Walt Disney World has announced major changes for when they reopen in July 2020! For all the details, please see our post on Walt Disney World Reopening Information!
Sometimes we can get caught up in the big picture of planning a Walt Disney World trip, and we lose sight of some of the little things. As a travel planner I get a lot of questions related to trips, and these are some of the things I have started proactively telling my clients. Most of them don’t think about these smaller things which can really enhance your vacation. Here are some tips for first timers to Walt Disney World. For more tips you can visit our next post about what you need to know!
1) First Aid and Baby Care Centers
In each park you’ll find First Aid and Baby Care Centers. While located in the same area, these are totally different yet amazingly useful areas of each park that all guests should be aware of. From the smallest needs such as BandAids, Neosporin, or Aquaphor to larger issues such as becoming overheated, the First Aid center is a fantastic resource! Each Center is equipped with your basic first aid needs and a well-trained staff to help you out. I’ve been to Walt Disney World countless times and never seem to have a BandAid with me!
Baby Care Centers in each park provide a great service as well! They have private nursing rooms, changing tables, clean restrooms, and some nice rocking chairs to relax in for a bit. There is a small play area as well for toddlers to rest while the young babies are being tended to by their parents. These Centers also sell formula, baby food, and diapers/wipes in case you run out during the day. Bottle warmers can also be found if you need that.
2) Free Water!
Did you know you can get ice water for free at any counter service restaurant? If you don’t want to pay for or carry around a plastic water bottle you can just ask at any restaurant for water whether you’re eating there or not. The water usually comes in small-sized cups so I usually ask for two or three cups to drink and/or fill up the water bottle I’m carrying around with me. If you’d like to quench your thirst or fill your own bottle at a water fountain that’s ok too! To find the coldest water fountains at Walt Disney World, look no further!
Epcot– To the right of Spaceship Earth as you’re entering the park; there’s a set very cold water fountains next to the bathroom.
Magic Kingdom– This one takes a bit more effort- go over to Tom Sawyer Island and head all the way back to Fort Langhorn and you’ll find some icy water there.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom– The coldest water I’ve found there is in Africa near the Festival of the Lion King Theater- it’s between the theater and the more hidden walkway into Pandora.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios– Head down Sunset Boulevard towards Tower of Terror and visit the restroom area halfway down the street on the right for some really great, cold water fountains!
3) You can come and go from the same park in one day even without a park hopper
If you don’t have a park hopper, you can still leave a park and come back later, as long as it’s the same park! So leave for lunch, as swim, a nap, anything you like and come back in later in the day. Many guests use this feature especially at peak times when the parks are open late to take a rest during the day and then come back for dinner and/or fireworks. And, no, you can’t use an extra park day instead of a park hopper! Disney has fancy ticket systems that won’t allow it.
4) Rider Swap
Rider Swap is a great tool if you have younger and older children (or children of similar ages but with different levels of comfort with the more thrilling rides). We discuss how it works in Episode 29 of the Disney Park Princess Podcast. In brief- tell the ride attendant at the front of the attraction that you’d like to use Rider Swap. The attendant will give you a card that will allow you to wait in line once, and then come back and swap with the other parent who can then go through the FastPass+ line, minimizing the wait time the second time around.
If you have FastPass+ you may not need Rider Swap, but it’s a great tool to use if you don’t have the FastPass+ for a particular attraction.
5) You Don’t Need a Theme Park Ticket to Visit Disney Springs!
While some consider it the fifth theme park, Disney Springs is completely free to visit! Feel free to walk around, window shop, take in all the sights just for fun! Yes, dining and buying while shopping will cost money, but doesn’t it everywhere? Visiting Disney Springs is easy to get to via Disney transportation or your own car- and parking is free there too. It’s a great way to spend the day!
Whether you like to plan every aspect of your trip or wing it, I hope these tips are helpful! Let me know if you have a great tip for someone visiting Walt Disney World for the first time!
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