Planning a Walt Disney World vacation is exciting! The anticipation of seeing Mickey Mouse and all his pals is thrilling for the whole family. As you plan and enjoy your Walt Disney World vacation I want to share with you some tips and mistakes to avoid to make the most out of your family’s vacation.
Don’t Overlook Making Your Park Reservations
This is HUGE! You may think I am beginning to sound like a broken record, but if you don’t have Park Reservations (in addition to your tickets) you are not getting inside the parks. Ever since Walt Disney World has reopened after the closure due to the initial outbreak of COVID-19, Walt Disney World is using a park reservations system in order to manage or limit the number of people in each park. This means you must have both a park ticket and a park reservation to access the park on any given day. Remember to plan ahead, the current park availability website is showing some parks are already full two months in advance.
Don’t “Save Money” Staying Off Property
The idea of “saving money” by staying at a non-Disney resort is probably one of the biggest comments I hear from prospective Disney vacationers. Although you may find a “cheap” hotel beyond the parks, I would really question if it is cheaper and is it worth the inconvenience? First, guests not staying at a Disney resort will pay $25 per day to park. That cost will add up in a hurry for multiple-day stays.
Second, staying at a Disney resort has multiple benefits. The biggest benefit is early park entry before non-resort guests at all four parks. This means you will benefit from lower crowd levels and fewer people in line at some of your favorite attraction lines. Resort guests also enjoy convenient transportation from the resorts to all the parks and Disney Springs. And, one of my favorite reasons for staying at a Disney resort is the feeling that you truly are staying in the “magic” of Disney. As a resort guest, you will enjoy the same legendary detail, service, and storytelling that you love about the parks.
Don’t Forgo Making Dining Reservations
Be sure to make some dining reservations for your vacation. Although there are some great quick-service food options where reservations are not needed, having at least one table service reservation a day is helpful and relaxing to your family. Dining reservations can be secured beginning 60 days prior to your vacation start date at 6:00 am online. Because both dining options and restaurant capacities are limited, it is important to secure your reservations as quickly as possible. (ProTip: Book your trip with Castle and Cruise Adventures and we will offer dining suggestions for you AND make your reservations so you don’t have to!).
Don’t Over Schedule Your Vacation
You may be tempted to try to do “everything” on your Disney vacation but I highly encourage you not to plan out every minute of your vacation. Over-scheduling almost always creates tired, cranky children (and adults!). If you have the extra time, I would encourage you to build in a day off from the parks in the middle of your vacation. This downtime will give your whole family the opportunity to sleep in, enjoy your resort, take a nap, and rest your weary feet.
Don’t Sleep In on Park Days
The early bird catches the “worm” certainly applies on a Disney vacation. First thing in the morning as soon as the park opens is a great time to be in the parks. During this time you often can capture some great photos with fewer strangers photobombing your picture. Also, this is the best time of day with the lower crowd numbers to experience several attractions in a relatively short amount of time.
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