If you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World, you’ll want to make sure you have some sort of a plan, so that you don’t waste time and money. The amount of planning is up to you, but it is important to have at least a basic idea of what you’d like to do. When picking which park to visit for each day of your trip, there are a lot of things to consider. Here is a list of questions you should ask yourself.
1) How many total days will I be at Disney? The number of days you are visiting the Walt Disney World Resort will dictate much of what you can do. If you are visiting for only four days, you will have some tough choices to make. However, if you stay for a week, you could visit your favorite parks and attractions more than once.
2) How many days do you want in each park? While the Magic Kingdom and Epcot can be experienced in one day apiece, two days for each makes for a more relaxed pace. Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom are smaller and can be enjoyed fully in one day each.
3) Are there any special events during your visit? Several times a year, Disney World hosts special events that increase crowd levels. These include Marathon Weekend in January, Flower and Garden Festival in the spring, Star Wars Weekends in June, Food and Wine Festival in the fall, and Christmas. Some of these affect the entire resort and some take place at a specific park.
4) What are the overall crowd levels for your trip? Spring break, summer, and the Holiday season are high-attendance times. Other minor holidays such as President’s Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day can also increase crowds for a few days. In January, May, September, and early December, you will experience lower, more manageable crowd levels. During low times, what park you choose is not as important.
5) What are the park hours during your visit? Park hours are published several months ahead of time, but routinely change based on expected attendance. During busy seasons, the parks will have extended hours. Sometimes, the Magic Kingdom is open until 2, 3, or even 4 am!
6) Do you have access to Extra Magic Hours? If so, do you plan to use it? Guests of the Disney-owned hotels have access to Extra Magic Hours. Each day, one park will open one hour earlier or stay open two hours later than the published hours, for resort guests. If you are a day guest, or you don’t plan to use this perk, be aware that the park with Extra Magic Hours will have increased crowd levels. It would be wise to choose another park.
7) Did you purchase Park hopper tickets? Park hopper tickets allow the guest to visit more than one park per day. This would allow you to leave a busy park, such as evenings at Epcot during Food and Wine, and “hop” to another park. This is also a good way to enjoy your favorite attractions and shows without being “stuck” in one park.
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8) Do you already have dining reservations? Some dining reservations, such as Be Our Guest Restaurant, are difficult to get. Other restaurants are able to take walk-ups. If you finally booked a table at a restaurant you have always wanted to try, then plan your park around that.
9) What is important to you and your family? If you are visiting with young children, you will probably want to spend at least two days in the Magic Kingdom. On the other hand, if your group is older, plan to spend at least one day eating, shopping, and browsing around World Showcase in Epcot.
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