Plan the trip as far in advance as possible. Six months is good, a year is better. If you are going with a big group, it's hard to get meal reservations for the whole group the closer you are to the actual date, so make your reservations as far ahead as you can.
Stay at one of the Disney resorts, even if you have to pick one of the cheapest ones, and take advantage of the "Extra Magic Hours" offered to resort guests only. Especially at the Magic Kingdom, after the late night fireworks show, lines are minimal and you can get on all of your favorite rides over and over with little or no waiting. During those extra hours, it is even less crowded.
There are vegetarian/vegan options at every park and at every table service restaurant. You may have to search a bit, but they are around. The Tusker House restaurant in Animal Kingdom, the Tangerine Cafe in the Morocco section of Epcot, the Prime Time Cafe at Hollywood Studios, and Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe and the Colombia Harbor House at Magic Kingdom all have delicious options.
The Fountainview Cafe in Epcot and the bakery on Main Street at the Magic Kingdom have Starbucks coffee, and a coconut milk latte is addictive!
Monorails are more like one of the rides than they are an actual means of transportation. If you can take a launch from a resort, do that.
The buses can be efficient, but can also get held up on traffic. Yes, even on property there can be traffic jams, and we saw an accident at one intersection. Leave plenty of time to get where you want to go.
The Soarin' ride is as much fun the 6th time as it was the first, and the PhilharMagic is, too.
Watch out for the birds, they will steal your food if given the chance. The squirrels are persistent beggars, too.
It's scarier to go home and wish you had gotten on a particular ride than it is to just go ahead and get on it while you are there. Roller coasters make you feel like you are flying, and it's always fun to fly (as long as you don't have to actually get into one of those tin cans at the airport).
The first aid station nurses are generous with bandages when the mini first aid kit you brought runs out.
While every job has its stresses and occasional bad days, every person you ask there will tell you that, most of the time, s/he loves the job and wouldn't want to work anywhere else.
When one of the characters is out greeting people, it's not a person in a costume, it is the character.
Don't be shocked at how expensive everything is. The happy, smiling service is worth it.
As with all things, there will be glitches. Rides can go down, buses can break down, the whole monorail system can go down, and there will always be something under construction. It's okay, they are making things better all of the time, and even Disney magic needs maintenance work done on it.
Go for two weeks if you can, you won't have to cram everything in so fast.
Never go during President's Day week, it is always the most crowded week of the year.
Buy the MemoryMaker photo package, and take full advantage of it. Get pictures taken by the Disney professionals everywhere that they are. This is especially true for me, as i'm a lousy photographer.
You will never regret tipping generously.
Don't forget to bring out your inner child and let her/him have a great time.
Curling Is Cool Day -- embrace the Olympic sport the whole family can play; sponsored by Wellcat Holidays
Defenders of the Motherland Day (formerly Red Army Day) -- Russia and some former Soviet Republics
Homeland Defenders' Day -- Kyrguzstan
Motherland Defenders' Day -- Transdniestria
Diesel Engine Day -- Rudolph Diesel received his patent in Germany on this day in 1893
Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day -- while i can't figure out who started this one, even Mr. Google says it's celebrated today
Easy Divorce Day -- marking the passage, in 1915, of the Nevada law granting easy divorces after only a 6 month residency, the first such in the US
Fairtrade Fortnight begins -- UK (a chance to get involved in making sure farmers in developing countries have fair wages and good working conditions)
Great Lent begins-- a/k/a Clean Monday, Ash Monday, Pure Monday, Monday of Lent, Shrove Monday, Collop Monday, Rose Monday, Merry Monday or Hall Monday, and (in Cypress) Green Monday -- Orthodox Christian
International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day -- internet generated
Iwo Jima Day -- commemoration of the US flag raising
National Banana Bread Day
National Day -- Brunei
Pebbles Day -- Pebbles Flintstone was born this day around 10,000BC
Republic Day (Mashramani) -- Guyana
St. Milburga of Shropshire's Day (Patron of birds)
St. Polycarp of Smyrna's Day (Patron against dysentery and earache)
St. Serenus the Gardener's Day (Patron of bachelors, falsely accused people)
Terminalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (festival for Terminus, god of land boundary markers)
Emily Blunt, 1983
Niecy Nash, 1970
Michael Dell, 1965
"Bobby" Bonilla, 1963
Howard Jones, 1955
Patricia Richardson, 1951
"Too Tall" Jones, 1951
John Sanford, 1944
Johnny Winter, 1944
Peter Fonda, 1939
Sylvia Chase, 1938
Donna J. Stone, 1933
Paul Tibbets, 1915
William L. Shirer, 1904
Victor Fleming, 1889
W.E.B. DuBois, 1868
Emma Hart Willard, 1787
George Frederic Handel, 1685
Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, 1646
Samuel Pepys, 1633
"Fortune and Men's Eyes"(Play), 1967
"Pinocchio"(Disney Cartoon), 1940
Today in History:
Emperor Diocletian orders the general persecution of Christians, 303
Traditional date for the publication of the Gutenberg Bible, the first Western book printed with movable type, 1455
France begins its fifth "holy war" against the Huguenots, 1574
Baron von Steuben arrives at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania to help to train the Continental Army, 1778
The first US raw-cotton-to-cloth mill is founded, in Waltham, Massachusetts, 1813
The first US pharmaceutical college is organized, the College of Apothecaries in Philidelphia, 1821
Santa Anna begins his siege of the Alamo, 1836
John Newman leaves the Anglican Church and is welcomed into the Roman Catholic Church, 1846
In Mexico, American troops under General Zachary Taylor defeat Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna, 1847
Great Britain formally recognises the independence of the Boers in the area between the Orange and Vaal rivers, signing the Bloemfontein Convention with the Orange Free State, 1854
The London Times publishes the world's first classified ad, 1886
Charles Martin Hall, assisted by his sister Julia Brainerd Hall, produced the first samples of man-made aluminum, 1886
The French/Italian Riviera is struck by an earthquake that leaves 2,000 dead, 1887
The Tootsie Roll is introduced by Leo Hirshfield, 1896
In France, Emile Zola is imprisoned for writing his "J'accuse" letter accusing the government of anti-Semitism and wrongly jailing Alfred Dreyfus, 1898
The Cuban state of Guantanamo is leased to the US, 1903
The US acquires control of the Panama Canal Zone for $10 million, 1904
The Rotary Club International is founded in Chicago, 1905
Russian Tsar Nicholas II dissolves the Diet of Finland, 1909
The US state of Nevada enacts a convenient divorce law, 1915
The February Revolution begins in Russia, 1917
Plutonium is first produced and isolated by Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg, 1941
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is founded, 1847
The first mass inoculation with the Salk vaccine begins in Pittsburgh, 1954
First meeting of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO), 1955
The United States Environmental Protection Agency announces its intent to buy out and evacuate the dioxin-contaminated community of Times Beach, Missouri, 1983
Supernova 1987a is seen in the Large Magellanic Cloud, 1987
A small fire occurs in the Russian Space station, Mir, 1997
An avalanche destroys the Austrian village of Galtür, killing 31, 1999
Unknown criminals pour more than 2.5 million liters of diesel oil and other hydrocarbons into the river Lambro, in Northern Italy, causing an environmental disaster, 2010