April through October can be pretty hot in central FL so try to get to the park early and take a break by noon or go after 3pm
when the heat somewhat dies down.
We always try to go to Disney in November before the holiday rush and while it is still semi-cooler weather. Also, if you do go in April through October – pack the SPF. Nothing can ruin the magic of Disney like sunburnt toddlers or parents. Also investing in any sort of SPF shirts for the entire family too: https://swimzip.com
. They have built in SPF. I wore a long sleeve version because you start to get fried and these shirts actually keep you cooler too.
Tolls & Traffic:
Orlando is similar to our home state of Illinois in the fact that it is super Toll Happy…if you aren’t staying on property at Disney, make sure when you rent your car, you get the SunPass or bring TONS of quarters. Also, I4 is kinda a nightmare and has heavy traffic at certain (most) times of the day…..just breathe.
We only had stamina for about 3-4 hours in the Magic Kingdom park per day. It’s exhausting with the crowds, kids, lines and navigating the park. I think there is re-entry but once we left we never had the energy to go back. This is partly the reason you need more than one day at the Magic Kingdom.
– pay for the convenience of the VIP preferred parking. It was worth it for us. Your walk to the park is shorter and easier with kids. You don’t want to deal with the shuttle buses if you don’t have to. It’s gonna be hot, the kids are gonna be excited to get there and then when the day is done, you want to get to your car PRONTO! Everyone will be tired and parking closer is so worth the extra $20.
Magic Kingdom Reco’s:
Plan the rides you wanna go on ahead of time. This will help make your day smoother. See the link below which is a map of MK. Magic Kingdom is huge. So what we did was focus on Fantasyland and Tomorrowland one day and then divide up the rest of the “lands” into different days. This is the reason you can spend more than 1 day at Magic Kingdom. It’s massive and there is so much to do and see. Not only is it massive, but there will always be some sort of line. (fast passes help though)
MAP of Magic Kingdom:
You are allotted 3 “fast passes” at a time. So, this kinda gets confusing. As soon as you buy your park passes, logon and choose the rides you want to skip lines for.
The way the Fast Pass gets a little complicated is that you have to use all three before you can reload 3 more. You can reload more once in the park at kiosks they have set up or the app on your phone.
Once you use all 3 fast passes – you can then choose 3 more rides to use it on. I don’t think we ever re-loaded ours b/c we only did 3 big rides per day. Also, the Fast Pass is kinda annoying because of the timings that are available.
I know I said to choose all your rides ahead of time – but it’s kinda dictated by the fast pass availability of your rides too. For example, Peter Pan’s ride is in Fantasyland and the Tomorrow Speedway is in Tomorrowland – you might have to jump between “lands” depending on the times available.
We paid extra to do this and it’s worth it. You guys would have a seat for the awesome firework show and treats for the show:
Where to stay – Reunion or Encore Home Rentals:
We rented homes and condos here all the time. It’s close to the park and so nice to have a house with a kitchen, your own pool, etc. Close to a grocery store, etc. See the map link to see it’s about 20 minutes in low traffic to the park.
We highly recommend taking the kids on the cars that turn into boats and eating at the Boathouse
too, I believe Gibson’s owns it. We love Disney Springs and would go here everyday because it’s clean and there is so much to do and see. The kids love the T-Rex Cafe
– make a reservation because it fills up quickly.
Character meals –
Definitely take the kids to at least one of these. They will flip when they see Minnie, or Goofy come to your table and the photo ops rock. The food wasn’t good at ours – buffet food never appeals to me but it was worth it to do this once for Olivia.
Make all restaurant reso’s ahead of time, through the Disney app or their website. This blogger had good reco’s
on the hotels that do the character dining.
Alternative things besides Disney: I went to college in this town, Orlando has everything. If you need more recos on alternative Disney things, let me know. I love O-town, I got plenty of recos!
- Epcot or Aquatica or the waterparks
- Wonder works or ripple’s believe it or not
- Legoland (kinda far from Disney though, but we did this park too, just not in conjunction with Orlando)
Disney is the best. We have gone about 5 times now and every time we love it even more. It’s clean, organized and a well-oiled machine. They do everything well and the kids absolutely love it. It’s true that Disney is just a magical place. Once you go you might be hooked.