Mother, Son, Giraffe, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Animal Kingdom, Savannah
  • On Apr 19, 2011
    C Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    You guys rock! That said, what are the things you wish you had known when planning your 1st trip to WDW? Visiting next month, staying in fam. suite @ AS-Music, have the dining plan, park hoppers with water. Thanks for any advice/tips! Oh, kids are 9, 7, &a

    Hello C!

    What an inspired question!!!  Here's the advice I would give any first time visitor to Walt Disney World:

    1. Recognize from the outset that it is IMPOSSIBLE to experience everything at Walt Disney World in one trip.  People who try to "do it all" will only find themselves discouraged and frustrated.  Sit down with your family before you leave and make a list of the "must do" attractions for each member of your travel party.  Then make a loose itinerary including those attractions, restaurants, etc.  That way everyone will be guaranteed to walk away with a great deal of satisfaction and wonderful memories.

    2.  Rest mid-day if possible.  Hit the theme parks early (when the lines are the shortest), have an early lunch to avoid crowded restaurants, and then return to your Disney resort for a rest or swim in the afternoon.  This will give your family time to recharge their batteries.  Otherwise, you're almost guaranteed to have some cranky travelers. 

    3.  Take pictures everywhere!  Make sure you get a couple good ones with EVERYONE in the shot.  Hand the camera to someone else or utilize the PhotoPass photographers through the parks so that you will have special photographs to remember your family vacation forever.

    4.  Make dining reservations in advance by calling (407) WDW-DINE and be sure to include at least one character dining experience.  Take an autograph book for each of your kids for character interactions.

    5.  Take time to appreciate all the little details of the parks and resorts.  At Walt Disney World, the magic is encapsulated not just in the marquee attractions, but in the gardens, fountains, costuming, and cast members as well. 

    Wishing you a first vacation to Walt Disney World that is sprinkled with extra pixie dust.

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Meet the Panelist: Jill, New Jersey

Lesson plans, college plans, vacation a teacher, college counselor, and incurable Disney fan I find myself constantly planning.  I love to share advice with friends who have yet to experience all that Walt Disney World has to offer! Learn More About Jill

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