During my family’s recent trip to Walt Disney World in Florida, we laughed a lot, learned new things, tried new foods, and made some mistakes. Even though we are Disney experts at Born for Travel we are always learning. That is an excellent thing for you, our clients. By keeping up to date with the changes that happen in the park we can guide you for the most stress-free vacation possible. Ready to see what we learned?

1. Book Early and Plan Now!
Long gone are the days when you can just show up at the theme park, buy your ticket, and walk into the parks to enjoy your day. These days not only do you have to have a theme park ticket you also need to have a reservation for the park you want to visit on a particular day. These reservations should be made the day you purchase your tickets. Disney is controlling the crowd level at the parks and you might not get into the park you
want to see.

  1. Go Beyond Typical Theme Park Food
    When I think of typical theme park food I think of chicken nuggets and french fries. And while those can be found all over the Disney Theme parks, if you go out of your way a little you can find AMAZING tasting food! We utilized Disney’s Allergy-friendly menus to make sure our Gluten and Dairy sensitive eaters had safe meals. We also used mobile ordering when possible and found that super convenient.

Be Our Guest Appetizer featuring octopus

Fresh made to order Beignets at Port Orleans French Quarter

Roasted Endorian Chicken Salad at Docking Bay 7

Buckwheat Gluten Friendly Crepe with Nutella Filling in France, Epcot

Dairy Safe Smoked Salmon at Space 220

Our #1 dessert found at Space 220 is a plant-based Carrot Cake
with plant-based Cream Cheese icing

  1. Bring a Portable Phone Charger
    With the new Genie + feature on your My Disney Experience App, you might be on your phone often. We used our phones to check wait times, select Lightning Lanes, mobile order food, take Special photos and find the closest restroom. While we were not on our phones all day we did find with the heavy usage we needed to recharge our phones a couple of times a day. If you forget to bring your battery bank you can buy some at the theme parks or your resort. You can also exchange them for fresh ones if needed. Very convenient!

  1. Use the Memory Maker and Get Magic Shots
    Disney offers a service for you to capture photos of your vacation throughout the parks with Disney’s PhotoPass Photographers as well as on certain rides. Often you can get a “Magic Shot” from those photographers as well. We find it a great way to remember our trip!

Tinkerbell found us in her holiday outfit

A few grim grinning ghosts looking for a ride!

  1. Pop Up Characters
    With the social distancing going on your chance to hug Cinderella will have to wait. However, Disney knows how important those character interactions are. Throughout the day there will be pop-up cavalcades of characters that will show up along the parade route. Your favorite characters will also pop up and you can take selfies with them from a little distance. We really appreciated how Disney was willing to find innovative ways to keep the magic alive.

  1. Arrive Early
    The number one tip I always give my clients is to arrive early! You will get more done in the first 3 hours of the park opening than any other time. I usually recommend arriving an hour prior to the official park opening. Not only will this take some stress out of going through security, if you are lucky you might just be able to get a photo of yourselves in front of the Millenium Falcon with no one else around!!

  1. Finally, learn from my mistake! Use a Travel Professional. ;) 
    I am a Disney expert. However, when planning my own trip I neglected to check all the little details that I normally would for my clients. (Sometimes you are your own worst travel professional!) I forgot to check the estimated crowd levels for the day that I wanted to see the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom. As a result, we went on the busiest day and were very uncomfortable with the amount of crowding. If I had used my own knowledge for my family we would have gone later in the week when the crowds were lower. Sheesh! Using a travel professional who KNOWS their destination will make your vacation so much more enjoyable. We still had a fabulous time and next time I will remember to treat my family as if they were my cherished clients. :)

Bonus Tip!
Remember to take time to laugh, enjoy your family, and take the photos however silly they seem. Life is for making memories and by planning ahead you can have a stress-free vacation you will be able to look back on with happy memories for years!