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How Far in Advance you Should Book your Disney World Trip

There is so much to think about when you’re getting ready for a big trip to Disney World. Especially for those who are traveling from far away and require a flight or drive. Then there are Park reservations and hotels, dinner reservations and Genie+ lighting lanes, and much more.

Some families spend months, even years, saving, researching, and planning. Here’s the ultimate rundown on when you should start planning your ultimate Walt Disney World Trip and when to arrange certain aspects of your trip.

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One year in advance.

Make a plan about 12 months in advance for which time of year you would prefer to visit Walt Disney World Resort. Each season brings entirely different decorations, merchandise, specials, and overall atmosphere to the Parks. You’ll also want to consider weather patterns and choose what suits your group’s needs.

Start researching the Disney World Hotels and Resorts about one year in advance as well. Some premiere rooms in Walt Disney World can sell out months in advance, so if you fall in love with a room or suite that is likely to sell out for your dates, you’ll want to keep an eye on room prices in advance and maybe even book this specific room very early.

Either way, it’s a good idea to narrow down which month you want to go to Disney World well in advance to plan for the weather, what season you’ll be there, and for budgeting / money-saving purposes.

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Six months in advance

Six months before you go, plan for how many days you would like to buy tickets for, and narrow down your exact dates. This is also a good time to book flights and get those hotel reservations locked in place.

This is also a good time to plan if you will visit all the Parks (EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios) or if you will visit any water parks (Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach). That way, you can start planning what you want to do and see at each Park.

Two months in advance

60 days before your big trip, the most important thing to do is to make your reservations and purchase your tickets. Walt Disney World Park reservations can be made 60 days in advance, so if you’ve already been planning an entire trip around visiting the parks, this needs to be your priority as soon as you’re within your time window for snagging those reservations.

Two months in advance, you should also make reservations for any big dining experiences you want to have. Especially in the busy times, some of the more popular dining establishments will be completely booked unless you’ve made a reservation well in advance. Research where you want to eat and get to booking those tables.

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Two months in advance is also a reasonable time to start buying your merch and supplies you’ll want to take with you, like magic bands, clothing, etc.

The day before

You’re all checked in to your hotel. Walking shoes at the ready, there’s one last major thing you need to do before you venture into the Parks. Plan out which rides you want to use your Genie+ lighting lane access for. Set your alarm early, no later than 6:45, and plan to hop on Genie+ right at 7:00 a.m. so you can get a lighting lane pass for ride number 1 first thing in the morning. Doing this right at 7 will help ensure you can make the most of the lighting lane feature!

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Of course, if you’re local or you visit the Parks frequently, you’ll have your own system. But for those first-timers or who are traveling from far away, stick to this time frame, and you’ll be all good to go!

About Laurelle McVicker