Let’s be honest. Walt Disney World trips are not for vacationers who completely ‘wing’ it. Many details of the trip must be decided upon months in advance. On the other hand, you don’t have to maximize every single moment and be armed with every expert tip. In this article, let’s discuss the balance of being prepared and enjoying magical moments as they come. Take it from a Disney veteran who has planned many a trip, here are some expert guidelines that will make your vacation a little more magical.
Use a FREE Vacation Planner
This tip is shared constantly and for good reason. There are countless travel agencies that exist to plan Disney vacations. They employ folks called Authorized Disney Vacation Planners and they charge absolutely nothing for their services. Said services include making your hotel, ticket, airport transportation, restaurant, and special experience reservations. While these planners can’t offer discounts on their own, you will pay the same price to book directly through Disney. (And Disney does not have the manpower to also personalize your entire itinerary like a travel agent will.)
Additionally, if Disney releases any promotions or discounts, these planners will apply these to your trip instantly. Our very own Mickey Travels employs passionate vacation planners that are lifelong Disney Fanatics and expert travelers. Be a step ahead of the planning stress and take advantage of a free consultant.
Limit Your Planning Resources
So, you’ve selected your Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, now what? You’re too excited to relinquish all the planning decisions to them, so you turn to the internet for advice. And the internet is a beautiful and overwhelming resource. There is no shortage of fan websites, bloggers, and vloggers eager to share their ultimate Disney advice. What’s my advice? Don’t look at every tip as gospel. Get a couple of channel/blog recommendations from friends, colleagues, or your Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. Then, utilize those outlets for general and specific vacation tips. Anything can be overdone and if you find yourself living on YouTube, it may be difficult to separate worthwhile advice from noise. Limit the noise.
Make Advance Dining Reservations
The most notorious rookie mistake is to not make any reservations for table-service (a.k.a. sit-down) restaurants. While there are endless food stands and quick service locations to eat at – you would be remiss to never experience a character dinner or fine dining establishment. To ensure you don’t miss out, select your table-service restaurants well in advance. (This is a good opportunity to get recommendations from those Disney experts.)
Then, you will be able to book these meals at least 180 days in advance of your trip. You can use the My Disney Experience app, call (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463), or have your Authorized Vacation Planner handle it for you. With increasing visitors and walk-in reservations becoming increasingly hard to grab, you’ll be glad you did your homework.