I Lived Near the Disney World – Things Everyone Should Know

I Lived Near the Disney World – Things Everyone Should Know

  • As a “native” of Disney World, I know a lot of things that tourists do wrong when they visit the parks.
  • Definitely worth a look at the resorts and water parks outside the theme parks.
  • Do not feel pressured to do everything in one trip because there is no way anyone can do it.

Growing up just a few miles from Disney World, I consider myself a Disney native. Going to the parks on the weekends, for day trips and “just because” was my habit.

One of my favorite places to live in Orlando was the huge number of tourists. Sharing this small corner of the globe with people from afar was a special experience and made the community warm and welcoming to strangers.

But there are some things tourists would like to know when planning their trip to Disney World.

There is plenty to explore outside of the 4 main theme parks

Hand holding dole whip cup at Disney Polynesian resort

Dole Whip from the Polynesian Resort.

Samantha Tetrault


I love spending a day in one of Disney World’s four theme parks, but the property has more.

It’s worth your time to visit Disney Springs (the area of ​​shopping, entertainment and dining) and Disney Resorts. In addition, it is free to visit.

Professional advice: You do not need to be a guest to visit hotels. But you can not park in lots unless you have a confirmed booking for food. Take Disney’s vehicles (such as buses, one-way or Skyliner) if you just want to explore.

Although you must purchase a ticket, Disney’s two water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, are also a must-do.

An annual pass is cheaper than you think

I have an annual passport holder and it is not really that expensive if you visit the parks often – even if you can not take advantage of the sweet discounts that live in Florida.

If you do not live in the state, a pass costs about $ 1,300 a year. But one-day tickets can cost over $ 100 and one-day park-hopper tickets are closer to $ 200.

If you are planning to spend a few days in the parks a year – especially on peak groups such as spring breaks and winter breaks when ticket prices peak – the annual pass will probably save you money.

Not to mention the additional benefits of the pass, such as not having to pay for parking in the parks, being able to park and receiving discounts throughout the property.

You can always upgrade your daily pass to an annual card.

It’s nice to have a little escape from the Disney bubble

shot of Orlando wheel icon

The Wheel at Icon Park in Orlando.

Samantha Tetrault


There is so much to do in Central Florida and I wish I had not waited so long to explore Downtown Orlando, Winter Park, Winter Garden and Celebration.

You will find amazing restaurants, shops and cultural sites. Or, better yet, drive to local natural resources, state parks or one of the state’s beaches.

Plan for rain even on the sunniest days

In Florida, you can almost always count on the rain.

Tropical weather is unpredictable all year round. It could be beautiful one minute and rainy the next – especially during the warmer months or the hurricane season.

Even if you are used to it raining at home, it is a completely different breed here. You can expect huge gusts of wind, thunder and lightning.

Bring your own poncho and rain umbrellas and take them with you. If it rains, head in for a while. Chances are it will end before you know it.

Always travel out of season if you can

Shot of blossoming cherries in epcot work showcase

Epcot in the spring.

Samantha Tetrault


As a native of Florida, you could not pay me to go to Disney World during the school holidays.

Always do your best to travel out of season. This means skipping summer vacations, spring breaks and winter holidays.

Although it is not always possible, depending on your family schedule, you will save some time and money by visiting February, May, September and early October. Plus, the weather is great these times of year.

I’m a big fan of the afternoon break

Lunch is not just for people under 5, especially when you are on vacation at Disney.

Parks are overwhelming, the weather in Florida can be brutal and it can be difficult for your body to walk all day. If you plan to “throw a rope” the parks (enter just when the gates open) is great ask to stay until the closure.

Do not hesitate to return to your hotel and take a break around 3 p.m. about. Not only is it the hottest (and most miserable) part of the day, but it makes a lot of sense to stay up late.

If you are traveling with children, this break is a must. But even if you do not want to take a nap, this is a great time to relax at the resort, jump in the pool or just enjoy the necessary AC.

Arrive before the park opens, if you want the “rope” privileges.

shot of the entrance to the theme park magical world of disney decorated for christmas

It is especially important to get to busy times early, such as vacations.

Samantha Tetrault


It may sound nice to relax in the mornings, arriving slowly but steadily at Disney parks as the hours open. But you will probably end up late.

There is an unspoken rule that parks open a little early. This is especially true when there are popular attractions such as the Rise of the Resistance and the Flight of Passage.

If possible, reach the park 30 minutes to an hour before opening. This will allow you to have the perfect spot in the row for the rope to fall.

The first hour after the opening of the park usually has the shortest waiting times.

You will never be able to do it all in one go

With so much to do at Disney World, you have to come to terms with the fact that you can not do everything. Even if you spend more than one day in each park, time is running out.

Instead of rushing from activity to activity, focus on being careful right now. The magic of Disney really comes to life in downtime, so don’t be afraid to go on a lunch adventure or stop and watch a sudden show.

It is better to go at a reasonable pace than to pay yourself and your family trying to do everything.

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