8 Things You Must Know About Planning A Walt Disney World Resort Vacation

Every trip to Walt Disney World is sure to be full of magic from the very first moment on property to the last attraction enjoyed before heading home. With four theme parks, countless attractions, two water parks, Disney Springs, Disney Resorts, and tons of dining opportunities, there is so much to see and do while enjoying a Disney vacation. Guests who are looking forward to enjoying an upcoming Disney vacation want to be able to make the most of each moment and can do so by following a few simple tips about planning. Planning ahead for a Walt Disney World vacation is an absolute necessity to help save time, energy, money, and frustration and create the perfect Disney memories. By following these few simple planning tips, guests are sure to have awesome vacations! Here are eight things that guests must know about planning a Walt Disney World Resort vacation.

8. The Three Resort Categories

The first thing that guests should do when planning an upcoming Walt Disney World vacation is consider their price range and budget for accommodations. There are over twenty Disney Resorts which can seem overwhelming to choose from without a budget number in mind. Disney Resorts are broken down into three price categories with Deluxe being the most expensive, Value having the best deals, and Moderate falling somewhere in between. If guests know which category fits their budget, they can then choose from only a handful of resorts in that category and not feel overwhelmed.

7. FastPasses

A great tool to use while enjoying a Disney vacation is the FastPass system. FastPasses allow guests to make a reservation for an attraction and return at a specific time to enjoy the experience with little to no wait time. Guests are allowed to book up to three FastPasses in advance for each day of their Disney vacation and can book a fourth once the initial three have been used. This process can continue… after the fourth FastPass is used, you can go for a fifth FastPass and so on. Guests who stay on property at a Disney Resort can book their FastPasses sixty days in advance and guests who stay off property can book up to thirty days ahead of time. Guests can save tons of time once on their vacation by booking FastPasses for popular attractions which tend to have long wait times to avoid having to spend lots of time waiting in line.

6. Advanced Dining Reservations

Walt Disney World is home to some amazing dining experiences including countless full service dining locations. Since these full service locations are so delicious and popular, they tend to book very easily making dining reservations a necessity on a Disney vacation. Guests can book Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) up to one hundred and eighty days in advance and they are absolutely necessary for popular restaurants like ‘Ohana, Le Cellier Steakhouse, and California Grill. By securing reservations in advance, guests avoid losing time being turned away from a fully booked location or waiting to be seated as a walk up party.

5. Disney’s Magical Express

A great service that many guests should take advantage of while visiting Walt Disney World is Disney’s Magical Express. Guests who fly into the Orlando airport can simply check in at the Disney’s Magical Express counter and soon find themselves boarding a bus that will take them directly to their Disney Resort. Guests don’t even need to worry about checked luggage as Disney picks it up for them and delivers it to their resort rooms free of charge. When departing from Walt Disney World, guests can check in with their airlines at each Disney Resort and check their baggage where it is then taken care of completely. Guests need then only board a Disney’s Magical Express bus for direct return service to the airport.

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4. Know Where Things Are

A great thing to do while planning a Walt Disney World vacation is learn where things are located in the parks and at the Disney Resorts. Guests should be familiar with where important things at their resort are located like bus stops, the front desk, concierge, pools, dining locations, and shopping locations. Similarly, guests should be familiar with where attractions, dining locations, and live entertainment can be found in each park. By having a general idea where things are located, guests will save time moving around easily instead of stopping to consult maps or ask for directions.

3. Know What Things Are

In addition to knowing where things are, guests should also have a general idea of what things are in Walt Disney World. Guests should be familiar with what each attraction and experience entails so as to avoid any surprises along the way. Guests traveling with children should also have an idea of which attractions might be too intense for little ones and which ones feature height requirements.

2. Transportation

Disney offers complimentary transportation to all of its resort guests via buses, monorails, boats, ferries and the Skyliner. Guests staying at a Disney Resort can get from one location to another easily via Disney transportation. Before leaving home, guests should spend some time planning and learning the easiest ways to get from one point to another once on vacation. This saves lots of time that would have otherwise been spent making unnecessary stops or taking a longer route.

1. Have A Schedule

One of the most important things that a guest can do while planning for a Walt Disney World vacation is make a schedule. By having an idea which park or parks guests will be in on each day of the vacation, guests can more efficiently book FastPasses and Advanced Dining Reservations and also save time each morning by simply getting on the bus or monorail and not trying to formulate a plan on the spot.

About Caitlin Kane

Caitlin Kane first started visiting Walt Disney World when she was two years old, and despite spending most of that trip quarantined with the chicken pox she managed to fall in love with the place. Visiting WDW every year since, she especially loves learning all about the history and small details of the parks and eating/drinking her way through the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival each fall. When she's not in Disney, Caitlin lives in New York and spends her time counting down the days to her next trip.