10 things most Disney World first-timers don’t know – PREP028

Today, I have a list of 10 things most first-time visitors to Disney World don't know before their trips, including some info to help explain each of these things.

I also have a quick tip about how to know when to book the flights for your trip, especially since prices have gone up the last couple of years so it's hard to know when you're getting a good deal.

These are notes from this episode. There's much more info included in the audio so be sure to listen to the episode for a better explanation.

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Link to previous post

The complete guide to Downtown Disney (Disney Springs)

10 things most first-timers don't know

  1. How big Disney World is
  2. How long transportation takes
  3. There's no gum sold at Disney World
  4. Hidden Mickeys are everywhere - HiddenMickeyGuy.com provides info on that
  5. You can trade pins - this post has great tips on how that works
  6. Disney has a free My Disney Experience app
  7. Adults can ride, even if kids don't want to - see my Rider Switch article for more details
  8. You can book your trip even before discounts are announced and apply the discount later
  9. 3 of the 4 parks open early and you should arrive 30-45 minutes early to all parks
  10. You will most likely suffer withdrawals after your trip

Quick tip of the day

When searching for airfare, use Bing.com/travel to see if now is a good time to buy

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Did you learn anything or would you like to add to the list?

Please feel free to share them in the comments.

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These are great tips! I think you hit it right on the head with the top 10 important tips for people new to Disney. I would like to add to the bit about searching for airfare and what not on bing. Make sure when you search for a if are or hotels for any vacation to use Chrome incognito mode. When you open chrome press ctrl+shift+n to enable this mode. It hides your history and cookies from visiting sites. A lot of these travel sites use your history against you to jack up the prices based on where you have… Read more »


Shannon, thank you so much for your site! It’s been very helpful. You may have already answers this but I couldn’t find it and I’m new at the disney planning:). My parents are going with my husband and me and my girls for their first disney trip in June but they have they’re own reservations. We’ve linked them on the my disney experience so when I start making our fast pass reservations, can I make them for my parents too or do they need to make their own? Thanks


I’m confused – I think I must be doing something wrong – I’ve heard the tip about checking bing to know when to book flights before (maybe here!) but I can never get it to tell me anything like that. I enter my city & mco & my dates, but it just shows me flight choices, nothing about what prices have done or are expected to do.
What am I doing wrong?


I’ve got a simular problem. If I type http://www.bing.com/travel I get the normal bing site and were do I have to look to find the travel-thing? Help!


I was jus wondering which 3 of the 4 parks tend to open early?


Listening to it now – thanks!

Maria B

Here’s some other things to know (for first timers that I hope will heed the advice, as I had to learn the hard way): 1. Just because you have a dinner reservation for a certain time does not mean you will be seated as soon as you arrive (even if you are on time). You may still need to wait 10 – 15 minutes for a seat (sometimes more, depending on the place). However, sometimes if you arrive early, you will be seated before your scheduled reservation time. For example, we have arrived 30 minutes early and were seated 10… Read more »

Angela from Ohio

A few quick Addons for those with preschoolers – bring your own Cheerios or Order food, juice, and diapers from garden grocer.com You will walk over 11 miles a day!! So wear tennis shoes and bring the stroller even for the 5 year old


Your 10 list is spot-on. I “knew” these things before our first trip last year because I had been reading your site. However, sometimes, like you said, you just don’t know until you’ve been through it! We were always at the bus stop early, and arrived at every park at least 30 mins early. We got into the 3 parks about 15-20 minutes before open time. That was helpful! I was a bit skeptical about actualy having withdrawals. Well , I went into major withdrawal and started planning our Dec ’14 trip in Sept ’13! I would also suggest that… Read more »

I agree wholeheartedly on getting a Disney planner. My wife and I had each been to Disney as kids with our respective families, but that was 20 or more years ago – last January we went together for the first time and booked through a regular travel agency called Flight Center (not sure if this agency exists in the USA) and it wasn’t as smooth an experience as it could have been with an agency more knowledgeable about Disney. Knowing what we know now, we would have planned it a little differently. We booked through CAA/AAA last time around in… Read more »

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