On our recent trip, my son and his now fiancee were going with us. My son, has been navigating Walt Disney World by himself since age 14, so he fully knew what to expect. However, his fiancee had never been to Walt Disney World, so we tried to prepare her for almost a year prior to us leaving. In looking back, we really didn’t prepare her much at all. Oh, she thought she knew the size of it and how we would be going from early morning to probably late night and she was going to ride all kinds of things from roller coasters to shows. BUT in reality, she really didn’t know the magnitude of being in Walt Disney World.
I had suggested on numerous occasions, she needed good walking shoes, but they needed to be broken in well before hand. She did have a good pair of tennis shoes and Chaco’s. We didn’t think about more cushy socks and the Chaco’s did rub a few blisters on her feet. Me, on the other hand had no problem with my Chaco’s, but I had worn mine on several occasions walking over 5 miles that day. All my socks had arch support, so the day I wore tennis shoes, those worked well.
I also suggested she start walking so she could get used to the miles walked each day. Not only walking each day, but walking fast. Alas, none of us did that, but for some reason my husband, son and I seemed to handle it better. Maybe that is from prior experience – not sure, but she does understand it now.
Wardrobe was important – Layers were best since we were going in November. The early mornings and late evenings could be cool, while the mid-days would be hot or comfortable. One thing that never ceases to amaze me – Walt Disney World is not the place to try and be on the “best-dressed” list. Yes, you want to look presentable and clean and this is the perfect place to wear those “Mickey” t-shirts that other places may look out of place, but wearing short shorts and fitted sundresses are probably left to at home wear. Loose dresses, with bike shorts underneath are comfortable, but remember some of the rides you plan to ride! Some of them can be awkward or a little un-lady-like to get in and out of.
She also found a great bag to carry into the park that would keep things dry and still leave both arms free. This worked well. She even sprayed it with water-proofing to help when we rode Kali River, which much to my dismay no longer had the covered area in the middle of the rafts! We were able to carry what we needed in her bag and mine and they worked switching off with the guys periodically so none of us had to carry them all the time.
I asked her several weeks after we got back what her thoughts were on the trip. Her response –“ I loved it, but next time I would like to slow down and see the details!” We had been so busy making sure she rode everything we knew she would enjoy we forgot to slow down and smell the roses! I realize now, that taking someone for the first time is a juggling act to make sure they enjoy what they want to ride and still see what Disney is all about – the Magic in everything Disney!
Debbie and her husband live in Collegedale, TN where her youngest son is going to college. She is a huge Disney fan who dreams of someday retiring and working as a tour guide at Walt Disney World. She has enjoyed many trips to WDW with children, grandchildren and sometimes adults only. It is her ultimate goal to make sure everyone who visits WDW has the same magical time that she enjoys every time she visits.