Since we will probably go back to Disney World, here are some things to keep in mind for the next time – written when the first time is still fresh in my mind:
- Go in winter. The worst thing about Disney World is the hot Florida weather which makes you sweat under your clothes. So go in winter, but check to see how much rain Orlando gets then. That could be a drawback.
- Go when children are in school. The lines will be much shorter. Disney World does have FASTPASS, but you can only hold one at a time, so lines still matter.
- Allow at least one day for each park you want to see. To see everything in a park takes two to three days.
- Eat a good lunch before you go and eat dinner afterwards. Food in the park is cheaper than I expected, but the prices are still high. You might think waiting till after lunch means waiting too long, but in practice you will not get there much sooner: you will want to stay till the park closes and then eat and get a full night’s sleep and so on.
- Over lunch come to a decision about what to see: which park you want to go to and which attractions in which order. It will not turn out just that way, of course, but it will save time in the end and mean you get to see more.
- Go on rides that everyone will like first and then split up. Agree on a place and time to meet.
- Know that some rides will be down for repairs.
- Places to eat dinner afterwards: For some strange reason there are not many places to eat that are open after the parks close. But there is IHOP. Two of them are on 192 close to Disney, open all night long. There is also Celebration Town Tavern, open till at least two in the morning. They serve good food. It is in Celebration, the town that Disney built.
- Epcot has nice places to eat dinner, one for each of its 11 countries. Not cheap and you have to reserve days if not months in advance, but it is worth doing at least once. Read about them on the Internet and choose the one that seems best. Go there and also to the Mexican place. The Mexican place seems like it would be good even if the food is so-so.
- Consider staying at a Disney hotel. It is not as much money as you think and it might be easier in the end.
- Get a good map. As always. We had one of those GPS things that give directions while you drive, but it did not know the places inside Disney World! And Disney World is twice the size of Manhattan.
- Read as much as you can on Disney World. What little I had read proved invaluable.
- Do not bring a book to read into the park. You might think with all that waiting in line you will need one. It does not work out that way.