Tactical Tips
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Links & Info

Dunlap's Tip Sheets

Our enthusiasm for Disney leads to a lot of conversations and sharing of trip tips. We have started to organize our tips here. There are some really impressive wed sites dedicated to Disney World. Rather than a poor attempt at replicating them we provide some links. 

We have a couple of tip sheets. Strategic tips are how to approach your Disney vacation. These are the big themes that make a tip much more pleasant. Our strategic Tips are below. 

We also have a page of tactical tips, these are the little tricks that get you more in each day. Our favorites are simply the things we like best and why we like them. Finally Links & Info are the tools and web pages we use the most to plan trips.

Dunlap's Top Strategic Tips

Buy New Shoes MONTHS BEFORE YOU GO. Break them in well. A trip to WDW is a serious expedition.  The investment in good shoes pays big dividends. You will be on your feet all day, walking miles. Blisters on sore feet will wreck your vacation. Get good athletic shoes not Bad Shoes.

It is a vacation plan to relax a little every day. You cant see the entire place in one trip, we have made at least six billion trips and there is still stuff we haven't done. So dont kill yourselves trying to see it all it can't be done. 

Focus on having a good time. When in doubt do less. Do a little planning and see and do the things that interest you. 

Plan ahead. We find trip planning is great fun. Think about what you are going to see and see what you planned. Planning Disney trips is an ongoing family project at our house. We get everyone involved in the process, we web surf, make list of things take and talk about our favorite things to do there. Be sure to build the B attractions into your plans. Shows are good ways to rest up in the parks and enjoy some air conditioning. Don't miss the Disney Pre-shows, they typically very good. By planning we mean know the following:
bulletThe park hours
bulletWhen the parades are
bulletWhen the fireworks are
bulletGet priority seating for the restaurants you really want to eat in
bulletMake a rough schedule not a military plan of conquest

Disney Vacation Club. If you like Disney so much you think you're coming back every one to two years look into DVC. For the same money you get better accommodations in a Home Away From Home. If buying in may is not for you consider RENTING DVC points and staying in a DVC home away from home resort. It is an economical way to get a bigger / better room for your stay. 

Stay in a Disney Resort (it makes the next three tips easier.) Stay close to what you like. We like the Epcot resorts since we can walk into Epcot and are close to MGM and we spend more time in those two parks than Magic Kingdom. Not staying at Epcot? Go into Epcot from its resorts. Park at a hotel and walk in the backside of Epcot.

The monorail is cool but it only puts you close to the Magic kingdom and you are far from everything else. To take the monorail to Epcot you have to switch trains at the transportation center and the monorail doesn't go to MGM or Animal Kingdom. 

Pack light. There are convenient laundry facilities in all the resorts. You are going to buy stuff there so do it early, wear it there and you will not need the stuff you would have otherwise packed. (Have room in your luggage to take home  the stuff you will buy.)

Get up early, do the parks as they open, leave when they get crowded. You can see and do more from opening to 10 am than the rest of the day.

Take a break take a mid-day break go back to the hotel and rest. Your kids may not need a nap but you may. This is much easier if you are staying on property. The resorts are very nice, enjoy them have a nap at the the pool.

Carry water and / or a sport drink. If you get thirsty you are already dehydrated. Push water on the kids. You may be able to freeze the water bottles in your room if you have a fridge. Then you have cold water longer.

Take your own stroller, you can carry a ton of junk in a baby stroller. It is easier to spot your own among the rentals and you can move out of the park with it. Check you stroller at the gate getting on the plane, that way you can use it as a pack mule in the airport.

Talk with cast members they know the place better than anyone and have good tips. Play with the cast members and characters they love the place too. Get character autographs, have a pen ready. In Epcot at night send the kids from country to country to collect "Passport" stamps. Bring a small notebook. Explain how it works.

FSR or other quality two way radios make it easier of a family to stay in touch. If you are traveling with kids it makes it easier to get re-connected after potty stop and to find strays particularly in the stores. Be polite and turn them off in attractions.

Understand Priority Seating. Priority seating is not a reservation.
After checking in, tables are assigned to priority seating guest in the order that they checked in not on the basis of the time of the priority seating. So: Check in roughly a hour a head of time. Dont sweat when your time is.