My name is Kuleen and I survived New Year’s Eve at Disney World 2013. My family chose to spend the day at Disney Hollywood Studios and escape back to our resort as soon as the party hats and horns were handed out. However, my brother and his family braved Epcot where the crowds were shoulder-to-shoulder […]
how to plan the perfect disney world vacation
Planning a Disney World vacation can be overwhelming. But don't worry!
Here are answers to the Frequently Asked Questions about Disney World Vacations.
CLICK HERE to jump to the latest Disney World posts.
Q: how far in advance should i plan a disney world vacation?
While it is possible to enjoy a last-minute Disney World vacation, it is a good idea to start planning your trip 7-12 months in advance. Why so early? Because you may make dining and activity reservations 180-days before your trip begins. So, if your heart is set on a dinner at Cinderella's Royal Table, you better have your Disney World Resort reservation made 181-days in advance.
Q: what should i include in our disney world budget?
Disney World isn't a cheap vacation. You will need to consider transportation, hotel, park tickets, dining, and souvenirs into your budget. But, we have tips and tricks on how to enjoy Disney World on a budget.
Q: when should i visit walt disney world?
The quality of your Disney World trip can vary greatly depending on what time of year you choose to visit. Find out the best and worst times to visit Disney World including our opinion on taking your kids out of school. (HINT: Just do it!)
Q: how old should my kids be to visit disney world?
Some people think you should wait until your kids are old enough to remember everything before visiting Disney World. Others think kids should be tall enough to ride all the thrill rides. We think preschool is the best age to take your kids to Disney World.
Q: how long should i stay at disney world?
My Disney bucket list includes a two-week stay at Walt Disney World. Until that happens, a seven-day trip is ideal but I can make a five-day trip work. Any shorter than five days, and I may not be able to visit all of the theme parks.
Q: how do i reserve my walt disney world vacation?
You can make all your Disney World reservations on your own through their online reservation system. But why do it yourself when you can have an experienced Disney Travel Agent do it for you at no additional cost. We recommend Patty at Parks and Preston. She will find you the best deals and help you plan the perfect Disney World Vacation. (BTW - Other than a thank you, I get zero compensation from Patty for this recommendation. Well, she once bought me grapes and a Coke.)
Q: how do i choose a disney world resort hotel?
There is no shortage of hotels on and off Disney World property. Our preference is to stay on-property because of the key benefits Disney Resort hotels offer over the average hotel chain.
However, we make an exception for the Wyndham Disney Springs. Located adjacent to Disney Springs, the Wyndham offers perks you won't find in other off-site hotels near Disney World.
Q: what are all the things to do at disney world?
You could spend weeks at Disney World and never run out of things to do. Of course, the main activity is the theme parks.
disney world theme parks
Disney World has four theme parks plus two water parks.
Magic Kingdom was modeled after Disneyland and opened in 1971. Epcot opened in 1982, combining a vision for the future with a permanent World Fair. Disney Hollywood Studios opened in 1989 as a tribute to old Hollywood, but is suffering from an identity crisis while it waits for Star Wars Land to open. The final theme park, Animal Kingdom, opened in 1998 with a zoological and conservation theme.
While you are at the parks you can hunt hidden Mickey's, meet Disney characters, and look for Disney details like the themed trashcans.
If that doesn't keep you occupied, Disney World also has two water parks - Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach.
things to do in disney world besides the parks
If you need a break from the theme parks, you can go shopping at Disney Springs, play a round of mini golf, or go on a special tour.
Q: what are the disney dining options?
Dining at Disney is an activity itself. With over 80 table-service restaurants and countless quick-service restaurant and snack bars, you will want to know the lowdown on Disney dining before your trip. Character dining is a must-do and a great way to meet multiple characters. You can even turn your Disney trip into an all-inclusive vacation by purchasing the Disney Dining Plan.
Q: how do i get to disney world from the airport?
One of the perks of staying at a Walt Disney World resort is free transportation from the Orlando International Airport (MCO). You can save money for your souvenirs by skipping the rental car and riding on Disney's Magical Express.
Q: what is the best way to get around disney world?
Once you are on-property, Disney takes care of all your transportation needs. By bus, boat, or monorail, free transportation is available from the Disney resort hotels to each theme park. The deluxe resorts even over an Uber-like service in Minnie Vans.
Q: what is a disney world magicband?
The aptly named MagicBand is a bracelet that magically does everything at Disney World. It is your Disney hotel room key, your park ticket, your FastPass+, your PhotoPass card, and your wallet. It is a huge disappointment to go home only to discover it won't unlock your car or your house.
Q: how does photopass work
Q: what is memory maker?
Memory Maker is Disney's form of Shutterfly or Snapfish. You can add borders and decorations to your PhotoPass pictures then pay to download the file or have the prints delivered to your home. There is a discount to purchase Memory Maker before your trip.
Q: what is my disney experience
My Disney Experience is Disney's digital tool to plan your Walt Disney World vacation. On your computer, access My Disney Experience from the menu on the Disney World website. You will be able to build an itinerary, make dining and FastPass+ reservations, customize your MagicBands, and much more.
Download the free My Disney Experience app for your phone and you can create and make changes to your itinerary on the go. There are also interactive maps with the information on attractions, wait times, shops, bathrooms, restaurants, and even where to find your favorite characters. You can also view your PhotoPass pictures, track Disney Dining Plan credits plus room charges, and more.
Q: how do i use fastpass+ at disney world?
The FastPass+ is Disney's system to reserve a place in line instead of standing for hours in the queue. I honestly don't know how we ever visited theme parks without the FastPass+.
Q: how do i prepare my kids for disney world?
Going to a theme park for the first time can be an overwhelming experience for little kids. We have a few tips for prepping your kids so you will get the most out of your Disney vacation.
get everyone's input
Read planning books and websites out loud. Watch the Disney planning DVD together and discuss Disney World at the dinner table. Let each person pick out a restaurant and make a list of their must-do rides and attractions.
get to know the disney characters
Watch Disney movies, listen to Disney music, read Disney books, and watch The Disney Channel so your children will be familiar with the Disney characters and songs.
preview the park experience
Order the free Disney World Planning DVD from the website so everyone is familiar with the rides. The planning DVD also gives kids an idea of just how large the Disney characters are in person. You can also watch YouTube videos other guests have made of their Disney vacation
make a disney countdown calendar
Make a fun calendar and use Disney stickers to mark off the days before your trip. This makes it handy to answer "How many days until we go to Disney World?"
Q: what should i pack for disney?
There is no shortage of suggestions of what to pack for Disney. One of my favorites is 10 Essentials to Pack by my friend Melissa.
I am begging you. Pack as little as possible in the bag you take to the theme parks. My personal park bag contains the following: handheld fan (because I'm menopausal), water bottle, cell phone, kleenex, cash, cell phone charger, prescription meds, and essential cards (id, insurance, WDW annual pass, credit card).
You don't need to bring the entire contents of your medicine cabinet, enough snacks to feed an army, or 2-3 of your favorite novels.
Trust me. If you need it, Disney will sell it to you.
Q: what happens if i have an emergency at disney world?
No one goes on vacation expecting to deal with a sickness or an emergency. We have done both at Disney World. Multiple times. So in case you have ever wondered, you can read exactly what happens in a Disney emergency. My gal Patty has good tips on what to do if you get sick at Disney World and need non-emergency options.
Q: what if my child gets lost at disney?
Let's be clear. Children don't get lost at Disney World. Ever.
However, parents get lost on a daily basis. We have lost parent tips on how to prevent someone from getting separated from the pack, and tricks on what to do if you can't find someone in your party.
Q: what should i do during rainy days at disney world?
It rains a lot in Florida, so don't let a little bad weather ruin your vacation plans. There are plenty of things to do in the rain at Disney World.
Q: what do i do if i lose something at disney world?
Disney could open a mall with the number of lost items it collects each day. If you absolutely must have that item back, Sarah knows all about the Disney Lost and Found.
Q: how do i handle returning to real life aFter a disney world vacation?
Oh how I wish I knew the answer to this question. If you figure it out, please tell me.
ready to book your magic your way vacation
My gal Patty at Parks and Preston will find you the best deals and help you plan the perfect Disney World Vacation. I use her to book all of my Disney trips. BTW- I get nothing but a Thank You from her for this endorsement. But she did buy me grapes and a coke once.
I will make a small commission if you purchase through the Amazon links below.
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