Fun fact: I’ve been on this Earth for 28 years and not once have I ever been to Disney World — well, up until my family and I finally went during our annual family vacay last week.
My parents never whisked my sister and me off to the Magic Kingdom like most parents do when their kids are younger (and by “younger” I mean not fully grown, functioning adults). Granted, they did take us to Disneyland once when I was about seven and Erin was three, but it wasn’t the FULL Disney experience, ya know? So 21 years later, they decided to take their children on a trip to the The Happiest Place On Earth (and by “take” I actually mean have us purchase our own flights and Disney tickets).
Anyway, given the fact that my immediate family is comprised of 100% adults, we didn’t put NEARLY as much time and effort into planning our Disney experience as most families with kids do. We basically just got some cute lil matching t-shirts made, bought our tickets, snagged a few last-minute fast passes and rolled up in Disney like WE HERE MICKEY WHERE YOU AT. (We actually never saw Mickey.)
After that, we had no clue where to start. We downloaded the Disney app, but that wound up being not much help because as soon as we entered the park, it began thundering and pouring down rain. Which meant pretty much everything was cancelled until the weather cleared — the rides, the lil parade with all the Disney characters, everything. So we left and came back a few hours later when the weather cleared. Best decision ever.
Even though the first half of the day was an epic fail, overall it turned out to be a pretty cool experience. So now that I can officially say I’ve been to Disney World, I wanna share some tips my family I picked up on during our trip:
- Go later in the day. Most people will say it’s good to wake up and get to the park hella early — I mean it stays open until 11 p.m., so not really sure what all the rush is about — but going later in the day is actually better for a few reasons: 1) you get to sleep in (duh), 2) the weather is much more bearable, 3) the park is not as crowded, which means 4) the ride lines are a lot shorter (see next point). Oh, and Disney is wayyy cuter at night.
- Use the fireworks to your advantage. We got back to the park a little after 8 p.m. Disney does fireworks at Cinderella’s Castle every night at 9:15, so a lot of folks were preoccupied with getting a good spot. THIS IS PRIME TIME TO GET ON THE RIDES, FOLKS. We got on like three rides before the fireworks even started and the wait time for each of them was no longer than 15 minutes. We had a fast pass for one, but we honestly didn’t even need it. After those rides, we watched the fireworks for a bit and got on some more rides (I mean ’cause you can see the fireworks from basically anywhere in the park so there’s really no need to be sitting in one spot the whole time). Them fireworks looked just as beautiful from the rides so you won’t be missing anything. Trust me.
- Be strategic with how you schedule your fast passes. So we discovered at the last minute that the fast passes for the rides at Disney are free. However, they are limited and come with time slots, so it’s best to try and snag them early so you have options. We managed to snag a few, but we basically had to take what we were given. It wound up working out anyway because we were getting on the rides when all the early risers were worn out from the day, watching the fireworks lol.
- Do like my parents did and wait until your kids are old enough to afford to pay for their own tickets. Disney is expensive. I know because I paid for myself. So I can only imagine how much it costs to pay for a whole freaking family. My parents might have actually been on to something by waiting to “take” us. I may keep that tradition alive. Or just have them pay for their future grandkids.