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tips for Walt Disney World

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Top tips for visiting Walt Disney World

Florida, USA

Walt Disney World in Florida is the largest of all the Disney Parks around the world. Itís so huge that itís around the same size as San Francisco, and comprises four theme parks, two water parks, a retail complex and more than 25 unique resort hotels, including a campsite! With over 40 million guests per year, itís important to plan ahead to make the most of this magical wonderland.

1. Stay on site

There are so many benefits of staying in one of the many Disney hotels within Disney World, such as extra magic hours, a complimentary shuttle bus to and from all the parks, dining plans and Disney-themed rooms just to name a few. Since our first visit to Disney World five years ago, there has been a very big change and itís now the ultimate benefit of staying on site: FastPass+ Planning. With the help of a mobile app, you can plan and book time slots for up to three rides, attractions or shows per park, per day for the whole family up to 60 days before arrival. This is an absolute time-saver and helps to almost eliminate those dreaded long lines for rides.

Disney hotels are also suited to almost every familyís need or budget, ranging from value resorts to luxury accommodation. We have stayed in both Disneyís Art of Animation and Disneyís All-Star Sports Resort, which are both in the value range and offer great facilities for families such as a pool, restaurant, gift shop and games arcade. Kids will especially love the Disney theme throughout each resort and spotting characters from their favourite Disney movie.

2. Visit Disney Springs

Located within Walt Disney World Resort, youíll find Disney Springs, an outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment complex. There is so much to see, eat and do at Disney Springs, so make sure you allow plenty of time in your schedule both during the day and at night. Itís also a great opportunity to take a break from the parks and watch a movie or go bowling or shopping.

The kids will love the Build-A-Dino store, or the hands-on play tables at the Lego Store. Visiting Disney Springs is also a great opportunity to shop for all the must-have Disney merchandise such as Mickey hats, toys and more at the ginormous World of Disney store. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Goofyís Candy Company or the famous Ghirardelli Ice Cream and chocolate shop. Donít miss visiting Disneyís Candy Cauldron for a delicious character candy apple, where you can also watch them being made.

The dining options are endless at Disney Springs, and they cater well for kids with many restaurants offering a kids’ menu. Dinner at Planet Hollywood is always a family favourite of ours, followed by cupcakes for dessert from Sprinkles Bakery. One of the highlights for us was to visit the Coca-Cola store and head up to the Rooftop Beverage Bar to try some interesting soda flavours from around the world, while enjoying the panoramic views of Disney Springs.

tips for Walt Disney World

3. Be adventurous with food

Walt Disney World is not all just about chicken nuggets and popcorn; with around 378 dining options like restaurants, snack carts and dining events within the Disney World complex available, there is no shortage of food both inside and outside the parks. All restaurants at Disney World cater well for little foodies with a kids’ menu, fun Disney themes and affordable prices. Popular sit-down restaurants like Akershus Royal Banquet Hall and Chef Mickeyís should be booked months in advance and offer buffet-style, character dining that is always a real highlight for our family.

World Showcase within Epcot at Disney World is where the real food adventure takes place. Here you can find the greatest variety of food options and cuisine from around the world, all within the one park. Take your tastebuds on an adventure around the world all in one day, as you make your way around 11 different countries. The World Showcase is a great opportunity for kids to try something other than chicken nuggets, plus to make it fun, your little ones can create free crafts at the Kidcot spots in every country. Kids will love eating tacos and churros in Mexico, classic fish and chips in Britain, followed by some traditional artisan ice-cream in France and all washed down with soda flavours from around the world. Donít miss a visit to the delicious caramel kitchen in Germany, Karamell-Küche, for some tasty treats like brownies, cookies and fudge.

4. Must-do and must-see

Pandora: The World of Avatar is an all-new land within Disneyís Animal Kingdom and is the hottest new attraction to experience at Disney World right now. You must book FastPass+ selections for the Avatar Flight of Passage and the Naívi River Journey before you arrive, as the lines get extremely long. Kids will love getting their face painted in designs inspired by Pandora and getting hands-on play with traditional Naívi drums.

Another recent addition to Disney World is the Frozen Ever After Ride at Epcot. Suitable for all ages, itís a magical journey aboard an ancient Norwegian vessel through the wintry world of Frozen. If you miss out on getting a FastPass+ for this ride, like we did, just head there first thing in the morning for the shortest wait time youíll find there all day.

See Festival of the Lion King at the Animal Kingdom. Itís the perfect opportunity to take the kids to see a Broadway-style show that is only 30 minutes long and is jam-packed with music, singing and acrobatics. Itís perfect for all ages, plus older kids may even be asked to join in the performance like my boys were!

tips for Walt Disney World

From Disney to New York City this fun loving travel bug family is always planning or going on their next trip somewhere in the world. They are Melbourne foodies at heart so food always plays a crucial role when travelling. See their blog at Snowflakes, Palm Trees & Pretzels.

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