A girl can learn a thing or two about how to plan the most magical Disney World vacation after having taken more than 20 visits to the House of the Mouse. Whenever I start planning my next Disney World vacation, friends of mine will ask, “Don’t you want to travel somewhere new?” The answer is always the same: NO! Walt Disney World, regardless of what you do and what time of year you visit, always brings a level of magic and whimsy to your vacation. It’s the perfect place for relaxation, fun, entertainment and world-class dining. Here are 13 secrets you’ll want to know about planning your best Disney Vacation ever!
1. Disney is always growing and expanding!
One of the best tips I could give anyone is to see what new and exciting things are opening in Walt Disney World when you begin planning your vacation. For example, when my husband and I planned our trip this past October, we knew we were going to be able to experience the brand new Toy Story Land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. By visiting Disney’s website or social media platforms, you can stay abreast on all the new and exciting attractions that will be coming to the parks. This is one way to make the most out of your magical vacation.
2. Making dining reservations early!
When you buy your tickets in advance, you will also be able to book your dining reservations up to 180 days in advance. If you don’t take advantage of this wonderful perk, you’re going to be missing out on some truly iconic experiences. Each dining reservation brings a unique experience to guests. For example, we booked our dinner reservation for the California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort on our last vacation. Not knowing what to expect, I walked in and was floored at how spectacular the view of Magic Kingdom Park and Cinderella’s Castle was. Having an opportunity to eat delicious food while watching the sun set over Cinderella’s Castle was an experience beyond compare. This is just one example of how making a reservation early can enhance your Disney Vacation without much extra effort.
3. Book Your FastPass Early (for some rides!)
Every trip, my husband and I book our FastPasses, but truth be told, we sometimes forego them to add a little bit more spontaneity to our day. However you go to Disney World is a-okay, whether you’re a planner or in-the-moment kind of person. When it comes to the new rides, though, I always recommend getting a FastPass as early as you possibly can - and continually check back if none are available. People cancel and rebook their FastPasses all the time so if you’re bummed out that you couldn’t snag one for Slinky Dog Dash, don’t fret - one may become available shortly!
4. Read up on any construction happening at your resort
Even with construction, staying at a Walt Disney World resort is magical. I mean, the landscape, customer service and decorations are enough to make any guest grin from (Mickey) ear to (Mickey) ear from the second they step through the door. Still, not doing your research beforehand can potentially lead to disappointment if you find out one of the many amenities offered is currently out of service. For example, my husband and I just stayed at Disney’s Coronado Springs - a stunning resort - but were bummed to find out that the whirlpool was currently under construction.
5. Take Advantage of the Minnie Vans!
Walt Disney World has now teamed up with the ridesharing service, Lyft and offers “Minnie Vans” - adorably designed vans with red and white polka dots - to take guests wherever they’d like around the property. While these do cost money, it’s worth the price tag to avoid trying to catch a bus or monorail to get to another resort for a dining reservation. They are especially great if you want to enjoy the trip in private.