I can't believe it has taken over a year for me to even mention the word "Disney" on NevNYC. If you know me by any means, then you know that I am a complete Disney nerd, okay maybe not in the Mickey-Mouse-tattoo or wants-a-Disney-wedding sense but I have such a deep love for all things Disney. I was fortunate as a kid to visit Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida with my family. With two Disney-loving parents and Disney-loving sister, I have fond childhood memories from visiting the "most magical place on earth". My last major visit with the family was in 2010 when I was 15 years old. Since then I have always wanted to re-visit the parks. Last year when visiting Florida with Cassy and some other friends, a few of us slipped away for a day in Disney's Magic Kingdom and it was the BEST! This year a bigger group of us did the same thing, and it was just such an incredible day. I was so lucky to be able to share it all with Gino as well, it was always a complete dream of mine to visit the park itself with someone I love, and that came true! We decided that whilst on a vacation with friends, just the one day was more than enough to visit Disney, so we decided to visit the main park, Magic Kingdom. I thought for todays post that I would write down my Top 10 Tips for visiting the Magic Kingdom. These are a small collection of things that I learnt from visiting the park recently and I hope you find them helpful. I would also love to hear any tips you guys have for visiting ANY of the Walt Disney World Theme Parks, feel free to leave a comment below or send me a message via my CONTACT page! Without further ado:
1. PRE-BOOK YOUR FASTPASS
One thing that has served me well both times before going is planning out anything that I really wanted to do. A great thing about pre-booking your Disney ticket is that you can pre-book in your FastPass tickets. Each day at the park you get 3 FastPass tickets where you can skip the queues. Each time we have gone we have made sure we all grouped together and chose the 3 rides we wanted to skip the queues for. I highly recommend picking the major attractions like the three mountain rides (Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain and Splash Mountain). Although Disney themes their ride queuing areas really well so you are far from bored, it really helps to be able to skip the bigger queues. Some of the other attractions you may want to consider booking a FastPass for are Snow White's Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan's Flight or for any of the Character Meet and Greet's.
2. STAY HYDRATED
Spending a full day in a theme park like the Magic Kingdom is extremely exhausting and hot so one thing you need to make sure you do is drink. What I like to do is bring a bottle of water and keep filling it up at the many water fountains around the parks. Saves money and saves me from dropping like a fly whilst queuing for Haunted Mansion or something. Of course you could always do what I do and spice up your liquid intake by stopping by the Main Street Bakery on your way into the park for a Starbucks. And of course you HAVE to stop off in Adventureland for a Dole Whip Pineapple Float!
3. WEAR COMFORTABLE CLOTHING
You are going to be wearing these clothes ALL. DAY. And if you go hardcore you're talking 14 hours. So you are going to want to be comfortable. Of course you want to make sure you get that cute picture in front of the castle for the 'Gram but there is 100's of awesome ways to dress that won't have you in pain. I always levitate towards my Converse All Stars, just because these shoes I know I can wander around for hours in. Last year I brought my Haviana Flip-Flops and after about two hours my feet were like NOPE.
4. PREPARE FOR ALL WEATHER
In true Floridian tradition, the park will continue to run as normal, in ALL weather conditions. However I can tell you from experience, there is no worse feeling than getting your one outfit of the day wet when you're stuck in the middle of a Floridian monsoon, especially when you have 6 hours left in the park, trust me. So pack a rain mac or poncho. Most parks sell them for around $5-$10, but grab a multipack before you get there and shove them in your bag, trust me you'll thank yourself when it begins pouring down with rain. Plus if you don't want to get terrible wet on Splash Mountain, you can put it on then. See! Multi-purpose!
5. GO SEE MICKEY MOUSE
As a 20-something year old this is the one thing I was hesitant to do last year. To queue up for hours on end to get a picture with a character, HOWEVER this year whilst scouting the park map via the "My Disney Experience" smartphone app we were able to check wait times for the rides and meet & greets. During the "Festival Of Fantasy" parade we noticed that the wait time to see Mickey Mouse in Main Street USA had dropped from 120 minutes, to 10. After seeing out the parade we quickly walked straight to the Main Street Theatre and began our wait. After 12 minutes of waiting we were next in line to see Mickey Mouse and you know what, it was worth it! This Mickey Mouse is interactive and chats away to you as you get your picture, in true Disney magic style. What made the experience even better for me was the fact that the character could interact with guests who's first language wasn't English. When the guests in front of us timidly walked up to Mickey and spoke to him in Korean, HE REPLIED! You really cannot beat Disney for their customer service. Whatever the age, go see Mickey Mouse, but do it during the parades when everyone is outside watching, shorter queues and longer times with the characters!
6. NOT ALL DISNEY FOOD IS EXPENSIVE
One of the biggest pre-Disney-World warnings is to beware of the extortionate pricing of everything inside the parks, which is true to an extent but if you are like us who are doing Disney on a budget there are plenty ways to navigate spending loads of money! I always make sure to have a big breakfast before leaving for the parks, no matter how early so that I'm usually quite content until a bit later. Then for lunch I highly recommend hitting Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Cafe, a huge quick service restaurant that runs through both Frontierland and Adventureland. They have a wide variety of Mexican items as well as a free unlimited salad bar, a great way to stock up on food before heading back into the parks. In the afternoon I'll normally grab a sweet treat or an ice cream and then in the evening around the time of the fireworks/evening show I'll usually head to Casey's Corner in Main Street USA for a hot dog!
7. SHORTER WAIT TIMES FOR RIDES
A great way to get on rides faster is to go during the evening shows or during the parades. As crowds congregate towards the busier areas, the ride wait times drastically drop I recommend using those times to go visit some of the busier attractions. If you are wanting to still experience the shows and get on as many rides as possible I recommend keeping an eye on wait times by using the live map of the park on the My Disney Experience app.
8. TAKE BREAKS
As I said before and I'm sure most of you know, the days in the parks at any Disney theme park are exhausting and there is so much to see and do that it is okay for you to rest for half an hour or so. I know if you have impatient children or if you are impatient yourself this could seem impossible but it is easily doable! I usually find that Gastons Tavern is the best place to recharge your batteries (literally you can plug in your phone) whilst still enjoying the Disney theming. One time when I was taking half an hour to relax in there Gaston actually came in and interacted with the guests! Fun! You can also relax by taking some time on a slower ride such as the Tomorrowland People Mover or the Disneyland Railroad. Or heck, if you're staying in one of the Disney Resort Hotel's why not pop back to the hotel for a couple hours and chill by the resort pool. The possibilities are endless, but don't feel like you're wasting time by sitting down for a while, your feet will thank you at 9PM!
9. TAKE PHOTOS
Now if you're like me who loves taking endless amounts of photos so that you can look back on them later then do it! Disney pays attention to every single detail of the park and there is so much to see and do that I regret taking a photo of that moment. Of course sometimes you want to enjoy the moment without your phone so finding the balance can be tricky. But don't be afraid to ask a Disney Cast Member if they mind taking a photo using your phone/camera, they will say yes and know how to take the best pictures!
HERE ARE SOME OF MY PHOTOS FROM THE DAY:
10. HAVE FUN!
Odd's are, this Disney trip has been long coming! ENJOY IT! I always forget to take it all in sometimes, it can be such a whirlwind/sensory overload that it can go by in a flash but this trip I really enjoyed just wandering around and taking it all in. Be sure to see everything you want to, take lots of photos and create lots of magical memories!
Happy Monday Everyone!
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