Walt Disney World Planning Advice You Can Take or Leave

If you are planning a vacation to Walt Disney World, you might have quickly learned that everyone you know has an opinion and Disney advice.

It seems once you share that you are planning a trip to see the Main Mouse, everyone wants to tell you their tips and tricks.

Although they mean well, there are some suggestions that we think you can take or leave.  We hope this will help you decide what Disney advice will really work for your family, or if there are suggestions you can skip.

Credit: Disney

You Have to Spend Big To Stay At A Disney Resort

The first of the Disney tips we think you can take or leave is a belief that many have about staying at a Disney Resort.

Many Guests believe that in order to stay on property, that they have to spend the big bucks, and that isn’t the case.

Something that we love about Disney is that there are Resort options for all budgets and all styles of travelers.

If you want to spend big, there is the opportunity to do that at Disney’s Deluxe Resorts.  These Resorts provide the best accommodations, location to the Parks, and overall theming.

On the other end, if you hope to save a little money, you can do that by looking into Disney’s Moderate and Value Resorts.

These both offer great amenities like free transportation and the Disney magic.

Don’t believe everyone when they tell you that you have to spend big money to stay on property.  Do some digging to see which Resort will be the best for your family.

Credit: Disney

Purchasing Park Hopper is a Must

When choosing what type of Park ticket you want, you need to think about how your family will tour the Parks.

Many will tell you that you have to have Park Hopper in order to enjoy your vacation, but this is all depending on your family.

Park Hopper allows your family to hop (travel to) to different Parks after 2:00 p.m.  This means if you made your Disney Park Pass Reservations for Magic Kingdom, after 2:00 p.m. you can choose to hop to EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Although this is a good option for some, it is definitely NOT a requirement for visiting Walt Disney World.

If your family is a rope drop to close family, you might not hop to another Park.  If you take naps in the afternoons, maybe you will plan on heading back to the same Park in the evening.

Think about what touring strategy will work the best for your family, and then determine if Park Hopper will be the best purchase.

Credit: Paula K

Rope Drop Every Day

Rope drop refers to being at the Park before it actually opens so you can be there when the Cast Members “drop the rope,” allowing everyone to head to the attractions.

Although it is a good option to rope drop on a few days of your trip to get yourself ahead of the crowds, doing so each day isn’t a requirement.

Rope dropping makes for an early morning, so doing it every day of your trip can really wear you down.

If you plan your day out, rope dropping won’t be needed each and every day, or even at every Theme Park.

Make sure that you have some mornings where you aren’t rushing out the door so you can actually enjoy you Disney vacation.

Credit: Disney

You Have to….

This is one of the biggest tips you can take or leave when it comes to planning your Disney vacation.  Everyone you talk to will have something; a ride, food, show, or attraction that you just have to see in order to have a successful trip.

This is not the case at all.

There is nothing on your Disney vacation that you have to do.  This is your vacation, and you need to do and see what makes you happy.

Don’t let anyone convince you that you have to ride something you might not want to or see something in order to have a “real” Disney experience.

Set your goals and must dos and go from there.  Don’t let anyone else dictate that for you.

You Have to Do Sit-Down Meals

Disney has some amazing sit-down meals throughout the four Theme Parks, Disney Springs, and the Resorts.  There are character meals, fine dining, and outstanding family-style experiences.

With that said, you don’t have to eat at any of them to have a great Disney trip or have delicious meals.

It isn’t a secret that sit-down meals can be expensive in Disney World.  If this isn’t something that your family can budget for, then don’t.

Also, if people tell you that the only way you will have a good meal is by booking a sit-down meal, that is also false.

Disney has really stepped up the game when it comes to quick service meals.  There is so much more to choose from than burgers, hot dogs, and chicken nuggets.

But if those are the foods you want to have, they have those as well.

No matter what you want to eat, make sure it is what fits your style, not everyone else’s.

You Have to Buy Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes

The newest advice you might hear is that you have to buy Disney Genie+ or Individual Lightning Lanes for your vacation.

This isn’t the case at all.  These are features that Guests can choose to add to their vacation, but they aren’t required or always needed.

Disney Genie is a planning tool that can help Guests navigate the Disney Parks for free. This can be a great feature to use.

Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes cost extra. Do some research about how these new options work to see if they might benefit your family or not.

Also, consider what time of year you are visiting and which Parks you plan to visit.  This can all impact if the paid Disney Genie+ features will be a good addition to your vacation.

When you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World, it does seem like everyone has advice to share with you.

We hope that looking at some of these pieces of advice and how you can take or leave it will be helpful as you make decisions that are best for your family for your Walt Disney World vacation.

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.