The 10 BEST Disney World Planning Tips

What are the Best Disney World Planning Tips? How do you know you have chosen a great resort, or where you should eat for the best food AND experience? What if it is your first visit to Walt Disney World? Let me share my best Disney World Planning Tips with you! 

BEST Disney World Planning Tips

BEST Disney World Planning Tip #1:  Don’t expect to do it all in one trip.  For some families, Disney is a “one and done”.  But keep in mind, Disney is not going anywhere, and it’s important to manage your expectations.  Have each child and adult in your travel party select one restaurant they MUST eat at, as well as 1-2 rides per park that are a “must do”.  This sets your expectations and makes your planning easier.  Having those at the forefront of your planning is important. 

BEST Disney World Planning Tip #2:  Along the lines of the tip above, remember that Disney is not a race.  There will be times to move with purpose through the parks,  yes.  But you also have to allow for time to take a gaze at the castle as you enter Magic Kingdom.  Or, as you are leaving EPCOT, one more spin on Spaceship Earth may need to happen.  At this point, I have learned to add time in our day for stopping to take photos and browse the shops.  I leave an hour or so open each morning and/or evening just to enjoy whatever comes our way.  

BEST Disney World Planning Tip #3:  Use a Disney Travel Agent {hello….that would be me}. Sorry for the shameless plug, as I don’t typically use my site to promote my travel business.  But seriously friends, you are missing out if you don’t use a travel agent.  There is SO much out there on Disney World, and a very small portion of it is accurate on the Disney blog sites.  It’s good to have a sounding board, someone who can answer questions and who works with Disney on a literally daily basis.  Disney pays us to work with you.  So wouldn’t you want to take advantage of that?!  Disney vacations are not a “one size fits all”, which is where a travel agent comes especially in handy!

BEST Disney World Planning Tip #4:  Don’t overfill your itinerary with sit down dining reservations or you will spend a good chunk of your visit sitting in restaurants. Sadly for those that will only get to visit once or twice in their lifetime, there is no way they can experience even half of what WDW offers.  So it is really important to narrow down your “musts” and forget about the rest.  Even frequent Disney travelers can’t keep up with the new offerings and experiences at Walt Disney World.  As to the tip above, this is where using a travel agent comes in handy as well.  I can help you narrow down your experiences so you can enjoy Disney to its fullest within your travel time!

BEST Disney World Planning Tip #5:  Get to the parks early, and take a midday break on most of your days!  Maybe you don’t need one everyday, but I think having a midday break, no matter your age, is a must! Your family will be so much happier.  Plus, your Walt Disney World resort is a destination as well.  I never ever think a Disney resort is a place to “just sleep”.  The pools are so well themed, the crafts and activities at the resorts are perfect, and you are paying to stay there.  Since they have so many offerings, you may as well take advantage of it!

BEST Disney World Planning Tip #6:   Purchase Memory Maker in advance.  It will not only save you money, but you will be able to get some amazing family pictures with some Disney magic as well as all the ride pictures.  Memorymaker is on my “must have” list for every trip. I love being in the photos, the Magic Shots are so fun, and the photographers are great about posing my family in fun ways.  I think it is HIGHLY worth it to have MemoryMaker.

BEST Disney World Planning Tip #7:   Take a backpack filled with snacks, drinks, battery backups for electronics, and any toys to preoccupy little ones.  It will help keep the kids from melting down and save you some money.  Sure, going through bag check can be a bit of a pain. But it is so worth it.  When you are in line, and your child absolutely HAS to have a snack, you can easily get out a bag of Goldfish or cereal.  What if you arrive to Toy Story Midway Mania with a longer than expected wait?  Then that is a great time to play Disney Headbandz on your phone.  

BEST Disney World Planning Tip #8:  Make your Disney Genie+ selections for mid-morning to early afternoon. This is when the parks get busy for the day, and crowds tend to stay high, or increase as the day goes on. Take advantage of Early Park Entry for onsite guests (or rope drop) and get to the park early. Ride as many rides as you can before your first Disney Genie+ selection begins.

BEST Disney World Planning Tip #9:  Make your table service reservations for lunch.  This gives you the morning to get to attractions (or relax at the pool), then walk it all off after and into the evening.  This also leaves the potential to have dinner according to your appetite and not out of obligation.  

BEST Disney World Planning Tip #10:  Take screenshots of any plans you have made in My Disney Experience and send them to the other guests in your party. Technology is never 100% reliable, and you don’t want to miss out on a Disney Genie+ attraction or dining reservation that you’ve scheduled because you can’t get the app to load or your phone died, preventing you from double checking the timing or location of your plans.

There is SO much to planning a Disney trip.  If this post is helpful, you may want to check out the Ten Tips for Planning Your First Visit to Walt Disney World

What are your BEST Disney planning tips?  Share them in the comments!

Carrie Hurst

Not only do I love sharing all my vacation tips and ideas here on A Princess and Her Pirates, but I also work alongside families to create magical vacation memories year after year! Email me at carrie@destinationsinflorida.com to begin the planning process, and join hundreds of families on my current guest list.


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