By Dopey Diva
July 2009 was my first trip ever to Disney World. It was my honeymoon! Since I had never been to any Disney park, I had no idea what to expect or how to plan. I am pretty sure we didn’t even book our trip until May of that year so it definitely was not a planned ahead vacation. My husband and I were complete rookies. We did know to make advanced dining reservations and were able to get some pretty good ones considering how late we booked our trip but we had no idea how they actually worked. We didn’t arrive until late in the evening our first night and had not planned to go to a park so we headed to Downtown Disney. We figured since we weren’t going to a park that day our dining plan didn’t start until the next day so we actually paid out of pocket to eat a table service meal our first night there. I find that to be embarrassing now! For anyone who may not know how the dining plan works and doesn’t want to make the mistake we made, you get as many meals as the number of nights you stay in your resort. For example, if you are staying at a Disney resort for 6 days and 5 nights and on the dining plan with 1 quick service, 1 table service, and 1 snack per day, each person will get a total of: 5 quick service meals, 5 table service meals, and 5 snacks. You can use them any way want you just cannot exceed that amount.
Another HUGE mistake my husband and I made was not knowing what a fast pass was. Can you believe that?? We actually waited in very long lines, especially for Peter Pan’s Flight, and missed out on riding other rides due to the time spent waiting in line. At that time there were paper fast passes available, but now Disney has the fast pass+ system. This allows you to choose your fast passes before you even get to the parks. This can all be done through My Magical Experience either on your computer or smart device. From this you are able to pick 3 fast passes per day at one park. The great thing now is once you use up your first 3 fast passes, you will be able to choose more but only from a kiosk located throughout each park. TIP: choose your first 3 fast passes for as early as you can because then you are left with the whole day to make other fast pass options. Also if you choose to park hop and you have used your first 3 passes you will be able to make other fast pass choices at the park you go to next.
A few other things I have learned about in 5 years is:
1. Pack a poncho..it may not rain at all your entire trip but it is better to be prepared than soaking wet!
2. Pin trading and Vinylmation trading are a LOT of fun!
3. You can get a free cup of water of ice from a counter service…don’t be afraid to ask.
4. There are spots through out all the parks to sit down and rest…take advantage of them.
5. HAVE FUN!! Don’t try to do EVERYTHING in one trip because it is not possible and you will be miserable if you try.
Since my honeymoon I have been back to Disney world 5 more times. I have taken my 2 boys with me and then my husband and I returned by ourselves for a weekend get a way to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary. Every time I seem to learn something new or see something I didn’t see on a previous trip. My family and I love going to Disney World and hope to make it a yearly tradition.