This is my follow on post from my 7 day itinerary and in this post I’m going to share all my tips for first timers visiting WDW Orlando. It was my first time there in January and I definitely learned a few things while there and I hope this helps you too! For some WDW pictures be sure to check out my previous post or my instagram.
Tip 1: GO OFF PEAK
When planning your trip to Florida you want to get the best experience. In my opinion that doesn’t involve walking around huge theme parks in 30C+ heat in extreme humidity during summer when they are most busy. Research the weather all year round, after all Floria is the sunshine state so you’re going to get sun no matter what time of year you go but the intensity of that sun will vary. We went in January, the end to be precise. Christmas is over and we went after MLK weekend so the crowds were minimal and the weather was amazing. We were able to still wear summerish clothes and walk around the parks without sweating!
Tip 2: PACK LUNCHES
Food in WDW is expensive, you’re looking at about $4 for a bottle of Coke or water which is crazy and even more if you are thinking of buying hotdogs or anything from the food carts. If you go to the park you’re going to be there for pretty much the entire day so I would definitely recommend bringing a backpack with some snacks and bottles of water in them this will save a ton of money. Eating at the restaurants there can range in price but if you bring a packed lunch you’ll only need to eat there once during the day which won’t set you back a ton!
Tip 3: WATER
If you don’t bring a packed lunch and you don’t want to spend $4 on a bottle of water you can go up to any cast member and ask for water. They will bring you to the nearest cart where you can get a glass of water for free. If you do but a bottle or bring your own there is also loads of water fountains around the park for you to refill any bottle you have with fresh water. They’re so handy, especially in the heat you want to drink as much water as possible so you don’t dehydrate.
Tip 4: TICKETS & PARK HOPPER & FASTPASS
Always prebook your tickets, we used Undercover Tourist to book ours it gave us the best deal and delivered our tickets direct to the hotel we were staying in before we arrived. By prebooking your tickets you can avoid the extremely long queues of people buying them at the T&TC (I’ll explain more of this below). If you plan on visiting more than one park you can purchase a park hopper ticket and this lets you go between parks on any given day. We purchased a 2 day park hopper ticket which let us see 3 parks in 2 days and I would highly recommend this especially if you are only in Orlando for a week or less.
If you can get a fast pass ticket definitely go for it, if you are staying in a Disney resort you can prebook your fast passes 60 days in advance but if you’re staying outside of the resort you can book 30 days in advance. Download the WDW app, enter your ticket number and you can book your rides from here. When you’re at the park and you use up your 3 fast passes you can go to any ticket screen and book on to another ride if there is a fast pass for it available. The queues in WDW can be very long so chose your passes wisely!
Tip 5: GETTING TO THE PARKS & TICKET & TRANSPORTATION CENTRE
When we were looking up how to get to the parks and how to go from one park to another we couldn’t find much information so here is how you can do it.
If you are staying outside the Disney resort in a non Disney hotel most will have a shuttle bus that will bring you to Epcot and from here you will see loads of buses lined up with all the other park destinations written on them. These buses are free of use once you already have your Disney ticket and will drop you to any park you want to go to and leave every 20 minutes. If you are going between parks you can get a bus to another park from the bus stop outside the park you are currently in. For example, we go the bus from Epcot to Hollywood Studios and once we were done in HS we wanted to go to Animal Kingdom, we left HS and walked 5 mins to the bus stop outside the park where there was a bus to Animal Kingdom waiting. Remember to go between parks in one day you will need a hopper ticket. To get back to your hotel the shuttles pick you up at the drop off point in Epcot however if you are in a different park there are Uber or can pick up points which we found easier to use.
If your hotel doesn’t provide a shuttle and you get an Uber or taxi to the parks you can ask to be dropped at the Ticket & Transportation Centre (TTC) which is located at Magic Kingdom. From here there is a bus service that runs to the other 3 Disney parks. If you are going to Magic Kingdom you get dropped here, walk for about 5 mins if you follow the signs and you will come onto the security area and ticket area to get into Magic Kingdom. To get to Magic Kingdom itself you have a choice of using the monorail or ferry. Using the ferry will give you a view of Cinderella’s castle as you’re pulling up to the park. When Magic Kingdom is closing you will get the monorail back to the TTC and from here you can order an Uber or cab to pick you up.
Tip 6: BUY A MEMORY MAKER
If there is one thing I wish we did it is definitely buying a memory maker. We bought one there for our character pictures which came out amazing so I wish we had used it in the whole park! The pictures are incredible and great memories to have. I know they can be expensive but 100% worth it you will not be disappointed.
Tip 7: HAPPILY EVER AFTER
Do not skip the fireworks display in Magic Kingdom, I can promise it will be the most magical experience of your life. While we were there it was delayed by a half hour but stick around for it, it’s worth it. You can find the best viewing spots online but we stayed on Main Street and got a great view of them. The crowd leaving the park after the fireworks will be insane so if you have young kids make sure to hold onto them or even carry them so ye don’t get separated.
Tip 8: Badges
Whether it’s your first time visiting or a birthday or any special occasion you can get a badge in any visitors centre in the parks. They’re free and a great little keepsake to have!
Tip 9: MY DISNEY EXPERIENCE APP
Download the My Disney Experience app before your trip. Here you can link your tickets and book your fast passes, link and access your memory maker and see the wait times for all ride. You can also get directions on how to get from one side of an park to the other it’s a great app and a great help for first timers. It also shows what time the parades are on and fireworks etc. If you plan on eating at any restaurant you can book a table on the app too or you can order your food while in the park and it will be ready to collect when you get to the restaurant which saves a lot of time!
Tip 10: CHARACTER MEET & GREETS
No matter what age you are don’t skip on meeting the characters, some lines are longer than other like Mickey Mouse but they’re so worth it. If you have a memory maker you can get the pictures on your app but if you don’t just give your phone to the cast member and they’ll take it for you no problem.
These are just some of my tips that I think are most important to any first timer in WDW Orlando. If you have any extra tips please leave them in the comments below for readers to see 🙂
Thanks for reading!!!