7 THINGS NO ONE WILL TELL YOU BEFORE HEADING TO WDW!

7 THINGS NO ONE WILL TELL YOU BEFORE HEADING TO WDW!

Happy Sunday! Before starting this post, I want to apologize that I’ve been gone for so long! I had my bachelorette party, then I was sick with walking pnemonia, then I was too busy getting things ready for the wedding, then it was wedding weekend! I have some exciting posts coming up to talk all about our stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge and our Disney Fairytale Wedding! Be sure to stay tuned 🙂


There is so much that goes into planning a Disney vacation – from dates and airfare to dining reservations and Fastpass+, the list goes on and on. These days it’s really hard to just head to your vacation without all of the preplanning and details. However, there are some important details that people won’t tell you while you’re planning that might really come in handy! Here are seven things that I think you must know before heading to your WDW vacation:

  1. You now have to pay for parking at your Disney resort. Back in early 2018, WDW announced that guests would now be charged a nightly fee for overnight parking at resorts. The prices vary based on which category resort you are staying ($13/night for Value, $19/night Moderate, and $24/night Deluxe) and will be charged at the end of your stay. Prior to this, parking at a Disney resort overnight was included in your stay. So, if you’re renting a car or driving to the resort for your stay, be prepared to pay those fees when checking out!
  2. The Disney rash is a real thing! Disney World in it’s entirety is about twice the size of Manhattan, or 40 square miles. On an average park day, you can expect to walk anywhere from 10-15 miles! This type of exercise probably isn’t worked into your daily life, which can lead to the dreaded Disney rash. Also known as “golfer’s rash”, the Disney rash causes irritation to the blood vessels in your lower leg. This is caused by walking an extended period of time in heat and humidity. To avoid this, make sure you’re getting those steps in and getting your body ready before you head to your vacation!
  3. Everything will be a line. Literally, everything. From waiting for busses, to baggage check and security, to scanning your tickets to get in the park and everything after that – there will always be a line. You might get lucky and be able to  walk right on an attraction, but those experiences are few and far in between. Be prepared for the lines and you will be a lot less frustrated!
  4. Not everyone is in a happy and magical mood. You’ll see kids crying, parents arguing, elders annoyed – you’ll probably even bicker with your loved ones yourself. The extreme temperatures, long park days, and crowds of people are enough to put anyone on edge. To avoid arguments work resort breaks into the hot days, expect that things won’t always go to plan, and understand that you will have to wait 10 minutes to get your Dole Whip.
  5. Your vacation will not be perfect, no matter how much you plan! Things happen, and things will go wrong. Make the best of anything that is thrown your way on your vacation and it will be much more enjoyable! Remember, over planning is your enemy! Make. Time. For. Mid. Day. Breaks!
  6. Being late doesn’t always mean you’re “late”. Your Fastpass+ might only be an hour window, but you will have a grace period of about 15 minutes after the window closes to still make that reservation! Same goes for dining reservations – there is usually about a half hour grace period. Be sure to ask cast members nicely and don’t go in expecting anything, but they will usually work with you happily!
  7. It’s going to be hot. Pretty much no matter when you come to WDW – it will be hot. You might be lucky and find yourself here during the whole two weeks of “winter” temperatures [mid 50’s-60’s], but chances are – it’ll be hot. Bring layers, a ton of water, sunscreen, fans, even an umbrella. Be prepared!

I cannot stress enough that your magical Disney vacation will not go to plan. Things will go wrong, but what’s most important is being able to run with those challenges! Keep these seven tips in mind, though, and it’ll make for a much smoother vacation 🙂

Thanks for reading! Be sure to subscribe to our blog so you’re notified of any new posts. We have some super exciting wedding content coming up that you won’t want to miss! See ya real soon 🙂

WHERE TO GET A THANKSGIVING MEAL IN WDW?

WHERE TO GET A THANKSGIVING MEAL IN WDW?

The week of Thanksgiving is one of the most crowded weeks in WDW. Due to the week-long vacation, families often choose this time to take their vacation. However, even if  you’re on vacation for Thanksgiving, that doesn’t mean you have to skip the traditional turkey and fixings meal!

In recent years, WDW has done a fantastic job of setting up Thanksgiving themed menus with several restaurants across property, both in parks and in resorts. They usually announce on the Disney Parks Blog these restaurants and their menus months in advance – but this year, with only a week until Thanksgiving, Disney has been pretty tight lipped. Some participating restaurants were mentioned, but there aren’t nearly as much as in past years on the list. There haven’t even been mention for restaurants offering a turkey dinner at all in either Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, or even Magic Kingdom!

In honor of Turkey Day being only a few days away, I am going to list the restaurants that have been announced to have a special Thanksgiving feast planned so far. After that, I am going to list one restaurant that isn’t on the list, but is somewhere perfect to go for a turkey feast.

First, let’s talk about the restaurants that have officially been announced to hold a Thanksgiving dinner feast:

EPCOT

  • Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room (United Kingdom) – One table service credit, offering lunch and dinner.
  • Coral Reef Restaurant (Future World) – One table service credit, offering lunch and dinner.
  • Le Cellier Steakhouse (Canada) – Two table service credits, offering lunch and dinner.
  • Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (Norway) – One table service credit, offering lunch and dinner.
  • Biergarten (Germany) – One table service credit, offering lunch and dinner buffets.

Disney Springs 

  • Wine Bar George – One table service credit, offering dinner only.

Disney World Resorts

  • Sanaa (Animal Kingdom Lodge) – One table service credit, offering lunch and dinner.
  •  Cape May Cafe (Beach Club Resort) – One table service credit, offering dinner only.
  • Whispering Canyon Cafe (Wilderness Lodge) – One table service credit, offering family style lunch and dinner.
  • California Grill (Contemporary Resort) – Two table service credits, offering dinner only.
  • Trail’s End (Fort Wilderness Resort & Campgrounds) – One table service credit, offering brunch and dinner buffets.
  • Ale & Compass (Yacht Club) – One table service credit, offering brunch and dinner buffets.

As you can see, there truly aren’t that many offerings compared to how many restaurants are located on property, and how many offered featured Thanksgiving feasts in years past. This will absolutely make it hard to find a reservation or get a table by walking in. However, there are some restaurants that may not have a “featured” meal, but definitely have that “Thanksgiving Day” home feeling that would be great for a Thanksgiving dinner. One, however, stands out from the rest.

Liberty Tree Tavern is a table service restaurant located in Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom. This restaurant is described by Disney as “…an 18th century colonial American theme with an all-you-care-to enjoy dinner buffet of Thanksgiving fare.” Although I’ve only ever eaten at this restaurant twice, it is the epitome of a traditional Thanksgiving feast. And, best of all, with the amount of food that you are provided with this restaurant is only one table service credit on the DDP!

Year round, the restaurant offers a set menu of traditional turkey day offerings including salad, turkey, pot roast, pork, mashed potatoes, vegetables, stuffing, mac and cheese, gravy, and dessert. The feast is served family style, which means literally all of the food is brought over in large portions, placed in the center of your table, and you can serve yourself to any amount you choose. It is also bottomless, so if you run out of stuffing and you’re craving more, all you have to do is ask. The food and the atmosphere put you in a Thanksgiving mood, no matter if it is November or July. Even without the “featured” acknowledgment of Disney for Thanksgiving feasts this year, I would absolutely recommend this table service meal above the rest for your holiday dinner.

Just a few side notes…

These planned Thanksgiving meals are only planned for Thanksgiving Day, and most are only for lunch and dinner, or brunch and dinner. It is going to be very difficult trying to snag a table by just walking in when you are ready to eat. If you would like to score a seat at one of these restaurants, I suggest trying to find a dining reservation as soon as possible. I also suggest eating outside of normal “meal” times, as it is usually a bit easier to grab a table.

Also, it is not uncommon for several other table service and quick service restaurants to end up having some sort of holiday offering on Thanksgiving. I am sure there will be many other places to grab a turkey meal, but these places listed above are featured special holiday meals on property. If you absolutely cannot get in to any of these restaurants and are dead set on a turkey feast Thanksgiving day, I would speak with some cast members to find out where some other options can be found that aren’t “featured” this year!

Thanks for reading! If you’re considering spending your Thanksgiving day on property, I hope this article helped you create a plan on where to eat your turkey feast! Be sure to like this post, and subscribe to my blog to be notified whenever I post next! Have a great Thanksgiving 🙂