A trip to Disney World takes a lot of planning no matter how long your stay. First time guests may not realize just how much there is to see and do in all of the parks. If you are in the midst of planning your trip, here is a list of things you can do before you even leave for vacation to make your trip go smooth. Below are a few ways to help get you started:
Do Your Research
Thinking about taking your family on a Disney World vacation? Where do you begin? If you are like me, I am always so busy between work, school, and just life in general that I have to research our trips late at night, on my lunch break, or whenever I can get some free moments to myself.
- Social media: Before I started blogging myself I found some of my favorite tips through blog posts and social media. Sites like Pinterest and Twitter are filled with so much great information. Many of the people posting on these sites have been to Disney World many times and have had many different experiences. Lucky for us we get to read all about the things we may plan to do with our family. Another great place to get some great information is YouTube! There are many Disney vloggers that go often to the parks so you can see if a certain attraction, resort, or even a restaurant is something your family would enjoy.
- Disney’s website: Disney’s own website is packed with up to date information all about their resorts, restaurants, and parks and you can even request a free DVD that has so much great info to help you in planning an awesome trip!
Image by Disney Parks
Book Your Disney Vacation Package
Once you have researched the resorts, the restaurants, and the attractions you want to visit it is finally time to plan your trip!
- Book through a travel agent: There are many travel agents that specialize in Disney Vacation Packages. They can give you suggestions, tips, and tricks for your Disney vacation. We booked our first Disney trip through a travel agent who gave us some great trips. Now that we have a few Disney World vacations under our belt we’ve been able to plan great trips all by ourselves.
- Book over the phone: Once you’ve decided on the details of your trip you can call (407) 939-7801 and speak to a Vacation Planning Expert at Disney World to book your hotel. They can answer any questions you may have while booking your vacation package.
- Book online: Booking online is the best way to book your trip if you are trying to choose between a few resorts or a few different dates, you can change the dates and resort locations with ease and take your time making decisions. Disney frequently has special offers and discounts and you can easily see how much each package will cost.
Download the My Disney Experience App
For any guest visiting Disney World, whether if you are there on vacation for a week or an annual passholder who goes a few times a month, downloading this app is a must. There is so much you can do with this app! You can book or cancel dining reservations, make or change FastPasses, get real time information on wait times for all attractions, interactive maps of the parks so you can navigate through it easily, and now available at Disney’s Wilderness lodge you can use the app to unlock your room!
- You can even do mobile ordering through the app at some select quick-service restaurants, including the new Satu’li Canteen located in Pandora-The World of Avatar!
Make Advanced Dining Reservations
If you are staying on property you can start booking your dining reservations 180 days from the start of your Disney vacation. On the Dining page on Disney World’s website or My Disney Experience mobile app you can view the menus for each restaurant.
- NOTE: If you’ve purchased the Disney Dining Plan some restaurants, like Cinderella’s Royal Table, may require 2 dining plan credits. You can view the entitlements required for each restaurant on Disney World’s site.
Make FastPass Reservations
If you are staying on property you can start booking your FastPasses up to 60 days before your check-in date. If you are staying off property you may begin making FastPass reservations 30 days before each day of your visit. Lines in Disney can be very long and for the more popular rides, like Space Mountain and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, it is strongly recommended to make FastPass reservations! We like to make them as early as we can because you are only allowed 3 a day however once those 3 are used you may reserve 1 more per person at a time until the park closes or until there are no more FastPasses available.
Image by Disney Parks
Order Your MagicBands
Every guest staying on property at a Disney World resort will receive a free MagicBand to use for the duration of their stay. They are used as:
- A key to enter your room
- Used as your ticket to enter the theme parks or water parks
- Connect to your FastPasses
- Connect to PhotoPass
- Charge food, drinks, gifts, and other amenities to a credit card on file – don’t worry you can set a pin so your little Minnie’s and Mickey’s don’t charge a $100 light saber to your credit card!
- Entrance to the resort pool
- You can even personalize the MagicBand
- You can add names to the inside of your bands
- You can choose from more colors than ever before for your MagicBand: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink and grey. Please note: If you are coming from another country or if you book your vacation last minute the default color you get is grey.
- Note: If you are flying into Orlando International Airport and using Disney’s Magical Express every member of your party will need to scan their MagicBand before they can board!
After all of this is done, next you need to start thinking about what you are going to pack and what you can do on your arrival day.
Here are other articles that will help you with your vacation planning:
- 8 Useful Items To Bring To Disney World That Will Make Your Trip So Much Better!
- 8 Fun Things to Do on Your Disney Arrival Day Without Stepping Foot in the Parks!
- What is the Perfect Bag to Bring to a Disney Park for You?
- All You Need to Know about Disney PhotoPass at Disney World!
- Where to Keep Cool in Magic Kingdom!
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- Let’s Ride!