Last Minute Disney Trip Planning Tips

Going on a last-minute Disney Trip can be exhilarating and awesome, but it can also be a waste of money and time. The differences come in with expectations and utilizing tips and ideas through folks who have done it before. 

Hi, I’m Dustin and I’m a huge fan of last minute adventures to Disney World! 🙂 

BUDGET IS KEY 

Knowing that you want to experience Disney World is one thing, but it can jump from a good idea to a terrible idea with a click of the mouse. There are hundreds of decisions to make, from hotels to tickets and dining…but it’s all about thinking clearly without being mesmerized by the allure of the magic. 

FLEXIBILITY WITH PARK TICKETS

Don’t bank on being in a certain park on a certain date because it will 100% change! You may look at crowd calendars, book FastPass+ and then find a last minute reservation for a spot that you’ve wanted to eat at!

This happens all the time and it’s just become second nature to decide the day before exactly where you want to be the next day. It’s easier to live in the moment than to stress about something that’s beyond your control. 

LAST MINUTE FASTPASS+ RESERVATIONS

Did you know that there are two different timeframes for reservations? If you’re staying on Disney property (or at an official Disney Springs Resort like the Holiday Inn), you’re able to book 60 days out vs regular guests who are able to book 30 days out. 

This means that there are changes that happen ALL the time, which means that it’s up to you to be ahead of the game and check daily for last-minute FastPass+ reservations. I’ve actually gotten Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train and Flight of Passage FastPass times the morning of! 

LAST MINUTE DINING RESERVATIONS

The same thing goes for Dining, and there’s actually a hidden trick that I use for my trips. If you see a reservation for Be Our Guest, get it! There is no charge on your reservation until 24 hours before, so you can actually have multiple reservations for the same restaurant spread out over your trip…and then as the trip gets closer, you’re able to make decisions and cancel the unneeded times. 

Or, you can dine at Be Our Guest for lunch every day that you’re in the Magic Kingdom – like me! 🙂 



DINE AT UNDER-RATED DISNEY RESTAURANTS

We use this term in love, because at the end of the day…who really gets to decide whether something is “over-rated or under-rated”? Basically, I know that there are a huge number of restaurants that are available week-of or even as a walk-up. They’re not bad meals, honestly! 

BOOK YOUR ROOM ONLY

When you put all your eggs in one basket, there’s little chance to change things. Usually, for my last-minute trips, my flight comes first and then dining reservations come second. My next decision is the hotel, and that’s because I know that there are always deals at the Disney Springs Resorts! 



CALL DISNEY DIRECTLY

If you need to talk to someone, why not talk to someone at Disney directly? Call them – because it’s always better to ask questions than to send emails to random [email protected] addresses. 

LOOK OUTSIDE OF YOUR BOOKING WINDOW

Past trips have grown from 4 days to 7 days because the price of the flight has gone down after searching for random days of the week. Flexibility will allow you to save money in addition to getting the vacation that you want. 

OTHER OPTIONS

  • Getting up Early for Rope Drop
  • Stay Late or Close the Park
  • Book an Extra Ticketed Event (Like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party or Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party)
  • Extra Magic Hours

AND FINALLY, THE BEST TIP EVER

Don’t Stress because you’re thinking about Walt Disney World and they have Dole Whip!

More from Steps to Magic

Fan-Designed EPCOT-Inspired Hoodies

For those of us who aren't able to watch the transformation of EPCOT into the new 21st century version EPCOT live, we can at...

Unnecessary Walks at Disney World

Where to avoid unnecessary walks at Disney World, including transportation and theme park decisions.

Magic Kingdom Trivia

The Magic Kingdom is full of hidden facts and tidbits that tell the story of the most visited theme park in the world.

The Best Disney World Jigsaw Puzzles

If you're searching for some Friday night plans that don't involve scrolling through Instagram or watching DisneyPlus, here are the best Disney World jigsaw puzzles for life in 2020, and beyond.

How to Avoid Burgers and Fries at the Magic Kingdom

The best restaurants in the Magic Kingdom are a mix between fine dining affairs and casual sit-downs, offering some of the best sandwiches, light meals, and theme park fuel in all of Walt Disney World. It doesn't stop there: Dole Whip, and awesome snacks are also available.

Window Shopping in Disney and Universal

Window shopping in Disney and Universal is such a fun topic. From food to experiences, you can spend a lot of money on things that you could avoid through time and thoughtful planning.

The Best 24-hour restaurants in Disney World

The best 24-hour restaurants in Disney World will satisfy the cravings you have at any time of day or night.

The Best Rooftop Patios in Disney World

The best rooftop patios in Disney World provide something to sip on while gazing out over the magic of Disney, and maybe a great bite to eat too.

Fan-Designed EPCOT-Inspired Hoodies

For those of us who aren't able to watch the transformation of EPCOT into the new 21st century version EPCOT live, we can at...

Unnecessary Walks at Disney World

Where to avoid unnecessary walks at Disney World, including transportation and theme park decisions.

Magic Kingdom Trivia

The Magic Kingdom is full of hidden facts and tidbits that tell the story of the most visited theme park in the world.

The Best Disney World Jigsaw Puzzles

If you're searching for some Friday night plans that don't involve scrolling through Instagram or watching DisneyPlus, here are the best Disney World jigsaw puzzles for life in 2020, and beyond.

How to Avoid Burgers and Fries at the Magic Kingdom

The best restaurants in the Magic Kingdom are a mix between fine dining affairs and casual sit-downs, offering some of the best sandwiches, light meals, and theme park fuel in all of Walt Disney World. It doesn't stop there: Dole Whip, and awesome snacks are also available.

Window Shopping in Disney and Universal

Window shopping in Disney and Universal is such a fun topic. From food to experiences, you can spend a lot of money on things that you could avoid through time and thoughtful planning.

The Best 24-hour restaurants in Disney World

The best 24-hour restaurants in Disney World will satisfy the cravings you have at any time of day or night.

The Best Rooftop Patios in Disney World

The best rooftop patios in Disney World provide something to sip on while gazing out over the magic of Disney, and maybe a great bite to eat too.

Top 10 Jungle Cruise Puns

Let's be honest...the Jungle Cruise is so much more than a boat ride. Each trip around the river is completely unique due to the...

10 Things We Will Never Do Again at Disney World

Here you leave today and enter the world of Yesterday, Tomorrow and Fantasy. But sometimes, the picture-perfect dream scenario will get in the way...

Things That We Wish We Bought at Disney World

Every vacation provides an opportunity to add more souvenirs to your collection. From shirts to keepsakes and anything else you can fit in the...

Top Ten Disney Advance Dining Reservations to get ASAP

The top restaurants at Walt Disney World to get a reservation for

Top Ten Stores to get Mickey Ears

Buying Mickey Ears at Walt Disney World requires planning and knowing which stores carry which styles.

10 Things We Regret Buying at Walt Disney World

As you can imagine, we've bought a few items from Walt Disney World. Some are amazing and find their way directly onto a bookshelf...

Best Pin Trading Locations at Walt Disney World

There are over 65 merchandise locations at Walt Disney World that carry pins and pin accessories, but not every one is equal. In fact, there are only a handful...say 10...that we at Steps To Magic would suggest you visit!

Where To Get Free Stuff On Your Birthday In Orlando

Celebrating your birthday in Orlando is better when you can get free stuff.