Disney Planning: Step by Step

When planning a trip to the most magical place on earth, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Here I walk you step by step through the process.

  1. The very first thing to decide is when you want to go. That may seem simple, but crowd sizes, special events and change in rate seasons can make or break your visit.

    All things considered, my favorite times to visit is in April and November. Both are slower seasons, and offer special events that are included in admission.

    Crowd calendars can help you gauge crowds. I use this excellent crowd calendar from WDW Prep School.

  2. Once you decide when you are going you need to figure out where to stay. Do you want to stay on or off property? Check out my post on the pros and cons of each. And check out my post on how to find the best deals on hotels
  3. Next you need to figure out how you are getting there – flying or driving? Read more about these options here.
  4. You’ll also need tickets of course, the whole reason for your trip. You can buy them direct from Disney, but there are many other options which can save you a few dollars.
  5. Then you will want to decide on food options. Do you want to do the dining plan? Or you can opt to be more frugal. Character dining should also be considered here, so you save time in the parks doing attractions rather than waiting in line to see a princess. Dining reservations can be made 180 days in advance.
  6. Then you will need to choose which days you are going to which parks and what attractions you want to see – that’s the fun stuff! I know the idea of planning this much sounds like a lot of work, and it is. But, Touring Plans makes it easy. The website allows you to make plans for each day, and using their optimization it will automatically create the best plan for your day. They have plug and play plans for all sorts of visitors including ones for adults and others with families with small children.

    Using their customized plans hand in hand with their lines app, which is more accurate that even Disney’s, I have never waited in line for more than 20 minutes. And it allowed us to pull our last minute trip together without any stress. I really cannot say enough about it. The premium access is $15 well spent.

    This planning can also help you choose your Fastpasses which can be booked 90 days in advance if you are staying on property, or 30 days in advance otherwise.

  7. Add extra magic. If you can do a little something extra I would plan for it. Whether it’s a cake for a special occasion, a visit to the Bibidi Bobidi Boutique, or a special fireworks dessert party, these little upgrades will make your trip even more memorable.

Following these steps will ensure you have a well planned trip to Walt Disney World.