A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to visit Disney World as an adult for the 2nd time. Mrs. Lite Adventurer had never been to Disney World (not ever!) so it was kind of a big deal for her to finally head down to Orlando and see what the fuss was all about.
We did all four parks in 4 days: Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. If you’ve never been before, Epcot and Magic Kingdom are by far the best parks of the Disney properties. Epcot more for adults, and Magic Kingdom more for kids, but both are awesome for any age group. There are tons of online resources about visiting Disney World, so I won’t rehash all that information (and there’s a LOT of information out there). If you’re thinking about going, here are a couple of useful links:
I packed lightfor this trip like I do for all my others: my standard backpack with 4 quick dry shirts, 3 quick dry boxers, 2 pairs of shorts, Chacos on my feet, some toiletries, 2 cameras, and a small bottle of Woolite. Since this was a really short trip – only 5 days – I only had to wash clothes a few times early on.
A few tidbits I learned from my recent time at Disney:
1) Pack light, not only for your overall Disney vacation, but also for your daily visits to the parks. This will save you time getting in. If you have a backpack, or any bag at all, you have to stand in a massive line where security thoroughly searches the inside of every single bag. We went during a time of year when Disney was “slow” and could not believe how huge these security lines were at each of the parks.
However, if you go with no bag, you get to skip all of this time-wasting nonsense and just walk straight into the park. Really, all that you need other than your credit card, ID, and park ticket is a bottle of water that can be refilled for free all over the park. Lather yourself up with a good sunscreen in the morning before you leave the hotel, and it’ll last the entire day, so there’s no need to even bring any of that stuff with you.
2) We noticed that the majority of visitors at Disney were wearing colorful plastic wristbands. The last time I went to Disney World, these things didn’t exist, so I asked at an info desk to find out what these things do.
They’re called Magic Bands. They cost $13 a piece. And they do absolutely nothing additional that can’t already be done with your regular park ticket. Why someone would waste their money on this ridiculousness is beyond me. But just about everyone had them. Peer pressure? Wanting to look cool? Whatever the reason, we saved our cash and used that $13 a piece to buy beers at Epcot instead.
3) Speaking of beer, it’s super expensive. In Spring of 2017, a Bud Light is 7 bucks.
7 bucks for a Bud Light? You have got to be out of your mind.
At that price point, you might as well spend an extra dollar or two and get one of the better craft beers, especially if you’re at Epcot’s World Showcase and you have a wide variety of decent beers available.
If you’re staying at a Disney hotel and wish to partake in beverages around the boardwalk, you should stop by a convenience store in Orlando and pick up a case of beer before getting there. Drink prices are stupid expensive both at the boardwalk and the Disney-associated hotels & restaurants.
4) Go on all the popular rides first thing in the morning. The lines are shortest during the first two hours of the day, and oftentimes you can literally walk through the line and get straight on the ride. For the rest of the day, use your Fastpass+ reservations to limit your wait times. Fastpass is free, easy to use, and a huge time saver when used properly.
This recent trip was awesome, even for two grown, child-free adults. As it always has been, everything about Disney screams quality. Yes, it’s expensive to get in and expensive to eat and drink, but the thing about these parks that separates them from most others is that they do not cut corners on providing a top-of-the-line user experience. I’m not surprised that people empty their pockets to visit this place.
I look forward to visiting again the next time life circumstances nudge us toward central Florida. And when I do, I’ll definitely be going once more with just my one small bag. Cheers!