EDITOR’S NOTE: We are pleased to have the one and only British Disney Diva Jane Duckworth guest posting this week for the MouseQuest. Her experience in planning trans-Atlantic Disney holidays is unmatched. She is here to give us the ins and out of planning a Disney trip across the pond.
Written by Jane Duckworth
Over the past 20+ years literally thousands and thousands of British families have made Walt Disney World Resort® their top choice of destination for their annual jolly holiday, so much so that a Disney trip has practically become the norm in some circles.
For many Brits this love affair with the Sunshine State has gone even deeper by purchasing private vacation villas or investing in time share properties such as the popular Disney Vacation Club; after all the USA as a whole has many positives for lazy British travellers like me because it’s English speaking plus it’s safe to drink the tap water!
For some a trip to Walt Disney World Resort® is a once in a lifetime event and for others it’s a well-trodden path, but for everyone it takes a fair bit of thought and planning!
Do I need any documents to travel to the USA?
To enable travel for up to 90 days to the United States of America, a British tourist needs a valid passport and an ESTA which stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorisation. ESTA’s are part of the visa waiver program and should be purchased from the United States Government website at least 72 hours before travel and will last for up to 2 years as long as there are no changes to your personal circumstances.
Beware of all the websites that will claim to obtain an ESTA for you at a greatly inflated price! Only apply online via the US Government website (as in my previous link) where currently the charge is around £9/$14
Even though you are provided with an email confirmation of your ESTA acceptance I always print out our ESTAs and put them with our passports – just in case… although to date I’ve never been asked to produce them.
Begin planning before leaving home…
To help start planning the magic of a Walt Disney World Resort® holiday the 1st thing I recommend is signing up for a My Disney Experience account.
This practically perfect account is where is all begins…
My Disney Experience and My Disney Experience Mobile App will seamlessly link up with your Disney Resort reservation, Disney’s Ultimate Theme Park Tickets, MagicBands, Memory Maker, FastPass+ selections, Advanced Dining Reservations, enable charging of purchases to your Resort room (via a previously linked credit card)…. plus when you are enjoying the Disney Parks My Disney Experience Mobile App acts as an interactive guide map.
What’s a MagicBand?
All Guests staying in a Walt Disney World owned and run resort receive complimentary MagicBands as part of their holiday package.
MagicBands contain all the information that you input to your My Disney Experience and will even act as your Resort room access key!
All Guests can, and definitely should, customise their MagicBands with a name and choose a favourite colour- currently Red, Blue, Grey, Green, Pink, Orange & Yellow – which should be completed at least 10 days prior to check-in.
Currently, MagicBands are not shipped to the United Kingdom which means us Brits have to wait patiently until Resort check-in to be issued with ours.
Top Tips for British Travellers
- Disney’s Ultimate Tickets – Be sure to purchase these UK exclusive and super value for the money Disney theme park tickets BEFORE leaving home.
- Comfortable footwear – It is estimated that Guests walk upwards of 8 miles per day when visiting a Disney Theme Park & to quote my Mum, if your feet hurt, it shows on your face!
- High factor sun block – The rays from the Florida sun are much more powerful than what us Brits are used to; stay sun safe!
- Wear a hat & shades – Even if you don’t normally wear a hat at home, wearing one in Florida really does help keep the suns glare out of your eyes.
- Don’t over pack suitcases – Florida is a shoppers paradise, so remember to leave plenty of room for souvenirs.
- Invest in some baggage scales – Don’t be caught out by your airlines excess baggage allowances, with your own scales you’ll know when to stop shopping!
Hello, my name is Jane Duckworth and I’m so very pleased to meet you. I’ve lived all my life in the beautiful peninsula County of Cornwall in the United Kingdom where I am a wife and stay-at-home, cooking-obsessed Mum of 4.
There’s nothing I enjoy more than a new challenge or project to really get passionate about and I can often be found writing articles, product reviews or sharing recipes for my blog Jane’s World or penning resort & restaurant reviews and travel articles as British Diva for Tips from the Disney Diva plus I’ve also written guest articles for The Adult Side of Disney, DisTherapy and Magical DIStractions to mention but a few…