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Author: Florida Diva

If you’re like me and live an unfortunately long distance from Walt Disney World or Disneyland, it will probably take most of the day to reach The Happiest Place on Earth. So, here are a few tips to make the journey as smooth as possible as you take the second star to the right and straight on till morning. 

 
1       1. .Know your travel itinerary. It’s useful to consider any stopovers, their length and to account for clearing security as well as the length of the flight(s) themselves. It always amazes me the number of people that simply look at their departure and arrival time and don’t consider the logistics in between.  Not realizing that you have 2 hour layover at an airport that has few amenities can cause irritability in children and even eager adults. Plan for these lulls in the journey. 

 
2   2. Be aware of any airline restrictions. Nothing will get your trip off to a rockier start than getting held up at security because you didn’t know you couldn’t pack hair gel in your carry on for entry into the US. This also irritates fellow travelers as it holds them up as well. Visit www.tsa.gov for the latest information. 

 
3   3.Pack vacation essentials in a carry on. If the airline misplaces your luggage or it misses your connection, your plans may be delayed on arrival too. Swimsuits, a clean pair of undies, cameras and Disney passes (if you’ve purchased in advance) don’t take up much room and can save you from having to delay the start of your vacation by a day or two. 

 
         4.  Print maps ahead of time. Knowing the best route to your hotel from the airport, if you’ve rented a car, can ensure you avoid frustration after a long trip. Print them from the internet and highlight the route you want to take. You may want to spend the extra money and rent a nav-guide, although they aren’t always accurate, so a map is a good back up. Of course, if you’re taking the Magical Express this is not an issue for you!  

 
5   5.  Know the airport you’re going to. Once you’re off the plane, patience can be at a premium, so view the general layout of the airport online so you at least have a general idea where you’re going. Review any instructions from your car rental confirmation as they often contain location info, or, be familiar with where you need to go to catch your shuttle bus to the hotel. 

 
6   6. Don’t rush. Plan on just getting there on day one. The trip will usually take longer than you anticipate especially if your luggage is lost, there is a line up for shuttles or car rentals or your flights are delayed. If you’ve anticipated doing more than getting to your hotel and maybe having a swim after dinner, you may end up disappointed. Leave your first visit to the parks for the next day, when you’re rested and not harried. 
7   7.  Don’t make reservations for day one.  I made this mistake once and was panicked when an airline that shall remain nameless (but has a reputation for breaking guitars) canceled our flight a mere 10 hours before departure. Their solution was to fly us out 4 days later. It took a lot of scrambling and the assistance of a very sympathetic hotel manager that helped me fight my case, but we finally made it to our destination after 24 hours of flying. (Our original booking would have had us there in 7.) Finally, with 3 exhausted children, we arrived at Epcot just a few hours before our reservation at The Coral Reef Restaurant. Bottom line; don’t take a chance with reservations that need to be made 6 months in advance and airlines that may be hampered by weather or offer poor service. This is where using a travel agent, like Patricia with All for Dreams Travel can really save you a lot of stress! 
   
I make it a rule to add 2 days for traveling to the amount of time I wish to spend at the parks. Planning and anticipating hurdles, along with giving yourself a bit of extra time, can be the key to starting your holiday off on the right foot and making the most of your stay at Disney.  

Good Luck! 

My love for Disney began at an early age; in fact, I was so young on my first trip to Disneyland that I can't remember it! Since then, I've made tons of my happiest memories visiting again and again with family and friends. Combining my love for all things Disney and my passion for writing has made working for Disney Divas and Devos a dream come true!