August 22

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How to Plan a Trip to Disney World: The Ultimate Guide

How to Plan a Trip to Disney World

58 million people visit Walt Disney World annually.

If you plan to be one of them in the near future, our comprehensive guide will help you plan a trip to Disney World.

Whether you’re traveling as a couple, family, or a friend group, we’ve got great tips and tricks for everyone to make their Disney dreams a reality.

Read on for some of our travel hacks and things to consider when planning your trip to Walt Disney World.

Budget

Budgeting is an essential aspect of visiting Walt Disney World. It is no secret that it’s an expensive place to visit: from the park admissions to the snacks to the food to the hotel stays. You can easily spend thousands of dollars before you’ve barely noticed it’s gone.

That’s why budgeting and sticking to your budget is so important. Be sure to plan your accommodation and meal plans, as well as buy your tickets in advance. You can often get better deals by doing this.

You should also set aside some money for shopping, souvenirs, and snacks, as well as anything that might come up unexpectedly. If you have a little bit of a cushion in terms of finances, you won’t be stressing out about money the entire vacation and will, instead, be able to relax.

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Shop for Discounts

Sometimes Disney offers discounts on park admissions and meal plans, and this is especially the case when it isn’t peak season. You can often find cheaper entry tickets during the winter months, which isn’t so bad if you’re not planning on visiting the water parks. It’s pretty mild most of the year in Florida, so chances are the weather might actually be more bearable in the winter than in the summer.

Plan Around Openings

COVID19 shut down large sections of the park and delayed the opening of several big attractions. For example, the Ratatouille ride won’t be open until October of 2021, and the Star Wars: Galatic Cruiser experience won’t open until early 2022. If you have your heart set on these attractions, make sure you know when they open to avoid disappointment.

Get Your Fast Passes in Advance

If you’re off the property, you can get a limited amount of fast passes 60 days in advance. The fast pass queue opens at 7AM eastern standard time, and you can nab your fast passes on your must-do attractions in advance, so you don’t have to worry about it on the day. With your fast pass in tow, you’ll make sure there aren’t any experiences you’ll miss due to a lack of time.

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You can also book fast passes later or on the property, but they’re not always guaranteed. It is recommended that even if the fast pass isn’t for the right time, that you nab one anyway, as you can always change the time.

Decide Where You’d Like to Stay

Deciding on where to stay can depend on a lot of factors. For some people, as long as the hotel is clean, that’s all that matters. Others want luxury amenities during their downtime.

It is important to note that all of the hotels on the Disney property come with Disney perks, but there is a limited selection of hotels nearby that do as well. You may wish to look this up before you decide where to stay.

Some families like to plan a down day or two where they relax, swim, and shop instead of exploring the parks. You’d be surprised by how much walking you do during your time at Disney, so some people really enjoy having a vacation from their vacation. If that’s you, you may wish to book a hotel that’s a bit more luxe.

Otherwise, for many families, a cheaper or budget hotel with fewer amenities on the Disney property does just fine.

If you’re a Disney Vacation Club member and want to use your points, or are renting points, check DVC occupancy limits before you make your accommodations booking.

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Make a List of Must-Do Activities

Disney World is a huge place. That’s why most people plan to vacation there for several days, or even over a couple of weeks. But if you don’t have the time to see everything, make sure you see and experience what you want to.

While booking fast passes is a great way to do that, it’s also a good idea to have some kind of action plan in terms of how to conquer the parks. Are there particular rides or restaurants you absolutely must see or eat at? Are there things you’re willing to pass over if time doesn’t allow you to see them?

Make a list of which parks you’ll visit on which days. Having some flexibility is good, as this can free you up to do things you may not have thought about. But having an idea of what you’re doing helps you ensure everyone in your party has a magical experience at Walt Disney World. 

How to Plan a Trip to Disney World

There’s no one right way when it comes to how to plan a trip to Disney World, as the property is so huge that it offers something for everyone. However, we hope that some of these tips have given you a few things to consider as you decide what and when to visit the parks.

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