A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of going on a trip to Orlando, Flordia with my darling parents and immediate family. There were a few things I wish I would have known prior to our trip. I had actually read multiple blogs beforehand so I thought I was prepared, but boy was I wrong.
I bought our tickets through a broker, which was a tip I had learned from another blog. This saved us so much money that I actually stopped stressing the cost of the trip. We are in the lower class pay range with a middle class lifestyle. So as you can imagine we saved for months prior to the trip. Another thing that saved us money was that we only bought the mid-day magic tickets. Those tickets are only good for entry after 12, which allowed me to work on my school work during the mornings and eat lunch prior to entering the park.
Day one at the Magic Kingdom I noticed a few huge things. People had their own tumblers/canteens with them. We could bring our own instead of paying eight dollars for two bottles of water every couple of hours. I’m so glad we noticed that because it saved us so much money in the long run. We noticed later in the week that some of the restaurants actually offered complimentary water cups too. (So why they were selling water for 4 dollars a piece idk) It was hot so this was all pretty important to us.
Flordia is NOT cool in late September. It’s still in the 90’s unfortunately. I’m not a tiny little twig like I used to be, I have some meat on me now and let me just say the amount of sweat that week was awful. Regardless of how tired I was I had to shower as soon as I got back. My clothes would be stuck to me by then and any makeup I had attempted to wear was long gone or smeared all over. I did not continue to wear any throughout the week. I recommend you don’t either if your trip is during the September heat unless your makeup has magic powers that mine do not.
Because of the heat we rode a few of the “water type” rides multiple times. I’m glad that I had my purse to tuck away everyone’s phones and wallets or else they would’ve been drenched. This was also not friendly with my makeup of course. The family pictures all feature this mom as a hot mess. Yippee for me.
I read multiple times to get a magic band but I chose not to because of the price. My mother did get one though and since we were all linked as one party any pictures that were taken could all just be swiped with her band. She was able to just swipe her band when we used fast pass where I had to dig through my purse each time for my card. Fun fact though, it did not save her from having to use her wallet altogether. She set up her card on the band so that she could use it at restaurants and stores, but she did not set up a pin. So she still had to use her actual card when purchasing things. So if you use the magic bands remember to set yourself a pin!
I was a little upset with the fast pass system. I felt the whole thing was a little confusing to be honest. First you have to use three “smaller rides” fast passes before you can set one for a “bigger” ride/show. You can only have three set at a time and each one is set for an hour long period. Here’s the catch…you can set it for four o’clock and then ride the ride and it takes maybe five minutes. Your next scheduled fast pass isnt for another hour so unless you can find one really fast and in the time slots you’re currently in then you’re going to have to wait in one of the long lines. You cant set one for 4 and one for 4:15. Each fast pass you set takes up an entire hour long slot even if the ride is only a couple minutes long. So what we did was set a couple for rides that we knew we would have to use fast pass to ride (the ones with 60+ minute wait times) and then one for the closest time slot available. Then while we stood in the small fast pass line we would immediately set another one on our phones. It was a bit tedious and frustrating, especially since half the time the only things showing as available were shows you had already went and watched several times.
My daughter loves everything Disney. She’s a seven year old little girl so obviously she is going to want just about everything she sees. Unfortunately, a t-shirt would average $30 and even some of the small toys stayed in that range. I am not made of money. My parents are not made of money. After a few days of seeing their prices and deciding not to buy anything we all went to the local walmart to see what they had there. They had the same cute little hats with minnie ears there but half the price, along with the misting fans, and clothing. We managed to get two shirts there for the price of one at the park and my parents scored her one of the cute little hats she wanted among other things without any of us going broke. I was happy. She was happy. We were all happy.
The next thing I wish I would have known to do was to check with my hotel and see if they had any hotel rewards specifically for Disney. The day before our last day to Disney we discovered if we had went to our hotel events center we could’ve had magic hours added to all our tickets. Meaning we could’ve went to the park an hour early every day and stayed an hour later every day free of charge. Too little too late did we find out. Not only that, no one had told us to check and see what nights events were scheduled that closed the park early. So, unfortunately a couple days we went to the park it closed at six. Now if you purchase a full day ticket you probably won’t mind it closing a little early, but if you purchase a mid-day magic ticket and have to leave at six you might be a tad bit upset.
I actually went to Disney as a child multiple times and I remember the trips so fondly that I’m glad we got to give our daughter that experience. I didn’t remember the long lines from my childhood, how hot it got, how expensive things were for a mom on a budget, or how much my feet hurt. I only remembered how fun it was and how much I enjoyed being there. I believe the same will be said by my daughter one day.
What are your disney tips?