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How To Do: Disney World

A few weeks ago I got back from the holiday of a life time with my family after spending 16 days in Florida. 6 of those 16 days were spent at Disney World. We knew it would be a lot of fun, but our expectations were completely blown away and it was a million times better than we could have imagined. That's not to say however that is wasn't hard work too. For a family who are used to spending 2 weeks by a pool or on the beach every summer, this was a slight shock to our system. Nonetheless, I would still recommend it to anyone. 

I thought I would do a blog post on the tips I would have liked to have known having never been before, and would have made things a whole lot easier from day 1.
WARNING: This is going to be a pretty lengthy post so I would suggest getting a big cup of tea and a few yummy biscuits just so you are completely prepared. 
Lets begin...



OUTFIT
  • The most important tip I could give you about surviving Disney - wear comfortable shoes. There is a lot of walking involved as well as standing around when queuing. Therefore, your feet will ache. Be sensible and practical. That doesn't mean you have to look completely like a tourist. I opted for my favorite pair of Keds. They got me through the week with almost no problems. My sister wore her Vans, which did an equally great job. 
  • Go for it. Be brave... wear shorts. It may sound completely terrifying, but you're here to enjoy yourself and sometime that means just braving it. I am most definitely not a shorts kinda gal, but the pair I wore every day were arguably the most comfortable pair of shorts I have ever owned - something I never thought I would say. They were from Gap, and gave me no grief at all. 
  • If you are going for shorts then any comfortable top will do. I wore different camis almost every day to avoid any embarrassing sweat patches. If you have that problem too (and if you don't then Disney will soon change that), then a white tee is perfect and you will be good to go.
  • As you can see from the picture below, I decided to wear a hat. It was extremely hot and I thought it may help. Turns out I look stupid in hats. Thankfully I realised this and after day 1 the hat lived very happily in my suitcase. However, lots of people do look good in hats, so if you're one of those lucky people, then I really would suggest it - it does help. Try not to be to trendy though as it'll only end up being an inconvenience - just go for a bog standard baseball cap
  • Sunglasses are a serious must have. Wear a pair you don't mind getting a bit scuffed - Disney is not the place for your new and oh so fragile Ray Bans.
  • If you are going in July and August in particular then you are more than likely to be caught in many storms. If you are organised then you might want to bring a waterproof. If you're not then Disney sell the most dashing ponchos (see picture below). Everyone wears them so try not to feel too silly in it. They fold up easily too, so you can pop it in your bag everyday and it won't be in the way.
  • Last but certainly not least, comfy undies. This may sound a little ridiculous, but trust me, on a hot sticky day the last thing you want to be worrying about it pulling out a wedgie every few seconds or adjusting your really uncomfortable bra. Nobody is going to see them so your trusty Bridget Jones undies are okay. 

***DATE ALTERNATIVE***
Of course not everyone does the whole shabang at Disney. If you live close, or are near one of the other Disney's (maybe Paris or California), then it is a really fun place to spend the day with your friends or go on a date. If that is the case you probably want to make a little more effort than the suggestions I have given.
I still recommend shorts, but I also think a cute playsuit would look great too - remember you still want to be practical. Instead of trainers I would opt for a lovely pair of sandals. Today may be the day to have to just deal with uncomfortable underwear - even though he may never see it, I find that nice underwear always makes me feel more confident. As far as accessories go, don't wear your most valuable jewellrey, but don't be afraid to glam it up a bit. Oh and remember, don't forget the sunnies - they always make me feel more confident too. The bigger the better in my opinion. 

 

HAIR & MAKEUP
  • Here is how it went for me: day 1, concealer, mascara, brows, eye shadow, bronzer, powder and lip balm. Day 2, concealer, mascara, brows and powder. Day 3, just mascara. Day 4, nothing. As you can see it took me 3 whole days to realise I simply didn't care that much because I came home looking a mess anyway. By the time you have done the wet rides, fast rides, and sweated in the boiling hot sun for hours then you'll see that there really is no point. It will also do your skin the world of good to have a proper breather for a few days. 
  • However, if you really must have a little something then waterproof mascara is a must. I chose the Maybelline Falsies Waterproof Mascara. It worked like a charm, but was an absolute nightmare to get off at night - another reason I gave up with makeup altogether. 
  • I also carried my trusty Rimmel Stay Matte Powder with me, just in case of a super shine emergency.
  • Obviously this is depending on what time of year you go, but sun cream is crucial. Even if you are someone who doesn't ever burn you will still need to protect your skin. You will be in the sun for long hours at a time and won't realise the damage until you hop in the shower and are stinging and see hideous white tan/burn lines. 
  • My motto for Disney - hair don't care! Even if you try to make an effort, the heat won't agree. I shoved my hair into a pineapple most days, or a high pony - it's way to hot for anything fancy.

***DATE ALTERNATIVE*** 
I would keep it very simple. A BB cream, your favourite concealer, a feline flick, and a touch of bronzer on the high parts of your face for a natural look. I would also fill in my brows and go for a neutral lip - i'm in love with the Revlon ColourBurst Lip Butters. You don't want to be worrying about how your makeup looks all day, so go with what you know and use primer if you need too.

I couldn't seem to find a picture without any makeup on. If you're like me and don't normally go out bare faced
then hide it with a big pair of sunnies. 


HANDBAG ESSENTIALS
  • Don't be lugging a hefty handbag around. It will kill your shoulder all day and encourages you to bring more clutter than you really need. I would also recommend a bag with a zip, or a rucksack. However, my Elizabeth Hurley beach bag did me just fine (I got mine free in a magazine many years ago, but many people seem to be selling them on Ebay now) . If you are planning on going on some of the more scary rides then there are plenty of lockers to put your things in. 
  • Sun cream with a high SPF. 
  • Powder and brush
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Foot Spray. Okay, I know this sounds really bizarre, but I got one free from The Body Shop and it came in so handy throughout the day when your feet are aching. It is really refreshing and I often sprayed my body with it too as it is super cooling. Plus it smells really yummy too.  
  • LOTS of plasters
  • Phone
  • Waterproof coat or Disney poncho
  • Paracetamol
  • Hand Sanitiser
  • Face wipes. They are really handy just to wipe yourself down in the heat. However, the ones I went for were rubbish at removing waterproof mascara, so you may want to have a good look about for some others if you want them for that too.
  • Chewing gum/ mints
  • Tissues
  • Travel size deodorant 
  • As my bag didn't have a zip I put all my essentials (minus the poncho, hat, sunglasses and sun cream) into a really handy waterproof makeup bag.




OTHER TIPS AND TRICKS
  • There is a heck of a lot of queuing at Disney, so prepare before hand. Find ways to entertain yourself. Our favourite was Ellen DeGeneres' app 'Heads Up'.
  • Stay Hydrated. It gets incredibly hot and there will be times where you are losing the will to live. All you need is a big cold drink, or yummy ice cream and you'll be good to get back on track with your day of fun. I wouldn't recommend carrying a bottle of water in your bag. It'll get warm very quickly, but don't worry, there is somewhere to get drinks around almost every corner.  
  • Disney is expensive. There is no real way to do it on the cheap, but just keep and eye on what you spend. It is very temping to keep spending, but ask yourself "do I really need those double fries again?" etc.
  • Book your Fast Pass early. Every day you can select 3 rides to Fast Pass. This is really great, but things get full up pretty quick, so you need to be quick too. You can either get their really early (if you're an early bird), or if you aren't a fan of getting up quite so early then you can use the app, which we found to be a complete life saver.  
  • Have fun - enjoy yourself. If you are doing Disney World properly then you will soon realise that it is bloody hard work. Don't spend the day complaining about your aches and pains, and how hot you are - when you look back to your holiday then you will realise it was actually the most fun you have ever had. 
  • That leads me on to my final point. Take lots of photos. Don't be afraid to be snap happy, or ask the people you are with to be snap happy too. Especially if it is your first time, you will be making memories that you will remember for the rest of your life, so you want to document them. You will probably think you look gross at the time, but it is often the photos where you and your friends/family look your worst; the candid shots where you didn't see the camera, that are the ones that make you smile the most. 

Prime example of my last tip.


As a family that are huge SpongeBob fans, this was a big deal for us -  I couldn't not include this picture.



THESE ARE THE PARKS WE WENT TO AND LOVED THEM ALL

Magic Kingdom -  A truly magic place where Disney really comes to life. Walking down main street I felt like a character in a classic Disney tale. I highly recommend the electrical parade and fireworks at night too.

Animal Kingdom - I think this was my favourite of all the parks. Simply because of the incredible safari tour. I forgot for a moment that I was in Florida. The environment is in no way cruel to the animals. I have never been so close to so many wild animals in their natural habitat before. I was in awe of the experience.

Epcot - You don't go to Epcot for heart racing rides and roller coasters. You go to learn. It isn't as boring as it sounds, it is actually really fascinating. I especially love the mini countries to experience - although the long walk almost killed me. The best part though - the simulators. They were absolutely mind blowing.

Hollywood Studios - If you love your films and TV shows, you will love this place too. There is so much to see here, where you can get a real feel for the behind the scenes of film and TV making.

Typhoon Lagoon - I am not a water park type of person. At all. If you are, you will love spending hours at this place. I went on everything once, and that was fun enough. However, still a really fun day that I would recommend to anybody.

Downtown Disney - I only experienced the night life at Downtown Disney. It was an extremely buzzy place at night, full of lovely places to eat and explore. It is also good for a spot of shopping - especially if you are from the UK as it is hella cheap.

Universal Studios - There are two parks at Universal, so we decided to spend two days there. There is a lot to do, so we wanted to do it properly. It didn't feel as magical as Disney, but was still so much fun. The rides blew me away. Also, if you are a Happy Potter geek then brace yourself, because you will be in your element in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley (whatever they are) with all the other Potterheads. I may not be a fan, but that certainly didn't stop me enjoying the incredible rides at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

We didn't actually go to Seaworld, but it is also meant to be incredible. Although I would have loved to have gone there, my Grandpa once said to never do everything when you go somewhere new, because then you'll have no reason to go back!


If you are going to Disney World, then I hope you have the most wonderful holiday and that you picked up a few useful tips from this very lengthy post. If you are here just to snoop, then I hope you have a wonderful summer wherever you may be in the world.


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