Disney World Vacation

Planning Your Disney World Vacation: A Quick Step-by-Step Guide

Visiting Disney World is a dream for many, but the sheer size of the property—with four theme parks, two water parks, over twenty resort hotels, and countless dining and entertainment options—can make planning your trip seem overwhelming. This guide will walk you through every step to plan the ultimate Disney World vacation, ensuring you maximize your time and create magical memories that will last a lifetime! Don’t worry!

Disney World Vacation

Step 1: Establish Your Budget

Before diving into the fun details, it’s crucial to determine how much you want to spend. Your budget will directly influence every decision from where you stay to how you dine and everything in between. Here are the main costs to consider:

  • Accommodation: Decide if you want the magic of staying onsite or prefer the often-cheaper off-site options. We go over a few cheaper resort options, here.
  • Tickets: Park access is a significant part of the budget.
  • Food: From quick snacks to fine dining, Disney has it all, but prices vary widely.
  • Travel: Include costs for flights and on-site transportation/parking. We hit the parking, here.
  • Souvenirs and Extra Experiences: Set aside funds for those special keepsakes and unique experiences.

Step 2: Choose Your Travel Dates

Selecting when to visit can greatly affect your experience due to fluctuations in weather, crowd levels, and park hours. Here are some general guidelines to help you decide:

  • Low Crowds: January through early March (excluding holidays) and late August through September are typically less crowded.
  • Cooler Weather: The weather is milder from November to February, making it comfortable for walking around the parks.
  • Special Events: Seasons like Halloween, Christmas, and Epcot’s festivals are more crowded but offer unique experiences that are worth the extra people.

This ultimately comes down to what will work best for you and your guests.

Step 3: Book Your Accommodation

Disney World offers a range of accommodation options from budget to luxury:

  • Value Resorts: These are the most economical Disney properties, offering basic accommodations and fewer amenities but still providing the magic of staying on-site. Do not be afraid to go for the value resorts, there is nothing wrong with them!
  • Moderate Resorts: These resorts offer a middle ground with better-themed environments and additional amenities than the aforementioned.
  • Deluxe Resorts: These top-tier resorts provide the best amenities, dining options, and proximity to the parks.

Staying on-site also includes benefits like early Genie Service booking, extra Magic Hours, and complimentary transportation.

Step 4: Purchase Park Tickets

You’ll need to decide between single park per day tickets or park hopper options, which allow you to visit multiple parks in one day. Consider the length of your stay and your interest in visiting multiple parks daily when making your choice. Purchasing tickets in advance online can offer savings and guarantees your entry.

Step 5: Plan Your Park Days

Organizing which parks to visit on which days can save you time and hassle. Utilize crowd calendars to plan your schedule strategically:

  • Reserve at least a day each for Magic Kingdom and Epcot, as these parks have robust entertainment options that require more time to enjoy fully.
  • Plan for Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom, which can typically be experienced in less time but still house must-see attractions like Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Pandora – The World of Avatar. A lot of the time these parks can be done in half a day depending on desires of the party.
Disney World Vacation

Step 6: Make Dining Reservations

Disney World’s dining options are an experience in themselves. Who doesn’t love food? Book dining reservations 60 days in advance, especially for popular spots like Cinderella’s Royal Table or Be Our Guest:

  • Consider character dining experiences for memorable meals with your favorite Disney characters.
  • Explore the culinary delights across Epcot’s World Showcase.

Step 7: Customize with Extra Experiences

Enhance your trip with unique experiences such as behind-the-scenes tours, special character experiences, or seasonal parties. These need to be booked well in advance and can add a special touch to your Disney vacation!

Step 8: Download the My Disney Experience App

This app is an essential tool in the parks. It helps you:

  • Manage reservations and Genie selections.
  • View current wait times and park maps.
  • Mobile order food to save time standing in lines.

Step 9: Pack Accordingly

Florida’s weather can be unpredictable with hot days and occasional rain showers:

  • Pack comfortable walking shoes, breathable clothing, a reusable water bottle, and rain gear.
  • Don’t forget essentials like sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and a cooling towel to protect against the Florida sun.

Step 10: Arrive Prepared and Flexible

Do not feel tied completely to your original plan. Even the best-laid plans may need adjustment, it happens:

  • Start your days early to beat the crowds to the most popular rides.
  • Use the My Disney Experience app to adjust plans on the go based on wait times and availability (this one is huge).
  • Remember to take breaks and enjoy your surroundings—sometimes spontaneous moments make the best memories!
Disney World Vacation


Planning a Disney World vacation can be as magical as the visit itself if approached with the right information and a flexible attitude. This guide provides the framework, but your personal touches will make the trip uniquely memorable. With careful planning and a spirit of adventure, you’re set to experience the best of Disney World! Do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions!