Updated: May 27
Planning a trip to Walt Disney World can be daunting... make sure you read the info below for everything you need to know before you go! :)
Best Time To Go?
It's important to plan your trip to Disney at a good time. Don't go to Disney over Christmas like every other family with time off work and school. Instead, be smart about the dates you pick!
September is typically the best month to go to Walt Disney World as kids have just started school and the weather is beginning to cool down slightly from the hot summer days. January and February are also great months to go with less crowds (except avoid Martin Luther King Day and President's Day).
To check out specific dates, look at UndercoverTourist's Crowd Calendar. Also, keep in mind dates of Festivals if you want to go to EPCOT's Food and Wine Festival or Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom.
WWL TIP - Disney's Fiscal Year begins on October 1st. Why do you care? Because they raise all of their pricing on this day (and don't announce it!) If you plan to go in the fall, try to go before October 1st!
Hotel Choice (On or Off Property)
Choosing to stay on or off Disney property will drastically change your experience. While staying on property will cost you significantly more money, there are so many perks and benefits that it is definitely worth considering! If you're looking to save money, don't fret, Orlando has tons of hotels around Disney!
Benefits of Staying On Property:
I've listed the Top 10 Benefits to Staying at a Disney Resort here! Some highlights are also listed below:
- Complimentary Airport Shuttle (Magical Express) to/from your hotel.
- Complimentary Bus Transportation to/from your hotel & the Disney Parks, Disney Springs, and other resorts.
- Disney Magic Hours - Check out which parks are open early or late for guests staying on Disney Property! This is always the best time to go as it is far less crowded!
- Almost all Disney Hotels have amazing pools (that are heated in the winter)! You could easily spend all day lounging and soaking up the sun!
- You'll receive a MagicBand - this can be used as your room key, credit card, park ticket entry, and more! It's so convenient having access to all of these items on your wrist!
"My Disney Experience" App:
This phone app will become your new best friend - download it and use it!! This will hold all of your ticket information, FastPass+, restaurant reservations, PhotoPass and more!
Each guest is allowed (3) FastPass+ Tickets per day. Pick the earliest times as possible, once you use all three tickets, you can book more day of!
If you're staying ON Disney Property: Book your FastPass+ 60 Days in Advance!
If you're staying OFF Disney Property: Book your FastPass+ 30 Days in Advance!
Be sure to schedule reminders and be ready to book your FastPasses at 8AM either 30 or 60 days in advance. The best ones run out quick (like Slinky Dog Dash or Flight of Passage). Don't be discouraged if you didn't get the ones you want immediately, you can continue to look and change them out until right before your time frame!
You can book your Restaurant Reservations 180 days in advance (regardless if you are on or off Disney property). Dinner reservations tend to fill up quickly, especially if you are looking for dates over the holidays. You can change/cancel your reservations up until 24 hours before the reservation.
Park Hours, Wait Times, and Showtimes!
Make sure you charge your phone each night because this app is the best thing to use throughout the day. When you're in line for a ride, you can easily plan your next ride by checking out the current wait times on the app! Each ride is listed and shows the waits in real time. You can also plan your showtimes and next FastPasses using this app throughout the day!
Disney Tips & Tricks!
Buy a popcorn bucket - refills are so cheap and its such an easy snack to grab during the day!
It costs $20+ to park your car at the Parks - consider utilizing Disney's free bus service or monorails!
The best way to beat the crowds is to get there early... before the park opens! You'll be so thankful you did!
Bring a bag or backpack into the park with snacks, water bottles, electric fans, etc! Outside food is permitted, but selfie sticks aren't! Before entering any park, you'll have to go through security checks!
Wear comfortable walking shoes - you'll be walking 20,000+ steps in a day!
If you're on a Disney shopping spree in the parks, have the merchandise delivered to your room complimentary!
Check out my Amazon wish list for all Disney necessities & accessories here! Everything is so cute and on brand! :)