by Brittany DiCologero
- Gets you excited for your trip
One of the best parts about doing some extra planning for your next Disney trip is that doing so will get you excited! Looking at restaurant menus and making Fastpass+ reservations will only make you more excited for your trip. And what better way to work off some of your pre-trip anxiousness by planning what you’ll be doing in the coming weeks.
- Gives you an idea of how much money you’ll need
Proper planning can be helpful when figuring out exactly how much money you’ll be spending on a Disney vacation. Checking menu prices and considering about how many souvenirs you’ll be taking home ahead of time will be helpful when budgeting for your trip. Also be sure to factor in things like tips (for servers, housekeeping, and bell services) and drinks. (Water can be obtained for free at any quick service location while you’re walking through the parks, however if you can’t go without your soda the cost of drinks can add up quickly.)
- Gets you on the rides you want with Fastpass+
When you plan in advance, you have a better chance of being able to use a Fastpass for your favorite attractions. My Disney Experience makes it easy to book Fastpasses in advance—something you’ll definitely want to take advantage of, especially during peak seasons.
- Helps you be prepared for anything
Doing a little extra planning and research before your trip can help you be prepared for the unexpected. Think about what you’ll want to do if it rains, or what your backup choices are if certain experiences are unavailable during your trip. This point also alludes to researching what amenities are available for you. Learn about what your resort has to offer prior to your arrival, and take advantage of other guest services like resort delivery for merchandise.
- Allows for better views of performances
If you plan ahead, you’ll never be struggling to find a spot to watch the parade last minute. Part of proper planning for a Disney trip implies that you’ll be at your favorite shows early if you want the best view. Don’t expect to show up last minute and have a front row spot. In addition to parade and firework viewing, this also goes for shows like Fantasmic, that can fill to capacity prior to the show start on busy nights. If you are unsure of how early you need to arrive at an attraction to experience it, simply ask a Cast Member earlier in the day.
- Guarantees reservations at your favorite restaurants
Some Disney restaurants are impossible to dine at without reservations. For this reason, it is extremely important to plan ahead and make advanced dining reservations at any restaurant that you’ll definitely want to eat at during your next vacation. While you can sometimes have luck walking up to a busier restaurant, I would make at least one reservation per day if table service restaurants are a priority on your trip.
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- Reduces stress
Having done proper planning and research before your arrival to Walt Disney World will greatly reduce your stress. There’s a huge difference between waking up in the morning knowing that you’re going to the Magic Kingdom, where you’ll have lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern and enjoy the Festival of Fantasy parade, and waking up with no idea which park you’re going to or which restaurants can accommodate your party. Even if you don’t plan all the small details of your trip, having some idea of where you’ll be on each day will take away some of the stress of organizing a vacation for your entire party.
- Increases efficiency
Having done most of your planning in advance will end up saving you a lot of time while you’re on vacation. When you’re in Walt Disney World, you probably don’t want to spend your time sitting on a bench and reading a map or guidebook wondering what you’re going to do with the next couple of hours. Having a general idea of what each park offers will be helpful in that you won’t be wondering what certain attractions are and if you should do them while you’re in the park and could be experiencing something you know you’ll enjoy. Proper planning has become essential for a Disney vacation, because so many guests do plan in advance that you’ll be the ones left out if you choose not to. Happy planning!