So, you have decided to take a Magical Vacation to Walt Disney World. Great choice! But wait, as you work with your very own travel advisor from Magical Vacation Planner, consider these Top Ten Tips for a successful and enjoyable vacation.
10. Start Planning Early
Start planning your Walt Disney World vacation as early as possible. Did you know that you can book your package out as far as 499 days from travel? This early booking is often a greater value than a promotional discount, but your Magical Vacation Planner can apply any discount promotion, even after booking, to see if you can save money! The deposit to create the reservation, which guarantees the package and the price against any increases, is only $200. It’s like a free layaway plan for your Disney vacation.
9. My Disney Experience Account
Do you have a My Disney Experience account? If not, now is the time to create one! Your MVP can help you get started. Once your account is created, you will want to link your reservation confirmation to your account. After matching your travel party with your friends and family, you can start planning!
8. Make Your Park Reservations Early
You’ll want to make your park reservations in your My Disney Experience app as soon as possible. You will need to select those family members who will be with you in each park and choose your park for each day that you have valid admission. Your tickets DO NOT have to be used consecutively. You can skip days in between parks for some rest and relaxation, a trip to Disney Springs, or just a day at your resort pool. If you purchased the Park Hopper Option, you do not need to reserve your other park/s for the day. You can “hop” as much as you’d like, BUT only after 2 PM, and ONLY after you have gone to your reserved park first.
7. Do Your Research! (or have a Magical Vacation Planner do it for you)
Now that you have created your account, your reservation is linked to your account, and your park reservations are confirmed, you can start planning. Do your research! Be sure to ask your MVP Travel Advisor about attractions and height requirements, dining recommendations, and Disney “Magical Extras” like tours and signature experiences. You can find the real, up-to-date menus for each Table Service restaurant through your My Disney Experience account. Do you have special dietary needs? Be sure to let your MVP know! They can assist you with making sure your dining experiences are delicious and follow your dietary guidelines. Check out this post another MVP wrote about her own experience navigating Walt Disney World with food allergies!
6. Reserve Tours & Experiences
60 days before check-in, Disney resort guests can reserve Table Service dining, Special Experiences, and VIP Tours. Your Magical Vacation Planner can assist you with suggestions. Certain experiences and tours can be booked by your MVP. Dining is booked directly through your My Disney Experience account. At 6:00 AM, on the date that’s exactly 60 days away from check-in, your reservation window “opens.” To get those “hard to get” reservations, you stand a better chance of securing them if you schedule them towards the END of your vacation. I suggest booking these first rather than booking your days in consecutive order. Being ready with a list of preferred dining experiences and some backup choices is essential. Flexibility is the key to successful dining bookings! It’s easier to score those sought-after Table Service restaurants by choosing to dine at non-peak times. Dinner from 5 to 7 PM is the most popular time. Avoiding those routinely busy times will give you more opportunity and availability to find your desired dining experience.
5. Pack Your Essentials
It’s time to start preparing the necessities for your Magical Vacation. Do you have great walking shoes AND more than one pair? The average park day requires 7 to 9 miles of walking. Comfortable, supportive shoes will help make this possible. A poncho is another travel essential. Florida rainstorms can pop up at any time. Rather than heading for cover, pop on that poncho and continue to enjoy your day! Your resort room will have shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, body lotion, facial soap, and hand soap. Traveling light? You can leave those toiletries behind and enjoy Disney’s spa-like essentials provided for you. Some resorts even have foot lotion to help soothe your feet after a long day of walking in the parks.
4. Transportation & Parking
Are you flying or driving to your destination? Those who are flying should consider early morning flights, which are less likely to be canceled and have a better “on-time” record. It is essential to arrive at the airport early, around 2 hours before departure. Long TSA lines can occur, and the airline cannot let you on the plane once the door has been secured. Are you driving? Please be aware that Walt Disney World has overnight parking fees. Your MVP can let you know the fees for your specific resort. These fees cannot be prepaid and will be reflected in your Resort Folio as a nightly fee. If you arrive early at your resort, you are still a guest of Walt Disney World from the moment you arrive. Your resort room may not be ready, but Bell Services will hold your luggage and you can begin your vacation! Your tickets, Walt Disney World transportation, your resort pool, and all your resort amenities are available to you from the moment you arrive. Your resort front desk will send you a text message with your room number when your room is ready. You can go directly to your room and bypass the front desk. Your Magic Band or Smart Phone will unlock your resort room door.
3. My Disney Experience App
Pre-arrival, complete the Online Check-In in your My Disney Experience account. Once at Walt Disney World, your My Disney Experience app is your new best friend! The app will show you your schedule and even give you tips on the Tip Board. Do you want Genie + – Disney’s new service that allows you to enter certain attractions via the Lightning Lane rather than the traditional Standby queue? Beginning at midnight you can add Genie + to your park day by adding it right in the app. At 7 AM, Disney resort guests can choose their first attraction right in the app from your resort room. While Genie + is optional, it is worth considering. If you want to experience specific attractions or a lot of the attractions, then Genie + is essential. If you are just going “taste-testing” at EPCOT, and attractions are not your goal for the day, Genie + is probably not necessary. The app will show you information about your days like times for shows, parades, and fireworks. Disney Genie + is your advisor for a great day at the parks.
2. Drink Lots Of Water
Stay hydrated! Did you know that Quick-Service restaurants have complimentary water? You simply need to ask for a courtesy cup at the order pick-up window. Disney resort guests can have cases of water delivered to their resort. Your MVP can assist you with options for this service.
1. Don’t forget to have fun!
FINALLY! The BEST advice I can give you is to remember that you are on VACATION! After more than 200 trips to Walt Disney World, I still haven’t done it all. Disney is ever-evolving and conquering it all is an unrealistic goal. Set your priorities but know that the very best experience will be one where you enjoy your time without trying to do everything. RELAX! After all, this is supposed to be FUN! Your MVP wants you to come home smiling, not tired and disappointed. You can always go back to Disney again in the future. Like Mickey always says, “see ya REAL soon!”
Remembering these Ten Tips will help you have a quality experience; however, the most important tip isn’t even on the list! Your Magical Vacation Planner is your BEST RESOURCE for a wonderful vacation. They welcome your questions and concerns, and they have lots of advice for making your vacation a Magical experience. I wouldn’t travel without one!