For me, writing about things that make me happy is effortless. I get lost in my fashion for the subject and am overcome with excitement to get all my thoughts out. Disney is on the top of that list.
I must admit that as a kid I was a huge fan, but as I got older I lost touch of that. I’ve never been a fan of amusement parks. I don’t like rides, my anxiety takes over and I don’t like the feeling of being out of control. But four years into dating Chris I went to Disney World on my first flight ever. I must admit, I fell in love. For Chris and his parents it has always been a home away from home. They went often in his childhood, it was somewhere that as a family they could enjoy each other’s company.
When we lost Chris’s mom in 2013 we started to go often. It was at first a place of comfort for the two of them, a location they could feel close to Christine. In the past 5 years we have tradition of going during certain times of the year and for different events.
My first trip was all about the rides. Quick serve food stops, and a constant state of go, go go. Since that first trip after losing my mother in law, we decided to take it slow and enjoy every moment. It has become so much more than rides for us.
I had planned on doing my very first vlog during the trip that we took earlier this month. It would have been Harper’s first flight and we were so excited about the hotel we stayed at, all the things we had planned to show her. Unfortunately she had a cold and our doctor suggested that we let her stay with my mom so she didn’t get sicker. We wanted to reschedule, but we would have taken a huge loss. We go to Disney so often that we knew we’d be back again soon with Harper and my mom was amazing and offered to watch her. We’re already planning our next trip where I will be shooting my vlog!
With everything I have to give tips on about Walt Disney World, I have decided to do a series. One Wednesday a month I’ll be doing a “Walt Disney World Wednesday” where I post suggsestions and tips on certain subjects. Restaurants, rides, things to do outside of the parks. I can’t wait to share all my insight, and I hope it helps you plan your next Disney trip!
Now below find my top 5 overall Disney hacks!
- People always ask me, when is the best time to go? The most reasonable and off-season times to go to Disney are in September and January. If you’re looking for a long stay for a better price, during that time is the best to stay. Summer months are incredibly hot, and though we do it, I encourage that you plan ahead of the heat if you decide to go in July or August.
- Another question I get a lot is where to stay. This is a tough one. We’ve stayed at some many incredible Disney World resorts that I’m torn to have to pick just one! If you’re looking for a more reasonable hotel but with a ton of character, fun for kids, and a beautiful running trail around a lake – one of our favorites is Pop Century. Pop offers basic transportation, buses only. If you wanted more convenience and options on walkability to parks and other forms of transportation, The Boardwalk is our number one choice. More to come on hotels!
- Which brings me to my next tip! Festival times are incredibly popular and super hard to find a hotel room during – but by far my favorite times to go. Epcot holds two main festivals a year and a few smaller. The main events are The International Flower & Garden Festival, and Epcot’s International Food & Wine festival. If you are a foodie like us, these are a MUST. Even just for a one time experience. Epcot sets up booths themed and serving food from countries all around the world, unique to the countries that they already host. Let me tell you – the food is all incredible, you can’t go wrong. There are beer gardens, special food and drink pairings, – I could go on and on, but I will save that for a post just on these amazing events.
- Make sure you plan in advance. With the Disney World app you can make fast passes for all of your favorite rides and see wait times for others. You can also make reservations through the app. We have had days that we didn’t make reservations, or didn’t plan ahead on which rides we’d be doing, and it makes things so much harder. Restaurants fill up so quickly, and although there are so many amazing places to eat, you’ll be out of luck trying to dine at one if you don’t plan ahead.
- Guys, Disney is for foodies. Both counter service (though some better than others), and sit down restaurants are incredible. With Disney Springs building new restaurants all the time, you can never run out of options. Three of our favorite restaurants are Raglan Road (Disney Springs), The Boathouse (Disney Springs), and Be Our Guest Restaurant (Magic Kingdom). I’ll talk oh so much more about these restaurants in my next post. Don’t skip on the eats!
- New to Disney is something really awesome that we learned our last trip. We had planned to have Dole Whips (these are a must btw) as a late afternoon snack, and as we were walking by we got a notification through our app. “Would you like to mobile order?” Heck yes we did! We were able to order our food through the app, and wait in a separate line to receive it quicker. Check this option out if you’re in a rush to have a snack before a ride. More on best snacks to come as well..
- Extra magic hours. Every day of the week a park will either open early or close later for that day. Check your app for the hours of the park you plan on attending to make sure you make the most out your day!
- I’ll be writing a whole post about this also – Disney is not just about rides (or food, like I tell everyone), there is so much more to do. There are two mini golf courses, two water parks, and tons, and tons of world-class shopping. One of our favorite things to do pre baby when we had a slower day was going to the dine in movies in Disney Springs.
- Drinks. It is hot in Florida, everyone knows this. Especially during the summer months it can be pretty brutal. We try to escape the heat by ducking into restaurants and rides, and we always brings water bottles. If you ever forget your water bottle, you can ask any cart or counter service for water for free. A tip that comes in incredibly handy with littles.
- If you’re going for the first time, or for a special event Disney will offer you a pin to put on for that day. It’s a really nice reminder of whatever you are celebrating and cast members and other guest will make sure to make you feel special. Another benefit to wearing your pins, you might get some special perks like free candy or a drink!
Disney is not just for kids! There is so so much to do, and it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Check back in for more specific tips and tricks for your next Disney stay!