Anyone Can Be A Great Disney Vacation Planner With These Tips

Even though our family won’t be heading to Disney until next October, we are in full Disney planning mode. Over the years, the amount of planning required for a Disney trip has increased. Today, we want to share some tips for planning a trip to Walt Disney World.

If you are staying on property, you can make your FastPass selections 60 days before your arrival. If you are staying off property, it is 30 days. Make sure you log on as soon as you can to pick your FastPasses! The FastPasses for newer and popular attractions go very fast, so if you wait too long, you may miss out!

If you are staying on property, you can also take advantage of Extra Magic Hours. These give you the ability to be able to enter parks early or to stay late. Make sure to look at the Extra Magic Hours schedule before planning which park to visit each day. This may give you the chance to ride some of the more popular rides with shorter wait times!

There is so much to do in the Parks, but Disney magic can also be found outside of the parks as well. Plan some time to visit Disney Springs as well as some of the Disney resorts. You will find some amazing resturants and shopping by taking even four hours away from the parks to explore. It is also a way to take a bit of a break from all of the overstimulation of the parks.

Don’t forget to plan out your dining. We always take time to figure out which quick service restaurants we want to eat at and where they are, so that we do not waste park time figuring it out. You can make advanced dining reservations for table service restaurants up to 180 days in advance. By making reservations as far out as possible, you have the best chance of getting the reservations you want. There are often day of reservations available, but if you have your heart set on a certain resturant, then you may not want to take that chance.

If parades and shows are important to you, make sure you look at the entertainment schedule for each day while you are planning FastPasses and dining reservations. You can find this information on the My Disney Experience app. If these things are not important to you, consider looking up the times anyway because wait times are often less when everyone else is waiting to see a parade or castle show!

Several stores sell Disney gift cards at a discount. We buy ours at Sam’s Club, but if you have a Target Card, you can also use that to purchase them at a discount. We buy a gift card when we have extra money in our weekly budget and that is how we pay for our trip. Disney gift cards can be used to pay for your resort stay, meals, souvenirs, and park tickets, so they will not go to waste!

We find planning each day at Disney to be super helpful, but don’t forget to leave some wiggle room in each day. You don’t want to over plan yourself and miss out on the spontaneous magic Disney World has to offer.

We hope that these tips will help you feel like an expert Disney trip planner! We would love to hear from you! How many Disney World vacations have you planned? What is your favorite part of the planning process?

11 responses to “Anyone Can Be A Great Disney Vacation Planner With These Tips”

  1. These are all great tips! We used FastPass and Magic Hours a lot – they were great for the major rides with the big queues!

  2. This past summer I planned a Disney trip for 13 people, including my sons and nephews who are ages 3, 4, 5, and 6. We did a lot of what you suggested. We stayed off-property (much cheaper with that number of people) so I set my alarm for Fastpasses 30 days out. Also, with that many, we set our dining reservation for Chef Mickey’s as soon as possible, too.

    1. Growing up, we always stayed off property. There was much less planning required then though, so we just sort of showed up each day.

  3. I had no idea you could do fastpasses so far advanced and I never would have thought about reservations. Great idea, definitely something I’ll keep in mind.

  4. This is really very informative! Thank you so much for the awesome tips. Hope to put them to use this summer.

  5. Can’t speak to the planning process for Disney per se, but I have to say that I love the anticipation of trying to decide where we’ll go on a trip and seeing if we can find a place that works for everyone’s schedules/is big enough for all the family segments who are free to join in 🙂

  6. My dream place destination since very childhood. I was going through the photos multiple times) beautiful post.

    1. It is a place everyone should visit at least once!

  7. Disneyland is on my list. We’re planning to go in Disneyland this coming next year or 2021 Thanks for this wonderful tips it would be helpful a lot awesome photos!

  8. I’m hoping for a Disney trip in 2020. I had no idea the amount of planning that goes into a trip!

    1. It requires so much more planning than it used to!

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