If you’ve decided on a trip to Walt Disney World the “what do I do next?” question is overwhelming. Here are a few pointers for first timers.
- Create a My Disney Experience Account. Here you will be able to make all your reservations, from Fast Pass+ to restaurants. It also helps you plan and gives you access to everything you need for a trip. You can download the app to manage reservations, FP+, photos and even pre-order meals on the go.
- Decide if you’re staying on property or off. On property there are plenty of perks, like Extra Magic Hours, free transportation, package delivery, earlier FP and booking, etc. But they do come with a higher cost of a Disney resort. It’s not worth it to everyone, but I personally prefer on property if it’s in the budget.
- Disney has two major categories of restaurants, table service and quick service. If you are within six months of your trip it’s time to decide on dining reservations for any table service meals. Many restaurants fill up fast, but if you are flexible there are always great options available. Quick service does not require reservations-however Be Our Guest is ridiculously popular and takes reservations for breakfast and lunch, even though they are quick service (QS) meals.
- Fast Passes are your automatic line skipper tickets. You can book them 60 days in advance with on property reservations or 30 days in advance if you aren’t staying at a resort. Some parks are tiered, like Epcot, where you can choose one from the first tier and then two from the second. Magic Kingdom is a free for all with no tiers. Your whole group does not have to book fast passes together, so if you have older kids wanting a roller coaster and younger ones who prefer Buzz Lightyear you can book individually without a problem.
- Memory Maker is your access to ALL photos that Disney has taken of you. In other words, all picutres by Photo Pass Photographers-including those magic shots*, all ride photos, stock photos Disney includes and editing extras. If you purchase it more than 3 days before your visit there is a discount. In my opinion you should purchse ahead if you think you’ll use it. Not only is there a discount but you’ll know to take advantage of all photographers you see. Some of my best pics are from places I never would have stopped if I hadn’t prepaid (like outside Kilimanjaro Safari-not your typical Disney landmark). *Magic shots are those by Photopass Photographers that include a bit of Pixie Dust, like your child holding Tinkerbell or your family surrounded by butterflies.