Critical Decisions Disney Guests Are Expected Make

Magic Kingdom Castle
Credit: Disney and Canva

Planning a vacation is supposed to be fun and exciting, but lately, vacations to Walt Disney World seem anything but relaxing. There is so much to do before you even arrive at the magic. Determining precisely what you should do before arriving can be stressful.

Guests who want to have a great time at the Walt Disney World Resort must ensure they take care of these critical planning steps.

mickey mouse gesturing toward pictures of magic kingdom, animal kingdom, hollywood studios, and epcot

Credit: Disney, Canva

Learn About Disney

The first critical step to a successful Disney trip is to learn as much about Walt Disney World as possible. Take a look at the maps of the four Disney Parks, your Disney Resort, and even Disney Springs if you plan to visit there.

Related: Disney is Canceling Guest’s Park Reservations

Becoming familiar with where rides, shows, characters, and restaurants are located can make your experience much smoother and less stressful.

a screenshot of the My Disney Experience App's map of Magic Kingdom, showing 12 different attractions closed at once

Credit: My Disney Experience App

Figure out My Disney Experience

Another critical planning step for guests visiting Walt Disney World revolved around My Disney Experience. This is the official app of Walt Disney World. This app is essential to a successful and magical trip to Walt Disney World.

It is through this app that guests will be able to see wait times while in the parks, order food throughout the parks and resorts, book Genie+, and so much more. Don’t skip out on this critical step. Doing so will leave you frustrated before your trip even gets underway.


Credit: Disney

Dive Into Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes

Two new critical steps added to Disney planning are Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes. These two new features allow guests to bypass the long standby lines at the four Disney Parks.

These two features can be highly beneficial when visiting Walt Disney World, but they are paid features. Because they cost additional money, it is essential to dig in and understand exactly what they are and how they can help make magic during a trip.

Frustrated woman in front of spaceship earth disney guest shares dining reservation horror story

Credit: Julien L, Unsplash/Disney

Food Plans

Dining is a critical planning step for a Walt Disney World vacation. It doesn’t matter if you want to enjoy sit-down meals or a quick meal before heading to ride more rides; dining is a significant step in preparing for a Disney vacation.

Related: The Difference Between Quick and Table Service Dining at Disney World

For table-service meals, guests can start making reservations 60 days before check-in. Many popular dining locations, such as Chef Mickey’s, Space 220, and Cinderella’s Royal Table, book up quickly. Because of this, it is essential to be ready to make your reservations.

If sit-down meals aren’t for you, having a quick meal also takes some planning. Using mobile ordering can save you time and frustration during your trip.

Kids eating in Animal Kingdom

Credit: Disney

Make Plans

While we don’t recommend planning every minute of your trip, having an overall plan is critical to a successful trip. Start with a must-do list to help determine what you should focus on each day when visiting each theme park.

Figure out where your top rides, shows, characters, or snacks are in each Disney Park. Use that to start your plan, and the rest is extra magic.

About Jennifer Retzlaff

My name is Jennifer Retzlaff and I became a lifelong Disney fan during my first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of my life. I live in Iowa with my husband and two kids who are growing up too quickly for my liking. I started introducing my love for Disney early to my family with a Disney honeymoon and then trips when our youngest of 18 months. Since then, our family has been to Walt Disney World over five times and we continue to plan and dream for the next trip. I love the magic that Disney brings to people through the theme parks, cruises, adventures and movies they create. As a teacher, I try to bring that magic into my classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” I recently reached a dream of mine as I joined Magic Vacation Planner as a personal travel advisor. With this team, I can now help others plan magical vacations. As a passionate writer, I also have my own blog at magicalvacationsbyjen which is also where you can follow me on instagram for trip reviews along with tips and tricks for your next magical vacation.