Walt Disney World First-Timers: Things to Know Before You Go

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If you are planning your first trip to Walt Disney World, you may be feeling overwhelmed. This is totally normal given that Disney World is huge! The resort is comprised of four theme parks, two water parks, and countless resort hotels and dining options. Walt Disney World is known to be the “most magical place on earth”, but without the proper planning and foresight, your trip might feel more stressful than magical. Here are some things Walt Disney World first-timers should know before your trip.

Which Way


Disney World crowds can be unpredictable, but there are some key indicators of crowd levels. Crowds tend to be higher when school is out and during holidays. There are also events that can draw higher crowds such as runDisney and sports competitions. There are several ways to help mitigate touring the parks during peak crowds. Early Park Entry and Extended Evening Hours, special ticketed events, and skip-the-standby-line services like Genie+ and Individual Lightening Lane purchases can help you get an edge up on the rest of the crowd.

WDW Crowds


Walt Disney World first-timers will come to learn, the weather in Orlando can also be unpredictable! It can be cold enough for coats and gloves, hot as the surface of the sun, and rainy enough to soak your shoes and shut down outdoor attractions. Be sure to check the weather forecast leading up to your trip and pack accordingly. Some things you might need to add to your packing list depending on the forecast are jackets and sweatshirts, extra shoes, rain ponchos, cooling neck towels, handheld fans, water bottles and plenty of sun protection.

Rainy Day

Trip Goals

The makeup of your travel party can impact how you tour the parks. Do you have a small tight-knit group or a large group that may want to split up at times? Is this a once-in-a-lifetime-squeeze-it-all-in trip or a more relaxing trip with some downtime at the resort? Does your group want someone to take the lead on planning or do they want to be involved? Is food just as important to your group as the theme parks? Consider and discuss these questions when you are planning your daily itinerary to avoid disagreements and misunderstandings during the trip.


Transportation is not the most exciting topic but it can make or break your trip. Not only do you need to determine how to get to and from the airport, but you need to plan how you will get around within Disney World. Disney World offers several free transportation options such as shuttles, the Skyliner, the Monorail, and ferry boats. Learn about the transportation options available at your resort and at each park. Map out how you will get to and from the parks each day and how you will get to places outside of the parks such as Disney Springs or dining at other resorts.




Children and Special Needs

If you have children or anyone with special needs in your travel party, it is important to educate yourself on the rules and available accommodations. Aside from the obvious considerations when traveling with children, you may also need to consider stroller requirements and rentals, attraction height requirements, and childcare center information. Plan ahead for nap time and picky eaters!

When it comes to special needs such as disabilities and food allergies, Disney World has top notch accommodations! Disability Access Service (DAS) and other services are available for those that meet the eligibility requirements. Disney World also has menu options for those with food allergies. Learn about these services and accommodations before you go on your trip.

Technology is Your Friend

Whether you view technology as a good thing or a bad thing, it is integral to a successful Disney World trip. Make sure you become familiar with all the Disney World technology before your trip!


Here is a technology checklist to review before you leave:

  • Create a MyDisneyExperience account
  • Download the latest version of the MyDisneyExperience app
  • Enter your credit card information in your profile
  • Link your resort reservation and complete resort check-in
  • Link your park tickets and make park reservations
  • Add your travel party to your Friends and Family list
  • Link and activate your MagicBands
  • Purchase Memory Maker prior to your trip to save money

You can use the app for resort check-in, dining reservations, mobile food orders, accessing your park tickets, viewing maps and wait times, booking and purchasing rides, joining virtual queues, and much more!

Most Importantly, Have Fun!

These are just a few things Walt Disney World first-timers need to know before you go. Preparation and planning for your Disney World trip can alleviate stress so you can focus on having fun! The Magic For Less Travel can help you keep track of all these details and more so that you can focus on living in the moment, taking in all the magic, and making memories of a lifetime!

WDW Castle



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