Planning a Disney vacation can be overwhelming and leave you with many questions. Every Disney vacation should be magical from start to finish! I’m here to give you answers to common questions and help put your mind at ease as you start planning your Walt Disney World vacation!
Booking My Vacation
When should I book my vacation?
If possible, I recommend booking your vacation at least 7 – 8 months in advance. There are many details that go into planning your Disney vacation; which Disney Resort hotel to stay at, how many days you will spend at the parks, if you want to add a dining plan to your package, to name a few. It’s a good idea to get these details worked out before table service dining reservations become available 180 days in advance. So, I say the earlier the better!
Should I add a dining plan to my package? What are the different plans?
I personally love the Disney Dining Plans. Biggest perk, your food is pre-paid which is so convenient. No worrying about how much you are spending while on vacation or choosing the cheaper dish because you don’t want to spend too much. You simply scan your MagicBand at your dining location and your meal is paid for with the credits included in your Dining Plan.
There are 3 different Dining Plans offered:
- Quick Service Dining Plan – (2) Quick-Service Meals, (2) Snacks*
- Disney Dining Plan – (1) Table-Service Meal, (1) Quick-Service Meal, (2) Snacks*
- Deluxe Dining Plan – (3) Meals, (2) Snacks*
* Everyone in the party ages 3 and over will receive the following each night of their package stay.
* Each guest ages 3 and over will also receive a refillable drink mug eligible for refills at self-service beverage islands at Quick-Service locations at any Disney Resort hotel.
Should I add Park Hopper to my tickets? What are the benefits?
Adding the Park Hopper option to your tickets gives you flexibility to visit more than one park in a day. Parks with Extra Magic Hours tend to be the busiest. Park Hopper gives you the ability to take advantage of those Extra Magic Hours for guests staying onsite and then spend the bulk of your day in another less busy park. Another benefit is for table service dining. You may have a few favorites or new ones you want to try in the same park. Spend your day at one park and travel to a new park for dinner. If you are only able to make a short trip to Disney, but still want to visit all the parks, adding Park Hopper will give you the opportunity to spend time in each park while you are there.
Extra Magic Hours
What are Extra Magic Hours?
These are a special perk offered to guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel. Each day, one of the 4 theme parks opens one hour early or remains open up to 2 hours after regular closing time.
Early Park Entrance
Are there any other ways to gain early entrance to the parks if there aren’t Extra Magic Hours?
Yes, at Magic Kingdom, you can schedule an early morning breakfast reservation at Be Our Guest, Cinderella’s Royal Table or The Crystal Palace before the park opens. I love the early morning dining reservations. If you are finished dining before the park opens to other guests, you can hop in line for a ride and may even get a chance to ride it early. Also, Disney offers Early Morning Magic at Magic Kingdom. This is a special event on select days which requires regular theme park admission to participate. Reserving this limited access event is an additional cost, but you will have early access to ride The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Peter Pan’s Flight. In addition to the rides, you can enjoy a fantastic breakfast at Pinocchio’s Village Haus.
What are they? How do I get them?
MagicBands are waterproof wristbands in a variety of colors and styles that unlock your resort hotel door, used for entrance to the parks and FastPass lines, connect Disney PhotoPass images to your account, and used to charge food and merchandise purchases to your hotel room if you choose to link a credit card. When you stay at a Disney Resort hotel you get to choose one in 8 different colors for each member of your traveling party for free! If you are staying off property, you may purchase these to link to your tickets. They come in a variety of additional themes that you can purchase before your trip or while you are there.
Do you have to pay for FastPasses? How many do I get? Do I need a FastPass to ride?
FastPasses are free! You can reserve 3 FastPasses to start. Access to reserve these begins 60 days in advance for on-property guests with the ability to reserve them for the duration of your vacation. Off-property guests can reserve these 30 days in advance each day when you have purchased tickets and linked them to your My Disney Experience. While at the parks, once you have used your 3rd FastPass, you may use the My Disney Experience app on your phone or visit an in park kiosk to reserve an additional FastPass from available options. Then, after the 4th is used you may reserve a 5th and so on. You do not need a FastPass to ride a ride or enjoy an attraction. Having these is a bonus to bypass the standby line and go through a shorter line with hardly any wait time.
What is the difference between PhotoPass and Memory Maker? Is it worth it?
PhotoPass is a service offered where PhotoPass photographers take your pictures in select locations and scan your MagicBand or a PhotoPass card, so you have access to your pictures to purchase. Memory Maker can be purchased to give you access to download all of your PhotoPass pictures taken during your vacation. It is definitely worth it! Typically, you come home with hundreds of photo memories. I highly recommend purchasing Memory Maker and taking the time to stop at as many of the locations as possible. You won’t regret it!
What happens if I book my vacation and a deal is released?
No problem! If there is a deal released and it applies to your vacation package, the discount can easily be applied. Which leads me to the next question…
Why use a travel agent?
Why not? There are so many advantages to using a travel agent. You receive personalized attention for your vacation at no additional cost. If a deal is released, your dedicated travel agent works to apply that discount to your package before you are even awake for the day. Your travel agent can assist you with as much or as little as you want. Some of the services provided are resort recommendations, itinerary planning, dining and FastPass reservations, and so much more! Why spend your valuable time on the phone making changes and reservations when your travel agent can do it for you? I take care of the details, so you can enjoy an amazing vacation! Sounds pretty great, don’t you think?
I would love to help you plan an amazing vacation for your family! My services are always complimentary when you book your vacation with me. I will work hard to make your vacation everything you dream it to be. Contact me today for your free, no obligation quote! I look forward to hearing from you! Melanie@travelwiththemagic.com Find me on Facebook for more Disney tips!