Disney World FAQ

In the early days of booking your Walt Disney World vacation, you may find that you have more questions than answers.  As an agent, I’ve noticed a handful of queries that seem to crop up  time and time again.  Here’s a list of commonly asked booking questions to make your Disney vacation planning smooth sailing.

1. How do payments work? – Disney is pretty flexible when it comes to paying off your Disney vacation package.  You must pay a deposit of $200 and then the remainder of your package needs to be paid off 30 days before you are due to depart.  How you pay that off is completely up to you. I have clients that like to pay every 2 weeks when they get paid, others that like to pay every few months and some that prefer to pay in one lump sum at the end.  I also know that many guests prefer to save using discounted gift cards at Sam’s Club or Target and use them to pay off their vacation. Provided that you’re all paid off before the 30 day mark, you set the terms!

2. What happens if I need to drop/add a person from my reservation, cancel my reservation or move to a different resort? Again you’d be surprised at how flexible Disney really is when it comes to making adjustments to your booking.  You can make any amendments you like right up to  30 days before you are due to arrive at Disney.  You can add a guest, change a name etc and you’ll only pay for the cost of the change (if upgrading to a more expensive package). There are no additional fees attached. If you cancel after the final payment deadline set by Disney, you must forfeit your deposit.  Cancellations made within one day of travel will lose the cost of their package. Also, If you try to change after you’ve made your final payment you run the risk of Disney charging a $50 change fee with a $15 processing fee.

3. What if a discount comes out after I’ve booked? Then by all means “nab it” a good portion of the work I do for clients is about getting them the best discounts even after they’ve booked.  So always be on the lookout for the latest discounts that may apply and either contact your travel agent or get in touch with Disney directly.  However, if you’ve booked with an outside agency like AAA or a tour group your rates may be locked in. Contact them directly for further details.

4. Do I need to set up a My Disney Experience account? Yes. Your life will be a lot easier in the lead in to your Disney vacation if you set up your account well in advance.  Simply take the confirmation number you were given at the time of booking, visit StartYourDisneyExperience.com and follow the instructions.  This will be your dashboard when it comes to booking dining, making Fastpass reservations and booking special events. So, it pays to familiarize yourself with it shortly after  booking your package.

5. How can I get MagicBands for my family? If you have a Walt Disney World vacation package booked you get MagicBands for everyone on your reservation automatically and they are complimentary.  As a matter of fact, one of the first things I suggest clients do after setting up their My Disney Experience account is to customize your MagicBands, you can choose from several different colors and can even have your name printed on the inside.  If you’re looking for MagicBands that have characters printed on them then you’ll either have to order them online from the Disney Store and follow the instructions to link them to your account or can pick one up when you’re at the parks.

6. How do I order Fastpasses? Like MagicBands, Fastpasses are a service you can take advantage of once your purchased your  Walt Disney World theme park tickets. If you are staying onsite and have them as part of your package, you can select your Fastpasses 60 days in advance.  If you are staying offsite then you need to wait until a month beforehand to make your selections.  Guests are able to book 3 Fastpasses for each day that you’ll be at the parks in advance.  However, they can only be for one park each day.  Once you’ve used all three you are able to make a 4th and 5th selection using the Fastpass kiosks at the parks or the My Disney Experience mobile app.

7. Should I rent a car? If you’re planning on staying within the Walt Disney World Resort, then a car rental might not be necessary.  Magical Express will transport you to and from the airport for free.  Depending on the resort you are staying at you’ll also be able to get from your resort to any of the Disney theme parks, water parks and Disney Springs by either monorail, boat or bus as part of Disney World’s complimentary resort transportation service.  Both of these really eliminate the need for a rental car.  And even if you are thinking of going off-site for a shopping trip, or plan on spending a day at Universal, I can almost guarantee that a Taxi, Uber or event a Shuttle Rental, will be more cost-effective than a weekly car rental.

8. Do I really need to make my dining reservations 180 days in advance? If you’ve booked your vacation more than 6 months out and you have in-demand dining reservations that you’d like to make like Be Our Guest, T-Rex, or Cinderella’s Royal Table (just to name a few) then absolutely you’ll want to book in advance.  This can be done either through MyDisneyExperience, by calling 407.WDW.DINE or can also be booked through your travel agent.  However, if you’re booking a last-minute package don’t fret, there are still good reservations to be had. With a little bit of persistence you can usually get the dining options that you’ve been hoping for but start looking as early as possible.

9. Are the Water Parks included in my ticket? Don’t show up at one of Disney’s two water parks with a base ticket hoping to get in. Unless you’ve purchased the Park Hopper Plus Option, be prepared to have to pay for general admission.  If you think you might want to visit the water parks, you can have this add-on added to your package at any time by contacting Disney or your Travel Agent.

10. How do I decide what parks to visit on each day? The first rule is to plan your holiday how you want it. However if you want some gentle guidance a simple Google search will take you to a few reputable sites that have crowd calendars that will cover your dates well in advance.   If its minimal crowds that you’re looking for then its best to avoid the park doing the Early Morning Magic Hours as this is a pretty much a guarantee that the park opening early will be the busiest of the day.  Magic Kingdom is also a park that is best done midweek as Mondays and Thursday-Fridays  can be packed as people start their vacations and naturally head to this park first. Check out this article we’ve written on the topic!

For further tips on planning out your park days please feel free to email me directly at mroden@mickeytravels.com.

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Find articles like this helpful? Then why not consider booking with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner? As an agent with MickeyTravels, I’ll be on hand to help you with everything from finding your perfect package to nabbing those hard to get dining and Fastpass reservations.  Best of all my services are absolutely FREE. Get in touch at 1.800.801.4025 via email at mroden@mickeytravels.com or follow along on Facebook. 

Image copyright Disney.

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