I have a friend who is planning her first trip to Disney. She has all kinds of questions so it got me thinking. I know there are a lot of things on Pinterest about first time to Disney that you can find but I thought I would write about this because I am in the moment going through this with her and seeing it through her eyes. She has a lot of great questions that I would not think of because it is second nature to us at this point because we have been so many times. I forgot what it is like to not know but want to be prepared. After all, Disney is an expense and you want to get the most out of your vacation, I’ve said it before but it bears repeating. You save all year and want your vacation to be amazing!
So let’s get to it, a few things you may need to know if you have never been to Disney.
Please know that this post contains affiliate links. This just means that if you click on the link and it results in a sale, I get rewarded a small commission, at no extra cost to you. These funds help me keep my blog up and running, so thank you!
How big is Disney?
Disney is 47 square miles! It is larger than New York. There are 4 theme parks; Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and the Animal Kingdom, along with 2 water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon.
There are approximately 300 places to eat throughout the resort. There will be more opening in 2018 one of which includes Woody’s lunch box opening summer of 2018 at Hollywood Studios. If you are unsure about the meal plan options please take a look at my post, it may help you decide if the meal plan is right for you.
Should I take a stroller?
I recommend a stroller even if your child doesn’t normally use one anymore. Your six-year-old will get tired. If you are flying out there I would recommend renting your stroller from Magic Strollers. They will deliver to your resort, so your stroller is there when you arrive. You just leave it when you leave up front and they pick it up. They will give you a rain cover to use while you have it. Their strollers all come with parent console for your cups.
Can I take snacks into the park?
Yes, you can. Now I don’t recommend taking a full-blown meal but I always take something light for my little ones. It’s also helpful when waiting in a hot long line to have something like dried fruit or fruit snacks to hand them to help with a meltdown on the behalf of your toddler and you.
I also recommend you take a water bottle with a filter if you don’t like the taste of unfiltered water. Water is free throughout the park. Just go to any quick serve restaurant and ask for a cup of water, then you can add to your filter water bottle.
How much should I plan to spend on souvenirs?
Well, let’s see. You could spend hundreds upon hundreds easily; oh you don’t want to spend any more than you have to? Here is my tip. Go to Walmart, Target and Dollar store frequently. Check out what they have on sale in the Disney departments. Snatch it up and take it with you.
I keep a stock of things here that I have found on sale just for Disney. I do a tinker bell gift each night we are there, thank you Pinterest. This is awesome because I am able to give the kids stuff each morning for the trip so they really don’t ask much throughout the day for things. Also, it entices them to be good. They know they only get their gift from tink if they have been really good all day. In addition, I have saved money on something that we would need for that day. So if you are planning to go to Typhoon Lagoon, that morning your kids would get floaties, a pail and shovel, or anything you deem water related. My kids also save all year-long for Disney so they must buy their own souvenirs while there. They know that we go about every year and they work to have money to spend while there.
What about this magic band?
The magic band is for anyone who stays on the property. After booking you go to my Disney experience and select the color you and your family want. Every guest gets one. Yes, even your 2-year-old who gets in free. Your magic band is your key literally to everything. You will use it to get into your resort room, get into the parks, access your meal plan to pay for food, and even pay for your trinkets when you shop if you so wish to. It also will be scanned each time they take a picture of anyone in your party for your memory maker.
Should I get memory maker?
Just like with the meal plan that is an individual decision. In my opinion yes, it is so worth the money! We come home with anywhere from 300 to 500 pictures that they took while we were there. If you get it before traveling you will save about $50. If you do get it though making the most of it by getting a picture every time you see a photographer and ask them for the special shots. They don’t normally do them unless you ask so always ask what other shots they can do for you. Each one does different shots so you may not be able to get Olaf at the Animal Kingdom but you could at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. As of the time of this post, if you are active or retired military wait and get your Memory Maker once you get to Disney, it is only $89.
Shop this post
Keep in mind with Prime you can order and have everything shipped to your resort so you don’t need to worry about taking it with you!
Here is some other Disney post you may find interesting. Here are some acronyms you may see also.
Disney Day Planner
Plan your day out at Disney with this FREE planner!
Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.