A vacation to Disney World isn’t your regular excursion. You can’t just pack up and set off on your journey. There’s a lot of planning and booking that you need to do in advance. Disney World, for beginners, is a monster of a planning task.
Here’s a complete beginner’s guide for you to understand what all you need to book and plan before visiting Disney World. We tell you what to book and what to avoid at Disney World, when’s the right time to book, and a lot more. This is your Disney World 101.
Disney World For Beginners — When to Book Disney Hotels
Wondering how far in advance you need to book a hotel for your trip to Disney World?
At least 365 days in advance!
Even that would be quite late if your trip is planned around the peak time, which is all months except January, February, September, and November.
Here are some points to note about your hotel booking in Disney World:
- You cannot reserve a hotel via Disney’s online reservation system. You need to hire a travel agent to book a room at your preferred hotel.
- The room that your travel agent will book won’t include a dining plan, tickets, or meals. It will be a room-only reservation.
- If you want to book a package that includes meals, tickets, and flights, then you should look for Disney World Vacation packages at least 1.5 years in advance.
- If by any chance, your trip gets cancelled or postponed, Disney World comes with good news. Disney World is quite flexible in changing dates of bookings or accepting cancellations. However, getting a refund from resorts at Disney World might be daunting. For situations like these, be prepared with a travel insurance plan that comes with trip cancellation coverage. Finding a trip cancellation insurance plan that offers enough coverage for relevant situations and is priced reasonably is easy. Check out plans, compare, and purchase on Insubuy.
Pro Tip: There is no best time to visit Disney World. The entire year is perfect. But you can find the best time to visit particular theme parks in Disney World using the Orlando Theme Park Crowd Calendar. This will help you decide your dates for a trip to Disney World, further helping you book a resort or hotel in advance.
How to prepare for Disney World? The Right Time To Book Tickets Tickets
If you booked a room at a Disney-run hotel, you can get a FastPass easily. A FastPass allows you to skip long lines in the parks. But, if you are staying at a resort or a hotel booked by your travel agent, you must book your tickets 45-60 days in advance.
For seamless navigation through theme parks and ticket bookings, download the My Disney Experience Mobile application. It’ll help you navigate through the parks, or check waiting times for adventure activities like the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train rollercoaster.
Do your best to arrive at the theme park at least 15-30 minutes in advance. Most parks open at 9:00 A.M., so arriving at 8:30 A.M. should get you a parking spot easily.
Disney World Tips And Tricks For Booking Tickets
- Staying at a Disney Resort? Plan your day at the theme park on ExtraMagic Hours. Guests staying at some of Disney World Resorts can choose to experience select attractions before or after the general operating hours of the park.
- Only a few Walt Disney World rides or attractions are available during the Extra Magic Hours. Also, the available attractions during Extra Magic Hours are subject to change without notice.
- Some theme parks’ opening days and times, attractions, and services may also change without notice.
- You need your Resort ID and park admission tickets to enter.
Take Your Folks to the Character Meet-and-Greet
Character Meet-and-Greets bring the inner child in you to life. The good news is, you can pick if you want to meet Mickey Mouse or Aladdin.
Theme parks like Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot Entertainment, or For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration provide you with character experiences. Go to these parks to experience rich character meet-and-greets, live entertainment, and concerts. You can book these character experiences through FastPass+.
Take a step up and plan a dinner with Ariel or Elsa at restaurants like Fantasyland. or Disney’s Contemporary Resort. But, be sure to book your dine-in experience with your favorite character at least six months in advance. It costs around $40 – $60 per person. So, add that to your budget for your trip to Disney World, because it’s an unmissable experience.
How to Plan Fine Dine-Ins at Disney World?
The Disney fan in you will want you to experience every luxury while at Disney World. Of course, food at the resort, or small eateries at theme parks will be great. But, getting a dine-in at the Citricos Restaurant and receiving a luxury experience will give you something to reminisce about for life.
You already have the My Disney Experience App on your phone, which will come in handy when you’re booking a luxury dinner at a fine restaurant. Start by picking the best dining plan. You can either book a vacation package that includes these dining options, or you can add to an existing reservation to include a dining plan in your package. Book your fine dine-in plan at least five to six months in advance.
You can choose from different dining plans like:
- Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan
- Disney Dining Plan
- Disney Dining Plan Plus
- Disney Deluxe Dining Plan
You’ll need your resort ID to redeem your meal at the restaurant.
If you love watching live shows while dining with your family, Disney World has something for you.
Dinner Shows at Disney World
Many Walt Disney World resorts host dinner shows. You’ll need to keep around $250 – $300 extra in your budget to watch those hula and fire-knife performers while you dine.
Want to satisfy your sweet tooth under the stars? You can sign up for some fireworks dessert parties, some of which are held at Tomorrowland Terrace. It’ll cost you approximately $78 for adults, and $47 for children. A bucket of sweets, beverages, and a brilliant firework show above Cinderella’s castle are included in the package.
Book experiences like these six months in advance.
Disney World For Beginner — Tips to Beat the Holiday Crowd
You have to start planning for a trip that will take place two years later if you want to go around the peak time, which doesn’t only include summer holidays. On days when Walt Disney World hosts holiday events, the crowd is crazy.
Disney World hosts these events around Christmas and Halloween, but entry costs around $90 per person. So, keep it budgeted in advance.
Applications like Wait Times and Disney Experience will help you navigate your way through amazing experiences, rides, and shows during these holiday events. My Disney Experience will help you book your meals, tickets, dining, and fast passes much in advance.
Planning to splurge extra? Go for the Disney VIP tour.
If you’re ready to fork out $425-600 per hour, you can skip the crowds throughout your rides, dining, and park-to-park travel.
Want to have an adventure ride without spending hours in the line? Want to make your daughter look like a princess at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique? Start booking now. Your dream Disney vacation awaits. We hope this guide has succeeded in unraveling the enigma of Disney World for beginners.
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