A Complete Guide to Disney World {Guest Post: Jess}

Happy hump day!

I have been reading Jess' blog for a few weeks now, so I was happy when she emailed me about guest posting this week. She is also a fellow Florida girl, so when she mentioned doing a post along the lines of vacationing in Florida, I thought it would be perfect. Enjoy her post about a place that everyone loves...and make sure to go check out this awesome girl's blog!


Hi! I'm Jess and I can usually by found at my little corner of the internet world, All-American Jess. As I've spent the last *sigh* 29 years in Florida, specifically less than an hour from Disney World, I thought I would share a few tips of the trade when it comes to the land of mouse ears. Now, in the the summer, the only time I go is at night (sooooooooo crowded), but if you don't have that option, hopefully this will make the long summer days in a crowded theme park a little more bearable......

  • Set a "I am lost" plan - If you are travelling with children (walking age until early teens), write your phone number on their arm with Sharpie. Then, give them a note to keep in a safe pocket. Drill into their heads that if you get separated, they need to find a police officer or go to the nearest ice cream/popcorn stand and give their note to the worker. Drill it into their heads. Quiz them on it until they get annoyed with you. The note should read something like this.....
    • My name is ___________. I have gotten separated from my family. Their cell phone numbers are ___________________. If they don't answer, please get me to security as quickly as you can. My family will be waiting for me at the front of the park, near ______________.
    • I know this sounds like overkill, but it's extremely important. More than likely, the notes and your number on the arm will never be used, but better safe than sorry. Even if the older ones balk, they still need both. There are thousands and thousands of people in each park. Realizing you are lost in such a big crowd can cause panic for even a mature older child. The number on the arm is a back-up, in case the note gets lost or wet. Every time I am with a kid, I do this. 
  • Water - I know this sounds obvious, but you will be surprised by how quickly you can dehydrate in Florida. All that sweat? It may be you body's way of cooling you down, but it's also seeping moisture from your body. Drinks at Disney can be really expensive, so bring water bottles and just keep filling. We usually bring the individual drink mix packets, so the water itself doesn't get boring. When I'm outside, I will drink about a bottle an hour. So, just keep sipping as your standing in those long lines.
  • Ponchos - Don't wait to buy the expensive ones in the park. Get cheap ones at Walmart or Target. It *WILL* rain during the day. The only question is whether it's a long, strong storm or a typical afternoon shower. A lot of tourists let this ruin their fun and there is no need. Put the poncho on, find an indoor ride, and try to wait it out. If you really want to look like a native, skip the poncho and just get wet. It won't kill you, I promise. (Just bring an extra pair of socks or a pair of flip flops in your bag)
  • Take a nap - No, really. If you're planning to spend the entire 13 or so hours there, at some point you are going to hit a wall. A little snooze will do wonders. If you are Magic Kingdom, hit up the Hall of Presidents. EPCOT, Ellen's Energy Adventure. Hollywood Studios, Muppets 3D. Animal Kingdom, Conservation Station. They are all dark areas where you can put your head back and close your eyes for the length of the attraction.
  • FASTPASS - As soon as you get in the park, get your FPs for the following (they "sellout" quickly): Peter Pan/MK, Toy Story Mania/HS, Soarin/EP, Lion King/AK. You can go ride other rides while waiting for your time to come up. Pay attention to the times on the bottom of your FPs.... They will tell you at what time you can get another FP for a different ride.
  • Go to the Left - If a line splits and you have the option of going left or right, choose left. More often than not, it ends up being shorter. The theory is that since most people are right-handed, they automatically go right.
  • Get a Disney Line App - I use 'Magic Guide'.... It tells you the wait times for everything and will help you plan your next move.
  • Ask a native - If you know someone who is Disney-fluent, ask them for suggestions. If you don't know someone, feel free to email me! I'm always happy to answer questions or give Disney tips :)
  • Must-Eat Snacks - Dole Whip (Adventure Land at Magic Kingdom), Grapefruit Cake (Hollywood Studios.... served at Brown Derby, but you can go to Starring Rolls Bakery next door. Just ask for it and they'll go get it for you), Cake Pops (Any candy store at Disney World), Pumpkin Spice Funnel Cake (America at EPCOT).... There are certainly more, but those are my personal favorites.
  • Walk with Purpose - Nothing is more irritating (or screams TOURIST) more than someone who is standing in the middle of a walkway, holding a map. Or, walking aimlessly. Use the time in line or while finishing up your meal to figure out where you're going next and how to get there. Then, walk with confidence. Pay attention to the general area in front of you and make your way around obstacles. You'll save time and be able to do more. Again, sounds obvious, but not as practiced as people may think. When I'm with people who aren't familiar with Disney, they always comment on how quickly I zip through crowds and how much I get done. That is because I know where I'm going and I don't let a bunch of strollers get in my way. 
  • At the end of the day, walk - To your car, if you have one. I promise you will get there a lot faster than waiting for your turn on the tram. If you are at Magic Kingdom and are taking the monorail, take the Resort Monorail. It still stops at the Transportation Center and the line will be a lot shorter.
  • Smile and remember you are at The Happiest Place On Earth - Again, thousands of people, spending hard-earned money. They get hot, hungry, tired and do not want to stop because they feel like they are wasting precious time. That is usually when the ugly comes out. Just take a deep breath of Disney Oxygen and try not to let it bother you.

After all, the fireworks usually make it all worth it.......

heydanixo said...

This was a great post! I am hoping to go in November. I will deff remember the move to the left tip (:

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