For many people, Disney World vacation planning can seem like a lot of work. It is vacation after all, right? You just want to throw caution to the wind and go with the flow!
Well, I’m not saying you can’t do that at all at Disney World, but some basic planning in advance will pay off in the long run. Planning a last minute vacation is certainly doable, but I always recommend that my clients plan at least 2-3 months in advance. That gives you ample time to get the best deals on hotel, reserve your dining, put together an itinerary, make your Fastpass selections and work out all the small details of your trip.
Have you ever heard the saying “If you don’t plan, you plan to fail”? Well, that kind of rings true if you don’t do any planning for your Disney trip. You could be setting yourself up to have a horrible time and who wants that? Here is what could end up ruining your Disney vacation if you do not plan in advance:
Waiting in long lines. Every guest has access to Fastpass +. If you purchase your park tickets in advance and have them linked on you’re my Disney Experience account, you’ll be able to set up 3 Fastpasses per day. That will allow you to ride those rides with very little wait. If you pick rides than tend to have very long stand-by lines, then you will save yourself a lot of time, which means more time for other attractions. No one wants to spend the majority of their time in the park waiting in a line, so use Fastpass + because it is available to you.
Not being able to get in to the restaurants of your choice. Most of the sit-down restaurants at Disney World require a reservation to get a table. Sure, there are instances where you can get a table by just walking up, but it is never a guarantee. The most popular restaurants are very busy and a reservation will be your only ticket in. If there are certain restaurants that you think you may want to try, book a reservation in advance and secure your spot.
Miss out on shows and special experiences. If you don’t plan out a rough itinerary of what you want to see in the parks, than chances are you don’t know all that each park has to offer. If you don’t take the time to research, then there is a lot you could miss out on. Parks have parades, fireworks shows, special seasonal events, dessert parties… the list goes on and on. If you have a good travel agent, then they’ll make sure to let you know about what’s going on and what to look for. There is so much great entertainment at Disney, so catch as much as you can by finding out beforehand what there is to see.
Miss out on discounts. Disney is always offering promos and discounts for the following season. There is always a “book by” date, so you want to make sure you don’t miss that. You can save 10-20% off your vacation, which means more spending money in your pocket!
May not be able to use all your dining credits if on the dining plan. If you have the Disney dining plan that gives you a table service credit every day, then making dining reservations is essential! You don’t want to get turned down every day at the sit-down restaurants because there is no room. If that happens, by the end of your vacation, you would not of gotten full use of the dining plan you purchased. Set yourself up for success and make those dining reservations. Dining reservations can be made as early as 180 days out.
Getting caught up during high crowds. Planning what dates you will visit Disney is one of the most important decisions you could make. If you don’t properly look in to it and plan it in advance, you could end up during a very heavy crowd season. Choosing the right time of year can save you a lot of headaches from high crowds and make the parks much more manageable.
Having tired children from all the walking and heat. You’ll want to have a plan as to how you want to tour the parks. Plan ahead and strongly consider if you need a stroller or not. At home, your child may no longer be in a stroller, but they may need one at Disney because it is an immense amount of walking. Avoid having to deal with a cranky child by renting a stroller in advance so that they can just jump in and rest when needed. It will make the whole family a lot happier! For stroller rentals, check out Magic Strollers. They deliver the stroller right to your hotel and pick it up when you are done.
If planning in advance sounds like an impossible task for you, then strongly consider booking through a travel agent. The agents at a Disney earmarked agency such as Click the Mouse will take care of all the advanced planning for you. They will make sure you are on track with reservations and make the planning fun. Get in touch with them today for a quote and let them help you get started planning your next magical vacation!
What did you forget to plan on your last Disney vacation that you regretted? Let us know in the comments below!
Laura is a mom of one adorable girl with a love of all things Disney. She traveled to Disney World with her family in 2010 and was hooked. They have since been a total of 9 times. With all her knowledge of planning Disney trips, she has now become a travel agent so that she can help other families plan magical vacations. She’ll not only help complete your booking, but she will also help with booking Fastpasses, making dining reservations, booking special experiences…. she helps with all aspects of your trip! You can request a no obligation quote from her today 🙂