Veteran visitors of Disney parks, Christopher Parr and Alison Relyea-Parr of Stoughton offer these tips for a better trip.
Arrive early. We prefer to arrive at the parks when they open, to avoid the crowds and the Florida heat. After noon, we return to our hotel, have lunch, go swimming and relax. With older kids, you could definitely spend an entire day at the parks, or return with them later in the day or at night. But it's a good idea not to overdo it with children under 10.
Take in top attractions first. When the Magic Kingdom opens, we head straight to the Jungle Cruise or Pirates of the Caribbean, and there's usually no wait. At Animal Kingdom, we do the same for the Kilimanjaro Safaris. After getting the rides out of the way, discover casual areas of the parks, like Disney World's Main Street USA, or the Conservation Station at Animal Kingdom.
Stay at a Disney property. For ease of use in exploring all the parks, waterparks, golf courses or Downtown Disney, stay at a Disney resort. It's convenient, and you can find the right resort to fit your budget.
Don't rent a car. Guests staying at Disney resorts can catch Disney's Magic Express bus to and from the Orlando, Fla., airport - they even handle your luggage. After arriving at your resort, there are frequent monorails and buses to the various parks and destinations.
Use "FastPass." Certain rides and attractions allow guests to pick up a ticket for a time to return to the ride later and use a shorter line. The free "FastPass" service helps you to avoid long lines and frees you to enjoy other attractions during the wait.
Check for special offers. Depending on the season, there are non-publicized offers, like "stay three nights, get two nights free." Check with a travel agent and do your homework before booking your reservation.
Book early. Make your travel reservations and even schedule character dining far in advance. A few weeks before your trip, call and confirm your itinerary. For a stress-free vacation, it's better to be safe than sorry.