Planning a first-time trip to Walt Disney World can be overwhelming. A Walt Disney World Vacation is something that families dream of, save for, and plan for, for years. The parks are HUGE (about the size of San Francisco, to be exact!), and there’s so much to do and see, that even after years of going, there’s things that David and I haven’t done. If you’re planning your first trip to the most magical place on earth, there are a few things that we recommend doing, to make your first experience with the mouse go more smoothly – so you can focus on having fun and creating magical memories.1. Use an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner
Planning any trip to Walt Disney World takes a lot of planning – this is ESPECIALLY true for your first trip. We always recommend that first time guests use an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, to help them navigate the process, and make their experience better. We always recommend Small World Vacations, for their customer service, knowledgeable agents, and commitment to excellence. Check them out here.

2. Consider The Disney Dining Plan
There’s a lot of great restaurants at Walt Disney World (gone are the days of it just being hot dogs and fries!), and you’re going to want to try them during your first trip. The Disney Dining Plan will give you the flexibility to do that, as well as giving you the peace of mind of knowing that the majority of your food is paid for upfront. There are ways to save money by paying out of pocket, instead of using the dining plan, but at the end of the day, we usually prefer the ‘all-inclusive’ feel that the dining plan gives, especially on a first time trip. Read more about the Disney Dining Plan Here.

3. Stay On Property
One thing that many people underestimate about Disney World is how large it is. David and I have become somewhat of experts at driving the property by now, but we still manage to get lost at times. One of the many perks to staying on property is that Disney Hotels provide complimentary transportation to and from the parks, which will save you from having to navigate a rental car. 

4. Use FastPass+ To Your Advantage
Don’t spend your valuable vacation time on your first trip to Walt Disney World waiting in lines that make you wish you had booked a beach vacation. FastPass+ is another place that an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner will come in handy, as they can help you figure out what you need to FastPass, and how to coordinate it with your dining schedule. Read more about FastPass+ here.

5. Budget More Time
Everything at Disney, from riding the bus, to boarding the monorail, to getting lunch, is going to take more time than you think it will. You will save yourself a lot of trouble if you go ahead and plan an extra fifteen minutes for almost everything into your schedule.