The Deal Mommy

4 Questions To Ask Before Your First Trip To Disney World

I was chatting with a friend recently who is planning his family’s first trip to Disney World.  He started asking me questions that made me realize he didn’t yet know what he didn’t know. Knowing yourself is more important than ever when you’re thinking about a Disney World trip as there are endless possibilities and also endless ways to muck it up. 

Planning a trip to Disney World is unlike any other destination in that winging it isn’t really an option if you want to enjoy your trip. So to help him (and you) I’m putting together a quick list of four questions you need to answer before your first trip to Disney World. 

Having these answers in mind will make life much easier even if you’re using a travel agent. In fact, if your travel agent hasn’t already asked you these questions, find another agent. This list assumes that your trip is already booked. I’m not asking questions about dates or hotel choices for that reason. 

One of my "must do moments": Halloween fireworks over Cinderella's Castle.

One of my “must do moments”: Halloween fireworks over Cinderella’s Castle.

Questions You Need to Answer Before Your First Trip To Disney World

What are your must-do moments?

You already have an idealized version of Disney World in your head. Dig into it and pull out a snapshot of the item that will make your trip “complete” for you. It could be iconic: fireworks over Cinderella’s castle, meeting Mickey Mouse. It could be something a friend told you about or something you read. Whatever it is, isolate it and make sure it gets put on the top of the to-do list. If you don’t have a must-do moment, ask friends, do some reading (you can start here) and get one!

What are your non-negotiables?

Just as you have things you must do on your trip, once you think about it you’ll realize you have things you must not do. Your non-negotiable could be dietary- Disney is great with special needs but restaurant reservations take on more priority if there are entire cuisines or types of food you won’t touch.  Your non-negotiable could be crowd level- if you can’t stand lines you’ll want to take a good luck at the crowd calendar and maximize your fastpass usage. Lines are a fact of life at Disney World but choosing the right park on the right day can make a huge difference.

What is your energy level/nap schedule/need for togetherness?

Are you an open to closer- and more importantly- if you are is everyone else in your group an open to closer also? Do you have a napper amongst your midst? Are you comfortable splitting up or are you a 24/7 family? Work this stuff out in advance so no one is surprised or feeling stuck or left behind. 

Do you prefer simplicity or having things planned to the last detail?

A Disney World trip can be planned down to the minute.  Specific ride fastpasses and marquis restaurant meals need to booked as soon as you are able.  However, if you’re just looking for a fun Disney World experience it is more than possible to do so simply. You just have to adjust your expectations. You’ll still have a great trip- just don’t sweat over missing the new Frozen ride at Epcot or dinner at Victoria and Albert’s as long as neither was on your “must do” list above. Nothing wrong with going through the Three Amigos Fiesta tour twice in a row because it’s fun and cheesy and there’s no line. I do it every trip! 

I’ve answered the four questions. Now what?

Your next steps will depend on your answers but one app will make it all easier: My Disney Experience. It’s a website, iPhone/iPad and Android app that organizes everyone in your party into one easy to use place. From the app you can get extra fastpasses and snag a last minute restaurant reservation in real time. 

Most of this stuff comes down to making sure you don’t try to fit a square peg into a round hole.  You’ll just make yourself and everyone else miserable. By setting the right expectations and the right tone you’ll get everyone on the same page for an amazing trip. 

Disney World regulars- what other questions would you have a newbie answer before trying to tackle a First Visit to Disney World?

The Deal Mommy is a proud member of the Saverocity network. 

4 Questions to ask before your first trip to Disney World. Save yourself stress by knowing these answers in advance!



2 thoughts on “4 Questions To Ask Before Your First Trip To Disney World

  1. icicle

    1) Know your “junk food” vs. “solid food” ratio. I.E. know how much candy/cupcakes/ice cream you can tolerate before you puke/feel sluggish/too hyper, etc. Sometimes, you’ve got to sit down and eat something “solid”, from veggies to egg rolls to roasted chicken.

    This ratio is important in MK and Epcot, as one could go, without realizing it, 10 or so hours just munching on Mickey Ice Cream and pastries…eventually, your body will rebel. So know how much you can tolerate before your body demands something with nutrients.

    2) Know if you are a “3 meals a day at specific times” person or if you can graze all day. This goes into making sure you have proper meal reservations if you must have 3 meals a day at certain times. If you just have small meals all day long, then avoid reservations at Epcot: eat fish and chips in UK, quiche in France, egg rolls in China, etc.

    That’s right: know if you should *avoid* meal reservations. That seems counter-intuitive but if you like to graze then there is no reason why you should limit yourself to structured meal times…especially at Epcot.

    3) What are your medical needs? What I mean is this: plan your bathroom breaks accordingly. If you are diabetic or need to inject medications for whatever reason, some bathrooms are better than others: the companion bathrooms will have sharp containers. There is no reason to avoid WDW if you must inject insulin: but knowing *where* to dispose those needles will get rid of stress and worry! So, get the plan of the park upon entering…and make a mental note of proper bathrooms.

    4) Do you need a souvenir? Will a free one do or must you have something more substantial? Personally, I like to have a souvenir from my travels from the actual place (vs. a big box retailer). But do you need to have something more tangible that you can wear/use “in public”? This is what I mean: are you a person that needs to buy a t-shirt/sweater? Dinnerware? Pins? Luggage? Hats? Or…do you just want a memento? Will a postcard do? How about a penny image from the park (most machines are only $0.51: a cheap and lightweight souvenir!). How about a free button from the customer relations office near the park entrance? Or a free sticker?

    So know if you are a person that needs a souvenir or momento. And if you like to have a tangible reminder of your visit (like me), then know what kind of souvenir you’d like. Don’t regret not buying the 2017 pin if you collect pins…but don’t shell out $ for t-shirts if you don’t wear them! If you like cheap or free souvenirs, then there are opportunities for them. If you collect watches, don’t regret not buying one. Just know your souvenir needs beforehand!

    5) Are you an impulse buyer? Are you sure you know? Can you wait in line at check-out without buying anything extra not on your list, or do you add gum/candy bars/magazines when grocery shopping?

    This is important to know so that you don’t break your budget. Some of the check-out lines are long; there is Disney merchandise to entice you to add something else to your purchases. Sometimes they are “on-sale” so it seems like a bargain…but if you add something extra each time you’re in line, well, it can add up a lot! This is also true in meal lines as well; you might just want to grab a quick bite to eat…but that cupcake “special” that you didn’t know existed until you are at the register might look more enticing the longer you wait (and we wonder why we weigh more when we leave the parks after walking around all day)!

    So it is important to know if you are an impulse buyer or not. If you are, no worries: just save a bit more to add to your budget (call it “the spontaneous side fund”), and plan to do a few more crunches and/or spend 10 more minutes on the exercise bike each day.

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