What better way could there be to make your child happy than bringing him to Disney World? Disney has delighted generations of children with their wonderful animated films, and when you bring your kids and your partner to a Disney theme park for a family vacation then all that magic just comes alive. Nevertheless, planning your Walt Disney World vacation can be really challenging, and certainly not as easy as pulling a rabbit out of a hat. You’ll have to deal with plenty of issues, such as where to stay, what attractions to see, and even how much money you can afford to spend. Hopefully, this guide on planning your Walt Disney World vacation will be of help to you.
Set a Schedule
Disney World is a Mecca for all sorts of travelers, young and old – for couples on their honeymoon, for retirees, as well as families like your own with kids and teenagers. That means there are plenty of people trying to get those precious tickets and rooms at the Disney resorts. If you really want to make your family’s dream vacation come true, you’ll have to start planning as early as seven or six months before you intend to visit.
There are actually two simple ways to set a date for your Disney vacation. If you’re on a budget, you might want to come during off season. During the off season it’s possible to get discounted rates at hotels, including the resorts on site. This is also the time to visit Disney if you dislike jostling crowds. It will mean shorter lines at popular rides and far more breathing space for everyone.
Because of the large number of international visitors, there’s really no off season at Disney, but during the winter months, usually mid-January through March, crowds are smaller (except on weekends), and the weather can be mild (though at times it can get quite cool). September is also more affordable with less crowds.
Meanwhile, if you’d like to come when the place is in a really festive mood, then schedule your trip to coincide with summer vacation and school holidays. Christmas is also a busy time at Disney. You can expect rates to be higher and the park to be full. But you’ll also be able to witness special shows and take advantage of extended operating hours.
Book the Right Accommodations
Where will you stay during your visit to Disney World? One whole day is simply not enough to see everything that the park has to offer, so most families choose to spend a night or two at the theme park or in accommodations close by.
If you’d like to avail of packages or special offers from Disney, you can stay at one of the Disney Resort Hotels. Guests at the hotels don’t just enjoy proximity to the theme park – they also get all kinds of perks like free transportation to and from the airport and WiFi connections. You may also be able to avail of extended “Magic Hours” so you can see more of the theme park at your leisure, or take advantage of a Disney Dining Plan. You also have the added benefit of themed rooms and amenities that will further enhance your experience.
On the other hand, if your trip to Disney is simply part of your Florida vacation, then there should be no problem finding all kinds of rooms and rentals in Orlando to suite your budget and your size requirements. Some of these rentals even offer conveniences like living areas, rollaway beds and kitchenettes to give your family space, privacy, and more value for your money.
Planning Your Meals
Anyone who’s been to a theme park knows that the food can be expensive, and meals can burn a hole in your pocket. Nevertheless, you’ll have to make up your mind to enjoy a couple of meals at Disney – after all, they’re an important part of your family’s holiday. The key to staying within budget and still feeling special is to be prepared.
For the best value, you may want to take part in one of Walt Disney World’s dining events that feature not just great food but also live entertainment. Some examples are Mickey’s Backyard Barbecue with its barbecue buffet, line dancing, and country Western band or the Candlelight Processional, a deluxe fine dining experience with an orchestra and mass choir. Make sure you book well in advance to be assured of a place at the tables.
Pulling together the various ways to dine at Walt Disney World, the average family of four could expect to spend $200-$250 per day. This estimate includes one quick-service meal, one table-service meal, and one round of snacks and drinks for everyone.
You’ll need to make reservations even for simpler dining experiences, like a meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table. For less hassle and bigger savings, you may want to get a Dining Plan with a Disney’s Magic Your Way! package.
Making the Magic Happen
Of course, in the midst of planning your Walt Disney World vacation, you mustn’t forget the reason for visiting in the first place. You want to give your children a wonderful time and feel like a child again yourself. That’s why you should also resist the urge to be a control freak and play some of the parts by ear.
Disney World is immense, so don’t worry if you don’t get to see it all. Be flexible. Map out your “must visit” attractions and rides, and be spontaneous with the windows of time that you have left over. Don’t exhaust yourself trying to see everything. If half a day in the park is all that you and your feet can handle, then by all means keep your visits short and spend time lounging by the hotel pool or even snuggling with your kids in the room, playing board games or just spending quality time.
To make the most out of your trip, plan on giving your kids one or two memorable experiences. Make arrangements for them to ride a Sea Raycer or go on a Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage. You can also make the time for everyone to join the Disney’s Family Magic Tour or take tiny tots to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. If you’re visiting around Christmas, Easter or Thanksgiving, you should check out the special seasonal shows as well. Don’t forget to take plenty of pictures too!
A trip to Disney World is always memorable whether you’re five years old or fifty. Planning your Walt Disney World vacation well will help ensure that everything goes smoothly on your holiday.
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