Make your vacation even better.

Of course you don’t have to be an expert or know a lot to still have a blast in Walt Disney World. But to have an exceptional vacation, with memories that will last a long time, you need to plan ahead and know what you’re doing (at least a little bit). Here are some general tips to keep in mind as you pre-plan your trip and even while you’re visiting the parks.

Have a plan.
It’s necessary to have a plan, no matter how laid back you are during vacation. If you don’t, you’ll be sunk. Know what park you’re going to on what day – always! And remember to make the appropriate dining reservations ahead of time.

Use time wisely.
If you can, try to schedule your park visits around the Extra Magic Hours. That way, you can have an additional hour in the morning or three hours at night – but you must stay at a Disney Resort. This service is free of charge, too!

Use Disney transportation.
A real time saver, Disney transportation (buses, monorails, ferry boats, resort launches, and more) are complimentary. Park hopping? Park your car at your final destination, and rely on Disney to help you switch parks.

Take a breather.
Lots of times it’s easy to burn yourself out by trying to do too much. Remember you’re in no hurry, and you will need to take periodic breaks out of the sun to stay rested up for more adventures. This will help you last longer!

Experience the details.
A lot of the fun comes by experiencing the parks in a new way. Try to experience the details and theming of attractions – you’ll always find something new. From funny signs to good music, to hidden mickeys, there’s something new to discover.

Meet true characters.
Great if you’re traveling with children – every park has character meet and greets, where you can get your photo with and an autograph from one of your favorite buddies. Sometimes you’ll even catch them riding one of the rides!

One must eat.
Don’t forget about food – and it’s very important to make Advance Dining Reservations way before you pack your bags. This way, you know you’ll be eating no matter what the crowd – and always at a time you request.

Enjoy the night.
At night, three parks have either a fireworks show or a parade, or both. It’s nice to slow down, sit back, and enjoy the fantasy in the sky. It’s also a good time to get rides done while everyone is watching, so either way, it’ll be a good night.

The Disney resorts.
It’s a great plus to stay on Disney property. Free transportation (via bus) to your day’s destination, plus the use of free Extra Magic Hours, giving you more time in the parks. Resorts also have a food court, so you’re never without food!

Ignore the weather.
In Florida, there are always quick rain showers. Many people see this and leave the parks. Don’t – instead, ride an indoor ride and it’ll be over soon. If a ride shuts down because of the weather, don’t leave – always wait it out for at least 15 minutes.

These tips are general, and of course certain circumstances will effect decisions. Wonderful photos taken by Joe Penniston.