Disney World 101 – What You Need To Know When Planning Your Vacation

There are countless ways in which you can enjoy this magical place... here's how to get started planning your trip!

Walt Disney World Resort is “the place where dreams come true”. You’ve probably heard it a million times before, but there’s a reason why everyone says it. And it’s a place that caters to serve almost every dream out there, too. In other words, no two trips are the same, and there are countless ways in which you can enjoy this magical place. But where do you start?

While Authorized Disney Vacation Planners are extremely helpful, it’s a good idea to at least do some planning yourself first before setting the wheels of your adventure in motion. From preparing an itinerary to familiarizing yourself with the resort map, it’s always best to “be prepared”. But don’t worry – this article has your “bare necessities” covered!

5. What Magic Awaits

Deciding on your target attractions and experiences isn’t something that’s best left until the moment you arrive at Walt Disney World Resort. After all, not only is the resort one of the busiest places on the entire planet, it’s all too easy to visit the Disney Parks and miss something completely. Perhaps you’ll forget to add it to your itinerary, or maybe you simply don’t know it exists!

Start your itinerary by checking to see what’s available on the official Walt Disney World Resort website. While of course you’ll have an idea of what you want to see and do, the resort is an ever-changing place. Knowing the ins and outs of your adventure will help determine all the other facets of your trip, too, from the length of your stay to what tickets you’ll need.

Walt Disney Resort Monorail

4. How the Resort is Laid Out

Understanding how Walt Disney World Resort is laid out might not seem that important, but it’s actually more helpful than you realize. For starters, it could help you decide which Disney Resort Hotel is best for you, and will even massively influence your itinerary. Think of it as a treasure map – just one with countless “X’s” that mark the spots!

In a nutshell, the resort is home to four theme parks, two water parks and the entertainment district Disney Springs, as well as over 25 Disney Resort Hotels. There’s a transportation network to help you out, though, which includes the Walt Disney World Monorail, Disney Bus Transportation and Water Transportation. And then there’s the My Disney Experience app, which will help you navigate as you go.

3. How to Enhance & Maximize the Magic

There are many forms of magic available to help you plan your trip, and which are also designed to help you get the most out of it. Remember that you’ll spend a lot of time waiting in line, you’ll be taking more pictures than humanly possible, and, above all, that Walt Disney World Resort is huge (don’t ever take “it’s a small world” too literally!). So it’s fair to say that you’ll need a helping hand!

From paper maps and mobile apps and PhotoPass to FastPass+, there’s a whole world of magic waiting. Navigate the parks with the My Disney Experience app and turn wait time into play time with the Play Disney Parks app. “Dash” through those queues with FastPass+, use your MagicBand to make purchases, and let your digital downloads go “to infinity and beyond” with Memory Maker.

Walt Disney World's Grand Floridian Resort and Friendship Boat

2. Where to Stay

There are many benefits to staying at a Disney Resort Hotel. These include being able to make FastPass+ bookings up to 60 days in advance (it’s 30 days for non-hotel guests), receiving free MagicBands, and activities like Movies Under the Stars. But two of the biggest benefits are being close to your preferred Disney Park and enjoying Extra Magic Hours.

A number of factors will determine which Disney Resort Hotel is suitable for you, such as cost, but there are plenty of Disney Value Resorts to choose from. You might also consider Universal Orlando Resort as part of your adventure, so check out Disney’s Good Neighbor Hotels, too. Whichever you choose, expect a world-class service – after all, you’ll “be their guest”!

1. The Different Tickets on Offer

Once you’ve ironed out all the above, it’s time to look at what tickets are available for entry to Walt Disney World Resort. Before you do that, though, you will of course need to have a budget in mind, and an idea of how long you want to go for. But just remember – it’s cheaper to buy multi-day tickets than singles.

Want to see all four theme parks and the water parks and experiences throughout? No problem! Want a ticket that allows up to 21 days access to all the parks? You got it! Or perhaps you’ll only want to visit for just the one day. Whatever you do, don’t forget to make other bookings in advance, such as extras like Disney Dining Plans and attractions like Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire.

Planning your Walt Disney World Resort vacation is all part of the fun, so follow these tips to avoid getting your hair all “tangled” up in the process!

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