PlanningThe ParksTips

How To Prepare For Your Disney Vacation

There is so much that goes into a Walt Disney World vacation.  It can be hard to keep track of it all.  Don’t worry though!  We have a nice breakdown of what you need to do to prepare for your Walt Disney World vacation.  Use this to have a step-by-step checklist of what to do so that when you arrive at the magic you are ready for a wonderful time.

Planning Disney
Credit: Fab5

Before Booking

Before you even book your stay at Walt Disney World, there are a few things that you will want to think through.

Budget:  Don’t head to the Walt Disney World Resort without a budget in mind.  Knowing what your budget is before looking at where to stay, what to eat, and what fun experiences to add will help you stay within your goal.  It is easy to get wrapped up in the magic and forget to stick to a budget if you don’t have one before you arrive.

Gran Destino Tower
Credit: Disney

Where to Stay:  After determining your budget, it is time to figure out where you want to stay.  The great thing about Walt Disney World is that there is a Disney Resort for every budget, every style, and every family dynamic.

Take time to learn about the different Disney Resorts (we have some great posts on How to Disney) so you can figure out the best Resort for your family.  Think about which Disney Parks you want to visit, sleeping arrangements that will help everyone stay rested, and of course if the pool and amenities meet your needs.

The Walt Disney World Resorts are all part of the magic so don’t miss out!

four parks
Credit: Disney

Park Tickets:  Once you know where you are staying, it is time to figure out your Disney tickets.  The main decisions that Guests have to make regarding tickets are how many days and if they want to add Park hoppers.

If you are wanting to visit all four Disney Parks, we highly recommend staying for four days at least.  This gives you one full day to visit each of the four Parks.

For those that like a little variety or travelers that want to have more flexibility, the Park Hopper is a nice addition.  These allow Guests to hop from one Disney Park to another Disney Park after 2 pm.

Although we love traveling with a Park Hopper, it isn’t for everyone.  Really think about your travel style, and your travel party, and then determine if it is right for you.

credit Disney

After Booking:

Now that you know when you are going and where you are staying, it is time to start planning out some details.

Set up My Disney Experience:  Guests will want to make sure that they have their My Disney Experience account set up and ready to go.  Following booking a package with Walt Disney World (or an amazing travel agent), Guests will want to sign on to My Disney Experience.

Once they have done this, they will need to make sure that they have their friends and family all loaded in.  After that is done, Guests can link their reservations using the confirmation number.

Make Park Pass Reservations:  One of the next major steps after getting your My Disney Experience account set up is making sure you have made Park pass reservations.  Guests are required to have both a valid theme Park ticket as well as a Park Pass Reservation.  This means choosing one of the four Disney Parks for each of your Park days.  These are both needed in order to get into a Disney Park.  As some get filled up, it is essential to do this early on in the planning process.

Hollywood and Vine
Credit: Disney

Dining:  Everyone loves eating at Walt Disney World.  There are so many amazing options to choose from throughout the four Disney Parks. Disney Springs, and the Disney Resorts.  Take time to do some research (we have posts HERE on top restaurants) so you know where you want to eat.

At 60 days prior to check-in, Guests can log into their My Disney Experience account and make dining reservations.  Although two months early might seem like way too early to be deciding where to eat, it is important to do so as many popular restaurants book up quickly.

My Disney Experience:  My Disney Experience is the official app of Walt Disney World.  Once Guests have booked and are ready to visit Walt Disney World, we highly recommend they download the app.  There is so much information available to Guests on the app that it will be frustrating if you wait until you arrive at Walt Disney World to use it.

Take time at home to look through where features are located and how to access the information you might want.  Doing so ahead of time will make a big difference during your trip.

Disney Genie
Credit: Disney

Genie+:  A new feature that Guests need to prepare for is Genie+.  This feature is the new way Guests can bypass the standby lines using a lightning lane in the four Theme Parks.  Genie+ is an additional fee that Guests can add at midnight and start making reservations at 7 am.

There is a lot that goes into Genie+ and to get the most out of it we highly recommend taking time to learn about how to use it and what it has to offer.  It can save a lot of time in line if Guests know how it works.

A lot goes into a Walt Disney World vacation.  Use these steps to help break down what you need to do along the way so you aren’t stressed out when you arrive.

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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