First Disney Trip Planning

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Happy New Year! 2016 was great and we are looking forward to a fantastic 2017. 2016 marked our family’s first Disney trip and we certainly came a long way in our Disney knowledge. We went from 1st Disney Trip Please Help Me! to mastering the Disney FastPass system, Disney FastPass Rider Switch With Children. Here are some things we learned in our first Disney trip planning.

First Disney Trip Planning

Many of you are likely planning big (and expensive) trip to Disney for 2017, so here are couple more ideas that I have for you to make your trip planning easier.

So much planning went into making our first Disney trip perfect and it certainly was. While there, we uncovered a couple new ideas.

1.) Of course you know you should bring a stroller for the little ones. We brought 2 mid-priced umbrella strollers for 2 kids  (borrowed one from a friend.) The difference between the 2 was big! Ours is an older version of this one was easily steered with one hand and easy to fold down, the other one was not! By the end of the 3 days in the parks, we were ready to throw the other one away! Strollers are a personal decision but, I would consider how easy they are to steer and how big they are before bringing them to the park. We liked having 2 small ones versus a bigger double one.


2.) Every day we brought a small bag with us with bottled water and a few snacks, diapers, as well as a few personal items. Really we were very light on what we brought in. And everyday, we had to wait in the tremendously long bag check line. It didn’t take us long to figure out what we need to do next time! Consider bringing a bag that folds down flat (think reusable grocery type bags.) You can keep it in the bottom of your stroller storage flat and then put your “stuff” on top loose. This way you don’t have to go through the bag check line. As you acquire goodies in the park, you will have a bag to use. We kept our bag in the stroller storage compartment the whole time anyway so, this strategy really doesn’t change convenience for us at all, it just saves us about 20 minutes in the morning getting into the park. Even better would be to find a flat folding cooler tote bag so that it would keep your drinks cold. I still use my Lilly cooler tote whenever we travel but, I am not sure it folds down flat enough. I’ve written about how useful this type of cooler tote is before.


3.) The FastPass system we mastered while there and we never waited in line for more then 10 minutes. Make sure you download the FastPass app (an absolute must!) and stalk it while you are in line. You never know when a FastPass will open up that is for your favorite ride! Consider that if you have a FastPass for a ride and you show up and the ride has a minimal wait, giving up the FastPass so that you can get another one that actually saves you time. Once you use your first 3 FastPasses, you can get one more at a time; which is awesome!


Bottom Line

We did a ton of planning for our first Disney trip and it really paid off. While we were in the parks, we learned a few things for next time. We did a lot of character dining, as it was our first trip (I plan to review those soon.) Now that I have this new Disney knowledge my goal is to bring it all together to help guide you in your first Disney trip planning.


Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed.

About The Weekly Flyer

The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way.

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  1. Sounds like you guys had a great trip. I’ve planned all our 20+ Disney trips for groups from 2 to 12 people and planning a Disney trip is a lot of work. But it is SOOO worth it. Knowing how to navigate the system can mean 3 to 5 hours less of line time, eating in the restaurants you actually want to eat in, and getting tickets to hard to get events, such as Club Villain or the desert parties.

    Your advice to stalk the mydisneyexperience app is fantastic advice. So many people overbook their trips and cancel later. I know a family who will book restaurant reservations for all 4 parks on a single day, just because they don’t know what park they will be visiting. I think this practice is really ignorant, but it does mean that reservations will open up later. is a great place to start for a newbie planning their first trip. They are experts and it’s basically the Flyertalk for Disney.

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