What I Learned from a First Timer at Disney


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I recently wrote about 10 Things Most First Timers Don’t Know About Disney. Writing this really got me thinking about what I had learned by traveling with a Disney first-timer.

Last October, I took my boyfriend, Aaron, to Walt Disney World for a magical 9 day vacation. He turns 30 this year and had never been to Disney. So, of course, being the massive Disney fan that I am, I had to take him!

Aaron at Splash Mountain

There were definitely a lot of tips and tricks that I was able to share with him while we were there, but I also learned a lot from him too. Before that trip, I had never been to Disney with a first-timer. Isn’t that kind of crazy? During my first Disney vacation, my parents had been before, and then after that, I always went with friends and fellow Disney College Program participants who knew all the ins and outs already. The trip I took with Aaron was definitely an eye opener for me.

First, I learned that I’ve even more Disney obsessed than I originally thought. We would be standing in line and Aaron would say something like “I wonder how this works” or “It would be interesting to know…” and more times than not, I was able to chime in with the answer. Maybe that makes me a know-it-all. But I realized that some of the trivia and facts I take to be common knowledge, really isn’t. I guess that is why I started this blog in the first place – to share my love and knowledge of Disney!

I also learned that it’s okay to stray from my carefully crafted itinerary. When I plan a trip to Disney, I have an itinerary for every day. This includes locations and times for FastPass+, dining reservation information, which lands or areas to explore and at what times, parade schedules, firework times, etc. Making my itinerary helps to get me excited for my upcoming trip and makes the waiting just a little less painful. However, once we were in the parks, I realized that it’s okay to veer off course.

As we were walking through Hollywood Studios, an impromptu performance from the Citizens of Hollywood started up. These performances and appearances do not have a schedule, so of course I wasn’t able to account for this in my itinerary. As Aaron paused to take in the show, I quickly scrambled to check what we would be missing if we stopped for this. But then I realized, I would be missing this experience! The experience I was already having!

Traveling with a first-timer forced me to live in the moment and enjoy the attraction or event that was happening at that time. So often, I found myself looking at my schedule to see what was coming next, it was hard to enjoy what was already happening. Aaron forced me to slow down and really take it all in.

By traveling with a first-timer, I also had some reassurances in my Disney obsessed life. Aaron assured me that yes, Dole Whips really are THAT GOOD! He was able to experience the magic of Wishes! Fireworks with me, and held my hand as we stared in awe. He laughed at the same corny Disney jokes that I laugh at (Tom Morrow. Paging Mr. Tom Morrow). It was so nice to share these experiences with someone for the first time.

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He also made me realize that I know where the bathroom is in every land in Magic Kingdom. I’m not sure if I should be proud of that or not.

While I love traveling with my Disney friends who know how to navigate the crowds, which row to ask for on Soarin’, and can sing along to all the attraction songs – I loved travelling with Aaron. He was able to open my eyes and let me view Disney World from the view of someone seeing it for the first time.

Have you ever traveled with a Disney first-timer? What did you learn from them and what insights were you able to share? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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