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The Top Five Things Every Disney First Timer Should Know

Cinderella Castle

Going to Disney for the first time can be overwhelming.  After all, there are lots of things to think about!  I remember planning our first trip-six years ago-and having no idea where to start.  We stayed at Port Orleans-Riverside.  We didn’t have any dining plan, had no idea what an ADR was, and all we knew was that we were going to plan our park visits based on where the Extra Magic Hours were.  To be honest, it was a super awesome first trip.  But sometimes I look back and laugh, thinking that it could’ve been more magical if I had done a little more research and planning.

Five Things  EVERY Disney First Timer Should Know:

1.  Start planning about six months in advance.  Order the FREE Disney Travel Planning DVD, park maps, and subscribe to some great planning websites like AllEars and Chip and Company.

2.  Whether or not you have a dining plan, make dining reservations.  I would recommend Chef Mickey’s, Akerhaus, and Crystal Palace as some good first time table service experiences.

3.  Decide that you can’t and won’t see everything Walt Disney World has to offer.  It’s a huge place!  And you’ll run yourself ragged.  Instead, talk with your family and have everyone choose 3 or 4 “must dos” and each park.  Make sure you hit those attractions or shows, then let everything else fall into place.

4.  Choose one day of your stay to explore the resorts, spend time at the pool, and/or shop at Downtown Disney.  You’ll be thankful you took a break from the parks, and you’ll see more of what Disney has to offer outside the theme parks.

5.  Know your family’s limitations.  If you aren’t early risers, and you don’t make it to Rope Drop, your whole day won’t be ruined.  Are you too hot, your kids over stimulated?  Do you need to change shoes?  Take a few hours to rest and recharge at your resort, or on a relaxing ride around the monorail loop.

What do you think every first timer should know?  If you are a first timer, what questions do you have?

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  1. Great advice! We love Disney World and go about every other year! My go-to site is AllEars!
    My favorite part about the planning is deciding where we will eat everyday! Oh, the choices!!

  2. Jillian @ Hi! It's Jilly says:

    Those are really good tips! I definitely agree with taking a day in the middle to relax. Makes the whole trip SO much better!

  3. This will be our 3rd visit, but our first with kids, I love your tips 🙂

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