A few weeks ago we booked our next Walt Disney World trip. Two weeks in September 2017 staying at the Caribbean Beach Resort. (Way too far away if you ask me!) This trip will be my self and my boyfriend, as well as my parents who recently booked on with us. Even though their last trip was the "last Disney trip for us" which I've heard several times before. Disney just can't be beaten in my opinion for an all round good holiday.
Booking this trip got me thinking; is it different for a British person booking a WDW trip to those in the US? Simple answer is yes! In this post I'm going to give some of my best quick tips and advice about visiting WDW from the UK. I'll go more into detail about booking from start to finish in a future post, but here are my top tips.....
Typical brit here, so lets start off with an important one... tea. I know you may be thinking it's going to be 30 odd degrees why would I want tea, but if you're an avid tea drinker, its hard to start your day off without one. Good hot english breakfast style tea is hard to find in Florida, so bring your own teabags! Most rooms do have coffee makers which can be used to boil water but if you're not a fan maybe bring a travel kettle. Also you may prefer to use bottle water as Floridian water isn't what you get back home even though it's perfectly safe to drink.
Make sure you make use of the 7, 14 or 21 day ultimate tickets. These are the best value and cannot be purchased in the US. Even if you aren't visiting Disney everyday they are still usually always cheaper than at the gate prices. Plus they include park hopper and water parks which are an extra on tickets purchased at the parks.
This can be a funny one for some UK visitors to the US to grasp, as tipping in the UK isn't as expected as across the pond. Tipping in the UK averages 10% for good service, whereas is the US 20-22% is now considered a good tip for good service, 18% for average and 15% for poor. In the UK people often won't tip for bad service but whereas in the US servers get payed a lower minimum wage as they are expected to make the rest up in tips. I always tip at least 20% in the US as I do 10% at home. Each to their own on this one, but do remember most things that go wrong whilst dining out are out of the servers hands.
This might be an obvious one but Florida is hot for most of the year. Wear Suncream! You might think you're not out in it for long, as most queues are under cover, but the sun is intense and a sunburn is never nice. It also can rain a lot and not the kind of drizzle were used to, more on the torrential side. So pack a light raincoat/umbrella or purchase a poncho. (They bring these out in most shops when it rains.) I also like to carry a disposable poncho in my bag too incase I've forgotten the Disney one or it's not rained yet during. It will get you from A to B in an emergency. Also good to carry at night when you might not have a big park bag with you.
This one like weather isn't just applicable to UK guests but I feel its often uncharted territory especially for first timers in WDW and people tend to pack the kitchen sink.
One of my biggest tips for any Disney visitor is to take the smallest bag you can. I know this may seem like you won't have enough room, but unlike universal where there are locker near some rides you have to take your bag on every ride in Disney so the smaller the bag the easier this is. There will always be the backpack fans, but I ensure you a smaller draw string style back will be much easier to squish in those tiny pouches on BTMRR that a giant backpack, not to mention much lighter but still have room if needed for in park purchases like souvenirs etc. If you don't need it, don't pack it. You will thank me later :). A cross body bag or even a bum bag will be much easier to carry round and won't get in anyone else's way. Ive almost seen children and myself for that matter be taken out by someone turning quickly in a big backpack. Safety first guys! :)
Don't try to see everything!
Two weeks holiday seems like a long time and with the great cost that a Disney holiday from the UK can entail. It can be easy to think to can see everything Disney has to offer. I've been 6 times and I don't even think I've come close. Don't try to cram too much in due to the fear you might not go again. Yes, its expensive but if you fall in love, (which you probably will) you'll find a way to visit again. You need to slow down and take some of the magic in. Being organised it great but running from ride to ride you can often lose sight of what makes Disney special. It's not just a park with rides in, it's the whole experience. My best advice would be to get everyone in your party to pick what they most want to see/do in each park and do these first. Then anything extra is a bonus. Obviously the larger your party you may only get to pick one ride each, but if you spend time enjoying each activity, not just checking things off a list, you'll have memories that last a life time.
So these are some of my tips for visiting WDW. Most of them may apply to visitors from all over, but either way you may have picked up something new for your next trip to the mouse house.
See you real soon xx