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Important Walt Disney World Planning Tips That Will Save Your Trip

As you plan for your Walt Disney World vacation, you must be prepared. There are so many tips and tricks about Disney vacations that it can be overwhelming. We will give you the essential tips that can significantly impact your trip.

Take time as you plan and prepare to think about these critical pieces of information. When you process the impact they will have on your trip ahead of time, you will have a great experience at Walt Disney World.Disney World Map

Walt Disney World is Massive

Something that many people don’t understand when planning is that Walt Disney World is huge. With four theme parks, two water parks, over 30 Disney resorts, and Disney Springs, the Walt Disney World Resort truly is a whole city.

Because it is so big, it will take some time to get from place to place while visiting. Make sure you keep this in mind when you are planning your Disney vacation. Understand that getting anywhere in Disney takes a few minutes – or longer- to get anywhere.

Travel time between your Disney resort and your  Disney park of choice can take 10 to 30 minutes of transportation time. Keep this in mind when you are scheduling your dining or breaks in the day.

Another area that this will impact will be walking. Don’t think you will just jump back and forth from the different lands in Magic Kingdom or EPCOT, as it will take a while to get there. Most Guests walk between 8 to 12 miles a day!

We assume your daily life probably doesn’t include this for everyone in your family, so plan some downtime to allow those feet to rest. The big Disney tip here is don’t rush during your Disney vacation- know that everything will take longer than you think, and that is okay because you are still in the magic.

If you aren’t prepared for how massive Walt Disney World is, it can impact your overall experience. Go in knowing that it is a magical city, which means time for transportation and walking each day.

Look at the Refurbishment List

We are grateful that Walt Disney World is constantly updating, adding, and adjusting rides, shows, attractions, dining, and resorts to create the best experience possible for guests. For this to happen, experiences have to close at different times.

Before arriving at Walt Disney World, jump on the website to check out the refurbishment list. This will give you a breakdown of what might be closed during your trip.

Knowing this will help prevent significant meltdowns if a favorite ride is closed when you are visiting. If you know this beforehand, you can communicate that and won’t be surprised when you arrive at the theme park.

Closures can significantly impact your experience if you aren’t prepared. Take time to look over the list before booking your resort, dining, and park days.

Early Theme Park Entry Sign, Disney's Hollywood Studios
Credit: V Mills

Be Aware of Extra Park Time

When planning your park days, make sure you are well aware that you might be able to get extra time in the park. Walt Disney World Resort guests can enjoy early entry every morning at all four Disney Parks. 

Early entry allows guests to enter all four Disney parks thirty minutes before the posted opening. If you aren’t aware of this, it can significantly impact your day. You don’t want to show up at the park thinking you will rope drop, only to discover it has been open for a while already.

Also, if you stay at a deluxe Disney resort, check out the extended evening hours. Disney offers guests of these resorts extended time in the parks on select evenings. This is a fantastic way to experience low crowds and cooler temperatures.

If you aren’t aware of these additional park times, you might be surprised when you show up for the day.

Disney Springs Marketplace
Credit: V Mills

Visit More Than the Four Parks

As you plan for your Walt Disney World vacation, make sure you have time scheduled to enjoy experiences outside of the Disney parks. Walt Disney World is so much more than those four magical parks; many guests never experience it.

Start with the Disney resorts. If you are staying at one of Disney’s excellent resorts, schedule some time to enjoy it during your trip. Take time to swim at the pool, enjoy the poolside activities, and even have a meal. There are also activities throughout the resort days, and you can often catch a movie under the stars at night.

Disney Springs also has so much to offer, from fantastic shopping, outstanding dining, and great entertainment; you will want to take some time to visit.

Also, visit other Disney resorts for a meal or to look around. These resorts are themed so well and are genuinely part of the magic. These are great experiences that Guests often miss out on.

Take some time on your vacation outside of the four Disney parks to truly enjoy all the magic Walt Disney World has to offer.

Kid at Magic Kingdom

It Won’t Be Perfect

Finally, another major planning tip that will greatly impact your trip is understanding that your trip won’t be perfect, and you need to be okay with that before heading down. No matter how much you plan, unexpected things happen, and that’s okay.

Give yourself some grace and take in the magic all around you. Even if your plans are thrown out the window, you have done your research and will be able to navigate just fine.

Don’t go into the trip thinking everything will work out as you have planned. Kids and adults get tired, it could rain, your kid might want to ride Dumbo seven times- and all those things won’t take away from the magic.

Sometimes, the most magical moments are those we don’t plan for and just come around and surprise us.

When planning for your upcoming Walt Disney World vacation, make sure you think through these tips. By doing so ahead of your trip, you will have a much more enjoyable and less stressful experience.


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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