Disney Day Trip: Do’s and Don’ts

The idea that anyone would make the drive to Disney world for one day to then turn around and head home should, well it sounds insane unless you live in the Orlando area, which I do not by the way. However this past weekend for a friend’s husband’s birthday we all did just that since we are all annual pass holders we figured eh why not.  So Sunday morning we woke up at the early hour of 7 am (not that early but for a Sunday it felt like it was) and we got dressed, mouse ears and all, for our Disney excursion. With about a three and a half hour drive to and from Orlando. We headed to our friends house and picked them up around 8 am, hit Wawa for a good morning coffee and sandwich and then hit the road.

The Drive Up: Now I’m going to be honest with you the drive up was cake. We were all pretty awake and talkative and it flew right on by, we got to Disney’s Magic Kingdom around 11:30 am and still managed to get decently close parking.

Magic Kingdom Transport: I don’t know if you all know this but when you park at the magic kingdom you aren’t really parking at the magic kingdom, the park is essentially an island and requires you take a fairy or monorail to get to it. So between waiting for it and then the ride of the monorail to the park was about another thirty or so minutes. DO: Find your fasted way in, my experience the monorail moves people much faster than the ferry. DON’T: Take the ferry when you can see that there is already a large group waiting for it, you may not make it on.

Getting In: Since we’re all pass holders with no bags to be checked getting in was a fairly quick and painless process. Some others had to wait in lines for tickets that from past experiences do not move very quickly, just a heads up. DO: Make sure you have your ticket ready. DON’T: go unprepared, if you have to wait at the ticket booth plan for thirty minutes to an hour wait sometimes

Getting Started: When we first got into the park we were looking at wait times of at least 50 minutes for every ride, what we failed to remember before we planned this one day adventure was that it’s spring break. This means families from all over the world are visiting throughout this month for a Walt Disney World Spring Break, making Magic Kingdom very crowded. We had fast passes for all the mountains (Space, Thunder, and Splash) but none of those started till around 4:50 pm so we were hitting a wall. We started with a Mickey Pretzel and cheese, quickly followed by a chocolate covered pineapple and then it was time to ride. DO: Try to have a plan on what you want to do while at the park. DON’T: Just go with the flow, not on a one day trip anyway.

Wait Times: When you’re waiting in these lines it lengthy and you get bored, fast. We use a phone game similar to charades to keep the group entertained while we wait. It honestly makes a world of difference and I highly recommend finding one you like. DO: Make sure you find a way to keep yourself and your group entertained in these lines. DON’T:  Just wait it out, the line will seem to take longer and it will make you discouraged to wait for more rides.

Fast Pass Time: When you stay at a Disney resort or if you are an annual pass holder fast passes are part of your deal, sort of. You get three, and then once you’ve used those three you may look for more available fast passes. We had Splash Mountain 4:50 – 5:50 pm, Space Mountain 5:50 pm – 6:50 pm and then Thunder Mountain 6:50-7:50 pm. This means that those were the times we were allowed to use our fast passes to quickly get through the lines on these rides, which were averaging anywhere from 70-120 minute waits. Due to our need to drive three and a half hours back home and how late our original passes were, we did not get to look for more fast passes after we used our original three. Feel free to do so though when you’re at the park. DO: BOOK FAST PASSES! I cannot stress this enough, the earlier you book them the better times and passes you’ll get remember early times means you can pick up more passes later in they are available. DON’T: Wait till you get to the park to book passes, you’ll miss everything.

Getting Out Of Magic Kingdom:  Once we finished riding Thunder Mountain we hustled to get to the car as fast as we could. Between the walk to the monorail, the ride on the monorail, and the tram it took about 40-50 minutes to get to our car and that’s no joke.  Luckily, we got no traffic heading out of the park but due to the clock reading 7:55 pm we had to change our plan to have pizza at Disney’s Boardwalk to something much faster. DO: Find your nearest exist and put some pep in your step also make sure no parade is happening while you are trying to leave if you want to make a quick escape. DON’T: Day dream as you walk out, you had the whole day to look around, now it’s time to move.

Dinner: We hit a Popeye’s on the way home and that took about another thirty to forty minutes of time because we got down to eat inside. DO: Make it snappy if you want to get home as soon as possible for pets or work. DON’T: Waste time at a fancy restaurant that will take long.

The Drive Back: The time was the same but the ride felt so much longer than heading up did, although being tired might have had an effect on this. We played the same game we use for Disney’s long lines in the car and got home around Midnight. DO: Keep yourself and your driver entertained on a late night drive back. DON’T: Let everyone in the car fall asleep.

All in all it was a successful trip with a tad of a late arrival back home but each time you go back to you pick up on something’s you can do differently to fully enhance your Disney experience. Remember these are Day Trips Do’s and Don’ts to help you get into Disney and enjoy your limited time while still getting you home at a decent time. Not tips for a lengthy Disney Vacation with time to relax, that’s another post for another day!

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