My Top 6 Tips for Planning a Walt Disney World Vacation (First-Timers edition)

We have all done it! We have all gone on a vacation wildly unprepared and under-researched only to come back unsatisfied and disappointed. I want to change that! I would like to share the little pieces of information that I hope every Disney World first timer should know!

  1. Stay on property at a Disney Resort

Staying on property is a huge tool to help optimize your Disney Vacation including making reservations for fastpass (60 days in advanced) and dining (180 days in advanced) earlier than those not staying on property.

  1. Decide what type of vacation you want

You must decide if you want a relaxing, ‘do-nothing’ vacation or an upbeat adventurous vacation. If you want a relaxing, ‘do-nothing’ vacation do not think that you will be able to get on every ride. If you would like to get on every ride then you must be at the parks early and stay late. Either type of vacation is great at Walt Disney World but making this distinction will lead to much less stress in the long run.

  1. Pick a Disney Dining Plan

Picking one of these options will definitely cut costs as well as help with the overall planning of your vacation and they are only available when purchasing a Magic Your Way package that includes park tickets and a Disney on property hotel room. A Disney Dining Plan allows you to pick a dining package so that major meals are already paid for. You can pick from plans that include Table service and/or quick service. Table services are a ‘sit down’ meal where waiters serve you and quick service is an upscale fast food. Keep in mind that Table service meals can take anywhere from 90-120 minutes and you must make a reservation ahead of time.

  1. Research park hours

Decide what parks you will visit on what days ahead of time. Also, if you are staying at a Disney Hotel you can utilize extra magic hours. Extra Magic hours are set times before or after normal park hours where only Disney Hotel guests are allowed inside the park. Utilizing these hours will help ensure that you will have a less crowded experience (at least for those time periods).

  1. It may rain

Pack accordingly to the weather. Research the weather before you leave so that you can pack correctly. Make sure to prepare for rain also. This is central Florida: odds are it will rain. Also, Just because it is Florida doesn’t mean that it will be hot. Make sure that if you visit during Winter months to check temperature and pack accordingly.

  1. Leave room in suitcases for souvenirs

Disney definitely pushes their souvenirs. When leaving rides you will exit through souvenir shops. When walking through parks cast members will be selling on the sidewalk. Make sure that if you are planning to release your inner souvenir shopper to leave room in your suitcase.

A Walt Disney World vacation can become the exact vacation that you are looking for as long as the correct research is done at least a year in advanced. Going to Walt Disney World at the last second is probably not a good idea for a first-timer. Make sure to plan ahead so that your Disney Vacation can reach its full potential.

Please share your thoughts and any other tips that you may have for first timers in the comments. If you are a first-timer feel free to leave a question.

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