Thursday, October 15, 2015

Planning: Finding Your Way Around Disney Parks

By: Melissa

You’ve planned. You’ve prepped. You’ve packed, and you’ve arrived. You’re at Disney! You walk up to the park gate, and…how do you find anything?

Disney World is a big place. There are lots of things to find, and while Disney is pretty good at signage, it really helps to know where you are headed before you start out.

Knowing where you’re headed also saves time and frustration. You don’t have to memorize the map or plan your every step, but having a general idea of where things are, how to get there, and what direction you’re going next will be a big help.

My absolute favorite resource for pre-trip park maps is EasyWDW. Josh has done an awesome job of creating color-coded maps that help you not only know where things are, but when it’s best to visit them. His Cheat Sheets with maps were my lifeline for our first trip, and I’m using them again right now! My advice is to print the maps and spend some time studying them as you plan your day. Of course things look different when you’re actually there, but if you have a general idea of where you’re going, you’ll be in much better shape. (I still get lost in Hollywood Studios, though. Every single time!)

On your phone, you have the option of quite a few apps that provide maps and attraction wait times. I like to keep things simple, so I stick with My Disney Experience (MDE). You can use it to help you find your way around the park while you’re there, as well as see wait times posted on attractions. And with the new Shop Parks app, you can even locate specific merchandise!

If you are “old school” and prefer the park’s paper maps, you can pick them up at park entrances. Disney has begun to scale back on these locations, probably because more and more people are using their phones. The front desk at your resort might have them available as well.

Asking for directions is always an option, though I know it’s sometimes a hassle. Every now and then, it’s unavoidable. Cast Members have always been very helpful and kind when we asked where to find something. If you’re asking about locating a character, they might even give you a special tip. You never know when someone might spread a little Pixie Dust at Disney!

What’s your favorite way to find your way around the Disney Parks?

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