What are 10 commonly asked questions about booking a Walt Disney World vacation? With 2020 almost here, it’s a great time to book your vacation for next year. As you begin planning, you may find that you have so many questions along the way!
As a travel agent, I often get a lot of questions about what all is involved with booking your trip. I have made a list of 10 commonly asked questions about booking a Walt Disney World vacation that I often hear. This list will help you prepare for booking your next vacation and hopefully make that process go very smoothly so that the rest of the fun can begin!
How do the payments work?
In order to book your Walt Disney World vacation package, you will need to pay a $200 deposit. After that, Disney is very flexible with the payments! The final payment is due 30 days prior to travel but the rest is up to you! You can pay as little or as much as you’d like, whenever you’d like. Many people that I know like to use Disney gift cards and that is fine too. As long as the final payment is made 30 days prior, you decide how to pay the rest.
Can I make changes to my reservation?
Yes, you can make any changes you need to up until 30 days prior to travel. This includes adding or dropping guests, length of stay, or even canceling your trip. There will be no penalties for doing so if it is 30 days or more prior to your arrival. You will only pay for the cost of the change if you are upgrading.
If you need to make a change after the final payment date, you may be charged a $50 change fee. You are able to cancel after the final payment date, but you will have to forfeit your deposit. If you cancel within one day of arrival, you will lose the cost of the vacation package. It is also worth noting that travel protection is available to add to all vacation packages, prior to the final payment date.
What if a discount comes out after I have my trip booked?
The short answer here is – grab it! As a travel agent, I will often monitor all reservations when a promotion is released and apply it to any that qualify to save my clients money on their vacations. If you see a discount available, contact your travel agent or Disney and have them apply it for you, even if it comes out after your vacation is booked! Discounts and promotions are limited and might not be able to be applied to your reservation, but it never hurts to check!
How do I get MagicBands?
All guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel will receive a complimentary solid-colored MagicBand of their choice. There are also additional options with designs such as characters, Cinderella Castle, etc. that can be purchased for a small fee. Your MagicBand will include your park tickets, dining plan, Memory Maker, room key, etc.
If you are not staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, you may still purchase a MagicBand at the regular price either online or at the parks.
What are FastPasses and how do I get them?
FastPasses are scheduled times to visit select attractions throughout the parks, often resulting in reduced wait times. They are included with the purchase of your admission tickets to the parks. To start, you will be given 3 FastPasses to schedule prior to arrival at the parks and you will be able to schedule more based on availability once you use the first three. If you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, you will be able to schedule your FastPasses 60 days in advance. If you are staying off-property, you will be able to schedule them 30 days in advance. Helping schedule FastPasses is something I help my clients with as well.
Do I need a My Disney Experience account?
The answer to this one is an emphatic YES! While planning your trip, whether you are doing everything yourself or using a travel agent, this website is how you will link your reservation, see all of your plans, book any dining reservations, schedule FastPasses, etc. If you are traveling with others you will be able to link the reservations so that you can all plan together. I also have to add that the My Disney Experience app is a must while you are in the parks. The app has maps of the parks, shows attraction wait times, shows park hours, and a lot of other important information. An account can be created by visiting the website and you will use the same login information when you download the app.
When do I have to book my dining reservations?
It is highly recommended that dining reservations are booked when your window opens, 180 days prior to check-in. The most popular reservations, such as Cinderella’s Royal Table or Be Our Guest, go quickly and if you have must-do dining experiences, you will want to grab them as soon as you can! Helping make dining reservations is a service I also offer my clients.
If you are planning to visit the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or Pirates League, you will also want to reserve those spots too!
Should I rent a car?
In most cases, my opinion is that you do not need to rent a car if you plan to be at Walt Disney World for the length of your stay. Disney’s Magical Express can take you to and from the airport and there are transportation options on Disney property that are available to all resort guests including busses, the monorail system, boats, etc.
The Minnie Van is also available for an extra fee, as well as similar services such as LYFT and Uber. If you do want to rent a car for a day trip, Disney has a rental car center. You can get a complimentary shuttle to take you from select Walt Disney World Resort hotels to the Car Care Center and back again once you’re done with your rental.
Should I bring a stroller?
At Walt Disney World, you will walk. A LOT. If you have children under the age of 6, I would highly recommend having a stroller available.
You are certainly able to bring your own from home, provided it meets the new size requirements for Disney Parks. However, there are several local companies that rent strollers to guests as well. Disney also has strollers for rent at each park, but they aren’t very comfortable and don’t have much storage space. You also can’t take the Disney strollers outside of the parks We prefer to bring our own stroller since our kids are comfortable with it.
How do I get from the airport to my resort?
Disney’s Magical Express is the transportation included when you stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel. This service, available only at Orlando International Airport, will take you to and from the airport for no additional cost. Once you have your flights booked, this can be set up by providing your flight information and resort confirmation number. If you are using a travel agent, he or she can easily do this for you.
Once you arrive in Orlando, there is a designated pick-up area for Disney’s Magical Express guests at the airport. You will want to be sure to have your MagicBand accessible so that you are able to board the bus. When your vacation is over and you are ready to head back home, you can take Disney’s Magical Express back to the airport. The night before check-out, you will receive a letter indicating your pick-up time, typically at least 3 hours prior to your flight.
If you aren’t staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, there are other shuttle services that can take you to your hotel for a cost. Some hotels might offer a free shuttle but it’ll depend on the hotel.
Are you hoping to visit Walt Disney World next year? Let’s get started planning your vacation! As an agent with Amazing Magical Adventures, a Disney earmarked agency, I can help you plan your trip to any Disney Destination and beyond! Contact me today at email@example.com for a free quote!
Photo Source: Disney & Sara Solberg
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