1. Rent a condo/home/townhouse instead of a hotel. For the ultimate comfort, look to rent a home away from home where you can have your own kitchen to cook, rooms for each family member, and more privacy, all at an affordable price. Instead of cramming everyone into one hotel room or reserving multiple rooms, one vacation rental home in Orlando, Florida (http://www.floridasunshinevacationrentals.com/
2. Make dinner reservations in advance. ADRs (Advanced Dining Reservations)
3. Create an itinerary. Disney World consists of various parks, each with their own exciting must-see attractions but with so much to see and do, it's impossible to do everything in only one or two days. Instead of packing a week of activities into 2 days, make a list of the attractions you want to see the most and be realistic about what you will and won't be able to fit into your itinerary.
4. Bring the essentials. When you're walking around the park all day long, the heat can get to you so it's important to stay hydrated and comfortable. Wear your most comfortable walking shoes for trekking around the park as well as moisture-wicking socks to avoid getting blisters. A hat is recommended to protect your face and keep your head cool. Don't forget the sunscreen; it's cheaper to bring with you than to purchase at the park. A small backpack is perfect for holding snacks, water, sunscreen, sunglasses, and any other personal items you need to keep with you that won't take up too much room on the rides.
5. Skip the lines. With a Disney FASTPASS+ you choose three of your favorite attractions in advance and receive a one-hour time window to return and experience the attraction with short or no wait. It's recommended that you use your FASTPASS+ during peak hours (from 11am to 5pm). Know what attractions you want to see in advance and have a plan for what time you want to see them.
6. Get a rental car if you can. If you're planning on going from park to park it's a good idea to get your own rental car for transportation. Disney transportation is free but you will most likely have to wait 20-30 minutes for the buses to come. The buses also make several stops along the way, usually at hotels. With a rental car you are free to come and go on your own schedule. Getting a good map will help you navigate the parks so you know exactly where to go.
7. Get the Park Hopper for more flexibility. The Disney World Park Hopper allows you to visit multiple parks in one day. This means you can make any changes to your itinerary whenever you feel like it if one of the parks gets too crowded or you just feel like changing your plans at the last minute. You can also visit another park after the first one you're at closes (Animal Kingdom usually closes at 5pm) and you can take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours.
8. Take a break. Get to the park early in the morning when the park is less crowded and you'll have shorter wait times for the attractions. In the afternoon when the day is hot and the park is much more crowded consider taking a break and going back to your hotel room or rental home and doing another activity. Once the sun sets you can head back to the park to enjoy the night time events.
9. Pick up a Guide Map and the Times Guide. This will help you plan out your visit the day of as it lists all show times, character greeting times/locations and special events like parades and live entertainment. It will also inform you of any show cancellations. Tip boards located near the center of each park feature up-to-the-minute readouts of all the wait times for the park attractions so you can plan your day around them.
10. Enjoy other Florida activities! Outside of the park there are plenty of activities the family can enjoy. If you have an extra day to spend consider heading to the pool or the beach to play water sports. You can also enjoy tours, golf, shopping, spas, nightlife and much more. Downtown Disney also has plenty of shops and restaurants and is a great way to relax at the end of the day after the parks close.
Note to the media: Steve Casey is available for interviews and is the founder of Florida Sunshine Vacation Rentals. Please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information visit www.floridasunshinevacationrentals.com.