Credit: Disney

Don’t Forget This When Planning a Walt Disney World Vacation

So much goes into planning a vacation to Walt Disney World.  From figuring out where to stay to determining what rides everyone wants to experience, there is a lot to think about. Sometimes a few important steps can be forgotten along the way.  We have some important things that you won’t want to forget when planning your Disney World vacation.

Credit: Zach Riddley

Disney Park Passes Are Needed

If you visited Walt Disney World prior to 2020, you could just wake up in the morning and decide which Theme Park you wanted to visit that day.  Want to hang out with some animals? Head to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  Hoping to catch a princess or two?  Then off to Magic Kingdom it was.  This is no longer the case when Disney planning.

Guests are now required to have Disney Park Pass Reservations.  This means that prior to entering a Disney Theme Park, Guests need to get on their My Disney Experience account and select a specific Park to visit for each day of their ticket for their Disney vacation.

This is extremely important to do as soon as you have purchased your Walt Disney World tickets to the Theme Parks because the reservation can fill up.  With the holidays coming there is a good chance that some or all Parks will be unavailable.

Guests are not allowed into a Park unless they have made a Park Pass Reservation so don’t forget this step after you have purchased your tickets. It will be important to your Disney trip.

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60 Day Magic

Don’t forget that two months prior to your Disney Resort check in date is an important one to mark on your calendar. Many Guests are unaware of this.  60 days out is when Guests are able to make dining reservations and book special experiences.

If you are looking to enjoy some sit-down meals while on vacation, you will want to be ready to go 60 days ahead of time. You’ll need to be on the My Disney Experience app or website to snag a dining reservation.

Popular dining experiences such as California Grill, O’hana, Topolino’s Terrace, and the newly opened Space 220 Restaurant fill up quickly.  If it is important during your vacation to experience a meal at a specific location, be ready to go at the 60 day mark because these reservations go quickly.

Also available to book at 60 days are special experiences in a Theme Park.  Savi’s Workshop and Droid Depot, two of the most popular experiences in Disney World, are available to book two months ahead of your arrival at your Disney Resort.

Credit: Disney

With new fireworks packages available in Magic Kingdom, these are also available to book at the 60 day mark.  If you prefer to watch the new Disney Enchantment from a special viewing location, you might want to snag a dessert party one evening.

Experiences fill up quickly, so being prepared on the 60 day mark is extremely important if you hope to add these to your Walt Disney World vacation.

Off Days Are Magical Too

It can be easy to get swept up in everything that you think you have to do and experience within a Disney Park, at Disney Springs, and even at the Water Parks.  Something a lot of people forget to do when planning is to schedule an off day.

Although it is fun to be in the Parks, don’t forget about how magical and lovely your Disney Resort is as well.  Take some time to enjoy the Resort extras during your vacation because you are paying for them.

Take a day to enjoy the pool, the food at the Resort, and the free activities.  Kids will love the games at the pool that the Disney Cast Members provide.

Think about visiting other Resorts on property to get an idea of where you might want to stay next.  Take the Disney Skyliner or monorail around for fun stopping along the way for snacks or drinks.

Allowing yourself some down time can really make a huge difference on a Disney vacation.  It refreshes everyone so they are ready to jump back into the Parks with a good attitude for the remainder of your Disney World trip.

Set That Budget

It is easy to get swept away by all the merchandise found throughout the Walt Disney World Resort.  Don’t blow all your money purchasing things you might never use again.  Instead, set a budget and stick to it.

Gift cards are a fantastic way to help you and your little ones stick to a spending budget while in Disney World.  Purchase them ahead of time and use only the gift cards for souvenirs.  Once they are gone, shopping is done.

This trick can also be used in EPCOT at the different festivals.  Purchase a gift card to use throughout the food booths and kitchens and once the gift card is gone, no more snacking and drinking around the world.

Don’t forget to have this conversation prior to leaving on vacation.  If you do forget, it might cause some additional stress when in Disney.  Be prepared ahead of time with those gift cards and budget.


When thinking about your Disney World vacation, don’t forget about the ins and outs of Disney’s transportation.

First of all, make sure you know what transportation is available to you at your Resort, as well as other places if you are visiting other Resorts on property.  Be aware of where the Disney Skyliner, boats, and monorails are able to take you.

Also, keep in mind that Disney transportation, while free, isn’t always the fastest.  Know that transportation can take a while and plan accordingly if you have dining reservations or other special events scheduled.  You don’t want to get stuck missing out.  Always schedule extra time into your plans to allow for slower transportation.

These are just a few things that you might forget when planning a vacation to Walt Disney World.  We hope that they will help you to be more prepared and ready for a magical time on your Disney World trip.

About Jennifer Retzlaff

My name is Jennifer Retzlaff and I became a lifelong Disney fan during my first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of my life. I live in Iowa with my husband and two kids who are growing up too quickly for my liking. I started introducing my love for Disney early to my family with a Disney honeymoon and then trips when our youngest of 18 months. Since then, our family has been to Walt Disney World over five times and we continue to plan and dream for the next trip. I love the magic that Disney brings to people through the theme parks, cruises, adventures and movies they create. As a teacher, I try to bring that magic into my classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” I recently reached a dream of mine as I joined Magic Vacation Planner as a personal travel advisor. With this team, I can now help others plan magical vacations. As a passionate writer, I also have my own blog at magicalvacationsbyjen which is also where you can follow me on instagram for trip reviews along with tips and tricks for your next magical vacation.