You’ve figured out what you want to do and You may be thinking this is an obvious question, but there are a few nuances that first-timers may not know about that I want to shed some light on.
One of the biggest dilemmas of any Walt Disney World trip is figuring out what you want to do. There are so many options to consider for your trip, including 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, Disney Springs, hundreds of restaurants and attractions, shows, tours, and more. With all of these options, and the understanding that you can’t possibly see and do everything in one trip (even a 7-day trip) here are some tips to figure out what to include in your itinerary.
Budgeting is a huge part of planning a Walt Disney World Trip. With so many options and add-ons, knowing how much you have to spend is a crucial component to your pre-planning. What’s as important as how much you have to spend, though, is prioritizing what you really want to do on your trip. Do you want more days in the parks, or a nicer hotel? Do you want to snack around the parks, or enjoy fine dining?
These are all trade offs that are crucial to understand as you allocate your budget. Below is a list of the things you should consider (and estimated price ranges where it makes sense) while you try and hash out the perfect trip around a reasonable budget:
Disney has a lot of their own terms for things. Since communication is key, especially when interacting with cast members, I thought it would be helpful to outline some of the most common terms that you’ll encounter:
If you’ve got a trip coming up this fall this may be of interest to you, especially if you wanted the dining plan promotion but weren’t able to snag it. Disney has announced their Fall room-only promotions, which save you 20-30% on your room cost depending on what type of resort you’re staying at. Remember you can ONLY have one promotion applied to your stay so if you already have free dining, give Disney a call and ask them to compute which promotion yields the most savings. Get the full details here.
I was poking around on Quora and decided to answer a question on cool Walt Disney World hacks. I ended up with this list of 21 hacks that will definitely make your Disney World vacation go better!
- One of my favorite hacks, is more of a planning ‘hack’, and that’s making sure you use crowd calendars to book your visit. Knowing what the projected crowd levels are a great way to avoid crushing crowds during your stay. Undercover Tourist has a great one, here: April 2015 Orlando Crowd Calendar
- Always, always, always arrive at the parks when they open (or earlier, if you have access to Extra Magic Hours). You will be shocked how empty Disney parks can be – even at peak time – when they first open. Get all the big-ticket rides out of the way in the morning and then enjoy a more relaxing afternoon.
Time is your most valuable asset while you’re at Walt Disney World. You’re paying a lot of money to be there so maximizing that time is crucial! Unfortunately, there are a lot of “time traps” at Walt Disney World that you could stumble into if you don’t know about them. Here are four major time wasters to mitigate before (and while) you’re there:
Disney World is expensive and we all know it (not that it stops any of us from going). There are some obvious ways to cut costs during a Disney World trip like staying at a value resort or eating exclusively at quick service restaurants. But, I wanted to share some other cool ways to save money that may not have occurred to people.
#1 – Instead of renting a room, rent DVC points instead
For those of you not familiar with DVC, it stands for Disney Vacation Club and it’s their time share program. Many of the resorts at Disney World have a DVC component. Even better for you, it’s not that hard to rent points from existing DVC members using any number of services. I have never done this before personally, so instead of supporting any particular service, click here to see the best results from Google.
Nothing would make me happier than to stay at (literally) all the Walt Disney World resort hotels at least once. But, unless I end up taking like 20 trips, this may be kind of a challenge. I live in California, so when I do go to Disney World, it’s usually one 6+ day trip every year or two. Thus, it would take a lot of trips to knock out all the hotels I want to see. For those of us who like to be a little adventurous, though, you can actually stay at different resorts for different parts of your trip! It takes a little coordination but I thought it would be helpful to outline some of the details of resort hopping.