Disney tips for first timers

Hong Kong Disney Tomorrow'S World Hong Kon

Resist the urge to see everything at breakneck speed, and take time to enjoy the numerous amenities offered at your hotel. You can not possibly see everything, so consider this as your first trip to Disney not your last. There’ll be time for you to pick up what you missed on another go-round.

Decide your priorities before your holiday begins and plan out every day ahead.

• Plan for a break in the middle of the day especially when you have kids in the parks are open late. Stay at one of the Magic Kingdom or Epcot resorts, allowing a simple return to your hotel in the middle of the day for a rest or a dip in the pool.

• Call or go online just 180 days ahead at 7:00 a.m. Orlando time (Eastern time) for dining reservations if a meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table or Be Our Guest at the Magic Kingdom is tops on your list. You may get away with sleeping in and booking a bit later but just when traveling through extremely slow seasons.

If you are caught unprepared just about every store in the parks sells inexpensive rain ponchos.

• Arrive in the water parks in opening time if a sofa chair is a priority, or, even better, pre-reserve among the private cabanas or premium beach seat area.

• Use Disney’s FastPass+® alternative which allows up to 3 FastPass+ appeals daily to be pre-reserved 60 days before arrival.

• Make Advance Dining Reservations, especially in the busier times of year (see the Dining In Style in Walt Disney World Resort chapter for a more detailed explanation), to save hours of frustration and waiting.

• Allow a lot of time to get to the theme parks every morning. It’s easy to miss your breakfast bookings when enough time hasn’t yet been allocated.

• Be spontaneous. If something catches your attention, even if it is not on your daily list of things to do, be prepared to stop and explore or else you will miss something wonderful.

• Be attuned to the constraints of your kids. If they are tired take a rest; when their feet hurt get them a stroller (forget that they outgrew one years ago); if a ride looks scary to them do not force the situation. It’ll make your day and the day of other park visitors much less stressful.

Even better, bring several pairs and rotate them. Nothing is worse than getting blisters on your first day and then having to nurse them for the rest of your vacation.

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