15 Tips for Making Your Walt Disney World Trip Magical

If you are planning a trip to Disney World in the near future, you may be wondering how you can get the most out of your trip. 

Heres a list of 15 tips for making your trip wonderful.

1. Make a Loose Plan

The first step on the road to a wonderful Disney trip is going in with a plan. This will help prevent your party from wandering aimlessly and wasting precious park time. It will also help you get everything done that you want to do, leaving you feeling accomplished at the end of your vacation.

2. Stray from the Plan

Although a plan is a definite must-have, you must also ensure the plan is loose enough to be strayed from.
For instance, if you have a plan to ride Tower of Terror, but you run into a fun character on the way, try to be flexible enough to stop and enjoy the character before continuing with your plan. So many magical Disney moments are hidden in those unplanned experiences, so be sure to enjoy them as they crop up!

3. Know the Parks

Wandering around without a clue as to where you are is not a fun way to spend an afternoon in a Disney park. Therefore, it is important to study maps and make sure you have a basic idea of the structure of each park before you head out. This will eliminate many frustrating moments and help you save time.

4. Take Breaks

Obviously, you want to see as much of the parks as possible while you are there. However, running from place to place without ever stopping to breathe and simply enjoy the ambiance is a big mistake made by so many visitors. Make sure to schedule in breaks to ensure your party is rested enough to have a good time.

5. Make FastPass Reservations

FastPass+ is an innovative system that allows Disney World visitors to reserve their spots on some rides. Each person is allowed three FastPass reservations per day, with the option to add additional FastPasses one-at-a-time after the initial three have been used.
By making FastPass reservations before you go, you can save time that would otherwise have been spent waiting in line.

6. Make Dining Reservations

While Walt Disney World does offer a huge variety of counter-service food options, sometimes a good sit-down meal is just what a person needs to give them a bit of a break from the hustle and bustle of the parks.
However, all Disney table-service restaurants take reservations, and it is rarely a good idea to try to get into one at the last minute. For this reason, we highly recommend making your reservations early on.

7. Keep Your Cool

Florida is hot, especially in the summertime. In order to avoid dehydration and other negative effects of the bright sunshine, it is important to take precautions. These include:

  • Drinking plenty of water (which you can get for free at any counter-service eatery).
  • Wearing sunscreen.
  • Donning sunglasses.
  • Taking an indoor break in the middle of the day.
  • Bringing a small, personal fan to keep the air moving around you.

8. Bring the Goods

Aside from the sunscreen, fan, and sunglasses mentioned above, there are quite a few other things you may want to bring with you into the parks. You’ll also likely want to bring a camera, a first aid kit, a stroller, and autograph books. All of these items can be stored in a backpack for easy portability.

9. Let the Kids Lead

In order to ensure the trip is fun for the little ones, it is a good idea to let them lead from time to time. Schedule blocks of time here and there that are specifically for whatever the little ones want to do. Let them decide where to go and what to ride.
This will help them feel in control of their fun, making the experience feel a bit more personal to them.

10. Find Easter Eggs

There are a large number of Easter eggs hidden throughout the parks. These include “Hidden Mickeys” and a number of other clever little things. A quick search on the internet will help you know where to look for these hidden treasures, and the hunt to find them will provide you and your family with tons of extra fun. Try not to point out ALL of these Easter eggs for kids; a lot of the fun comes from letting them discover things for themselves!

11. Take Advantage of Rope Drop

The hour or two after opening is a wonderful time to be in the parks. The crowds are incredibly light, meaning it is easy to ride the more popular rides, and there is a certain magic the morning hours add to the experience. Additionally, the temperature is still relatively cool in the early hours, making them that much more special.

12. Stay Until Closing

Just as the experience of rope drop has something special to offer, the last hour or so before park closing has its own set of benefits. Of course, the crowds begin to taper off and the temperature begins to drop, but there is also something incredibly special about seeing the park all lit up as it is winding down for the day. This is something you should aim to see at least once.

13. Seek Out Magical Experiences

There are magical experiences around every corner in Walt Disney World. Some of these just happen when you are in the right place at the right time. However, others are things you can seek out.
For instance, the barber shop on Main Street will sprinkle pixie dust in your child’s hair for free—all you have to do is ask. By doing some research beforehand, you can know where to seek out a handful of these extra special experiences to add some sparkle to your days.

14. Set Realistic Expectations

Heading into a park with a long to-do list and no time set aside for relaxing and simply enjoying the place is a surefire way to make everyone in your party miserable. Instead, set realistic expectations for what you can accomplish in a day.
By having smaller expectations, you will be extra pleased if you do manage to squeeze in a bit more.

15. Just Keep Swimming (and Smiling)

Sometimes things won’t go according to plan. However, that doesn’t mean you have to stop having fun. If you miss a reservation or can’t find a place to watch the parade, smile and carry on. We promise you will find something equally fantastic to do just around the corner.

By following these simple tips, we are sure you will have a truly fantastic trip to the Walt Disney World Resort. So pack up and get ready to experience the magical trip of a lifetime!

Source: 15 Tips for Making Your Walt Disney World Trip Magical

So what exactly is a Hidden Mickey?

So what exactly is a Hidden Mickey? Quite simply, it’s an artistic representation of Mickey that was intentionally placed amid the architecture and design of the parks and resorts. Oftentimes it’s the familiar three-circle shape of his ears and head. Other times it might be a profile of his face or a full-body silhouette. Walt Disney World Guests with keen eyes can tell you that Mickey pops up all over the resort, often in the most unexpected places.


I recommend one of these two books if you are headed to Disney soon!

Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to Walt Disney World®’s Best Kept Secrets

The Hidden Mickeys of Walt Disney World

The Essentials #DisneyBound Packing List!

Heading to Walt Disney World Soon. Pack more fun and print this Essential Walt Disney World Packing List!

In just a few short days, I will be packing my bags jetting off to Walt Disney World (a.k.a. my “happy” place)! I created my Essential #DisneyBound Packing List which I am sharing with you today. And truthfully, no Disney vacation should be without these items!

#1 – Your Mickey Mouse or Minni Mouse Ears

#2 – A Magic Band

Unlock all the enchantment of Walt Disney World Resort wearing your own personal MagicBand 2. With a simple touch, redeem FastPass+ selections, enter parks, charge purchases to your room, and more!

#3 – Your Favorite Disney T-shirts

#4 – A Mickey Mouse Fanny Pack 

Disney TAG Canvas Crossbody Hip Pack

Mickey Mouse stars on our stylish convertible carryall for use as a crossbody bag or comfy hip pack. Part of the new Travel•Accessories•Gear collection, this pack is perfect for toting all your essentials with ease.

#5 – Don’t Forget Shoes

#6 – A Hidden Mickeys Guide Book 

Bonus Item – Your Favorite Disney Coloring Book  

 


Check out the Disney Store for all your Disney Essentials

Michelle Wins the Outie Champion Award!

The “Outies” were awarded at the annual Out & Equal Workplace Summit on Wednesday, October 5th, 2016. I’m so excited to announce that my mother Michelle Smith won the Champion Award!

“The Champion Award recognizes any LGBT person or Ally who has made a significant contribution to advancing workplace equality. The champion award winner will have shown a unique commitment to LGBT workplace rights and will have used his or her talents to further that cause, even at some risk.”

I am so proud of my Mother Michelle Smith for wining an Out & Equal Workplace Advocates Outie Award! She is an amazing role model and advocate to the LGBT community.

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To learn more about the 2016 Out & Equal Workplace Summit, click here.

Guess who’s nominated for an Outie Award!

I’m so honored to announce that my mother Michelle Smith has been nominated for and Outie Award!

The “Outies” are awarded at the annual Out & Equal Workplace Summit. Outie Awards recognize individuals and organizations who are leaders in advancing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in workplaces globally.

Michelle is a nominated for the Champion Award. “The Champion Award recognizes any LGBT person or Ally who has made a significant contribution to advancing workplace equality. The champion award winner will have shown a unique commitment to LGBT workplace rights and will have used his or her talents to further that cause, even at some risk.”


img_1232Michelle Smith

Michelle Smith is a Project Engineer in the Ventures organization within Phantom Works – Boeing. Michelle has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network as well as St. Louis Public Radio where she spoke to her experience of transitioning in the workplace. She is a member of the Out and Equal Transgender Advisory Committee member where she was an active participant in completing the Workplace Gender Identity and Transition Guidelines.

“Michelle has provided one on one coaching for employees who are currently in transition. Michelle leverages her personal experience in transitioning to help coach, provide support and hope to employees beginning and in the process of transitioning in the workplace.”

 


I couldn’t be more prouder of my mother and can’t wait to see if she wins at the 2016 Out & Equal Workplace Summit October 4 – October 7 on Orlando, FL

 

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To learn more about the 2016 Out & Equal Workplace Summit, click here.

To learn more about the Outies, click here.

To learn more about the other Champion Award nominees, click here.