7 Insider Tips for Booking Your Next Disney Vacation Like a Pro

  1. Make payments on the trip

When booking a Disney vacation package, you do not need to immediately pay in full for your trip. You can book the deposit, and make payments in amounts of at least $20 leading up to your trip. This may make paying for a Disney vacation much more manageable for you. Following from this point, some stores do deals on Disney gift cards, for instance, every $100 you spend gets you a free $5 gift card, so be on the lookout for those options as well.


  1. Choose your resort tier

Before booking a Disney vacation, you need to figure out which resort you’d like to stay at. There are a couple of different things to consider when choosing a Disney resort. The thing that I tend to consider most is how much time I’ll actually be spending at the resort. If I know I’m only going to be at the resort to sleep and take a shower, it probably isn’t worth spending the money to stay at a deluxe resort. If you’re planning on spending some more time at the resort, whether it be in your hotel room or by the pool, I’d go with a deluxe or moderate resort. Of course there are other considerations as well, like which parks you want to be closest to, if you have a preference with the kind of transportation, and if you’re looking for a resort with table service dining options as well.

  1. Learn the ticket options

In booking a Disney vacation, it is extremely important to know which ticket options are right for you. With some playing around on the Walt Disney World website, figuring out which tickets would be best for you should not be too difficult. The main thing here is to decide between park hoppers and non-park hoppers. Park hoppers allow you to go to multiple parks in one day, whereas non-hoppers limit you to one park per day. This depends on how you plan on dividing up the days of your vacation, and while the park hopper option is very convenient forgoing it would save you money. Other options might be adding the water park fun and more addition to the ticket, which depends on how often you’ll be using the water parks and the other recreational offerings it includes.

  1. Dining plan or no dining plan

When you’re booking a Disney vacation, you’ll need to decide whether or not you’re going to purchase the dining plan. There are a couple of different options for dining plans, though the most popular is the Regular Dining Plan, which entitles each member of your party to two snacks, one quick service meal, and one table service meal per day, along with the refillable mug for your resort. The value of the dining plan depends primarily on where and how much you’ll be eating. To figure out if the dining plan would be worth it for you, think about where you’ll want to eat during your vacation, look at the menus, estimate the costs, and then compare this number with the cost of the dining plan. Just remember that dining plan meals also come with dessert, something you might not have otherwise ordered.

  1. Choose a date

Obviously in booking any vacation, you’ll need to know exactly when you’ll be going, however there are more factors than vacation weeks and crowds that could sway when you go to Walt Disney World. If you are limited to school or work vacation weeks, this will not apply so much to you, however if your travel time is flexible you’ll want to look into the different events that take place throughout the year, and see if any interest you enough to book a trip during those times. These events might include things like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Food and Wine Festival, Festival of the Arts, or Flower and Garden Festival.


  1. Check special offers

Sometimes people are surprised to know that Disney posts special offers on their own website. These offers include things like free dining plans or 30% off hotel rooms. It’s always beneficial to check the special offers portion of the Walt Disney World website before booking your trip, to make sure you’re getting all the savings possible.

  1. Do your research

When booking a Disney vacation, it is not wise to look at the website for a couple of minutes and instantly decide how long you’re going for, where you’re staying, and what kind of ticket you need. Even things like whether or not the dining plan is worth it for you will take time to figure out, as you’ll need to look into which restaurants you actually want to eat at. The best advice for booking a Disney vacation is to research every available option and come to sound decisions before you book. It is easier to take your time booking, and get everything you really want, rather than having to go back and cancel and rebook, or change plans because you weren’t too sure of what you booked in the first place.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."