This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
Our family just came back from… wait for it… Walt Disney World! We had an amazing time! I really truly love Disney, the fun we have and the memories we make are always fantastic.
Often people are overwhelmed and wonder if a family with young children can really have fun at a place as busy as Walt Disney World. The short answer? YES! Going to Disney with your family can be SO MUCH FUN!
This past July 2017 we stood at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort for 5 nights. Too short, in my unbiased opinion. 😉
This was our second Disney resort stay (in a row) and our 5th Disney Park visit in a row!
We have family in Tampa, so we usually would stay there and drive down for the day. But last year and this year we have flipped the script and have stayed in a Disney resort and then drove up to Tampa to make more memories with our beloved family!I’ve learned A LOT while planning my trips to Walt Disney World, so I want to share with you my guidelines for planning a Walt Disney World Vacation with littles so that that it is fun for both kiddos and parents.
And let me tell you, planning is so important when you go to WDW (short for Walt Disney World). The place is huge! With 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, and a gazillion resorts (might not be an accurate number) it’s easy to get overwhelmed and maybe even feel like you didn’t get to do everything you wanted to do, to get your money’s worth.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t recommend packing in your day with activity from dawn till way past dusk with little ones. But that’s why the planning is important and helpful so that everyone can have a great time at Disney.
And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for… My Tips (in no particular order):
1. Do Your Disney Homework
Take some time to research what’s available for you to do at Walt Disney World. Watch YouTube videos with your family and let them chime in on what are some of their “must do’s” for the parks you plan on visiting.
Research the best attractions to use your FastPass+ on. Read articles and blogs on how to plan your days at the park to maximize your time and spend less time waiting on lines. In July, (which is when we went, crazy I know) Some lines have had 130 – 300 minute wait times. I’ve been able to plan to do most of the rides I’ve wanted and have not spent more than 20 minutes waiting in any line.
I have so many ideas on this, it might become it’s own blog post. Or a vlog maybe…? 😉 Meanwhile, checkout my “Disney-ing” board on Pinterest!
2. Decide on When and Where to Stay
I highly recommend to stay on property whenever possible. Here’s why:
When staying on property you have access to booking your Fast Pass+ selections 60 days before your vacation. People who only have tickets to the parks (but not staying on property) have access 30 days prior. This is important because you will get first dibs at the rides that have the longest waits. This can be so very helpful, especially with some of the wait times I’ve seen at the parks. Some of the hardest to get are Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (Magic Kingdom), Frozen Ever After (Epcot), Toy Story Mania (Disney’s Hollywood Studios), Avatar Flight of Passage (Animal Kingdom). The last one has had wait times around 200 minutes or more… Yikes!
Get the Full Disney Immersion Experience
No I’m not talking about Baptism. I’m talking about experiencing the magic and the wonder that Disney is SO VERY GOOD AT! When staying at a resort, Disney just knows how to help you feel like you are special and that you are a part of the world(s) they’ve created there. There is nothing like it! So exciting, so fun, just… magical!
3. Book It
It’s time to request the vacation time at work and go ahead and start booking your resort, park tickets and flights too!
You can do this one of two ways. You can go online or make a phone call and book it yourself or you can go with an expert and have them help you book your vacation.
I’ve mostly booked my vacations on my own online. But am open to booking through a professional travel agent that is an expert in Disney vacations in the near future. We’ll see.
So don’t forget, the first step in planning your Disney Vacation is doing your Disney homework. Walt Disney World is huge. And it is impossible (not to mention unwise) to try do everything Disney has to offer in one typical trip. Pick and choose what you love and do those things. The second step in planning a fantastic Disney Vacation is deciding when and where to stay *cough* On property! *cough*. There really is nothing like it. If you can swing it, do it. And the third step is booking your vacation! You’ll love it!
Those are my first three planning tips and they are the foundation to an amazing, fun vacation with your littles. For some more Disney Planning tips, check out Disney Vacation Planning (Part 2).
What are some ways you like to get ready for vacations? Leave a comment below. I’d love to know!
The only thing I’m missing is the money needed to stay at one of their resorts!! Not cheap by any means!! Maybe I’ll start planning for that first……
Hi Lydia, You are totally right, not cheap at all. But yes, you hit the nail on the head. Planning in saving for a trip is probably the No.1 step. Also, even though the most iconic resorts are the priciest, they have dozens of other options in places to stay that will be just as memorable. Lots of options! Don’t give up! Plan a trip! …Oh and take me with you! 😉
Hi!! For the last two trips I stay on Disney properties using some great offers. Being the last one my favorite when they include the dining plan FREEE I wonder if you know ahead when they open that offer again? Or where I can find that info?
Typically, I’ve heard that free dining offers open in the Fall, early in the year (Jan-March) and sometimes the last week in May, for various dates. Keep saving up and checking the Disney site during those times because those offers go quick! 🙂