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Hoppin' Tips for Visiting Disney World in the Summer

by Leap on March 21, 2024 1932 Orlando

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Once Tad and Lily are off from school, more often than not that means heading down to The Most Magical Place on Earth. Nothing says summer vacation quite like a trip to Disney World! Traveling during this busier time takes a little extra preparation to have a toadally awesome visit, and we're here to help you walk through it. Plus, four limited-time summer celebrations are hoppening across the theme parks in 2024, so don't miss out on the fun!

Disney World in the Summer - Cinderella Castle

Overview of Disney World in the Summer

Summer is the classic season for theme parks as many frogs visit during this hoppin' time. If your frog family is also making the leap, you'll want to plan ahead to maximize your time.

Make sure you have your tickets ready to go! Speaking of tickets, take advantage of summer deals, such as the 4-Day Magic Ticket and the new 3-Day, 3-Park Ticket — Undercover Tourist offers both at a discount to help you save some green! Theme park reservations are no longer needed for date-based tickets, and all-day park hopping returned at the beginning of the year. Use our downloadable Jump Start guide and the My Disney Experience app to help plan your trip — and even use your phone as your ticket with MagicMobile! Check which attractions may be utilizing a virtual queue, such as TRON Lightcycle Run. Considering Genie+ service? Hop over to our most frequently asked questions.

You can still have an amazing time even when there are more frogs in the pond, so to speak. But it does mean you need to have a plan! We're sharing our best tips and insights so you know what to expect during the summer at Disney World.

Summer Crowds at Disney World

Summer is when students of all ages are off from school and is prime vacation season. It is one of the busiest times to visit besides Thanksgiving and Christmas time. There will be no avoiding the summer crowds, with peak crowds hoppening during the week of the Fourth of July. With so many frogs visiting during this time of year, a trip to Disney World requires a little more planning and expectations, but don't worry — a magical trip is still toadally doable!

The good news is that park hours are typically longer in the summer to help with the crowds, so we highly recommend getting there early, taking a break in the afternoon and then coming back to the parks in the evenings for as long as your little ones can handle it. If your family members aren't early birds, an alternative option is to take advantage of the later extended park hours when crowd levels really drop off. Use our summer park plan as a guide!

Be sure to check our Crowd Calendar for daily crowd levels and recommended parks, especially if you are visiting Disney World during the summer.

Summer Weather at Disney World

I won't sugarcoat this — it's HOT in the summer. Temperatures have an average high in the 90s with high humidity. Packing the essentials, such as sunscreen, sunglasses and lightweight clothing, is a must as one of the ways to beat the heat. You'll want to make sure to drink more water than you think, especially if you're not used to such humidity, and take lots of A/C breaks.

Guide to Disney World in Summer - Rainy Day Cavalcade at Magic Kingdom

Disney World may reside in the Sunshine State, but it also rains. A LOT. Afternoon rains are basically a daily occurrence during the summer so you'll want to be ready for a sudden shower. It’s a good idea to pack a few ponchos because storms can move in very quickly. But the good news is that it generally rains for only an hour or two (usually in the afternoons or early evenings) and then the clouds clear up — and it cools down a bit! Be prepared to adapt to the weather — afternoon showers are a perfect time for an indoor show and you may want to do your favorite outdoor rides in the morning as they will close for weather. Here are all our tips for a rainy day at Disney World.

Summer Events at Disney World

There's a variety of special events to enjoy throughout the summer at Disney World — plus, new celebrations and hoppenings across the resort.

NEW — Tiana's Bayou Adventure at Magic Kingdom

While we don't know the exact date just yet, Disney has confirmed that Tiana's Bayou Adventure will open during summer 2024 at Magic Kingdom. Hop over to our guide to learn all of the exciting details about the new attraction!

NEW — "Encanto" Sing-Along at EPCOT

We don't talk about Bruno, but no one has said we can't sing about Bruno ... an "Encanto" sing-along show, "¡Celebración Encanto!," featuring Mirabel and Bruno will debut June 10 and runs until Sept. 6 on the newly opened CommuniCore Plaza stage. Yes, you read that right! The last part of the EPCOT transformation is coming to a close, as starting June 10, guests will be able to stroll straight through EPCOT and visit the new CommuniCore Hall and Plaza. The Hall will be the central indoor space of all the EPCOT festivals and other celebrations, as well as the Mickey & Friends character location.

NEW — "Inside Out 2" Sneak Peek at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Starting June 10, Joy from "Inside Out 2" will head to her new home at Pixar Plaza, just in time for the release of "Inside Out 2," which premieres June 14.

NEW — "The Lion King" 30th Anniversary at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Celebrate the 30th anniversary of "The Lion King" from June 10 through Sept. 6 with a special meet-and-greet with Timon and Rafiki. They'll be at Rafiki's Planet Watch, where you can also visit the Animation Experience and draw "The Lion King" characters. Plus, commemorate the anniversary with new merchandise or special menu items, such as a Pumbaa popcorn bucket.

NEW — "Disney Dreams That Soar" at Disney Springs

Drones will fill the skies at Disney Springs with a brand-new nighttime show, "Disney Dreams That Soar," showcasing Disney stories that celebrate the "joy of flight." The choreographed drones will create designs in the sky in sync with a musical score and memorable quotes. The show will run nightly from May 24 through Sept. 2, 2024.

Fourth of July

Those visiting during Independence Day can experience an epic patriotic firework display with a special Fourth of July nighttime spectacular at Magic Kingdom. No one does fireworks as grand as Disney does! The show hoppens on both July 3 and 4 for more flexible plans. The American Adventure Pavilion at EPCOT will often have special offerings as well.

EPCOT Festivals

EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival – Fry Flight from The Fry Basket

Visiting in the summer means there's a good chance you'll be visiting during one of EPCOT's great festivals! EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival runs through May 27, 2023, and the EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival usually follows shortly after (the past couple of years, it has started as early as July). That means more opportunities to try the delicious festival food (peep those mouth-watering Fry Flight at Food and Wine!).

Disney After Hours

Guide to Disney H2O Glow After Hours - Wave pool

Avoid the afternoon heat and enjoy lower wait times with Disney After Hours! The separately ticketed events allow guests to stick around the participating parks after normal park hours with limited crowds. That means you’ll encounter little-to-no lines while you wait for rides, character meet-and-greets and other experiences at the parks. Plus, you'll get complimentary popcorn, ice cream and bottled beverages during the official event time! Disney After Hours is available at Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and EPCOT on select nights throughout summer 2024.

Looking for a cool way to experience the water parks? Disney H2O Glow After Hours at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park is a separately ticketed event held after hours on select Tuesday, Friday and Saturday nights from May 25 to Aug. 31, 2024. The tadpole-friendly evenings feature DJ dance parties, specialty food and drink, and a chance to enjoy your favorite water attractions glowing at night! Check out our guide to H2O Glow After Hours for all the hoppin' details.

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Who's ready for a spooky summer? (Or should we say, not so scary ... ) I know, I know ... Halloween in a summer guide? At Disney World, Halloween is a whole season, and this year, the celebration begins with Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. This separately ticketed event usually kicks off in August. For those sneaking in one last trip before school starts, consider adding on this frog-favorite after-party!

Tips for Visiting Disney World in the Summer

1. Have Your Tickets Sorted Ahead of Time

Before anything, you'll want to make sure to purchase your tickets in advance. You don't want to lose crucial minutes sorting your tickets at the park entrance. Lucky for you, Undercover Tourist offers hoppin' deals on Walt Disney World tickets, including the 4-Day Magic Ticket!

2. Consider Purchasing Disney Genie+

Expedition Everest at Disney's Animal Kingdom

You'll also want to decide if you want to purchase Disney Genie+. For an additional cost per person, Disney Genie+ lets you choose available times to skip the standby line for a variety of rides and experiences using the Lightning Lane entrance. Most attractions are included in the service, though some can be purchased separately as individual Lightning Lane selections.

We generally recommend using Genie+ the most if you're visiting Magic Kingdom or park hopping. Though with summer crowds, we'd recommend it for all of your park days. Minimally, we suggest purchasing at least one of the individual Lightning Lanes to enjoy short waits for popular rides such as TRON Lightcycle Run or Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.

3. Get an Early Start

Our single most important tip is to arrive early, especially during summer. Arrive at all parks before opening and ride your popular attractions in the first hour or two before the lines get too long. Be sure to double-check the park opening times (which you can see on our Crowd Calendar) because they can and do change.

If staying on property, Disney has introduced the Early Theme Park Entry benefit. Disney Resort hotel guests and guests of other select hotels have a 30-minute early entry to any theme park, every day. This is crucial for saving time for popular attractions such as Avatar Flight of Passage and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

Arriving early also helps with parking, if you plan to drive, as the parking lots fill sooner during peak seasons. You don't want to lose valuable park time waiting in a long line at the parking toll plaza, so try to head over ahead of park opening. Trams are back and available at the parking lots of all four theme parks.

4. Follow Our Park Plans and Download Our App

We recommend at the very least that you have an idea of which attractions you want to visit in the parks and know what you want to prioritize. We offer park plans for all of the Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando theme parks so that you can experience the most in-demand attractions with the shortest durations first. Download the printable park plans from our site before you go, or use our app to follow or customize our plans! You can also use our free app for iPhone to check wait times for rides nearby instead of having to traverse the park. Plus, we have a summer-specific plan here on the blog!

5. Pack with Purpose

Head into summer well-prepared with these essential items! Make sure to bring sunscreen, sunglasses and/or a hat to protect from the sun. Stay cool with a hand-held fan and lightweight clothing. It can also rain often, so we recommend bringing extra socks and your own rain ponchos so you don't have to buy the pricer ones in the parks. Be sure to bring a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated and save some money (did you know you can get free cups of water at any quick-service restaurant?). Finish out your essentials with a portable phone charger, as you will be using the My Disney Experience app a lot throughout the day, which can drain your battery.

6. Avoid Dining During Prime Times

Guide to Disney World in Summer - Young girl eating a Dole Whip

Unless you've made advance dining reservations, the restaurant crowds can be as busy as the attraction lines, especially in the summer. You'll find the shortest lines during "off-peak" hours, for example, before 11 a.m. or after 2 p.m. for lunch. Just remember to adjust your breakfast and snack times accordingly so no one gets "hangry." (Be sure to enjoy some of our favorite ice cream treats to help cool off!)

Oh, and just because you didn't make a dining reservation ahead of time doesn't mean you can't while you're on vacation! Check for openings on the days of your visit for last-minute openings due to other people's cancellations. In the My Disney Experience app, you can even check for dining reservations "now" to see if anything is available, or join a Walk-Up list! A recent update allows you to search up to 10 days at a time, rather than searching by a specific day.

Did you know that you can plan your Mobile Order in advance? That's right! You can create your order and even select a pickup window as soon as you enter the park. For popular stops such as Woody's Lunch Box, which book up quickly, this is even more important.

7. Review Your Safety Plan

Crowds + tadpoles = sky-rocketing anxiety levels for parents. Review safety scenarios such as "What happens if we get separated?" beforehand as a family. Take a look at Lily's tips for not getting lost at Disney for more hopful hints.

8. Take a Break from the Parks

If you or your little ones are completely frazzled by the hot afternoon, take a break from the parks completely. Let the kids have a swim at the resort pool or a nap and then decide if a trip in the evening — perhaps to the resort's entertainment and shopping areas such as Disney Springs or Disney’s BoardWalk — might be in order. We love factoring in one full afternoon for just pool time. If you're staying at Disney's Beach Club, Disney's Yacht Club or Disney's Art of Animation Resorts, you might want to plan even more pool time for your tadpoles. You can easily spend a whole day at Stormalong Bay or any of the three Art of Animation pools.

Another great way to cool down is heading to the water parks. Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon each offer splashtastic attractions with raft rides, surf pools, lazy rivers (Mommy Frog's favorite), kids' splash areas and more! For summer 2024, note that only Disney's Typhoon Lagoon is open.

9. Allow Time for Entertainment and Characters

Festival of Fantasy parade - Little Mermaid float

We highly recommend seeing the many parades, characters and fireworks that Disney has to offer. You can see all showtimes in the My Disney Experience app by heading to the map feature, where you can filter by ride wait times, characters, entertainment and more. This is super hopful for seeing when a character will come out, as well as how many shows are performing for the day. Be prepared to grab your Festival of Fantasy parade spot ahead of time.

The perfect way to end the day at Disney World is with fireworks! At Magic Kingdom, enjoy the Happily Ever After fireworks, now with projections down Main Street, U.S.A.! Check out our Magic Kingdom fireworks guide and EPCOT fireworks guide for the best viewing spots! At Hollywood Studios, there are two projection shows as well as the frog-favorite Fantasmic! nighttime show.

10. Be Flexible with Plans

With large crowds and high temperatures, it's easy to start to feel overwhelmed on a summer trip. We recommend taking a deep breath along with a 10-minute reset. Grab some water and shade, rest the feet and adjust plans if needed. If you have to cut something short or go to a different park than you planned, don't sweat it. It’s about quality, not quantity.

Remember, there will be lots of frogs also visiting Disney World, but as long as you have reasonable expectations and a flexible plan, your family will have a magical summer vacation!

Related: The Very Best Times to Visit Disney World

Keep hopping!

Keep hopping, Leap!
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1–50 of 1918 comments
Jun 20, 2023 at 5:41 a.m. Heather GT Says...

We just went to Universal California last summer, so this summer we are doing Epcot in FL. I'm glad I found this site before our trip.

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Jun 20, 2023 at 5:15 a.m. Hunter Says...

Can’t handle the weather. Off-season it is!

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Jun 20, 2023 at 4:51 a.m. Sara Lord Says...

Thanks for the great tips and information!

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Jun 20, 2023 at 4 a.m. Claire y Says...

Good post thanks !

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Jun 20, 2023 at 3:55 a.m. cody Says...

Loving these articles. there is alot of really good and useful information in them.

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Jun 20, 2023 at 3:50 a.m. Mary Says...

Love Undercover tourist for Disney tickets & great tips!! Totally trust the no-hassle purchase & return policy. It’s been our go-to source for years.

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Jun 20, 2023 at 3:31 a.m. Hannah B Says...

Looks so fun!

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Jun 20, 2023 at 3:15 a.m. Zoe Whorrall Says...

Great summer tips

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Jun 20, 2023 at 3:11 a.m. Jessica Whorrall Says...

Love this guide- thank you!

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Jun 20, 2023 at 2:55 a.m. breanna Says...

love disney<3

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Jun 20, 2023 at 2:52 a.m. Joyce Says...

Thanks for these wonderful tips!

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Jun 20, 2023 at 2:37 a.m. Jessica Arnold Says...

Thanks for the tips. Undercover Tourist is always helpful in planning our trips from their tips to the savings on tickets/car rentals.

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Jun 20, 2023 at 2:31 a.m. Crystal Dawn Says...

Amazing information!!! Especially for a family of 4 going to Disney parks for the first time ever! We’ve waited almost 26 years to afford this special trip and it is sure to bring out the kid in all of us. We have taken many trips to the beach so we are familiar with Florida sun and heat and even the downpours but the tips on dealing with all of this at the parks along with the crowds has given us invaluable insight to plan accordingly. We will be visiting the week after the 4th of July to celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary and our son’s 21st birthday!!! I usually spend hours researching websites before planning a trip somewhere new but this site has saved me a lot of time and frustration so thank you for taking the time to develop this incredible wealth of resources. For your efforts, I pray you receive blessings from my family to yours.

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Jun 20, 2023 at 2:26 a.m. Rachael DeBates Says...

I will keep this in mind when I go!

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Jun 20, 2023 at 2:17 a.m. Lisa Says...

Thank you for all your fabulous planning guides!

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Jun 20, 2023 at 1:58 a.m. Brad Jones Says...

Thanks for the info.

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Jun 20, 2023 at 1:50 a.m. Lela Says...

This is great information, thank you!

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Jun 20, 2023 at 1:35 a.m. Alicia Porges Says...

I was just looking for Halloween activities for the summer:)! I didn’t know Disney did a Halloween event during summer - I am already planning on visiting Orlando for family so I hope I’ll get to go!

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Jun 20, 2023 at 1:28 a.m. Malisa Turner Sweat Says...

Great tips. Thanks.

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Jun 20, 2023 at 1:20 a.m. Kes Says...

Tanks for the tip.

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Jun 20, 2023 at 12:50 a.m. Judy Siress Says...

Great tips!

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Jun 20, 2023 at 12:39 a.m. Brittany A Says...

Definitely bring a stroller fan for your kids

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Jun 20, 2023 at 12:39 a.m. Jamie Martin Says...

Don't forget sunblock.

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Jun 20, 2023 at 12:21 a.m. David Says...

Great tips!

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Jun 19, 2023 at 11:45 p.m. VikA Says...

Definitely some good tips & info

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Jun 19, 2023 at 11:40 p.m. Debby sherman Says...

Always a lot of great information and we get our park Hopper Tix here

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Jun 19, 2023 at 11:28 p.m. Paul Says...

Dress for comfort.

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Jun 19, 2023 at 11:27 p.m. Lissa Says...

Cant wait to plan a trip Thanks for all the tips!

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Jun 19, 2023 at 11:02 p.m. Kara Says...

Honestly summer is the new off season. If you can suffer the heat just do it because otherwise it's crazy year round

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Jun 19, 2023 at 10:55 p.m. Hillary Says...

Great info! Thank you!

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Jun 19, 2023 at 10:33 p.m. Khaii Mason Says...

I always use Undercover Tourist when planning my Disney and Universal trips. Love you guys!

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Jun 19, 2023 at 10:21 p.m. Debbi Shaw Says...

i think i will wait til fall to visit

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Jun 19, 2023 at 10:09 p.m. John Karny Says...

Great tips! Honestly a life saver

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Jun 19, 2023 at 10:08 p.m. David Perez A Says...

Always bring some extra snacks and water for the little ones!

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Jun 19, 2023 at 9:52 p.m. Martin Says...

Trust me the “dine outside peak hours” is a life saver!

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Jun 19, 2023 at 9:45 p.m. Krysti J Says...

Great tips!

Our must haves for summer WDW trips are always cooling towels: the pva kind. The microfiber ones don’t seem to work as well for us. Definitely water bottles meant to keep liquid cold for many hours. Sometimes little handheld fans.

And of course midday pool breaks are a life saver! Resets everyone for heading back into the parks in later afternoon/evening.

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Jun 19, 2023 at 9:41 p.m. DisneyGal Says...

This is great information! Thanks for sharing! ????

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Jun 19, 2023 at 9:23 p.m. Kayla C Says...

This will be my first time going to Disney. I'm going to have to stock up on sunscreen! Great tips for keeping cool and planning ahead!

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Jun 19, 2023 at 9:07 p.m. Cesar Says...

Amazing

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Jun 19, 2023 at 9:05 p.m. GregL Says...

Great info! Bring ponchos for the afternoon showers and stay hydrated,

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Jun 19, 2023 at 8:56 p.m. ryan Says...

nice

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Jun 19, 2023 at 8:41 p.m. crystal grey Says...

this looks like so much fun, but i definitely need to plan on going in the off-season and when it's not hot!

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Jun 19, 2023 at 8:29 p.m. Travis Says...

nice!

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Jun 19, 2023 at 8:25 p.m. Deb H Says...

Using Genie+ is worth it to get inside faster.

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Jun 19, 2023 at 8:24 p.m. Kore Says...

Fans and snacks!!

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Jun 19, 2023 at 7:18 p.m. Shantelle Sanders Says...

This is so helpful! I use undercover tourist for all vacation and even local planning! Disney or trips to the movies, they have it all!

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Jun 19, 2023 at 7:17 p.m. Cori Daly Says...

We always go early, break to swim & eat, stay late, & pack lightly but with necessities only.

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Jun 19, 2023 at 7:16 p.m. rstevens Says...

Packing with a purpose is a great tip. I tend to always overpack and bring too much.

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Jun 19, 2023 at 6:40 p.m. LPR Says...

Based on the cost of everything associated with Disney it has become prohibitively expense for most people outside of the state of Florida to visit Disney World for even 1 day let alone 3-5 days to enjoy all the parks.

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Jun 19, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. Sarah G Says...

Very helpful! Cant wait to go back to Disney!

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