The Complete Guide To Planning A Trip To Disney World

disney-world-planning-guide

The Complete Guide To Planning A Trip To Disney World

Are you planning a trip to Disney World and not sure where to start? Well have no fear, The Park Prodigy crew is here! (I’m sorry I couldn’t resist) The truth is we love showing families how to plan a Disney vacation. Because one of the most common questions we see after those iconic words, “I’m going to Disney World” are typically okay, so now what?

There really is so much preparation that goes into a Disney World vacation. So how do you plan for Disney World Florida? Well we’re here to break it down for you from the transportation to Orlando, to picking your magical Walt Disney World hotel, tickets, or vacation package! We’ll break down everything you need to know on how to plan a trip to Disney World! 

We hope you find this post helpful, and if you are planning a trip to Disney World be sure to check out our other FREE vacation planning tools. Our goal at The Park Prodigy has always been to help you save time time and money on your next vacation. That includes helping you find the perfect Disney World vacation package as well as shop for discounted Walt Disney World tickets!

SPECIAL NOTE: If you’re looking for the best time to visit Walt Disney World be sure to check out our Disney crowd calendar! 

 Disney World Crowd Calendar 2021

How to Plan the BEST Disney World Vacation

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Free Disney trip planner

If you’re wondering how to plan a trip to Disney World, you aren’t alone. We’re here to help with our free Disney World guide. From flights to the parks and everything in between, there is a lot that goes into WDW planning. But it’s all good! If you’re like me and you need tips for planning your Disney vacation, you can get access to our best Disney trip planner.

Simply join our newsletter using the form below and you will receive our FREE Disney World E-Book! 

Plus continue reading this blog for our step by step guide!

Disney Guide: How to Plan a Disney Vacation Step #1 

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Start with this: the why. It’s Disney! It’s the perfect family spot, the best place to celebrate anything (and we mean anything—I once celebrated my cat’s birthday at Disney), and it’s a place where you can create memories that will last a lifetime.

If this is your first time going to Disney World, we recommend going to Disney for at least a week to get the full experience. This way, you can plan for multiple days at the parks of your choice so you don’t feel rushed, you’ll have some time to relax, and even some time to lounge by the pool or visit Disney Springs. But there is no right or wrong length of trip—most of the trips I take to Disney are two- or- three-day trips where I sprint-walk around the parks without stopping. You simply can’t do that with kids…so, it really just depends on your family’s needs!

Another big question is when will you go? What time of year? There are many factors that play into this (see more at our Disney World trip planner 2021 when is Disney the least busy” guide) but the most important factors to consider are: weather, crowd sizes, and special events. No matter when you go or for how long, though, the best way to visit Disney World Florida is just to visit in general, any time of the year!

Flights and Transportation – How to Plan a Disney Vacation Step #2

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Another key when figuring out how to plan a Disney trip is you need to figure out how to get there! If you live in close proximity to Orlando, you can drive. If you’re anywhere else, a flight will be on your WDW itinerary.

How to start planning a trip to Disney World? Ask yourself these questions…do you want a nonstop flight or are you fine with connecting flights? Will you be renting a car? Or will you be using Disney’s transportation services?

According to our Walt Disney World vacation information guide, Orlando International Airport is actually pretty easy to navigate. That has been my personal experience. And if all else fails, follow the people wearing Mickey ears—they’re probably headed to Disney, too. Transportation services are down a set of escalators in the main terminal area. From here, you can rent a car or hop on Disney’s Magic Express to get to your resort. You can learn more about Disney’s Magical Express here.

**Disney planning tips: Disney’s Magical Express service will no longer be offered starting with arrivals January 1, 2022.

Where to Stay? – How to Plan a Disney Vacation Step#3

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When preparing for Disney World, Disney offers different levels of resorts, including value, moderate, and deluxe. You can have a look at all the Disney resorts here. If you’re using the “My Disney Experience” app, you can check-in before you arrive and you can even have your room number texted to you. You can literally head straight to your room (depending on arrival time), scan your MagicBand, and you’re in! (more on MagicBands soon)

Park Tickets – How to Plan a Disney Vacation Step# 4

We might be stating the obvious here but when visiting the theme park, tickets are a necessity! If you’re planning a Disney trip 2021, here at The Park Prodigy we always offer customers 100% authentic Walt Disney World tickets at the best possible prices so you can purchase with confidence. Our selection includes date-based tickets and flexible-date tickets depending on your unique vacation needs. Choose to visit one park per day with a daily park admission ticket, or upgrade your ticket to a Park Hopper or Park Hopper Plus so you can visit multiple parks on the same day! Kick-start your magical vacation with our Disney world park guide and tickets to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom today!

Walt Disney World trip planning guide: Don’t forget to ask about our Promotional Tickets to dig into even more savings! Our goal at The Park Prodigy has always been to help you save time on your next vacation and find the cheapest Walt Disney World tickets!

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Vacation Packages – How to Plan a Disney Vacation Step#5

Once you know which hotel you want to stay at plus your Disney tickets you might want to consider a Disney Vacation package! The Park Prodigy is an authorized Disney travel agent bringing you the best 2021 Disney World family vacation packages. Our vacation planners are up to date on all of the latest Disney World special offers. All clients who book with The Park Prodigy are automatically eligible for our Magic Rewards and Magically Carbon Free programs. This allows all of our clients to earn points towards gift cards which can be used to purchase 2021 Disney vacation packages while we offset your transportation carbon footprint.

Why Book a 2021 Disney Vacation Package? Guests can stay in the middle of the magic with a 2021 Disney World Vacation Package. All 2021 Disney resort packages include your hotel stay at Walt Disney World,  discount Disney tickets,  and all of the benefits of staying on Walt Disney World property. Learn more about Disney vacation packages here.

Dining Reservations – How to Plan a Disney Vacation Step #6

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One of my favorite parts of planning a Disney World Orlando itinerary is the anticipation. You not only get to look forward to your trip, but by using the “My Disney Experience” site, you can plug in all the details of your trip, make dining reservations, and more!

Guests may make advance reservations for dining and other experiences up to 60 days in advance. In addition, Disney Resort hotel guests can make reservations up to 60 days in advance plus the length of their stay (up to 10 days).

For Disney planner 2021, I recommend making dining reservations as early as possible. You can make them at each park, at the resorts, or Disney Springs.

MagicBands – Disney Planning Guide Step #7

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A big part of figuring out how to visit Disney World is navigating their famous MagicBands. This is Disney’s secure all-in-one device that allows you to access the plans and vacation choices that you’ve made with My Disney Experience. It’s important to

MagicBands are colorful, waterproof wristbands—resembling a watch or bracelet—that you can quickly and easily touch to a sensor called a touch point. Cards work in a similar fashion, but physically resemble a plastic credit card. You can use your MagicBand or card to: unlock the door of your Disney Resort hotel room; enter theme and water parks; check in at FastPass+ entrances; connect Disney PhotoPass images to your account; charge food and merchandise purchases to your Disney Resort hotel room; and more.

**Disney World Orlando planning guide: One of the newer Disney trip planning tips is that Magicbands will no longer be provided on a complimentary basis for new reservations for arrivals at Disney Resort hotels January 1, 2021 and beyond. However, guests will have the option to purchase MagicBands. Once your MagicBands or cards have been linked to your My Disney Experience account, they can be used interchangeably.

FastPass+ – How to Plan a Disney Vacation Step #8

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Disney FastPass+ service allows you to reserve access to select Walt Disney World theme park attractions, entertainment, and Character Greetings in advance.

Disney world tips and tricks 2021: You can begin making your FastPass+ selections up to 30 days in advance of your visit. But an added bonus to staying at a Disney resort? You can make FastPass+ selections up to 60 days prior to check-in—for your entire length of stay—with your upcoming room reservation. This is important Disney World vacation information.*

Walt Disney World vacation planning tips: For a single theme park per day, you can make up to three FastPass+ selections in advance. Disney World Orlando guide: I recommend making FastPass+ selections as far in advance as you possibly can…I literally set an alarm on my phone for 7:00 a.m. 60 days before my last trip so I could get a good time slot on Flight of Passage in Animal Kingdom. *This is where it becomes huge to be able to book 60 days before…for the most popular attractions, they sell out in literally hours.

Preparing for Disney: As a result of the COVID-19 impact on operations, the FastPass+ service is suspended for the time being. Disney said they would share futures updates at a later date.

Congratulations!

Now you know a little more about how to plan a trip to Disney World Florida! Keep in mind that these “planning a Disney World vacation tips” may look a little different during the COVID-19 pandemic. Be sure to check the most up-to-date information at Disney. Just a reminder: the best way to plan a Disney vacation is by doing your research and enjoying the process. These memories will last a lifetime.

When is The Best Time to Visit Disney World?

Our Disney Crowd Calendar is the best tool to help you get the most out of your time in the parks. We break down park crowds, park hours of operation, ticket prices, and average temperature. We also break down the best time to visit Disney World based on specific times of the year and special events.

If you’re brand new to Disney vacation planning we recommend our Walt Disney World Planning Page! Learn more about Disney hotels by reading our Walt Disney World Hotels Review page.

Michael Belmont

Michael Belmont is the owner and chief editor at Theparkprodigy.com, an authorized Disney and Universal travel agent. He specializes in Disney and Universal theme park tickets and vacation packages, as well as daily park plans to help optimize vacation time. Michael and The Park Prodigy have been featured on ABC’s Florida affiliate, WTFV, as well as over 10 Disney focused blogs. As owner, Michael manages The Park Prodigy blog and social media, a Disney themed podcast, and a Disney and Universal focused YouTube channel. Prior to starting The Park Prodigy, Michael was a long time Disney and Universal enthusiast, frequent visitor of the parks, and even served as a Walt Disney World Cast Member in Orlando, Florida!