10 Tips for Visiting Walt Disney World

By Unofficial Guide to Florida with Kids
1. Do your homework before you go. Check out touring plans and itineraries aimed at families.

2. Let your children help with the planning—everyone can choose favorites that can be worked into the itinerary.

3. In spite of all your planning, be flexible once you arrive.

4. If you’re planning to spend more than a couple of days at Disney, spring for a multi-day pass. You’ll save a few bucks and have the flexibility to move between the theme parks. Some passes also include admission to the water parks.

5. Start your day early—arrive at the parks at least 30 minutes before the scheduled opening and plan a break in the middle of the day, returning to your hotel for a swim or a nap, then back to the theme parks for the evening. Also, mix and match parks if you have a multi-day pass; if you spent the morning in the Magic Kingdom, head to Epcot for dinner and fireworks.

6. Split up—let dad do the thrill rides with an older child while mom spends time in Fantasyland with younger siblings. If you have at least two teenagers, they can take off on their own, as the park is very safe. Just be sure to pick a meeting place and advise them not to lose track of time.

7. If your budget is tight but you don’t want to miss out on the themed restaurants, book lunch instead of dinner. Portions are generally huge, so you also can share meals. The top family choices in each park: Crystal Palace all-you-can-eat buffet in the Magic Kingdom, 50’s Prime Time Café at the Disney-MGM Studios, Italy or Mexico in World Showcase at Epcot and Tusker House in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

8. Don’t try to see it all. Enjoy what you can, and save some attractions for another visit.

9. Take a break from the theme parks. Even if you don’t leave Disney property, you can play at one of the water parks or take an afternoon to visit Downtown Disney. The LEGO Imagination Center at the Downtown Disney Marketplace, for instance, keeps kids happy for hours; it’s free; and there are benches for mom and dad.

10. Wait until it’s time to go home to buy souvenirs. The kids will see so many things they want, and you won’t waste money if they wait and anticipate one really special keepsake.

Excerpted from Unofficial Guide to Florida with Kids, 4/e, © 2004. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Travel information can change at any time; please contact the venue directly for current hours and rates. We suggest you write or call ahead for confirmation when making travel plans.

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