This might be your first visit to Disney World or you may be such an experienced visitor that you’re now classed as a hidden Mickey; whatever your status, here are some five “must-dos” to help your Disney experience be even more magical than it’s already going to be.
1. Download My Disney Experience
This is an app that can be downloaded onto your smartphone well in advance of your visit to Disney. You can link your tickets to your account which means you can then book dining experiences and FastPass tickets, as well as order your MagicBands. It also links everyone in your group so that you can ensure you are all booked in.
When you’re on your vacation, you can even use the app to check wait times for rides and have your photos downloaded straight to your phone (with the PhotoPass option booked with your trip).
2. Make sure you watch the parades and displays
They really are magical, whether you’re an avid Disney fan or there for the kids; the amount of effort (and money) put in by everyone at Disney really makes everything come to life. Prepare to feel emotional – I was so overwhelmed that I cried at, literally, everything! (I’m 35!!)
The main parade usually takes place at Magic Kingdom at 3pm but can sometimes be moved to 2pm. However, keep an eye out for smaller parades at all of the parks, such as musicians and dancers performing at Animal Kingdom or the soldiers from Toy Story marching through Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios.
Additionally, there are evening shows that take place, such as the Fantasmic performance which sees the classic Disney Villains come to life.
3. Get the badges!
Now, these badges can completely change your Disney vacation, especially if you are celebrating something special. All of the cast members will spot the badges and get very excited for you – they will make a genuine fuss which is just lovely. And guess what? They’re free! Just ask at the front desk of your Disney hotel (or at Information when you enter the park) and tell them what you’re celebrating, they will get you the right badge.
If you’re engaged or just married, make sure you get the Happily Ever After badge as these will certainly excite the cast members. Snow White asked me if I had met my Prince Charming and Buzz Lightyear got very excited about my engagement ring. It was just lovely!
I’ve also read online (1000lifehacks.com) that engaged couples can send an invitation to Mickey and Minnie to invite them to their wedding, and they will receive a special Just Married badge along with a signed photograph. I’m certainly going to try this myself…
4. Meet the Characters
It took a good few days for me to convince my Hubby To Be to meet the characters as he thought it was just for kids. In the second week of our holiday, it was him who was suggesting we have a picture of Timon at Animal Kingdom.
It’s not just a case of standing and having your picture taken with a character, the characters interact with you and make you feel so welcome. Like I said, Disney is brought to life – it really is something special.
5. Book a dining experience
Now, this is one thing that can really get expensive if you’re trying to do Disney on a budget but I highly recommend booking breakfast, lunch or dinner at one of the Disney restaurants. Use the My Disney Experience app to help you budget accordingly as it uses $/$$/$$$ to give you an idea of price.
We had breakfast at the Be Our Guest restaurant at Magic Kingdom and dinner at Chip ‘N’ Dale’s Garden Grill at Magic Kingdom – both were unique experiences. Don’t forget to wear your badges… and make sure you ask to “try the grey stuff” at Be Our Guest. It really is delicious!
6. Find the Easter Eggs
Disney World is FULL of hidden treasures that you can certainly miss if you don’t know about them. However, I have a list of Disney Easter Eggs (special Disney Magic that is well hidden) for you and your family to find when you visit Walt Disney World: Disney World Easter Eggs.
7. The Goodnight Kiss
After the firework display at Magic Kingdom (this takes place every evening at 9pm), most people go home straight away. However, if you are able to hang around for about half an hour after it finishes, Cinderella’s Castle comes to life once more to bid everyone goodnight and goodbye. It’s a cute addition to the Disney Magic and it’s missed by so many people.
So, there you have it – seven simple ways to enhance your Disney Vacation. It truly is the most magical place on earth and it is filled with fun, laughter and nostalgia.
Do you have any tips for how to enhance a Disney Vacation? Please share these in the comments.
Have a wonderful time at Disney World!!
Loula Bella xoxo