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Keys to Planning Your First Trip to Walt Disney World

A Walt Disney World vacation seems to have become an American rite of passage. With Walt Disney World having opened in 1971, some families now have generations of vacation memories at the happiest place on earth. Maybe you are ready to book your family’s Disney vacation. If you are still in the vacation planning stages, you came to the right place! Disney fanatics love to share tips that will make your vacation easy, fun and memorable.

1. Target Your Vacation Needs

Timelines and park tickets aside, a great first step in planning a great Disney vacation is understanding what your family needs from the vacation. Knowing needs on the front end of planning will help you narrow down details like travel dates, budgets, resort options, dining reservations and park plans. 

Is it important that your kids be able to enjoy a family sized room with your grandparents nearby? If so you need to plan lodging budgets with family sized suites and villas in mind.  Will you need convenient access to The Magic Kingdom since your little ones only enjoy that park? Perhaps splurging on a monorail line resort is a good use of your vacation budget. Are you looking to spend as much time as possible in the parks? Maybe you should save money on your resort room by staying at a value resort and spending that extra cash on Disney dining and souvenirs. Are beating crowds a vital part of keeping the peace on your vacation? Start your vacation planning by consulting crowd maps and avoiding high traffic times like holidays and weekends. By mapping out what you expect from a Disney vacation first, you ensure smooth sailing on must have details of your vacation.

2. Budget Planning

Most families would agree that budgeting is a an important part of vacation planning. Like any vacation Walt Disney World vacation costs can add up quickly. The best time to combat budget questions is at the beginning.  Scour the Disney website to get an idea of vacation costs from meals and snacks in the parks to lodging and park tickets.  Use this information to make decisions about the time of year you visit (since ticket prices vary seasonally) and as you decide what lodging and dining options to choose.

Take inventory of the ways you can save money using credit card cash back, airline reward miles, or Disney savings packages that bundle dining and tickets. Be creative about saving! You can save money by buying Disney gift cards at discounted prices to use on vacation costs after you arrive at Walt Disney World. To save on dining bring your own snacks for the parks and skip park dining on a night during your vacation to enjoy a pizza in your resort room with the Disney movie channel playing!

3. Family Meeting

With the “must have” details decided, hit the Disney website and fan blogs to learn as much as you can about Walt Disney World vacations. Research rides and shows in the parks with your family and talk about attractions you want to visit. Use family member’s must see attraction list to plan how much time you should spend in each park. Knowing which parks you are most excited to visit, and which ones you should spend less time in will inform ticket purchasing. 
After you have an idea of how much time you should spend in parks, which days you will need to park hop, and how much time you want to spend around the property outside the parks – you are ready to purchase park tickets! Researching ensures efficiency and is awesome for amping up the family and getting everyone ready for vacation time. 

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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!