The happiest place on earth. A once in a lifetime experience that withholds every child’s dream and an opportunity for adults to relive their childhood.
The Walt Disney World Resort is located in Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The property features four theme parks – Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot, two water parks – Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, twenty-seven themed resort hotels, several golf courses, a camping resort, and Disney Springs an outdoor shopping and dining center.
In late August, my family and I were exceedingly lucky enough to visit the resort, and oh boy, what a magnificent holiday it was. Even though it was one of the best experiences that I’ve had in my 22 years of living, Disney World is without a doubt, overwhelming. The planning process before visiting is a heavy task, and after watching every vlog and reading tonnes of articles on the internet, it can still be difficult to get your head around everything. Today, I want to share a few tips that worked out well for me whilst I was out there, as well as the planning process.
My family and I were actually off-site and stayed at the Saphire Falls hotel in Universal (sorry Disney!) Luckily, this did not affect our visits to the Disney parks and we still even managed to cross off a majority of the things on our bucket list. However, if you choose to stay at the resort, you will receive a number of benefits, such as having extra magic hours in the parks when they close and having the opportunity to book Fast Passes 60 days in advance (as opposed to 30 days if you are staying off-site.)
My Disney Experience App
My Disney Experience is an app and it is an ESSENTIAL part of the planning process. Once you and your travel party have created an account, you are able to link your Disney tickets. The app provides a map of each park and allows guests to view the waiting times of each ride, as well as a schedule of the shows and parades that are on for that particular day. Fast Passes are also available to book in advance through the app (60 days in advance for visitors staying on site and 30 days for those staying off-site.) Visitors are able to book up to 3 Fast Passes a day, and once they have been used, can book 1 Fast Pass at a time. It is crucial that the people you are traveling with have an account too, as it allows making reservations and booking Fast Passes much more simple.
Memory Maker is Disney’s Photopass package, which allows guests to keep their professional images with the Characters and their ride photos. The photos are scanned on to the magic bands, or park tickets and then transferred to the ‘My Disney Experience’ App. Here, guests are able to download their images for free. This is most definitely recommended if you would like to cherish these moments in years to come!
Figuring out how to get around the parks and around Florida in general, is certainly a method that should be planned beforehand. There are numerous ways that guests can travel, including Uber, Lyft, Disney Buses, and Car Hire. Hiring a car may be ideal for larger groups who are staying off-site. Think about it, having a car gives you the freedom to travel anywhere and the ability to leave at any time. However, the combination of hiring, insurance, fuel, and parking tickets, adds up and it’s pretty damn expensive! If you are staying on-site, Disney offers free buses that travel to and from the different parks and resorts. Uber and Lyft (cheaper than Uber) are also available and are great for traveling outside of Disney, or for visitors who are staying off-site. As we chose to stay at Universal, we figured that the money it would cost to hire a car could be put towards better things, such as spending money. Instead, we chose to use Lyft to get to our destinations and each ride roughly cost us around $8 dollars! In the end, using Lyft worked out so much cheaper than hiring a car.
Happily Ever After
This was by far my FAVOURITE experience of the holiday. I’m sure most of you know what Happily Ever After is, but if not, then it is the firework and projection display at the Magic Kingdom. I decided to watch many Disney vlogs before I visited and so I kind of knew what to expect when it came to Happily Ever After. However, what I didn’t realise, was that people start to settle down and find their spot for the show at least an hour before the show began. Luckily, we were at the castle at the right time and realised that if we wanted a good view, then we had to stay. But believe me, the wait is SO worth it!!
The humidity in Florida can reach a point where it’s unbearable, so it’s very important to stay hydrated throughout the day! However, drinks in the parks are actually very pricey, especially water. The parks will most likely have a special deal for drinks and dining, so if it saves money, then it’s worth looking into. However, water fountains are placed near every restroom, so we decided to buy a couple of water bottles (they were at least $4 dollars each) and refill them every so often. As you can imagine, this saved us so much money and it’s a nice little trick to know!
Last but not least, have a magical time!
Comment down below if you have any tips and tricks that you would like to share!