How to plan a Disney World Vacation in 5 steps!
So whats the secret to planning a Disney World Vacation? Read on to find out how to plan your Disney vacation in 5 (time consuming but worth it) steps...
#DISNEY, what can I say, I love everything about it. I love the whole story of how Disney began and everything it has become to this day. I have been going to #DisneyWorld since I was 5 years old and to me it really is a magical place and it really is like ‘Home’. When people find out that I love Disney I usually get one of two responses…"OMG I love Disney too" or some form of “ew its for kids and its too crowded”. My response to people who think the latter is always, you’re not doing it right! So I'm here to show all of you how to do it right!
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Everyone enjoys different things when they are on vacation and you should absolutely look into what Disney World has to offer so you can plan for what you and your family will enjoy. If you are young at heart and enjoy all of the rides and shows, Disney has plenty of that but if you like more of a relaxing adult vacation, Disney has that too! When people ask me to help them with their Disney vacations that is the first thing I ask them...what do you like to do on vacation?
Book your stay
Depending on your budget there are so many options at #WaltDisneyWorldResort. For the smaller budgets they have the value resorts like the 'All star Music Resort'. These resorts are a little further away from the parks but when staying on the Disney property it really doesn't matter because the buses (and #uber if you’re impatient like me) are always available to Disney Springs (Downtown Disney) and all of the parks and other resorts. All of the resorts are kid friendly obviously, but I find the Value resorts are especially kid focused. I stayed at one of these resorts on my senior high school trip and had just as great a time as I have ever had, so this is a great option. The next level resorts are the Moderate resorts. This may sound weird but, I have never stayed at a moderate resort. This price range is right in between the value ($100-$200/ night) and the Deluxe resorts ($350 and above/night). The moderate resorts have a lot of great things to offer such as great restaurants and all the resorts have amazing pools. They are located a little closer to the parks and also have the buses available. The one that I have heard and read great things about is Port Orleans (Riverside and French Quarter).
Last but not least is the Deluxe Resorts. If you are ready to splurge, then these are the resorts to do it on! My aunt and uncle have a time share with Disney and they have been generous enough to let me tag along on many of their family vacations, so these are normally the resorts I get to stay in. The deluxe resorts are located very close (sometimes right next to) the parks and they have several amazing pools and restaurants on grounds and the rooms are exquisite. My favorite is the Beach Club because of its sand bottom pool and its proximity to the Boardwalk, Hollywood Studios and EPCOT.
Now I am definitely not saying that you need to stay at one of these resorts to have a great time at Disney! All of the resorts whether they are Value, Moderate or Deluxe are amazing, it really just depends on whats important to you. If you have the money to spend and staying right next to the park is important, then the Deluxe category is for you. If your budget is smaller and just being in Disney is a dream come true then the value or moderate is an amazing option. Like I said before I have stayed at a lot of the deluxe options because my family has a #DVC membership but when my husband and I went to Disney alone a couple of years ago we actually stayed at the Walt Disney World Dolphin, which is not technically a Disney Resort but it is located right next to the Beach Club on property. This gives you the great location with a better price however you do not get some of the 'Disney Resort' perks like the dining plan and the magical express. If anyone has any questions about this option just message me!
Plan your days out!
To some this may sound crazy but this is how I do it people. I am impatient and DO NOT like waiting in line (this is tough at Disney, as you can imagine) but planning your days helps ensure you wait in the shortest lines possible and still have time for drinks before dinner.
Start on the Disney World website and check out the park times for each day. Since you are staying in the park (in one of the resorts) you are eligible for the extra magic hours! I usually make a list and each day write down which park opens early or stays open late for magic hours, this is how I plan which park I am going to each day. I should have prefaced this with before you go any further if you don’t want to get up early and have a schedule then this method isn’t for you…if you like to get up and get stuff done and be back to the pool by early afternoon with minimal lines but also minimal pee breaks…keep reading. Obviously if you have kids some of this will need to be modified but it can definitely be done. Once you decide on which parks to go to on which days now its time for step 4!
Book your dinner reservations and fast passes!
When staying at Disney Resort you can book your fast passes 60 days before your trip and book your dinning reservations 180 days before your trip…I'm not kidding this is essential. The fast passes and good dining reservations book up literally on that day so don’t wait! (You have been warned).
If you haven’t been to Disney World before I recommend looking at a map of the park to see where things are. If you are doing it my way and get to the park for park opening with extra magic hours, you will still book your fast passes according to when the park opens for all guests. That being said you will not need to book a fast pass for the hottest ride, why you ask? Because you will have already rode on it without waiting in line!
For example, because I feel as though I may not be the best at explaining this… If you go to Animal Kingdom, I would get fast passes for the Lion King show, Everest and Dinosaur. As soon as the park opens I would run to the new Pandora ride and then I would make my way to the Safari and wait in hopefully not too long of a line for that one. As you can see, it's not a science and sometimes things don’t go as planned but Hey, you’re at Disney! You can always grab a drink and a little snack and make the best of it.
Please also note that I know this is tough if you haven’t been to Disney before and you do not know the rides and shows as I do. Im always here to ask and also I recommend researching, there are tons of Disney blogs out there.
As for dinning…If you do it the way I described you can get the parks done by early afternoon. I am not one that needs to go on ALL the rides so for me hitting the major attractions and shows and then heading out is perfect. If you plan on spending the day in one park then plan to have your dinner there also. There are amazing restaurants EVERYWHERE in Disney, seriously the parks, resorts and even Disney Springs. There are so many great restraurants at Disney and I can not begin to go through them all so again you will need to research (or ask me if you have specific questions). EPCOT has most of my favorites because they are all themed for the countries (which I love) but also to note are O’Hana at Disneys Polynesian, Prime Time at Hollywood Studios, and California Grille in the Contemporary Hotel are among my favorites (not counting the countries).
Enjoy Disney without the hassle of having to think or wait in 120minute lines!
Obviously there is a lot of information that I am not including in this post, but if I included everything about Walt Disney World the post would be a novel ('aint nobody got time for that). I can absolutely help anyone out if you need help with any of the steps or need specific tips or recommendations! Just send a DM on our Instagram account @Sist3rs.RI or send us an email.
I hope that if you are planning to visit Disney soon you have the most amazing time and found some of this helpful. Keep checking our Instagram account because I will be posting a lot while I am there next week! My first time with a baby (should be interesting).