Five Tips for a Great Disney Vacation

Is there anything more fun than seeing the WDW Entrance sign when you arrive at Disney?

You’ve been planning and planning, and now you are here.  Here’s five tips to have a great Disney Vacation!

{Editor’s Note: This post originally ran on my friend Kristen’s site Tips for the Disney Divas and Devos on March 24, 2014.  You can read the original post on their site too!}

Congratulations!  You have made it!  You are here!  Walt Disney World.  After all that time, all that planning, all the excitement of hearing “is it time to go to Disney yet?”, you are finally at Disney World.  But, how do you ensure that you have a great trip and make your Disney vacation as memorable as you want it to be?  Here’s five tips to remember to help you make the most out of your vacation!

Tip #1: Go with the flow

Far too often, people think that they need to see everything and do everything on this trip or it won’t be a success.  My response to them is this:  If you insist on seeing and doing everything, you’ll stress yourself out unnecessarily, and you won’t have nearly as much fun as you would have otherwise.  My tip:  go with the flow.  Don’t go all Disney commando; slow down, enjoy the scenes, the sights, and the experience of just being in Walt Disney World — you’ll have just as much fun and so will your family!

Tip #2: Schedule some Dining Reservations for Character Dining

When you are traveling with your kids (and sometimes even without your kids) to Walt Disney World, one thing that they always seem to want is to get autographs and pictures with their favorite characters.  Fortunately, Disney has several Character Dining restaurants where you can enjoy a good meal and get photos and autographs with your favorite characters!  This is such a win-win for me; you don’t have to stand in line to see them, they come to your table for photos and autographs, and you and your family also get to recharge for the rest of you day too!

Tip #3: Take a lot of Photos

I know that this is a no brainer for many of you, but you can never take too many photos of your vacation in my opinion, especially if you have a digital camera.  So many of my favorite memories have been cemented in photos that I took of the event that all I need to do is look at them and I’m right back to that moment in time.

Sophie and Princess Jasmine at the Morocco Pavilion

Sophie and Princess Jasmine at the Morocco Pavilion

Tip #4: Stop to smell the roses

The road less traveled — at Disney, that can be hard to find, but if you slow down and look at things instead of just moving past them at light speed, you’ll have a more relaxing trip, a better vacation, and you might just find that those memories from the slower time might just be the memories that you cherish the most.  I know that this ties in with tip number 1, but it’s that important to me.

Tip #5: Experience more than just the parks — check out some resorts

During our last trip to Disney World, we took some time and went and explored Saratoga Springs and Old Key West resorts.  That was so much fun, it was a relaxing time, we got to see a lot of the things there that we had never seen before, and it was a great time spent looking at possibilities for future trips.

Thank you for joining us today!  What are some of your great tips for making your trip a great Disney vacation?  Let us know in the comments, and thanks!

Our Next Disney Vacation!

Our next Disney Vacation!

Our next Disney Vacation!

On Christmas Day, as part of her Christmas present, Sophie learned of a very special trip that she will be taking with two of her best friends — to celebrate Sophie’s 13th Birthday!

This is something that we’ve been planning for quite a while, behind the scenes, so to speak.  None of this would have been possible if we hadn’t bought our membership in the Disney Vacation Club, and I am extremely excited that we did that because we have been having great vacations with our family and close friends ever since!

So, with the days ticking off until our next trip, we’ve got some planning to take care of!  For starters, we’ve got to figure out what dining options we need to work on.  We’ve got some special diet requirements that we’ve got to work with, so the Disney Dining Plan is not going to be an option for us this time.  I’ve already taken care of emailing the Special Diets folks at Disney (that sounds like a new blog post to me!) and they have been very helpful in sending me some great recommendations back.  Also, since there are going to be eight of us, one thing that might be a great option for us is to invest in the Tables in Wonderland card. This special card — which is only available for purchase to Florida residents or Annual Passholders — costs $100 but it allows you to save 20% off of most restaurants at Walt Disney World, including any alcoholic beverages, and you can get discounts on purchases also of merchandise.

Also on the list of things to do — decide on what we want to do with Fastpasses, MyMagic+, and all that.  Talk about some of the great things we want to explore at the parks.  Talk about that “other park” and whether or not we want to visit it (I’m thinking of sending Sophie over with some of our friends while Cindy and I enjoy the parks on our own…).  Stay tuned, friends, and we’ll take a more in-depth look at these things over the next few months.  As of December 27th, 2013, we are 170 days away from our trip!

Magical Blogorail Red – Favorite Uses for Disney Dining Plan Snack Credits

MBRed Logo 2013 Welcome to those of you joining me from Growing Up Disney and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the Final stop on our Magical Blogorail.

The Disney Dining Plan is, in my opinion, one of the best things you can do when it comes to planning your Disney Vacation! While the option of adding the Dining Plan to your vacation is not cheap (except in those times when Disney offers it for free!) — the benefits far outweigh the cost in my opinion.  For this month’s Magical Blogorail post, we are going to share with you some of our favorite uses for those snack credits you have for your trip!  I hope that you enjoy these tips, and that they give you some great ideas for your next Disney vacation!

During our last trip to Walt Disney World in June, 2012, we had some extra snack credits that we wanted to use on our last day.  Cindy and the rest of the crew decided the best thing to do with them was to use them before they left so that they could use the snacks for the trip home, and that’s just what they did!

However, to me, my favorite use of snack credits would be to use them during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.  Many of the delicious offerings that you can get at the kiosks are priced such that they qualify as a snack credit purchase on the DDP!  With this option available, it truly makes for a fun time.  Take a look at some of these that we tried when we went in 2011.

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Shrimp Taco from Mexico Kiosk

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Cannoli from Italy Kiosk

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Seared Mahi-Mahi from Brazil

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Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup

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Creme Brulee from France

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What’s left of Swedish Meatballs with Lingon Berries from the Scandinavia Kiosk

Thank you for joining Magical Blogorail Red this month. We will be back Friday, May 17th with an all new theme. Keep checking in with our blogs in between loops to keep up to date with our Disney info, photos and stories. If you are looking for more Disney magic, you can make your way over to The Magical Blogorail website to see all our members and their blogs, as well as all our previous loops.

Red Map Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ Disney Donna Kay
2nd Stop ~ Colorado Mountain Mom
3rd Stop ~ A World View
4th Stop ~ Growing Up Disney
Final Stop ~ My Dreams Of Disney