resort. You can lean into this by researching the various restaurants at each resort. You’ll learn that some places like Disney’s Wilderness Lodge have quality Table Service offerings. Similarly, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort features Landscape of Flavors, a counter service restaurant with one of the deepest menus at any Disney resort.
Think in Terms of Parks
I’m a park hopper by nature. During the average day, I’ll visit at least two parks, and I have done all four in the same day before. Still, I’ve learned over the years that one park becomes my base of operations during a day.
The “starter” park as I call it is the place where I’ll schedule my FastPasses. It’s also where I’ll plan to eat my first meal, presuming that I remain in the parks through lunch. I understand that everyone has different park tendencies, but I believe the underlying philosophy here is the same for everyone.
The first park you enter each day, whether it’s the only one you visit or not, will determine your plans. You should research the various restaurants at the parks, the best sitting areas, and even where the bathrooms are. A few minutes of strategizing before you leave for Orlando can save you a LOT of aggravation.
Pay particular attention to which parks are in the vicinity of your current one. At Magic Kingdom, you can board a monorail straight to Epcot. The same is true at Epcot, but it also has a boat shuttle to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is kind of off on its own. When you visit here, you still have options in the surrounding area, though. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge consists of two resorts, each of which has dynamic food options. You’ll also find animals residing at these two spots, giving you a more personalized version of Kilimanjaro Safaris. You’ll walk up to their habitats rather than drive through them, though.
When you’re at Epcot, you can hang out at the World Showcase for hours, and you can even visit Disney’s BoardWalk by exiting through the International Gateway. It’s the same area where you can take the boat to Hollywood Studios. These are the sorts of tricks that frequent guests know that you can learn through a bit of research. Understanding which park you’re currently visiting goes a long way toward determining your plans for the morning, afternoon, and evening.
Think in Terms of Location
This statement is park and campus-specific. At the parks, you should always think about the next thing. What I mean is that when you’re in Fantasyland, you should weigh your options about the next attraction you’ll visit. You should also think about which themed land you’ll walk toward once you’re done.
Your immediate themed land options are Tomorrowland to your right, Liberty Square to your left, and Main Street, U.S.A. if you head toward the front of the park. Your attraction choices run the gamut from It’s a Small World to Peter Pan’s Flight to Enchanted Tales with Belle. Those are two calm attractions with shorter waits and one with a long wait but short ride. All of them are great, but you must pick the right one for the moment.
Your current mood should drive your decision-making. Are you tired? If so, pick an attraction that’s slow and gentle. Do you want a thrill? Walk over to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or Space Mountain at Tomorrowland. Where you are in the park is an important determinant in planning your next hour or two.
Similarly, think in terms of location with your resort. Some have better logistics than others. Famously, the monorail resorts deliver direct access to Magic Kingdom and, after a tram exchange, Epcot. When you stay at one of these hotels, you’re never more than 15 minutes away from a wonderful theme park. Other, cheaper resorts have sneaky-good locations, too.
Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter and Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside are Moderate Resorts close to both Disney Springs and Epcot. Pick the hotel that best fits your budget and vacation needs, using location as a solid source of information. If you’re not sure about what works best, speak to an experienced agent at Mickey Travels. They’ll book your trip for free, and they’ll provide unrivaled expertise in all things Walt Disney World.
Think in Terms of Transportation
I’ve already touched on this in other sections of the article, but it’s an important topic. The Walt Disney World complex is massive. Walt Disney bought 40 square miles of land, which is roughly the size of San Francisco, California!
Getting from one place to another at Walt Disney World can be an adventure when you plan poorly. Research the transportation options at each hotel and each resort. You’ll learn that a place like Disney’s Wildness Lodge is a sneaky-good place to stay. It offers boats to and from Walt Disney World. Similarly, Disney’s Beach Club Resort and Disney’s BoardWalk Inn have back entrances to Epcot.
Guests who don’t want to walk can also ride boats to the International Gateway. More importantly, these boats also travel to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. When you stay at either of these hotels, you gain easy access to two different Walt Disney World theme parks. The transportation options increase the value of a stay at either place.
Wherever you stay, please understand that Disney’s bus system is the most likely and frequent form of transportation. Buses crisscross the Disney campus, taking you to all of the water parks, theme parks, resorts, and entertainment complexes. Even when you stay at a monorail resort, you’ll ride the buses to places like Disney Springs and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Still, you should lean toward a resort that has boats and/or monorails as options to reduce your dependence on buses.
While Disney does have ride-sharing options, the most affordable trips rely on the free transportation available at Walt Disney World. As you plan your days, you must pay attention to what’s easily accessible. It’s the best way to heighten your overall trip enjoyment.
Thanks for visiting MickeyBlog.com! For a FREE quote on your next Disney vacation, please fill out the form below!