Traveling in a whole can be a bit of a pain, but when you go to the happiest place on earth, your perception can really change because lets face it Disney just does it better. I have to admit that I have been to Disney World 4 times in the last 5 years and these tips are some I have learned along the way. They will help make everything a little easier so you can just start having fun.
TIP ONE: YOUR MAGIC BANDS
When you book at a Disney Resort, you will receive what is called a Magic Band in the mail before your vacation. These bands are fully customizable; you just have to make sure you jump online at My Disney Experience to activate and customize them. These will be your lifeline in the park and at your Resort. You will be able to access your room, load fast passes on the band up to 90 days in advance, not to mention load your park tickets on them, so it is just a quick scan at the gate. This is one innovation that Disney has come up with that makes for a more efficient stay which of course means less stress and more fun.
TIP TWO: MAGICAL EXPRESS
A perk for staying at a Disney Resort is the free shuttle service to the hotel, it’s called the Magical Express. Now this might seem like a no brainer, but when you stay off property, you can find yourself with a 60 dollar or more ride from the airport to your resort. Now when you think about some of Disneys’ Resorts, this is actually a great way to save a little money and get your vacation off on the right foot. I know that my rides on the Magical Express make me feel like my vacation starts just a little bit earlier.
The Magical Express can be booked when you have all your flight information and it is super easy to do. However, if you forget to book as I have in the past, a Cast Member will be happy to assist at the Magical Express entryway in the Orlando Airport. This service is also available to you as a return service when heading back to the airport.
TIP THREE: NO BAGS NO PROBLEM
One of the things I hate most about traveling is lugging my bags to and from the airport. When I was able to skip all of that the first time I never looked back. If you input all your flight information into My Disney Experience, then they will send you a pleasant little surprise when you get your Magic Bands. Disney will provides you with a luggage tag that corresponds to the Resort that you are staying. So what do you do? Well, you put it on your bag like any other luggage tag. The best part about this is that once you check your bags with this tag at your departing airport, you won’t have to worry about your bags until you get to your room. Yes, your room.
The first time that I did this, I was a little skeptical but every Cast member that I asked assured me everything would be taken care of. I hate to admit it, but our bags beat us to our room and not having to pull them off the carousel at baggage claim was pure Magic. Once again with my busy schedule, I forgot to get the tags before we left, so a good tip here is that all you have to do is see the Cast Member at the Magical Express entrance and give them your baggage claim information, you will still be able to take advantage of this awesome perk. The only disclaimer I have is you must be staying at a Disney Resort.
Unfortunately, this also works in reverse. I must say unfortunately because who wants to go home. Can’t we just vacation all day every day? All you have to do is check with the Resort for checked bag times and make sure you check them before they close and you won’t have to worry about those bags till you get home.
TIP FOUR: ROOMS READY WITH NO WAIT
Check into your room before you even get to Disney. On the My Disney Experience App, you can link your resort reservation and check in before you get to your Disney Resort. This one is awesome because there is no better feeling then when you are riding that Magical Express to your Resort and receive the message that your room is ready. They will provide you with a room number that is linked to your Magic Band so you can bypass the check-in line and go right up to your room. Um, yes, please. I do this every time I travel to Disney, and it makes me so happy to walk by that crowded front desk and just head straight up to my room. I will say that if you arrive in Orlando early your room may not be ready but flying from the west coast, I have not yet experienced a time when my room wasn’t prepared for me when I got to the Resort.
TIP FIVE: RESERVE YOUR SEAT
We touched on being able to get fast passes ahead of time, but one other thing that really helps is setting up some dinner reservations before you even get there. When you think about the most popular places to eat it could be quite trying to get a reservation, so set an alarm for the day you can set up dining and make it happen. A side tip, if you can’t find the reservation that you want is to keep trying. Bookings become open all the time, and you can get one if you put in a little extra effort. Regardless, I know that it is tough to watch a family trying to sit down and eat at their favorite spot and they don’t have anything available.
Maybe you are a Disney vet or maybe this is your first trip to Disney. Whatever it may be it is important to find the magic in your stay as soon as possible. I know that these tips have served me well and I hope they do the same for you. Just remember to soak it in and have a magical stay.