Disney World is the happiest place on earth – until you get there and realize that it’s a disastrous mess of tourists and people stopping in the middle of the street and literally shoving you out of their way so they can climb on the tram faster. It is the place you begin wondering if manners and basic courtesy are taught anywhere other than your own home. Of course, as bad as Disney is, you cannot avoid going – especially if you have kids. As Florida natives with two little girls and annual passes who live an hour from the Disney Resort, I’m happy to share what I know about making your Disney experience a good one.
Go At Night
In Florida, it’s pretty much hot and humid all year, even at Disney. If you plan on visiting the park during the summer, it’s far better to go in the evenings. The crowds thin out a bit after five and you might not feel quite so much like dying of heat. Lines tend to be shorter because people are lining up for the evening parades, and if you don’t mind missing those, you’ll get to do more in less time.
You might want to take the tram from the parking lot to the gate when you park at Disney, but it is always faster to just walk. We go the Magic Kingdom 3 to 4 times a month and never once have we not beat the tram. Even parked all the way in the back of the parking lot, waiting in line for a tram and then waiting for everyone to load takes a lot longer than just walking; and not having to fold up and empty your stroller to get on is reason enough to just walk.
If you want to dine with the princesses, do it at Epcot. No matter how many times we’ve been to the Castle to dine, it’s always more personal and friendlier when we go to Akershus in Epcot. There are less people, there is always a convenient reservation and all six princesses spend plenty of time with your kids. Additionally, the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is more personal at the Disney Store in Downtown Disney than in the castle. We always feel so rushed in the castle but in the store they always fawn over the girls a little more and make it a little more special for them.