I know I hide it well, but I am incredibly excited about our up-coming Walt Disney World Holiday, you see it has been years in the planning.
It will be our 3rd visit with the boys, we decided when we visited back in 2008 that 2015 would be the year we would return, why? We wanted the Boys to experience Disney at a variety of ages, to include toddler, tween and teen. The experience is so different every time.(If I got my way I would visit every year)
As we have stayed on and off site during our last few visits. I thought I would share the Christie hints and tips of the things we wished we had known before our first ever Walt Disney World holiday back in 2003. I will never ever forget how I felt the first time I walked though the Magic Kingdom gates at WDW.
- Disney World has some amazing offers throughout the year. Decide when you are going and keep an eye on disneypackages.co.uk. At the moment they are offering great deals on packages and up to 4 nights free, and in school holidays too. See here for the amazing deal we got. You just need to keep an eye on all the Disney World offers, but they really are there and available to book.
- There is an amazing choice of hotels and resorts to suit all budgets and tastes. Disney World has an incredible 31 resorts. There really is something to suit everybody, and larger families are easily accommodated too. WDW has a selection of villa resorts that offers up 2 bedroom accommodation, even tree houses.
- Check out the Grand Floridian Villa’s, wow, or the Disney Art of Animation resort family suites. We chose the beautiful Saratoga Springs due to it’s amazing location, right near to the new and exciting Disney Springs. And because of Joe’s love of horse riding and all things equestrian.
- There is free Wi-Fi throughout the whole of Disney. Now did you know this is actually a deal breaker with a teen. Come to think of it, for a blogger too. I don’t think my family would survive a week without Wi-Fi to be honest. It is so reasuring to know I will not be stressing over data roaming charges and feeling like I am leaving the world behind.
- When you are staying on or off site you can pre book your restaurants, experiences and fast passes in advance. However this window of opportunity opens a little earlier to on site guests.
- If you book your flights to Orlando international; Disney actually collect you from the airport and take you to your resort hotel and then return you to the airport at the end of your stay. As soon as you get on that bus at the airport you are in Disney. The Disney bus plays Disney films and music, it all feels so exciting. And very easy, no bickering over directions to find your resort. In fact Chris once drove the wrong way down the freeway the first time we visited, I nearly had a heart attack when I saw all those cars coming towards us.
- That leads me onto the Disney transport system, now if you are like me and have no intention of driving on holiday. And a husband that commutes by car, so wants a break from driving. Then this is the perfect option, you do not need a car. The Disney transport system is a network of buses, monorail, and boats and to be honest, for my two it is a large part of the holiday experience. Just nipping on a boat or monorail to get to a park is so exciting.
- If you are staying on site at Walt Disney World and still I want to hire a car, then the parking is free at all the Disney Parks for guests staying on site in a Walt Disney Resort Hotel; this in itself is a huge saving if you are visiting the parks every day.
- Disney Resort guests get extra magic hours in a different park every day, I am going to include this in my next post, but if you plan ahead; which I might add is very easy then you really can get the best out of the parks.
- The Magic Band, now this is new and Joe is beside himself with excitement, he has already planned to upgrade to a Bruce the Shark band, bless him. This really cute wrist band comes pre loaded with your park tickets, your room key, dining credits and enables you to charge to your room. I am so looking forward to trying these out. (This is replacing a card that did much the same) it is so convenient.
- My last tip just has to be enjoy the MAGIC of staying on site, it’s so incredible. Disney is such an inclusive place in every way shape and form. Yet they somehow maintain this and also make on site guests feel like they are part of something extra special and magical. Once you experience that feeling there really is no going back. There is nothing more special than going to the Boardwalk for a cocktail on a hot balmy night. Or wandering down to the bridge near the Swan and Dolphin to watch the Epcot fireworks. And then climbing onto a boat down the river to start your journey back to your resort.
So there it is, the 10 things I wish we had known before we booked our first WDW Holiday. It is all so overwhelming the first time you visit. And there is so much information out there, and you really do learn as you go along. Check out my post on how to get the most from My Disney Experience
See my Pinterest planning board for some fantastic planning pins and tips. And check out Kara’s fab tips here