• On Jan 17, 2023
    Andrew from CA Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Hi There, I am planning a first visit to the Walt Disney World Resort this coming November. Being a Disneyland pro, I am looking for any advice I can get about how best to maximize a first visit here.

    Hi Andrew,

    How exciting to be planning your first trip to Walt Disney World after being a longtime guest at Disneyland! A few years ago, I had the opposite experience. After many years of visiting Walt Disney World, my family headed to Disneyland for the first time. I will say that while there are many things that will feel the same, there are many things that are somewhat different. Here are my tips for your first visit to Walt Disney World.

    First, do know that Walt Disney World is vast. With four theme parks, two water parks, and so much more, Walt Disney World covers a large geographic area! Definitely be prepared to take multiple forms of transportation at Walt Disney World. From buses to monorails to boats to the Disney Skyliner, there are many ways to get around Walt Disney World. I think that many of these are enjoyable simply as their own experience. I love a relaxing boat ride at Walt Disney World! It will take much more time to get from theme park to theme park, or from resort hotel to theme park, at Walt Disney World than at Disneyland. I suggest that you simply plan for this, and then enjoy the ride!

    I do suggest that you consider which theme park you would like to visit on each day of your visit, and be sure to purchase your theme park tickets and make park reservations ahead of your visit. Once you have this planned, I would ask each member of your traveling party to take a look at the list of attractions at each theme park that you plan to visit. Depending on the size of your traveling party, each person can choose one to up to a few attractions that they "must do" at each theme park. This way, everyone has their special piece of the planning. When we visited Disneyland, I absolutely loved visiting attractions that exist on both the East Coast and the West Coast to see the differences. Riding Pirates of the Caribbean and it's a small world and noting the differences was fun for my whole family!

    Once you have planned your theme park schedule, at 60 days before your trip, I suggest that you go ahead and make some dining reservations. For my family, I find that having one table service meal per day reserved ahead makes a big difference. We often make this a late lunch at the theme park we are visiting. This way, we can arrive at theme park opening, experience lots of attractions throughout the morning and early afternoon, and then sit down and recharge with some food. After our meal, we can decide if we want to head back into the theme park, or go back to our resort hotel for some pool time and a nap! Having those dining reservations ahead of time gives me peace of mind that we will have this break in the middle of our day.

    This is how I would start planning your first Walt Disney World vacation, Andrew. Please do let us here at planDisney know if we can help answer more questions as you make your magical vacation plans!

    ~ Mona Leigh
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Meet the Panelist: Mona Leigh, Maryland

I am a wife and mother who works in children's technology design and research. When I'm not at work or with my family, I'm often planning a Walt Disney World trip for my family or friends. I'm a Disney Vacation Club Member, and am excited to help you plan your Disney vacation!  Learn More About Mona Leigh

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