Disney World tips


I received an email from a fellow Princeton alumnus, asking for any tips on bringing the family to Walt Disney World.

My park visits aren’t typical of how other people do it. I treat the parks like my own local suburban mall; Jill and I drop by for a few hours to stroll, peoplewatch, and grab a bite to eat. So I suggested that one of the many books on how to make the most of a Disney World visit might be a better resource. Jill also recommends AllEarsNet (http://allears.net/) as a web site with a lot of useful information on it for Disney trips.

But still, I came up with a few recommendations for him:

  • Use the Disney World web site to make FastPass+ selections so you don’t have to deal with lines when you get here.
  • Do things at nonstandard times – eat lunch outside of the typical 11am-1pm timeframe, go on rides when there’s a parade happening. That helps avoid the crowds.
  • AllEarsNet has a great list of “Overlooked Attractions” (http://allears.net/tp/ola.htm) that has ideas for a lot of the out-of-the-way less-well-known experiences that are a lot of fun. For example, we like to go to the Fort Wilderness Campgrounds for the campfire singalong and the movie.

Above all: bring bottles of water so you stay hydrated (it helps to bring a backpack to toss these and other items into), and wear comfortable shoes that are broken in before your trip. And don’t overexert yourself – feel free to return to your resort for a couple of hours in the afternoon. I recommend that you take a day “off” (at the resort, or going to something else in the area such as Kennedy Space Center) for every two days “on” at the theme parks, because all the time walking on hard concrete under the sun can be exhausting! Don’t push yourself, accept that there will be lines (though the wait times are always less than Disney tells you to expect), and above all, have fun!

I went looking for any interesting connections between Disney and Princeton, and I wasn’t able to come up with any, but I did find this video of the Princeton Footnotes serenading Princess Tiana: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4YBqQIJHYU

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