My sister turned 21 earlier this week and wanted to celebrate it at Disney World; a fine plan in my opinion, but I’ll admit, I’m biased. I love the place. I’ve been coming to Disney World with family and friends since I was 5 years old and I think I appreciate it more as an adult than I did as a kid. All the love goes to my parents for introducing me to somewhere that is now one of my top 10 favorite places in the U.S. To my high school friends who predicted that I’d probably enjoy Disney more than my future kids, y’all were spot on. Haha!
If there’s one thing I like about Disney it’s the attention to detail. You can tell that each park is the result of a carefully thought out plan to make you feel like you’ve stepped into the another world, and I’m totally here for it.
For my sister’s birthday, we decided to visit the home of Cinderella and all her other make believe friends – Magic Kingdom.
Speaking of Cinderella, her castle is easily my favorite thing at Magic Kingdom. Can I move in there? I wonder what the rent is like, and if I’d get a live-in fairy godmother. I have my dresses packed.
At 9 pm, almost everyone gathers on Main street for the Happily Ever After fireworks show. One word for this 18-minute piece – spectacular. Scenes from Disney movies were projected on the castle’s walls alongside their soundtracks, so my siblings and I spent the entire show guessing which movies were playing.
It was the highlight of this Magic Kingdom experience for me. Have any of you seen it?
My family and I had a fantastic time at the park despite weather problems (it rained), and here’s how you can too!
It’s Disney World, Revel in It.
1.Hydrate – There are misting stations (places where you stand for what is essentially a light rain to fall on you) and fans all over the parks to prevent casualties from heat -welcome to Florida- but you should still drink water. Don’t wait till you feel thirsty to drink too. Take a small bottle with you to refill at the fountains or buy water – this will easily set you back ~$3.
2. Eat beforehand – Food is expensive at Disney World, but you could have guessed that. Unless you’re sampling food from different countries at Epcot, or you really want the ~$9 turkey legs the park is famous for, eat before you get there. For people who stay at hotels or resorts close to the parks, you’ll definitely want to have a significant budget for food (~ $50 per day).
3. Book your tickets and Fastpass+ in advance– Buy your tickets in advance, not because they’re so quick to sell out, but because of FastPass. Fastpass (included with your theme park purchase) lets you skip the long lines and sometimes ridiculous wait times on your favorite rides, but the trick is to reserve early. Chances are, your favorite rides are other people’s favorite rides too. You can book FastPass up to 30 days prior to your trip. I forgot to do this until we were on our way to Magic Kingdom and we suffered for it with lengthy wait times.4. Don’t fret too much about rain– It’s likely to stop just as quickly as it started. The one issue with rain is that they close all the outdoor rides for “weather” and only re-open them when they deem it safe. What this means is that it may stop raining, but the rides will still be closed. If you’re only there for a day trip, check the weather forecast before you book your ticket.5. Visit the parks EARLY – During peak periods (a.k.a all the time, okay I’m kidding, some months are less busy than others) wait times can be more than 2hrs. If you think that’s not worth it for any ride, I’m right there with you. So if you can, try to visit the park as close to when it opens as possible. Some people won’t come out of their hotels till later in the day, especially the ones with kids; which is pretty much everybody.6. Plan your visit around Disney’s calendar– Tickets to visit the parks are now categorized into value, regular, and peak. Each of these categories comes with different pricing, with value being the cheapest, and peak the most expensive. Honestly, the difference is minimal, but if you’re looking to save a few bucks you’ll want to look into visiting on value and regular priced days. For Florida Residents –Be careful when you purchase value tickets for more than 1 day because these have blackout days i.e you can only use them on certain days. I learned this the hard way.
7. See all the parks or just one – Disney’s park hopper option allows you to visit more than one park on a single ticket. This is more expensive than a single ticket option but it’s great value for your money. If you’re not about the multi-park life, look on Disney’s website for each park’s details and choose which one you’d like to visit.
Tip – Magic Kingdom is the most expensive park to visit. However, this difference is not more than $10.
8.The Disney Experience app is helpful – when it works. The app has 1.5 stars on iTunes with good reason, but when it does work, you can use it to organize your FastPass reservations, plan your park route for the day, see what attractions you’re close to, their wait times (super helpful!), and the nearest restaurants and restrooms. This way you’re not walking all the way to one side of the park only to find a 135 min wait or wandering around looking for the bathroom!
9. Go with a friend or friends, or make new ones– It’s just more fun when you’re with someone – see what I did there? I’m lame, ignore me and keep reading. Haha.
10. Enjoy it. I mean really enjoy it – You’re already there, you might as well. Is it bold of me to say you won’t regret it?
Have any of you been to Disney World or any of the Disney parks around the world? What are some of your tips for a hassle-free trip? If you haven’t been, would you like to visit?
thank you for reading.
All photos shot and edited on iPhone 6S+
Same footprints, different sands