DiningPlanningThe ParksTips

Quick Dos and Don’ts of Planning a Day at Disney

It can be slightly overwhelming when you dive into your daily plans for your upcoming Walt Disney World vacation. We don’t want this magical trip to be stressful to think about. To help with the planning process, we have some quick dos and don’ts.

These simple tips help you plan a great time at Walt Disney World.

Winged Encounters Tree of Life, Disney's Animal Kingdom
Credit: V Mills

Do Check and Recheck Park Hours

Make sure that you frequently check the park hours. Walt Disney World is constantly updating and changing them. This can happen even up to the day before your trip. Disney will adjust accordingly as they get a better feel for crowd levels.

Typically, this means extended park hours. If you don’t keep check, you might show up at the park with it open. You might think the park is closing for the evening, only to learn you have a few more hours.

This is also important for evening experiences. Make sure that you double-check when fireworks are going to take place. Sometimes, the parks close early for special events, and these nighttime shows are adjusted. You don’t want to miss out on these fantastic nighttime shows, so keep checking the app to get the most recent show times.

four parks
Credit: Disney

Don’t Purchase a Park Hopper Just Because

Many guests enjoy having the Park Hopper option on their ticket. This feature allows them to travel between Disney parks each day. This is an excellent option for many guests visiting Walt Disney World; however, it isn’t for everyone.

Before adding additional features to your ticket, consider your park plans. You won’t need the hopper if you feel you will spend a whole day at each park. Park hopping takes time and energy. If you are traveling with little ones, it can be a lot of work. Think through your plans to make sure that a Park Hopper will be the best option for you.

pork two ways Disney World California Grill

Do Plan Dining

Make sure you have a plan no matter what type of dining you prefer. For those wanting to experience sit-down meals, you must make those reservations 60 days before you arrive at Walt Disney World. Many of the top restaurants at Walt Disney World book up months ahead. Because of this, you will want to have a plan and be ready to make reservations early.

If you don’t care to have sit-down meals, you will still want to have a meal plan. Make sure you understand mobile ordering through the My Disney Experience app. This will allow you to place your order beforehand, saving time during the day.

food plan is essential to a successful and less stressful experience at Disney. Show up with a plan so you don’t have meltdowns when everyone is starving.

Disney Skyliner and Disney Monorail
Disney Skyliner and Disney Monorail

Don’t Forget Transportation Time

As you make your plans, remember to schedule in time for transportation. Walt Disney World is huge, and because of that, transportation takes some time. Waiting for a bus, boat, monorail, or skyliner can take time. If you are heading to a park or dining reservation, you will want to make sure you have scheduled in time to get there.

Disney recommends at least 90 minutes between resorts when using Disney transportation. You will feel rushed and stressed if you don’t plan for this. Instead, before you arrive, make sure you know what your transportation options are from your Disney resort. Knowing these options will set you up for success when you arrive.

It is excellent that Disney provides free transportation throughout the Walt Disney World Resort, but it is essential to know how to use it successfully.

Mickey Mouse with Kids
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Do Stick to Your Routine

It can be easy to throw out your regular schedule when making your daily plans. This can be a huge mistake. When visiting Walt Disney World, stick to your family’s schedule and routine as much as possible.

If you have little ones that still nap, ensure you don’t skip those when in Disney. Naps are crucial for everyone at Disney. Don’t expect your little one to power through the day without rest. You will end up with a furious and upset little one.

The same goes for mealtime. Try to keep in mind your regular eating schedule when making plans at Disney. You can use those times to predict when your family will be hungry. Knowing this can allow you to be prepared with your mobile orders or reservations ahead of time,

Stick to your routine as much as you can when in Disney. Doing this will help keep everyone happy.

Family at Animal Kingdom
Credit: Disney

Don’t Over-Plan

Finally, make sure that you don’t over-plan. It can be easy to want to see and do it all when at Walt Disney World. The reality is that you won’t be able to, no matter how long your trip is. Instead of trying to fit it all in, focus on a few daily must-dos.

Go into each day with an overall plan. Know what rides, shows, attractions, snacks, and food you want to focus on. Make sure you get those few items done. Once you have done your must-do list, have fun relaxing and exploring.

As we mentioned before, having time for naps is essential. Ensure your plans include time for the pool and exploring your Disney resort.

Having a schedule that is too planned is stressful. Don’t set yourself up for frustration. Leave room for flexibility and magic to find you.

Those are some quick dos and don’ts to help you as you plan your Walt Disney World vacation. We hope that they will help you as you plan a magical trip.




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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