Are you planning a trip to the happiest place on earth? If so, there’s a lot of information out there. And if you’re not a big Disney fan or you don’t have a lot of time, it may seem a little daunting.
The good news is that, it can take just five easy steps:
- As Early as Possible: Book Your Flight, Hotel, and Tickets. It’s easiest to do everything from the Disney website. Staying at a Disney property gives you earlier access to ride reservations, and a free shuttle from the airport, and a Disney dining plan. If you choose to stay at a non-Disney resort that’s fine too, but be sure to purchase your tickets ahead of time as well from the Disney website. Some families like the convenience of the Disney Dining Plan, while others would rather go a la carte and not worry about whether not they’ve recouped what they paid for.
- Exactly 6 Months Before: Book Your Dining Reservations. This is especially important if you plan on doing a character meal. Having a reservation at a nice air-conditioned restaurant, especially in the middle of a hot day is very relaxing compared to the outdoor quick-grab restaurants.
- Exactly 30/60 Days Before: Reserve Rides With FastPass. You can do this 30 days before if you’re staying on a non-Disney property; 60 days before for a Disney property. Think about how you want to spend your day, and book the most popular rides and during the middle hours of the day when the lines are busiest.
- 1 Month Before: Hit the Dollar Store. For $20, you can walk out with the entire bag of Disney toys, autograph books, candy, etc. This is far less expensive than many souvenirs at the park. Leave a special item each morning under your children’s pillows for a little Disney magic, and they won’t bug you (as much) for souvenirs at the park boutiques.
- 2 Days Before: Print Out Maps of Each Park and Pack. So important: Print out the maps from Undercover Tourist – one for each day at each park and mark the most important rides, FastPass, and lunch reservations. These maps will be the most important thing you have because they are easier to read than the maps provided by Disney, Universal, and Seaworld. Plus, they’re color-coded based in the time of day it’s best to visit. When you pack, use their packing lists so you don’t forget anything important.
And that’s it! Looking for more detailed information? Check out the park’s official app and web site, the Disney Discussion Boards, as well as Undercover Tourist for details and answers to specific questions. Have a magical trip!