There are plenty of websites where you can find advice on how to do a Disney trip on the internet. A quick Google search and you’ll find tons of books, websites, youtube videos, etc. devoted to planning the perfect Disney World vacation. Somehow, you’ve stumbled across this one. And for that, I am quite flattered. Let me first explain what type of trip we generally prefer here at Limitless Park. We consider ourselves to be enthusiasts when we visit theme parks. We bang out as many rides and see as much stuff as possible. We’re there early and leave late. If this sounds like you, most of this series will be right up your alley! If it doesn’t, you may still find some good advice here and there if you stick around. This is How to do Disney World Part 1: Planning.
When beginning to plan a Walt Disney World Vacation, the first question you need to ask yourself is “Is this a vacation I really want to take?”. Disney World is a ton of fun for the right person, but it’s not for everyone. If doing a ton of walking and braving the Florida weather could be a problem for some members of your party or yourself, I’d probably suggest taking a vacation somewhere else. If theme parks are your thing though, this will probably be a fun trip for you. The second question you should be asking yourself is “Am I willing to spend the money?”. Disney World is expensive, and there’s no getting around it. Be prepared to spend a ton of cash on your magical vacation. If you think that complaining about money could be an issue for your group, you may want to think twice about going to Disney. However, if the answer to both of these questions is “Yes!”, keep reading.
The first thing to decide upon is when you’ll actually go. Now maybe 10 years ago the time of the year that you went could greatly impact crowds, but unfortunately this is not the case anymore. Over the past few years we’ve noticed that months that were traditionally slower (January, February, November) have much higher crowds. However, we’ve seen that the summer months tend to be slightly more manageable then they used to be. In general, I’d advise you not to plan your trip dates around what you think crowds will be. Just expect that it will be crowded whenever you go. Weather is the other major factor. On the right day, Florida can be beautiful. A nice, sunny day in the sunshine state is a wonderful thing. But these days tend to be rare. Between the rain and the heat, it can go from wonderful to miserable any time of the year. I’ve seen it hit 90 degrees on Christmas. Unlike crowds though, there are some months where the weather can potentially be better. In terms of heat, May-September/October is the hottest part of the year. It’s downright brutal. At the time of me writing this (Memorial Day Weekend) the high temperature has been 90+ for the last week and will stay that way for the foreseeable future. If you want the best chance of avoiding the heat, aim for November to March. Even this isn’t a guarantee though. For me, the biggest criteria for when you should go is when can you go. If you’re a family with kids, go when they’re out of school. If your group doesn’t have kids then you’ll probably have more flexibility. In general, go when you can.
Now that you’ve decided when you can go, it’s time to start making decisions about the various aspects of your trip. Trust me, it’s a lot. The first thing you need to do is determine the order in which you’ll be booking things. The articles that follow this one will come out in the same order as listed here: Hotels are the first thing you can book and what we recommend you book first, since a hotel reservation is needed to book other things. This can usually be done around a year out. Next up is going to be any dining reservations you want. ADRs are available for everyone 180 days out at 7am, and if you’re staying on WDW property you get an additional 10 days. The final and most important of the basic items needed to be booked in advance are your fast passes. For Disney Resort guests these are available 60 days prior to check-in, 30 days if you’re staying off-site, and 7 days if you don’t have a hotel reservation. These will also open at 7am like dining reservations.
That’s the beginning of this series! Stay tuned to Limitless Park for our next article which will be all about hotels!
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