7 Things You Need To Know Before Going To Disney World

If you’re going to Disney World for the first time, this list will help you by giving you some things you need to know before you go.  Disney World is 47 Square Miles of fun, entertainment, thrills and excitement, so it’s bigger than anyone ever imagines.  With that much Disney awesomeness, there are some things you must know in order to create the perfect vacation to Disney!

Going to Disney is a big deal!  You’ve saved up, planned, looked at hundreds of Disney Blogs but for the first time visitor to Disney, there are so many things to consider before you ever step foot in the park.  You want to a Disney Vacation full of Magical Moments, right?

Know When To Go To Disney World

Christmas is an amazing time at Disney World!  Spring Break at Disney is fabulous!  Summer and Disney World goes hand in hand!  …but these are some of the busiest times at Disney World.  Trust me when I say these times are CROWDED!

A good rule of thumb is to follow the school calendar if you want to go to Disney when the crowds are thinner.  If students are out of school for spring break (March & April), a long holiday weekend, summer break or Christmas break, the crowds are going to increase.  The week between Christmas and New Years you’ll often find the parks at full capacity.

Keep in mind, there are no true slow times at Disney, but there are slower times!  There is something completely magical about going when it’s not crowded and feeling like you almost have the parks and resorts to yourself.  On the other hand, there is so much energy and excitement when the parks are crowded too.

Consider planning your trip around a less crowded season if at all possible.  If you’re spending that much money to go to Disney World, give yourself the best opportunity to enjoy it.

Here is a great post about the Best Time To Visit Walt Disney World In 2017.

Free Souvenirs At Disney World

Yes, I said free!  If you’re celebrating something special at Disney, be sure to go to guest services before you enter the park and request one of the free buttons.  There are buttons for your first visit, your birthday, anniversaries, family reunions and a generic “I’m Celebrating!” button too.

Trust me, they are worth getting.  You’ll find cast members going out of their way to wish you a happy birthday and doing special somethings to make your day extra special!

Matter of fact, if it’s your birthday and you’re in one of the restaurants, be sure to mention this to your server.  I’ve received plenty of free desserts by doing so!

You’ll also find Disney offering free souvenir’s on special occasions Disney is celebrating too, like Mickey’s Birthday button!

Just wearing these freebies will give you an extra special Disney experience!


So blessed to spend Mickey’s birthday with him hanging out at Hollywood Studios.

A photo posted by Bonnie Cribbs (@sharingmagicalmoments) on

When you visit Disney World for the first time be sure to request a 1st visit button for some extra special treatment!

A photo posted by Bonnie Cribbs (@sharingmagicalmoments) on

The Food Is Amazing At Disney World

You will always hear people complain about how expensive the food is at Disney, but don’t allow yourself to get too caught up in the complaints.  Yes, you pay a premium for the food at Disney, but you’ll also be blown away by the options, taste and presentation of your Disney dining experiences!

The food options are plentiful!  I once had someone tell me they were “so tired of eating burgers and hot dogs all week long at Disney” and immediately told them they were doing Disney all wrong if they were eating hamburgers and hot dogs all week!

But here’s the deal, if you want to eat in the table service restaurants while at Disney World, you will need to plan ahead.  Download the My Disney Experience App for your phone and book your reservations as early as possible.  This is where you’ll need to know which parks you plan to go to and on which days.  Planning a Disney vacation does require planning.

From the app, explore the food options!  There are fun and whimsical experiences to classy and luxurious.  You’ll find themed restaurants galore, character experiences, cultural experiences, dinner shows and back yard barbecues.

Disney and incredible dining experiences are synonymous – don’t miss out on amazing dining experiences by not planning ahead and forgetting to make reservations.

Do A Character Dining Experience!  The character dining experiences may seem a bit pricy, but you’ll have lots of picture opportunities with the various characters, some great food and you are certain to create some magical moments for sure!

Whether it’s the Princesses you want to hang out with or you want to spend time with the classics, you have a wide selection of character dining options at Disney World.

My personal favorite restaurants at Disney:  O’hana, Boma, 50’s Prime Time Cafe, California Grill, Olivia’s Cafe, Hoop-de-doo Musical Revue, Homecoming – Florida Kitchen.

Related Post: The Best Pizza At Disney World


For the absolute BEST Fried Chicken in all of the World, you’ve got to try Homecoming Florida Kitchen. Oh my yummy!

A photo posted by Bonnie Cribbs (@sharingmagicalmoments) on

Show Your Disney Style

Once you get to Disney World, you will be sucked in to the Disney style!  You’ll see shirts, dresses, socks, shoes, Mickey Ears, accessories galore, hats, purses, watches, matching tee shirts and the list goes on and on and on.  And trust me, you’ll want to be a part of it all!

If you plan ahead, you can match outfits, do some serious “Disney Bounding” (outfits inspired by Disney characters), or buy the perfect tee for your personality.

While the shops in the parks and the resorts have a ton of incredible tee shirts, you’ll also be able to find some amazing shirts from Etsy or private Disney style site.  The options are mind blowing!  One of my favorite “people watching” things to do in the parks is to observe the wide variety of Disney inspired clothing.

If you’ll follow the @DisneyStyle on Instgram you’ll get a ton of inspiration for your Disney style!

What do Disney Style fans wear to @waltdisneyworld? Find out in our Insta story! {📷: @themainstreetpress}

A photo posted by Disney Style (@disneystyle) on

Take Advantage of FastPass+ At Disney

Let me start by saying this, FastPass is free at Disney!  With your park admission, you have free access to the FastPass system that allows you to skip the stand by line for most of the attractions and character meet and greets.

You’re allowed 3 Fastpass experiences at the same park per day.  You’ll have an hour window to arrive and will be whisked away to the front of the line.  Fastpass is a serious time saver!  Use them wisely and make sure you get a fast pass for the most popular rides to maximize your time.

The first thing you need to do is download the My Disney Experience App for your phone and the app will walk you through picking out your Fastpasses for each day.  If you’re going with several family members, the app makes it easy to get passes for everyone.

Your Fastpass reservations are accessed by your MagicBand (which is also your room key, your park ticket, your charge card and your first Disney accessory to style) and you can always check your ride reservations from within the phone app.  Disney makes it easy!

Arrive Early, Stay Lake, Break In Between

One of the craziest things I see people doing while at Disney is going early and then staying into the wee hours of the night…and trying to do this for multiple days!  Craziness!!

As sad as it is to tell you this, you will NOT being able to do it all during your week at Disney.  Disney World simply offers too much to do during one week.

If you arrive at rope drop, you will beat most of the large crowds.  There is something super magical about being at Disney for the rope drop and experiencing the magic of a new day at the park.  You’ll be able to do several attractions quickly during the first few hours of the day, so take advantage of this time.

During the middle of the day, it’s a great time to leave the parks and head to the pool or back to the resort for a nap.  During the Spring, Summer and Early Fall, you’ll need a break from the heat to refresh.  Take the time to get out of the frenzy of the parks and enjoy a slower pace for a while.

Return in the evening for the nighttime spectaculars.  Each of the four parks know how to entertain you at night!  To me nighttime at Epcot, Animal Kingdom and The Magic Kingdom are super magical!  The lighting, the ambiance, the energy…. spectacular!

If you don’t take a break during the afternoon you’ll miss the magic!


Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam! Such a great projection and fireworks show Disney!

A photo posted by Bonnie Cribbs (@sharingmagicalmoments) on

It Takes A Lot Of Time To Travel Around Disney World

Disney World is 47 square miles with 4 parks, tons of resorts, Disney Springs, 2 Water Parks and miles and miles of roadways & waterways.  Even though there are plenty of busses and boats moving herds of people, it will take you longer to get around than you think it will.

For instance, if you plan to be at an 8:30 am rope drop for The Magic Kingdom, you need to allow yourself an hour to get there from your resort, allowing time for bus connections and travel time.  I fully believe Disney bus transportation is better and more efficient than driving your personal vehicle, but it sill takes more time than what people typically allow.

Uber and Lyft is another good way to get around.  Disney is very ride-share friendly and offer pickup and drop off locations that are convenient.  Here’s a Lyft code that will save you $50 in rides for new Lyft accounts (current promotion).

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I hope you have enjoyed these 7 tips that everyone needs to know when going to Disney World!  Do you have any Disney Travel Tips you’d like to share?  If so, please comment!

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