Here is everything we did wrong for Day 1 at Disney World.
#1 – We did not do ANY research on the park. In hindsight, that was really dumb. Watching the free Disney DVD that is often available or reading a few blogs prior to our trip would have made our first day much more enjoyable.
#2 – We arrived at Disney too late. We didn’t make it in to the park until 11:30. I totally underestimated how long it took to park, wait for the tram, activate our tickets, take the ferry or tram to the park, scan our passes, and walk in to the park. The time it took to complete all of those tasks was over one hour in 90 degree heat. We were only on the ferry when my brother’s shirt was soaked with sweat, my older daughter’s face was flushed, and my back had sweat on it too. The following photo is NOT very attractive, but illustrates how miserable we were and we weren’t even too Disney World yet!
#3 – We had three adults, three children (ages 2, 3.5, and almost 5) and only two strollers. After that first day at Disney World we went to Walmartand bought another stroller. The Walmarts near Disney World are very, very high traffic stores and there had been 3 tour busses to the store we shopped at prior to our shopping trip. They didn’t have any strollers with sun shades, so we purchased an umbrella to use with an cheap, basic stroller. This wasn’t ideal, but it worked! Having strollers for each of the kids was so nice since we could walk quickly through the park.
#4 – We stayed during the hottest part of the day. I wish we had arrived earlier, left in the afternoon, and returned after some air conditioned down time. Once you have paid to park at Disney World you can leave and return since your parking pass is good all day (at all parks).
#5 – The adults didn’t choose the best shoes. It’s true! We made sure our children were wearing supportive, comfortable shoes, but we didn’t look out for ourselves. If you are doing Disney World for more than one day I advise against flip flops every day. My knees and legs were sore afterwards.
#6 – I can’t really speak much to this, but if you are a male just know that you may end up chaffing if you do not wear the proper clothing. Again, I am not the expert in this field and can only state that fact.
#7 – We did not bring ponchos are big umbrellas. During the summer months there are often late afternoon thunderstorms that roll through Orlando. These storms bring relief since the temperature drops, but can cause you to get wet. There was a 35 minute period of pouring rain when outdoor rides were closed and everyone was jammed in to restaurants and stores. We would have left a little bit earlier if we had rain gear.
The first day at Disney World I was very overwhelmed. After the first day we bought a stroller, studied the map, and arrived at the park late in the day and stayed until closing. The combination of those things made me think that maybe Disney really is magical! If you have a trip planned to Disney in the summer I hope hearing about my mistakes makes your trip a little easier!