A Complete Guide For Planning Your Walt Disney World Trip

Balloons Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

We could write an article that goes all the way to infinity, beyond and back again on how to plan for your Disney trip. But the truth is that if it can’t be summed up in a short and simple one, then you’ll probably never end up going! All you need to know are the basics, and the rest will fall into place.


Also, why would we want to overwhelm you even more than you probably already are? After all, planning a trip to the busiest theme park resort on the planet isn’t easy. But hopefully with our Complete Guide you don’t need to worry – because we’ve got all the bare necessities covered!

Cinderella Castle Wishing Well

7. Do Your Research (Or Do Not, There Is No Try)

First thing first, you need to conduct some pretty comprehensive research before even thinking about booking your trip. The results of that research will help you determine when you want to go, how long you want to go for, where you want to stay and how to build an itinerary and so on.

Your first stop should be the official Walt Disney World website. What attractions and entertainment would you like to experience? Familiarize yourself with the basic layout of the resort (it’s enormous), peruse all the Disney Resort Hotels, and get an idea of the Disney Transportation available.

Ariel Castle Parade

6. Review Showtimes & Attraction Availability

Now that you’ve completed your first Disney trip assignment, you’ll need to move onto the next phase of planning. This will involve checking what attractions are available as all are subject to closure, whether it’s for refurbishment or because it’s being replaced with a new ride – or perhaps it’s not even open yet!

Secondly, you’ll want to check things such as showtimes for your favorite parades or night-time experiences, as this will in turn help you to build a robust itinerary. Not much of a planner? Well forget Hakuna Matata! If you want to make the most out of Disney World, ‘itinerary’ is what truly means ‘no worries’!

Bonus Tip!

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 Disney travel deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius! Discover More >

Mickey Minnie

5. Prepare An Itinerary

And here we are. An itinerary can mean the difference between the experience of a lifetime and total and utter disappointment. Now that you’re familiar with Disney World and everything it has to offer, start jotting down everything you and your loved ones would like to do and see. Everything.

Once you’ve listed all the basics, you can then start to formulate your plan and bring your adventure to life (in ink-form at least). At Disney World, timing is one of the most crucial factors. Be sensible with building your plan, make necessary sacrifices if you must, and above all, make all necessary reservations in advance.

Castle Money _ budget _ disney world

4. Save Your Pennies

Before you go any further, do you have your own Hamm piggybank? Well we haven’t forgotten how mean he was to Woody in Toy Story, so start filling him to the point of cracking with all your spare pennies! In fact, Mr. Potato Head was just as bad too – so make use of that hole where he keeps his spare parts!

It probably goes without saying that if you’re considering a trip to Disney World, you either have the cash ready or need to start saving anyway. But we’re talking about spare cash. Just like the Florida heat, Disney World has the tendency to suck you dry (or “wallet-dehydration” as we like to call it…).

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

3. Have A To-Do List

The very first thing on your to-do list should be to start writing a to-do list. That way you won’t forget to write one, right? This is a very different beast to an itinerary or a bucket list, because there are far more things to cover that go beyond this article.

For starters, there are things like travel insurance (if you’re coming from a place far, far away), appropriate clothing, emergency credit cards, essentials for your children if you have any – the list goes on and on and on. But remembering to start a list in the first place is, well, a start!

My Disney Experience

2. Download The Apps

Ever heard the expression, ‘You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone?’ What that translates to in Disney World is ‘Download the My Disney Experience and Play Disney Parks mobile apps way before you arrive at the resort’. You simply won’t know how you ever managed without them!

The My Disney Experience app allows you to make reservations, make use of the FastPass+ service, check waiting times, and even has a built-in GPS-enabled navigation map. As for the Play Disney Parks app, it turns those waiting times into fun times as you can interact with certain environments and even play games.


1. Pack The Bare Necessities

The length of your stay will largely determine what you need to pack in your luggage. Another thing to consider in terms of packing is what you’ll be taking round with you during the day as you explore Disney World.

Don’t over-pack, but at the same time don’t under-pack either. Find that perfect balance – especially when it comes to actual exploring. We understand that packing is perhaps the most unenviable pre-trip task anyone has to do. If it helps, though, sing ‘The Bare Necessities’ as you go – we always find that it helps!

Let it be said that there are many more things you need to cover than we’ve listed here – which is why we told you to get that to-do list started! 

About Daniel

Dan is a huge fan of Star Wars, Disney, Jurassic Park, Ghostbusters, TMNT and Harry Potter, and has written for numerous film-focused and Disney-related sites, including Epicstream, Theme Park Tourist and Homey Hawaii. He has also recently completed his first children's novel, which he hopes to get published within the next year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.