PlanningThe ParksTips

We Have the Answers You Need For Planning Your Disney Trip

So much planning goes into a Walt Disney World vacation. If you are in charge of the planning, it might feel like you have taken on a part-time job. Trying to determine where to eat, where to stay, what to ride, and if you want to experience a special event.

To help you plan an unforgettable Disney vacation, we have answers to the most frequently asked questions when planning a Walt Disney World vacation and responses to those questions.

Our goal is to help you have a fantastic Disney vacation.

Photo Credit: Travelocity

When Should I Go?

Trying to figure out when you want to visit Walt Disney World is step one of planning. Most of us prefer to visit when the Parks are less busy. If you can avoid it when kids are out of school (holidays, spring break, and summer), this can help with crowds.

Look at the Disney calendar to see if you can avoid some significant events, such as runDisney weekends, that bring in larger crowds that you might not anticipate.

Consider visiting mid-week instead of over the weekend. Doing this can be helpful when it comes to avoiding large, local crowds.

Generations at Magic Kingdom
Credit: Disney

How Many Days Should We Visit?

Another central question when planning a Walt Disney World trip is how many days a trip should be. No matter how long you plan for, know that you won’t be able to see and do everything that Disney has to offer.

If you look at the fact that Disney offers four Theme Parks, we would recommend staying at least four to five days to visit all four Parks. That is a reasonable amount of time if you want to see each Disney Park once; however, we recommend more of a 6-7 day trip if you wish to visit them more than once.

Staying longer allows Guests to enjoy the Resorts and the Theme Parks, giving them room to revisit some of their favorites.

disney moderate resorts
Credit: Disney

Where To Stay?

Once you have determined when to go and how long you want to visit, the next big decision is where to stay. This is a tricky question: Disney has many excellent Resorts to choose from throughout the Walt Disney World Resort Property.

When looking at this question, start by narrowing down which Resort category will fit your needs. Disney has three different types: value, moderate, and deluxe. Each class offers price points and different amenities for Guests to choose from.

As you look at where you want to stay, think about your budget and what you need for your Walt Disney World Resort. For those wanting a lower price point, look at the value resorts. These provide all the Disney magic without a considerable cost.

Moderate Resorts provide bigger rooms with more amenities such as dining options, more pools, and even slides at those pools. These are great if you want to spend some more time relaxing at your Disney Resort but don’t want to spend much money.

For the best of the best, you will want to stay at one of Disney’s Deluxe resorts. These are the highest price points but with good reason. The Deluxe Resorts are often closer to the Parks and offer unique transportation options like boats, Disney Skyliner, or monorail.

Deluxe Resorts have the top amenities for Guests and some of the best dining options at Walt Disney World. If you want to feel like royalty, these are the Resorts for you.

All of the Disney Resorts, from value to deluxe, are magical. Figure out what is important to your family to help narrow down where you want to stay during your Disney vacation.

Credit: Disney

What Should I Pack?

This is a tricky question depending on when you are traveling to Walt Disney World. Our overall response is a little of everything.

Starting in mid-March, sometimes through November, you get hot and humid conditions. These days are tough in Theme Parks, and you must pack accordingly. Make sure you have items to help keep you battling the elements. Cooling towels, fans, and water bottles is essential during summer.

The rest of the year, the temperatures are all over the place. And yes, it can get cold in Florida. If you travel during the winter months, bring all the layers. A coat, gloves, and hats can keep you warm when the sun goes down early.

Finally, there is rain. Starting in the summer months and running through fall and even into winter, you can sometimes expect rain during the day at the Theme Parks. Have umbrellas, rain jackets, ponchos, etc, to ensure you can keep moving in the rain.

Overall, we like to prepare for any weather when we head down to Disney World, but maybe that’s why we are considered over-packers.

four parks
Credit: Disney

Do I Have To Pay For  A Park Reservation?

A new aspect of planning a Walt Disney World trip is ensuring you have Park Reservations. Guests now need to purchase a Park Ticket and make a Park Reservation. These are part of your ticket, but you must complete the reservation through My Disney Experience.

Guests must choose one of the four Disney Parks for each day of their ticket. This helps Disney monitor crowds. You must reserve these as soon as you have purchased your theme park tickets. This will give you the most available within the Theme Parks.


What Are Genie+ and Individual Lighting Lanes?

This is a big question when it comes to Walt Disney World now. We have a lot of detailed posts about how to use these new features, but let’s do a quick rundown of what they offer.

Disney Genie is a free planning feature in the My Disney Experience app. Guests can use this to find suggestions for touring the Theme Parks, including rides, entertainment, and food.

Genie+ is a paid feature that Guests can add to their day starting at midnight. Pricing for Genie+ ranges from $15 to $22, depending on how busy the Parks are anticipated to be. This gives Guests access to Lightning Lanes for over 40 attractions in the four Theme Parks during their Disney trip. Lightning Lanes are the actual queue lines that bypass the Standby Lines, providing Guests with a shortened Wait Time.

Individual Lightning Lanes currently include one ride in each of the four Disney Parks that aren’t included with Genie+. Guests can choose to purchase this al-a-carte to bypass the standby lines. Costs for these range from $7 up to mid $20s, depending on the day.

To learn more about these offerings, check out How to Disney for many tips and tricks.

These are the answers you need when planning your trip to Walt Disney World. We hope that this 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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