How Disney Planning Has Become Easier

So much goes into planning a Walt Disney World vacation.  From determining what Resort to stay at, making Disney Park Pass reservations, dining reservations, and now Disney Genie it can be overwhelming.  When we step back and look at planning a trip to Disney, there are things that make planning less stressful.

Take a look at what we think has made planning a Disney vacation a little bit easier.

Credit: Paula K

Disney Park Pass Reservations

After you have purchased your Disney tickets either with a package or individually, you need to make Disney Park Pass reservations for each day you want to be in a Park.  This means choosing which of the four main Theme Parks (EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, or Magic Kingdom) you want to visit.

Although this might seem like more work, it allows Guests to know that they can get into a Disney Park during their Disney vacation.  If you have a reservation for a Park, even if it hits capacity like Magic Kingdom did on the 50th (October 1st) you can still get in.  This will remove a lot of stress when planning a Disney World vacation during busy times of year like Christmas and New Years.

Credit: Paula K

60 Day Magic

Dining is a huge part of a Walt Disney World vacation and with so many outstanding dining options it is important to snag those reservations.  Prior to the shut-down, Guests were allowed to start making dining reservations 180 days prior to check-in.  Yes, that meant that six months before your vacation you were looking at where you wanted to eat.

Guests can currently start making dining reservations at 60 days prior to check in.  This is much better as Disney’s calendar and schedule are more set two months prior to travel.  This allows Guests to make better informed decisions when it comes to their dining options, which we feel has made planning much easier.

Savi’s Workshop

The 60 day mark is also important when it comes to special experiences in a Theme Park.  Fireworks packages, Savi’s Workshop, and Droid Depot are all opened for reservations 60 days prior to travel.  Again, two months before travel makes it a lot easier for Guests to know what their plans are for their vacations.

My Disney Experience

A lot of Disney fans were concerned when My Disney Experience, the Disney planning app, was released.  Fans weren’t sure what to expect and if it would take away some of the magical interactions that Guests and Cast Members had, but this app has made Disney vacations a lot easier overall.

We love that so much is located in one specific spot- on the app.  Having all of our plans (Resort stay, tickets, dining, Memory Maker) all held in one spot is convenient.

Being able to see current Wait Times and Show Times in the app saves us time because we aren’t running back and forth in the Park, only to find out that a Wait Time is extremely high.  Having this feature at our fingertips makes planning while in the Parks a lot easier.

The addition of Bus Times in the app has also helped with planning while at Disney.  Being able to see approximately when buses will be arriving at our Disney Resort lets us know when we need to head out to the bus stop.  This can help us make sure we don’t just miss a bus or aren’t waiting forever for one.

There are many features within the app that work together to help make Disney planning easier when on a Disney vacation.

Mobile Ordering

A big feature of the My Disney Experience app is mobile ordering.  This feature lets Guests select a quick service dining location in the Theme Parks, Disney Springs, or a Disney Resort and then pre order their food.

Mobile ordering has made Disney planning easier because we can now order our food quickly on the app and choose when we want to pick it up.  This means that the family, while waiting in line for a ride, can order food. This is a great way to limit time waiting at a quick service location.

We are thrilled that more and more locations (we are looking at you Sleepy Hollow) have added the ability to Mobile Order.

Early Theme Park Entry

When staying at a Disney Resort, Guests are given Early Theme Park Entry.  Resort Guests can enter any of the four Theme Parks thirty minutes prior to the official Park opening.

This has made Disney planning easier than the previous Extra Magic Hour in the morning.  Extra Magic Hours were only offered at one specific Theme Park.  This meant that that hour could become extremely busy as all Resort Guests headed to the same Park.

With Early Theme Park entry, Guests can now choose any of the four Theme Parks, making it a lot easier to have some flexibility in your plans.  We like that we can take advantage of this extra time every day at any Park we choose.

Disney Genie

If you aren’t aware, on October 19th Disney released Disney Genie, a new virtual planning assistant.  Disney Genie offers suggestions and tips throughout the day to help Guests have the most magical day possible.

Although there are two paid options that come along with Disney Genie in Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes that can be complicated, the free Disney Genie is a great new planning tool.

This new feature provides a lot of information in one location within My Disney Experience.  We like the tips and suggestions as well as the predicted Wait Times.  It can be helpful for those that might not know how to navigate the Parks on their own.

Over the years Disney has worked extremely hard to help make planning less confusing and less stressful for Guests.  Through the addition of features like My Disney Experience and Disney Genie, we think that they are moving in the right direction.

Do you think Disney planning is getting easier or harder?

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.