Blog, Orlando

A Guide To Planning A Trip To Disney World

Disney World Tips

Planning a trip to Disney World can take time and effort.

Most reservation windows for bookings open early, meaning spaces go quickly. And knowing the dates Disney set will keep you organised ensuring you secure the things you really want to do.

Grab something to make notes because here are those all important dates that you just can’t overlook when planning a trip to the most magical place on earth.

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200 Days Out : Getting Things Organised

From 180 days out you can start booking your advance dining reservations (ADRS). So from the 200 days out mark you’ll need to start thinking about what parks you’ll be visiting on what days.

Show times, Park opening times and extra magic hours (EMH) won’t officially be released until 6 months before your trip which can make this decision kind of tricky.

To help decide the best days to go to each park during your stay it helps to use a crowd calendar. Touring Plans and Undercover Tourist both offer free access to their basic crowd calendars. These calendars help decipher the least crowded days in each of the Disney parks AND have anticipated park opening hours and park show times. All data comes from researching previous years. Using touring plans has made a huge difference to our trip meaning we’re able to experience a lot more.

At this point you should also create a My Disney Experience account through the official Disney World website. This account is vital to your trip as its used to make Advance Dining Reservations (ADRS) and fast pass reservations. It’s also a great tool for creating your own itinerary and has cool little extras like customizing your magic bands.

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180 Days Out : ADRS ADRS ADRS!

The advance dining reservation booking window opens 180 days before your visit. This does however have a different meaning to those staying at an onsite Disney Resort hotel to those at a non-Disney hotel.

For Disney Resort guests, starting 180-days from your arrival you can make ADRS for your arrival date aswell as for an additional 10-days into your trip. For example if you are arriving in Disneyworld on November 7th, you can start making ADRS for this date from May 6th.

As a Disney Resort guest you can then continue to make ADRS up to and including Nov 16th. If you are an offsite guest you will not have access to the additional 10-day window.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to book ADRS at the 180-day mark. Slots will go quickly.

Keep in mind that some ADRS require a full payment up front. Details regarding payment are available when making any reservation through the website.

 You can also make ADRS by calling Disney’s reservation line on 0800 028 0778 however I recommend using the site because it’s instant rather than being held in a queue.

To make a reservation at the ever-popular Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for your little ones (3yrs to 12yrs only) you only have the option to call Disney. However, you still get the same reservation window (180-days plus 10 days for on site guests)

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60 Days out (30 days for offsite guests) : FP and Groceries

Fast pass+ (FP)

This is when the fast pass reservation window opens for your trip.

Once again staying at a Disney resort hotel gives you an added benefit of a 30-day head start to those staying offsite. This time around you are able to make FP reservations 60 days before your arrival and for up to 7 days into your visit. Fast pass is free to all visitors with valid tickets to the DisneyWorld parks.

Whilst I understand it may seem crazy to plan the 1 hour window you want for an attraction so far ahead, doing so will knock hours off of your queuing time. This means you can spend more time enjoying the parks rather than standing in line all day.

Fast pass+ is only required for the most popular rides and shows with regular waiting times of 1 hour or more. FP can also help cut 30 minutes off of shorter wait times for smaller attractions so try not to let them go to waste. Cancel and edit your FP reservations at any point after making them, so it’s really easy to move things around if you change your mind.

                                                                        

 

Groceries

If you’re attempting to be as savvy as you are organised for your trip, pre ordering groceries for your stay is a great idea. You can easily save $100 by stocking up on breakfast items and pre ordering saves you an afternoon walking around the grocery store.

I’ve used www.GardenGrocer.com and I can’t recommend them enough. I don’t tend to order a full shop; just bottles of water ($3 a bottle in the parks), bread, snacks and peanut butter and jelly for an easy breakfast to take with us in the mornings.

You can also order tea and coffee and save a small fortune compared to park prices. I always purchase Disney’s Unlimited cups for my stay as they are unbelievable value when you’re British and Tea and Coffee are your life.

Unlimited Cups give you an unlimited supply of both hot and fizzy drinks from your Disney Resort Hotel food court. This is for the entire length of your stay and cups cost around $17.

The minimum delivery order is $40 and delivery is $14 dollars. Disney can hold your delivery at the reception desk and have it sent to your room.

Pre order at the 60 day mark and get 10% off!

           

Disney World Tips

3 Days Out : Memory maker/Photo pass

Memory maker is a little piece of genius. It shoots and keeps a digital photo of you meaning you can capture of all the magical photos you didn’t have time to stop and take for yourself.

All over the parks there are Disney cast members. They will take your photo after scanning your magic band. Photos are then made available online on the same day.

Don’t forget to add your memory maker to your Disney account on the Disney website.

Purchase Disney’s memory maker at least 3 days before having your first picture taken and save $20!

Disney planning doesn’t need to be stressful! Looking for things to do during your trip to Disney World? Check out this post!.

 


Do you have your own Disney planning tips? Have you got questions about our trip? Leave a comment or get in touch!

14 thoughts on “A Guide To Planning A Trip To Disney World

    1. I’m so glad i did my research! I’ve been before in 2009 and didn’t plan a thing. There was so much more to do this time and its worth knowing your dates as things are booked up so quickly. x

  1. I’m so glad you had a great time! Your idea of preordering groceries is fantastic, that would definitely help me out! I love right by Disneyland in CA but if I ever go to Florida this will definitely help me out!

    1. I can’t wait to travel to CA just for Disneyland! Its on my list for the future. Florida was so great, it must be wonderful living near to the DA park.

  2. You are so right to plan in advance! We booked our Disney trip about 60 days out and I was shocked by how hard it was to obtain ADRs. I had some luck securing reservations by constantly rechecking the site for cancellations – up until the day before our reservation.

    1. You can get last minute cancellations. We were able to move back our be our guest breakfast by 2 hours on the morning it was booked. However the planning did me proud and helped out loads.

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