Disney Parks are an international vacation destination with magical locations in the United States, to France and soon Shanghai. I plan to take my pink high heels (umm and my family) to visit the parks all over the world. So it makes total sense that our Walt Disney World Moms Panelists live all over the world too! I am visiting the United Kingdom this summer and hope to have a spot of tea with our own Mrs. Potts, Sue Farrell!
Sue Farrell, a wife and mom from Cheshire, United Kingdom, is putting the supercalifragilisticexpialidocious into the vacation plans of guests with their flying umbrellas headed toward Walt Disney World Resort. Since Sue and her family usually spend at least two weeks at a time visiting Disney Parks and Resorts on holiday, she is the expert planner for families visiting from abroad and loves to share her advice.
What is your advice for families living outside of the U.S. who are planning a trip to Disney Parks?
“I would recommend having a look at MyDisneyWorldPlanner website, which has lots of useful videos for visitors from the U.K. From this website, you can also order a free planning book, ‘The Little Big Book of Magic’. First, it is worth taking things at a slower pace while you adjust to the time difference after long-distance travel. So, we like to schedule relaxation days in addition to the more busy days. We love to enjoy the resort pool, spend some time at Downtown Disney – a little shopping and a table by the waterfront enjoying coffee from Ghirardelli’s is one of my favorite ways to relax.”
What are your tips for planning a Disney vacation that is longer than one week?
“When planning a longer vacation, it is important to remember that you cannot do everything, and I ask all family members for their top three or four “must-do’s” so everyone gets to enjoy their favorite attractions or activities.
There are two things that I believe to be true: firstly, there is something for everyone at Walt Disney World Resort; and secondly you will need comfortable footwear! Do your research and make a plan, but be relaxed about changing your day and take a break if you need to. For just a moment or two, slow down and soak up the magical atmosphere.”
How does your family divide up your vacation time when you plan an extended stay?
“Over the whole holiday, we plan two non-consecutive days at each theme park, two mornings at the water parks, then pool days, shopping, miniature golf, and then return to any parks we wish to revisit. It’s nice to be able to take our time! We tend to visit the Parks early in the day until lunchtime, and utilize Extra Magic Hours (available to Disney Resort hotel guests when the parks are open outside usual hours for those guests only), to make the most of our time.”
What are some things you’ve learned and can share with families to make it more affordable?
If you stay on property there are more than 20 resort hotels to suit everyone’s taste and budget and you will receive use of Disney transportation around the Resort, and complementary shuttle from the airport on Disney’s Magical Express. Downtown Disney is always on our to-do list because it has no admission fee, great entertainment and there is lots to see and do.
I also recommend looking into purchasing one of the Disney Dining Plans and looking for promotions when it is offered at no extra charge as part of a package. We usually bring snacks for breakfast, which saves cash or dining credits for lunch and dinner later.
Want to know how you can make your vacation practically perfect in every way? Get yourself a spoon full of sugar with the panelists at DisneyWorldMoms.com.