For some of us, a trip to Walt Disney World is an awesome opportunity to plan a trip and since we love to plan anything anyway, we enjoy the experience. If you are one of the people who does not cherish these opportunities however, planning a trip to the World does not have to tax your spirit.
1. Check Park Hours and Extra Magic Hours. Knowing what times parks open early or stay open late may shape your schedule. Also be sure to check out crowd estimates so that you are armed with an idea of just how long those wait times will be.
2. Set a Budget and review Accomodation choices within that budget. We would all love to stay in the castle or at the Grand Floridian all the time, but you will be happier within a budget that does not stress out Mom / Dad or Grandma / Grandpa. Things to consider besides pricing of Hotels is :which parks they are closest to, what transportation options they have and what dining options are available at your hotel. If your family is just not suited to table service all the time, don’t add stress to your vacation by staying at accomodations that cater to table service families. Disney pretty much has accomodations for every price range and family makeup, so choose what you like.
3. Customize your Magic Bands with everyone’s name and favorite color ! It is a great way to keep the family involved in the vacation planning. Make sure to complete this step in a timeframe that works for you receiving the bands prior to leaving home.
4. Sign on to My Disney Experience online or on your phone or tablet. There is lots of awesome info on there and you will be able to keep all the family phone users involved by adding them in to the plans. This is a great tool for those times when OOPS, we are across the park and have a Fastpass for a ride at the other end of the park. You can change out Fastpass times quickly using this app. Check out “My Disney Experience App 101 – How It Helps You Get The Most Out Of Your Disney Trip.”
5. Check on Park Events happening during your stay to be able to include cool things like, Food and Wine events, Star Wars weekends, Flower and Garden Festival or special holiday events like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in your planning.
6. Decide on your Dining options and make reservations at your favorite restaurants and for those hard to come by places 180 days before. And yes, that means ring them up at 7am eastern time for some things, especially Character related options.
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7. Decide on FastPass options ahead of the 60 day window. Not unlike Dining reservations, FastPasses for the most popular rides go quickly so be prepared. Check out “Disney’s FastPass+ 101 – Everything You Need To Know.”
8. Check on Special Experiences like Fireworks parties or maybe Dinner Packages for shows. During certain times of the year, this really is a great way to enjoy the show and let’s face it, everyone has to eat eventually.
9. Check out Backstage Tours. There is something for everyone, from those specifically interested in the Railroads or Animal Care to all day blockbuster tours including all the parks. It is very interesting to see “How the Magic Happens”. The tours that are Holiday centered are some of my favorites but I will also remember the first time I went backstage and saw how all that Hotel and Park Laundry is done everyday.
As you can see the planning of your next Walt Disney World vacation does not have to be a source of stress for the planner or non-planner. Just reading these few quick tips and you will have a good knowledge of where to get more info. Remember – vacations should be fun for EVERYONE. So the more you tailor your next Disney experience to your own family or friends that you travel with, the more it will seem like a home away from home. Good Luck and HAPPY PLANNING.
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!
Photo courtesy of Disney Photo Snapper