Planning for a Disney vacation can feel like a daunting task. With a multitude of hotels to choose from, endless food options, and the grand scale of the property, it’s no wonder that most first-timers or even those who have been once or twice can feel overwhelmed. As a self-proclaimed Disney expert, here is a clear and solid plan for you to tackle preparing to head to the theme parks!
Get Your Budget and Vacation Dates in Order
Probably the most basic (but the most important) step in the process is to get a clear idea of what foundation you’re working with. If you’re native to Florida, an ideal time to vacation in Orlando would be in the January-February timeframe. The parks are often less-crowded, the punishing Florida heat has cooled down, and – saving the best for last – Discover Disney Tickets are available. These discounted tickets will make visiting the parks more affordable. If you’re not from Florida, try to avoid planning during major holidays or during the summer. However, September-October and the January-February timeframe also serve as excellent months to go to Disney World.
Book Your Hotel: Try the Disney Website AND other Hotel Websites
With Orlando being a bustling tourist destination, there is no doubt that you’ll find accommodations that will be perfect for you and your family and friends. Starting on the Walt Disney site to find a hotel is often a safe bet – the options are endless with hotels themes ranging from Coronado Spring’s Spanish & Mexican atmosphere to the Contemporary Resort’s modern flair. Because these hotels tend to book up quickly, try and reserve as far ahead in advance as you can. If you are looking at finding a cheaper rate, other websites such as Travelocity and Expedia often have Disney Hotels available for booking, such as the Disney Springs hotels and the Swan and Dolphin at discounted rates.
Note that some hotels are also more convenient than others to access specific parks. For example, for easy access from the Boardwalk to Epcot, the Swan and Dolphin hotels are a great pick. Keep this in mind if your family is more interested in visiting certain parks rather than others.
Be Strategic with Your FastPass+
The more quickly you purchase your tickets, the better you’ll be able to plan ahead for what you will be doing in the parks. Once your tickets are purchased, go ahead and pick 3 FastPass+ to start. Depending on which park you go to, you’ll want to go ahead and pick the attractions that see the heaviest crowds. For example, in the Magic Kingdom, try and get FastPass+ for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan’s Flight, Jungle Cruise, and Space Mountain.
In Epcot, go ahead and get Soarin’, Test Track, and Frozen Ever After. Try and book these rides as early as possible (all in the morning). This way, once your 3 pre-booked FastPass+ run out, you can spend the rest of the day selecting more FastPass+ options through the Disney mobile app or in the FastPass+ kisoks sprinkled throughout the theme parks. This strategy of frontloading your reserved attractions will minimize your wait times and give you more time to explore the parks!