Planning Tips for Disney World You Need to Know

There is so much to consider when it comes to planning a Disney World vacation. Which Theme Park you want to visit on which day, what dining reservation you want, what Disney Resort you want to stay at, and so much more. Even though you might know to plan those areas of your Disney vacation, we have some additional Disney planning tips that maybe you haven’t thought of while getting ready for a trip to a Disney Park. We hope these will help you be even more prepared for your Disney vacation.

Is Park Hopping the Best?

Many sites might try to convince you that you need a Park Hopper ticket for your Disney vacation, but we suggest you think it over before adding the additional cost to your Disney vacation. Park Hopping is only allowed after 2 pm at Disney World making your time to experience a second Park limited. Think about how your family will tour to make sure that Park Hopping will work. If you are heading to bed early, this might not be the best use of your money. Or if you are rope drop to Park close, you probably won’t need to hop. Don’t feel like you have to have a Park Hopper to have a magical Disney vacation; instead, think if it works specifically for you when looking at your Walt Disney World tickets.

Day breaks at Magic Kingdom Park, Oct. 1, 2021, on the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)

Use Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Theme Park Hours

A huge advantage for those staying at a Disney Resort is the extended hours that are being offered. When you are planning, consider taking advantage of these two offerings while at Disney. The early Theme Park entry is available each morning to Disney Resort Guests at each theme Park. Each of the four theme parks open thirty minutes early for Disney Resort Guests giving them a head start on the day. Right now, extended evening Theme Park hours are only available to those Guests staying at a Disney Deluxe Resort or a Disney Deluxe Villa Resort. These are extra evening hours offered only at EPCOT and Disney’s Magic Kingdom on select nights for up to three hours. As you plan for your Walt Disney World vacation, consider taking advantage of these extra hours in the theme parks.

credit: Disney

credit: Disney

Learn About Genie, Genie+ and Lightning Lane

A new area that needs to be planned for revolves around the new release of Disney Genie. This new system will be rolling out on October 19th and has three different options for Guests. The first option is a free planning tool called Disney Genie. This system will be an addition to My Disney Experience and help Guests plan their days at a Theme Park. Genie+ is a paid option that Guests can add that will give them access to Lightning Lanes for over 40 rides throughout all four theme parks. This will allow them to skip the stand-by lines. Finally, Guests can look at purchasing the individual rides that aren’t included in the Genie+ line-up. In each Theme Park, there are two attractions that aren’t included in the Genie+ but instead are part of the individual Lightning Lane option. This pricing will range from $5 to $15 per ride. As you are planning for your Disney vacation, make sure you look into these options to see if they are something you should take advantage of while visiting.

Credit: Disney

Lip Balm and Masks

Something you might not think about packing but is needed is both lip balm and extra masks. The heat and humidity of Florida can dry out your lips, so make sure you bring lip balm to prevent cracked lips. Also, you might only wear one mask each day at home, but the heat and humidity will make it hot and sweaty, so make sure you have extras for each day. This can help everyone feel fresh and ready for the magic.

Credit: Joffrey’s

Know How To Mobile Order

Before heading down to Walt Disney World, make sure you know how to mobile order in the My Disney Experience App. This is essential for getting quick service meals while in the Theme Parks or the Resorts. Guests are being asked to order their dining options through the app instead of ordering from a Cast Member. This is helping reduce contact; however, it can be overwhelming if you haven’t looked it over before heading to Disney World. Also, keep in mind that you can order, and should order, before when you believe you will want to eat. This can help ensure that you get a pickup time that works for your travel party. You might not think you need to plan these quick-service meals, but it is something to prepare.

Use the Wait List

Another dining tip to consider is using the wait list for table service locations. Even if you can’t get a dining reservation, this doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. Once you arrive in a Theme Park, you try to join the walk-up list for different table service locations. The wait list will put you on the restaurant’s list and give you an approximate time when you will get a table. This is a great way to get those last minute dining reservations. This can be done through the My Disney Experience app.

Train Yourself

Finally, we highly recommend taking time to train yourself for your Disney vacation. Start by preparing your body for all the walking you will be doing. Guests often walk 10-12 miles per day when in a Theme Park, so you will want to make sure you are ready for that ahead of time. Also, train yourself to wear your mask. If you don’t typically wear a mask for long periods at home, consider getting used to it by wearing it out and about more. These two tips will help you be a lot more prepared.

These are just a few tips as you plan your Disney World vacation. We hope that they will help you have a fantastic trip. Do you have any tips to share for visiting the Walt Disney World Resort?

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.