Tips for travelling to Disneyworld with the family

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By Luciana Oliveira

Staying on Disneyworld property might cost more, but you will get more perks. Luckily, there are a variety of different hotels situated on the park grounds, ranging from luxurious to budget and child-friendly hotels.

By staying at the park, you will be able to reserve ride times earlier, have access to booking in-demand restaurants, and many other perks. 

The biggest perk is that staying at these hotels grants you early and late access to the parks. This is a big one.

Being in the park earlier can mean beating a ton of lines and feeling a lot less stressed about hitting each attraction on your list.

This perk is called “Extra Magic Hours”. This can also be extra useful if your children are still taking naps in the middle of the day.

Being able to start early and having that extra freedom to stay later makes an afternoon nap a bit more feasible. 

Many of the hotels offer free shuttle or tram service to and from the parks back to the hotels. This is one perk that changes depending on how much you spend on the hotel.

The more luxurious and classic hotels are situated next to the parks, so getting back to these are much easier. The less expensive hotels are a bit further, but do still have shuttle servicing. 

Many of the hotels offer services to have the gifts and souvenirs you buy at the park sent back to your hotel, which can be quite a nice treat when you are heading back to your hotel exhausted late in the evening.

You will be grateful you don’t have to carry all of your items back to the hotel. 

In the parks

Seeing your children in Disneyworld  If your young ones are still a bit small, but no longer using strollers, it might be wise to consider bringing one or renting one anyway.

On average, you will walk the park several times, and even just getting to the park is already several kilometres of walking.

Your child might think they are too big for a pram at the beginning of the day, but you might be grateful that you have one about half a day in.

Luckily, you can rent one on site, and you can rent for more than one day, so you don’t have to stand in line every day for one. 

One major tip when in the parks is to ask for a special button when arriving. While entering the park, you can let them know if you are celebrating an anniversary, a birthday, or a first trip.

You will receive a button saying so, and this button will get you free treats like cupcakes at snack spots and restaurants or other items.

More cast members will greet you and congratulate you, and in general, you will receive a lot of kind gestures. It is definitely worth asking for the buttons.

Make sure to wear these items not just at the park, but at the hotels, shopping centres, and generally throughout the entire resort. You will get all kinds of goodies everywhere.

If you are very excited about the fireworks, then by all means, pick a nice spot to watch, usually the best spots in the magic kingdom are from certain parts of tomorrow land, and right in front of the castle.

If you stand by the water in tomorrow land, it is usually much less crowded, and you still get a good view and can hear the music and action clearly. 

Are fireworks are not really your thing?  Then this is actually an ideal time to hop on a ride that was much too busy earlier.

Typically, the wait times for popular rides like the Haunted Mansion and Splash Mountain become a lot more manageable at this time. 

There is more to Disney than the parks

Realistically, it can be quite pricey to visit every single park. Each park costs well above a hundred USD, which can be a bit unaffordable for every budget.

Luckily, the resort itself has no shortage of fun things to do that aren’t all in the parks. You could honestly spend a few days just hotel hopping and visiting the different, more affordable water parks, the pool areas and woodland trails, and of course Disney Springs.

It is not uncommon for families to travel to Disneyworld, visit one or two parks, and then spend one or two days exploring the resort itself.

Many of the hotels themselves have attractions within them. Shopping Areas like Disney Springs and Disney’s Boardwalk offer not only Disney themed shopping, but shops from all over the world.

These shopping centres are beautifully themed and have live performances such as jazz, street performers, etc. These are especially fun spots to get inexpensive treats to eat. 

Hotel hopping is a remarkable way to spend the day. Some resorts are literally breathtaking, each with their own special theme, and you could literally spend an entire afternoon enjoying them.

Most of the hotels offer the chance to have a meal while seeing your favourite characters, which makes for some wonderful photographic memories. 

The Animal Kingdom Lodge, which has a gorgeous viewing area where you can walk around and hopefully catch a glimpse of wandering wildlife.

Giraffes, gazelles, flamingos, zebras, and more exotic wildlife are roaming the grounds behind the hotel. The lobby provides a very decently sized outdoor area that is open to the public. 

Disney’s Disney Polynesian Resort has been a staple at Walt Disney World since the early days of the park. However, it has stood the test of time, and is still a treat to visit with the children.

The bars and restaurants have a beautiful Hawaiian theme, and it is great fun to stop in for a tiki style cocktail and a fun character smoothie for the kids.

There is access to a beautiful view of the beach property in the back, which is actually a lake that overlooks the Magic Kingdom.

Many people have booked a nice dinner at this hotel, and been able to catch the fireworks from Magic Kingdom.

You can get an ESTA for your whole family

Most families dream of going to Orlando, Florida for a big trip to Disneyworld. To travel to the USA, your entire family will need an ESTA.

An ESTA is an electronic travel authorization equivalent to a visa. Luckily, the  ESTA is much easier to apply for than a visa because they are cheaper, faster, and you don’t have to visit any embassies or consulates. 

When applying for your ESTA online, you have the choice of making a group application, which saves a great deal of time.

You don’t have to worry about filling out much of the information several times, and the ESTA orders can be controlled by one point of contact. This makes the planning portion of the holiday a bit easier. 

Keep in mind that everyone in the family requires an ESTA and a passport, even infants. Make sure that you have everything you need to make your holiday to the most magical place on Earth that much easier.

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Luciana joined our team as a mum blogger in 2020. A dedicated mum to a lively daughter and a dog, Luna, Luciana brings authenticity and passion to every post. Her expertise in parenting and lifestyle topics offers practical, relatable advice for real-life situations.

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