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VACATION PLANNING

Planning a trip to Walt Disney World?  Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Visit DisneyWorld.com/Updates for more information on park reopening.

Planning a vacation to Walt Disney World can be a daunting task for anyone, even those who have been there many times before.  In fact, it can be downright stressful.  That said, there are a few things that you will need to consider early on that will hopefully avoid some issues later on and make it as stress-free as possible.


Here are five quick tips to get you started:


  1.  Walt Disney World is Expensive (Really, it’s VERY Expensive!)

Anyone who has ever been to Walt Disney World will tell you, it is very expensive.  Between airfare, accommodation, tickets, food, and souvenirs, your money will go fast (and at times, you won’t even feel it leaving your purse or wallet!).  The best way to keep costs in check is to set yourself a reasonable budget (in Canadian dollars) and to stick to it.  To make sure that your budget is reasonable, you will want to base your fixed costs (airfare, accommodation, tickets) on advertised prices for the timeframe you are planning to travel, and other variable costs (such as food and souvenirs) based on what these items actually cost (you are able to see menus and prices on the My Disney Experience site and current souvenir prices on the Shop Disney website).


There are lots of things that you can do to help keep the costs of your trip down, but that said, you’ll likely spend more than you’ve budgeted (the “gotta have its” that you see on your daily visits to each park) and it’s very easy for costs to get out of control if you’re realistic with what you’ll be spending on your trip.


  1.  You Will Need to Do Lots of Planning (and I Mean Lots!)

Tied in with the budget is the need to plan for your trip.  With festivals at Epcot, FastPasses to book, experiences, attractions, dining, and even MagicBand selection, you will need to stay on top of dates to begin booking the things you’ll want to do with your group, since many of the most popular things fill up almost instantly, and you’ll really miss out on some memorable experiences if you don’t plan ahead.


  1.  You May (or May Not) Want to Use a Travel Agent

With so much money and planning involved in booking a vacation to Walt Disney World, you may want to use a travel agent to book your vacation, rather than making arrangements for yourself directly with an airline and with the Walt Disney Travel Company for hotel (if staying on property), dining, and other experience reservations.  If you do book through a travel agency, it is important to book with someone that understands and is familiar with Walt Disney World vacations.  If you’re not an expert (and neither are they), you will miss out on important information that will have a huge impact on your vacation.


If you’re comfortable with making your own arrangements, it is important to do your research before you begin the booking process.  When calling the Walt Disney Travel Company (the division of the Walt Disney Company that books your hotel and dining reservations), it’s important to ask what specials are currently running for Canadian residents and for the dates you’ll need to pay and to make your reservations (such as dining and FastPass reservations). 


  1.  Don’t Try to “Fit it All in” Because, Believe Me, You Won’t

A big mistake that many first-time visitors to Walt Disney World make is to try to cram in all of the things that they want to do in the shortest time possible, which leaves them bitterly disappointed by the end of their trip.  You will not enjoy your vacation, nor will you ever be able to possibly cram everything there is to see and do at Walt Disney World into your vacation (unless you’re planning to be there for months).  The truth is, there are long waits for rides, it rains frequently, attractions shut down for refurbishment, and there is truly too much to see and do.


You will get hot (or cold), definitely wet, cranky, frustrated, sore from all of the walking you’ll be doing, and extremely tired.  Factoring in these things as part of your vacation planning will help you to zero in on the most important things you want to see and do, allow time to recover from early mornings and late nights, as well to enjoy the many things available to you during your stay.


  1.  Know The Rules Before You Arrive

Disney has many rules that you’ll be expected to follow during your visit and it’s important that you know what they are before you leave.  For instance, smoking is not allowed anywhere within the parks themselves, stroller size restrictions are in effect, anyone over the age of 14 years is typically not allowed to wear a costume (so you can’t dress like Darth Vader to visit to Galaxy’s Edge but you can wear a costume to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, again, subject to another set of rules).


Understanding what is/is not allowed before you leave your house to head to the airport will definitely avoid some awkward and frustrating moments once you get there.