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8 Step Planning Process For Walt Disney World

Heading to the happiest place on earth is so incredibly exciting no matter how old you are or what your reason for traveling is. There is a lot of planning involved to make sure your trip goes as perfect as you envision it to be. Here are eight steps that are essential to planning your next Disney trip!

8. Transportation Reservations

Getting to Disney is the start of planning a trip. You’ll want to plan out the best way to get there. If you decide to fly, make sure you inform the resort of your choosing so that they can accommodate your transportation from the airport to the Walt Disney World property. If you choose to drive, be sure to check out the quickest or easiest route for your trip.

7. Resort Reservations

Choosing the right resort to meet your families’ needs is very important. You may want a resort that caters more to kids, is closer to the parks you’re visiting, offers a few dining options, etc. Whatever your reason is, it is important to research what the resorts offer and what is within your price range. There are also several discounts and resort/dining packages throughout the year that are a great money saving option.

6. Ticket Purchases

Purchasing tickets ahead of times can be great for many reasons. For one, you have one less thing to worry about when you get to Disney. In addition to that, you will be able to select your fastpasses ahead of time (more on this below). This is another part of planning that is important to look into. Sometimes, it may be best to purchase more one-day tickets than to add a park hopper option. For example, a 5-day park hopper ticket costs $409.00. The price of a 10-day (one park per day) ticket costs $400.00. This means you get five more full days of exploring for less than five days of squeezing in the parks. If you’re intention is to take your time to check everything out, this is the way to go. (The prices used in this example are based on regular ticket values, not Florida resident, military, or any other special).

5. General Plans

Sometimes spontaneity is the way to go, but other times its better to plan your whole vacation out. No matter what side you prefer, you will want to have some sort of general plan as to what you want to do and see when you visit Disney. For those that prefer to be spontaneous, I would plan out where you want to go each day and then just decide what you want to do when you get there. This way, you at least know you will be visiting the places you want to see. For those that are organizers and planners, you can create a spreadsheet with the plans that you have for each park and day. You’ll be able to plan accordingly either way!

4. Dining Reservations

Disney dining has grown rapidly amongst many park guests. No trip is complete without dining at your favorite Disney World restaurants. They provide some pretty memorable moments that are sure to make you smile no matter how old you are. It is imperative that you reserve your spot at your favorite restaurants up to 180 days prior to your visit so that you won’t have to worry about missing out. In addition to reserving your party, you will want to review the menus on the Walt Disney World website prior to reserving. Often times guests hear such great reviews about a restaurant and book their reservation only to be surprised when they arrive at what is offered there. Make sure you will enjoy the kind of cuisine served there. Do you have allergies or a certain diet that you follow? Disney has some of the most accommodating chefs on the planet, so be sure to tell the agent on the phone (to make a note on your reservation) or your waitress about your dietary needs.

3. Fastpass Selections

Did you know that you can actually select your fastpasses up to 60 days in advance? Purchasing you tickets ahead of time will allow you to do this! All you have to do is link your families tickets on you’re My Disney Experience account and select your rides and attractions for each day!

2. Memory Maker

Pictures are worth a thousand words. They also create life long memories and are truly personal and irreplaceable. One of the best investments you can make prior to your trip is to purchase Memory Maker, a package that includes beautiful pictures taken by Disney photographers. For one price for your entire party, you can have unlimited photos of your friends and family with characters, on rides, while dining, at the water parks, at your resort, and anywhere else on Disney property that a Disney world photographer snaps your picture. These photos are accumulated on your magic band and you can upload them at home instantly. What is great about these photos is that your entire family can be in them (without having to ask others to take the picture), the photographers take a little more time with you when taking pictures if they are aware you have the package, and special effects are added to your photos making them more special. There are also really cool slow motion videos that are captured on Tower of Terror and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train while you’re on the ride that are incorporated into the package. The cameras used are also high quality and come out great. You may frown at the initial cost of the memory maker package, but it is the equivalent to purchasing eight photos. For this price, you get unlimited photos, which makes it well worth the investment! You can purchase memory maker prior to your trip on the Walt Disney World website or by speaking to an agent when calling Walt Disney World. There are limited discounts offered with the Memory Maker packages offered at limited and various times.



1. Packing List

You definitely don’t want to forget anything when you leave your home. Make sure to write a list of absolutely everything you want to take with you and cross it off as it goes in your bag. This may seem like something that is obvious to do, but you would be surprised how much you may leave behind without a list to keep you organized!

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!

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About Natalie

Natalie is an elementary school teacher and a native Floridian who lives and breathes all things Disney. Her love for Disney started at the age of two during her first visit, and has continued to flourish into her adult life. She loves to share her Disney passion with her students and believes Disney is so special because there is no other place to forget about your worries and be a kid again, which is why she refuses to ‘grow up’.