Where do I Begin?
Many people have asked me that question about planning a Disney World vacation. I get so excited to share all the information running around my brain that I start talking a mile a minute and after just a few minutes I can see the person’s eye glaze over and their expression turn to one of confusion.
If there was a formula that you could plug personal data into and it would give you the perfect vacation then sign me up too. It doesn’t exist because everyone wants different things when they go on a trip. That is also definitely true for Disney vacations. Some people want to relax and enjoy whatever comes up and others want every minute planned out so they don’t miss a thing.
Here are a few things to start thinking about so you can make the most of your Disney trip with a style that is right for your family.
- Decide the time of year you can go to Disney- Each season has something to offer folks going to the Disney parks. Pick a time that works for your family and don’t worry about the crowd levels. Disney has special events throughout the year that make even the “less crowded” times crowded. Some of these are based around a holiday like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (separate admission ticket required), Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (separate admission ticket required). Some are scheduled at certain times of the year including Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival (Spring), Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival (Fall), Run Disney weekends (Fall and Winter), and Star Wars events (Various Times).
- Decide your budget for the resort where you will stay- I suggest staying on Disney property so you can use the transportation system. This includes buses, boats, monorails, and the soon to be Skyliner (gondola lift system). You can park your car and not have to drive until you leave to go home. The Disney properties are divided into three categories: Value resorts, Moderate resorts and Deluxe resorts, there are even campsites at Fort Wilderness where you can tent camp or bring your own RV. This means that there is a resort for everyone’s budget.
- Decide your meal preferences- You may want to eat at quick service (counter service) restaurants for every meal or choose sit-down signature meals every day. Your family may want to buy the Disney Dining Plan or bring your own food to the resort and then into the parks for some of your meals. There are restaurants that have culturally specific foods, buffets, family style dining, luaus, BBQ’s, character meet and greets while you eat, quiet places and even fun and games while you dine. Whatever you decide works for your family is the right way to go. You know if your family members are big breakfast eaters or big snackers and can make choices with those things in mind.
- Decide park tickets- There are single day tickets which allow a person to go to one park for one day. There are park hopper tickets that allow a person to go to all the parks in one day, you can even get one that has admission to the water parks. There are ticket plans that you purchase for the length of your resort stay that include all parks and water parks. There are annual passes with different levels that include perks like memory maker (photo pass), magic bands, discounts on merchandise, black- out dates, etc.
- Decide the type of experience you want to have- Do you want to see everything you possibly can and schedule every minute of your trip or do you want to relax and take a break from schedules? You can obviously combine these two aspects into the ”perfect vacation” for you. For example, you can go to the parks in the morning and back to your resort for relaxing pool time in the afternoons then back to the parks for the evening. You can take advantage of park hours and get up early or sleep in late and stay in the parks sometimes past midnight. Again, whatever you decide for your family is the right choice.
In our upcoming blog posts we’ll give you tips to help with these decisions, and more, including Disney Dining Plan pros and cons, restaurant reviews, ride reviews, my Disney experience app suggestions, resort information, special events and dates so you can plan the best trip possible!
Meet you on Main!