With the money that you have to invest to take a trip to Disney World, it only makes sense a certain amount of planning is required. But how much planning is really required?
Today we will discuss the MUST DO list for planning your Disney World trip and then list some other recommended areas to plan for those that enjoy planning. You will find that many frequent visitors to Disney World look forward to the planning phase almost as much as actually being there.
MUST DO Disney World Trip Planning
When it comes to planning, the first key is when to start. Many people will start planning a year or more out, but you should start planning at least a little more than 6 months before your intended trip.
Here’s why: Dinner reservations and reservations for some activities start at 180 days out. In order to be able to participate in the activities that you want, you need to start your planning prior to that date.
MUST Do Planning List
• Determine the length of your stay – The length of your stay will determine the discounts you are eligible for and the number of activities and meals that you will have time for during your vacation. Disney World Pricing and Discounts are best for stays of 5 – 7 nights. This will help you get the lowest per day cost and take maximum advantage of discounts that are offered.
• Pick Your Travel Dates - By choosing when you will visit, you set the framework that everything else builds upon. This will determine what special events will be going on during your visit and crowd levels. Review the article: “When to Take Your Walt Disney World Vacation“ to get helpful advice on when is the best time to go for you and your family.
• Choose A Resort – Staying on the Disney Property can significantly heighten the vacation experience as the Disney World Resort Hotels are all highly themed and provide significant other benefits like extended park hours and free transportation (even to and from the Orlando Airport!). There are 4 classifications of Disney Resorts to choose from: Value, Moderate, Deluxe, and Deluxe Villa. Your choice will depend upon your budget and personal vacationing preference. If you plan on spending a lot of time at the resort and resort pool, then look towards Moderate or higher classifications. If you are just looking for a place to sleep then the Value resorts may be the best choice for you.
• Decide whether or not to use one of the Disney Dining Plans – The Disney Dining Plans add another level of convenience to your vacation as your vacation becomes almost an all-inclusive package. This removes a lot of stress and still gives you a great amount of flexibility in your dining choices. If used properly you can also save a significant amount of money by using the Dining Plans. Get more details here: Only WDWorld Disney Dining Plan Fact Page.
• Make Dining Reservations – The increased popularity of the Disney Dining Plans has also increased the popularity of several of the Disney World Restaurants. This has made it near impossible to just walk up to a restaurant and get a table. Who wants to leave their vacation to chance? Use the on-line reservation system or call (407) WDW-DINE and make your reservations ahead of time, so that you are guaranteed to get a seat at the restaurant of your choice, when you want it.
Recommended Pre-Vacation Planning
• Become familiar with the 4 theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, & Disney’s Animal Kingdom) and their layouts.
• Order Free Maps from http://www.disneyworld.com/ – These are great looking maps. They provide a fun activity for the family and generate pre-trip excitement.
• Order Free Disney World Planning DVD – This is strongly recommended. The DVD gives a great overview of Disney World and what to expect.
• Make a rough plan for each day. – By rough plan, we mean just what park would you like to visit each day (or no park at all). You do NOT need to plan activities down to the hour. Give yourself the flexibility to see what interests you and take in the sights. Racing from one attraction to the next causes you to miss a lot of the magic that Disney World holds.
• Make a list of Must Do attractions for everyone in family. – By making a list ahead of time and letting each person pick the top Must Do’s on their list, you can determine a course of action that is fun for the whole family.
• Check Only WDWorld often in order to hear the latest Disney World news and get ideas on lesser known attractions to visit.