Planning Your Disney Trip in 10 Steps

Thinking about taking a trip to Walt Disney World? Well many people who are inexperienced with all the in’s and out’s of the “Steps To Magic” way of doing things!

STEP 1: BUDGET (PLAN ABOUT 12-14 MONTHS OUT)

The details of your experience start and end with your budget. Remember to take into account where you’re travelling from and how long you’re planning on staying at WDW.

Play on the WaltDisneyWorld.com website, as this gives you a good idea about what your preliminary budget could look like. Start with your possible dates of travel, resort choices, ticket types and a dining plan. The website automatically calculates a total for your vacation, with a ton of extra features along the way.

Related Article – How to do Disney World on a Budget

STEP 2: DECIDE ON DATES OF TRAVEL (12 MONTHS OUT)

We’ve evolved from the “Slow” and “Busy” seasons into a “Steady” season and “Just Don’t Do it” season. Do you have vacation time that doesn’t ever change (teachers, etc) or are you able to choose your time?

Do you have something that you’d like to do that is a seasonal offering, such as the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Food and Wine Festival or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party?

Basically, our favorite time to visit WDW is in January-early March and the last 3 weeks of September…with a few sprinklings of dates in April/May and November.

Related Article – Guide to Walt Disney World Events


Article Continues Below

STEP 3: RESERVE YOUR ACCOMMODATIONS/RESORTS (9-12 MONTHS OUT)

Your goal is to find the resort that will work with your plan. Are you thinking about spending all your time in the parks? Then a ‘Value Resort’ may work for you.

If you have a family and want to take naps mid-day, you may want to consider a resort within walking distance of a park, like the Yacht and Beach Resorts. Most of the options are based around your price range, but you should definitely think about things like resort amenities, transportation options, and dining options.

STEP 4: PARK TICKETS (9-12 MONTHS OUT)

There are a few options, but our suggestions depend on how long you’ll be “on-property” and the time of the year.

  • Basic Ticket – which gets you into one park per day.
  • Park Hopper – allows you to go between the four theme parks on each day of your visit.
  • Water Parks Fun & More –  which allows guests to visit the two Disney Water Parks, Mini Golf, ESPN, etc.

Article Continues Below

STEP 5: RESERVE YOUR TRAVEL


Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Waiting til the last minute for deals is always a possibility, but not recommended as tickets can actually become more expensive as time gets closer.

STEP 6: PRELIMINARY PLAN (7 MONTHS OUT)

So, you have your travel dates and resort sorted out. Now let’s talk about how you win! You’ll want to plan out which Table Service restaurants you’ll want to make Advanced Dining Reservations at, which FastPass+ attractions you’ll want to secure and which parks you’ll be at on which days.

Yes it seems like a lot, but you’ll be thankful that you spent an hour or so on this plan before you’re 180 days out (ADR’s) and 60 days out (FastPass+).

Related Article – Best Apps for Disney Trip Planning


Article Continues Below

STEP 7: SECURE DINING RESERVATIONS (180 OUT…JUST PUT IT ON YOUR CALENDAR)

ADRs (or Advanced Dining Reservations) are available 180 days out from your reservation date. When you’re planning, it’s important to have a plan about your dining, because some restaurants are just too popular to walk up to.

We’ve put a list of the Top Dining Reservations to get ASAP which will help with this important date in your trip planning.

Related Article – Top Ten Disney Advance Dining Reservations to get ASAP

STEP 8: RESERVE YOUR FASTPASS+ ATTRACTIONS (60 DAYS OUT…CALENDAR ITEM!)

Log onto your MyDisneyExperience account and choose your travel dates, then you start to play!

Related Article – Fastpass Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make


Article Continues Below

STEP 9: PACK AND RE-PACK (WEEK OUT)

Make a list, check it twice…and then think about what you need to have delivered by Amazon or Walmart. Remember to put the following on your list:

  • Chargers (you can never have too many, in addition to FuelRod)
  • Sunglasses (you will lose them, usually on an attraction like Expedition Everest)
  • Bandages for ankle blisters (you’ll walk around 20,000 steps a day…expect sore feet)
  • Sunscreen (you’re in Florida….)
  • Water bottle (There are water refilling stations all over the place, in addition to quick service locations that will provide you with tap water)
  • Poncho (Dollar store…because the official ones are a little pricey)

Related Article – What to Pack in your Disney Bag and 20 Items you should buy Online Before Your Trip

STEP 10: HAVE FUN! DISNEY MAGIC IS CREATED BY THOSE WHO PLAN PROPERLY AND AREN’T OVERLY STRESSED.

Being flexible is important, and since you’ve done all the work beforehand, you’ll be good to go.

If it rains, it rains.
If an attraction goes down, you’ll be taken care of by the cast members.
If you want to re-ride Living with the Land…we’ll you’re among friends here:)


Hope that helps with your trip planning!

Dustin Fuhshttp://www.stepstomagic.com
I’m Dustin Fuhs, a theme park fanatic that has created this platform to showcase my passion, tools and opinions to create a fun and interactive experience for everyone who visits. My goal is to help you and your family have the most magical experience at Walt Disney World. In reading my articles and ideas, I hope that you can find some fantastic ways to bring your dreams into reality!

Related articles

Historical Disney Video Retrospectives from Best Edmonton Mall

Those stories, and more, are brought to life by Matthew from the Youtube channel Best Edmonton Mall, an unofficial source of historical retrospectives of West Edmonton Mall and a huge Disney fan in his own right.

Navigating the Magic Kingdom: A Guide to its Six Enchanting Lands

The Magic Kingdom is home to six distinct lands, each offering its own unique atmosphere, attractions, and experiences.

The Rip-offs of Disney World

As the 'Vacation Kingdom' continues to shift from a place for everyone to catering to a select few, there is still a discussion to be had around getting to experience Walt Disney World without being subjected to being priced-out.

Walt Disney World Golf: A Comprehensive Overview

Explore Walt Disney World Resort Golf's four championship courses, renowned amenities, and storied hosting legacy.

Ranking Magic Kingdom Genie+ Attractions

In the Magic Kingdom, Genie+ reservations can dramatically increase your ability to see more in less time through proper planning.

Disney World FastPass Tiers

Walt Disney World is constantly evolving and adapting to guest reaction, so with that we're able to answer...

How To Save on Hotels in Orlando

After coming up with a list of ways to save money on booking a hotel room at Walt Disney World, it became evident that the goals and tips are actually good for so many more tourism destinations!

Top 15 “Must Know” Insider Tips for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Each year, the Magic Kingdom plays host to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party which delights guests with holiday offerings that bring a smile to anyone who loves to see snow on Main Street USA!

Top Ten Disney Advance Dining Reservations to get ASAP

Discover the essential Disney advance dining reservations for an awesome Walt Disney World experience.

Top 10 Hilarious Jungle Cruise Puns

Embark on a pun-filled adventure! Discover the top 10 Jungle Cruise puns that will make you laugh, groan, and fall in love with Disney humor.

10 Things We Will Never Do Again at Disney World

Learn from our mistakes! Uncover the 10 things we vow never to do again at Disney World for a smoother, happier vacation experience.

Where To Get Free Stuff On Your Birthday In Orlando

Celebrating your birthday in Orlando is better when you can get free stuff.
432 Shares
Pin432
Share
Reddit