PlanningThe ParksTips

A Quick and Easy Daily Plan for Disney

With so much to see and do throughout Walt Disney World, it is a good idea to have a general plan for each day. This doesn’t have to be a complicated, detailed plan but instead an overall big picture plan.

To help you create a quick and easy daily plan, we are going to give you seven steps for planning your days at Walt Disney World. If you think through each of these seven steps, you will be more prepared for a day of magic in a Disney Park.

Disney Genie+
Credit: Disney

Disney Genie

Before you even get to Disney, take time to look at and set up your Disney Genie. Disney Genie is the complementary planning tool found within the My Disney Experience app.

Disney Genie will ask you for your interests and priorities ahead of time. Set these up so then throughout your time in the Parks, Disney Genie can provide you with suggestions and touring strategies.

This is also where you can find predictions regarding wait times once you are in a Disney Park. It can be a great tool for navigating the Parks.

Couple looking at phone in front of Magic Kingdom Cinderella Castle
Credit: Disney


Once you have set up Disney Genie, you also need to determine if you want to purchase Genie+. This is a paid feature that allows Guests to bypass the standby lines for select attractions.

Before arriving at Walt Disney World, do some research around Genie+. It can be a great option, but you will want to make sure that you know how to use it successfully.

If you choose to use Genie+, know that your mornings will start prior to 7 am. Guests can add Genie+ starting at midnight, so if you happen to still be up, go ahead and purchase it.

Otherwise, set that alarm for before 7 am so you can purchase Genie+ before the all important 7 am. Why is 7 am so important? This is when Guests are able to make their first Genie+ selection. From extremely popular rides such as Slinky Dog Dash in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, being on right at 7 am is important.

Guests can also purchase an Individual Lightning Lane for specific rides such as Tron Lightcycle Run or Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at 7 am.

Because both of these happen early in the morning, know that if you plan to take advantage of them, you will be setting alarms for early in the morning.

Chef Mickeys
Credit: Disney

Morning Plans

Once you have made your Genie+ selections, your next decision revolves around what you want to do in the morning. If breakfast is an important meal for your family, consider booking a character breakfast as Ohana, Chef Mickey’s, or Topolino’s. These meals not only have delicious food, but amazing characters to meet. It is a fun way to start a morning.

If hanging out with Mickey and his friend early in the morning doesn’t sound like your thing, grab a quick meal at your Disney Resort or once you are in a Disney Park. The cinnamon rolls at Gaston’s in Magic Kingdom shouldn’t be missed.

The other option for your morning is to focus on rope dropping at a Disney Park. Rope dropping means that you are at the Park bright and early waiting for it to open. If focusing on rides is important to your group, rope dropping is a fantastic way to get some great rides in before long lines form during the day.

mobile order
Credit: Disney


After a great morning, it will be time to think about lunch. If you didn’t have a sit down meal for breakfast, consider scheduling a nice meal for lunch at a nearby Resort. Grand Floridian Cafe, Steakhouse 71, Ale and Compass, and Beaches and Cream are all great restaurants located close to Disney Parks. Sometimes it is nice to step away from the Parks for a while.

If your group would rather keep riding rides, make sure to place a mobile order for your meal. Using the My Disney Experience app, you can choose a quick service location, time, and place your order. This will allow you to skip those longer lines at meal time.

Know what type of meal will be best for your group so you can plan ahead.

wilderness lodge pool
Credit: Disney


After lunch, it is a good time to take a break. Afternoons get crowded and hot at Disney, having a break from the Parks can be a great refreshing experience.

Head back to your Walt Disney World Resort for a nice swim in the amazing pools or take a nap in your air conditioned room.

For those that don’t want to leave and head all the way back to their Resort, consider slowing down in the Parks. See a show, people watch, and take a moment to sit. Even these small breaks can make a huge difference.

Credit: WDW Magazine/Disney


As we mentioned for lunch, it is important to have a plan when it comes to mealtime. Dinner can be a great time to schedule a nice, relaxing meal.

If you have a large lunch, it can be fun to visit one of the lounges at Disney for a cool drink and shareable plates.

Make sure, like with lunch, that you plan ahead for meals. You don’t want to be trying to make a plan once everyone is already hungry.

Happily Ever After
Happily Ever After


The final decision of the day revolves around the evening hours. Disney has amazing nighttime shows including Happily Ever After and Fantasmic. If you are wanting to experience these fantastic shows, have a plan.

If your group isn’t going to like waiting in a huge group, consider a dessert party or dining package. These are excellent ways to experience these shows in a slightly more relaxed way.

Planning a trip to Walt Disney World can feel overwhelming. Hopefully by breaking your day down into these steps, you will find the planning slightly easier.




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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