oh, man!!! I hope you have a great time, dude, it’s really a ton of fun :D
my biggest tip I can give you, honestly, is to pace yourself. there are multiple parks and a lot of stuff to see in each one. that’s why it’s best for you to decide which parks you want to visit in which order, as well as which attractions you actually want to see. make sure that that properly reflects however long you’ll be in Orlando. the maps provided in the parks (and resorts/hotels/online) have all the rides/shows listed, as well as places to eat. something that I made sure my family did was pick what we wanted to do ahead of time, where we wanted to eat, and which shows we wanted to see. that way, we had a makeshift itinerary to help us hit everything we wanted to do in the time that we had.
another tip I have is to take advantage of the “fast pass” system in the parks! depending on the popularity of the ride, you can spend upwards of two hours in line. that is no good, my friend. to get around that, when you get to the parks, check out the length of the lines before deciding which ride you wanna go on. you’re gonna have to wait a long time for some rides, that is unavoidable, but for the more popular ones, you can find the fast pass station nearby, collect however many tickets you need, and come later at the designated time. ta da! no long line!
shopping tips: if you see something that you like in a gift shop, it very well might be in other parks’ gift shops. it’s pretty easy to tell when merchandise is going to be specific to certain parks. therefore, don’t freak out if you leave a park and think “DAMN I SHOULDA GOT THAT ONE THING THAT IS DEFINITELY OVERPRICED.” there’s a lot of overlap between parks’ gift shops. having said so, everything will cost way more than it needs to. there are very few things that you can find in outlet stores outside of the parks for cheap. my family had a “2 or 3 souvenirs each” policy for me and my siblings. if you and your family have the time, I highly recommend checking out Downtown Disney. it’s a really nice place to eat food and shop—the largest Disney store in the world is there ;D
my family and I weren’t really into the whole “meet face characters” thing, so I can’t help you out much there, but just remember that they are employees. be respectful. if they’re not absolutely everything you hoped and dreamed for, don’t be crushed and don’t take it out on them.
random things I thought of last minute: stay hydrated, stay alert (you do NOT want to get lost/separated in Disney, it is really stressful), be prepared to walk a lot, wait a lot, and have a really fantastic time :)
thanks a lot bud! and yeah, we figure prevention is a very effective method regarding these kinds of things, and it’s been working so far!