I just returned home from a trip to Walt Disney World. While the experience was definitely different, I can honestly say the magic was still there and I had a great time. Cast Members were there to greet me, and while I may not have been able to see their smiles under their masks, I could feel them. Although the sight of Cinderella Castle as I’m walking down Main Street almost always brings me to tears, this trip I was practically sobbing. Maybe it was because being back in my “happy place” gave me a sense of normalcy I hadn’t felt in quite some time, maybe I’m just an emotional mess…both are likely true. I did, however, figure out a few planning tips that made my visit much more enjoyable. The Disney Community is all about sharing our tips, and I’m excited to share with you what I found helpful. Here are 7 tips to make the most out of your Disney vacation.
Tip 1. Plan out your day-
We all know that Florida can be hot. Florida with a mask can definitely feel even hotter. What I found to be helpful was to have a game plan set up before entering the park. Having a game plan can prevent a lot of unnecessary walking across the park and really help utilize your time in a very efficient way. Pull up a park map and come up with a game plan for hitting the attractions that are must-dos for your traveling party.
Tip 2. Bring multiple masks and a personal fan
This tip was a game-changer! My advice regarding face coverings is to try multiple varieties (within Disney’s guidelines) and see what suits you personally. Bring extra masks with you in your park bag and when one gets wet from a water attraction (or sweat) you have a fresh mask to put on. Definitely invest in a personal fan as well, and bring extra batteries or the charging cord. I cannot stress enough how much use I got out of the adorable personal fan I bought on Amazon before our trip. Cooling fans are also available at shopdisney.com and throughout the parks. You can purchase the fan pictured below here
Tip 3. Stay hydrated-
Now, more than ever, it is extremely important to drink lots of water throughout the day. You can still request a cup of water from open quick-service locations or of course, bring your own bottle of water into the park.
Tip 4. The My Disney Experience App will be your new BFF-
Make sure you download the My Disney Experience App and become familiar with its features before your trip. From the app you can utilize contactless check-in at your Disney Resort Hotel, mobile order your food from quick-service locations, use the new Mobile Dine check-in feature, check attraction wait times, and more!
Tip 5. Take full advantage of the lower attendance-
While of course during this time parades and firework shows are suspended, there are also quite a few positive aspects to the reduced capacity and guidelines. I really liked the new bag check system that did not require my things to be taken out and moved around. I loved the socially distant attraction queues (can we always stay 6 feet apart in line?) and I really loved the low wait times for attractions! While there are definitely some sacrifices, the ability to ride popular attractions consecutively with almost zero wait time was a great trade-off! You can finally ride that attraction you were never able to get a Fast Pass for! You can finally get that awesome picture with no one in the background! There are so many positive aspects to visiting during this time, and you will have a great trip if you focus on those positive aspects.
Tip 6- Take frequent breaks-
I found it more difficult to keep up the usual fast pace I normally have when in the park. Every so often it really helped to grab a cold beverage (or dole whip) sit down, take off my mask, and take a break in one of the designated Relaxation Stations. I made the mistake of thinking I could pull off an open to close park day (like I normally would) and ended up heading back to the resort early. The next day, I made the decision to head to the park a little later so that I could spend the evening there. With the attractions having shorter wait times, I found I really did not need a full day anyways.
Tip 7- Know before you go-
I witnessed multiple guests frustrated because they did not learn the rules before their trip. Know what face coverings are acceptable, learn the modified park hours, learn what dining options are currently open in your hotel and what their hours are, know what modified pool hours your resort is offering and expect that not every shop will be open. If you head to Disney World knowing exactly what to expect, you can plan ahead and not be surprised.
I hope that my experience and what I learned can help you make the absolute most out of your next visit. Again, it is not exactly the same Disney we are all used to, but I promise the magic is still there.
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