10 Things I learned from my first visit to Disney World!
10 Things I learned from my first trip to Disney World
- Do your research! Seriously, you will be spending boatloads of money on this trip and reading a guidebook, and scouring Pinterest for information and tips will be well worth your while.
- Do not believe those ridiculous Pinterest posts claiming that you can have your whole family trip for $1500. Really people?! We spent $1,200 on tickets for three people for five days. The internet lies, my friends.
- Decide where you want to invest your money. We chose a few really nice dinner reservations and didn’t stress about spending the money on that. We did not spend our money on an insane amount of souvenirs or $150 a person character meals that have food the quality of Applebees.
- We did let our daughter choose a souvenir each day. This was her first time to all the parks and we found that it was just too Scrouge like to limit her to one or two for the week. That said, we did have a magic number in our head (we lowballed it to her at first) that we were not going to exceed. We spent about $150 total on souvenirs and this worked okay. Mind you, this did entail saying, “No” about 32 times to other stuff that she wanted.
- We LOVED staying on Disney property. We did stay one night at the end of our trip at The Raddisson Buena Vista. While the hotel was perfectly nice, I just don’t think off site hotels can match the perks of free parking, magic bands, free bus transportation, and general magic sense of being in a Disney hotel.
- If you are there for a few days or more…. Go to Universal Studios for goodness sake. When you’re in Disney Universal is kind of like the red headed step child of Disney (that’s the impression that I had anyway), but it is AWESOME. Of course, everyone in our family are HUGE Harry Potter fans so that was our big draw to Universal.
- Do believe everyone who says you should take a break mid day and return to your hotel. This seemed stupid to me before we went. I mean, we paid so much for these tickets and we won’t be back anytime soon, right? Wrong! For your sanity and for the sanity of your kids, take the break mid day. You’ll all be happier, have more energy, and enjoy the day and night more!
- Be prepared that taking the Disney buses can take much longer than advertised. Sometimes they are late, sometimes they are full, sometimes they appear to travel through black holes and simply take twice as long as they should. We drove to the parks most days and found this much quicker and easier than the buses. Magic Kingdom is the park that was the biggest pain to drive to. You take a tram from the parking lot to the monorail and then you take the monorail to the park. It’s like it’s in Canada from where you park.
- If you go in the winter (we went in mid February) take LOTS of layers. Seriously people, the polar vortex, is a real thing. There were two days where we all had to buy hats and gloves and wore our winter coats. Other days, we each had about 3 layers on that came on and off all day.
- This seems obvious… wear comfortable shoes. I will write an entire additional post about my experience with shoes here. Trust me when I say this is not a fashion show. That said, I did still insist on trying to look cute every day. Hey, that’s how I roll .