There is a lot of planning that has to happen when organizing a vacation to Disney World. Yes, it’s fun to be spontaneous… but in a place like Disney World, if you don’t have a plan then you will definitely miss out on a lot. The best idea is to have a general game plan and then add some spontaneity as you go! There are sooo many things to see and do!
First thing I do when planning a vacation is to read blogs on Pinterest. It’s a great way to learn tips and tricks from others. So of course when we booked our Disney trip, I went straight to reading several blogs to get a plan together. It can be overwhelming! But if you do a little at a time, it makes planning the vacation fun and something to look forward to.
In this blog post we will be covering:
-Deciding when to book
-The booking process
-How to get hard reservations
-Strategies for booking fast passes
Disney World is almost always crowded. If you go during school breaks, you can guarantee it’ll be packed. But if you go during holidays, rather than Spring Break or Summer Vacation, it is worth the crowd. Disney does holidays BIG! We decided to go December 30- Jan 3. This gives us the opportunity to experience the Christmas decorations and parades, as well as celebrating New Years! Can you think of a more magical way to ring in the New Year than under the fireworks at Cinderella’s Castle in Disney World?!
Disney does “Extra Magic Hours”. Meaning, the park will open earlier or stay open later than regular hours. Lucky for us, we get to take advantage of that twice during our trip! Since we are balling on a budget, we decided to only stay for 4 nights- going to one park per day, and the 5th day for travel.
It’s super easy to book a Walt Disney World vacation. Just go to their website and click the link to start booking. It will ask what days you want to go, where you want to stay, what dining package you want, and if you want to include a flight with your package. Since we are being “budget friendly”, we are staying at the most inexpensive Disney hotel. It’s called AllStar Movie Resort. I’ve stayed here previously and it’s awesome. You literally feel like you’re in a Disney movie!
One of the best parts of Disney World is the rides! No one wants to waste their time waiting in line. Strategizing how you are going to book Fast Passes is important. These can be booked 60 days before your trip. I made a list of rides in each park that we would want fast passes for. Then looked on a map to see which rides were next to each other to prevent running all over the park. You may not be able to get fast passes for what you were hoping for. If that’s the case, just plan to go to that ride first when the park opens or hop in line right before the park closes to avoid long lines. The MyDisneyExperience App shows you estimated wait times for each ride in each park which will also be a big help in deciding which rides to go to throughout the day.
Character dining is also a must do in Disney World! Even if it may seem a little childish- trust me, you won’t regret it! After reading a bunch of reviews, it seemed like everyone was raving about Be Our Guest in Magic Kingdom. This restaurant is Beauty and the Beast themed and seemed impossible to get reservations. I found this website called MouseDining.com. Basically, you just type in what restaurant you want reservations for plus the date and time you want. When a reservation becomes available during that time slot, they will text you. Then you just sign into your Disney account and book the reservation! It took about a week for them to text me that there was an opening and I immediately booked it! I’ve gotten texts about 3 available reservations since then. I would highly recommend this for any difficult reservations because it’s easy and convenient to use. Kailey and I feel like we scored with these reservations!
Like I said previously, we will be there for four days to enjoy one park each day. On our first day, we are going to Magic Kingdom. We chose this first because there are Extra Magic Hours on that day, so the park will stay open until 2AM. Our flight lands in Orlando around 11AM. We will be using the Disney Magical Express, which is a charter bus that takes you from the airport to your Disney hotel. They take care of your luggage and will even place it in your room one it is ready for check-in! (Did I mention this is free?!..or maybe I should say included lol) So by the time we get to our hotel and then to Magic Kingdom, it’ll be later in the afternoon. I feel like Magic Kingdom is always the most anticipated park so I’m excited to do it Day 1! Magic Kingdom supposedly has a HUGE firework show for New Years (no surprise) and will do it December 30th and 31st.
Day 2 is New Year’s Eve! We knew we wanted to “drink around the world” in Epcot… so what better way to celebrate New Year’s Eve?! Epcot also has a huge New Year’s Eve firework show and countdown to the New Year!
On day 3, we are headed to Animal Kingdom. We are excited to experience Pandora, which is a newer feature to Animal Kingdom. I’m not an Avatar fan, but everyone raves about Pandora so I can’t wait to check it out! Although I love Animal Kingdom, it has the least amount to do compared to the other parks. So this is be our “rest day”.
Our last full day in Disney will be spent at Hollywood Studios. I feel like this park has the most thrilling rides so it’s a good last stop! We are all super excited about Toy Story Land! Since it will be our last night, and the park closes at 8PM, we will head to Downtown Disney (now known as Disney Springs). There, we plan to ride Aerophile, which is a hot air balloon that gives you a view above the parks!
I knew we would be sad to leave, so I figured we better squeeze in another character dining experience before we leave. We will be attending a breakfast buffet at Cape May Café at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. After breakfast, the Disney Magical Express will pick us up at our hotel to head back the airport and back to reality.
Disney World isn’t the most glamorous vacation, but it is extremely fun! The older I get, the more I appreciate Disney World because they are so detail oriented. It truly is magical!
Look out for Kailey’s blog post at the end of the week to catch our experience!