PlanningThe ParksTips

5 Keys To Planning a Successful Disney Vacation

A lot goes into planning a Walt Disney World vacation.  There are a handful of decisions that have to be made from where to stay, what tickets to purchase, what to eat, and what Disney Parks to visit each day.

Although it might seem like a lot, we have five keys to making the process easy.  By following these five keys to planning, you will make your process a lot less stressful and a lot smoother.

Credit: Disney
Key #1:  Plan Ahead

Our first key to planning a successful Walt Disney World vacation is to plan ahead.  If you aren’t aware, travel is back.  We have seen the crowds return to Walt Disney World in 2022 and that means that Resorts, dining, the Theme Parks are filling up quickly.

If you know that you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World in 2023, start locking in that Disney Resort now.  The best way to ensure you get the Disney Resort of your choice is to book early.  With a $200 deposit, Guests are able to book a Walt Disney World Resort Package (tickets and Resort) that is fully refundable up to 31 days prior to check-in.

Planning ahead also goes for Park Pass Reservations.  Guests need to make a Park Reservation in order to enter one of the four main Disney Parks (Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or EPCOT).  There is limited availability so making these early will also ensure that you get into the Theme Park of choice.

Ohana Character Breakfast _ disney world _ disney fanatic
credit: Disney

Finally, planning ahead is important when it comes to dining and other additional experiences.  Guests are able to book table-service restaurants starting 60 days prior to arrival.  Like with Disney Resorts, those top dining locations such as Chef Mickey’s Space 220, California Grill, and Ohana book up quickly.  Being ready to book at 60 days is key to getting those reservations.

This also goes for those magical extras you might want to experience.  Firework dessert parties, tours, Bibbity Bobity Boutique, and other similar experiences also can be booked typically around the 60-day mark.  Be ready with a plan to book early.

Planning ahead is the first key to setting yourself up for a successful Disney vacation.

Mickey 50th
Credit: Disney
Key #2:  Learn the Language

The next key to planning a successful Disney vacation is focusing on learning the Disney language before you go.  Disney does have a language all of its own and it can be extremely confusing if you aren’t aware of it ahead of time.

We have a post HERE that will help you navigate this language before you head to Walt Disney World.  Knowing some of this language will make you feel more confident when you arrive at the Parks and Resorts.  

Take time to explore those keywords, phrases, and acronyms so you know and are well aware of what is being talked about when you arrive.  You will be so less stressed.

credit Disney
Key #3:  My Disney Experience

Another key to planning a successful Walt Disney World vacation focuses on My Disney Experience.  This is Disney’s official planning app for Walt Disney World.  Even though the app has been around for a while now, the importance of the app and all the features have been essential in the last few years to successfully navigate a trip to Walt Disney World.

It is through this app that Guests will have access to important features such as mobile ordering, wait times, Disney Genie, bus times and so much more.  Don’t wait until you arrive at Walt Disney World to download and start navigating the app.  That will lead to frustration and stress.

Take time before you head down to the magic to download the app and navigate all the different features.  We have some great articles at How to Disney about My Disney Experience which can be super helpful so make sure to check those out.

WaltDisneyWorld Bus
credit: Disney Tips
Key #4:  Know Transportation

Disney provides free transportation throughout the Walt Disney World Resort property.  This is a fantastic service that makes getting around the magic super easy and free.  When it comes to making your trip easier, make sure you know which transportation will get you where you need to go.

A key step for planning a successful trip to Walt Disney World is being aware of how you will be able to use the transportation throughout the Parks and Resorts.  There are a lot of options and some don’t go everywhere.  Take a look at our post HERE to help you figure out what Disney transportation you’ll be using during your vacation.

Credit: Disney
Key #5:  Make a Plan

Our final key to planning a successful Disney vacation is to make a plan.  The days of showing up at Walt Disney World and just “going with the flow” seem to be over.  With having to make Park Pass Reservations, dining, Genie+, and so many other decisions, it is important that you have an overall plan before you arrive.

This plan doesn’t have to be a step-by-step schedule of events; however, we do recommend a general plan before arriving at Disney Park for the day.  Take time to determine the handful of must-do attractions and experiences.  Doing this will help you know what the goal is for the day and be ready to head there.

Have a plan for if you are going to use Genie+ or purchase Individual Lighting Lanes before you head to Walt Disney World.  If you are going to use them, make sure that you also take time to learn about how they work.

Plans are key to a successful Disney vacation so make sure you take the time to create one before heading down.

There is a lot that goes into a Walt Disney World vacation.  Follow these five keys for planning your trip to help you have a successful time in the magic.


Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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