We MousekeMoms are used to giving Disney tips, but this week we wanted to get some tips from others. We decided to shamelessly crowdsource the best Disney advice. We asked our new Facebook Friends at Disney World Junkies for their best Disney advice in 5 words, and we hit the jackpot. We got over 335 responses. We are happy to share, but first…
While Jen and Juliana are holding the fort here at MouskeMoms, Lori is on a reconnaissance mission (aka amazing vacation) at WDW this week. She went to Animal Kingdom and tried the Himalayan Ghost from Thirsty River Bar. Undeterred by its pink color that was eerily reminiscent of the drink in Epcot that she described as ‘tastes like Grandpa,’ she went for it. It’s made with vodka, guava juice, and odwalla lemonade. It sounds a bit sweet, but Lori is known to enjoy a sugary adult beverage. She tells us it’s delicious…..“a better take on a vodka lemonade, sweet but refreshing adult beverage.” Jen and I will take her word for it.
Now, the Results - your Best Disney Advice in 5 Words:
Our friends over at Disney World Junkies have almost as much to say about Disney as we do, which is so awesome. Some of the tips were sentimental and some snarky, just like us MousekeMoms. A lot of it we had heard before but it bears repeating, and some of it had never occurred to us.
We got lots of tips on how to just enjoy the MAGIC.
- Many MousekeFriends reminded us to “Pay attention to the details” and “Enjoy all the magical moments.”
- “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (or swear)” – Too true. It can be a challenge, but it’s a family place, right?
- “Be Nice to Cast Members.” Jen and I agree wholeheartedly. Not only are they the very people who actually make the Magic, they have been through a heck of a year. Go ahead and tweet out a compliment to them too!
- “Stop and Smell the Roses,” to which another fan replied “You just have to smell everything in Disney, it all smells amazing.” Indeed. Main Street Confectionary anyone?
- “Always remember to look up.” Absolutely. There is so much detail everywhere, and if you don’t look, you’ll miss at least half of it. In fact, learn more at our upcoming event “The Magic Kingdom: Behind the Magic” on January 27.
- “Forget how old you are.” Enough Said
- “Be the Magic for someone.” We really liked the story behind this one. This fan told us “We took a group of entrepreneurs to Disney a few weeks ago to learn innovation from the Mouse. One of the assignments was to ask the cast members what they did to make someone’s day magical today. One of our guests decided after that that he wanted to be the someone who did something magical for someone else. He ended up gifting a pin and a popcorn bucket to another family. One of the best parts of that trip was seeing what he did to make someone’s day magical. I’m doing it on all my future trips now.” Paying it forward Disney style.
When giving their best Disney advice, everyone has opinions regarding STRATEGY at Disney.
- “Always stay on Disney property.” We couldn’t agree more. We love this for the convenience factor as well as the continuation of the Magic even after you leave the parks.
- “Arrive before the park opens” and “You can sleep at home” are excellent tips. Beat the crowds by arriving early. This is not the vacation where it makes sense to sleep late.
- “Take a Mid Day Break.” If you get to the parks early, head back to your resort mid day when it’s hottest and most crowded. Have a nap or relax by the pool. The change of scenery recharges adults and kids alike, so you can rally for more fun in the evening hours.
- “Popular rides during parade times.” Or fireworks. While crowds are waiting and watching the shows, they’re not in line for the rides.
- “Magic Kingdom needs two days.” We think all the parks take to days, but yes, especially Magic Kingdom, and especially if your kids are little
- “Don’t stand too close to scooters.” So true! I have actually been run over by a scooter at Disneyland, and then I got yelled at by the driver and her daughter. The fact is, many people who use them at the parks do not usually use them at home, so they are not experts at driving them. They are probably stressed about that too. So bottom line: stay back and be aware.
- “Go left.” OK, it’s only 2 words, but it’s important. When a trail or line splits, most people go to the right. I can’t explain it, but it’s just a human phenomenon. It’s compounded at Disney when waiting to enter the parks at rope drop. People with pre-park opening breakfast reservations are allowed entry to the parks on the left side. So, if there is a crowd waiting, that area thins out before rope drop. It’s science people.
- “Sit down and people watch.” There really is so much to see, some good, some bad, and some ugly. But it’s all entertaining.
- “Stay for at least a week” and “Go to Disney World often.” Yes and yes. If you have the means, we MousekeMoms wholeheartedly agree. There is so much to see and do, you need all the time you can get. Even with a week, you will always leave wanting more.
- But, “Shorter trips are more rewarding,” says another. When asked, she told us “After a few days my entire family falls cranky and tired from the long days, and we do not get proper sleep sharing a hotel room. My favorite trips are about 3 days, 2 nights- there is never a stop to the magic, we don’t get cranky or vacation-exhausted, and we ALWAYS leave extra excited to return and wishing for more. Additionally; there is much less planning involved, and I can afford to do this more times a year rather than going just once every few years for a ‘big trip’.” Good points, right? It all depends on what works for your family and your budget.
- “Rest days save your vacation.” We got this tip a lot, probably more than any other. So, for those of us who do take longer Disney vacations, a rest day is key to avoid the vacation fatigue that can come with multiple park days in a row. Plus, there is so much to see and do outside the parks.
- “Don’t try to plan everything,” was a recurring theme. We MousekeMoms can agree that we have had some of our best days at Disney when we didn’t really have a plan. We had the freedom to explore and take our time, knowing it didn’t matter to us if we did not even scratch the surface of things to do and see.
- “Plan, plan, plan, plan, enjoy” and “Make an itinerary and enjoy” on the other hand were also popular comments. We agree with this too. I never like to waste time trying to decide what to do next. If you are planning your one and only Disney trip for a while, you may want to fit in as much as possible. This will require a pretty solid and structured plan. It all depends on your trip expectations and your personality.
- “Only make plans until noon” is a great compromise. This will give you the best of both worlds. Choose your priorities for the morning hours when things tend to be a little less crowded, and use the afternoon for spontaneity. Love this idea.
- “Do not be too rigid” and “Don’t stress over missed plans.” If you do decide a tight plan is right for you, this advice is key. You have to be able to go with the flow because…
- “You can’t do it all.” This is important to keep in mind whether you use a strict itinerary or not.
We got a few specific tips for trips with (or without) the KIDS:
- “Contemporary is great for toddlers” for myriad reasons. First, it’s so convenient. You can easily walk to Magic Kingdom and there is a separate security check on the walkway. It’s easy to take a mid day break/nap there. After Magic Kingdom closes at the end of a long day, you don’t have to push through crowds for transportation with tired toddlers. It’s convenient when visiting Epcot too. What toddler doesn’t love the monorail. To them it’s a ride in and of itself. Also, Chef Mickey’s is a great character dining option, so you can have dinner there and you’re just an elevator ride from your bed.
- “Going with small children? Breathe!” They’re just kids. They will get cranky and seem ungrateful. Just breathe and buy them a Mickey Bar. It’s vacation. The tantrum won’t last long, and neither will their childhood.
- “Leave the kids at home.” More than one person said this. I never thought I would be one of those people, but having done it twice now, I highly recommend. It’s a whole different experience, and there is just as much adult fun to be had at Disney as there is kid fun.
People are always asking us what to PACK.
- “Splurge on comfortable walking shoes.” You will be doing a LOT of walking. So whether you prefer flip flops, sandals, or sneakers, make sure they are comfortable for you. Don’t end up like our friend who told us, “Was prancing around Magic Kingdom in poorly constructed cheapo flip flops. My toes swelled to twice their size and had to ice bath them for 2 hours for the swelling to go down.”
- “Pack extra shoes and socks.” Just in case one pair gets wet.
- “Sunscreen, Tylenol, and phone charger.” Seems obvious, but easy to forget that stuff.
- “Don’t forget the chafing cream” and “apply baby powder in June.” It’s hot in Orlando. Lots of walking is involved. You get the picture.
- “Rent or bring a stroller.” Great for the kids to have breaks, and it’s convenient for stowing all your stuff.
- “Bring a poncho or umbrella.” Yes….we recommend ponchos. It rains in Florida. A lot. If you stick out the (usually brief) rain storm, you may find fewer crowds on the other side.
- “Frozen bottled water in cooler.” You can always get free cups of ice-water at Quick Service locations, but many of us agree that Florida water has a different taste. Best to just pack your own. Start with a frozen bottle, and as it melts you’ll have cold water all day.
We coudn't overlook our favorite topic, FOOD and DRINK.
- “Pack lunches if not flying.” Great advice. You can bring food with you if you don’t want to buy lunch in the parks. Even if you are flying into MCO, you can have groceries delivered to your resort from sites like Amazon and Green Grocer. So, pack lunches, snacks, bottled water, and whatever provisions you think you need.
- “Order from the kids’ menu.” There is no enforced rule against this. If you want a smaller meal or want to save money, use this option. Alternatively, you can share an adult menu item with someone else as well.
- “Eat Quick Service meals only.” There are lots of great options and there is no rule saying you have to sit at a Table Service meal. Not planning this detail leaves you more time and flexibility.
- “Try the Beverly. Trust me.” Not nice. Do not trust this person. We aren’t sure the Beverly is still available now that Club Cool is closed at Epcot, but if/when it ever returns, just don’t.
- “Drink around the world…twice.” I can’t even make it half way around the World Showcase, let alone twice. Clearly I need to increase my stamina. In all seriousness, the World Showcase is a great place to stroll and sample all kinds of delicious food and beverages.
We even got some advice on getting the best DISNEY ADVICE.
- “Do not crowdsource Disney advice,” but that’s exactly what we are doing here. Take it for what it’s worth. We prefer to crowdsource but then….
- “Always ignore Disney Facebook negativity.” Everyone has an opinion and as you can see from this little Disney advice experiment, they are often contradictory. We don’t all agree. Go ahead and hear people out. Find out why they advise the way they do. Then decide if their advice is right for you.
Finally, our FAVORITE ADVICE....
- “Book your next trip now.” Now is a perfect time to plan your next Disney vacation. With new promotions just released and super flexible change/cancellation policies you can’t go wrong.
- “Always use a Disney Vacation planner,” especially nowadays with things changing all the time. We can help you figure out what advice is best for your vision for your vacation. We want you to have YOUR best trip.
For more details and MousekeMom snark, have a listen for yourself to Season 2: Episode 1.
Do you have any Disney tips or advice that weren’t covered in our poll? Do you agree or disagree with any of the tips we did cover? Share in the comments YOUR best Disney advice. We love to hear from you.