5 Must Do's for First Timers at Walt Disney World
Planning a Walt Disney World trip can be overwhelming whether its your first ever trip or your hundredth. Especially now with so much to plan in advance - accommodation, dining, FastPasses - a trip can get very stressful before its even begun. It doesn't need to be hard work, but it can and will be if you don't plan in advance. Feel free to reach out to me if you need any advice, information or just want some help planning, I am more than happy to help. But for now, here are 5 must do's for first time visitors to Walt Disney World;
Get a 'First Visit' badge
Disney have complementary badges for literally every occasion - birthdays, anniversaries or celebrations! They do also offer a 'first visit' button (as they are called in America...). You can pick them up from most merchandise locations or stop by Guest Relations too. Wear it with pride, and enjoy the potential extra magic that MAY come your way! (remember though that there is no guarantees you'll get special treatment or get anything for free...)
Ride the Disney Classics
You may be heading into the parks not knowing what attractions to do, and which to avoid. You may be planning to hit the big rides and coasters and nothing else. I encourage you though to take a step back and enjoy some of the Disney classic attractions. Ones that aren't necessarily 'e-ticket' or 'thrilling', but instead are nostalgic to the companies history and values. Some of my 'don't miss' classics include; Carousel of Progress, Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover and Its a Small World.
Watch Disney's Shows and Performances
Shows are what Disney does best (although they do everything else pretty epic-ally too!). Whether you are looking to enjoy some daytime entertainment or planning to spend a magical evening exploring the parks, there is always some kind of show, performance or parade going on somewhere! Not-to-miss daytime offerings include; Festival of Fantasy Parade (Magic Kingdom), Festival of the Lion King (Animal Kingdom) and, For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Singalong Celebration (Hollywood Studios).
If your trip is long enough, I highly recommend seeing all of Disney's nighttime offerings - each park has one and some now have two!
Magic Kingdom: Happily Ever After (also Once Upon a Time projection show and the Kiss Goodnight)
Epcot: IllumiNations - Reflections of Earth
Hollywood Studios: Fantasmic! and Star Wars: Galactic Spectacular (also Disney Movie Magic projection show)
Animal Kingdom: Rivers of Light (also Tree of Life Awakenings projection shows)
Check times for the above offerings using the My Disney Experience app or website.
Eat Mickey-shaped food!
What is a visit to Disney without the main man himself? Mickey everything can be found throughout the parks and resorts - Mickey merchandise, Mickey balloons and of course - best of all -; Mickey food! Whether you have a sweet or savory tooth, there is sure to be something for you! Some of my favourites include; Mickey Ice Cream Sandwiches, Mickey Rice Krispy Treats and Mickey Pretzels! A lot of the food offered on Disney property is delicious and Mickey treats are no exception. In fact, I still have a Mickey Krispy Treat sitting right next to me whilst I write this. Suppose I had better eat that! (And for those interested, Mickey-shaped food makes for great Instagram's too! ;))
Take ALL THE PHOTOS!
Whether you choose to take your own photos or use Disney's PhotoPass service, I highly recommend taking as many photos as you can. Now don't live your trip through the lens, enjoy every moment in the moment, but capture the plethora of memories on camera to look back on in years to come. Whether you are eager to take photos in front of the 'Disney walls' to post on Instagram, want the classic shots in front of the park icons, or are just after a few candid shots around the parks, documenting your first (and subsequent) trips in photo and video is a must do in my opinion.
So there you have it, 5 of my 'must dos' for Walt Disney World first timers. There are plenty more that instantly come to mind, which I may well share in a future blog post, so stay tuned! What else would you like to know? Let me know in the comments below or via social media and i'll do my best to help!