Disney, the happiest place on earth! A favorite of children and adults alike, until you encounter the heat, the crowds, the costs, the lines, etc. There goes the dream vacation. Nope, nope, nope. I won’t let that happen to you. Here is the first in our series of tips for surviving a day (or more) at the Disney parks.
Let’s start with staying comfortable
- If at all possible, don’t carry a bag or purse with you. – obviously, I’m not talking to parents of babies. We spent 2 days and went to Epcot and Hollywood Studios. The first day I carried my little, cross body purse. It had very little in it – phone, credit cards, money, Chapstick. By the end of the day I felt like I was carrying a bag of textbooks for 20 classes. It was also a pain to stow during the rides. The second day I put my cards and ID and phone in my pockets and went on my merry way. So Much Better! And here’s another perk of not carrying a bag –there’s a security line for people who are not carrying bags. It’s shorter and faster to get through. If you can do without it, leave the purse in the hotel.
- Wear super comfy shoes! OK, this is another lifesaving tip. You are going to be on your feet for about 12 hours if you get there when the park opens and stay until it closes. I know those super cute wedges are screaming at you to be worn with your cute outfit. They are a match made in fashion heaven. But don’t do it. Resist the urge to be fashionable. Your feet will be dying by the middle of the day. Sure, there are places to sit down and rest. But that’s not what you are at Disney for. You are there to see everything and do everything you can. My husband wore his running shoes and I wore my Tevas. I hate shoes, but flip flops don’t have any support and they could fall off during some rides. So Tevas it was and they worked great. I was still tired at the end of the day, but I wasn’t dying.
- Don’t carry purchases around with you all day. What!? Go to Disney and not buy any souvenirs. Blasphemy. I didn’t say don’t buy anything, I said don’t carry it with you all day. You can have purchases sent to your hotel if you are staying at a Disney property. You can also have them held for you at the entrance so you can pick them up as you leave the park at the end of the day. And here’s a thought, don’t buy them in the park. Way over-priced and you can get Disney stuff cheaper at the outlets (they have them in Orlando) or online. Get your Disney t-shirts before your vacation and wear them in the park.
- ***WEAR SUNSCREEN! ***I cannot stress this enough. Nobody wants a ruined vacation because they got a sunburn. If you aren’t used to the sun and you get a really bad burn, it will make you sick and you don’t want to spend a day or two in a boring hotel room recovering. If you think “but I’m on vacation. I want to get a tan”, still put on sunscreen. I promise you will tan. You’ll be out in the sun for about 10 hours. Even if you reapply the sunscreen, you’ll still get a tan. I wore 70 spf and I got a tan. Note: I get migraines if I get too much sun so sunglasses are essential and a hat is helpful. People don’t realize that your eyes can get a “sunburn”, too. Protect those beautiful baby blues (or greens or browns).
Rae the Floridian here, our sun is no joke. It gets two bullet points. The day we bought our annual passes I went to the Columbia store and bought a long sleeve hiking shirt with SPF protection, just to wear to Disney. I also try to wear shorts made from light weight athletic fabric. It is really sticky here and they breathe better when you are sweating buckets. I subscribe to the no bag policy, so I buy little containers of sunscreen that I can put in a pocket or one with a clip so I can hook it on a belt loop. Reapply often. You can always tell a Brit at Disney because they are wearing tank tops and are lobster red. Along the same lines, wear a hat or sunglasses.
Coming up next: How to make the most of your time at Disney.