Before organising our trip, I know we would have to do a LOT of preparation! There is so much to think about – where do you stay, how long would you want to spend at the parks, which parks would you visit, do you get your Florida theme park tickets online before you go, do you hire a car, do you travel along the coast and go anywhere else? Here are some of the things to consider when planning your Disney Orlando trip:
1) Best Time of Year To Visit
I think the obvious answer would be summer, but I would hate the heat, the kids would hate the heat, Craig would hate the heat…I really don’t think we would enjoy it if it was too hot. So I actually think April/Easter time would be best. We could go for the full two weeks of the holidays and not have to miss any (or much) school for the kids. However, I do think going at Christmas time would be AMAZING! Christmas is my favourite time of year, so a Disney Christmas would be just magical. Maybe we’ll have to do Paris instead for a more affordable option….
2) Where to Stay
I love the idea of a villa, to have our own home from home where the kids can explore and run around, we can eat what we like and relax in the evenings with a bit more space than a hotel. I imagine it would work out cheaper too, and the idea of being cooped up in one hotel room with two adults and two kids seems a little insane!
However, I prefer the convenience of a hotel, especially one that is on site. From my research so far, it seems you get better benefits from staying at a hotel – early entry and late stays in the park, dining plans, shuttle transfers. Plus, I think we would get up and out earlier in a hotel because we would want to escape the madness of being on top of each other! I also think it would be fun to experience a themed Disney hotel!
3) Which Parks to Visit
I don’t think I realised just how many different parks make up Walt Disney World. It’s HUGE! Do you even have enough time to do all of them? There’s the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. They all look amazing and I don’t think I could go all that way and miss any of them out! However, I do think it will take some epic planning to make sure we made the most of each park and spent enough time in each one.
4) Meeting The Characters
You can’t go to Disney and not meet your favourite characters! I remember when I was younger and my friends went to Disney, they would all have their autograph books ready for getting the characters to sign them. I am definitely going to be first in the queue with my book!! I think this would be a bit of a challenge to organise and I just know that Alfie will say he wants to meet someone, and then on the day decide he wants to meet someone else. Hopefully we would be there for long enough to see and meet everyone the children (and I!) want to. I would definitely book a princess dinner/lunch just for me to experience it, and then would have a look at what other meet and greets they do – I know the boys would love to meet some Avengers!!
5) Doing the Parade
I love parades so much – in fact, when we went to New York, I specifically booked to go over Thanksgiving so we could see the parade, and made Craig leave the hotel at 5am so we could get a good spot (that’s called dedication, especially as it was -3 and we were frozen by the time the parade actually started!!)
So I am all about making sure we see the parade at least once, and get a good spot. I have no idea if they do it every night, every couple of nights, and when or where they are done, so it’s something I really need to do my research on to make sure we all have the best parade experience we can!
6) Choosing the Rides
Since having kids, I’ve gone back to being a scaredy cat when it comes to roller coasters and rides (especially since the Alton Towers crash a few years ago..) but I know there will be certain rides that we will not want to miss when visiting Disney! By the time we go, the children will be a good age so hopefully old enough to go on most of the good rides (although Henry’s quite short, so he might need to wear platforms, bless him!). We would have to go on the classics – Splash Mountain, It’s A Small World and Haunted Mansion, but I’d love to experience all the little known ones too.
There are lots of things to consider when planning your Disney Orlando trip, and I’m sure there are so many other things to think about but for me, this is a good starting point to begin my research in to what will hopefully be the holiday of a lifetime!
For a once in a lifetime trip, it requires a lot of planning. Luckily for me, I am a planner and I love to take my time. Henry is almost 18 months, so that gives me 3 years to plan – I reckon that’s enough time!
I’d love to hear your favourite parts of visiting Orlando though, what are your tips and top things to do while you’re out there. Send me all the information!!!
With special thanks to Mrs Lighty at All Things Splicedfor allowing me to use her fabulous photos!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.