Congrats, you just booked your trip to the most magical place on earth! Ok . . . ok . . . Eyeroll(s) complete? I hear the complaints all the time: too many people, the humidity, and (my personal, misconceived fave) it’s only for kids!
I’m the father of two children, ages four and two, so trips to Mickey’s house are on the agenda at least twice a year (but we average four or five). Yet, my wife and I enjoyed trips to the house that Walt built for years prior to the arrival of our bundles of joy. You can safely assume that individually we are Disney Fan(atics). Our mutual enjoyment of said place was a major topic of conversation on our first date. Side note: She asked if I liked Disney, I told her I was an annual pass holder, BIG SMILE, engaged six months later (proposed at . . . yep, you guessed it) yada yada yada, the previously mentioned two kids…
While there are multiple options for getting the most out of your Disney vacation, the best choices depend on your family’s priorities. Here is this veteran’s advice to conquering the four, fun-filled theme parks:
Do your homework. (Come on, you’re used to doing research.) Find out the park hours for each of the days you are planning to go. What attractions are must-dos and what are under the umbrella of “if we have time”? Pressuring yourselves to do everything will only leave you frustrated and disappointed.
Take advantage of Extra Magic Hours if you are staying on Disney property. There is an app called WDW Lines, by Touring Plans.com, which provides crowd predictions up to 10 days in advance. This is helpful to determine what parks you may want to do on which days. It uses the classic 1-10 system. It also supplies wait times for each attraction in two categories: Posted and Actual.
FastPass, FastPass, FastPass. These are the precious items that allow you to skip the regular lines. Download the My Disney Experience app and start reserving these for those attractions that are must-dos. You begin with three. As soon as you use up that third FastPass, you can then reserve a fourth and final one for the day. So, it behooves you to reserve for the earliest possible times available. A perk to staying on Disney property is that you are allowed to reserve these FastPasses 60 days out as opposed to only 30 days prior to your first day at the parks.
Plan some downtime. Yes, it does get crowded. Yes, the heat and humidity can be pretty unbearable. And yes, you will witness at least a handful of children experiencing meltdowns/tantrums each day. We like to get to the parks early, leave around noon to have lunch and take a nice siesta or maybe go in the pool, then return to the parks in the early evening. This allows some to time to recharge and actually relax. I mean, you are on vacation!
About the Author: Jorge L. Miranda, Jr. began his paralegal career in 2007 and has been a member of the Bast Amron Family since May 2011. Married with two children, ages four and two, Jorge and his wife Vanessa are avid Disney fans and actively indoctrinating their children into the Disney family. Click here to learn more about our team at Bast Amron.