It is a new year and for many people (including me!) that now means we can say 'I am going to Disney this year!!!'.
This is such an exciting moment and often it also means the starting of properly planning the details of your holiday.
If you are taking your very first trip to Disney World in 2022 these are my top 5 tips to help you have the most magical experience!
Use Jet Lag To Your Advantage!
If you are travelling to the US from the UK most people will experience jetlag. The change in time will mean for the first couple of days (or even your whole trip) you may get up much earlier than usual. 'But I am on holiday', you may say, 'I want to lie in'! When visiting Disney World jetlag can actually give you a big advantage!
The parks are quietest first thing in the morning you can actually get more done in the first few hours than the whole rest of the day! This is why jetlag should become your friend when in Orlando!
Try to get to the parks as early as possible to make the most of the quieter hours. Remember: you have the advantage over many other people visiting Disney World as you will already be rising early naturally so are able to beat the crowds and arrive at the parks for when they open!
If you are staying at a Disney World Resort you can now enter the parks 30 minutes early. This happens every day and in each park! For example if Magic Kingdom is officially open at 9am you can enter at 8:30am. This will give you the opportunity to head straight to the rides and get some in before the park is even open to day guests!
If you want to get on the most popular rides that draw the biggest queues first it is a good strategy to arrive 30 to 45 minutes before you can enter the park. This will give you time to get as close to the gates before they open and then you can walk straight to your first attraction and be some of the first people in the queue to ride that day!
This can also help to save you money as you may be able to get on the Individual Lightning Lane Pass rides with a shorter queue time and not have to pay for them! (More on this topic later!).
Plan Rest Days
Visiting Disney World is so exciting and wanting to experience everything is part of the fun! But Disney World is massive! On average you will walk 20,000 steps a day and over a week, two week or three week period this can get tiring! (To find out more about this read my blog called 'How Far I'll Go, Walking at Disney World').
To help your body, and most importantly your feet, rest and recuperate be sure to add rest days into your itinerary.
Great rest days activities include exploring what your resort has to offer, spending the day in a water park or seeing a movie in Disney Springs!
People do worry about missing out by taking a whole day out of visiting the parks but having a day to relax will give you more stamina to enjoy the parks when you are in them!
If you don't want to take a whole day out to rest instead plan rest times in your day. If you use your jetlag to your advantage you can get lots done in the morning (see point one!). After lunchtime is when the parks get the busiest and the most crowded. This is also the hottest time of the day. After lunch is the perfect time for you to head back to your resort to relax, hop in the pool or nap for a few hours! You can then go back to the parks when it is a bit cooler and quiet and get to experience the parks at night, which is a completely different experience!
Book Your Dining In Advance
Dining in one of the Disney World restaurants is often on most people's must-do list. With over 200 restaurants on property, serving every type of cuisine you could imagine and with a variety of dining experiences on offer there is something for everyone to enjoy!
Dining reservations are a must as most of the restaurants will become fully booked very quickly, often within minutes of going live!
You are able to book a dining reservation via the Disney World website or My Disney Experience app 60 days in advance.
Use the Disney World website to book your dining reservations as it tends to be more reliable than the app.
Only table service restaurants require a reservation. If you eat in quick service locations there is no need to book!
Character dining is super popular as you get to enjoy a great meal whilst seeing classic Disney characters! These book up very quickly so be sure to try to get your reservation as soon as you are able to book!
If you are staying in a Disney World resort you can book dining reservations for your entire trip at the 60 days mark (up to 10 days). This is a huge advantage and gives you the best opportunity to book the hardest to get reservations! See my blog about how to do this.
If you don't manage to get your dining reservation at the 60 day mark never fear! People's plans often change so closer to your trip you may find reservations start opening up, so do keep checking!
I have a whole range of blog posts to help you plan your dining at Disney World including The Hardest To Get Dining Reservations At Disney World