Do you have the Disney bug? Perhaps you dream of taking a vacation to Walt Disney World, but the time and resources are lacking. Facing a similar situation less than a decade ago, our family received an unexpected refund check that suddenly turning our Disney dream into a reality. Since that first vacation, our family has been blessed with the ability to make several trips to one of our favorite places.
Perhaps you have a Disney dream and the means to make it a reality. What steps should be taken before you book your trip?
Begin planning by selecting travel dates. If possible, visit Disney World during their value season, when both rates and crowds are at their lowest. With the exception of days surrounding and including holidays, value months include January, most of February, September, October, November, and December.
Choosing between Disney’s resorts or other local hotels is the next step in making your Disney dream a reality. Both offer pros and cons, but our family prefers staying on Disney’s property for benefits such as free transportation, extra hours at the parks, shopping purchases delivered to the resort, the unique themes of each accommodation, and the amazing deals.
When deciding upon lodging, consider all available discounts. Disney seems to always have a deal to offer guests staying on their property. Our favorite is the free dining package, which includes meals and snacks for the entire party throughout the stay. Typically offered in the spring for travel dates in September, but recently released for select dates from October through March, this package is unbeatable!
Before finalizing accommodations, seek out all deals to get the best price for your situation. Specials are regularly listed on this website in the middle of the home page under “Disney Travel Savings”. A Magic for Less travel agent can also keep you up to date on the most current deals. Take note that planning months in advance of your travel will usually enable you to secure the best deal.
If you have decided to stay on Disney’s property, the next step is choosing a resort. Disney offers many options – too many to cover in this blog post – ranging in price, theme, and amenities. Our family prefers the less expensive value resorts in order to spend any extra money on additional vacation days.
With dates and accommodations chosen, decide upon your package. (Disney deals usually offer flexibility regarding the specific details of packages.) Begin with the Magic Your Way base ticket. First choose the number of days of tickets you prefer. I recommend a minimum of five park days – two days for Magic Kingdom and one day each for EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. This schedule may be adapted to suit personal interests as well as the ages of traveling companions. If afforded the luxury of additional nights at the resort, take advantage of an extended vacation by spending time exploring Downtown Disney, cooling off at a water park, relaxing by the pools, or revisiting a favorite park.
Next, consider the add-on options, which include No Expiration, Park Hopper, Water Parks Fun and More, and a combination of the latter two. Each option offers excellent benefits, yet increases the total cost of a package. (For more information on Park Hopper and Disney Water Parks, read other posts on these specific subjects that I have written for the Mouse for Less .) Again, we prefer no add-ons and instead, increase the number of days of our vacation when within our budget.
With all of these details in place, now is the time to book your trip and begin the countdown to seeing your Disney World dream become a reality!
Stay tuned for an upcoming blog “Your Disney Vacation is booked! Now what?” for more planning tips to prepare for your trip!