20. Start Planning Your Vacation Early.
Spearheading planning by starting as early as possible is a great idea. Beginning by setting a budget, researching hotels and understanding the size and scope of what a Disney vacation can include is a good place to start.
19. Utilize a Travel Agent to Help You Plan If You Feel the Need.
There are some fantastic travel agents and planning services available to help Disney vacationers as they embark on the planning journey. If you feel inclined to recruit the help of a planner feel free to do so, they can have some great tips and know where to dig for deals.
18. Don’t Be Afraid to Plan Yourself If You Choose to Forgo a Travel Agent.
Conversely, do not fall into the trap of believing the planning of a Disney vacation is so monumental you cannot do it yourself. With the Disney website, app, fan blogs and cast members available by phone you can easily plan your own vacation.
17. Research Crowd Trends and Costs by Month.
Early on in the planning process you should visit blogs and talk to other Disney veterans about crowd trends. If your family has flexibility in your schedules (school and work permitting) you may opt to visit in a cooler, cheaper or less crowded month.
16. Select Your Resort Hotel.
The resort hotel you choose has a large impact on your vacation budget as well as other factors like distance from parks and additional activities available for your family. Narrowing resort possibilities by price first, then zeroing in on all the little details of resorts in your price range is a great way to tackle the task of resort selection.
15. Choose Your Travel Group Carefully.
Early in the planning stages of your vacation take the time to consider the group you are traveling with. Traveling with larger parties can be fun but often leads to less flexibility and a slower moving park plan. However, making memories with the grandparents, cousins and friends at the happiest place on earth is incredible too; know that your travel group will impact how you experience the magic.
14. Communicate with Your Travel Group About Vacation Expectations.
Getting there really is half the fun! Recruit the whole travel party to plan your vacation. Planning as many details as possible ahead (park plans, fast passes and dining reservations) will help eliminate any surprises or disagreements during the trip and ensure the majority of the party can see their must do attractions.
13. Finalize Transportation Details.
Finalizing transportation concerns a few weeks before your trip is a great idea. For guests flying to Orlando, this means confirming flight details with the Magical Express Bus that will transport you to the resort upon arrival. Guests driving to the property will need to complete any routine car maintenance, gather cash for toll money and valet tipping and get ready to hit the road.
12. Reserve Dining and Fast Passes in Advance.
Securing dining reservations and fast passes as early as possible is a huge part of being able to book the dining and attractions you want to see. These planning portals open one hundred and eighty days in advance of your trip for booking. Making a rough game plan before that window opens will help you easily and quickly snatch the times and attractions you want when the window opens.
11. Purchase Vacation Must Haves a Week Before Your Vacation.
Almost everyone has experienced the stress of running around gathering last minute items before a vacation. Read vacation blogs before you make your shopping list to ensure you pick up any Disney vacation necessitates you have not thought of. Completing the shopping trip at least a week prior to your vacation allows plenty of time for packing and getting excited about the trip.
10. Visit The Disney Store Online Before the Trip.
Consider hitting one of the great sales at the Disney Store online before your vacation to snatch up souvenirs like t-shirts, outfits and hats that you may want to wear on your trip. Purchasing Disney treats like stickers, candy, coloring books and hats for kids from the dollar store before the trip is a fun way to surprise them and make the travel to Orlando easier.
9. Take Advantage of Early and Late Extra Magic Hours, but Not On the Same Day.
Extra magic hours are a great resource for guests staying at a Disney resort. Each day a park opens early and stays open late for guests to enjoy attractions with smaller crowds and shorter wait times. Taking advantage of these hours to cover more ground, take midday breaks or see high traffic attractions is a great idea. My family loves extra magic hours but finds that hitting both early and late extra magic hours without a midday break can be too much activity. Pace yourself and utilize extra magic hours to make your vacation even more magical.
8. Take Breaks.
Almost any vacation blog you consult will wholeheartedly recommend midday breaks at your resort. Taking a break from the heat, napping, swimming or lunching in the quick service dining room at the resort is a great way to ensure you do not lose any travel partners to exhaustion inspired grumpiness.
7. Explore New Foods.
Walt Disney World has some incredible dining options. In addition to adventurous and downright delicious dining, guests can experience classes, tours, and ticketed VIP experiences at Disney World. Tasting international food is a must do for guests visiting Epcot!
6. Enjoy Resort Amenities.
Disney resorts are a cut above the rest offering attractions, amenities and Disney flair to spare. Be sure to save a bit of vacation time to relax and enjoy your resort pool, game room, trails, dining and more.
5. Experience a Table Service Restaurant.
I would recommend all guests try at least one table service restaurant during their vacation. Table service dining offers character meals, bottomless buffets, seasonal offerings and food representing an array of cultures at Walt Disney World. Splurging for at least one table service meal is a great idea.
4. Consider Purchasing Memory Maker.
Memory Maker is a service that allows guests downloads of the photos snapped on Disney attractions and the photos guests take throughout the park. Larger parties and families that are enjoying several days at Walt Disney World can benefit from this service by having everyone in the vacation photos and saving the time it takes to dig cameras from your bag.
3. Take Part in Evening Activities.
There is an array of evening activities available across the property in resorts, parks and even Disney Springs. Explore the evening entertainment options and enjoy fireworks in the park, a movie outdoors at your resort the electrical water parade on Bay Lake or any of the other moonlit entertainment options.
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2. Visit Disney Springs.
The newly renovated Disney Springs previously known as Downtown Disney, is a must do for shoppers and foodies. Resort transportation runs to Disney Springs to transport guests to famous stores like Lilly Pulitzer, Chapel Hats and restaurants like Rainforest Café, Sprinkles Bakery and Morimoto Asia.
1. Make Memories with Your Family.
The number one rule for Walt Disney World vacation planning is to enjoy your vacation your way. Tailor your vacation to your family’s unique wishes and needs to build the best vacation ever. Use advice from friends and research to make informed decisions about dining, playing and staying at Walt Disney World.
BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!