If you’ve been following my Disney miniseries, then you know I love to give my strong opinion, er, I mean tips and tricks, and friendly advice on how to do Disney in a way that won’t break the bank, but still ensure that a fabulous time will be had by all.
I just got back from my family’s annual trip, so I thought I would do one final installment highlighting some dos and don’ts that are fresh on my mind. Interestingly, two of my good friends were at Disney at the same time that I was there, so I’m going to throw in a few of their dos and don’ts as well.
Let’s start on a positive note and focus on the DOs first:
*DO download the MyDisneyExperience app, even before you book your trip. It will help with so many of the other DOs on this list. Promise.
*DO online check in 30 days prior to your trip. This allows you to put in room preferences. We stayed at Pop Century this go around, which I knew had the potential to be busy and loud. So my preferences were top floor and away from the pool. Our room was perfect. Quiet, and not far from our car and the buses.
*DO skip the front desk. I made sure to sign up for the text alert when my room was ready so that when I arrived, all I had to do was scan my magic band to the door, drop my bags, and hit the parks. Now, if it’s your first trip, or if you don’t have park tickets for arrival day, then definitely stop by the desk. Maybe you’ll get a treasure map, or a 1st trip button. But if you’ve done it all before, why waste the time?
*DO have your bag off your person and unzipped as much as possible when you reach the security table. If it’s the first day of your trip, I can maybe forgive this one, but a bag check requires that the nice security officers check your bag. Please don’t display annoyance or feign surprise when this happens. It’s for everyone’s safety.
*DO book your fourth fast pass as soon as you check in to your third fast pass. I know this may be a little more insider-y than some would appreciate me sharing, but I like for everyone at Disney to be happy, and if everyone knew the secrets to making the experience easier, there wouldn’t be so many crabby people walking around the happiest place on earth. DO this again when you check in at #4, then at #5, etc.
*DO walk a lot before your trip. Fellow CMB contributor and generally snarky individual, Sarah, was one of those friends I mentioned at the beginning who happened to be at Disney the same week. After returning from her trip, I believe her words to me were, “I almost straight up laughed in your face when you told me you were building up your endurance for Disney.” Well, joke was on her, because Disney walking is unlike any other walking, just trust.
*DO consider getting park hopper tickets if Hollywood Studios is on your agenda, and you are going with little ones. If that expense is not in the cards, maybe do Disney Springs or the pool in the morning, and Hollywood Studios in the afternoon/evening. With so much of that park closed, we found it really challenging to make it a full day park. Just something to consider.
And now for the DON’Ts:
(If I seem petulant and bothered with this list, it’s because people seem to lose common sense at Disney. Is it all the magic? The heat? The over stimulation? The sheer volume of people all together in one place? Not sure. These are all first world annoyances, and I totally recognize that, just FYI.)
*DON’T drive to Magic Kingdom if you’re staying anywhere on property. I’ve tried it on three separate occasions, and every time I regret it. Drive to any other park, but DON’T drive to Magic Kingdom. It is so.much.work. and takes for.ev.er.
*DON’T spray your family down with sunscreen or bug spray in the security line. You know how people say “literally” when they really mean “figuratively?” This is not one of those occasions. When I say that in the security line, my body is literally one half of an inch from yours, I mean it in the literal sense. I already sprayed my family down back at the hotel. Why do I need to be hosed down with your second hand bug spray? I do not. I’m not against multi-tasking, but please leave me out of this equation. (Sanctimommy-style rant over. I’m going with #sorrynotsorry on this one.)
*DON’T race to the front of a line, and then invite the rest of your party of 12 to join you as though you were holding their place when they finally catch up. Nobody is buying that. Sure, I will never see you again, but I am quietly judging you.
*DON’T assume that because your kid loves Star Wars, he/she will love seeing storm troopers in person. It’s possible, but not a guarantee. My kid was not a fan of so much reality, and the rest of the day at Hollywood Studios was spent asking if they were gonna show up again and wanting to be held.
*DON’T make broad assumptions about what your kid will like or dislike either. If I had done that, we might not have experienced Flights of Wonder, which is an awesome bird show. We might have missed out on Figment, which would have been super sad, and we certainly wouldn’t have done Mickey’s Philharmagic three times, and that would have been a real shame. My son’s laughter during that show was worth the whole trip right there.