The Ultimate No-Nonsense Parent’s Guide To Disney World

If you are brainstorming trips that you can take kids on, it’s a good bet that Disney World is somewhere at the top of that list. Yes, we do mean Disney World, the big one not the original in Anaheim, nor the regional delicacies. If you’re going to visit a Disney theme park, it needs to be Orlando because that is the main dish and you’ll see why as you explore this parent’s guide to Disney World. Ignore the marketing content and the rest of the info you’ll find online because these are the facts about going to Disney World that you need to be aware of before you book a trip.


The Caribbean Beach Resort Is A Steal Right Now

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If you’re going to Disney, you might be booking one of the hotels. There are various options to choose from, but our recommendation would be the Disney Caribbean Beach resort. When you book a trip, you’ll notice that the resort is undergoing renovations for the foreseeable future. They are adding a gondola system to provide better transportation from this resort to the parks and other places. The best part about this is that the prices have dropped through the floor for what is considered a moderate resort. Now, the site does say that you might hear the noise of machinery through the working hours, but you won’t if you choose the right room.


You should opt to stay in Aruba. This is the furthest away from where work is being completed and as such will lead to minimal disturbance. It’s also worth pointing out that regardless of whether you stay in the Beach resort, it is in your best interest to stay in a Disney hotel. By doing this, you get extra magic hours, gaining access to the parks an hour before anyone else and staying a few hours later. That’s going to be very useful when the highly anticipated Toy Story Land opens later this year.


Hey, How’s The Food Here?

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Disney do dining plans which you can add onto the cost of your holiday. By doing this, you can use your magic-bands, to scan for free meals, drinks and restaurant dining. Most, but not all, of the food places around the resorts accept the dining plans. With quick service, you do not get restaurant meals included, and you will be stuck with what is essentially fast food. As such, if you worried about staying healthy, it might be worth getting the slightly more expensive dining plan. That way you can get access at least once a day to some of the best sit down table service restaurants for free.


What About Drinks?

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We don’t mean water, which is free throughout the park. We mean adult drinks and you’ll be pleased to know that they are available throughout Disney World, typically at restaurants. Be aware that since Disney does allow drinking if you do love the idea of a drink or two between meals, you should use the free transportation shuttle service the park provides. It’s not unknown for drivers in Disney finding they need to hire a DUI lawyer because they overestimated how much wine they could have with dinner. Remember, Disney is like a large gated town with a full network of roads and, we kid you not, its own traffic police.


What Should The Daily Schedule Be?

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You’re probably wondering what time you should get up to head to the Disney Parks. We suggest you aim to be at the Parks about fifteen minutes before they are scheduled to open or in time for the extra magic hours that change from day to day.


Remember, the shuttle services do start running about an hour before opening so if you get up early enough, you can hop on the bus and head over to the park. It doesn’t matter which one though some suggest you avoid the park with extra magic hours in the morning if the extra time is late at night. This is due to the fact that a lot of people don’t have park hopper tickets and so head over with the plan to stay all day.


Aim to ride about three or four rides when you get to the park in the morning, leaving around midday. This is the time when you can retreat back to the hotel and escape the heat. If you have young kids, let them have a nap in the hotel room. Head back out in the late afternoon, to a different park and again aim for a few more rides, perhaps staying later for the fireworks display.


Are The Fireworks Displays A Nightmare?

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You might have heard from fellow parents that the fireworks displays, while stunning, are a total nightmare. This is due to the crowds that make it difficult to see, dangerous and potentially scary for young children or anyone who is claustrophobic. The good news is that Disney has become pretty good at crowd control for these events and most have designated areas for people to stand.


The only issue is leaving. It’s virtually impossible to avoid the mad rush to the busses which is why, on a day where you’re taking in the fireworks or night time shows, it’s best to drive. The queues to get a bus can take hours which will be a problem with tired kids who are prone to tantrums. It will also mean you get back too late for a quick snack at the shop near your hotel room.


How Do I Get To Universal And Legoland?

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Heading to other magical places in Orlando? There are various ways to do this, but the cheapest option is to hire an Uber. Disney is not connected to the other theme parks, and since they’re the competition, they won’t help you get to these locations. You’ll have to find your own way there. If you drove to Disney or hired a car, driving will take less than half an hour, and the routes are relatively simple with clear signs all the way once you leave the Disney World resort. If you didn’t take a car, twenty dollar trips with Uber and a free trip your first time is your best bet.


We hope you find this guide helpful if you do decide to book a trip for you and your kids to the most magical place on earth.