Travel: Before You Go to Walt Disney World

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I couldn’t think of a more perfect way to kick off our latest category, Travel.

Walt Disney World is often one of the first and most memorable vacations you’ll take. Of course, it can also be both overwhelming and chaotic if you have never been there before. We just got back from a conference at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club resort and it was absolutely magical. It left me with plenty of great tips, tricks and advice to share.

Here are some things to know before you go-

1. ┬áSign up for My Disney Experience. It’s a great way to get familiarized with the parks, create your itinerary, and even grab Fast Pass+ ahead of time. Trust me, it’s great no matter how many times you’ve been to Disney.

2. Figure out if you’re going to rent a car. Disney provides free shuttle services that worked for my previous trip. However, they can entail long lines, waiting and several transfers depending on your final destination. See what is right for you and your family.

3. If you aren’t planning on renting a car, be sure to secure your spot on Disney’s Magical Express. You’ll need your flight information when making your reservation. Also, be sure to allow over 75 minutes of travel time to ensure you aren’t rushing to your location.

4. Visit The Disney Parks Blog for a behind the scenes look at upcoming events and performances to help create your itinerary. This is also a great resource for guests with children. Visit the Moms Panel to read recently asked questions or submit your own!

5. When you’re creating your schedule, give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the parks. Try to visit during the off-season to avoid long lines and be sure to take advantage of extra hours (available to Disney resort guests on certain days.) Don’t be afraid of taking a mid-day break or a day to enjoy the water parks to refresh and rest up. You will be exhausted.

6. Do your research! Are there certain types of food you and your family enjoy? Visit disneyfoodblog.com for reviews and must-try items. Don’t forget to make your reservations ahead of time as spots will fill up quickly.

7. Speaking of food, see if the meal plan is right for you. In the past, I’ve only gone to the parks for a handful of days. It was easier to just grab and go. We would also stock up on breakfast and snacks at Publix, to offset the cost of buying items in the parks. However, this could save you and your family money.

8. Don’t forget to venture out. Disney Springs, the Boardwalk and walking along the path between Disney’s Polynesian and the Grand Floridian (off the Magic Kingdom monorail) can be a great way to see what else there is to offer. Plus, they are free to visit!

9. Don’t forget there are plenty of other great things to check out in Orlando! Plan accordingly, including your transportation. To help you cut down on cost, take the free Disney shuttles to Disney Springs before grabbing a taxi to your next location.

10. Finally, get ready to have fun! You won’t see it all but that’s okay. You will have a remarkable time.

What are some of your favorite tips to help you plan for your next trip to Walt Disney World?