Walt Disney World is an amazing vacation destination for everyone of all ages. With 4 theme parks, 27 hotels and resorts, countless restaurants and 48 million people visiting annually it is obvious that Walt Disney World is a resort that cannot be missed. With the sheer size of the massive resort (currently at 25,000 acres) it is easy to get overwhelmed but with just a few tips you can make your vacation less stressful and much more fun!
Matching isn’t only for 5 year old twins
Who said that only kids could match? Sarah (my bestie) and I spent the months leading up to our trip planning each of our outfits, because we can ALWAYS use an excuse to buy new, matching clothes. Your Instagram pics will look that much cuter if you’re coordinating with your friends. And what is even better than matching outfits?? Matching Disneybounds!!! I don’t care how childish Sarah and I looked the whole time, we looked adorable and had a great time.
Backpacks are a necessity
If you are planning on spending a day at the parks from open to close you are going to need a good amount of stuff to get you through 12+ hours of Disney. I would suggest a jacket for cool nights watching fireworks, a water bottle to stay hydrated (Sarah and I had ours personalized with Minnie Mouse shaped monograms… yes we are THOSE people), camera (duh), snacks and maybe even a princess coloring book and crayons for those long lines… not that Sarah and I had those… because we are adults… right. Plus who wants to carry around bags of souvenirs all day? Don’t waste your money on a locker! Stuff all your Disney merch in your trusty backpack!
Your backpack doesn’t have to be boring! On the contrary, this is a perfect excuse for Sarah and my favorite thing… MATCHING! Sarah and I decided to decorate cheap Amazon backpacks, if you want to see how we painted them head over to Sarah’s blog.
Take advantage of your resort pool
Shocking I know, but there is more to Disney World than just the theme parks! Trust me, day in and day out of park hopping is exhausting. Leave yourself a day of vacation just for relaxation! If you are staying on property you have access to some pretty amazing pools. On our last vacation we stayed at the Art of Animation which is home to the absolute most amazing pool I have ever been to in my life. It makes you feel like you just jumped into Finding Nemo!
If you are not staying at the resort, (Why not??? It is such a good deal?? Come on!!! You get so many perks!!) you *might* be able to sneak into some pools. Although technically against the rules it’s pretty easy… not that I would ever encourage illegal pool hopping…
Disney Headwear is a must
You can’t go to Disney World and not wear a pair or ears… That’s just a given. Sarah and I, once again, planned every day to wear a different pair of MATCHING ears. (We might be slightly crazy… I don’t care) Disney headwear makes the parks even more fun! And when else will you have the chance to wear furry Minnie Mouse ears?
If ears aren’t your thing you have tons of options, just head into almost any store at the parks and you will find SOMETHING to put on your head. If you have some extra time you might even want to try and make some yourself! Check out my DIYs on how to make princess crowns on easy ways to make your own for a day in the parks.
Take unique photos
With iPhones and Instagram and Snapchat sharing photos has never been easier but, it can also make photos look pretty boring if you are taking the same ones every single day. Get creative and make some memories you will actually remember! Try finding fun times for photos, did you know that you can take photos while the castle projection show is going on? It makes for some pretty fun, colorful castle pictures!
Or how about a classic Polaroid? There is something really fun about having actual, physical photos to take home with you. I carried my cute pink Instax with me in my backpack and got some great shots. (Practice with your camera beforehand though! I made this mistake and my first few photos turned out pretty bad till I got the hang of it!) A tip for Polaroid users… if you have to travel by plane to Orlando don’t forget to put your film in your carry-on! X-Ray machines can ruin your undeveloped film!
Buy the Disney Dining Plan
I could write an entire post about why I love the Disney Dining Plan so much but i’ll keep this to just a few points: you save tons of money, everything is pre paid for so no worries about overspending on that filet mignon you know you want, dining credits link directly to your magic band and can be shared between your family in any amount on any day AND (the best part) you can use your snack credits for STARRBUCKS. YES. STARBUCKS. Any size, any drink, any crazy amount of espresso you want to shove in that cup is yours, included and pre paid for. Since Starbucks are located in 3 of the 4 parks plus Disney Springs you are never too far from your caffeine fix.
In addition to Starbucks, the Dining Plan really is worth looking in to if you are spending more than a weekend at the resort. Although it might seem like a large chunk of cash up front it really does end up saving you LOTS when your vacation is over (and your tummy full forever).
Prepare for the weather
If you are like me and turn in to Monica from Friends every time you step into the humidity you may want to keep an extra hair tie and some bobby pins in your bag for hair emergencies. Having great, smooth, curled hair is awesome, but after one day I discovered that this was just not realistic (and my hair spent the rest of the week in a bun).
Florida has some weird weather, and it never hurts to be too prepared. Don’t let a freak rainstorm catch you off guard, stock up on cheap ponchos before you leave home! They are easy to throw out after one use and much cheaper than spending $20 on a disney poncho after you have already gotten soaked. The sun can also creep out of no where so stick a travel sized sun screen in your backpack to reapply during long park days! (Don’t turn into a lobster like me…)
Most of all, have a magical time! Remember to have some spontaneous fun every now and then! With the introduction of Fast Pass+ it can be hard NOT to schedule your entire day, but there is always room to have fun and just go wherever the wind (or A/C) takes you!