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Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Disney Trip

Are you thinking about planning a trip to Walt Disney World but trying to figure out where to start? There are a lot of big decisions that go into planning a trip to Walt Disney World. These decisions can become stressful and overwhelming if you aren’t prepared.

We will provide the ultimate guide for planning your Walt Disney World trip. This will give you an easy way to plan your trip without overwhelming you. The goal is to help you feel more prepared and ready to make those decisions to plan your Walt Disney World trip.

Credit: Disney

When To Go

The first decision you must make is determining when you want to go to Walt Disney World. Most of us would prefer to travel when crowds are lighter. If you aren’t restricted to school breaks, consider planning your trip when school is in session.

Next, think about if there are specific events that you want to make sure you experience at Walt Disney World. Holidays are an extra magical time. Consider what EPCOT festival you might want to visit and plan accordingly.

Don’t forget to think through the weather when choosing when you want to visit. Summer months get extremely hot and humid, making experiencing the Parks difficult for some. On the other hand, remember that hurricane season runs from the summer through November. Typically you will see the highest impact during September.

No matter when you want to visit, think about the weather so you know what to expect when visiting. We have great posts on How to Disney about managing rain, summer heat, and even cooler days. Check those out for additional help.

Pluto and Goofy outside of Disney's Grand Floridian Resort
Pluto and Goofy outside of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Which Resort to Book

After you know when you want to visit, the next major decision is determining where you want to stay. Walt Disney World offers so many amazing Resorts to choose from, and they range in pricing and amenities, so you can find one that is perfect for you.

Disney Resorts are divided into value, moderate, and deluxe. Value Resorts are budget friendly and offer an excellent option for those wanting to save money but still stay at a Disney Resort.

Moderate Resorts offer a little bit more when it comes to amenities. They have larger rooms, pools with slides, and multiple dining options.

Deluxe Resorts are the best that Disney has to offer Guests. These are considered a home away from home. They have the best rooms, pools, dining, and location to the Parks.

As you determine which Disney Resort is the best for you, consider your goals for your trip. Do you want to spend all your time in the Parks? Do you want some excellent pool time? Knowing this before determining what Resort to stay at will help narrow your options.

Credit: Disney Dining

Adding Tickets

You will want to add Disney tickets to your Disney Resort. Disney has different ticket options for Guests to get the most out of their stay.

Base tickets allow Guests to visit one Disney Park per day. If you prefer to stay at one of the four central Parks all day, this is the best option for your family.

A Park hopper can be added to your ticket. This would allow you to hop between the four Parks after two. This is a good option if you want to hit a Park in the morning but have the option to see the fireworks at a second Park that evening.

Guests looking to experience all that Disney offers can also choose to add on the water Park and sports feature that allows Guests to visit the Disney water parks, the mini golf courses, the footgolf course, and Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course.

You can choose how many days and features you want when booking your package.

Memory Maker Family
Photo Credit: Disney

Memory Maker

Another feature that Guests can choose to add to their Walt Disney World vacation is Memory Maker. This is $169 and gives Guests access to all their photo pass photos taken throughout the trip.

This includes all the on-ride photos and any photos taken by the amazing Disney photo pass photographers. These fantastic Cast Members are found throughout the Disney Parks and take beautiful pictures of the whole family.

We love how Memory Maker allows the whole family to get in the pictures together. It is a beautiful souvenir and one we highly recommend.

Credit: mears-bus


Finally, a big decision new for many traveling to Walt Disney World is transportation from the airport. Walt Disney World used to provide an accessible transportation system called Magical Express. Now it is up to the Guests to determine how they would like to get to their Walt Disney World Resort.

Mears Connect and Sunshine Flyer are motorcoach options that Guests can book online before their vacation. Once Guests arrive at Orlando International Airport, they will head down and check in. From there, they will be directed to a motorcoach to take them to their Resort. These are shared modes of transportation, so you will have to wait your turn.


Guests can also book private transportation. Many companies provide private transportation from the airport directly to your Walt Disney World Resort. Many even allow for a stop at a grocery store for supplies.

You can also choose to use a ride-share option. These are typically easy to get at the airport, but remember that you might run across surge pricing.

No matter which method is best for you, once you have booked your flights and Disney Resort, make sure you also plan your transportation.

Those are the major decisions that you have to make when it comes to your Walt Disney World vacation. We hope this helps break it down into more straightforward, manageable choices. As always, check out How to Disney for more details on Disney Resorts, planning tips, and so much more.




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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