Without a doubt, a family holiday to Disney World and Orlando, Florida, is on many travel bucket-lists! Multiple theme parks offer a true fantastical experience for guests of all ages, and with added perks like on-site accommodation, free park transfers, park passes and certain included meals, you’re set to make life-long family memories! We break down your top Disney and Orlando Holiday FAQs.
What are the Top 10 things to do in Orlando?
Our top favourite resorts and theme parks to visit in and around Orlando including the following:
- Walt Disney World (with multiple theme parks)
- Universal Studios
- Orlando Science Center
- Lego Land Florida
- Discovery Cove Orlando
- Wonderworks Orlando
- Kennedy Space Centre
- Crayola Experience
- Titanic – The Artifact Exhibition
- St Augustine & Pirate Museum
Are there any ways to skip the long queues at Theme Parks?
Pre-pandemic there were these amazing things called Fast Passes at most of the Theme Parks. Each guest had 2 rides that they could use these passes on per day, and all they needed to do was to download the park app and they would be able to link their park tickets and hotel reservations on this app and reserve their fast passes for the most congested rides for each day.
Unfortunately, Covid hit, and the theme parks had to revise the way they have been operating over the course of decades. The below adjusted operations have been put into place until further notice.
- Walt Disney World have implemented limited attendance in the parks.
- Guests must pre-register their parks before departure on the My Disney Experience App. With the current park pass system in place, you have a real reservation to get into the park.
- The fast pass system has been removed for now and socially distanced queues have been implemented so guests can stay 2 meters apart.
- Disney has instructed clear distancing protocols in the parks, along with routine cleaning and the enforcement of wearing masks around the parks.
What is the best way to make the most of a variety of parks?
You get two types of tickets for Disney World:
- Disney Park Base Tickets: These tickets only allow you entry into one park per day, so you won’t be able to for instance go to Magic Kingdom in the morning, and then head to Epcot for the fireworks in the evening.
- Disney Park Hopper Tickets: These tickets allow you entry into multiple parks per day, and this means that you can see the parade at Hollywood Studios and still go around the world in Epcot that same evening. This will just enhance your overall experience, so you are not limited to one park a day.
Which parks are better for children, and which age groups?
All the Disney Parks are magical and there will always be at least one thing for each age group to enjoy, but here are the parks that would be best suited for the different age groups:
- Disney’s Magic Kingdom (Ages 3 to 12)
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom (Ages 7 to 14)
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Ages 3 to 17)
- Epcot (Ages 10 to 17)
How long do you recommend you need to make the most of your trip?
Orlando has so much to see and so much to offer, that you would need a minimum of at least 10 days to be able to get through all the incredible sights. If you take Disney World alone, you need at least 1 full day per park, and in some instances, you won’t even be able to complete the map of the park in one day. Disney has 4 major parks and then in summertime, there are two additional waterparks as well. So, you would need at least 6 full days in Disney World and then 4 available days for Universal Studios, Lego Land and all the other attractions Orlando has to offer.
What are your top 5 things to pack for Disney World and Orlando?
- Your camera – To capture all these amazing fun-filled moments, or just a phone with an amazing camera.
- Sunscreen – No matter what the season, you will be walking around outside most of the day, so sunscreen is necessary!
- Comfortable walking shoes – Without realising it, you will be treading quite a few kilometres during the day, and the last thing you want is to miss out because you were trying to walk in slip slops or strappy sandles.
- Water bottle – There are plenty of food vendors in all the Disney Parks but is a good idea to have your water bottle with you and to hydrate as much as possible, especially in the Floridian Summer, which can get extremely hot and humid.
- Quick fold umbrella – In the summer, Florida is well known for its flash showers. It only lasts a couple of minutes, but it’s better to be prepared than soaked for the rest of the day.
Are the parks open all year round, and what are the best times to visit?
The 4 main parks, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom are open all year round. The water parks at Walt Disney World are open year-round, with each of the two closing for refurbishment for a couple of months at separate times. The good news is that all the water at both parks is heated to a very toasty temperature, making a wintertime visit quite pleasant.
The best time to visit Orlando is from March to May. That is the time of year you’ll find the most pleasant weather (high teens to high twenties most days) and agreeable prices on travel and lodging (excluding holiday weekends and school recesses).
How long do you suggest we plan for?
I would suggest that you start planning your trip to Orlando at least 10 months in advance, to make sure that you get great flight deals and the best value on your accommodation choices.
Do you recommend staying in 1 of the Parks, or on the outskirts?
Both options have value, so it is up to you and your family as to what option is going to be more convenient and which option will align with your budget the best.
Perks of staying on Walt Disney World property in one of their resorts:
- You have access to their transport that takes you between the parks and resorts, which is extremely convenient with kids.
- You immediately get into a Disney state of mind when walking into any of the resorts as they have the most amazing themes for each resort and the attention to detail is spectacular!
- The service levels at Disney, whether you stay in one of their 3-star resorts or whether you stay in one of their deluxe resorts, are all phenomenal, so you know exactly what you will get when staying in one of their properties
Perks of staying outside of Walt Disney World property with another hotel group:
- Some of the other hotels also offer transportation to the theme parks, but you really need to do research to make sure this is the case – It might just take longer to get there and back to your hotel, and as the fireworks usually only start at 23:00pm, it might make things a little tricky with children.
- You can find accommodation that is a lot more cost effective outside of Disney property, and some of them might even include breakfast as part of their package, which the Disney resorts do not do. You usually need to add a Meal Plan to your Disney accommodation or just pay higher prices at the parks.
- There are many fast-food restaurants and supermarkets like Walmart outside of Disney property, which would make the planning of meals for a big family so much more cost-effective
Will I need to hire a car?
If you are staying in the Walt Disney World hotels, I would say that you will not need a car, because you will have transport that will take you to all the Disney parks, and from the Disney parks, you will be able to visit the various resorts in Disney as well. So, you won’t even have to eat your meals at your specific resort every day. You can easily visit the various restaurants at the other resorts.
If you are not staying at one of the Walt Disney World hotels and your hotel does not offer transport to the Disney parks, then a car would work out a lot more cost effective than taking a taxi everywhere, which can become rather pricey.
If you’re thinking about making a Disney and Orlando trip in 2022, then contact Pentravel now for the best rates and all-inclusive packages available.