Growing up an hour away from Cinderella's Castle, I have had my eyes set on a Disney vacation for as long as I can remember. I would see all of my neighbors and friends come back from the theme park with Mickey ears and ice-cream sandwiches every summer while I either went to visit my family in India or enjoyed a staycation.

After a long wait, I was finally able to convince my family to go on a trip to Orlando's Disney World as Florida residents. With cheaper tickets comes its pros and cons, but at the end of the day, there are 5 ways that can ensure a magical stay at Mickey's Home.

When my family and I went to Disney, I only remembered standing in lines that were hours and hours long until my legs were waiting for relief. Only after we left the park had I known about the concept of a FastPass. The FastPass allows an individual to be in a shorter line for a specific attraction or ride at the park. The other catch: you need to get three and use them BEFORE adding more passes! However, my advice is to choose wisely and ahead of time so you can have more fun at the park. The most popular rides usually don't have passes available, but if you try to buy them a few weeks before your trip, you could be lucky!

1. FastPasses

When my family and I went to Disney, I only remembered standing in lines that were hours and hours long until my legs were wailing for relief. Only after we left the park had I known about the concept of a FastPass. The FastPass allows an individual to be in a shorter line for a specific attraction or ride at the park. The other catch: you need to get three and use them BEFORE adding more passes! However, my advice is to choose wisely and ahead of time so you can have more fun at the park. The most popular rides usually don't have passes available, but if you try to buy them a few weeks before your trip, you could be lucky!

2. MyDisney Experience

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As soon as the tram lets you into the park, you enter a crowd that is excited, confused and energetic in the most magical place on Earth. Do you have questions or want to have the day planned for you? Save time with the MyDisney Experience App found in the App Store. The MyDisney App connects your ticket to the app to give you real-life wait times at all attractions, a list of showtimes and the best places to dine or take some nice pictures!

3. Bring Food/Water

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As a vegetarian, finding restaurants with proper meals for a reasonable price was rather difficult, impossible even in some of the parks. If you are a picky eater or have dietary restrictions, bring homemade food to match your palette. The Disney staff respects these decisions and will not mind as long as you show your bag like everyone else in the security line! If you pack some refreshing bottles of water or Gatorade, you're all set for the day!

4. Skip the Parade at Magic Kingdom

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Magic Kingdom is the face of Disney World on an international level, so it makes sense that this will be the park with the most crowd and greatest entertainment. Magic Kingdom has a 15-minute parade at 3:00 every day. The parade features all of your favorite princesses, Mickey and Minnie and even Alice in Wonderland! In the sweltering heat of summer, I spent too much time waiting for the parade to start that I got exhausted physically and mentally. For families with little kids, the wait was not worth it. If you want to make the most of Magic Kingdom, don't wait for the parade.

5. Extra Magic Hours

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The best way to have an ultimate Disney Experience is to go relish your favorite attractions during Extra Magic Hours. Extra Magic Hours, part of Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom, allow resort guests to enter the park one hour earlier. The perks of staying at a Walt Disney Resort include shorter wait times and more time to take pictures before the rest of the crowd floods inside!

Every trip to Disney World is magical, exhausting and unforgettable. With these tips from a Floridian and true Disney fan, you are guaranteed to have the time of your life and live happily ever after!