Best Tips for Planning Your Next Walt Disney World Vacation
Planning a Disney vacation can be stressful! You might not know where to begin! Here are my top tips for planning your next Walt Disney World vacation with minimal to no stress.
Plan in Advance
Things at Walt Disney World book up fast! Everything from hotel rooms to dining reservations to magical extras. Ideally, you’ll want to start planning your trip 7 months in advance. Dining reservations can be made 60 days in advance and the popular restaurants fill up fast! Magical extras like Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique also fill up quickly so make your reservations ASAP!
Choose Your Dates
A big part of planning in advance is choosing when you want to travel. To pick the best dates for your trip, you’ll need to decide what’s most important to you. Do you want to travel when it’s warmer? Lower crowds? Can you take your kids out of school or do you need to wait until spring or summer break? Once you figure that out, you can choose which dates work best for you. Choosing dates also involves deciding how many days you want for a vacation. I recommend a week for Walt Disney World. At the very least, plan for 4 park days!
Download the My Disney Experience App
Walt Disney World has its own app that helps with planning and booking all of your vacation reservations. You’ll want to make sure you download the My Disney Experience app. You can book resort and restaurant reservations and buy park tickets and photography packages. You can access park hours and special event information. Just about everything can be done on the app!
Choose a Place to Stay
Walt Disney World Resort has both on-property hotels and off-property hotels (Good Neighbor Hotels). Price, proximity to the parks, hotel amenities, and resort transportation are all things to consider when deciding where you’d like to stay. Walt Disney World offers complimentary transportation from on-property hotels to the theme parks along with Early Theme Park Entry.
It is nearly impossible to do and see everything on a Walt Disney World vacation which is why it is important to prioritize your must-do rides, shows, and dining options. Try to book your must-do restaurants at the 60-day mark.
I am not a morning person unless I’m at Disney! Mornings are the least busy times at the parks and the best times to get on the more popular rides! Especially the popular ones! If you are staying on-property, take advantage of the Early Theme Park Entry. When you arrive at the parks before they open, you’ll be one of the first into the parks! This is especially helpful if you don’t want to purchase Individual Lightning Lane for some of the most popular rides.
Purchase Disney Genie+
Disney Genie+ can be useful if you know how to utilize it properly! Genie+ starts at $25 per ticket per day and allows you to schedule Lightning Lane access in the My Disney Experience Mobile App. The Lightning Lane access allows you to get on select rides with lower wait times than the standby lines.
Use Rider Switch
This tip is mainly for families with smaller children. When going on a ride that not everyone in your party is tall enough for, you can take advantage of what’s called the Rider Switch or Rider Swap pass. Take your whole group to the entrance of the ride and get a digital Rider Switch return window added to the supervising parent’s park ticket.
The Rider Switch pass is good for the supervising parent and up to two additional guests. One parent can supervise the smaller guest(s) while the rest of the party rides, then once the riders return, the supervising parent can have a turn to ride while skipping the line. We took advantage of the Rider Switch pass a lot when our children were younger.
Wait until evening to shop
There are so many stores with so many enticing souvenirs! But wait until the evening to do your shopping. There are a couple of reasons I wait until the end of the day for shopping.
- It’s a pain carrying around the bags of stuff that you purchase!
- My kids always change their minds! We let them pick out one item as their souvenir and it always happens that they see something they want but change their minds later! We have started taking pictures of what they like and letting them go through the photos on our phone at the end of the day to choose what they really want.
- Also, the shops on Main Street USA typically stay open an hour after park closing, so why use up valuable time shopping?
Pack your own food & drinks
Disney allows you to bring in your own food and drinks! This is a big money-saver as food inside the parks can be expensive. It’ll also save you on hangry meltdowns when your kids are waiting in line and need a snack (right now!). Just make sure you don’t bring any glass containers or alcohol into the parks.
Use Mobile Order Service
Many quick-service locations at the parks and some at the resort hotels offer the Mobile Ordering Service. You can order food from the My Disney Experience app. Make a food order while you’re in line for a ride, at the back of the long restaurant line or even in your hotel room. Just stop by the Mobile Order window and pick up your food when it’s ready.
What are some of your best tips for planning your next Walt Disney World vacation?
My final tip is to use a travel agent! I am a travel agent with Destinations to Travel, my services are complimentary, and I can help you plan a wonderful vacation! Contact me today for help with planning your next Walt Disney World vacation.
Let our friends at Destinations to Travel help you book your next Disney Vacation. They are the preferred Travel Agency of Chip and Company and Disney Addicts, and who we use ourselves.
Get started Now for your FREE No Obligation Quote.