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Resist the urge to see everything at breakneck speed, and take time to enjoy the numerous amenities offered at your resort. You can not possibly see everything, so consider this as your first trip to Disney not your last. There will be time for you to pick up what you missed on another go-round.

Decide your priorities before your holiday begins and plan out each day beforehand.

• Get to the parks early!

• Plan for a break in the middle of the day particularly if you have children in the parks are open late. Stay at one of the Magic Kingdom or Epcot resorts, allowing a simple return to your resort in the middle of the day for a rest or a dip in the pool.

• Call or go online exactly 180 days ahead at 7:00 a.m. Orlando time (Eastern time) for dining reservations if a meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table or Be Our Guest in the Magic Kingdom is tops on your list. You may get away with sleeping in and booking a bit later but just when traveling through extremely slow seasons.

• Come prepared for an afternoon shower during the rainy summer months even if the sky looks perfectly clear in the morning. Rent a locker to store your rain gear, circling back if skies start to look threatening. If you’re caught unprepared just about every store in the parks sells inexpensive rain ponchos.

• Arrive at the water parks at opening time if a lounge chair is a priority, or, better yet, Orlando Wildlife Control, pre-reserve among the private cabanas or premium beach seat area.

• Use Disney’s FastPass+® alternative which allows up to 3 FastPass+ attractions daily to be pre-reserved 60 days prior to arrival.

• Make Advance Dining Reservations, especially in the busier times of year (see the Dining In Style at Walt Disney World Resort chapter for a more detailed explanation), to save hours of waiting and frustration.

• Allow plenty of time to reach the theme parks every morning. It’s easy to miss your breakfast bookings when enough time hasn’t been allocated.

• Be spontaneous. If something catches your eye, even if it is not on your daily list of things to do, be prepared to stop and explore or you will miss something wonderful.

• Be attuned to the constraints of your children. If they are tired take a break; when their feet hurt get them a stroller (forget that they outgrew one years ago); if a ride looks scary to them don’t force the issue. It’ll make your day and the day of other park visitors much less stressful.

Even better, bring several pairs and rotate them. Nothing is worse than getting blisters on your first day and then having to nurse them for the remainder of your vacation.

Have fun at Disney!

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