Post Updated February 2016
Are you overwhelmed with the thought of planning a trip to Disney World? There are a lot of choices and even more information out there telling you what to do and what not to do. It can be overwhelming.
Planning a trip to Disney World can be simple. I promise.
Just use my convenient Disney World Planning Form and follow these 6 straight forward step and you will easily plan a stress free and magical Disney vacation for your family. (And in case you were wondering: How Much Does it Cot to go to Disney World)
How to Plan a Disney World Vacation
1. Pick a DateIf at all possible, you want to start planning your Disney vacation 6-7 months before you’d like to go. This allows you to not only get great pricing and first dibs on restaurant choices, but makes it a stress free process planning and asking for time off of work too.
Not sure when you want to go? Here are the Best Time to Visit Disney World and When to Take Kids to Disney World to help you plan the perfect time for your Disney family vacation.
Other Considerations: What the weather will be and what rides are closed for refurbishment.
2. Reserve Disney Dining 180 days in AdvanceI know this seems crazy, but the best Disney World Restaurants will book up far, far in advance; literally 5-6 months in advance. So whether you planning on using the Disney dining plan or just picking a couple special restaurants to visit during your tip, you need to pick them in advance.
Not sure which reservations are “the good” ones; here are some suggestions and review to help you decide:
- Top 5 Disney World Character Dining
- Best Quick Service Restaurants at Disney World
- 12 Restaurants Worth Visiting at Disney World (coming soon)
- Disney’s Be Our Guest Restaurant is a Don’t Miss!
- Disney World Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue
- Disney’s Polynesian Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show
- 8 Best Snack Credits for Disney Dining – Magic Kingdom
3. Make ReservationsI highly suggest using a travel agency like Magical Moments Vacations (I love working with Jen Kistler). You won’t pay a penny more for your vacation, but you will get the advantage of having someone having your back to make sure your vacation is perfect. A good travel agent will know when the special promotions come out like up to 40% off hotels or free Disney Dining plan and be able to rebook your room to get you the best possible deal. And all of this with no effort on your part! (Make Reservations about 4-6 months in advance)
Here are some details you’ll need to consider before booking:
- Length: How Long to Stay at Disney World
- What Hotel will you Stay at?
- 8 Reasons to Stay at a Disney World Hotel
- Is a Moderate Hotel Worth it? (coming soon)
- Disney World Hotels for Families of 5+ (including Art of Animation Family Suites)
- Art of Animation – Disney Hotel Review
4. Make a PlanYou will want to have a plan in hand before you go to Disney World or you won’t know what park to visit which day, what rides to start with, or even the hours the park is open. Use my free printable Disney Planning Form at the bottom of this page and make your plan. (Make plans 2-5 months in advance)
- Print off a Park-by-Park Touring Plan and get familiar with with park:
- Magic Kingdom (with free printable 1 day Touring Plan or 2-3 Day Touring Plan)
- Epcot (with free printable 1/2 day Touring Plan OR 1 day Touring Plan)
- Disney Hollywood Studios (with free printable 1/2 day Touring Plan OR 1 day Touring Plan)
- Animal Kingdom (with free printable 1/2 day Touring Plan OR 1 day Touring Plan)
- Disney World Planning Tips: (here are my best planning tipos)
5. Make Fastpass+ ReservationsDisney World has moved over to Fastpass+ system. This very sophisticated system allows families to plan in advance and spend less time running around while in the parks. But if you want a coveted Fastpass for Peter Pan, Seven Dwarf Mine, or Meeting Anna and Elsa you will need to make your reservations promptly. Guests staying on Disney World property will get to make selections 60 days in advance; everyone else may make selections 30 days early.
- Everything You Need to Know about Disney Magic Bands
- How to Set-up Your Disney Fastpass PLUS
- BEST Rides to Pick for Disney Fastpass+
- How to get MORE Fastpass + [like 15 or more!]
6. Pack for Disney WorldPacking for Disney is fun because it means it’s almost time to go on vacation! I suggest taking a peak at this Printable Disney Packing List 2-3 weeks before you are going to make sure you have everything. It seems like someone is always running low on socks, has holes in all their shorts, or something.
Once you know you have everything you can pack 3-7 days early to make sure everything fits in the suitcase, is within your airline weight limits, and is accounted for.
- 5 Things you’ll Want to Bring on a Disney Vacation
- FREE Disney World Stroller Labels
- Traveling with Children: 24 Tips for Flying with Kids
Have a GREAT Disney World Vacation!
Disney World Planning GuideGet organized and don’t miss a step as you plan for your next family vacation in Disney world with this convenient free printable Disney World planning sheet.
>> Download HERE! <<