There are many travel tips that will help you maximize your time and money spent at Walt Disney World. Following these ideas will help you create a stress free vacation.
Plan a daily schedule
Although this tip seems to take the ‘magic’ out of a Walt Disney World vacation, we cannot emphasis enough the importance of it. We understand that a family vacation needs to have a bit of spontaneity and freedom to ‘go with the flow’, but without a basic idea of your daily plans you will spend a lot of time and money unnecessarily.
Understanding which parks you wish to visit during your trip, and how many days you wish to tour them will help you layout your daily schedule. This will also help when planning dining arrangement, character dining, etc. With a solid daily schedule you can be sure that your ‘must see’ attractions are included. Of course, you will have to allow for some flexibility – keeping to a tight schedule will not always be possible, especially when traveling with small children.When making your plans, visit Walt Disney World’s website (www.disneyworld.com) to check for attraction closings, and park hours. This will help you plan your days.
Advanced Reservations (formerly Priority Seating)
When dining at a Walt Disney World, it is advisable to secure advanced reservations (especially for popular character dining or dinner shows). Disney allows these advance reservations up to 360 days prior to your dining date. When making these reservations (by calling 407-WDISNEY), you should advise them on the dining venue, the date and time preference and number of people in your party (advise on number of adults and number of children).
Disney’s Advanced Reservation system means when you arrive for dining (it is recommended that you arrive 15 minutes before you reservation time) you will be seated at the next available table. The system does work well, but it is not uncommon to experience some kind of wait when you arrive.
Some dining experiences book up months in advance and are quite difficult to secure seating. If you are interested in the Cinderella Royal Table character meals, the Norway Princess Breakfast, you should try to secure advanced dining 180 days before you plan to dine.
Extra Magic Hours
This allows Walt Disney Resort guests to enter the parks one hour earlier and/or stay up to three hours later than the published opening time. The parks rotate the day of the week that is their early entry (Magic Kingdom – Monday, Animal Kingdom – Tuesday, etc). This schedule is subject to change at any time, so consult www.disneyworld.com for the latest schedule on the Extra Magic Hours.
When planning your park touring days, consider that the park that is scheduled for early entry will tend to be more crowded that day. If you are staying at a Disney resort, it does make sense to visit the early entry park that is scheduled, but plan to ‘hop’ to another park as the park fills up.