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7 Ways Planning Pays Off Big Time At Walt Disney World

Guests who plan a Walt Disney World vacation begin looking forward to their trip from the moment that they book it. With four parks to explore, two water parks to cool off in, Downtown Disney to shop in, and dozens of restaurants to dine in, guests have a lot of options to enjoy when it comes to filling a Disney vacation. With so many great experiences to be had, guests want to make the most of each moment of the trip and they can easily do so by planning ahead of time. By following several simple steps to plan ahead, guests can save tons of time, money, and frustration and make their Disney trips even more magical. Here are seven ways that planning pays off big time for a Walt Disney World vacation.

7. Know How To Get Around – Walt Disney World is a massive place filled with various means of complimentary transportation. Guests who are staying at Disney Resorts can travel by bus, boat, ferry, or monorail to move around throughout the property. By having a general idea about the easiest way to get from one point to another, guests save a lot of time and frustration that otherwise would have been spent either taking a roundabout route or trying to figure out a plan. For example, guests in the Magic Kingdom should know that the fastest way to get to Epcot is to take the monorail to the Ticket and Transportation Center and transfer to the Epcot monorail. This route is infinitely quicker than taking a bus back to the resort and waiting for another bus to Epcot. By knowing the various modes of transportation and how to use them efficiently, guests save a ton of time that can be spent enjoying themselves on vacation.

6. Plan Time To Relax! – It seems counterintuitive, but it is super important to plan time to relax on a Walt Disney World vacation. While on the trip, guests want to see and experience as much as possible and as a result spend more time than they think walking through the parks. Trying to see everything on a single Disney vacation is simply not possible, so guests should accept that they must choose specific experiences that they want to have. In addition to picking specific must do experiences, guests should always make time to relax on each day spent in the parks. Be it stopping for a sit down meal, relaxing at the pool for an hour in the afternoon, or taking a nap in the resort room, spending a little time relaxing each day ensures that guests don’t get burned out, too tired, or cranky on vacation. By working in a little relaxation, every guests is sure to have a fantastic Walt Disney World vacation!

5. Be Familiar With Attractions – Guests should also spend time at home researching each attraction and learning what they are about. This in particular applies to families traveling with children. Guests with small children should have an idea of which attractions can be skipped either because they are too intense or have height requirements that exceed the height of their children. On the other end of the spectrum, guests who are traveling with a group of adults might not deem it necessary to do some of the attractions which are aimed more for children (or children at heart!) like The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. By simply knowing what each attraction entails, guests can save time avoiding those that aren’t of interest to them.

4. Know Where Things Are – A great time saver for guests is knowing ahead of time where things are located throughout Walt Disney World. Guests should be sure to research their resort and the parks and have a general idea of where things are located. For their resort, guests should know where the front desk, bus stop, pool, guest services, and laundry are located and for the parks guests should know where certain attractions, restaurants, and areas are. By having a general knowledge of the layout of Walt Disney World, guests end up saving a ton of time that would have otherwise been spent either wandering around or consulting a map.

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3. Schedules – A great way to save time and frustration on a Walt Disney World vacation is to have a tentative schedule for each day of the trip. Guests should research park hours and special events before leaving home and know which park or parks they would like to visit on each day. By knowing each morning where they are headed for the day, guests are ready to go and don’t waste time trying to formulate a plan on the spot. Having a tentative schedule ahead of time also ensures that guests will be able to have their FastPasses and dining reservations booked for locations in which they are already planning to be which cuts down on travel time.

2. Dining Reservations – With nearly endless full service dining locations throughout Walt Disney World, guests are smart to book Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) as far in advance as possible. Guests are able to book ADRs up to one hundred and eighty days ahead of time and these reservations are completely necessary for some of the more popular eateries like Le Cellier Steakhouse or California Grill. By planning ahead and booking ADRs well in advance, guests ensure that they are able to enjoy the meals that they want while saving lots of time that would have otherwise been spent either waiting to be seated as a walk up diner or spending time figuring out where else to eat after being turned away from a full restaurant.

1. FastPasses – The FastPass+ system can be utilized by all guests and allows them to make a reservation for a particular attraction or show and return at a designated time to enjoy little to no wait time. Guests who are staying on property at a Disney Resort can book up to sixty days in advance and guests who stay off property can book up to thirty days in advance. Every guest is entitled to three FastPasses per day and are eligible to book a fourth one if they use all three previously booked options. FastPasses can save guests hours’ worth of time on a Walt Disney World vacation if they are used wisely for more popular attractions. For example, guests should not bother using a FastPass for an attraction which tends to have low wait times and loads quickly like The Seas with Nemo and Friends in Epcot. Guests instead should opt to book FastPasses for attractions which easily have wait times close to two hours on busy days. By booking a FastPass for a more popular attraction, guests save the time that would have been spent waiting on line and can use it to enjoy other areas of the parks. Some of the best options to book FastPasses for are The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain, Soarin’, Test Track Presented by Chevrolet, Toy Story Mania, and Dinosaur.

About Caitlin Corsello

Caitlin Corsello first visited Walt Disney World when she was two years old, and despite spending most of the trip quarantined with the chicken pox she managed to fall in love with the place. Visiting WDW every year since, she especially loves learning about the history and small details of the parks, enjoying a Lapu Lapu, and eating/drinking her way through the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. When she's not in Disney, Caitlin lives in New York teaching preschool and spending her time counting down the days to her next trip.