If you are looking for the best destination for your family vacation, then Walt Disney World is the place to go. Last summer I took my family on a Disney World vacation for the first time, and all I can say is we had the best experience of our lives. It is a combination of four theme parks located in Bay Lake, near Orlando, in the State of Florida. It turns out that summer might be one of the best times to go to Disney World. However, there’s never a dull moment in Disney and every season has its attractions. Well, except when you go there without making plans prior. For all those who have always wanted to go and haven’t gotten to it, here are some Disney World tips and tricks to help plan the best vacation for you.
Choose a date
What is the best time to visit Disney World? This question is one of the most frequently asked. The timing of your trip is dependent on many factors including budget, weather, and your kids’ school schedule. Although there’s no wrong time to go to Disney World, some days have more fun activities than others. Due to the seasonality of some events, there are varying crowd levels at this place. There are pros and cons associated with each season. For instance, if you chose to go during the summer or when there are school holidays (this is a high season), be ready for crowds and lots of jostling. However, such busy times are also great because the parks are open for more extended hours. According to the Crowd Calendar made by WDW Prep School, you may choose the most suitable time for you and your kids. They made predictions based on years of experience staying in parks in all seasons, school schedules, holidays and runDisney races.
When working on a tight budget your best times would be during the low seasons when the crowd levels and hotel rates are lower. Also, you can check for special package offers on Disney Deals before booking to get the best prices. Naturally, close to holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter, there are huge crowds. Plus, we shouldn’t forget about high schoolers with their Senior Weeks, who also love to spend their graduation here. I would like that too.
Begin saving for the trip
Now that you have set a date, it’s time to get started with saving for the trip. We all know that a visit to Disney World is not in any way cheap. If you want to do all the activities and have the best experience, then you will have to start saving a lot earlier. You can do this by creating a Disney vacation account which enables you to save for your vacation and keeps your money out of your reach.
List of activities
When I was planning my Disney vacation, I discovered that making a list of all that you are going to do when you reach there helps a lot. Yes, you haven’t even booked your hotel reservations yet, and it seems a bit early for this, but it there’s no harm in this. We made a list of Disney parks we wanted to visit on various days. Disney World has four theme parks; the Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the Epcot theme park.
Choose which days to attend each park and buy your Disney tickets in advance. There are many shows for you to enjoy. We loved the Festival of the Lion King at the Animal Kingdom and fairytale dining at Cinderella’s Royal castle.
Duration of stay
Now that you know what activities you want to do, you have to determine the length of time you will stay. Since we went to Disney on a budget, we had to condense our vacation to four days. We dedicated a day to each of the four parks, and time still wasn’t enough. When doing your Disney World planning, your duration should be not less than five days to avoid having to rush from one park to the other. Epcot by itself is a combination of two theme parks, World Showcase and Future World, and it’s not easy to explore in one day. You need two days for you to enjoy the full experience.
If your budget allows it and you can stay for longer, try the extra attractions that you probably hadn’t planned for, including water parks and Dolphin in Depth Tours.
Tickets and hotel reservations
You can consult a travel agent to get ideas on the best packages for you, but you can also book tickets for your vacation online or by just making calls. Check the airfare to Florida regularly if you plan to go by air. The ticket prices fluctuate a lot, so you need to be ready to book when the prices are most affordable.
You can make your accommodation reservations either onsite or off Disney World. If you opt for offsite accommodations, you could save a little money. Although they are expensive, onsite stays on Disney-owned Resorts have their benefits. For instance, Disney’s Magic Express provides transportation for those guests staying at such resorts. We chose to stay onsite because of the added benefits of ‘extra hours’ and proximity to the theme parks enabling us to finish some activities earlier than if we had stayed offsite.
Tickets to the theme parks are expensive, and hence you have to study the prices carefully. Choose those that fit your situation best. Do your research on available discounts to make the best decision.
Set aside time to eat
With all these activities, you will need to eat. The one mistake we did during our Disney World vacation planning is that we assumed that the dining plans would be easy and never made any reservations prior. However, it was characterized by long waits and disappointments. We finally got food from a GFs store. To avoid being in the same predicament book your meal reservations early. You can use the 180 booking window rule. To dine with any cartoon or fairytale character, you will have to book a lot earlier.
Download the My Disney App
If you want to have a great and smooth day here, the My Disney Experience app will help you plan your days better. It works as a Disney trip planner by keeping your reservations and activities organized and helping you manage your cards, MagicBands, and tickets. What time does Disney World open? What are Magic Kingdom hours? The app well answers such questions as it shows you the wait times and showtimes for different activities. The app helped us a lot during our Disney World planning.
Capture the special moments
Memories, Memories, Memories. Keep your memories alive by taking photos of all the unforgettable moments. You could carry a camera or get the Disney Photopass that allows you to view and purchase photos taken by Disney photographers. However, on some rides and attractions, personal cameras are restricted. It might be challenging to get unobstructed photos especially in the high season, but you can practice a little patience to get the perfect shot without someone’s head or body blocking your pictures. You could have your photograph framed too.
Disney World is the one place where all your dreams come true. However, without proper planning, a lot of things can go wrong. I had the best time of my life at Disney and can’t wait to get back there. You can never get tired of such an experience. I hope the above Disney World tips help you plan your vacation. Don’t start planning for your vacation too late; do it today.