Your First Visit to Walt Disney World: Tips and Tricks

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Your first visit to the Walt Disney World Resort is always exciting! Whether you are going with your kids, with friends, or even a significant other, there is so much to see and do for all ages. However, there is also planning to be done. If you are a first-time visitor, there are several things to keep in mind as you think about your vacation. Check out some of our favorite tips and tricks for your first visit to the Walt Disney World Resort!

Stay at an On-Site Resort Hotel

WDW First Visit - Tips & Tricks

There is something to be said about staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel. You enter that “Disney Bubble” and you do not have to leave until your vacation is over! Staying at an on-site hotel has many advantages including proximity to the parks, use of Disney transportation, great amenities, and of course, the Disney touches and customer service.

Plus, when it comes time to book those coveted dining reservations, you are able to book reservations for the length of your stay (up to 10 days) instead of booking one day at a time.

This fall, there are even more advantages to staying at an on-site hotel. All guests staying at a resort hotel will be able to enter the parks early, just in time for the 50th Anniversary Celebration. Guests staying at a deluxe or deluxe villa resort can also take advantage of extended evening hours.

Plan to Visit Each Park

WDW Tips & Tricks

Each park at the Walt Disney World Resort offers unique experiences and attractions. For this reason, it is worth a visit to each one at least once during your vacation. In fact, I would even encourage you to spend at least 5 days in the theme parks if you are able. I think it’s best to spend two days at the Magic Kingdom to fully explore all that the park has to offer. The same could be said about Epcot.

I often hear people say that they will skip one park or another because “there’s not much at Epcot for my kids” or “Animal Kingdom is just a big zoo”. Trust me when I say that each park has something for every age and each one is worth the visit! You will even find things at each park that you will not find at any of the others. For example, Epcot is the only place that you can interact with Anna and Elsa! That is a big deal for anyone who is a fan of the Arendelle sisters!

If you are planning a shorter stay, I suggest a park hopper ticket so that you can still at least get a taste of what each park has to offer.

Know that You Will Not See/Do It All

As you begin to think about your vacation, it makes sense that you want to make the most of your time during your visit. It is the most magical place on Earth after all! However, it’s important to set realistic expectations because it will be very difficult to see and do it all in just one visit.

One of the best things about visiting Walt Disney World is that there is something for everyone. Adults, children, and teenagers are all bound to find some fun and make some memories! The resort is very large, with four theme parks, two water parks, and more!

That being said, you can see and do quite a bit! It’s important to think about your must-see/do list as you are planning your vacation. You should also keep in mind other factors such as how many days you are visiting, the time of year, the ages of any children coming, etc.

Add A Rest Day and/or Downtime

WDW First Visit Tips & Tricks

While you are exploring everything there is to see at the theme parks and throughout the resort, you are bound to get tired! This is especially the case if you are traveling with kids. Believe me when I say that there is no tired like “Disney tired”!

For this reason, it is often helpful to schedule some downtime or even a rest day during your vacation.

This can be done in a few ways based on what works best for your travel party. You may opt to take a mid-day break at your resort or skip the parks altogether one day. If you opt to skip the parks, there are several things to do such as exploring Disney Springs. You may also choose to stay in the parks and enjoy indoor activities such as shows. From personal experience, this often allows little ones to take a much-needed rest. They may even continue to sleep afterward!

Regardless of how you choose to do it, it will allow you to recharge and continue to explore the parks. Plus, you may be able to avoid any meltdowns from little (and big) ones in your travel party!

Book Early

There are big things coming to the Walt Disney World Resort! The 50th Anniversary Celebration starts on October 1, 2021, and it will last for 18 months! It is HIGHLY recommended that if you are planning a Disney vacation, you consider booking it soon! It’s a great time to go with so many exciting things happening and booking early ensures that you get the resort and room type that you are looking for.

Furthermore, if you want to make payments on your vacation over time, you can do just that. As long as you are paid in full 30 days prior to check-in, you can make those payments as you choose. Booking earlier allows you to select the vacation package that is perfect for your travel party and gives you the most flexibility with planning and making payments.

Use a Travel Advisor

A travel advisor is an amazing resource for you as you are planning your first visit. What can a travel advisor do? Here are just a few things:

  • Help you choose the best resort options for your travel party including on-site and off-site hotels
  • Assist with booking your resort stay, tickets, and most importantly, making sure you have those park pass reservations
  • Monitoring for any promotions that may be applied to your reservation
  • Assisting with dining and other reservations such as a Capture Your Moment photo session, Savi’s Workshop, or the Droid Depot
  • Sharing valuable tips and tricks throughout the planning process to help you maximize your time and make those magical memories

A travel advisor can be as involved in the planning as you would like. You are not giving up control of your vacation planning, you are driving it! What’s the best part? You have someone on your side to help you and there is no extra cost to you! Our friends over at Key to the World Travel® can help you with all of the details. We love knowing that we have someone who is knowledgeable about the destination and ready to help us have the best vacation possible!

The planning process for your first Walt Disney World vacation may seem a little daunting with all of the moving parts but there is also so much magic and excitement waiting! There are many tips and tricks to help it all come together so that you have a vacation to remember!


Are you considering a trip? This is a great time to plan your perfect vacation! Having a travel advisor means someone there to have your back in any occurrence. There is no additional cost to you and you have peace of mind knowing that your vacation is in good hands. Contact our friends at Key to the World Travel® for a free, no-obligation quote for your next trip. Click here.

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