Tips for a 20 Something First Time Disney Goer

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So, you’ve stumbled upon this blog and are wondering why the hell anyone would read it. It’s okay, I knew it was bound to happen sometime. Being a Disney nerd in your 20s isn’t the most popular thing on the planet, and admitting it often ends with insane amounts of side eye from anyone who doesn’t feel the same way was you.

Anyways, dear uninitiated reader, once your side eye has been put aside and you’ve checked out our movie reviews, Cast Member Confessions, and more, and we’ve convinced you that maybe this whole Disney Vacation as an adult isn’t as bad as it may appear, you’ll probably want to know how best to attack aforementioned trip . Hence, why this blog post exist! Here are some pro tips for having your Disney vacation reach it’s maximum magical potential:

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  • Pick your time of year strategically – There’s pros and cons to every Disney season. The fall has Halloween and Food and Wine, and is also pretty quiet. During the holidays the parks look magical, but it can be a pain in the ass to get anything done. Spring is my most unexplored season at Walt Disney World, though I’ve heard good things crowd control wise (as long as you aren’t syncing up with Florida’s spring break), and last Spring I went to Disneyland and it was relatively quiet.  Summer is busy, all the time, and the heat can get insane. Obviously you have to figure out what kind of trip you want before you embark, but these factors – and the weather, are always things to consider.
  • Pack for comfort over fashion – You walk way more than you realize in a Disney Day. From the front of the park, to the back of the park, to the bus depot or your car – you can easily log miles, so dress accordingly. Make sure to take the weather into account as well – on my last trip, I totally forgot to pack shorts and ended up having to walk around in jeans in the 90 degree heat, and that was fun for no one.
  • BYOB- If you’re staying in a hotel, it’s not the worst idea to bring your own libations – if that’s the kind of trip you’re planning on having. You can’t take your own booze into the parks, but you can get a good pre-game in before you head to EPCOT for dinner, and save yourself from buying one more $12 margarita.
  • Bring Food – Similar to BYOB, this one is all about cost saving. I refuse to travel to Walt Disney World with out enough Luna Bars for everyone on the vacation to have one for Breakfast each day. If you’re not on the dining plan, this will save you money – and if you are, it will save your snack credits for actual snacks, which trust me – is the far better use of them.
  • Don’t forget your weather based accessories – In a similar vein, it’s always good to have an umbrella and some sunscreen in your purse, because there’s nothing quite like a 100 degree 100% humidity day being interrupted by a thunderstorm for you to really understand what that good old Florida weather is all about.

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  • Don’t skip any of the parks – While we frequently tout the importance of EPCOT, it’s not the only park on Walt Disney World property. In fact, it was my least favorite park until I turned 21. So, give all the parks some love, they all have their own unique and fun spin on things. And you can get booze in everyone (except Magic Kingdom… ).
  • Use the tip board – At the front of the entrance to every park, there’s a large board that shows up to date wait times, show times, and popular restaurant hours. Use this to your advantage when you get to a new park to help plan your day. There’s a cast member stationed there to help answer your questions and point you in the right direction, and I know for a fact that if you can’t find the information you need, they are more than happy to help you figure it out. If you’re too lazy to find the tip board and ask the cast members questions, you can also access all the same information on the Disney App these days.
  • Don’t eat during regular meal times – If you’re not bringing your own food to the parks (which you can do), it’s probably best to train yourself to eat at the off times, i.e. late lunches and late dinners or early lunches and early dinners. It makes the food more enjoyable when you’re not feeling rushed to give up your table while also being surrounded by children who just want to eat ice cream and are not happy about being forced to eat chicken tenders.
  • Use the single riders line – Most major Disney attractions have a ride that allows you to cut to the front and fill up empty random seats. If you’re alone, or with a small group of people, and don’t mind not sitting exactly next to each other, this is a great way to ride Expedition Everest with out having to worry about how long the line is.
  • Watch the fireworks/parades once… then ride the rides – Disney is known for its world class entertainment, so enjoy it while you’re there. I highly recommend Fantasmic, and Wishes.
  • Take a nap during the day – Or lay by the pool at your hotel, or whatever. It’s still a vacation, and it doesn’t have to be go go go all the time. Unless that’s what you’re going for.
  • Let your inner kid out – At the end of the day, you’re still in freaking Walt Disney World, and that’s not something that should be enjoyed ironically, or with any air of pretension. So buy those ear hats, eat an ice cream cone for lunch – and remember, they don’t call it the most magical place on Earth for nothing.

For those of you thinking about a Disney vacation for the first time, I hope this helps! For those of who’ve been too many times to count – what’s my list missing?

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