7 Things You Must Know Before You Plan Your Disney Vacation

7. Start planning early

Before you begin to plan your Disney vacation, you should know that you need to plan early. While it is doable, I would not recommend planning a Disney vacation for next week. Planning a vacation further out, as in at least six months, will not only give you something to look forward to, but it will also help you budget and plan your time wisely during your trip. Planning ahead also helps with making your dining reservations, as the more time you give yourself to plan, the more likely all of the restaurants you want will still have reservations available.


6. Know your budget

Like any vacation, a trip to Walt Disney World is expensive. Create a budget and stick to it so you’re not shocked while planning your vacation. When you book a package online through the official Disney website, you have the option to make payments on your trip rather than paying in full. Some guests also find it helpful to purchase Disney gift cards in advance to use for things like food and souvenirs, so that these items will essentially be paid for ahead of time. Don’t forget to factor in money for tips and items you might forget to bring/lose/run out of, like sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, batteries, and memory cards.

5. Familiarize yourself with Florida weather

Especially if you are not from a place where humidity is normal, look into what the weather is like in Florida to help you plan your trip. Not only is the sunshine state known for the heat, but the humidity can be difficult to deal with for people who are not used to it. If you think the weather might be a problem for you, look into months where the weather is cooler and this would be less of an issue, such as December and January.

4. Know that it will be crowded

So many first time guests to Walt Disney World are disappointed to see that the parks and resorts are so crowded. Walt Disney World is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the entire world—crowds should be no surprise. If crowds really freak you out, research what times of year might be better to visit. I’d recommend September or January. If you don’t have many options due to set vacation times, do some extra research and make the most of it—you’re in Disney World, you’re sure to have a great time either way.

3. Look at all of your options

Unless you are already dead set on a specific resort, at a specific time of year, for a specific amount of time, (and if you are, then why are you reading this article?) look into every available option. So you want to plan a Disney vacation, but do you necessarily want to go to Walt Disney World? If there was a better deal for Disneyland would you head to California instead? What about Disney Cruise Line? Think about every available option before you create more set in stone plans.

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2. Do your research

Any trip to Walt Disney World will be so much better if you do your research before you begin planning. Disney is simply not the kind of vacation where you can just show up with little to no knowledge about the place. I’m not saying that you need to become an expert overnight, but doing some research into how to use the Fastpass system, what attractions there are, and what transportation options are available will help you make your vacation more easygoing and enjoyable.

1. Understand that it is impossible to do everything in one trip

Walt Disney World is a big place—forty-four square miles, or twice the size of Manhattan. Unsurprisingly, there is so much to do, making it impossible to do everything in one trip. Understanding this before you begin planning, will make you narrow down your list of “must do’s,” as you can prioritize the things that are most important to you. This will also avoid setting you up for disappointment down the line when you realize there is no possible way to do everything in one trip. On the plus side of this point however, you can use this as an excuse to plan another Disney trip… and another one, and another one, and another one…

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany DiCologero Bio Brittany is a graduate of St. Anselm College, where she earned her bachelor of arts degree in History. She completed two Disney College Programs, one at Dinoland U.S.A., in Animal Kingdom, and one at Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show at Hollywood Studios. She is the author of “Brittany Earns Her Ears,” a memoir about her experiences on the college program, and she currently resides in Massachusetts.