name='p:domain_verify'/> Always A New Day : 7 Disney World Tips For First-Timers


7 Disney World Tips For First-Timers

I'm taking advantage of our Texas snow days to catch up on a post I've wanted to write for a while! ALL THINGS DISNEY! We traveled to the happiest place on Earth right before Christmas. So much planning goes into a Disney World trip, and while there are great travel agents to help make the plans, you can absolutely plan it all yourself. Thanks to my mom and sister for the planning - and it's because of them that I can share these tips.

If you've got Disney World on the brain, then this post is for you. And don't forget to pin this if you ever want to take those kiddos to see Mickey and friends. 


This little app was our tour guide, reservation maker, and so much more. When you purchase a theme park ticket, you can use the app to make Fast Pass selections for rides, shows, and character meet-n-greets up to 30 days in advance. Big bonus if you stay at a Disney resort - then you can book up to 60 days in advance. 

We also all had access to our one My Disney Experience account so we could keep up with our Fast Pass schedules and make any changes if needed. We would make changes based on the waiting times which are also shown on the app. If we had a Fast Pass for a ride with a short line, we just open the app and make the change to something else that had a longer wait. Those Fast Passes are game changers. 

The map option on the app is super helpful, too. But, it doesn't hurt to grab a good ol' park map when you're there!


We usually stay at a value resort (they base resorts on your budget plans - from deluxe to moderate to value) because you honestly aren't in the hotel long enough during your stay. But, no matter your budget, we highly recommend staying on property. Not only do you get to book things far in advance, but you also have the bus transportation to each park. Winning!


Before we leave home, we order our groceries online and have them delivered to our hotel. From quick lunch items to the kids' favorite snacks, you can get it all. Ask the hotel if there is a refrigerator in your room (request one if not) to store your groceries. Each day, we made sandwiches for lunch that we took into the parks. Saves money and time! Another BIG recommendation is to add case(s) of water to your list. Water isn't cheap at the parks! And you'll need hydration for all the walking you will be doing. #TrustMe

You can use Garden Grocer or this year, we ordered from Safeway. And don't forget breakfast items, too - yogurt + granola + fruit was our favorite combo so we could get out the door and hit the fun!


The first year we went with kids, they were 6 years old and 15 months. I almost got a single stroller, but we decided on a double for that trip. BEST DECISION EVER. The days at Disney be long (longer if you have a tired, cranky kid) so it was nice to have a double for both kids to rest and/or nap. This year with them being 9 and 4, we only got a single, and it worked out well. They also make great storage for all the souvenirs/snacks/survival items you need for Disney.

Check out Orlando Stroller Rentals - they are great and have amazing customer service. We've used them twice and highly recommend their strollers. 


All over the parks, they have photographers in the best locations. You can get your photo taken and then they scan your magic band (you'll get these before you leave, and they are your lifeline). The pictures show up right away on your My Disney Experience app. You can save them to your phone to share on social media and also download them all once you get home. 

See all the pictures in this post? All courtesy of our Magic Maker!


The weather in Florida can be weird so pack accordingly. Definitely bring a light jacket because if you go in the fall/winter, there may be a chill especially at night. Pack for comfort - we walked 10 miles one day. Thank goodness for my tennis shoes and workout leggings. If you go in the summer, bring your bathing suit (even pack some in your everyday bag). Heck, we packed ours for December just in case we got in some pool time at the hotel. 

Finally, if you want fun Disney shirts for your trip - get them before you go! Wal-Mart had great ones as does Target and the Disney Store. You can also have some made - luckily, my friend, Laura, has some mad skills so we had a few shirts made.

And don't forget umbrellas and rain ponchos, too. Rain is a high possibility, and you don't want it to stop the fun!


Depending on how long you stay, you may want a day to take it easy. Swim in the pool or visit Disney Springs for shopping and fun (the bus will take you there, too).

We also used a free morning to see other hotels. During Christmas, there are so many beautiful decorations that we love to see. The Grand Floridian has a giant gingerbread house plus don't even get me started on all the amazing Christmas trees. Beautiful!

If you have little ones, this rest day may help you all have a magical time. It is vacation after all so get the rest/free time in when you can. 


Planning for Disney itself may require a vacation after all is done, but planning ahead does save you so much. Once you arrive, it's time for fun and to watch your kids go bananas over all the magic (and I won't lie - the adults get giddy, too). Though there are only 7 tips here, I know more will come up so don't be surprised if a part 2 (or 3 or 4) happens in the future.

If you have any Disney tips, share in the comments. Disney has SO much to offer and can be the trip of a lifetime.

See you real soon!


  1. Your trip looked like so much fun! I can't wait to take my children there sometime and build memories like yours!

    1. Thank you! We had a blast, and you will, too, when you go! So fun!

  2. awesome tips and awesome post! We love Disney! definitely pinning this for later to share with my Disney rookies!

    1. Thanks so much! We love it, too. I'm ready to go back!

  3. We have actually talked about planning a Disney World trip this year!! I’ll have to save this post. The app and the magic maker sound like the best things ever!

    1. They are the best! Both allow you to have the best time ever. Thanks for saving!

  4. Great tips. Packing your own snacks is critical if you have any food allergies. I totally agree about staying at one of the Disney resorts. We could take the toddler back for a nap easily.

    1. Such a good point! When you bring your own, you know exactly what your kids are eating. And yes!! Naps are necessary for the little ones!

  5. Your tips are so helpful! I’ll defini be using when we visit one day. And how awesome that they have stroller rental?! Love that, it really helps with not taking extra stuff.

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