Mom And Daughter Magic Kingdom Cinderella's Castle
  • On Dec 29, 2013
    Elizabeth from SC Asked

    First time going as a a family with a 14 year old daughter. Looking for the best tips for a great trip. We have a time share so we will not be staying onsite, but would appreciate all other tips and ides. Thanks,

    Hi Elizabeth,

    A first family visit to Walt Disney World is fun and exciting. I'm happy to share a few tips that you may find helpful.

    There's no way to do everything in one visit. So I encourage you to use Disney website or the free vacation planning DVD to come up with a short list (no more than 3 to 5 per day) of your must-do rides and attractions. Arrange your plan to get those in first (use FastPass whenever possible to keep the waits short). Then any other rides and attractions you can do will be icing on your day.

    Think about what kind of dining experiences you want to have. If there are meals or experiences you must do, make a reservation as soon as possible.

    The crowds are smallest as soon as the parks open and late at night. But if you arrive early and plan to stay to the end, include some time for a little R&R in the day. We like to leave the parks in the afternoon and visit a nearby resort for a snack, a drink or a rest in the lobby.

    The first few days of your visit will be busy because of the President's Day holiday and Magic Kingdom will be open until 1 a.m. During Thanksgiving week, we found that the crowds virtually disappeared after the 10 p.m. fireworks. We used this to our advantage and did lots of rides late-night. That may work well for you, too.
    Try not to over-schedule. You want to enjoy what you are doing at the moment, not be worried about whether you will make it to your next activity.

    My husband and I have had some of the best conversations with our daughters, who are 15 and 21, as we walk around the parks. That's really what I enjoy most about our Disney getaways -- the chance to just enjoy each other's company. You want to have time to sit and chat or to take advantage of an unexpected opportunity for fun.

    I'm limited on space, but please feel free to write back if I can help with specifics. Wishing you a magical first visit!

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Meet the Panelist: Wilma, Florida

We live 90 miles from Walt Disney World and have visited frequently for 20 years. Disney is the place our family can relax together, try new things (especially interesting food) and have conversations, no matter what park we visit or where we stay.
Learn More About Wilma

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