Nine Tips to Make Your First Disney World Trip Magical

Going to Disney World for the first time can be exciting and a little intimidating. You may not be sure what to expect or how to even plan your Disney World vacation. I did tons of research for our first Disney World trip, and I was still surprised by a lot once we got there. Now that we’ve made dozens of trips to Disney World here is a rundown of what I wish I had known before our first Disney World vacation.

Don’t Be Intimidated To Plan A Disney World Trip

A little planning goes a long way!  Not everyone is ready or willing to have a color coded spreadsheet kind of trip.   If the idea of doing any planning causes you angst you can always contact an authorized Disney Vacation planner to walk you through it.

If you would like to do your own planning I recommend using this planning timeline. It has an overview of what you need to do each month. In particular, the two planning items that will make your first Disney World trip easier are making Disney World park reservations and advanced dining reservations.

You Will Not See Everything On Your First Disney World Trip

Not even close.  Pick a couple of must do items and everything else is sprinkles on the cupcake. As many times as we have been to Disney World we still always find something new to experience. This is why we never get bored at Disney.

Just Because You Are In A Magical Place Does Not Mean That Your Children Will Be Magically Changed

Remember your child’s personality at home and adjust your plans. For example, we often had to take a mid-day rest when Elizabeth was younger. Some kids are not going to like the characters. That’s okay!

Find out more tips for taking toddlers to Disney World here.

Your “Big Reveal” Of A Surprise Disney Trip May Be A Bust, But That Doesn’t Mean Your Trip Will Be  

We’ve all seen the YouTube videos where the children react perfectly to finding out about the trip.  Guess what – no one posts the other videos.

For our first Disney World trip I did a cute Disney Princess backpack full of essentials for the park as a big surprise reveal. I did not get the response I hoped for, but that trip sparked our love of Disney.

There Should Really Be A Couch To Disney Fitness Training Plan

Disney World is incredibly large and the whole property is nearly the same size as San Francisco. When we visit the parks we tend to walk between 6 and 10 miles a day!

Check The Planned Closings/Refurbishment Schedule Before Your Trip

There is nothing worse than talking up the Haunted Mansion only to find it is closed the entirety of your visit. Even if a key attraction is closed during your trip I promise there will still be plenty of fun things to do. But to avoid disappointment here’s a place to check the refurbishment schedule.

Your Child Might Be Terrified Of The Characters

Elizabeth was a huge princess fan prior to our first Disney World trip. Since she loved princesses so much I was surprised she was hesitant to meet them at first. After a little while we figured out she was actually afraid of the princes! 

Some characters like Goofy and Mickey can be pretty intimidating. Sometimes you can ease into characters by meeting “face” characters like princesses first. Another way to help ease your child’s fear is by you interacting with the character first. And if those tricks don’t work that’s okay! Maybe on the next trip they will feel differently.

First Disney World Trip Equals No Expectations From Your Kids 

Savor it. It will never be the case again.

Be Flexible And Have Fun!  

A lot will go how you planned on your first Disney World trip and some won’t. However, with a positive attitude you can find the fun in it all. Some of our best memories are when things didn’t go quite according to plan.

Final Thoughts On Tips For A First Disney World Trip

Our first trip to Disney World began our love of all things Disney. This love bloomed even though not everything went exactly as I expected. I hope these tips for your first Disney World trip help you have a fun and magical vacation.

Seeing the Disney magic through the eyes of a child is a special experience, but are you wondering which is the best age to take your kids to Disney? Find out the pros and cons of different ages at Disney from family travel experts.

Do you need more help planning your Disney World trip? Check out other Disney World tips and tricks in my Disney World Guides.

Or are you going to Disneyland in California? I have helpful articles for you, too!

Going to Disney World for the first time is so exciting, but can cause anxiety, too. Find out what I wish I had known before our first trip.
It was all worth it!