PlanningThe ParksTips

Disney Planning Advice You Can Ignore

You announced that you are taking the family to Walt Disney World and now everyone you know seems to have an opinion on where to stay, what you have to do and they aren’t afraid to share it with you.

We think planning and getting advice about Walt Disney World is important (thus all our posts offering tips and suggestions), but we also think there are some pieces of advice you can ignore.

Take a look at some of the top Walt Disney World advice you might be given and why you can ignore it.

Walt Disney World Monorail

You Have to Spend Big to Stay On Property

Walt Disney World has so many amazing Resorts to choose from that there are options for every budget.  Don’t believe people when they say that you have to spend big to stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel.

Walt Disney World does a great job of offering a variety of Resorts that can fit into a variety of budgets.

If you want to spend big you can look at Disney’s Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts where you receive the top amenities, easy access to the Theme Parks and some of the best pools and dining on property.

Looking to save some money, but still be within the Disney bubble?  Disney offers the value resorts such as the All-Stars and Pop Century.  These are budget friendly resorts that still have the magic of Disney with amazing theming, fun pools and free transportation to the Theme Parks.

For something in between, Guests can enjoy the moderate resorts.  These Resorts find their price point in between the high end deluxe resorts and the value resorts and offer slightly more amenities (including slides in the pools) than the values.

Don’t get stuck thinking that you have to spend big in order to stay in at a Walt Disney World Resort.  Disney offers a variety of different resorts so all budgets can enjoy the magic.

Kilimanjaro Safaris Night Time
credit: Disney

Park Hoppers Are A Must

Another piece of advice that you can ignore is that everyone should purchase a park hopper.  Park hoppers are an additional feature that Guests can choose to add to their Walt Disney World ticket purchase.  This feature allows Guests to hop (move between) the four Disney Theme Parks after 2 pm.

Although for some people having a park hopper is a must, it isn’t a requirement for everyone during their Walt Disney World vacation.

Take some time to think about how your family will experience the different Theme Parks.  If you have little ones or have larger groups, Park Hopping can be difficult to do.  It takes time to move between parks which takes away your time enjoying the rides and experiences within the Disney Park.

Don’t get sucked into thinking that the only way to experience Walt Disney World is by having a Park Hopper.  Think about what touring plans will work for your family and then determine if a Park Hopper Ticket fits into that plan.

credit: Disney

Genie+ Is Needed Everyday

A new feature that everyone seems to have an opinion about is Genie+.  This is a paid feature that Guests can add onto their ticket package for $15/day/person.  With this purchase, Guests are given access to the Lightning Lanes (physical line to a ride) for over 40 attractions throughout Walt Disney World.

Genie+ can be a great purchase if you are visiting during a busy time of the year or if you have a limited amount of time in Walt Disney World, but don’t get stuck thinking you have to have it everyday.

At $15/day/person the cost can really add up for a family so think about if and when Genie+ would be the most beneficial.  We have some dates HERE that we think might be helpful throughout the year.

Knowing which Disney Parks Genie+ will be more helpful is also something to be aware of before purchasing it.  Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios have a lot more attractions that use Genie+ compared to EPCOT and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  This might mean you could save money by not purchasing it for those two Theme Parks.

Take time to learn about Genie+ and what it has to offer before jumping in and purchasing it for your trip.

credit: Paula Kennedy

Table Service Meals Are the Way to Go

A lot of people might tell you that the only way to have a “good” meal at Walt Disney World is if you book table service meals.  This isn’t true at all.

There are some amazing, award winning table service locations throughout Walt Disney World; however, that doesn’t mean you have to eat at them for each and every meal.

Table service meals are both time consuming and expensive.  Think about how you want to spend your time and money on vacation before you get so many meals scheduled that you aren’t enjoying the Parks.

Disney has a variety of great quick service locations throughout the Theme Parks and Resorts that offer fresh, delicious options.  From Flame Tree Barbecue and Satu’li Canteen in Disney’s Animal Kingdom to sleeper hits such as Sleepy Hollow and the Spring Roll Cart in Magic Kingdom, you will be able to find good food options without having a sit down meal planned.

Credit: Disney

You Have To…

The final piece of advice we are going to tell you to ignore is a big one.  All those comments that start with “you have to….”.  Know that you don’t have to do anything anyone suggests to tell you about.  This is your vacation and you get to determine how you spend it.

Everyone has their favorite ride, show, snack or meal that they will want to share with you and tell you it is a must do, but it doesn’t have to be for you.

Each and every Walt Disney World vacation is unique and different and just as magical as the next.  As you are hearing about everyone’s must dos, consider if it is something that you will enjoy and have that guide you on if it is something to put on your plans or not.

You can’t see and do everything in Walt Disney World, so you don’t want to spend your vacation trying to fit in everyone else’s must-dos.  Instead, have your plans in mind and stick to what will make you happy.  If that’s sitting on Main Street, U.S.A. eating ice cream or sleeping in everyday it doesn’t matter as long as you are happy.

Planning a vacation to Walt Disney World can be a lot of work and sometimes overwhelming when everyone is offering advice and suggestions.  We hope this helps you think about what advice you can ignore and how to make sure your vacation is one that will suit you the best.

If you are looking for more tips and tricks, check out some of our planning posts such as How and When to Plan Your Disney Vacation or Secret Tips and even Packing Advice from Pros!

Happy Planning!

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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