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There's so much to learn about Walt Disney World! I don't have much time before my trip -- can you tell me the top five (or ten) things you wish every WDW visitor knew? Thanks!
- Asked by Jeff from NY on 9/11/2008
1. Start planning early and get informed. At least six months in advance, get Disney guidebooks and the free travel planning video, subscribe to online newsletters, listen to podcasts. Knowledge is power and the more informed you are, the more power you have to plan a great vacation.
2. Make dining reservations as soon as possible, especially for ANY must-do meal.
3. You can't do everything. I have been to WDW dozens of times and still find new experiences. WDW is as big as a city. You could make yourself crazy trying to go everywhere and do everything. Don't even try and you'll be much happier.
4. Your vacation is unique. A neighbor once asked me for Disney planning advice. I spent hours telling her tips about every corner of WDW. On the first day of her trip, she took her kids to the Magic Kingdom. They LOVED it and begged to go back the next day. So she took them back - five days in a row. They never made it past the MK and had a magnificent time. Her trip was different than mine, but it was exactly what her family needed.
5. Give EVERYONE in the family some special time. Mom and Dad are on vacation too. Get a sitter one night and have a romantic dinner. Go to a spa. Or play golf. Happy parents make a happy family.
6. It's not all about the theme parks. The resorts are beautiful - enjoy them. Also think about the water parks, Downtown Disney, boating, tennis, etc. A variety of experiences makes a balanced vacation.
7. Remember you family's basic needs. If your child naps, get them a nap. If you're hot, find a place to cool down. If you always eat at 6:00, then eat at 6:00. You can't have fun if you're uncomfortable.
8. Set a budget and stick to it. No vacation is worth becoming mired in debt.
9. Give yourself permission to be childlike. WDW is the perfect place to be a kid again. Wear those ears with pride!
10. Relax and let the magic happen.