Top Florida Tips - My Disney World Planning

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In the previous blog post (click here) I announced that I wanted to start sharing my planning experience for my Disney World holiday here on my blog. There will be a few posts going up from now up until June (which is when I go) all about my planning which people can join in with and that will hopefully help others who are going to Orlando too. There will also be just general posts that will be 'Orlando Holiday' related! 


I love researching different things leading up to my holiday to help with my planning, this can be either 'How much spending money should I take?' or 'What do I need to pack?' etc etc. I came across a wonderful website called 'The dibb' which is a Disney & Florida planning forum for everyone in the UK. This has helped me MASSIVELY so I encourage you to have a look if you haven't already! Since joining this website, I have picked up so many great tips as well as sharing my own which can hopefully help others who are planning a Florida holiday. Here are just a few of my top tips for while you are out there...


General Tips

Share meals or order kids meals if you're on a budget - The portion sizes are HUGE and this is definitely something to consider if you are on a budget or generally don't eat that much.
The weather is unpredictable - Expect the heavens to open at around 2-3pm most days if travelling in summer, usually they dont last long though and you will be ready to head back out again within an hour.
Go to a theme park on your first full day - because of the time change, you will most likely be up at 5am, take advantage of this and head to a theme park nice & early so you can see the opening parade. 
Start from the back - When you arrive to a theme park at opening time, to avoid big lines, start on the rides at the back of the park and make your way to the front.
Rider swap - If some of your family want to do a ride that others dont, use the 'rider swap' facility. This way one adult can stay with the person while others ride, when they come back, that adult who stayed behind can now ride without having to queue up again.
Disney Guide - Order a planning guide from the disney website, it is a great little book and is FREE of charge!
Disney Fast Pass - Make sure you plan your fast passes before you go (60 days in advance if you are staying onsite, 30 if you are offsite) below I have mentioned arguably the 3 most busiest rides at each park that I think are a must to Fast Pass.



Driving

Automatic - Most hire cars in America are Automatics. Get used to driving Automatic before you go!
Drivers Fee - If you are hiring a car, remember you need to be 21 with at least 1 years driving experience (some companies ask for 3 years) If you are under 25 however, there is a hefty surcharge of around $14-25 a day for being in a 'high risk' catergory.
Driving laws - Remember they drive on the right hand side in the states and can also turn right at a red traffic light. They also have a 'no left wheel to the kerb' rule, so when parked on the road, make sure you are not in the direction of oncoming traffic.
Plan your route - If you don't have a SATNAV, using wifi on your phone, load your route on your maps, this will then save to the phone and can still be used when you are out of range - saving the silly phone bills!


Packing

Dont pack formal - in florida no one dresses up in the evening, don't even put one slightly 'dressy' outfit in your case (like I did)..you will not wear it!
Empty suitcase - If you are planning on doing a lot of shopping while you are there, consider taking a suitcase inside an empty suitcase, this way you will have lots of room for goodies!
Comfy shoes - You will be doing a LOT of walking, make sure you pack your most comfortable shoes!
Tops & Shorts - Pack lots & lots of strappy tops and shorts that can mix & match.
Towels - Dont bother packing these as most hotels and villas provide them, but if you do find that you need one, Walmart only charge about $5.


Plane

First off the plane - If you are travelling economy, try booking as near to the front as possible to ensure you're one of the first off (after upper & premium) and therefore one of the first in line for immigration. If travelling Virgin, try and book the upstairs economy section as they are usually the first economy seats to get let off.
Book the 'Bubble' - If you are flying Virgin Economy, try book the upstairs. This is much more spacious than downstairs due to the small number of seats, which gives it a more premium feel and the staff are usually more attentive. There is also extra storage space next to the window seat for you to put your bag, etc.
Nervous flyer? - Take either 'Kalms' or 'Rescue Remedy' before flying to calm your nerves, available from most supermarkets and chemists.



Must Fast Pass Rides

Magic Kingdom

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Space Mountain
Splash Mountain

Animal Kingdom

Expedition Everest
Kilimanjaro Safari
Kali River Rapids

Epcot

Test Track
Soarin'
Mission Space

Hollywood Studios

Toy Story Mania
Tower of Terror
Rock n Roller Coaster


Recommended Ticket Sites

Attraction Tickets Direct
Attraction Tix
Florida Tix
Florida Escapes
Orlando Attractions





xox







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