How to Prepare for a Disney World Vacation

How to Prepare for a Disney World Vacation!

It’s no secret that our family loves to go on vacation to Disney World. We make the trip to the “Happiest Place on Earth” every summer when our kids are finally off from school.

The first time we took our kids to Disney World we thought it was going to be so much fun! We would eat at fancy restaurants, spend every waking moment in the parks, and everyone would have an amazing time!

Boy, how wrong we were! They had midday meltdowns from all of the walking in the heat and humidity. We made FastPasses for rides the whole family didn’t want or were too short to ride. And we didn’t schedule any downtime to recharge and enjoy our resort.

By the end of that week I couldn’t wait for vacation to be over and to get back home. I needed a vacation from our vacation! We learned a lot from that trip. We realized then that you have to, not only plan ahead for your trip, but prepare your family for it as well. Below are some planning tips for you and your family so you can have the best trip ever!

Research Hotels

On our first family trip we stayed at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside. It is a very nice resort, very large, and quiet. We decided on a whim to go on vacation that year and picked this resort purely on the fact it could accommodate our needs and price. While the theming here is nice, we didn’t feel like we were away on vacation.

The following year we did a bit more research and decided we wanted to stay at a resort with a bit more Disney theming. We booked a family suite at the Art of Animation because it accomodated our family of five. We stayed at the Finding Nemo section which is conveniently located by the big blue pool and within walking distance from the food court and bus stop.

Art of Animation - Finding Nemo
Image by Disney World

Whatever your ideal vacation, make sure you choose the best resort for your family’s needs. There are many resort walk-through YouTube videos available to learn more about each resort. Disney World’s website is filled with resort pictures, room details, park transportation information, and pricing which makes it easy to book your trip!

Picking Restaurants

We were so excited a to book an advanced dining reservation at the coveted Cinderella’s Royal Table on our first Disney trip with our kids. We knew it would be a great dinner and we would get to meet all of the princesses! We also got a perfect view of the fireworks right from our table side window!

Cinderella's Royal Table
Image by Disney World

What we didn’t realize though was that this restaurant served many foods that my little picky eaters didn’t find appetizing and that it counts towards 2 table service credits per person on the Disney Dining Plan. While we had an amazing time watching the fireworks and taking pictures with the princesses, we felt like we could have used our meal credits more wisely and eaten at a restaurant that everyone would enjoy.

Now before each trip we make sure to choose restaurants that have foods the whole family will enjoy. We go through every restaurant’s menu on Disney World’s website, determine how many credits each restaurant takes, and make our reservations in advance.

Research Rides and Attractions

There are a lot of rides and attractions in the Disney World parks. Because of the unpredictable weather of Florida many of the rides in Disney World are located inside. Some of these are considered dark rides and they may be scary for young children. We recommend you watch videos of the rides you are interested in on YouTube before you make your FastPasses. Also, make sure your children meet the height requirements of the rides before you get in line or you may be turned away.

My Disney Experience App

As soon as you book your trip we recommend downloading the My Disney Experience app, available on iOS and Android. This wonderful app is your guide to all things Disney World. You can see maps of the resorts and parks, get real-time wait times for all attractions, book FastPasses, make dining reservations, and even see what time the fireworks begin.


It is no secret to anyone that Disney World is a big place. With 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, and a shopping district there is no doubt you will be walking a lot during your stay. We recommend that a few weeks or even months leading up to your trip you start getting your family used to walking long distances. It will get them ready for all the walking in Disney World.

Memory Foam Sneakers

We like to get new shoes for our kids and break them in by going for long walks at a local park or even the mall just to get everyone prepared. Memory foam sneakers are our perfect choice for Disney World. It feels like you’re walking on a cloud even if you’ve walked for miles!

So there you have it! We hope these tips help prepare your family to have the best trip ever!

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