7 tips to plan a Walt Disney World vacation
Here are my top tips to plan the best family vacation ever at Walt Disney World Resort.
- Check out Walt Disney World’s website. Not only will you find special offers, vacation packages, park hours and restaurant information, but you can also book your dining reservations, purchase tickets in advance and even reserve your FastPass+ rides. There’s a version in Spanish, too.
- Start saving. Traveling as a family is an investment so it helps to set aside money in advance. You can also use the Disney Vacation Account to create a personalized savings plan that easily adapts to your needs and budget.
- Consider including a Disney Dining Plan as part of your package. There are over 100 restaurants in the parks and some even include a meeting with your favorite Disney characters in person (those experiences are called character dining).
- Figure out which dates work best for your family but take into consideration crowd levels and the weather. The beginning of May is a great month to visit Walt Disney World because it’s just before the start of the summer season. If you must go in the summer, you’ll usually find fewer visitors at the parks during the second half of August, as many are headed back to school. September is also a good option. During this month, many of the anticipated special events begin, such as Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
- Download the My Disney Experience mobile app. It’s free, has a GPS-enabled map, allows you to book rides and restaurants, plus it tells you estimated wait times at the attractions. You can see all your reservations in one place and it’s super convenient. You can make FastPass+ reservations up to 60 days in advance if you plan on staying at one of the Disney Resorts and 30 days, with your ticket or annual pass. FastPass+ lets you select up to 3 attractions per day at each park.
- Pack comfortable clothes and shoes for each day. Leave the fancy stuff at home and don’t break in new shoes at the parks. Don’t forget about the swimsuits! There are also some attractions that will leave you completely soaked and Florida weather can be quite unpredictable, so pack a rain poncho.
- Take your own autograph books. Characters will happily sign their autograph at special meet and greets (some can be booked for free using FastPass+) and at character dining experiences, so purchase blank notepads or notebooks and have your kids decorate them. You can also buy special autograph books at the parks. Remember to also bring your own pen!
Disclosure: this is part of a paid collaboration with Disney but all opinions are my own.